The Best Crater Lake Camping

The Best Crater Lake Camping

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Crater lake is a caldera lake that’s located in the south-central area of Oregon. The lake has its famous Crater Lake National Park which is well-known for its deep blue and clear water. Interestingly, it ranks as the ninth deepest lake in the world and had two small islands located within it.

The area is surrounded by cliffs and sitting in the belly of a dormant volcano, Crater lake is a lottery spot for those who seek nature and adventure. The lake itself occupies only 10% of the park, meaning the rest of the area is ideal for hiking, biking, camping, and wildlife photography.

Crater Lake

Where can I camp in Crater Lake?

Jo’s Motel & Campground

The Best Crater Lake Camping - Crater Lake Island

An island in Crater Lake
Island in Crater Lake by Richard Schneider is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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Jo’s Motel & Campground is located only 6 miles from the Crater Lake National Park, making it extremely easy and convenient to get to if you’re planning on spending most of your time in the park itself.

It’s located in the semi-ghost town of Fort Klamath which is one of the local attractions in the surrounding area.

The campground is on a first come, first serve basis with no reservations, so if you have children, this may be a little bit of a risk. However, if you’re not concerned about reservations and are going with the flow, then check this campground out.

The sites come with full hookups, clean restrooms and showers for campers. Now, if you have a pet with you along for the journey, then this campsite won’t work for you as it’s not pet-friendly. Aside from that, there’s an organic grocery & deli store that you’ll be able to use that’s fully stocked.

So, if you’re not travelling with an animal and you’re looking to explore the surrounding area of Crater Lake, including the national park, this campground is in a great location for you to do so.

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Crater Lake Resort

Best Crater Lake Camping - Crater Lake Resort

Overlooking Crater Lake
Crater Lake, Oregon 2004 by A.Davey is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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The Crater Lake Resort has a variety of accommodation such as cabins, tent pitches and RV spots on their property. Whether you’re camping via tent or RV, the Crater Lake Resort has a variety of sites for you to choose from.

The tent sites are mostly located along the Fort Creek which gives you a beautiful view and cool river air during the hot summer months. If you’re coming with an RV, all the sites are well equipped with electrical and water services and can accommodate a 40’ unit. All sites come with a picnic table and fire pits so you can enjoy roasting s’mores in the evening.

The property is well-equipped with an array of activities for both adults and children to take part in. There are sports fields such as volleyball and a playground for children.

There are also local attractions that are close by the campground such as Fort Klamath, Crater Lake Zipline, Fish Hatchery, Train Mountain and Collier Park Logging Museum. Of course, Crater Lake is close by so you’ll be able to venture into the national park and explore the winding trails.

So, there’s a little bit of everything located in and around the campground, making it an ideal spot for people with children.

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Crater Lake National Park Lodges

Best Crater Lake Camping - Crater Lake National Park Lodges

A great view of Crater Lake and Mt. Pinabuto
Mt. Pinabuto Crater Lake by nucksfan604 is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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Located seven miles from the very rim of Crater Lake, on the south side entrance of the National Park is the Mazama Village Campground. On-site, there are 214 tents and RV spots waiting for you. The sites can support tents up to 12’ x 12’ and RVs up to 50 feet in length.

The campground is equipped with all the necessary amenities such as electrical hookups, fire rings, picnic tables, restrooms, showers, etc. In addition, in the Mazama Village, there’s a restaurant and gift shop which you are free to use if you need a break from cooking on a camping stove.

The location of the campground is exceptional as you have quick and easy access to the Crater Lake National Park where you’ll be able to hike through the various trails and witness some of the natural beauty which Crater Lake has to offer you. If you enjoy fishing or biking, you’re also able to take part in these activities as well.

You can also take volcano boat cruises which will teach you about the history, geology and cultural significances of the lake itself. You’ll get to see another view of the stunning lake which will be an adventure for both adults and children.

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What is there to do in Crater Lake?

The best crater lake camping - Crater Lake

Crater Lake Sunrise
Crater Lake Sunrise HDR 06 by Jim Dollar is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Crater Lake National Park is famous for its scenic views and stunningly clear and blue water. If it’s warm enough, you’ll be able to take a dip in the lake water, go for a volcano boat ride, hike or bike the surrounding trails or take a zipline across the lake. These activities are great for both children and adults of any age. The park is designed to bring you back into nature and the beauty of it, so bring a camera.

Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge

Where can I camp in Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge?

Agency Lake Resort

Best Crater Lake Camping - Agency Lake Resort

Klamath River
Klamath River, Oregon by Wild & Scenic Rivers is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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The Agency Lake Resort sits right on Agency Lake, just south of Crater Lake National Park. It’s 30 miles south of Crater Lake and 27 miles north of Klamath Falls, putting you in a perfect location in order to visit both attractions. The resort is located in the countryside of the lake and is extremely peaceful, as you’ll be able to enjoy all the different types of wildlife which will surround you.

The resort is a family resort which welcomes all families, including your furry friends as well. The resort has cabins, RV sites and tent sites which are located on 750 feet of lakefront views. In addition, the Agency Lake is well known for its fishing and is nearby Wood River and Williamson River as well if you’re a fishing enthusiast.

The resort is fully equipped with restrooms, showers, a general store, moorage and a boat lunch. If you’d like to give fishing or hunting a shot, they supply licenses as well.

Off the resort, there are some local attractions such as Kimball State Park, High Desert Museum, Baldwin Museum, Annie Creek Restaurant and the Fort Klamath Museum and Park. So, if you’re with children, they’ll be well occupied with activities.

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Waterwheel RV Park & Campground

Best Crater Lake camping - Waterwheel RV Park  Campground

Upper Klamath Lake
Klamath Lake by Rick Berg is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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Situated right on the Williamson River, the Waterwheel RV Park & Campground is a great spot if you’re looking to be located along the riverside. It’s located just 30 miles from the Crater Lake National Park at 4200 feet in elevation along the Williamson River.

The climate is generally mild with clear blue skies and fresh mountain air. Since it’s located along the river, you have a great opportunity to fish, boat, birdwatch and hunt.

The tent and RV sites come equipped with all your essential amenities such as water and electrical hookups, picnic tables, restrooms and fire pits. On the grounds, there is a playground and free wifi for all the campers.

If you have a pet or child, they’ll love being close to the river where they’ll be able to run around and play in the water. Surrounding the park, there are a variety of attractions including the Crater Lake National Park.

In addition, there’s the Collier Memorial State Park and Logging Museum, Roe Outfitters, and Crater Lake Zipline where you’ll be able to enjoy the surrounding nature. If you’re looking to explore the other lakes aside from Crater Lake, then this is a great campground as it’s nicely situated close to everything.

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What is there to do in Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge?

Best crater lake camping - Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge

Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge
Public Hunt – Klamath Lake 1980 by Jon. D. Anderson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife refuge situated on the Upper Klamath Lake. Established in 1928, it contains 14,400 acres of freshwater marshes.

It’s accessible only by boat from Rocky Point Resort and Rocky Point boat launch, and Malone Springs. It’s a part of the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex which holds some of the most important wildlife in America.

If you’re interested in exploring the west coast wilderness and seeing some outstanding animals and scenic views, this area is for you.

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument/South Klamath

Where can I camp in Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument/South Klamath?

Klamath Falls KOA

Best Crater Lake Camping - Klamath Falls KOA

Klamath Falls
Klamath “Falls” – a misnomer by Sheila Sund is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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The Klamath Falls KOA is a great campground if you’re going to be spending time with a large group of friends or family. It’s a child-friendly campground that offers RV, tents and lodging accommodation.

The sites are fully equipped with the essentials, including full hookups, restrooms, showers, fire pits and picnic tables. In addition, the campground is pet-friendly, so long as your pet is well-behaved.

The tents and RV are separated by a small river that’s connected by bridges. So, if you’re using a tent, you’ll have some privacy of your own, minus the sounds from the RVs.

Since it’s located on the south end of Klamath Falls, you have quite a variety of local attractions to see. Of course, there’s the Klamath falls that you should check out, but there’s also the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, Lava Bed National Monument, Collier Logging Museum, Crater Lake National Park, and the Favell Museum of Western Art & Indian Artifacts.

These attractions are open basically all year round, including the campground, so if you’re into winter camping, the Klamath Falls KOA is available to you whenever you’d like.

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New Frontier Ranch

Best Crater Lake Camping - New Frontier Ranch

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument by Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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Located in Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, the New Frontier Ranch is the perfect spot for a summer getaway. In the morning, you can absorb the beautiful views from the lake and even go for a swim.

The sites come with all the essentials for a campsite including showers, picnic tables and restrooms. There are no RVs allowed on the property, so you’ll be ensured a peaceful surrounding.

The ranch offers paddle boats or kayaks for you to enjoy. There are two hiking trails which are located right on the property and are an 8-mile loop which takes you through moderate to difficult terrain, leading to jaw-dropping views.

The historical Applegate trail also runs through the ranch, allowing you to hike the trail which road wagons were taking in the 1800s. North of the Great Hall, you’ll witness historical buildings which you’ll be able to explore such as a sheriff’s house and schoolhouse.

On the ranch, there’s a chicken coop, an obstacle course and a horse barn where you’ll be able to visit donkeys, llamas and horses. Off the ranch, there’s the Wine Hopper Tour, Indigo Creek Outfitters, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Crater Lake which is only a short drive away.

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What is there to do in Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument/South Klamath?

Best Crater Lake camping Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument - South Klamath

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
Cascade-Siskiyou National MonumentbyBureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This area is the southwestern end of Oregon, past Crater Lake and Klamath Falls. The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument area protects 86,774 acres of forest and grasslands, making it highly valuable with wildlife and diversity.

This area is ideal for those who want to immerse themselves into nature and see some outstanding wildlife. If you’re into hiking, swimming, or photography, this is an area you should check out.


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