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Lava Camp Lake Campground

Deschutes National Forest

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Lava Camp Lake Campground

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  • Lava Camp Lake.- Lava Camp Lake Campground
  • There is one vault toilet for the whole campground.- Lava Camp Lake Campground
  • Every campsite is a drive-in site and has a picnic table and steel fire pit.- Lava Camp Lake Campground
  • Typical site at Lava Camp Lake Campground.- Lava Camp Lake Campground
  • The road is navigable by normal passenger car, but is a bit rough in spots.- Lava Camp Lake Campground
  • The turnoff from Highway 242.- Lava Camp Lake Campground
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Free. Close to the Pacific Crest Trail and Dee Wright Observatory.
Cons: 
Not reservable. Spring and fall accessibility is unpredictable.
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Region:
Southern Oregon Cascades, OR
Congestion: 
Moderate
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
Not Required
Tent/Car sites: 
12
Picnic Tables: 
Yes
Dogs allowed: 
Yes
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Mixed precipitation (1–4 in. of snow) throughout the day.
47°F
31°

Tue

Light rain starting in the afternoon.
51°F
30°

Wed

Mixed precipitation throughout the day.
47°F
33°

Thu

Light snow (1–2 in.) throughout the day.
43°F
29°

Fri

Light snow (under 1 in.) until afternoon.
42°F
23°

Sat

Mostly cloudy starting in the afternoon.
55°F
19°

Sun

Mixed precipitation until evening, starting again overnight.
44°F
36°
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Campground Description

Campground Description

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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.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Map

Field Guide + Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(53 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(130 within a 30 mile radius)

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