Cook Creek Campsites Nehalem
Cook Creek Campsites are in a state forest that sits in the town of Nehalem. The road is narrow and a little bumpy but navigable if you take your time. This is a hidden Oregon gem that offers several designated free camping sites off the road.
Its important to note that as of August 2021, Cook Creek Road closed at the four-mile mark. So if youre planning to stay here, youll want to make sure you choose a site before reaching this point.
The reviews for this site are slim, but only because it hasnt hit the radar for many boondockers. Once other boondockers discover the waterfalls, caves, and many areas to explore while camping here, its sure to gain popularity.
Fort Stevens State Park
Known for its size, amenities, and range of things to do nearby.
Fort Stevens State Park has to be one of the largest Oregon state park camping spaces in the state, with almost 500 camping sites available. It is located way up in northwest Oregon, with the campsites set out in two huge loops.
There is plenty to see and do in the immediate vicinity such as visiting the incredible remains of the Peter Iredale shipwreck that sits on the beach.
Price: Tent $22, RV $32, Yurt $48-$58, Cabin $93-$103
Fort Stevens is a converted military space, and you can find out more about this in the Military Museum.
The 18 Best Camping Spots Near Bend Oregon
The City of Bend, Oregon is an outdoor playground sandwiched between the equally mesmerizing high desert and High Cascades.
Known as a hub for outdoor recreation, Bend is a frontier town that retains an authentic sense of the wild west.
The massive, perpetually snow-capped Three Sisters mountains reign over the city from the west, and an endless sagebrush-encrusted desert spreads east to somewhere beyond the horizon.
Whether youre paddling down the white waters of the Deschutes River, shredding the slopes of Mt. Bachelor, or hitting the trails on Bends best hikes, youll need a place to catch some Zs and recharge for your next adventure.
You could spring for a hotel, but wheres the fun in that?
Weve put together a list of our 18 favorite camping spots around Bend. There are dozens upon dozens of campgrounds and backcountry campsites to discover in the area, and this list is a great guide to help get you started.
Tent or RV, youre in for some amazing camping outside of Bend. Take on the mountain highways for mile-high lakeside amenities, or travel deep into the woods for a remote experience far away from civilization.
The options are endless, as are the good times.
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Harris Beach State Park Brookings
The rugged southern Oregon coast | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane
Exemplifying the rugged nature of the southern Oregon coast, Harris Beach State Park lends access to stunning sea stacks, cliffside views, and one of the best beaches of Oregon.
Harris Beach is the southernmost state park campground on the coast and offers over 150 campsites accommodating tents, RVs, and anyone traveling via bicycle or backpack. A short trail from the campground leads to a sprawling day-use area and the ocean. The day-use area features a playground, beach picnic area, and green space.
A short drive north, Lone Ranch Beach and the beginning of the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor also invite exploration from the campground. In the opposite direction, a biking trail leads to Brookings, where restaurants, groceries, and other city attractions can add some cultural enjoyment.
Glamping And Unique Stays Near Bend Oregon
Do you love to experience the great outdoors but want to skip on your tent? If so, there are other options to make your stay near Bend even more unique.
13. Tipi in the Junipers
Just 15 minutes from Smith Rock , Tipi in the Junipers offers a unique stay in a 314-square foot tipi. Equipped with a queen bed and access to a full bathroom and shower, this site falls more under the category of glamping than camping.
The high-altitude desert climate makes for a beautiful sight full of juniper trees and unique rock formations. Being so close to Smith Rock State Park, Tipi in the Junipers is an excellent option if you want to explore the State Park but sleep a little more glamorously.
If youre interested in experiencing a night in a Tipi under the beautiful Oregon sky, you can make your reservation here.
14. Green Ridge Lookout
If youre not looking for a unique stay near Bend, Oregon but not necessarily looking for something glamorous, you need to check out Green Ridge Lookout in Sisters.
Positioned 20 feet off the ground, this old fire lookout provides panoramic views of Mt. Jefferson and the Metolius River Basin. With windows on every wall of the lookout, youre sure not to miss any of the spectacular views even when you have come back to camp for the evening.
Whether you want to spend the day fly-fishing in the Metolius River or sipping a brew in Sisters, Green Ridge Lookout is a fantastic location with a truly unique feel.
15. Mongolian Ger Yurt
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The Cove Palisades State Park
Cove Palisades State Park will capture your heart with the stunning views of the river canyon. Located just one hour north of Bend, Cove Palisades State Park encompasses the southern portion of Lake Billy Chinook, where the Deschutes and Crooked Rivers meet.
Whether you want to hit the trail or get your paddles wet, there is no shortage of things to do in Cove Palisades State Park. Hiking up the Tam-a-Láu trail offers a birds eye view of the entire River Canyon and, if the water tempts you, paddlers of all skill levels can enjoy 6 miles of the beautiful Crooked River Water Trail.
There are two campgrounds to choose from when staying in the Cove Palisades State Park. The Deschutes River Campground is located in the canyon within walking distance from the water, whereas the Crooked River campground is positioned high above the canyon near the park entrance.
Both campgrounds offer flush toilets and hot showers making for a very comfortable experience as you explore the park. Also, if you do not have your own watercraft, there are plenty of options to rent boats, kayaks, and paddleboards to explore the water trails.
Campfires are prohibited in the Cove Palisades State Park, so be sure to have a camp stove to prepare your meals after a long day hiking and paddling. To see the site map and make a reservation today, you can plan your trip here.
Paradise Campground Willamette National Forest
Tamolitch Blue Pool near Paradise Campground
Waterfalls, hot springs, and stunning blue pools of water stem from the banks of the McKenzie River within the Willamette Valley. One of the best ways to experience everything this scenic water corridor affords is to hike the 26.4-mile McKenzie River National Recreation Trailâ one of the best hiking trails in Oregon.
Paradise Campground is the closest place to pitch a tent near all the excitement surrounding the McKenzie River. The campground is near the southern terminus of the National Recreation Trail, near the community of McKenzie Bridge. And its apt name reflects the campground’s immediate surroundings.
Constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, nearly all 64 sites at Paradise have views of the water, while the rest are nestled comfortably into the encompassing old-growth forest. The campground caters to tent camping and RVs less than 40 feet long . Flushing toilets and potable water can be found in both campground loops.
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Dispersed Camping Spots Popping Up As Visitors Look For Primitive Escape
Many people enjoy the solitude and primitive experience of camping away from developed campgrounds and other campers.
Its called dispersed camping. It is perfectly legal and hugely popular.
No picnic tables, no toilets, no trash cans, no fire rings, no treated water.
If you want it, you bring it, and you take it with you when you leave.
We do allow dispersed camping throughout the Deschutes National Forest as do most national forests. The limit on camping in any one spot is 14 days, said Jean Nelson Dean, Public Affairs Officer for the Deschutes National Forest. People need to obey forest closures and other regulations. People can only travel 300 feet off an open road and they have to camp 30 feet away from a water source: a spring, stream or lake.
A new popular spot has sprouted near Bend and anyone whos driven up Century Drive has noticed.
Dean says people who camp in the forest across Century Drive from Widgi Creek Golf Course a perfectly in their rights to do so.
Done right, dispersed campers avoid trampling vegetation by using previously created spots that are down to bare soil.
This time of year when its so dry, that means dust.
Dispersed campers should not camp in the middle of a clearing or a meadow and they should try to make their campsite less visible so that other visitors see a wild setting.
Typically, dispersed camping is not allowed near any developed facilities such as campgrounds, boat ramps and trailheads like Phils Trail.
Our Picks For The Best Camping Near Bend Oregon
World-renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, Bend is a must-see spot for outdoor enthusiasts. Sitting just 150 miles south-east from Portland, Bend is literally the center of Oregons outdoors scene providing year-round hiking, water sports, fishing, and camping. In addition, with over 300 days of annual sunshine, Bend provides you with plenty of opportunities to explore the stunning surroundings including the views from Mt. Bachelor, the rushing Deschutes River, and serene lakes of the Cascades.
To make the most of your trip to central Oregons largest city, weve rounded up some of the best campgrounds near Bend.
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Free Campsites For Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park has a beautiful and serene environment that has been surrounded by ancient nature and blessed by mother nature with the Chisos mountains. Big Bend allows people to enjoy various animals and plants that enhance its beauty. The variation of the desert temperatures gives the park a unique feeling. Viewing the existence of plants in the park enables one to appreciate the work of nature and view life positively. Read on to learn more about Big Bend and the reasons why you should plan to visit.
Lake Billy Chinook Cabins
Billy Chinook Lake is stunning, and the Cove Palisades State Park is a good option for camping near Bend Oregon and the lake. The park as more than 200 campsites, some of which have RV hookups.
However, if you want something a little more luxury, you could always book one of the deluxe, lakeside cabins which can sleep up to 8 people.
There are two main campgrounds in the park, the Crooker River Campground and Deschutes Campground, both of which are surrounded by nearly 10 miles of hiking trails, boat rentals, and the towering cliffs that surround the unique Lake Billy Chinook.
Price: tent site $20, electrical $30, deluxe cabin $87 | More Info: Website
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Where To Find Free Camping In Oregon
Most of the Oregon free camping spots are dotted across public lands, which include areas like National Forests, Bureau of Land Management lands and wilderness areas. Savvy searchers wont have to travel far to find for free camping on Oregon public landsabout 60 percent of the state is made up of public lands, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. If youre in a pinch you can use the offline maps and campgrounds of The Dyrt PRO to find the free public lands near you.
The beauty of dispersed camping, besides costing absolutely nothing, is that you wont need to make reservations. These campgrounds are almost always first come, first served. Additionally, as camping on public lands is typically not a crowded affair, Oregon free camping has a chance to offer glorious solitude and welcome peace and quiet amid gorgeous natural scenery.
Not all campgrounds on public lands are free, however, so some research is required to plan your trip. To make things a bit easier for you, weve come up with the best places for free camping in Oregon from real camper reviews on The Dyrt.
Expo Center Rv Park Redmond Oregon
Amenities Wifi Pet-Friendly
Suppose youre looking for a place to park your RV close to your Oregon destinations and youre not interested in all the perks associated with the resort-type experience. In that case, the Expo Center RV Park in Redmond may be an excellent option for you.
Located in the Deschutes County Fairgrounds, 25 minutes north of Bend, the Expo Center RV Park offers a great place to set up your rig while you explore all of the natural beauty that Central Oregon has to offer.
Although the Expo Center does not offer the typical scenic views and natural greenery you might expect when camping in Central Oregon, it provides a great location and the basic amenities you would hope for when parking your rig. This includes full hookups, restrooms, and showers.
You can check pricing and availability for the Expo Center RV Park here.
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Physical Distancing In Parks And On Trails
- Use wide trails where possible to stay six feet from others while passing.
- User-created trails damage habitat and create erosion.
- Visit less popular trails at less popular times. If you see many people or a full parking area, go elsewhere or at another time.
- Use trails and paths at nearby parks rather than driving across town or beyond.
- Wash hands before and after any visit to a park or trail.
- Follow local and national guidance to wear cloth face coverings in public.
- Offer a wide berth when passing and if approaching from behind, say a friendly hello, passing on your left.
- Keep dogs on a leash.
- Go solo or only with members of your household. No groups.
- If this is not possible or if you are sick, stay at home do not use a park or trail.
Private Farm Apartment With Mountain Views
Located in lovely Tumalo, this recently remodeled private apartment is on a working farm and has one bedroom, a full kitchen and bathroom, and a private entrance. There is a gas grill on the private deck and local breakfast fixings are provided included coffee and eggs.
Exploring more? We have you covered for camping all around in Oregon!
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Dispersed Camping Near Bend Oregon
If rugged, untouched nature is what you prefer, then youre in luck! After spending a year searching for the best dispersed camping locations around Bend, weve found the absolute best.
Keep in mind, these campgrounds are dispersed sites, which means they are FREE, but you wont have access to amenities like toilets, running water, etc. Come prepared with your own gear. You can read more about dispersed camping here.
Most Important Tips For Camping Near Bend
To help you prepare for your camping trip near Bend, Oregon, consider these essential tips:
Leave No Trace
The most crucial tip for camping near Bend, Oregon is LEAVE NO TRACE!
Central Oregon is an absolutely incredible place to enjoy the outdoors in all of its natural beauty, and it is so important that we do our part to keep it that way.
Think about it.. over 4.5 million people visit Central Oregon each year for these breathtaking views. Each one of our actions, no matter how small, adds up to either maintain this natural beauty or quickly destroy it. Whether it is disposing of your waste correctly, minimizing the impact of your campfire, or ensuring that you leave the environment the way you found it, each decision we make affects this land.
I highly recommend visiting the Leave No Trace website and become familiar with each of the 7 principles.
No matter where you decide to set up camp, abiding by these principles will ensure that these beautiful places remain beautiful for generations to come.
Although 4WD is not required for your camping trip to Bend, Oregon, there are many scenarios where you wished you had it. Accessing some of the primitive campsites mentioned in this post requires a 4WD high-clearance vehicle, regardless of the season.
Before heading out for your trip, consider where you want to go, what you want to do, and potential weather conditions. You might not necessarily need a 4WD vehicle on your specific trip, but it can never hurt to have it.
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Scandia Rv & Mobile Park
Just south of Bend along US-97 is Scandia RV & Mobile Park with nightly and monthly rates. They have three sections with full hookup RV sites that are often full throughout the summer months. Call ahead early to make reservations, especially if you want one of their 14 pull-through sites.
Their basic amenities include WiFi, cable, and laundry facilities. Restaurants are within walking distance and the Bend Factory Outlet stores are less than a mile away.
Scandia RV & Mobile Park. Photo by Coopsecondact
Visitors Guide To The Central Oregon Backcountry
With rolling plains of sagebrush, dramatic river canyons and dense forests of old-growth juniper, the Central Oregon Backcountry provides visitors with a wide-ranging introduction to Oregons high desert.
This wild country is within a short 1- to 2-hour drive from Bend, Redmond, Prineville, Sisters and other Central Oregon communities. Whether you are looking for an easy day-hike or a weekend adventure, you can use our visitors guide to the Central Oregon Backcountry to plan your trip.
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