Waldo Lake is one of the largest natural lakes in Oregon. It offers a uniquely peaceful setting on the water and along remote shorelines, surrounded by forests of Douglas fir and mountain hemlock. Recreation in the area is abundant with the lake an ideal location for water activities like sailing, canoeing and swimming.
Waldo Lake is circled by the Jim Weaver Loop, 20 miles of trail for hiking and biking. Bikes are allowed on the trails, but not in the nearby Waldo Lake Wilderness. There is also easy access to the Pacific Crest Trail and North Waldo is also a popular starting point for many wilderness trails and lakes, most notably the Rigdon, Wahanna and Torrey Lakes. There is a 1-mile Shoreline Trail between North Waldo Campground and Islet Campground which provides a short and pleasant hike along the lakeshore.
North Waldo is the most popular of the Waldo Lake Campgrounds. There are 58 sites with fire rings and tables, 34 are reservable. The boat launch is somewhat deeper than the others on the lake, which is more accommodating for large sailboats. The drier environment supports fewer mosquitoes, but they are still plentiful in season. This facility is operated by American Land & Leisure. We appreciate hearing from you. Comment cards are available from campground hosts or online at www.americanll.com.
Situated high on the western slopes of the Oregon Cascades at 5,400 feet in elevation, Waldo Lake is one of the purest lakes in Oregon (9.8 square miles with a maximum depth of 427 feet). It has no permanent inlet to bring nutrients into the lake for plant growth. The lack of plant life contributes to its purity, allowing you to see to depths of 120 feet on a calm day.
ADA Access: N
North Waldo has great beaches. Some of the sites are huge. Many are lake front.
Large lake that does not allow motorized boats, so great for SUP and kayaking. Research the campgrounds for sites because some are not very close to the lake. There are first come sites as well as reservation only sites. There are multiple day hikes to upper lakes and a 22 mile mountain bike trail around the lake. This is protected wilderness area, soon flush toilets and spigots with potable water. The mosquitoes can be epic there, so be aware!
My car and I climbed over 5,000 ft from the Oregon coast to get to Waldo Lake in the Willamette National Forest. The drive along was well worth it. There are three campgrounds at Waldo Lake and North Waldo is the largest. I didn't have a reservation and attempted to find a site in the smaller two campgrounds first but neither of them had space available. Of the almost 100 sites at North Waldo I'd estimate that about a dozen were unclaimed the second weekend of September.
The campground was definitely crowded. There were many large groups with people of all ages. There was noise until about 11pm. Be warned that it gets VERY chilly at night. There are pit toilets but when I was there the majority were closed for maintenance and had been replaced by portable toilets. There are also water spigots and each site has a sump for dish water. The majority of the sites are removed from the water and only a select few are near the lake. They all have trees between the site and the water. The campgrounds also all have boat ramps and swimming areas. In addition to the trails throughout the national forest, there is also a trail that runs around the lake and through the campgrounds.
The sunsets are not to be missed! I spent all of my phone battery taking pictures of the sunset and didn't get any of the campground…
Waldo is a beautiful lake that does not allow motorized craft. The lake is great for paddling or sailing. The camp grounds are well placed for views and access to the lake.
North Waldo is unfairly maligned - but I think it's at least as nice as nearby Islet. I strongly recommend the sites on the south loop nearest the lake - several of them are downhill from the road, and therefore quiet and woodsy and free of mosquitos (yay!). The bathrooms are newer here than at Islet and clean and functional. Water is cold and clear and perfect. Trail access is amazing.
This was a great campsite. We were in a walk in Tent site right on the lake which was quiet for the most part. Right next to hiking path that went around the lake. There didn't appear to be a boat put in around the area, but there is one down the street. We stayed in Campsite 28, which helped get away from the chaos of the big group sites which I would strongly Recommend! Beautiful place.
Easily one of the prettiest, and most beautiful camping spots I have ever stayed at. The host was amazing he had a awesome attitude, stopped in at our campsite to shoot the breeze. Overall just a fabtastic place to stay!
Waldo is a beautiful lake, and as long as you go later in the summer - like August and September - the less likely the mosquitoes will drive you back home. It can get quite cold at night, but the cold keeps the mosquitoes down. Tent camping is delightful, especially because generator and motorboat use is quite limited at Waldo. It's a very popular campground, but there's always someplace close by where you can find a secluded spot. When it's really hot, the swimming is lovely - unless the mosquitoes are out. It's a nice place for kids, dogs, and families.
Waldo Lake is a fantastic choice for any non-motorized boaters, as motors are banned. We took our kayaks out onto the large crystal clear lake where you can see straight to the bottom. Since there are no motored boats, the lake and campground were very quiet and peaceful. There is also an extensive trail around the lake, which can be followed on foot or bike. Nearby are more hikes and lakes (Crescent Lake allows for motored boats). Salt Creek Falls is just down the highway and makes for an excellent day hike. Would definitely recommend North Waldo for a relaxing camping trip.