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Open Year-round
?
Reservations possible?
Yes
RV Hookups
No
Potable water
Yes
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Set on the northeast side of East Lake, Cinder Hill Campground fronts over a mile of subalpine beach on a small lagoon-like body of water.  East Lake is actually one of two lakes that have filled the depressed caldera of Newberry Volcano.  Unlike Crater Lake, however, the waters of East Lake are only 180-feet deep, in comparison to Crater Lake's 1,949-foot maximum depth.

With a total of 55 campsites, Cinder Hill, run by Hoodoo Recreation, is Newberry National Volcanic Monument's largest campground, slightly larger than Little Crater Campground, and it is the only campground in the monument that takes reservations.  Many of the sites are large enough for those with trailers, however, none of the sites have RV hook-ups.  East Lake Resort RV Park is the only campground in the monument that provides hook-ups.

The campground is also the perfect weekend destination for boaters, with two boat ramps/docks and a reputation for large brown trout.  Because there are no tributaries and Paulina Creek Falls blocks fish access, both Paulina Lake and East Lake were void of fish until 1912, when rainbow trout fingerlings were introduced to the lakes by the Oregon Game Commission. They were brought in via horse drawn wagons.  Today the lake is stocked not only with rainbow trout, but also with Kokanee salmon, Atlantic salmon and brown trout which regularly exceed 10 lbs.

Caution: Due to the geology and volcanic nature of the rocks, soils and sediments, East Lake has above average levels of naturally occurring mercury.  In 1994 the Oregon Health Division (OHD) issued an advisory to anglers on limiting the intake of fish from several bodies of water within the state. East Lake was one of them, while Paulina Lake was not.  Although no none of the effects from eating Oregon fish with elevated mercury levels have been documented in humans, the OHD recommends that you consider limiting consumption of East Lake fish as follows: (1) avoid eating brown trout 16" or larger, (2) women of childbearing age should eat no more than one 8-ounce meal every month, (3) healthy adults should eat no more than one 8-ounce meal every two weeks.

Note: Due to extensive snow pack, the campground is typically only open from June through early October.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass

Pros

Lots of waterfront/beach access. Spacious campsites. Reservations allowed.

Cons

Only open June through September.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Managed by

Hoodoo Recreation Services

Reservation phone number

877.444.6777

Address

Forest Service Rd 300
La Pine, OR 97739
United States

Features

Vault toilet
Boat ramp(s)
Swimming holes
Potable water
Picnic tables

Recommended Campsites Without Photos

26, 28, 30, 32, 33, 36, 38, 48

Location

Field Guide + Map

Comments

Great campground and definitely did not feel crowded as the sites are very spread apart. It is very dusty though, so be prepared for that. The bathroom facilities are not clearly marked and have you walking through someone's campground to get to on the North section. The East Lake Resort is quite fun to have nearby if you need things like beer, wine, ice, snacks, or a hot meal. They also have boat reservations (kayak, canoe, and motor boats). There's a few nearby hikes that are great. Even the 1.6 mile loop at Little Crater was great as it had a lot of elevation gain and was rather exposed to the July noontime sun.

There are a few mosquitos here but I would HIGHLY recommend staying away from campsites that are next to the lake. There were swarms of tiny bugs that made it impossible to open your eyes at times when on the beach.

I definitely recommend this campground.
07/11/2014
Patrick. Thanks for sharing the recommendations. Glad to hear you had a great trip. We've updated the reservation fee above.
07/06/2014
Just returned from a stay at Cinder Hill CG. I highly recommend! Awesome location and much less crowded feeling that other CG in the area. Small pond had lots of tadpoles, dragonflies, frogs and other critters that our daughter loved. Lake temperatures were pretty good and made for refreshing swim/play. Quick note: fees are now $18/night and some of the best sites (in my opinion and of the original author) do not take reservations. We were able to grab an awesome site by arriving on a Sunday!
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