Located on the beautiful Crane Prairie Reservoir, The Crane Prairie Campground features over a hundred campsites and excellent access to the reservoir.
While this is an expansive campground, the amenities are rather primitive. There are no flush toilets (only vault toilets) and no showers. However, there is potable drinking water available from faucets around the campground.
If you do need a shower, flush toilet, laundry facilities, or some quick food or coffee, head next door to Crane Prairie Resort. The resort is a privately-owned facility, but you can bring some quarters over and use the coin showers and laundry facilities. When we went, it was $1.25 for three minutes of hot water in the showers, so plan accordingly.
Compared to Tumalo State Park, Crane Prairie didn’t have as nice amenities, but the campsites were more spacious. In Tumalo, it felt like the campers and tents were packed right in next to each other. At Crane Prairie, there was much more elbow room, although the lack of undergrowth still allowed us to see (and hear) our neighbors.
Coming from Bend, we heard very pessimistic opinions about Crane Prairie: it was all rednecks down that way, just people fishing on the reservoir, etc. While there were definitely some rednecks (mainly at the nearby “resort”) and quite a few fishermen, we still had an excellent time! Sure, the campground is far away from the great trails near Bend, but since we couldn’t get a reservation for the weekend at Tumalo, we had to take what we could get.
But with a view like this across the reservoir, it was very hard to complain!
Campsite cost: $16 per night; $8 for each additional vehicle.