Cold Water Cove Campground has a prime location on Clear Lake’s southern shores, and it enjoys direct access both to the water and to the Clear Lake Trail. The campground hosts a fairly large number of sites, but the design of the area provides ample distance and privacy for most of them. Others, of course, will be right next to one another, but this can be a good thing if you are with friends or family. Cold Water Cove consists of two loops of sites, one that includes the campground host and some prime sites by the water’s edge, and one that includes the boat ramp and sites with a more interior location. You may not be camping on the water’s edge if you choose this second loop, but you will have much easier access to the boat ramp.
Camping at Cold Water Cove means that you can wake up on a summer morning and, before the day becomes too warm, hike the Clear Lake Trail to the McKenzie River Trail that leads you downstream to Sahalie and Koosah Falls, or even Tamolich Pool for the truly ambitious hiker, biker, or for those with a shuttle; alternately, take the trail north and walk to Fish Lake to soak in some of the region’s incredible human history. Return to the campground and launch your watercraft in the afternoon for a cool paddle in the summer sun beneath Three Fingered Jack. Grab a burger at Clear Lake Resort if you don’t want to cook, and paddle back to your campsite on the south end when you are ready for a campfire.
The campground offers potable water, and boat ramp fees are waived if you are staying overnight. You can purchase wood from the campground host, though be mindful of fire danger in late summer. The trail is popular with mountain bikers, so stay alert as you walk the shores of the campground. Cold Water Cove is open from the end of May to mid-October.