Sunday, September 6, 2009

Camping In Oregon

One of the things that I love about the Northwest is the abundance of camping options. I once upon a time lived in Ohio for a few years, and I remember trying to camp one year. Trying was the operative word. We finally found a KOA camp (nothing against the good people of the KOA, but it isn't exactly my idea of camping) on a small lake. And then came the thunder storms. You know those Midwest summer thunderstorms that are so great when you're cozy in your house? Yeah, not so cozy in a tent with the wind nearly blowing the tent over on top of you, dropping big branches dangerously close to your head, and the rain seeping in the seams of your brand new tent. Apparently I was spoiled by growing up in Oregon.

So this summer, as usual, I went camping with my family. We stayed one night at Detroit Lake, which is pretty and has flush toilets and showers. If living without your hair dryer sounds like too much of a sacrifice, then Detroit Lake is the camp for you. The downside of Detroit is that the lake is difficult to access in some places unless you have a boat and the camps are quite close together. It's only about an hour from Salem though, so that makes for a nice quick trip.

The next place we headed to was Suttle Lake. I really love Suttle Lake. It's about 20 miles west of Sisters which makes it about 2 hours from Salem. It's a beautiful little lake. Although motorized boats are allowed it is pretty quiet and peaceful. We stayed at the Link Creek camp on the west end of the lake. It does not have electricity, but it does have water spigots spread througout the sites and it has some pretty decent pit toilets. I mean, you can only expect so much when you're talking about a pit in the ground serving as a toilet, but this one actually had an air freshener, and almost no bugs. :) So I'd say that's pretty decent.

Sailboat on Suttle Lake

The best part about Suttle Lake is the big campsites and the easy lake access. It was great to be far enough away from your neighbors that it was possible to turn your chair towards the lake and forget they were there. The lake is accessible for swimming or rafting or whatever you want to do. It has a nice easy slope and the bottom is covered in small gravel (water shoes might be good for extended lake time as the gravel can be a little rough on the feet). The water is clean and cold, the views are classic central Oregon lake and tree views, and the people are friendly and far between. Just the way I like it! Oh, and the stars. The stars are amazing at night!

And after writing this, I realized I'm an anti-social camper. :) Sorry folks, I guess I go to get away from people.
Does anyone else have any great spots they like to camp? I'd like to try out some new places next year.


Melina Tomson, MS said...

I like Suttle Lake also. Have you camped down at Crater Lake yet? That was great. There is also a camp spot that we LOVED up by Mt. Hood. It only has a few spots and they go fast. No electricity and has pit toilets but beautiful. It was called Camp Creek.

Lisa Anne said...

Clear Lake is nice, but don't plan on swimming much as the water is freezing. It has beautifully clear green water though. I also like Diamond Lake and we just tried Paulina Lake this year (Newberry Crater National Park). It was gorgeous and very wild looking (dangerous obsidian flows, rugged peaks, windswept ridges).

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