The oddly named Lava Camp Lake Campground is a primitive campground comprised of 12 drive-in sites situated in high altitude mountain hemlock and lodgepole pine forests at the edge of a vast alpine lava field. It is first-come, first-served only. Furnished with the bare necessities, including a picnic tables, fire pits, and a single vault toilet, it is located conveniently close to the Pacific Crest Trail, Milican Crater Trail, Mattieu Lakes, Little Belknap Crater, and Dee Wright Observatory. It is roughly at the halfway point along the McKenzie Pass Scenic Byway - arguably one of the most beautiful and unique scenic drives in the state. Also known as Highway 242, this road follows a wagon route that was built in 1892 as it winds over the Cascades, and it was added to the national historic registry in 2011. Lava Camp Lake Campground makes for a lovely and convenient base from which to explore this very beautiful, historic, and geologically unusual piece of the Oregon Cascades.
Highway 242 is not plowed for snow; it is closed during the winter, usually sometime in November, and it usually opens anytime between April and June. The opening and closing dates are not fixed, and they are completely contingent on snow conditions. if you are planning to visit in the spring or fall, call the Sister Ranger District at 541.549.7700 to check on road conditions.