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Overview of Detroit Lake State Recreation Area

Detroit Lake State Recreation Area is a popular camping and recreation destination in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. The area provides a scenic setting for a plethora of outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, and hiking.

Location and Access

Detroit Lake State Recreation Area is located in the western part of Oregon, near the small town of Detroit. The park is accessible by car via Highway 22. It is about 50 miles from Salem, the capital of Oregon.

Camping Information

Reservations and Fees:

  • Campsites at Detroit Lake can be reserved in advance, typically through the Oregon State Parks website or by calling the reservation line. It is often necessary to book several months in advance for the peak summer season.
  • Fees vary depending on the type of campsite (tent site, RV site, cabin, etc.) and the time of year.

Campsite Amenities:

  • Detroit Lake offers a variety of campsites, including tent sites, RV sites with electrical hookups, and cabins.
  • Many sites have fire rings and picnic tables, and some have access to water.
  • Shower and toilet facilities are typically provided in various locations throughout the campground.

Campground Rules:

  • Quiet hours are generally enforced to ensure a peaceful environment for all campers.
  • Keep food secure to avoid attracting wildlife.
  • Campfires must be contained within designated fire rings, and firewood can often be purchased on-site or nearby.
  • The number of vehicles and the number of tents per site may be limited, so check regulations when booking.

Seasonal Availability:

  • The best time to camp at Detroit Lake is from late spring to early fall when the weather is warmer and the lake is full.
  • Some areas might be accessible for off-season camping, but services are reduced, and weather may impede access.

Activities and Recreation

Boating and Fishing:

  • Detroit Lake is a popular spot for boating. There is a boat ramp available for launching watercraft.
  • The lake is stocked with fish including rainbow trout, kokanee salmon, and some warm-water species, making it a great place for fishing.

Hiking and Trails:

  • There are a number of trails for hiking and nature walks within the park and the surrounding areas.


  • Designated swimming areas provide a great way to cool off during the summer months.

Wildlife Watching:

  • The park and surrounding area are rich in local wildlife, providing opportunities for bird watching and spotting other local fauna.

Local Amenities and Attractions

Proximity to Town:

  • The nearby town of Detroit offers basic amenities such as grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations.

Cultural and Historic Sites:

  • For those interested in exploring beyond the park, there are cultural and historic sites within a reasonable driving distance.

Emergency Services:

  • For emergencies, there are medical services in the area, but it is important to know that advanced medical facilities may be located some distance away. Always have a plan for how to reach emergency services if needed.

Visitor Information:

  • Check with the park's visitor center for detailed maps, attraction information, and any advisories before planning your activities for the day.

COVID-19 Considerations:

  • Be aware of current health and safety guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Policies may affect campground operations, capacity, and available services.

Before heading to the Detroit Lake State Recreation Area, it's smart to check for the latest updates on conditions, fire restrictions, and any other pertinent information that could influence travel plans and outdoor activities.

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