Oregon has hundreds of great camping spots that usually fill up before the weather is even sunny again. So here is the inside scoop on where to camp and how early you should plan ahead… They do not like to share the secrets here. I would have really appreciated a guide like this when we first moved here. If you are visiting or moving here I hope this helps you plan ahead!
- Book your campsite 4-6 months in advance. This seems crazy, I know, but Oregonians love good weather and will do anything possible to be out when the sun is out.
- Do reviews on the campsite first. Don’t just base it off of the website pictures.
- Bring jackets. Even in the summertime it gets so cold here when the sun goes down. Breck and I were camping in July and it was 50 degrees at 8am but I was dressed like I was in Texas at 8am.
- Also bring a lot of hotdogs to keep your other camp mates happy. 😉
We camped at Timothy Lake, North Arm. There are no signs to help you get there so unless you get lucky like us and a ranger is giving someone a parking ticket(sorry to that person) then make sure you have a really good paper route mapped out. You would think they would have directions on the camp website but they do not so figure out where your campsite is and then map it out exactly on a paper map like the old days. No cellular service whatsoever. Bring a hammock too because Oregon is full of beautiful trees and has many great places to set up shop at your campsite
You can do walkup campsites which I have heard some people have success with but I don’t like to take risks like that. Hah! If I am driving 2+ hours I want to make sure I have a place to stay.
I love Timothy Lake because its clear water is beautiful with the sun shinning down upon it, has lots of fish to catch, and these cute little guys. <–
They are poisonous which Breck and I found out later but they were super friendly and luckily did not feel threatened by us. With my animal guy you can be sure he held over 20 in his hands but I read that if you wash your hands afterwards you should be fine. They burrow in the mud near the shore and will basically walk into your hand if they think you have food.
We kayaked and fished on the lake all day and in the mornings and evenings hiked around it. There were plenty of clear cut paths to take. You can mountain bike and run along these trails.
Our campsite was very neat and the park host came to check on us to make sure everything was okay. He would provide wood for $10 if you forgot to bring some but it’s way cheaper to bring some from home. No showers here but they do have very clean bathrooms which is all that I cared about. You can also boat on the lake but have to keep motorized lake under 15 mph.
We cooked on the campfire, hung in the hammock and looked at the stars, listened to all the wonderful noises that you can hear away from the city, and had a great time.
The next morning our friends came to meet us for some fun lake time and only had to pay $5 for the day. We had lunch on the campfire and then took the kayak and paddle board down to the lake. My friend has a French Bulldog that she took out on the paddle board with her. We got out to the middle of the lake with my friend on the paddle board when her dog, Duke, decided that he wanted a more stable place to sit and took off for the kayak. He went in and immediately went under, fast! He thankfully had a life jacket on and it took him a second but his little life jacket brought him to the surface but not before my friend, Rachel, jumped in head first for him. I will add that this lake water is COLD. Did he jump in anymore after seeing his life flash before his eyes? Yes, yes he did. A few people on shore yelled out, “I don’t think he floats.” Which was very helpful. 😉
In all we had a great trip with many laughs, thanks to Duke. I would highly recommend camping in Oregon in the summertime. If you are brave then I am sure the rainy season would be just as fun. If you have any questions about camping at Timothy Lake please let me know. It would be hard to go wrong with any outdoor adventure here in Oregon. It’s so beautiful!
Until next time,