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Camping at Cow Meadow Campground

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Overview of Cow Meadow Campground

Cow Meadow Campground is located in Deschutes National Forest in central Oregon. It's a remote, rustic campground that caters to those looking for a peaceful outdoor experience. The campground is situated near Crane Prairie Reservoir, a popular spot for fishing, particularly for rainbow trout, brook trout, and Mountain Whitefish.

Access and Location

The location is relatively remote and can be accessed by following Forest Service roads from the main highways. Visitors should consult a current map and check road conditions before planning their trip. Because of its more secluded nature, the campground is less crowded than others that are more accessible.

Campground Details

  • Camping Sites: The campground provides basic, primitive camping spots. The sites might have simple amenities like fire pits and picnic tables, but it's essential to check the latest information for specific site details.
  • Water and Sanitation: As a rustic campground, there may be limited or no running water and sanitation facilities. Guests should be prepared to bring their own water and provide for their sanitation needs. If there are facilities, they are likely to be vault toilets.
  • Reservations and Fees: Depending on the time of year and forest service regulations, Cow Meadow Campground may operate on a first-come, first-served basis, or it might be possible to make reservations. There may be a nightly fee to camp, and this can vary.
  • Seasons and Accessibility: The camping season is typically from late spring through early fall. Outside of these times, the roads can be impassable due to snow.


  • Fishing: The proximity to Crane Prairie Reservoir makes it an excellent location for anglers.
  • Boating: While the campground itself might not have boat launch facilities, there may be access points nearby on the reservoir.
  • Hiking and Wildlife Viewing: The surrounding national forest offers trails and opportunities to see local wildlife.

Considerations for Visitors

  • Prepare for Primitive Conditions: Visitors should be ready to camp without the comforts of developed campgrounds. This means bringing necessary supplies, including water, food, and sanitation equipment.
  • Pack Out Waste: Practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all waste, including trash and human waste if necessary.
  • Be Mindful of Wildlife: Store food securely and be aware of the presence of bears and other wildlife in the area.
  • Check Fire Restrictions: Depending on the season and conditions, there may be fire restrictions in place. Always comply with these regulations for safety and to protect the forest.

Contact and Resources

For the most accurate and up-to-date information, visitors should contact the local ranger district that manages Cow Meadow Campground:

  • Deschutes National Forest
  • Local Ranger District Office

Details such as contact numbers, websites, and online resources can be found on the official Deschutes National Forest website or by directly contacting the Forest Service. Always verify current conditions, regulations, and campground status before planning your trip.

Location of Cow Meadow Campground
Other Campgrounds in Deschutes National Forest
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