It finally feels like summer here in the Bend area. Highs of 80 and lows of 50. Perfect camping weather. Yay!
Sunday I headed 15 miles west to Mt. Bachelor.
The road from Sunriver to the Cascades Highway was simply infested with cyclists riding 4 abreast. I was lucky to only clip 3 of them. Single file people and stay in the bike lane please.
I decided to check out the ski area. They run the lifts on weekends if you want to check out the top or even hike back down.
I headed north from there to go visit Tumalo State Park.
I stopped off at a viewpoint looking east. There was some info about the forces that battled each other in this area. Mt. Bachelor to the west and Newbury to the east alternated sending lava down into the Deschutes River and altering it's course many times. In fact, there are still many pointed lava rocks in the stream bed that are only 5-10,000 years old making rafting quite exciting.
That flat topped mountain on the top right is a the Newberry Caldera, all that remains of the volcano. On Monday I paid that a visit. But first Tumalo.
Tumalo State Park is about 8 miles north-west of Bend on Highway 97. Sisters is 20 miles further along making this campground well located for visiting both towns. The Deschutes River passes by right next door and the day use area has nice picnic spots.
There are 92 sites with most having water and electricity.
Monday morning I headed to the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. On the road up there was a view looking west at Mt. Bachelor and Three Sisters.
Since I have the Inter-Agency Annual Pass I did not pay the $5 entry fee. I didn't realize that there were 4 beautiful campgrounds up here at 6500 feet inside the crater. A ranger I spoke with said many people were unaware as well until they started using the reservation system last year. Now it is full almost every weekend and I can see why. There are two lakes named Paulina and East and there is a resort at each one with supplies, showers, laundry, food, etc. I visited them in order heading east until the road ended.
First up was Paulina Lake.
The photo below is from the day use area.
There are no actual lakeside sites here but it has a boat ramp and is walking distance to a resort.
There are 69 campsites in two loops unlike my next stop, Little Crater.
There is not any sort of loop here, just a mile long road with campsites on each side. 49 of them. So what I did is drive to the far end and park then walk back to the start and then walk back to my car. Yippee. Here is a view looking from east from the start of the road.
You can barely see the campers along the lakeshore. There were 3 empty sites so these next photos will give you an idea just how cool this campground is to stay at. I wish I had stayed here.
That is my type of campsite. Next up was East Lake.
This is a smaller campground with only 29 sites but there were still about a dozen on the lake. I was jealous of the two RV's.
I would love a Lazy Daze RV like that one above. There was also a beach. Does this look like a fun place or what?
Last up was the biggest campground, Cinder Falls with 110 sites and in walking distance to a resort.
There are lakefront sites here but the water is not as close as the previous two campgrounds. What this means is that some of those sites are over 100 feet deep. You could fit 25 Detroit Lake sites in one of them.
That is a whopper of a campsite. There are also two boat ramps and beaches. Newberry was amazing. I could spend two weeks here hiking all the trails and playing on the two lakes. Maybe grab a steak at one of the resorts. This is a destination that has everything.
So I left and headed back down the hill.
Tuesday I headed south-west about 10 miles to La Pine State Park. This campground is 5 miles west of US 97 on State Rec Rd. You cannot get lost trying to find this campground. The road dead ends at the entrance.
This is a very popular place for the RV crowd. All the 140 plus sites have water and electric and over half have sewer hookups as well. The Deschutes River flows between the campground and the day use area but there are no riverside sites.
If you don't have an RV there are several neat cabins you can rent.
Below are photos of the beach area and the river.
Every good campground needs something that sets it apart and this one has one.
Yep, the largest Ponderosa Pine in Oregon. I had a hard time getting a photo of it because of the surrounding lesser pines.
You can't quite see the top in that photo. You can in the one below but the lighting is not great.
A gal I was talking to there said people think the base looks like elephant toes. What do you think?
What they also had here were mosquitoes. I was attacked when I stepped out of my car with around 10 sticking me in each leg. I sprayed on some deet and was ok but still had bites.
When I arrived back at my campsite Tuesday afternoon I mentioned this to the host. He told me that Thousand Trails has the campground sprayed to keep the skeeters away. He added that this year they are out in force in Central Oregon. I said I will be heading to Diamond Lake on Thursday for 4 nights. He actually laughed. He had just finished checking in a family who just left from the lake. They told him the skeets were so thick that they had to leave. So I will not be staying there. I don't like getting bitten. Luckily that was the only campground left on my trip where I do not have a reservation. I will try to find a spot at Crater Lake National Park instead. Wish me luck.
Regards, Park Ranger