Oregon Camping: Little River, North Umpqua River, and Diamond Lake

View of the shore of a placid lake with the verdant shore and reeds reflecting in the water.

Lake of the Woods in the Little River watershed. Photo © Tracy Fox/123rf.

North Umpqua is a premier fishing river full of trout and salmon, as well as a source of excitement for white-water rafters who shoot the rapids. Learn more about where to camp when visiting this stunning region, including information on pricing and amenities.


Little River Campgrounds

If the thought of a campground with good shade trees and a waterfall with a swimming hole sounds idyllic, head for Cavitt Creek Falls (Bureau of Land Management, 541/440-4930, May–late Oct., $8). To get there, head east of Roseburg on Route 138 to Glide, take Little Creek Road (County Road 17) for 7 miles, then continue 3 miles down Cavitt Creek Road. Ten campsites with picnic tables and grills are provided, with piped water, vault toilets, and firewood available on the premises.

Another campsite 5 miles up Little River Road is Wolf Creek (North Umpqua Ranger District, 541/496-3532, mid-May–late Oct., $15), which features eight sites for tents and RVs (up to 30 feet) and three tent-only sites. Picnic tables, grills, vault toilets, and piped water are provided.

An easy way to keep your cool is at Coolwater (North Umpqua Ranger District, 541/496-3532, mid-May–late Oct., $10). Seven tent sites and sites for RVs (up to 24 feet) with picnic tables and grills are available; vault toilets and well water from a hand pump are also on the grounds. To get here, follow Little River Road 15 miles out of Glide. There are many good hiking trails nearby, including Grotto Falls, Wolf Creek Nature Trail, and Wolf Creek Falls Trail.

One of the best deals on the Little River is at White Creek (North Umpqua Ranger District, 541/496-3532, mid-May–late Sept., $10), a small four-site campground that accommodates tents and RVs. Picnic tables and grills are provided, and piped water and vault toilets are available. Situated on the confluence of White Creek and Little River, a good beach and shallow water provide excellent swimming for children. To get here, take Little Creek Road 17 miles to Red Butte Road and proceed 1 mile down Red Butte Road to the campground.

Tucked away on the upper reaches of the Little River at an elevation of 3,200 feet is Lake in the Woods (North Umpqua Ranger District, 541/496-3532, June–late Oct., $10). You’ll find 11 sites for tents and RVs (up to 16 feet), with picnic tables, grills, vault toilets, and handpumped water in a campground set along the shore of the four-acre artificial Little Lake in the Woods. Motorized craft are not permitted in this 8-foot-deep pond. Two good hikes nearby are to Hemlock Falls and Yakso Falls. To get here, head 20 miles up Little River Road to the end of the pavement; proceed another 7 miles until you reach the campground.

North Umpqua River Campgrounds

Set along the bank of the North Umpqua River 15 miles east of Roseburg a little ways north of Route 138 is Whistler’s Bend (541/673-4863, $15), a Douglas County park. Picnic tables and grills are provided at this county park, as are piped water, flush toilets, and showers. The fishing is good here, and even though it’s fairly close to town, it doesn’t usually get too crowded.

About 30 miles east of Route 138 is Susan Creek (Bureau of Land Management, 541/440-4930, May–late Oct., $14). This campground has 31 sites for tents and RVs (up to 20 feet) with picnic tables and grills. Flush toilets, piped water, and firewood are also available. Situated in a grove of old-growth Douglas fir and sugar pine next to the North Umpqua River, the campground is enhanced by the presence of a fine beach and swimming hole.

Within easy access of great fishing (fly-angling only), rafting, and hiking, Bogus Creek (North Umpqua Ranger District, 541/496-3532, May 1–Oct. 31, $15) offers you the real thing. Here you’ll find 5 tent sites and 10 sites for tents or RVs (up to 30 feet) with picnic tables and grills. Flush toilets, iodinated water, and gray wastewater sumps are available. As the campground is a major launching point for white-water expeditions and within a few miles of Fall Creek Falls and Job’s Garden Geological Area, it’s good to get here early to make sure you get a campsite.

About 38 miles east of Roseburg on Route 138 near Steamboat and good fly-fishing is Canton Creek (North Umpqua Ranger District, 541/496-3532, May–mid-Oct., $10). Take Steamboat Creek Road off Route 138 and proceed 400 yards to the campground. This campground features 12 sites for tents and RVs (up to 22 feet) with the standard picnic tables and grills, plus piped water, flush toilets, and gray wastewater sumps.

Horseshoe Bend (North Umpqua Ranger District, 541/496-3532, mid-May–late Sept., $15) is 10 miles east of Steamboat. There are 34 sites for tents and RVs (up to 35 feet) with picnic tables and grills. Flush toilets, piped water, gray wastewater sumps, a laundry, and a general store are also available. Located in the middle of a big bend of the North Umpqua covered with old-growth Douglas firs and sugar pines, this is a popular base camp for rafting and fishing enthusiasts.

Diamond Lake Campgrounds

Several campgrounds are in the vicinity of beautiful 5,200-foot-high Diamond Lake; boating, fishing, swimming, bicycling, and hiking are among the popular recreational options. The trout fishing is particularly good in the early summer, and there are also excellent hikes into the Mount Thielsen Wilderness, Crater Lake National Park, and Mount Bailey areas. While no reservations are technically necessary, these campgrounds can fill up fast, so it’s always a good idea to book a space ahead of time (877/444-6777). For general information, contact the Diamond Lake Ranger District (541/498-2531).

Although Route 138 twists and turns most of the 80 miles from Roseburg to Diamond Lake, many people head straight for Broken Arrow (mid-May–Labor Day, $15) This 142-site campground with standard picnic tables and grills has plenty of room for tents and RVs (up to 30 feet); flush toilets, piped water, and gray wastewater sumps are available.

The next campground bears the name of its raison d’être, Diamond Lake (May 15–Oct. 31, $16–27). Here you’ll find 160 campsites for tents and RVs (up to 22 feet) with picnic tables and grills. Piped water, flush toilets, and firewood are also available. Numerous hiking trails lead from the campground, including the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Boat docks, launching facilities, and rentals are nearby at Diamond Lake Resort (Diamond Lake, 541/793-3333 or 800/733-7593).

On the east shore of Diamond Lake is Thielsen View (mid-May–mid-Oct., $15). It features 60 sites for tents and RVs (up to 30 feet) with picnic tables and grills. Piped water, vault toilets, gray wastewater sumps, and a boat ramp are also available. As the name implies, this campground has picturesque views of Mount Thielsen.


Excerpted from the Tenth Edition of Moon Oregon.

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