Elk Lake Campground

Area Status: Open
Elk Lake from Battle Ax

This 17 site tent-only campground, located adjacent to the Bull of the Woods and Opal Creek Wildernesses, is full of beauty in the summer. Wildflowers are a beautiful sight in the campground's meadows around July.  Swim or paddle in the quiet waters of the non-motorized lake, go for a great hike with views of multiple Cascade peaks, or just kick back and relax in the campground.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Although open, this campground is in an area impacted by the Beachie Creek and & Lionshead Fires. Before visiting areas affected by wildfire, make sure to review the 4 Steps for Safety for recreating in burned areas.
Reservations: No advance reservations. All sites are first come first serve.
Area Amenities: Boat ramp
  • Single Campsites - $12 per night
  • Multiple Campsites - $22 per night
  • Extra Vehicles - $6 per vehicle, per night
Campsite must be occupied every night paid.
Open Season: Year Round, weather dependent
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: September
Busiest Season: July - August
Restrictions: Special regulations are in place to help protect this area and preserve the experience for you and for future visitors including:
  • No camping within 500 feet of Elk Lake.
  • No motorized boating
  • ATVs use is only allowed to enter and leave the campground
  • Camping is not allowed more than 14 days in a 60 day period.
  • Check-in time: 2:00 pm or later. Check-out time: 1:00 pm 
  • Use of chainsaws in the campground is prohibited
  • Dogs MUST be on leash at all times within the campground
Closest Towns: Detroit, Oregon (12.1 miles)
Water: No
Restroom: Vault Toilets (3)
Passes: Interagency Senior and Access Passes (and the Golden Age and Access Passes) may receive a 50% discount on the use fee for individual campsites. This discount does not apply to extra vehicle fee or multiple campsites.
Operated By: Willamette National Forest
Information Center: Detroit Ranger District
44125 North Santiam Highway SE
Detroit, OR 97342

General Information


12.1 miles north of Detroit

From Highway 22 at Detroit, Oregon, turn onto Breitenbush Road (FSR 46). Proceed 4.4 miles, turn left onto FS Road 4696. Proceed 0.8 miles, turn left on FS Road 4697. Follow FS Road 4697 for 4.5 miles and turn left at an unmarked junction (still FS Road 4697), continue 2.1 miles to a small spur road located at west end of Elk Lake (FS Road 390). The camping area is about 0.3 miles ahead.

CAUTION: FS Road 4697 is not maintained for the last 4 miles into Elk Lake. Access by low-clearance vehicles and trailers not recommended as the road is rough and rocky.

General Notes:
  • NO drinking water, NO garbage service, NO firewood

Close to:

Read about camping rules, regulations and camping tips on our Camping Rules & Things to Know page.


Parking is limited within the campground. If visiting for the day, please be aware that overnight campers have priority in the campsite parking. Day visitors can park in an empty campsite for the cost of half the overnight fee ($5.00).

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

  • Tent ONLY sites
No. of Sites 17
Reservation Info No Reservations.  First-come, first-serve only.  Campsite must be occupied every night paid.

Lake and Pond Fishing

Day Hiking

Viewing Plants

Viewing Scenery

Boating - Non-Motorized



Boat ramp:

Quick Links

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
3700 feet