dispersed camping in Oregon
June 26, 2019 7:56 PM   Subscribe

Where are some good sites for primitive camping in Oregon this coming week?

I find myself coming up with some unplanned vacation time, kind of snuck up on me. We have the gear we need for camping out and no desire to be in managed campsites. What secret spots should we check out?
We can't do deep dives into difficult driving, our station wagon isn't set up for that. Within reason though, we can drive on gravel and then park or hike to a camping spot.
Near water is great, privacy or freedom from crowds is ideal. Ability to find the place successfully is job one. Nothing like wandering around on dark roads at night to reduce one's fun.
We live in mid-Oregon and have 3-5 days free to get outdoors and soak up some sunlight and get in the water.
Park and camp, or park/camp/backpack to a camping site are both ideal. Deschutes wilderness, Metolius, Blue River, North Umpqua...are all within a reasonable drive of our location in Eugene.
Thanks for any ideas. We've got friends giving us ideas, I'm hoping MeFi can seal the deal.
posted by diode to Travel & Transportation around Bend, OR (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I tend to camp in the unreservable, lightly-managed national forest campgrounds, so the secrets you seek aren't known to me. I'm a big fan of the Metolius, though, and there are many opportunities for dispersed camping toward the end of that string of campgrounds. I've seen some great-seeming ones just outside the entrance to Candle Creek.

Are your familiar with Don Reichert's two guidebooks to dispersed camping in the Willamette and Mt Hood National Forests, though? I think in general Mt Hood has tastier options than the Willamette.
posted by mumkin at 11:24 PM on June 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Campendium is a good resource for this - you can find sites / search for areas in national + state parks, look through the free camping locations, etc.

Allstays is another good search tool - you can limit your search to public lands, for example.
posted by cgg at 6:41 AM on June 27, 2019

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