Shady Cove Campground, located within the Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area, offers visitors a primitive camping experience along the Little North Fork of the Santiam River. Numerous trails within a short distance of the campground offer scenic mountain vistas, waterfalls, and hikes through majestic old-growth forests. Three Pools Day Use Site is also nearby The campground is open year-round but access is dependent on road conditions and weather. In the winter the road can become impassable, as it is not maintained for snow and ice. Travel is at your own risk. Early season (April and May) may provide a wet experience, but late season (September and October) is usually a grea time for camping.
This site is 5-10 minutes away from Princess Creek Campground and near Blue Pools campground. It does not have WiFi access, and the sites are walk-in. A national forest pass is required to use the day use area. There is plenty of parking for trailers, boats and extra cars at this site and it has a beautiful jetty with a bench to watch the waves. Odell lake has a rock bottom versus a mud bottom and is great for swimming. A fish fillet station is available at the day use area. You are near the road, but the sound was not as bad as I thought it may be.
This area is within an old-growth forest, magnificently quiet yet loud with rushing water and hawks above you. The campground is on a first-come first serve basis so make sure you research a second campground nearby or are willing to sleep in a car for a night or two as there are no reservations.
The hikes are amazing and the water is absolutely gorgeous and clear, even if it never warms up. Get your bugspray and hammock and head that way today!!
Had a great time at Shady Cove. This review is for site 11 specifically. Perfect spot on the river with shade and privacy around. The other spots are pretty open to eachother, but 11 and 12 are more hidden. Vault toilets and no drinking water, but we brought plenty and my morning coffee was fine with boiled river water. Saw some kids jumping from a rope swing on the bridge into the cool clear water. The site is also only a mile from 3 Pools, so a great place to cool off. I was there on a Tuesday and we just got lucky enough to grab the best site as the last group was leaving so I imagine the weekends to be crazy there.
This is my family's favorite place. Not a lot of amenities but the most beautiful location a person can ask for.