Camping Near Bend, Oregon: Our Top Picks For 2024

by | Mar 27, 2023 | Adventures, Bend, Camping, Central Oregon, Travel

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Are you planning a camping trip near Bend, Oregon and looking for the best RV and campground options? Look no further! This guide will take you through some of the top spots to pitch your tent, park your RV, or even stay in a yurt!

Camping in the Vicinity of Bend, Oregon

Elk Lake Campground near Bend Oregon

Located in the Deschutes National Forest, the Elk Lake Campground is a serene spot to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. With 22 campsites and easy access to fishing and boating on Elk Lake, this campground is perfect for families or groups of friends. Plus, the scenic views of South Sister and Mount Bachelor will take your breath away.

RELATED: Exploring Bend, Oregon - A Guide to the City's Best Attractions

The location also offers easy access to hiking and horseback riding trails at Battle Ax Creek, or head over to the majestic Opal Creek, Detroit Lake, or take a drive along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway.

Campground photo via
Campground photo via

Amenities: Boat Ramp, Vault toilets, Drinking water, Campfire rings, Picnic table

Type: Tent camping, RV camping and trailers welcome but there are no electric hookups

Website: Elk Lake Campground

North Waldo Lake Campground near Bend

For a more secluded camping experience, check out North Waldo Lake Campground with 58 campsites nestled in the forest next to a beautiful lake. There are plenty of lakes in the region, but Waldo is one of the purest and largest in the state and you can see up to 100 feet down!

Take a dip in the crystal clear lake that spans nearly 10 square miles or hike the 20-mile Jim Weaver Loop shoreline trail that circumnavigates the lake for some spectacular views of the Cascade Range. This is truly one of the best Bend campgrounds you can find to experience the natural wonders of Central Oregon.

Waldo Lake photo via US Forest Service
Waldo Lake photo via US Forest Service

Amenities: Boat Launch, Vault and Composting toilets, Drinking water, Picnic table, Swimming area

Type: Tent camping, RV, and trailer sites

Website: North Waldo Campground

Crane Prairie Reservoir Campground

Fishing enthusiasts will love Crane Prairie Campground, located on the shore of the reservoir. With 83 campsites and boat launch access, this campground is a prime spot for water activities and fishing since the lake is regularly stocked with rainbow and brook trout, mountain whitefish, kokanee salmon, largemouth bass, black crappie, and bluegill. The nearby Crane Prairie Resort is within walking distance and offers boat rentals and guided fishing tours as well as hot showers and a small general store.

You can also access hiking trails and hunting areas from the campgrounds. Across the lake from the Crane Prairie campground is the Osprey Point Interpretive Trail for excellent viewing areas and interpretive signage to learn about the local wildlife. If you're lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the resident bald eagles!

RELATED: 18 Of The Best Lakes In Oregon For Adventures And Camping

Campground photo via US Forest Service
Campground photo via US Forest Service

Amenities: Boat ramp, Fish cleaning station, Vault toilets, Drinking water, Fire pits

Type: Tent camping, RV and Trailer sites though no electrical hookups available

Website: Crane Prairie Campground

Soda Creek Campground (near Sparks Lake)

If you're looking for a peaceful escape, the Soda Creek Campground at Sparks Lake is the perfect spot. With only 1o camping sites for tents, you'll feel like you have the lake to yourself. Take a kayak out, try your hand at paddle boarding, or simply soak in the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains on this crystal clear lake.

Photo by Joel Moore via Google Local
Photo by Joel Moore via Google Local

Amenities: Picnic tables, Fir pits, Vault toilets

Type: Tent only although some spots may accommodate a small trailer

Website: Soda Creek Campground

Paulina Lake Campground near Bend, Oregon

Located in Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Paulina Lake Campground offers 68 campsites with easy access to fishing and hiking. There's even a hot springs that you can get to by rafting across the lake or hiking along the obsidian-lined hiking trail.

The lake itself is a geological wonder, sitting in the caldera of the mountain and stretching to nearly five miles in diameter. The nearby Paulina Peak Trail offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area including the neighboring East Lake from its peak of 7,984 feet, making this campground a must-visit spot for Bend, Oregon camping.

RELATED: The Best Camping in Oregon: Our Top 50 Places for Rest and Relaxation

Another great option is walking over right from your campsite to the stunning Paulina Falls to see the twin 80 foot waterfalls.

Paulina Lake photo by Max M. via Google Local
Paulina Lake photo by Max M. via Google Local

Amenities: Boat ramp, Drinking water, Flush toilets, Fish cleaning station, Firewood vendor, Campfire rings, Shoreline trails

Type: Tent sites, RV camping, and trailer

Website: Paulina Lake Campground

Fall River Campground near Bend, Oregon

Fall River Campground is a must-visit spot for anyone who loves fly fishing. With 15 smaller but private camping sites and easy access to the perfectly clear Fall River, you'll have plenty of opportunities to snag some brook or rainbow trout. And if you're looking to explore further, there are plenty of nearby hiking trails like lovely Paulina Peak.

As an alternative daytime activity, you can head to Pistol Butte shooting range, but a word to the wise: the road up to the range is very rugged and should only be attempted in a 4WD vehicle. You're also only a 15 minute drive to the resort town of Sunriver for shopping and dining.

Note that there's no drinking water at the campground, so you'll have to pack it in yourself.

Photo by Aron Hughes via Google Local
Photo by Aron Hughes via Google Local

Amenities: Vault toilets, Fire pit, Picnic tables

Type: Tent camping

Website: Fall River campground

Lower Bridge Campground

Located along the scenic Metolius River and surrounded by ponderosa pines and cedars, Lower Bridge Campground offers 37 camping sites with access to fishing (both fly fishing and spin cast) and hiking. The campsites are large and the campground is clean and well-kept. And with the charming town of Sisters just a short drive away, you'll have plenty to explore during your stay.

RELATED: 19 Best RV Parks On The Oregon Coast

For the mountaineers out there, you're also very close to both Mount Jefferson and Three Fingered Jack for world-class climbing and backpacking.

Photo via
Photo via

Amenities: Vault toilets, Fire pit, Drinking water, Picnic tables

Type: Tent camping, RV, and trailer but no RV hookups

Website: Lower Bridge Campground

Jasper Point Campground

For a quieter camping experience, check out Jasper Point Campground located within the Prineville Reservoir State Park. For fun, jump off of shoreline rocks into the reservoir, hike the nearby trails for stunning views of the surrounding area, or take a kayak out onto the water.

Note that this is a completely first-come, first-served campground, and it can fill up quickly on summer weekends so plan on arriving on Thursday (at least) to snag a spot. There is one rustic cabin that can be reserved online.

Photo by Glynis Morehouse via Google Local
Photo by Glynis Morehouse via Google Local

Amenities: Flush toilets, Showers, Picnic tables, Firewood sales, Boat ramp

Type: RV full-hookup sites, one cabin

Website: Jasper Point Campground

Lava Lake Campground near Bend, Oregon

Lava Lake Campground is one of the more popular Central Oregon campgrounds and is known for delivering a peaceful camping experience in the shadow of Mount Bachelor. The campground has 44 spacious campsites and access to fishing and hiking, and is an all-around great spot to relax and unwind. You'll have access to both Lava Lake and Little Lava Lake for water sports, and the neighboring Lava Lake Resort offers boat rentals for kayaks, paddleboards, canoes, pontoons, and more.

This incredible Bend campground is also close to tons of recreation options on Mount Bachelor and Elk Lake.

Photo by James Lafeen via Google Local
Photo by James Lafeen via Google Local

Amenities: Picnic table, Campfire rings, Two boat ramps, Day-use areas

Type: Tents and a few sites for smaller RVs and trailers

Website: Lava Lake Campground

Cultus Lake Campground near Bend Oregon

Located in the Deschutes National Forest, Cultus Lake Campground has 54 campsites with access to fishing, boating, and hiking. Unlike many other lakes in the area, Cultus allows high-speed water crafts so jet-skiers, water-skiers, and tubers will love this Deschutes campground.

The sites are nice and mostly shady if a little on the small side, but the roads may be too narrow for larger RVs to navigate. This beautiful Bend campground is also just a few miles from the popular Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway.

Photo via
Photo via

Amenities: Vault toilets, Picnic table, Fire ring, Boat launch

Type: Tents, Trailers and RVs under 30 feet.

Website: Cultus Lake Campground

Ochoco Divide Campground

For a secluded camping experience in the Ochoco National Forest, check out Ochoco Divide Campground. With 28 campsites and access to hiking and wildlife viewing, you'll feel like you're in your own little slice of paradise.

It's also less than an hour's drive to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument where you can explore the area and marvel at the uniqued painted hills. The Thomas Condon Visitor Center is also a must-see destination for anyone touring the area interested in the local geology.

Photo via
Photo via

Amenities: Drinking water, Campfire rings, Vault toilets

Type: Tents, and full hook-ups for RVs

Website: Ochoco Divide Campground

State Parks Near Bend, Oregon

Areas like Tumalo State Park and Smith Rock can offer some of the best camping near Bend, Oregon. Often the campsites in state parks include interpretive centers, park rangers, and sites with picnic tables, fire rings, and access to hiking trails and scenic views.

Tumalo State Park Campground

Located just outside of Bend, Tumalo State Park offers 23 full-hookup sites, 54 tent sites, and seven yurts with access to hiking, biking, and fishing on the Deschutes River. And with amenities like showers and flush toilets, you can enjoy the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort. There's also a dedicated hiker/biker camp with reduced rates for those traveling without a car.

Tumalo Sate Park is also a great choice for families with children with Junior Ranger programs at the park, a playground, and easy access to the town of Tumalo for supplies.

Photo by Alim Alim via Google Local
Photo by Alim Alim via Google Local

Amenities: Fire pit, Drinking water, Picnic tables, Flush toilets, Showers, Firewood sales

Type: Tent camping, RV full-hookup sites, yurts

Website: Tumalo State Park

Smith Rock State Park Campground

Smith Rock State Park offers up some of the best rock climbing not just in the country, but in the world. In addition to the literally thousands of climbing routes, there are also incredible hiking trails like Misery Ridge as well as miles of mountain biking or horseback riding trails through the park. Visitors can often spy golden eagles and falcons flying through the 3,200 foot spires.

Only tents are allowed here and sleeping in your car is strictly prohibited (though many climbers try). Furthermore, all sites are on a first-come, first-served basis each day and reservations are not allowed. Open fires are also prohibited, but a camping stove is permitted.

Check out our comprehensive hiking and climbing guide here for more information.

Photo via Oregon State Parks website
Photo via Oregon State Parks website

Amenities: Drinking water, Picnic tables, Flush toilets, Showers

Type: Tents only (the camping area is referred to as the "bivy") open March 15 - November 15

Website: Smith Rock State Park

RV Parks and Resorts

Many of the Bend campgrounds we've mentioned so far offer sites for both tents and RVs, but many RV travelers prefer a dedicated RV park or resort. The good news is, Central Oregon has some great choices in and around Bend, Oregon!

Bend-Sunriver RV campground

For those traveling through Central Oregon in an RV, the Thousand Trails Bend-Sunriver RV campground is a great option. With 317 sites with full hook-ups and laundry facilities, this is one of the nicest RV parks in the area and has all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. It also accommodates tents, so if you're looking for camping near Bend that offers access to both the city life and outdoor adventure, this place fits the bill.

The campground sits right on the Little Deschutes River for quick dips in the water on a hot day. Plus, it's just a short drive to all the outdoor activities Bend, Oregon has to offer. That said, you can keep yourself entertained all day without leaving the property, or head out to the surrounding area to play in nature. A great option for a family vacation.

General Store via Bend-Sunriver Campground website
General Store via Bend-Sunriver Campground website

Amenities: Mini golf, Basketball, Pickleball, Tennis courts, Showers, Wifi, Library, Game room, Banquet Hall, General store

Type: RVs, Yurts, Cabins, Tent sites

Website: Bend-Sunriver RV Campground

Sun Outdoors Bend (formally Crown Villa RV Resort)

If your idea of camping in Central Oregon is a fully-outfitted RV resort that includes a fitness center, steam room, a coffee and tea bar, clubhouse, business center, and wifi access then look no further.

Sun Outdoors Bend (still referred to as Crown Villa RV Resort) provides a deluxe RV camping experience. With spacious sites and communal areas like tennis courts and a coffee bar, you'll have all the comforts of home during your stay in Bend, Oregon. The resort is located within Bend city limits and is only a short drive to downtown and the trendy Old Mill District as well as the Deschutes River Trail.

RELATED: 18 Majestic Hikes Near Bend, Oregon to Conquer

Photo via Sun Outdoors
Photo via Sun Outdoors

Amenities: Laundry facilities, Pet area, Horseshoes, On-site storage, Wifi and cable TV access

Type: RV sites with full hookups

Website: Sun Outdoors Bend

Scandia RV Park

Located a couples miles closer to downtown Bend, Oregon, Scandia RV Park offers easy access to all the attractions of the city. With over 30 full hook-up sites, laundry facilities, and even a dog park, this RV park is a great option for those looking to explore the city but don't have their heart set on "roughing" it.

It's not quite as luxurious as Sun Outdoors, but its location makes it a great choice. There's plenty to do on the grounds, or you can drive, walk, or bike the 1.5 miles into town.

Photo by Steven Page via Google Local
Photo by Steven Page via Google Local

Amenities: Individual showers and restrooms, Pets welcome, Recreation Hall

Type: RV sites with full hookups

Website: Scandia RV park

Hidden Pines RV Park

Located just outside of Bend in the city of La Pine, Hidden Pines RV Park offers spacious sites and easy access to all the outdoor activities the area has to offer. Many visitors at this park have longer-term rentals, but you can often find vacancies for short-term at good rates.

Photo via Hidden Pines Facebook page
Photo via Hidden Pines Facebook page

Amenities: Hot showers, Flush toilets, Laundry facilities, Picnic tables, Horseshoe pit

Type: RV sites with full hookups

Website: Hidden Pines RV Park

RELATED: Oregon’s Top 11 Ski Resorts for Unforgettable Winter Memories

Bend, Oregon Camping FAQ

Are campfires allowed at Smith Rock State Park in Oregon?

Smith Rock State Park is a popular spot for hiking, rock climbing, and camping. While campfires are not allowed in the park, propane stoves are permitted for cooking. And with stunning views of the rock formations and Crooked River Canyon, you won't even miss the campfire!

Are reservations required for all campgrounds?

Some campgrounds require reservations, while others operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Others reserve a certain number of sites for online reservations and others for those who show up without reservations. It's always a good idea to check online ahead of time to see what the policies anytime you're camping in the Bend, Oregon campgrounds.

Are there hook-ups for RVs?

If you're planning on staying in an RV while camping near Bend, be sure to check if the campground has hook-ups for water, electricity, and sewer. If these aren't available, you still may be able to camp and use some functions in your RV (commonly referred to as "dry camping") but this will depend on how long your batteries will last and how long you can rough it.

Are campfires allowed in Central Oregon?

Especially during fire season, it's important to know if campfires are allowed and if there are any fire restrictions in place. Many established campgrounds only allow fires in designated fire pits while others have total ban during the driest parts of the year. Even with a fire ring, you should ensure your fires are completely extinguished each night before hitting the hay.

How many people can stay at each campsite?

Each campground sets their own rules for this, but in general you can't have more than one or two cars per site and no more than one or two tents at each site. However, some of the Bend camping areas like the Fall River campground have smaller sites that can only accommodate one vehicle. If you have more than this, you'll likely have to reserve an additional site or risk getting a citation from a park ranger.

Are there any Bend camping options that are free?

There are some dispersed camping spots around Bend, Oregon and these can be a great options for those looking to save some money and get off the beaten path. There are plenty of free camping spots in the Deschutes National Forest, just be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles and obtain the proper permits. Naturally, these will be a more rustic camping experience so be prepared to pack everything in that you need and pack everything out.

Are most campgrounds pet friendly?

Unless otherwise specified, almost all Central Oregon campsites will be pet friendly. There may be some rules regarding pets at certain parks though. For example, if you're camping at Smith Rock, dogs need to be on leash and with you at all times. This means you can get a ticket for leaving your leashed dog when you go on a hike or climb.

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Written By Tyler James

Tyler James, founder of That Oregon Life, is a true Oregon native whose love for his state runs deep. Since the inception of the blog in 2013, his unbridled passion for outdoor adventures and the natural beauty of Oregon has been the cornerstone of his work. As a father to two beautiful children, Tyler is always in pursuit of new experiences to enrich his family’s life. He curates content that not only reflects his adventures but also encourages others to set out and create precious memories in the majestic landscapes of Oregon. Tyler's vision and guidance are integral to his role as publisher and editor, shaping the blog into a source of inspiration for exploring the wonders of Oregon.

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