The Umpqua National Forest, named after the Umpqua Indians, is in southwestern Oregon and consists of 984,601 acres.
There are 43 developed campgrounds of which 16 meet the selection criteria.
Massive basalt cliffs, a wild and scenic river, magnificent stands of old-growth trees, towering waterfalls, fat fish with fight, gently domed and spiral topped volcanoes, and mirror-surfaced lakes are common sights in Umpqua National Forest. With many camping locations, offering visitors a great base camp for enjoying the Forest's many recreational opportunities, Umpqua National Forest is a great destination for a fun vacation.
The Umpqua National Forest stretches east from Roseburg, Oregon along the North Umpqua River, up the Cascade Mountain Range, to Crater Lake National Park. One great way to discover Umpqua's many delights is taking the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway, State 138. This Byway starts at Colliding Rivers Overlook in Glide, OR. Here, Little River and North Umpqua River join before continuing on to the Umpqua River. Be sure to visit the historic Glide Ranger Station, a Civil Conservation Corp. (CCC)-built structure, next to the Overlook. The building is open to the public as an information center.
Before reaching the Overlook and Information Center is County Route 17. This Route takes visitors to some of the Forest's impressive waterfalls and a few campgrounds. Campgrounds, such as Hemlock Lake and Lake in the Woods, offer campers solitude and seclusion. In addition, they are convenient to the magnificent Yakso, Grotto, Hemlock and Clover Falls.
Back on the Byway, the road follows the North Umpqua River's winding route through a canyon of vertical columns formed by ancient lava flows and tall trees. In a section of dense woods, Bogus Creek campground is a pleasant place to stop for the night and explore the area. Directly across from the campground, the River challenges whitewater enthusiasts and anglers alike. (Check with the Ranger District Office about regulations and restrictions for fishing along the North Umpqua River.)
A little further up the Byway is the quaint Steamboat Inn and, nearby, the rustic Steamboat Falls campground. Located off the Byway on Forest Route 38 and above Steamboat Creek, Steamboat Falls campground offers campers a nice view of the water tumbling and churning on its way to the North Umpqua River. A special seasonal bonus is watching the Steelhead making their way up the Creek on their annual run.
Back again on the Scenic Byway, there are brief glimpses of the river and rafters through tree-lined banks. The best views may be from within Horseshoe Bend, Eagle Rock, and Boulder Flat
campgrounds. It should be noted, river side campsites, especially at Eagle Rock and Boulder Flat campgrounds, fill up early in the day. Across the River from Boulder Rock Wilderness and each with a boat launch, Eagle Rock and Boulder Flat campgrounds are ideal for whitewater enthusiasts. Horseshoe Bend campground, the largest of these three campgrounds and the only one with drinking water and flush toilets, may be not as well known.
After Boulder Flat campground, the Byway leaves the river and tops out near Toketee Lake where there is a pleasant Forest Service campground by the same name. Along this section of the Byway are some of the most spectacular waterfalls seen anywhere. The 120-foot, double tiered Toketee Falls is well worth the 0.4-mile hike. The cool mist provided by the 272-foot Watson Falls is a refreshing treat after a hike to its base. Whitehorse and Clearwater falls may not be as impressive but each has its own special beauty, and worthy of a visit.
Where the Byway curves south, visitors can bear north to explore Lemolo Lake. A cluster of developed campgrounds offers visitors a variety of camping experiences. Poole Creek, Inlet, and East
Lemolo campgrounds have both tent and RV camping sites and access to the Lake. Kelsay Valley Trailhead Horse Camp, well away from Lemolo Lake, is designed for equestrian campers, but with its good access to some great trails into the wilderness areas, others are discovering this little campground.
Continuing south, the Byway passes the beautiful Diamond Lake. A short and pleasant drive north of Crater Lake National Park, Diamond Lake and its three Forest Service campgrounds is becoming a destination area. There are some privately owned and operated campgrounds in the area but none have the ambiance, personality, or fabulous views found at Diamond Lake or Thielsen View campgrounds. Diamond Lake campground stretches along the Lake's east shore and most sites have a view of Mt. Bailey's gentle dome. On the Lake's west shore, Thielsen View campground enjoys a view of, what else, the spiral peaked Mt. Theilsen. Spruce and fir trees provide ample shade to most sites at both campgrounds. On the Lake's south end, set back in a large stand of Lodgepole pine, is the multi-looped Broken Arrow campground. Away from the Lake, Broken Arrow's spacious and level parking aprons make it popular with motorhome and other RV campers.
After enjoying the water play opportunities of Diamond Lake and spending time exploring the beautiful Crater Lake National Park (just a few miles from some of the campgrounds), visitors often discover the hiking and mountain biking trails around Diamond Lake. They range from the easy Silent Creek Trail to the very challenging Mount Thielsen Trail, just to mention two of many. Check with the Diamond Lake Visitor Center for more information, conditions, and maps.
North of the Umpqua River, near Cottage Grove, Oregon there is a different camping experience - the historic Rujada (pronounced Ra-Jayda) campground. Although modernized with flush toilets and longer parking aprons, this CCC-built campground has retained much of its character and charm. Sword fern and tumble berry
provide a lush understory while grand old Douglas fir trees offer lots of shade. Numerous alder and maple trees suggest this is a great campground for fall colors.
From the secluded beauty of Rujada campground to the panoramic views found at Diamond Lake's campgrounds, the diversities of Umpqua National Forest's developed campgrounds reflect the variety of recreational opportunities available in this Forest. Whether enjoying the geologic wonders along the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway, taking a perfect photograph of a spectacular waterfall, walking or biking through old-growth forest groves, accepting the challenge of whitewater, landing fighting trout, or simply marveling at the scenic beauty, the Umpqua National Forest has
many reasons for you to visit again and again.
2900 NW Stewart Parkway
Roseburg, Oregon 97470
RANGER DISTRICT ADDRESSES
78405 Cedar Park Rd.
Cottage Grove, Oregon 97424
2020 Toketee RS Rd
Idleyld Park, Oregon 97447
18772 N. Umpqua Hwy.
Glide, Oregon 97443