Kid Camping: 5 Best Campgrounds in Klamath County to Bring the Whole Family
Here in Oregon, it’s a formative experience to spend at least one spring or summer night outdoors—camping under starry night skies, making s’mores on a crackling fire, and listening to frogs croak and the wind rustling through towering fir trees.
And with the Southern Cascades at its doorstep, Klamath County offers plenty of opportunities for making memories in nature—from pitching a tent mere miles from Crater Lake to visiting an outdoor logging museum or exploring the region’s many mountain lakes.
So as you plan family outings this summer, keep these five campgrounds in mind for an unforgettable outdoor experience.
1. Mazama Campground, Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park is one of the premier summer vacation destinations in Klamath County and the well-developed Mazama Campground includes all the amenities families could want for a comfortable night outdoors. Located about seven miles south of Crater Lake and just inside the park boundary, the 214-site campground has picnic tables and fire rings at each site, restrooms, drinking water, pay showers, laundry facilities, a general store and gas station, and more. It also hosts a small amphitheater where, each summer, rangers give educational talks on the animals, geology, and history of Crater Lake National Park.
The Annie Creek Restaurant and Gift Shop sits just across the parking lot from the general store and serves classic American cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and boasts a gift shop with all kinds of Crater Lake-themed souvenirs.
2. Collier Memorial State Park, Chiloquin
Just five miles north of Chiloquin, Collier Memorial State Park doesn’t just give families a place to pitch a tent but shows off a slice of Oregon history in a way that’s fun for kids of all ages.
The park is perhaps best known for its outdoor logging museum, which educates visitors on an industry that defined the region for decades. Exhibits at the 146-acre museum include antique logging equipment, information on the evolution of logging machinery, and a look at how railways impacted decades of industry in Klamath County. Any kid with an interest in big machines—which is usually most kids—will find something to love about the antique equipment.
Even without the logging museum, the park would be fun for families. It sits at the confluence of Spring Creek and the Williamson River and offers more than 60 campsites. The park also plays host to a handful of easy hiking trails, an equestrian trailhead, and mountain biking paths, and is a great spot for fishing.
3. Klamath Falls KOA Journey, Klamath Falls
Just two miles from the heart of downtown, the Klamath Falls KOA Journey Campground swaps quiet forests and a sense of solitude for family-friendly amenities and easy access to some of the region’s biggest attractions—including Crater Lake National Park, Lava Beds National Monument, Upper Klamath Lake, and the 109-mile OC&E Woods Line State Trail, which starts in Klamath Falls and is Oregon’s longest linear park).
And the KOA itself is a blast for families: The fun includes Wi-Fi, an on-site dog park, a seasonal pool, a handful of cabins, a playground, and space to play Gaga Ball—which KOA describes as a “kinder, gentler version of dodgeball.”
4. Lake of the Woods Resort, Lake of the Woods
Lake of the Woods Mountain Lodge and Resort sits on the shore of one of the clearest natural lakes in the Southern Cascades, which makes it a magical summer getaway. Guests can stay in the resort’s well-kept cabins or camp at one of the three nearby campgrounds for a more rustic experience. Aspen Point Campground, Sunset Campground, and Fourmile Lake all boast campsites in lush, old-growth forests, and have picnic tables and campfire rings at each site.
This family-friendly resort is roughly 45 minutes northwest of Klamath Falls and is loved for its seemingly bottomless well of outdoor activity. Opportunities include water skiing, fishing, hiking, and paddling (on canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and paddle boats). A dockside marina and seasonal restaurant and bar serve a mix of classic American fare, piping-hot pizza, and fresh brews and wines from regional producers.
And just 15 minutes away, Crater Lake Zipline offers thrilling fun for the whole family.
5. Crescent Lake Campground, Southern Cascades
You can’t talk about Crescent Lake without acknowledging one simple truth: The lake’s water is among the bluest and clearest in a region known for blue, clear lakes. Take one look, and it’s easy to see why Crescent Lake Campground is a popular summertime destination for families from throughout the region.
The campground, on a small hill overlooking the emerald waters of Crater Lake, boasts 41 campsites and three yurts—each including a bunk bed, fold-out futon, table, and chairs. Some of the most coveted campsites even offer (relatively) unimpeded lake views.
Beyond the campground, Crescent Lake is home to recreation opportunities for the whole family. Anglers can fish for kokanee and rainbow trout; families can go swimming, waterskiing, and windsurfing; and outdoor enthusiasts can hike, ride mountain bikes, or go horseback riding on trails around the lake.
Written by Matt Wastradowski for Matcha in partnership with Klamath Visitor and Convention Bureau.