Top Central Oregon Campgrounds for Camping and Fishing

Top Central Oregon Campgrounds for Camping and Fishing

Lower Bridge Campground – Metolius River

Located roughly an hour from Bend, this is a beautiful-secluded campground tucked in the Deschutes National Forest along the Metolius River. While the campground is open year-round- winter access can be a bit difficult depending on the snow levels out there. This is a great campground to chase wild redside trout or the elusive bull trout that lurk the depths of the Metolius River. Fishing access can be directly from your campsite! If not- you have several miles to hike below and above the campground along the Metolius River trail. This is also a great campground for bringing your trailer! Some pull thru sites allowing for vehicles up to 30 feet in length.

Amount of sites- 12, now reservable here.
Cost- $16/night peak season, $12/night shoulder season
Amenities- Pit toilets, potable water, river access.

Find it here.

East Lake Campground- Cascade Lakes

East Lake and Paulina lake are some of the most beautiful areas in Central Oregon. This is a great area to spend a week or weekend with the family. Activities include hiking, fishing, boating, mountain biking, etc. The Newberry Caldera- where East Lake is located-was considered to be declared a National Park before Crater Lake received the title. This area is amazing! A large obsidian flow, mellow camping, and a gorgeous lake to fish, swim, etc. This is a great place for the fishy mom or dads- being able to get your kids into some other activities during the day! The East Lake Resort is just around the corner- they have boat rentals, a restaurant, and a small store to pick up forgotten items. The neighboring lake, Paulina Lake, also has a small restaurant that sometimes has fun events such as Taco Tuesday with $1 Margaritas. Needless to say- this is an easy pick for a campground to fish out of!

Amount of sites- 27, now reservable here.
Cost- $18/night peak season, $126/week.
Amenities- Flush toilets, potable water, dog-friendly, lake access.
Season: May-First Snow (Normally) 2018 will experience earlier closures due to tree removal from campgrounds.

Find it here.

Cow Meadow Campground – Upper Deschutes

The Upper Deschutes River is much different than other stretches of the Deschutes. Right near the headwaters of the Deschutes – the river is quite a bit smaller and is chocked full of brook trout, rainbow trout, and an occasional “Crane” bow that makes it way up from Crane Prairie Reservoir. In fact- Cow Meadow Campground sits on the Upper Deschutes River and Crane Prairie! This lets you double down on the fishing, river, and lake- if that is your style. This campground can host your trailer or your tent- with 18 available spots, finding the perfect one for you should be rather easy! There are no electrical hookups at this campground, so living off the grid is the style here.

Amount of sites- 18.
Cost- $10/night
Amenities- Pit toilets, potable water, dog-friendly, lake access, river access.
Season: May-September

Find it here.

Big Bend Campground – Crooked River

The Crooked River is easily a shop favorite for a fishing destination. A great tailwater fishery that hosts thousands of fish per square mile. While most trout are on the smaller side- there are still a few bigger fish lurking around. Sitting right below Prineville Reservoir, Big Bend Campground is the first BLM campground on the public stretch of water. Mind you, there about 8 campgrounds down the riverside. This being the first, seems to get overlooked by many! Usually, a good spot to find a campsite right off the river throughout the summer. There are a few walk-in spots, a trailer, and tent spots available for your camping needs.

Amount of sites- 12.
Cost- $10/night
Amenities- Pit toilets, dog-friendly, lake access, river access.
Season: Open Year Round

Find it here.

Mecca Flats Campground – Lower Deschutes

Your gateway to the Lower Deschutes River! What an awesome little campground. You will find this place JAM packed with folks during Salmon Fly season (May) but after that, it is almost a ghost town! Open year-round- on BLM land, the fee is $10 a night and there are plenty of camping spots to meet your needs, whether you are in a trailer, tent, etc. The campground sits on the East bank of the Lower Deschutes River. There is a boat ramp that is accessible in the campground and one just about a mile upstream at Warm Springs. This is primarily a fishing/rafting campground, meaning that there are not many other activities to do in the area. You can hike along the river if you would like- but this is not a great spot for swimming or other family related activities. One thing to note is there is a fire restriction beginning June 1st through the end of summer. Please be cognizant of this- as that area can burn quickly!

Amount of sites- 10.
Cost- $10/night
Amenities- Pit toilets, dog-friendly, river access.
Season: Open Year Round

Find it here.

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