Located at the confluence of Canyon Creek and the upper Metolius River, Lower Canyon Creek Campground is one of a string of campgrounds that dot the Metolius River offering visitors some of the most stunning scenery in central Oregon and easy access to an abundance of recreational activities.
Hiking and fishing top the list of recreational activities for visitors.
For anglers, the spring-fed Metolius river offers a stunning setting for fly-fishing. The clear, cold water supports rainbow trout, whitefish, bull trout and kokanee salmon.
For day hikers and backpackers, the area offers a wide variety of scenic terrain, ranging from riverside trails to routes in subalpine forests.
Lower Canyon Creek Campground can accommodate RV, trailer or tent-campers however water and electric hookups are not available. This is a no water facility so campers will need to bring their own supply. All sites are equipped with a picnic table and campfire ring with grill and the campground has vault toilets available.
The headwaters of the adjacent Metolius River are at Metolius Springs at the base of Black Butte, a 3,076-foot cinder cone. The clear, cold river flows north from the springs through diverse coniferous forest and a landscape of volcanic activity. The area provides habitat for mammals such as mule deer, coyote and cougar. Migratory birds and native fish also call the area home.
The Camp Sherman Fish Viewing Platform allows visitors the chance to view a variety of types of fish while the Metolius Research Natural Area gives bird watchers ample opportunities. Visit the Metolius Fish Hatchery or Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery display ponds to observe and feed different types of salmon and other fish.
The Metolius-Windigo Trail, open to hikers, bikers and horses, is more than 100 miles in length and begins near the Metolius River headwaters west of the town of Sisters, Oregon. The trail was created in the 1980s primarily to serve long-distance horse riders seeking an alternative to the Pacific Crest Trail.
Lava Lands Visitor Center in nearby Bend, Oregon, and the unique geological landscape of Newberry National Volcanic Monument draw visitors to the region as well. It is a great starting point for visitors to learn about the diverse landscape and history of the area through interpretive programs and exhibits. Visitors can also explore the Lava River Cave, located in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. At 5,211 feet in length, the northwest section of the cave is the longest continuous lava tube in Oregon.
ADA Access: N
Spent several days camping at Lower Canyon Creek and it was peaceful and full of wonder. No running water but that’s ok because there was also no CELL COVERAGE 🤙👍 either. One (very clean) vault toilet available. Put the devices and social media away and soak in the beauty. Seriously, put them away (airplane mode and pictures only).
We were tent camping in site 2. This is the best site in my opinion. You’re right on the point of the camp ground. Your tent door will open up to an aqua pool where Lower Canyon Creek meets the Matolius River. The Matolius is 100% spring fed maintaining a consistent 40 degree temperature so swimming is not advised. But a quick dip will rejuvenate and energize your soul. You fall asleep to the sound of the river as the stress of 2020 melts away. The nights were cool and the days warm. Fished a lot and hiked the surrounding trails. It was hard to leave and return to life (and cellular coverage)…..booo! If you have a small RV (r-pod, tent trailer) site 1 and 4 will accommodate you. Visit this place, you won’t regret it.
The Lower Canyon Creek Campground lacks in many common amenities, but it more than makes up for this with its seclusion and selection of quality sites.
Whether you're in the mood for fishing, hiking, exploring the back roads, or a relaxing get away, this is the place.
A few pro tips:
The dispersed camping spots you'll see along the Canyon Creek road are all free to stay. Spots on the main loop require payment at the information board.
There is no running water at this campground so plan ahead. The Camp Sherman store sells water at a premium down the road a few miles. Campers share a two-sided pit toilet. If you're staying in the dispersed sites, you'll have a decent walk each way.
There is a trail head at the far end of the campground. Don't miss this walk. Less than a mile down the path you'll find natural springs gushing from the side of a hill. Keep following this path to the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery. If you have children, they'll love seeing the fish in all different stages of growth.
There is one dispersed site that is the absolute gem of the entire area. I won't give away this secret, but if you're looking, you'll probably find it. Please do everyone a favor and leave any site you stay in cleaner than you found it.
A little less of a campsite and more of a dispersed type of thing. No bathrooms/water (If this is the right one) but AMAZING private sites with some sweet sweet swimming holes.