Camping in Central Oregon

Is there anything more Central Oregon than pitching a tent near an alpine lake or in the midst of a ponderosa pine forest, cooking dinner, and enjoying a quiet night under the stars?

We think not—which is why we’re lucky to boast more than a million acres of National Forest, several state parks, upscale campgrounds, and plenty of fully equipped RV parks all over the region. Whether you rolled into Central Oregon with your own lodging or want to spend a night outdoors, you’ll find plenty to love about RV parks and campgrounds in Central Oregon. (Want the inside scoop and latest updates? Give us a call at 800-800-8334, and we’ll help you find the perfect place to put up your feet.)

Wherever you decide to stay, you’re always close to your next adventure. Want to explore the many lakes in Central Oregon? The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, chock-a-block with rustic campgrounds, is named for its close proximity to cool mountain lakes. You can also discover the mountains of Central Oregon from campgrounds and RV parks in the likes of Sisters and La Pine, where Cascade peaks and still-active shield volcanoes are mere minutes away. And our close proximity to public lands means you’re generally close to (or even camping within) national and state parks in Central Oregon as well.

a tent in natural landscape in Central Oregon

June through September is prime camping season in Central Oregon—so be sure to book weekend outings up to six months in advance, and weeknight outings a month or two out. And please Take Care Out There by doing your part to prevent human-caused wildfires: Understand current fire restrictions, build your campfire properly and safely (if fires are allowed), and make sure your campfire is fully extinguished before calling it a night or breaking down camp. (If your plans also involve hiking into the Central Cascades, learn more about the Central Cascades Wilderness Permit System and how it might impact your hiking plans this summer.)

So as you make your plans for a night under the stars, we’re happy to share some of our favorites, along with a few ideas for things to do in Central Oregon while enjoying the great outdoors.

Top Campgrounds in Central Oregon

From rustic to semi-refined, and from ancient mountain forests to starry night skies in the high desert, Central Oregon campgrounds cater to all manner of outdoor enthusiasts. Here’s a quick guide to the best camping in Central Oregon.

the beauty of the Sparks lake and the mountain peaks at dusk in Central Oregon

Tumalo State Park: Just a quick 15 minutes from Bend, Tumalo State Park sits along the scenic Deschutes River—and boasts more than 75 tent and full-hookup sites, along with two yurts for slightly more modern comforts. The park sits surrounded by ancient ponderosa pine, several miles of hiking trails, ample angling opportunities, and so much more. Whatever your activity of choice, Tumalo makes a great basecamp to explore the Central Oregon high desert.

The Cove Palisades State Park: Where the Deschutes, Crooked, and Metolius rivers collide outside Madras to form Lake Billy Chinook, The Cove Palisades State Park offers some of the best outdoor recreation in Central Oregon: Hike the scenic Tam-a-láu Trail, rent a houseboat for the day, fish for Kokanee and trout—or stay overnight in the park’s 265 campsites spread across two campgrounds (which includes 174 RV sites, six accessible sites, and three deluxe log cabins with scenic lake views).

Elk Lake Resort: Less than an hour from Bend in the heart of the Cascades, the full-service Elk Lake Resort hosts four seasons of fun—which includes some of the best Central Oregon camping each summer. Rustic cabins, upscale “glamping” tents (with linens, pillows, and comforters), and basic tent and RV sites mean you can plan an alpine experience suited to your style and tastes. Set along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, there may be no finer home base to explore Central Oregon forests.

Creekside Campground: Sitting within Sisters city limits, the municipal park hosts 60 sites (including 27 full-hookup sites and a hiker/biker area)—each complete with a fire pit and picnic table. In addition to the accommodations, Creekside Campground has the rare honor of being within walking distance of town—so you’re never more than a quick walk from Three Creeks Brewing, Sisters Bakery, or the heart of downtown.

And if you forget to gear up, check out our roundup of outdoor sporting goods stores in Central Oregon for headlamps, sleeping pads, and other essentials—as well as hammocks, steel pint cups, and other “essentials”.

RV Park Camping in Central Oregon

When you need a basecamp for adventure in a scenic setting, RV parks in Central Oregon are happy to oblige. Our RV parks and resorts are tucked away into quiet forest settings (like the lush Camp Sherman area) and spread across the rugged high desert, creating an experience unique to each outpost. Most even include helpful services, such as laundry and Wi-Fi, to help make the most of your downtime after a busy day seeing the region’s sights.

woman relaxing on a camp chair next to her RV amongst the woods

Camp Sherman RV Park: Get away from it all with a few nights at Camp Sherman RV Park, which sits in the midst of a forest of aspen and ponderosa pine—and just a stone’s throw from the majestic Metolius River. Partial and full-hookup sites are available, and the park’s close proximity to world-class hiking trails, mountain biking paths, fishing holes, bird watching, and other forms of outdoor recreation in Central Oregon makes it a popular summertime stay.

Cold Springs Resort & RV Park: Also in the Camp Sherman area, Cold Springs Resort & RV Park hosts a handful of partial and full-hookup RV sites in a quiet lawn area. Go to sleep listening to the sounds of the bubbling Cold Springs Creek nearby, and wake up to charming bird calls in the park’s bucolic setting.

Crook County RV Park: On the outskirts of Prineville, Crook County RV Park spans five beautiful acres and offers 81 spacious (full-hookup!) sites. Amenities include restrooms, showers, laundry services, free Wi-Fi, a bustling clubhouse, and more—all surrounded by the beauty of the Central Oregon high desert and Ochoco Mountains.

Crown Villa RV Resort: When you want a little luxury, Crown Villa RV Resort has you covered: The year-round resort at the southeastern edge of Bend offers landscaped sites with free Wi-Fi and cable, steam rooms, tennis and pickleball courts, a courtyard with group fire pits, an on-site dog park, and more.

Explore Nature’s Beauty

From the sagebrush-covered plains of the high desert to the towering pines and majestic mountain peaks, discover the diverse landscape Central Oregon has to offer.