A Guide to the Best Camping Spots in Oregon
Published on June 1, 2023
With its thick forests, soaring mountains, high desert and rugged shoreline, Oregon offers up an array of camping experiences for those seeking adventure. And while residents at Caldera Springs boast upscale comforts at home, that’s not to say they aren’t putting on their hiking boots and immersing themselves in the natural world that surrounds. From lakeside campsites to forested glampsites, here are our residents’ favorite camping spots in Oregon.
Sparks Lake Campground
About 25 miles northwest of Caldera Springs, Sparks Lake is one of Bend’s most picturesque lakes with sweeping views of South Sister, Mt. Bachelor and Broken Top. Around its perimeter, you’ll find 20 first-come, first-serve campsites (some of which allow cars) that offer a front-row seat to epic paddleboarding, fishing, canoeing and, of course, sunsets. Better yet? These campsites are free! All you have to do is snag one before they’re taken.
Elk Lake Campground
If you’re looking for a more rustic camping experience (that is, without your car), look no further than Elk Lake Campground, situated about 30 miles northwest of Caldera. Nestled in the beautiful Deschutes National Forest, this campground features just 17 tent-only sites with views of Mt. Bachelor and South Sister. Here, you’ll find basic essentials like fire grills, picnic tables and potable water, making it an idyllic setting to explore throughout the day and relax come nighttime with a good old campfire meal.
Tumalo State Park Campground
For those seeking the action of riverside camping. make your way 20 miles north to Tumalo State Park Campground. This family-friendly campground features 54 tent sites, 23 RV hookup sites and seven yurts, offering a full breadth of in-nature experiences. It’s easily accessible, and also features great amenities like toilets and showers, plus endless recreational activities, from river rafting to hiking the surrounding trails.
East Lake Campground
About 27 miles southeast of Caldera Springs, East Lake Campground offers an idyllic beach-like setting in the caldera of Newberry Volcano. The campsites are just a short walk from the shoreline where you can head out on canoe or kayak to explore the lake’s 1,044 sparkling acres. If you’d rather set out on foot, nearby hikes take you into lava rock where you might even find a waterfall. The area is known for its geological significance and endless recreational activities, making it an ideal location for your next family excursion.
Cabin ‘Camping’ at The Suttle Lodge
Lucky enough, you can still immerse yourself in nature without getting your hands too dirty. Enter The Suttle Lodge, an incredible and historic mountain lodge located an hour north of Caldera Springs. Forgo a tent for one of their quaint, modernized cabins tucked into the Deschutes National Forest along Suttle Lake. Spend the day exploring the outdoors, grab a meal at The Boathouse, kick back with a drink in their cocktail lounge called Skip Bar. At The Suttle Lodge, nature most definitely meets nurture.