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Camping at Detroit Lake State Recreation Area

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Location and Overview

Detroit Lake State Recreation Area is a park located in the state of Oregon, USA. This scenic area is nestled in the Cascade Mountains and is centered around the Detroit Lake reservoir, which is formed by the Detroit Dam on the North Santiam River. The park is situated about 50 miles east of Salem, Oregon.

Camping Options

Camping at Detroit Lake State Recreation Area is a popular activity, as it offers a variety of camping options, including:

  • Tent Sites: For traditional tent camping, there are numerous sites available.
  • RV Sites: The park provides sites with electrical hookups that can accommodate RVs.
  • Yurts/Cabins: Some parks may offer yurts or cabins for a more comfortable camping experience, though availability can vary by season and demand.

It's always best to check with the state recreation area directly for the most current offerings and to make reservations in advance.

Activities and Recreation

Detroit Lake State Recreation Area is ideal for a range of outdoor activities:

  • Boating: The lake is well-suited for boating, with several boat ramps available for use.
  • Fishing: Anglers can enjoy fishing for trout, kokanee, and sometimes Chinook salmon.
  • Water Sports: Visitors can engage in waterskiing, wakeboarding, and other water sports.
  • Hiking: There are trails for hiking in and around the park, with varying difficulty levels.
  • Wildlife Viewing: The lush forest environment is home to a variety of wildlife.

Amenities and Facilities

The park offers a range of amenities:

  • Restrooms: Flush toilets and showers are typically available.
  • Picnic Areas: There are areas designated for picnicking, complete with tables and grills.
  • Playground: Families with children will appreciate playground facilities.
  • Store: There may be a small store within or near the park for basic supplies and souvenirs.

Important Guidelines and Regulations

  • Fire Safety: Check fire regulations before you go, as there may be seasonal restrictions.
  • Pets: Pets are often allowed in the park but must be kept on a leash.
  • Garbage: Practice "Leave No Trace" principles—pack out everything you bring in.
  • Quiet Hours: Adhere to posted quiet hours for the comfort of all campers.

Reservation Information

  • Book in Advance: Camping spots at Detroit Lake can fill up quickly, especially during peak season, so it's best to make reservations well in advance.
  • State Park Website: Visit the Oregon State Parks website to find the most current information on camping rates, availability, and to make reservations.

Tips for Visiting

  • Weather Preparedness: The weather can be unpredictable; pack layers and waterproof gear.
  • Arrive Early: If you're camping during a busy season, try to arrive early for the best site selection.
  • Water Safety: Always exercise caution when on or near the water, especially with children.
  • Local Attractions: Besides the lake-related activities, check out nearby attractions like hiking trails in the Willamette National Forest or explore the local town of Detroit for dining and supplies.


The park aims to accommodate visitors with disabilities, but it's important to call ahead to inquire about specific needs. Oregon State Parks have been progressively upgrading facilities to meet ADA standards, but availability of accessible features can vary by location.

Before heading to Detroit Lake State Recreation Area, be sure to check with the park directly for the latest updates on conditions, fire restrictions, algae blooms, or any other advisories that may impact your visit.

Map of Campgrounds in Detroit Lake State Recreation Area
Campgrounds in Detroit Lake State Recreation Area
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