Camping at Crescent Lake


One of the great things about living in Central Oregon is all of the great options there are for outdoor activities.  For our family, Crescent Lake is one of those options that we like to take advantage of.  It is only an hour and a half drive from Bend and is located just two miles off Highway 58 and a few miles west of Crescent Cutoff Road.  Last year we camped at Crescent Lake Campground in the middle of July and this year at the end of August.  The weather was pretty similar both times with the only real difference being that last year we were hit by a pretty substantial thunder storm but thankfully it was on our last night there.  All four days this year were clear and sunny in the mid-70’s with night time temperatures in the mid-40’s.


The campground is open year ‘round and most of the 40+ sites are first come first served.  One of the things we like is that the sites are generally pretty large in comparison to many campgrounds.  Our site, for example, had tent pads for four tents and enough room for a huge “kitchen” and kids to play. 

About half the sites are located on the water which is really nice if you have a boat and/or kids who like to play in the water.  The difficult thing about parking your boat on the beach is that there are a lot of rocks.  If you bring a boat make sure you bring a heavy anchor and lots of line (a bungee line is nice) so that your boat doesn’t get beat up on the rocks.  During the afternoon the wind usually picks up and creates some fairly rough water and that, combined with boats creating wakes can put a poorly anchored boat on the beach/rocks in no time.  All types of boats are welcome on Crescent Lake.  We saw fishing boats, ski boats, sail boats, paddle boats, personal watercraft (jet skis) and kayaks.


The two times we have camped at Crescent Lake have been during the early part of the week, Sunday through Wednesday.  This year I think we were late enough in the season and close enough to school starting that there were very few people camping with us.  There were a few times that we had the lake to ourselves and we never felt crowded either on the water or at the campsite.  The temperature of the lake was surprisingly warm for being in the mountains.  Warm enough that the adults even spent some time swimming.  If you want to swim in this lake it is a good idea to bring water shoes.  While there is some sand there are more rocks and they aren’t smooth.  There are some mosquitoes around but they aren’t a nuisance like they can be at some of the other high lakes.  We were only bitten a few times and Off seemed to do the trick of keeping them away.  I’m not much into fishing but Crescent Lake is one of the few places you can catch Kokanee which is a Sockeye salmon that lives and reproduces in lakes.  Becky caught her first Kokanee on this trip using a worm at a depth of about 60 feet.


If tent camping isn’t your thing you have a few options at Crescent Lake.  You can bring your RV or trailer but there are no hook-ups for water or electricity or you can stay at the resort.  The resort has 23 cabins that range price from $95/night to $250/ night and sleep as few as two people or as many as 11.  There is also a decent restaurant at the resort but we have decided it isn’t worth it for us unless the raccoons have broken into our coolers and eaten all our food.  During the summer you can rent boats from the resort and during the winter you can rent snowmobiles.


There are also some vacation homes for sale around Crescent Lake.  If you would like to see what is available and at what price please give us a call.  We would love to help in any way we can.



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About Dan Seim

Dan Seim is the primary contributor to Preferred Residential's blog. He has been writing about real estate issues that affect home owners in Bend and Central Oregon since 2011.