Thomas B.
Portland, OR
Joined December 2018
Writer - Photographer - Adventurer
Suttle Lake Serenity

This is a very pretty medium-sized lake. The sites are fairly large and well spaced, so you don't feel too cramped. There's an easy 4-mile trail around the lake, right at the water's edge most of the time.

We were attending the Sisters Folk Festival, so we were mostly at our site for sleeping and breakfast. It would be a good central point for exploring the Metolius River area and for hiking.

The campground was clean and generally well-maintained. A few drawbacks: There's no electricity for RVs, so several had generators coming on and off. There are also not clearly marked paths to the vault toilets, so you feel like you're walking through other people's sites. Our site was along the rim, so we had nobody walking through.

Overall, we had a nice experience.

Classic Middle American Campground

Our experience here was pretty good, but I still can't bring myself to give this campground more than three stars. It was clean and relatively quiet at night. Bathrooms had free hot showers, and it's a 10-minute stroll to the shores of Lake Michigan. There's a huge sand dune to climb, and you can watch the sun set over the lake every night. Bike rentals are only $10 per day, even for tandems, and there's a flat, paved bike path that takes you to the quaint town of South Haven, about 5 miles north, where there are lots of touristy shops and restaurants. We enjoyed the Michigan Maritime Museum on the north shore.

The down side of the campground is that the beach is pretty much non-existent. You walk down through the pretty dunes, but there is literally no more than five feet of sand, and even less if the wind is blowing waves in off the lake. There are a few wide spots, but a lot of people sit up on the dunes because there's no place to sit on the beach. Do not expect big wide beaches to walk on. There are also no trails to speak of, if you want to hike. When you select your campsite, be aware that there's a path through the middle of the campground and some sites are right next to it, meaning very little privacy. The higher numbered sites are farther from the lake.

Nice and Tidy

Nice campground with sites that aren’t too close together. It’s near Clackamas Lake which is more like marshland than a lake. The good news is that it’s only a mile or so to from beautiful Timothy Lake, where it’s hard to get a site in the summer. Mosquitoes were pretty bad in early June, as might be expected. Campground host Robert and his wife/partner, whose name we didn’t get, were extremely friendly and helpful.

Peaceful Mountain Lake

Link Creek Campground is located on the west end of Suttle Lake, which is a beautiful mountain lake surrounded by evergreens. The off-season night we spent there was uncrowded and quiet. There's a trail all around the lake, although we did not hike it this time. We also were sorry we didn't bring our tandem kayak, because it would have made for beautiful exploring. We went over to Suttle Lake Lodge one evening, and found some great live music. Then we were happy to go back and sleep in our Westfalia. The sites are spaced pretty far apart, but there's not much undergrowth to provide privacy. Fortunately everyone was nice and quiet.

Rustic but Scenic

This campground is a nice mix of rustic and scenic. No reservations are accepted, and it can be hard to find a spot, due to high popularity with fishermen and rafting guides at the Deschutes River takeout/put-in. People seem to stay put for a while. However, the sites are quite big, and we shared one with another group of people who generously let us make camp. We didn't have a table or fire ring, but we had the Westy, and fires weren't allowed anyway.

There's no potable water, but we were told that river water can be purified. We brought our own. There are several vault toilets.

In addition to a great river access point, there are some great hikes along the Deschutes and up Trout Creek. Also some amazing rock climbing, although several of the prime spots are closed half the year or more due to bird nesting.

There's a narrow tunnel on the access road, which limits the size of RVs that can get in. Rates are about 8/night during the week and 12 on weekends. If you share that could be less.

First to Review
Serene Lake OR Backpacking Campground

Beautiful little mountain lake on the slopes of Mt. Hood. We did the 12-mile loop in two days from the trailhead below Shellrock Lake. There are some tough climbs but the Friday night we spent there was great. Looked like it was getting crowded when we left Saturday afternoon. The water is clear and amazingly warm, considering that it's glacier feed.

We didn't have to pay for the campsite, but you do need a Forest Pass or something to leave your car at the trailhead.

Nice riverside campground

Nice clean campground. Make sure to say hi to the hosts Floyd and Opal in their big RV. Very friendly. This was Summer 2017.

Sites are pretty close together but very clean, with nice access to the river.

Be sure to head up to Opal Creek for a great hike.

Great Hub for Rogue River and Crater Lake Activities

We really enjoyed a couple of nights here in September. The place was about half full. Quite clean and quiet, which was nice for us as tent campers. The hosts are friendly, and had firewood for sale. We were surprised that fires were allowed, so we were willing to pay abut $10 for an armload that lasted us for the evening. The sound of the Rogue River is so soothing.

It was great having the Rogue River trail run right past the campground. We checked out the Rogue Gorge trail, which is a short loop past some dramatic narrow sections of the river. We also walked down toward the Natural Bridge, which is an amazing spot where the river runs down into a lava tube and then emerges about 100 yards later.

It's also a pretty easy drive back up to Crater Lake, which also was pleasantly uncrowded. Over the course of three days, we did several hikes.

Internet and phone service are pretty much non-existent, which was fine. You can connect up around Crater Lake Lodge.