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Open Year-round
No
Reservations possible?
No
RV Hookups
No
Potable water
No
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Located within the lands managed by The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Breitenbush Lake Campground might be one of the most underutilized campgrounds in Oregon, so much so that a stay here is free of charge.

Access via Olallie Lake to the campground is rough, including a 2-mile stretch of NF-4220 that is best left to four-wheel drive vehicles, and with as many as 200 lakes in the area early summer comes with plenty of mosquitos. So, why visit? Breitenbush Lake is set in the middle of some of Oregon’s most pristine wilderness, you'll most likely avoid the mid-summer crowds, the campground affords very spacious campsites that are perfect for large groups and are dotted around the lake’s shore, and it is located at the trailhead of one of the state’s most prized outdoor destinations, Jefferson Park.

That said, pack well as the campground offers few amenities, and postpone your visit until August and September to avoid mosquitos.

Note: Due to snowpack, roads leading into the Olallie Lake Scenic Area can be closed as late as the beginning of July.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Very remote and serene area and lake. Nearby hiking.

Cons

Mosquitos in early summer. 18 miles of gravel and rugged road requiring four-wheel drive to access.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Managed by

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs

Features

Vault toilet
Covered picnic areas

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Comments

07/30/2016
If you've discovered this gem, please don't tell anyone. All campgrounds leading up it from Olallie were packed full, we got here and there was literally one other person. The road in from Olallie is better then coming from Detroit. Anything more then a sedan will do. Easy access to the trailhead that leads up to the Jefferson Lakes, which on a nice clear day is one of the best hikes I've ever been on. Best part is most wally weekenders are scared off by the rough road.
07/22/2016
We camped here over the July 23rd weekend and had a few things to say about it:

The campground itself was nice. Large campsite that could easily fit 2-4 tents and 1 car (a few could fit a couple cars). The campground was also about 50% full and seemed far more used than was otherwise indicated. Probably due to the increased traffic, the vault toilets were devoid of paper (so bring your own) and were not the most pleasant smell. Also, I can tell you the mosquitos are still pervasive, especially close to the waters edge, throughout the summer.

The road to the campground was terrible. We drove up in an F-350 dually and while we were able to get up there, we found a few places where we had just over an inch of clearance from boulders and fallen trees. We also found that you need a really good amount of clearance under your car. I wouldn't recommend driving up in a sedan, a minivan, or station wagon. You're going to likely damage your vehicle if you try.

If you approach NF-4220 from the Detroit side, you'll find steep grades, large rocks and boulders, and a very bumpy ride. We felt like we were on a roller coaster. This portion of the road is about 7 miles from the pavement off NF-46. The other approach from Estacada is 18 miles of gravel roads, but these roads aren't bad until you pass Horseshoe lake and from there you have a rough (but not as rough as the other route) 4 miles or so to the campground.

Lastly and importantly, I'd like to point out that there are more campsites here that people were trying to camp in that are immediately to the left as you enter. These sites are closed to the public and for the use of the Warm Springs Indian Tribe. It's not entirely clear from the signs, but it does appear that the tribe would prefer you not hike or explore the areas around their campsites.
We visited last weekend, and word from those at the campground who go every year is that the road up is worse than usual (which is pretty bad). You will definitely want AWD, and enough clearance.
Aside from that, the lake is GORGEOUS! The campground was never more than 1/3 full, and it was nice to be able to have a campfire at night.
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