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Camping at Cultus Lake Campground

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Location and Access

Cultus Lake Campground is located within the Deschutes National Forest in Oregon, close to the eastern edge of the Cascade Range. To reach the campground, visitors usually access it via the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, which is typically open from June through October, weather conditions permitting. The campground is approximately 48 miles southwest of Bend, Oregon.

Campground Features

Facilities: The campground offers multiple campsites for both tent and RV camping, with some of the sites offering a view of Cultus Lake. Amenities can include:

  • Picnic tables
  • Fire rings
  • Drinking water
  • Vault toilets

Capacity: Check current campsite capacity restrictions, which can vary depending on the season or specific regulations.

Recreational Opportunities

  • Boating: Cultus Lake is a popular destination for boating enthusiasts, with a boat launch available for those bringing their own boats.
  • Fishing: Anglers can enjoy fishing for species like rainbow trout, mackinaw, kokanee, and mountain whitefish.
  • Swimming: The lake provides an excellent opportunity for swimming, with clear water and a designated swimming area.
  • Hiking and Trails: There are several hiking trails around the lake and the surrounding area, such as the Cultus Lake Loop and other trails through the Deschutes National Forest.
  • Mountain Biking: Mountain bikers can enjoy several trails offering varying degrees of difficulty.
  • Winter Sports: In the winter months, the area provides opportunities for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Campsite Reservations and Fees

Reservations: Campsite reservations are often recommended due to the popularity of the location, especially during peak summer seasons. Reservations can typically be made through a national reservation system like Recreation.gov.

Fees: There is a fee to camp at Cultus Lake Campground, which varies depending on the type of site. Be sure to check the latest fees before planning your trip.

Weather and Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Cultus Lake Campground is during the summer and early fall months when the weather is warmer and the byway is open. However, it's important to check weather reports before your trip, as mountain weather can be unpredictable and roads can become impassable due to snow.

Regulations and Safety

  • Certain regulations must be followed while camping, including fire regulations, which can vary depending on the time of year and current conditions.
  • Bear-safe practices may be required, so storing food properly is crucial.
  • Water safety is important if engaging in any water activities on the lake.

Local Attractions

  • Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway: The byway itself offers breathtaking views and access to many lakes, trails, and natural attractions in the area.
  • Mt. Bachelor: Fairly close to Cultus Lake, this renowned ski resort is a popular destination for winter sports and summer activities like mountain biking and scenic chairlift rides.
  • Lava Lands Visitor Center: Learn about the area's volcanic history and explore the interpretive trails and Lava River Cave.

Tips for Visiting

  • Be sure to bring mosquito repellent, especially during the early summer months when mosquitoes are most prevalent.
  • Acquiring a detailed map of Deschutes National Forest can be very useful for exploring the area, finding trails, and navigating back roads.
  • Pack out all trash as this is usually a requirement in national forest campgrounds to minimize impact on the environment.

Note: The information above is subject to change, and visitors should always check with the Deschutes National Forest for the most current information before planning a trip.

Location of Cultus Lake Campground
Other Campgrounds in Deschutes National Forest
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