OCHOCO NATIONAL FOREST
The Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests along with the Crooked River National Grassland encompass just over 2.5 million acres of Central Oregon. These public lands extend about 100 miles along the east side of the Cascade Mountains crest and eastward into the Ochoco Mountains. They are rich in human and natural history and radiate variety offering a multitude of diverse scenic and recreation opportunities. Alpine forests and lush meadows, sparkling lakes and scenic rivers, dense evergreen forests, and lava caves are contained within the spectacular snow capped volcanic peaks of the Cascade Mountain Range to the west and high desert to the east. Newberry National Volcanic Monument offers an up close and personal look at volcanoes and is home to the endangered pumice grape fern.
From the crest of the Cascade mountains to the high desert plateau, central Oregon is a land of diversity, this diversity provides critical habitat to a wide variety of species including amphibians, reptiles, birds, breeding birds, and mammals.
Central Oregon hosts many species of migratory birds which rely upon many habitats including, riparian areas, and alkali flats, wintering ungulates rely on the high desert's supply of bitterbrush to make it through the long winter months, amphibians depend on clean clear water to carry out their life cycle, and large shy species can seek solitude in roadless areas.
These web pages covers many species occurring in these central Oregon counties; Wasco, Jefferson, Deschutes, Klamath, Crook, and Lake.
There are more than 125 developed campgrounds on the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests, ranging from small primitive campgrounds with a few campsites to large well developed campgrounds with more than a 100 campsites.
Types of Campsites:
Single Family (SF) campsite a single unit that will accommodate up to six people with one primary vehicle and up to one extra vehicle. There is a charge for the extra vehicle.
Multi Family (MF) campsites accommodate up to 12 people with two primary vehicles and up to 2 extra vehicles. There is a charge for the extra vehicles.
Group campsites can accommodate varying numbers of people and vehicles. Small group campsites accommodate twenty or fewer people. Campsite capacities are listed separately for each campground. The number of vehicles is limited by the parking space available for each campsite. The vehicle fee is included with the campsite fee.
Many people enjoy the solitude and primitive experience of camping away from developed campgrounds and other campers. Dispersed camping is the term used for camping anywhere in the National Forest OUTSIDE of a designated campground. Dispersed camping means no toilets, no treated water, and no fire grates are provided. Typically, dispersed camping is NOT allowed in the vicinity of developed recreation areas such as campgrounds, picnic areas or trailheads. Many people drive out on Forest Service roads into the woods and find a clearing or a spot near a stream or with a view of the mountains. There are extra responsibilities and skills that are necessary for dispersed camping. It's your responsibility to know these before you try this new experience.
If you are going to an area where others have camped before, pick a site that's been used before. Plants, soil and wildlife are impacted by new campsites, so using existing ones will minimize your impact on the forest. If there is no existing campsite, then follow these Leave No Trace guidelines:
Camp on bare soil if possible, to avoid damaging or killing plants and grass.
Do NOT camp within 200 feet of any water source, plants near water are especially fragile.
Don't camp in the middle of a clearing or meadow, try to make your campsite less visible so that other visitors will see a "wild" setting.
Don't try to level or dig trenches in the ground at your campsite. Select a campsite with good natural drainage.