MeLinda W.

Lincoln City, OR

Joined August 2018

Semi-Retirees loving our teardrop and the beautiful outdoors! I grew up camping but my spouse grew up in Baltimore. Together we are finding beauty off the beaten path.

Depends what you are looking for...

This is a great, barebones but roomy campground 15 minutes from Smith Rock. If you are looking for a place to set up because you want to spend the day hiking or climbing the Rocks, perfect. If you are looking for a spot to set up and enjoy the high desert sun and sage and rocks, and ride the miles of trails, perfect. If you want a manicured, shady, showers and water nearby campground, no. While the sites are large and well spaced, not much foliage in between. But, as I stated previously, it is a perfect spot to spend the evenings.

Puts more 'camp" in camping

This is a no frill camp area that actually feels like a campground instead of a resort.  Not great swim areas, but one can jump in the river to cool off.  Lots of bugs…but thats the Mid Atlantic.  It was a good time away from the city.

Very busy

Nice destination spot if you have children.  A great swim area where mom can relax while kids play.  Campground well maintained.  Great showers.  Very high traffic during the summer.

OK, but not real camping by West Coast standards

Nice, crowded.  Grandkids had fun.  Lake was nice to cool off in.  Not a place I would do again.

Lovely place, watch out for cactus!

This was a favorite place while living on the east coast.  The campground is nicely laid out for a state campground.  Plenty of bike trails, places to explore, places to swim both in the bay and ocean.  I love the Atlantic in the summer…way more swimable than our Pacific Ocean.  I would gladly go back if I'm in the area.

Beautiful, Interesting, Well Maintained, but

it is very hot during the day, which I love…just warning.  We stayed alongside two homeless families with their rigs parked in the parking lot.  All was fine, except for the 4 children left unattended during the day. The kids were well mannered, but I had a difficult time taking my eyes off them while they swam (elementary school age) in the Snake.  Silly me, if their parents weren't worried, why should I be?  

Lots to do and to see, quiet during the day but cows crying at night.  A stockyard is just down the road.  I would definitely stay again.

Our family favorite

I have gone here since I was 2 weeks old, 62 years ago. A lovely, bustling campground. I've seen so many changes over the years, some are heartbreaking, some good. I remember when Ranger Simon's knew many campers by name (I miss the pre-Reagan Nat'l Park system). The oldtimer's tell many shared memories of the place. Anyway, no showers, plenty of rain and water, sand, many different beaches to explore, nature trails, and there is Beach 4, the beach of smelt and big waves. If you get a chance, go.

Rustic, busy, family oriented

Great destination state park that isn't all blacktop. Retains the old time camp feel while offering showers, playground, beach and forest. Lots of foliage around campsites, but they are close. Tons of families, dogs and children! A wonderful "feel good" place but not if you want solitude. A favorite of the Oregon Coast.

Very clean little park

Great for fishermen or rafters/kayakers, not so good swimming for young children.. it's a river with a good current. In beautiful timber, maybe 30 minutes from the beach. Very popular with locals, however, so may be tough getting a spot at peak times.

Not too exciting

Rather boring , grassy park close to a creek. No swim area, TV sites close, tent sites spread out but not really private. It appeared that retired couples rendezvous there for community. The Elks clubhouse is on the premises. Not a place I would chose unless nothing else was available close to the beach. Maybe ok if you had a large group. ..really nothing there.

Not for us, but...

for tents or walk in. Very dry, dusty area adjacent to John Day River. Not close to river and access was a raft ramp at one end of campground. No where for a teardrop. Again, my phone is off when camping so no pics. I wouldn't chose this as a destination, but someone else may love the rawness of the area. Especially rafters or someone wanting to float the lovely river.

On first look, ugh, but...

Large parking lot on the John Day, not exactly on it. It was SO hot but we had to head east to beat the smoke. We found several walk in tent spots, nothing for Van's, trailers. The river invited us down…beautiful swimming space. After cooling down and finding a spot under a tree, we decided to stay. So quiet and magical as the evening wore on. Next to the hwy, but really no traffic after it was dark. We decided that it wouldn't be a destination spot, but we would stay again for a couple days. Beautiful desert scenery…my phone is usually off when we camp so sorry no pics.

Remote, almost creepy

Tiny campground at a trailhead. Lots of cows.  It was nice but after dark, a couple cars pulled in and left, which for some reason really creeped us out.  Probably due to being about 6 miles in under tall timber…like, if you drove all the way up at 10 p.m., why not just stay?  There's nothing around for miles, well, except for a cute resort in Dayville.

To be fair, the west coast was on fire and the thought of being caught that far in and having a burn hit us also made us jumpy.  My boxer loved running and meeting cows for the first time.


An oasis. We stopped to check this place out and ended up staying. A steady stream of locals came and went, running the dogs, fishing, playing guitar, even flying model pontoon planes, but it was quiet after dark. We jumped in the irrigation stream to cool off because the pond, even though good sized, looked a bit pondish. I will so visit again!

Amazing campground host

More busy and crowded than we like, however Little Crater has returned from a trashed local party spot to a lovely campground. Kudos to the Forest Service for managing it's own properties!

The lake is comfortable, thanks to geothermal activity. It's at 6500 ft so it gets chilly at night. Wind off the water also. I would give it a 5 star if not for the chill.

Hidden treasure

The river isn't the Metolius, but refreshing and fun for a float. So lovely and hot! We escaped the coast for sun and got it. Will def return.


Clean, hot, quiet. Bring your own water, shade and a deck of cards.

Skunk in the area, we were hit with one but it is still a great place.

Too many people

The new management company definitely forgets to make the rounds. The place was packed with day users and campsites were overcrowded (12 cars next to us, 25 people in one site). It is a lovely lake but human impact may shut it down.

I'm sure covid has played a part, but the reserve system is bringing in a different type of camper than we are comfortable with, and pushing away those "in exploration mode".

I hope something happens soon before the area degenerates into a dog park/party place.

Unfortunately, too high of human impact.

Beautiful lake. High human impact. The campground is not maintained and roads are rough. Most campsites on slopes and walk in. I would give higher stars for beauty but too many people. Mile long traffic jam.

Unfortunately, too high of human impact.

Beautiful lake. High human impact. The campground is not maintained and roads are rough. Most campsites on slopes and walk in. I would give higher stars for beauty but too many people. Mile long traffic jam.