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Old 08-11-2013, 07:05 AM   #1
Rok
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Default Detroit Lake State Campground, Detroit, OR

Hi all, we just got back from another mini-trip to a place called Detroit Lake in Oregon, about an hour and a half SE of Portland (IIRC).

This was by far the biggest park we've ever stayed at and the sign said it was full. We had a hard time getting reservations over two months ago.

Anyway, they have 272 camping spots configured in 6 "loops". 176 of them are suitable for RVs, 96 are tent only spots (although you can tent camp in one of the RV spots if you want to). Quite frankly, We've never seen so many campers milling around everywhere any where else we've stayed. Amazingly everyone seemed respectful of everyone else for the most part. There were a few with blaring radios, but they had 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. "quiet hours". But you might hear a bit of Twisted Sister blaring at 7:15 if you're unlucky.

No dump station on site, although some of the spots had dump holes (we got one our second night thankfully). The nearest dump station was 24 miles away.

We were invited there by friends who tent camp there every year for about 2 weeks. They had about a dozen people tent camping in two adjacent sites. We managed to get an RV site within walking distance of them.

This was not the most fun we've had at a campsite, but it wasn't really bad, either. We found out that meeting a bunch of other people is a different kind of fun than our normal camping.

Since we're still somewhat new at this, we are wondering if this type of mega-camp is common.

Any information would be helpful.

When we first started out we bought some big lego type things for leveling the van out, but we never used them, so we left them at home. One of our spots had the back of our van lower than the front by a few inches. We didn't want to sleep with our heads lower than our feet, so we tried to sleep sideways and that didn't work too well.

..........Rocky
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Detroit Lake State Campground, Detroit, OR

No pics?
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: Detroit Lake State Campground, Detroit, OR

Sounds like a popular spot. The lake must be good for swimming.
We tend to pick less busy places but I think it is fun to try other parks. There's a park on Prince Edward Island with 600 sites that I'd like to visit. I stopped in there once to check it out and it seemed well organized.
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: Detroit Lake State Campground, Detroit, OR

Oregon State Parks are very busy when the kids are out of school. We've been on the South coast of Oregon twice in the last several weeks escaping the forest fire smoke that has been plaguing Southern Oregon. We stayed in several different State Parks and they had no vacancy every night. Many of the coastal State campgrounds have walls of vegetation between the large sites. Despite the size of the campground if you have privacy and space it doesn't seem so bad. Not what we prefer, but we can live with it on occasion. Make a list of your favorite spots for future reference. Also use Google Earth and campground maps and photos to choose spots to your liking. You will get better at pre-selecting sites with more practice.

If sites aren't level we have been known to sleep with our heads on the opposite end. Only has happened a couple of times.
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Detroit Lake State Campground, Detroit, OR

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanw909
No pics?
I need to figure out how to upload pics, Stan. Somewhere on the site there are instructions on how to do it, but I haven't followed them to do it yet.

It wouldn't have helped this time, anyway, because after the trip, I realized that I never found the time to pull the camera out. We were running behind the entire trip. My wife had scheduled everything pretty tight (as she's known to do), and the day befor the trip started, when I moved the(nearly new) van out of the driveway in front of the house for loading I noticed a little lit picture of an engine in the instrument panel. Looked it up and the manual said that we had 500 miles to go and then 16 starts before the rig would force us to get a tow truck. We called Lynnwood (WA) Mercedes, and bless their hearts if they didn't get us in the same day!. By the end of the day, we got the rig back (it was a faulty temp sensor and they had one in stock.

With Lynnwood Mercedes's help we were able to keep our plans, but we were a day behind all the way.

........Rocky
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Detroit Lake State Campground, Detroit, OR

Yes, there were LOTS of kids. Lots and lots of kids. Riding their bicycles and tricycles all over the place. When we entered and left, we had to be careful to keep from running over them. They would just dart right out in front of a moving vehicle. Darwin will get them in the end, but not with my insurance, he won't.

This spot had some vegitation around, but it was still a bit too crowded for my likings.

Speaking of trying to avoid smoke, you wouldn't do it here. Every night there was a low fog of campfire smoke. So much that it changed my voice an octive or so lower. With the Fantastic Fan on, it just sucked the campfire smoke right into our sleeping compartment, and I started coughing from the smoke. I finally closed my windows.

Rergarding choosing another camp site--we couldn't do that this time. Our friends who asked us to come were there, and they love it so much that they go back every year. The lake is large, and our friend was trying out his "new" sailboat. There was another much smaller campground about 5 miles away that looked much less trafficed and much more friendly. We would have probably opted for that one, if we were by ourselves. Thanks for the tip on the G-Earth photos. That might help in the future. When we are about to stop for the night, we often read campsite reviews to choose the right one.

.........Rocky

Quote:
Originally Posted by avid
Oregon State Parks are very busy when the kids are out of school. We've been on the South coast of Oregon twice in the last several weeks escaping the forest fire smoke that has been plaguing Southern Oregon. We stayed in several different State Parks and they had no vacancy every night. Many of the coastal State campgrounds have walls of vegetation between the large sites. Despite the size of the campground if you have privacy and space it doesn't seem so bad. Not what we prefer, but we can live with it on occasion. Make a list of your favorite spots for future reference. Also use Google Earth and campground maps and photos to choose spots to your liking. You will get better at pre-selecting sites with more practice.

If sites aren't level we have been known to sleep with our heads on the opposite end. Only has happened a couple of times.
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Detroit Lake State Campground, Detroit, OR

We had planned to stay four night last week at William Tugman SP which is south of Reedsport. We were okay for the first night even with close quarters. We went hiking the next day, as we often do, and when we returned the new neighbors moved in. Ha, ha, ha. They literally had unloaded a cord of firewood. The DW looked at me with a panic in her eyes and said, were moving. Luckily it was Sunday night and the Park Ranger was nice and we chose a great site for night two. Again, the smoking campfires seem to be much worse when the kids and tent campers are out in force.
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:39 AM   #8
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Default Re: Detroit Lake State Campground, Detroit, OR

"Darwin will get them in the end " of course we don't want that but funny none the less.
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: Detroit Lake State Campground, Detroit, OR

I was going to stay at Detroit Lake Campground, but turned off into the Little North Santiam Recreation Area instead. Stayed at Elkhorn campground in the middle of the week, so no kids and few people. Beautiful, rustic, with multiple ladders leading to Little North Santiam. You can wade, swim or fish there. There was another campground not far from this one that also looked nice.
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