If you’ve ever wanted to say you camped in the middle of a sleeping volcano, Little Crater Campground should be on your bucket list. Located about 39 miles southeast of Bend, this is one of the most popular campgrounds in all the Deschutes Forest, so be sure to arrive early, because it tends to fill up by Thursday afternoon on most weekends. The campground is on two lakes in the Newberry Monument area and you will camp on the lake edge with towering sides of the cone all around you. Volcanic rock is within site throughout the monument area with some great hikes available through the lava and to nearby waterfalls. Swimming in these lakes is usually reserved for intrepid souls as the water is quite cold, but great fishing can be found here, not to mention spectacular views. The 50 Little Crater camp sites are on a fairly thin ledge right on the lake and all sites are within a minute walk to the water. The sites are very large and most are good for tents, RVs, and trailers. The camping fee is $18 for the first vehicle and $9 for each additional vehicle. There is an RV dump station near the entry of Paulina Lake Campground and the dump fee is $10. Little Crater Campground is generally open June through October, but in 2018 it will close for the season on September 2 for both camping and day use.
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