A lovely lakeside forest service campground only ~10 miles from the entrance to Crater Lake, OR
- Site Quality = 2.5/5
You have the whole gamut of site types in this place. Although officially a 35-foot max campground there are actually several sites that will fit bigger rigs, but there are also many, many others that are so slanted and small they would barely fit a pop-up. All sites are paved pull-through, back-in or doubles with various sizes of “sitting areas” containing picnic table and fire-pit. Several loops are right on the water with gorgeous water views. No hookups. There are a total of 238 sites in 11 loops and I’ll give a brief description of each:
-> A Loop - This loop meanders north of the entrance with a portion of sites at the far end on the water. For big rigs the best (flattest) sites are near the entrance around A1,3,4,5 or around A15-17 – no views here, but great sites with huge “sitting areas”. Near the water sites are tighter and more uneven.
-> B, D Loops – These are tighter loops that wrap behind the campground and sit closest to the road. They get some road noise and I don’t recommend them for bigger rigs.
-> C Loop - This is probably the nicest water-front loop in the campground with several fabulous lake view spots (C6-C11) large and flat enough for bigger rigs. This would be my #1 pick coming back.
-> E, F Loops – Water-front loops with mostly uneven sites. There are a few possible big rig spots, but it’s not my favorite area.
-> G Loop - Southern-most loop along the water. This has some of the sunniest sites and lots of open lake views. Most sites are rather too uneven for big rigs, but a few (G23, 25, 28 and doubles G31, 34, 36) would potentially fit us. There is a tight-ish turn at the end of the loop, so beware of this before you go.
-> H Loop - This is a large, spacious loop that wraps behind the campground. It has no lake views and sits mostly in shade, but many sites (H1,2,4,5,7,9,12,16,21,25,27) are large and flat enough for bigger rigs If A & C loops are filled, this would be my back-up choice for our size.
-> K,L Loops – These are very tight, uneven and small sites by the water. Lots of privacy, great views and a good choice for truck-campers or pop-ups, but not recommended at all for big rigs.
-> M Loop – Selection of sunny sites by the water. Most are too uneven, but a few longer sites (M2,7,13,15,17) would fit us. Nice lake views here and I’d try it if C were filled.
- Facilities = 4/5 Very nice facilities for a forest service campground. Flush toilets and excellent showers (large stalls with very warm water and great pressure!), kept decently clean. Showers are on “donation” basis asking $1 for 5 minutes (totally worth it!). Only slight ding is showers have those annoying spray-heads. Also on-site dump station, but there’s a ”dip” going into it, so beware of your back-end. Potable water spigots at dump and around camp.
- Location = 5/5 As far as nature goes this is really a lovely location. You are right by a gorgeous lake with 11-mile bike trail, miles (and miles) of hiking, mountains, great views, nearby lodge. You area also only ~10 miles from Crater Lake and right next to Umpqua River Trail and all the nature that entails. No real shopping here, so load up before coming.
- Pet Friendliness = 5/5 Another fabulous location for doggie. Lots of space to hang out in camp and miles of great hiking paths, all paw-friendly. Lake is pooch-swimmable, but watch for algae blooms.
Overall Rating = 4.1
BONUS ALERT: Lake views and miles of hiking & biking!
Summary: This campground came recommended by several blog readers (thanks, folks!) and I’m happy to say it totally lived up to its reputation. The location is fabulous, right on a lake with many sites offering partial or full lake views, and surrounded by miles of lovely hiking and biking trails. It’s the perfect stop-over for Crater Lake lying only ~10 miles from the National Park and also right next to the lovely Umpqua River trail (more hiking, waterfalls, hot tubs…). The campground itself is “officially” a 35-foot max, but you’ll find a few loops (especially A, C, H, G & M) that have select sites which will fit up to 42-foot size and even some with full lake views. Sites are paved but vary ALOT in how flat and accessible they are, so you have the full gamut from really ugly sites to stunning lake-front beauties. Take your time to drive the toad before you bring in the rig! According to locals the mosquitos here can be ferocious in summer, but when we visited (Sept) bugs were gone and the weather perfect. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our time here and I would peg it as our #1 spot to stay in the area when we come back.
Extra Info: Weakish 3G on Verizon (1-2 bars), but totally usable with our external antenna and amp. Total 238 sites , no hookups. Sites cost $16/night for singles, $21/night for doubles (50% off with senior pass). In summer season much of the campground reservable on-line, but it goes to first-come-first-serve after Sept 4th. On-site dump station and water spigots.
Extra, Extra Info – Other Camping, Boondocking: There are actually several other forest service campgrounds around Diamond Lake and nearby Lemolo Lake, plus there is a private RV park (rustic, but with full hookups) just down the road from the NFS site. You can also boondock officially within 300 feet of any forest service road and we scoped a few sites on the SW side of the lake which could fit us.