Snowpack Further Delays Campground Openings Causing Cancellations
Release Date: May 23, 2022
Persistent snow causes campground reservation cancellations for Memorial Day Weekend
Central Oregon— Late season snow coupled with continued cool temperatures has left much of the Deschutes National Forest under snow, particularly in the mid-to-upper elevations of the Cascades. Snow depths along popular routes such as the Cascade Lakes Highway vary from one-to-four feet.
The lingering snowpack has impacted the ability for the Deschutes National Forest’s campground concessionaire, Vista Recreation, to conduct annual preseason safety inspections, maintenance and repairs, and hazard tree removal within campgrounds. In many cases, access roads to campgrounds remain impassable and campgrounds themselves are still under snow. While some areas have very recently melted out, the short timeframe has not provided enough time for critical safety work to be completed ahead of this Friday. Vista Recreation’s staff is working incredibly hard to open facilities where accessible.
Given the late season snow conditions, many campgrounds that were slated to open this weekend will remain closed at this time. These facilities include:
Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District
- Cultus Lake Campground (under assessment – may open if annual hazard tree removal can be completed by 5/27)
- Elk Lake Campground
- Lava Lake Campground
- Little Cultus Campground
- Little Fawn Campground
- Little Lava Lake Campground
- Mallard Marsh Campground
- Point Campground
- Quinn Meadow Horse Camp
- Soda Creek Campground
- South Campground (Hosmer Lake)
Crescent Ranger District
- Contorta Flat Campground
- Contorta Point Group Camp
- Crescent Lake Campground (under assessment – may open if annual hazard tree removal can be completed by 5/27)
- Princess Creek Campground
- Simax Group Camp
- Spring Campground
- Trapper Creek Campground
- Whitefish Horse Camp
- Windy Group Camp
Sisters Ranger District
- Three Creek Meadow Campground and Horse Camp
- Whispering Pines Horse Camp
Visitors with reservations should have received an email from Recreation.gov notifying them of their cancelled reservations. Reservations have been cancelled through June 16, with a new tentative opening date of June 17, for these facilities.
During the spring and early summer recreation season, the Forest Service reminds visitors that it’s extremely important to “Know Before You Go.” This means confirming that your destination is open for use, checking to see if routes of travel are open and reviewing predicted weather forecasts. Forest Service roads are not plowed or maintained during winter conditions.
You can visit the Deschutes National Forest website (https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/deschutes/home) to check on the operational status of our recreation sites.