Kelly N.

Salem, OR

Joined July 2018

4-H outdoor educator who loves to escape and explore the pacific northwest

First to Review
Great acess for RV and ATV campers

Loop A & B: Sitting right in Winchester Bay, this campground likely got this name because of the wind chills that whip by during the night or stormy days. I would not go tent camping at this site, but RV, trailer, car-camping and ATV use would be great! This site has access to their piers for fishing, access to small local shops, and the dunes are less than 5 minutes away. We enjoyed visiting the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park while in town and recommend trying DD’s pub for fresh oysters caught in the oyster triangle.

This site DOES have bathrooms, showers, and a large playground. There is no privacy between the sites, be forewarned.

More info:

Access to Fishing dock and picnic area

These site are fairly shady and private, covered by trees and foliage. The sites at this campground are large enough for an RV or tent. The sites are set up in a grid and if you are further up on the hill you will need to walk a bit through the pathways/camps to get to the restrooms.

There is acess right across the street to a fishing dock and a few picnic tables for a small family event or outing. If you looking for something extra to do, try driving up the road to the Loon Lake resort and restaurant for a bite to eat. We did not go swimming near this site, but if you were to look around there is a flowing river along the road and walk-in area near the Loon Lake resort that you may be able to sneak into.

There is a site with ADA access. All sites are $15/camping and $5/day use vehicle.

For more info:

Recreation sites around Loon lake - across the street

Loon Lake Campground sits on Loon Lake about 40 minutes outside Reedsport Oregon. This campsite is somewhat private with enclosures from plants/foliage and well kept, but also sits right on the roadside across from Loon Lake and you will need to cross the road to get to the day-use and lake acess area. There is enough room for RVs trailers and/or tents and per usual vault toilets and campfire rings. Make sure to bring your own water.

While staying at this site, if you like to day-trip and see the area I advise that you go up the road and eat a meal at the Loon Lake Resort restaurant and possibly rent a boat or go fishing off of their pier. Reedsport is a fun, little town and is the nearest grocery store for forgotten items.

See more info here:

Remote location - nice view & hike of falls!

Koosah falls within Linn County and tailors to backpackers/small group visits. Koosah (meaning sky) was once a trading location for local tribes. This water source joins with the Mckenzie River/Trail and is considered one of the three major waterfalls. It has a great day-use site that allows you to walk in and see the Koosah Falls. I recommend hiking the Waterfalls Loop Trail to see Sahalie Falls as well. Unfortunately, we ran out of time but hope to return to see and complete our full adventure. Nearby you can visit Clear Lake, fed by a natural spring that stays a consistent low temperature that does not allow vegetation to grow, creating an astounding experience for fishing and boating. So, after your hike of the falls stop here for some snacks and rent a boat for $25 to relax. I also recommend checking out Blue Pools that connects later down the McKenzie River closer to Sisters. (Blue Pools names because it is also SO clear!)

See link below for more information through FS:

Should be called “Roadside” instead of Riverside

Don’t be alarmed, this campground sits along HWY 22 AND along the Santiam River in the Willamette National Forest. Despite the road noise, if you can grab a campsite along the water you will feel at peace with the whispering waters and tucked away in the old growth forest that surrounds you. This site has a feature that many others do not, which is a little roundabout at the end of the site. The pathways are paved which makes this site great for families with kids who may want to ride their bikes or scooters while not in the water fishing/playing/swimming. Potable water is available as well as vault toilets. (Bring soap!) There are no showers at this location. Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a leash.

This site is both walk-up and reservable through Linn County Parks & Rec. See more info here:

Camp above the Santiam riverbank

Camp above the Santiam riverbank and enjoy a night of peace and rest listening to the water flow. This site has access to vault toilets, potable water. The sites are large enough for rv or tent sites with vehicle pull through. The sites have enough old forest growth to provide privacy for the family. If you camp near the river you cannot hear the road, even though you are only a skip away. I do not recommend camping in the sites near the road if you have kids/pets with you or if you are a light sleeper. The roads are paved which can be great for family cars or for little ones wanting to ride their bike or scooter around camp. The site that we stopped at would have been great for fishing trout or salmon. Don’t forget your fishing license!

You can reserve this site through Linn County Parks & Rec: 1-877-444-6777 - And like most sites in the Willamette National Forest dogs are allowed as long as they are on leashes and check out time is 1pm.

Limited, primitive camp sites

House Rock is more primative than the nearby campsites, meaning it has more weeds and less number of sites in comparison. To get to this site you have to drive down long switchback grave roads (follow signs - see photo/video) and there was an odd smell once we reached the bottom bank. We were not sure if it was from the trickle of a creek or the neighbors. I would assume that the trickling is more of a steam in early summer/late spring, so plan your trip early in the season. There is one site that has access to shade and the river, but if you do not get that site you will be baking in the sun by late afternoon.

Great for group/large family camping

Lost Prarie Campground is great for group or large family camping, but it would be a worst nightmare for couples seeking quiet and relaxation. ALL CAMPSITES are open and have a grid system between each other, making it easy to connect between sites and/or see kids playing with each other. There is a creek that flows nearby with a few trails down the road. No showers, but vault toilets are available. Make sure to bring extra soap and containers to carry water. Potable water is available. Mosquitos can be a problem for some, and with the grass nearby I often wonder about ticks - Deet-free bug repellant like “picaredin” works best, even if just sprayed in shoes and is safer for kids.

These sites at Lost Prarie are reservable through Linn County Parks & Rec.

Meh-La-La State Park, not much to it

Molalla River State Park is located near Canby, Oregon about 2 miles from the Canby Grove Camp that I stayed at for the EEAO conference in Sept18. This park sets on the Molalla River and was once a spot for the Molalla Tribes. This site has bathrooms and reservable picnic areas with a view of the river and boat ramp. Yes, there is a boat ramp but you must be careful because there are ferry lines near the location and the water line runs low mid-summer. There is a nice pet exercise area and trails, but I do not think this lives up to its title as a state park when compared to Silver Falls, Willamette Mission, or Champoeg State Parks within 1-2hrs drive. This appears to be more of a neighborhood park tucked away near residential areas. I advise to travel 20 mins away to Champoeg State Park that has camping and cabins open year round. There was no obvious designated camping at this site.

ADA access camping sites and great day use area

Yukwah campground is found along hwy 22 East of Salem along the Willamette National Forest in Linn County. Most of the sites along this stretch are first come, first serve walk up sites - but you can reserve by connecting with Linn County Parks and Rec (see photo for info) for $18/night plus $5 additional vehicle fee and reservation fee. This campground has ada access camp sites and tent sites. Most of the RV sites along the Willamette National Forest can be used for tent camping. The day use area at this site is great for swimming, fishing, and possibly a small hike. I advise camping near the day use area (#3) if you have a large family or kids for larger sites and easy access. Yukwah is near wagon wheel bridge with access to trails for those wanting to hike while camping. Vault toilets are available (bring soap) - there are no showers or additional amenities. There is access to potable water at this location.

Camping near Detroit Lake Day-Use area

We stayed at site 10 over Labor Day weekend and loved it! Cost - $22 and $5 for an additional vehicle. You can walk up or reserve the sites by phone. However, we normally walk up and are lucky with finding what we need last minute.

The tent sites are large, but you can definitely hear and see your neighbors through the brush. There is quite a walk to the bathrooms from our site, but the trails are well labeled. The bathrooms are “prison toilets” with cold water sinks, and do not have lights nor soap. It is a BYOS - soap or sanitizer. This is why I gave it a 4.

This site is attached to a beautiful Hoover Day Use area that charges $5 for day use. The Hoover Day use area has a large dock to walk/fish on, a boat ramp, and lots of space for parking, picnicking, and fishing. The lake was 75 degrees this summer - so plan for blue gill not trout or salmon.

Dream destination an hour away from Salem

Cove creek campground is an hour away from Salem sitting above the south side of Detroit lake, on the right hand side of the road once you arrive in Idanha - off hwy 22 and blowout road. This campground is first come, first serve with both walk up and reservable sites. We stopped here during Labor Day weekend and there were still spots available and we were surprised! This campground is large and includes bathrooms, showers, and is short distance from Detroit Lake. There are trails nearby for hikers and the roads are paved for bike riding. You can access forest roads at the end of Blowout if you’re looking for adventure. We prefer this site in comparison to Hoover campground, Santiam Flats campground and Southshore Campground!! See you soon!

Large secluded tent sites with water access

This site is tucked into the Willamette National Forest past Detroit State Park on Highway 22 in Linn County, also known as an Oregon old growth forest. These sites are large, secluded, with water access and access to the river straight from your campsites. You will want to bring a pot and your fishing pole. Bathrooms are clean, standard vault toilet facilities. Bring hand sanitizer and/or soap. This campground has first come, first serve sites - but you can also make large group reservations and single site reservations by phone at 1-877-444-6777. Each night is $18, plus a $5 additional vehicle fee. While this site may be close to the road, the trees and water below do block the sound of most traffic. Site #4 is the largest site with access to the river.

Only place in Oregon to collect free Sunstones - plus camping!

The sunstone is Oregon’s State rock. HERE AT THIS LOCATION YOU CAN COLLECT THEM FREE OF CHARGE - but don’t be greedy! They come in all shapes and sizes, but most are the size of a fingernail or baby’s tooth. You will need to drive out 45-90minutes on a gravel road to reach this location and it is truly out in Oregon’s Outback and will take a full day to reach your destination. FYI DO NOT PICK SUNSTONES UNTIL YOU REACH END-POINT. The surrounding land is not for public use. You will know you’re good to go and at the end-point when you see the photos below with the sign and camp site. It would be safer to Camp in an RV or car because of rattlesnakes and heat-exposure. We did not stay because of the poor air quality from summer fires nearby. There are wild antelope and rabbits in the area. Keep on the look out for wildlife on your drive! No shade is available except for the covered Camp spots. You will see the MANY Sunstones laying out on the ground, sparking in the sun, no need for digging which is quite fun. Sunstones are made from the minerals in the dried up/preserved lake in this area. Lake county is full of seasonal lakes is what we discovered on our road trip this summer…Good luck and have fun!

Take a drive out to Mud Creek

Cows… you will see many open range cows while you drive down a long gravel road and again when you reach your destination at Mud Creek. The creek is somewhat seasonal, but you can find a small stream on the road across from the campsite. Not enough water to go fishing or swimming. There is no cell service out there, but many hiking trails and peace and quiet if that is what you are searching for. There is a trailhead a mile up the road with parking. There are vault toilets and space for both tent and RV camping. Be on the look out for rattlesnakes, ticks, and cows out here.

Fort Rock State Natural Area near Christmas Valley

This site is about an hour away from Bend, or two hours from Lakeview Oregon. It is an Oregon State Natural Area, open to the public and has a short up to the viewing point or if you would like to hike around the rock it is closer to a full mile. The views are gorgeous and you may find some wildlife or snakes on your way. The rock formation is caused by erosion from a past lake. Don’t forget to check out the gravesite where many locals still burry their family and friends. Limited gravel roads/mostly paved and a small day use area to stop for lunch. The bathrooms are clean and there is access for water and a host nearby if you find that you have questions or need help.

Where is the lake?

Confused? This lake must be seasonal because we could not find it while traveling around this campsite. There is a small marshy area and grass as if the lake is there at other times of the year. The campsites have very little privacy, but there are bathrooms, amenities, nice day-use area, pet exercise area, etc. This park is on the border of California near Lakeview… so while I did not necessary think it was worth the drive to go see this campground, the nearby town is a great little American escape for groceries, a great little Saturday Farmers Market, a nice cup of coffee, or just to explore.

Beautiful day use area on Odell lake

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.


I LOVE THIS CAMPGROUND! We will be returning soon. This site is walk-in and has space for parking, boats, and large family tents right on the lake. No showers, but the bathrooms are clean. Odell lake is gorgeous and has a rock bottom, Great for wading out into the water or swimming. Fishing is an option if you have a larger boat or canoe to withstand the waves of the water. Also, gorgeous views of the mountain if you want to use the nearby day use area!!

Quiet campground, great for families

Blue Pools is a great family campground, open for walk-ins during the summer. The sites are large and versatile between RV and tent sites. There are paved paths that are great for bike rides. Some campsites require a walk in with parking nearbye.