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Open Year-round
Yes
Reservations possible?
No
RV Hookups
No
Potable water
No
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

Lost Lake sits just off Highway 20 near the top of Santiam Pass. Along the west banks of the lake is a campground with 14 basic campsites, nearly all with lake access. From some you can even see the top of Three Fingered Jack to the north and Hoodoo Ski Area at the top of Santiam Pass to the east. Other than a few exceptions included in the recommended campsites, many of the campsites at Lost Lake Campground are well spaced, but not well separated from neighboring sites. The campground also sits across the lake from Highway 20, which is a busy route for traffic between Western and Central Oregon. The noise and lights of passing cars and trucks is unavoidable, but it doesn't overly impact the beauty of the lake's scenery.

Lost Lake itself is a natural wonder. The lake volume varies based on snow melt and drains through a sizable lava tube. In the summer, the lake drains significantly and the lake bed turns into a marsh surrounded by willows.

The campground is fairly basic. Three vault toilets are accessible from the spaced campsites. Fire rings and picnic tables are provided at every campsite and at two day use areas. Campsite 1 was turned into a boat ramp, but it appears to still get used by campers. No potable water or other amenities are provided. The campground road remains ungated year round, but the area gets covered by snow in the late fall through spring, making the campground inaccessible.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Easy access. Lava tube drains lake.

Cons

Highway noise.

Pets allowed

Yes

Managed by

Willamette National Forest

Address

OR-126
Sisters, OR 97759
United States

Features

Vault toilet
Picnic tables

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

05.15.16
Lost Lake is such a cool phenomenon. It can be difficult to time visiting here when the lake is draining like this.
05.27.16
I can't even count how many times I've driven past Lost Lake Campground before I ever stopped... easily 200+. Due to its proximity to the highway this campground is definitely overlooked, but ironically you can barely hear the sound of vehicles passing by from nearly all the campsites, particularly those on the far end. The sites are massive and perfect for large groups. Enjoy!
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