Camping at LaPine State Park, Oregon

With Jason's school and work schedule this summer, we knew we would be unable to join our family on their week-long trip to Yellowstone. Thus, we reserved a space for six days in the LaPine State Park campground. The State Park's proximity to SunRiver and the Cascade Lakes Sceneic Byway make it an ideal location to serve as a base camp for outdoor adventures.

LaPine state park is located approximately 28 miles South of Bend, Oregon on Hwy 97. The park has 126 reservable sites (some with full hookups), 5 rustic cabins, and 5 deluxe cabins. Each site has water and electricity at a minimum. Camp sites and cabins can be reserved on reserveamerica.com. During the summer, the park rangers offer a Saturday evening interpretive program at the campground's amphitheater. Having been to LaPine State Park many times, we have a few favorite sites.

Jason's parents were able to join us for the first weekend of our vacation. After setting up camp, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch and walk along the Deschutes River before heading over to Fall River, one of Jason's favorite place to fly fish. Though he didn't catch any large keepers, it was fun to see the fish rise to various flies. We cooked a combination fire-roasted and barbequed dinner before enjoying a movie in the trailer. Jason fished again on Sunday and we enjoyed a lazy afternoon of reading and movie watching.

On Monday and Wednesday, we enjoyed some long hikes to Green Lakes and Paulina Lake. Tuesday was another lazy day spent relaxing outside and enjoying the peace and quiet. Though full on the weekend, the campground had many open spots during the week. We took advantage of this and walked the entire campground, selecting our favorite trailer-friendly sites for reference when booking future trips.

Dad, Mom, and Katie at Campsite     All of Us in Front of our Trailer (Jason, Katie, Mom, Dad)

While cleaning up one day, we suddenly heard a loud rustling in our outside garbage can. To our surprise, a chipmunk had climbed down into the can, hoping to find a treat. Finding no food in the can, it jumped/clawed its way out of the garbage can and made a quick getaway. Throughout our stay, we saw many chipmunks scurrying around. There also seemed to be a family living underneath our fire ring. It was quite entertaining to watch them play and forage.

Golden Mantel Ground Squirrel     Another Golden Mantel Ground Squirrel

The weather was nearly perfect the entire week. The daytime temperatures were in the 70’s and overnight cooled nicely into the upper 40’s. On Tuesday we awoke to an overnight thunderstorm. The storm and its deluge passed by morning, leaving just enough precipitation to keep the dust down.

On Thursday we had a leisurely morning and then set out for home. We enjoyed the ease of setup and take-down of the trailer and were quite comfortable. We hope the weather holds out for the rest of the summer so we can enjoy more camping.


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Disclaimer: You are responsible for informing yourself of the hazards of backcountry travel and taking the necessary precautions. Loomis Adventures may not be held liable.