French Pete Campground

Willamette National Forest

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NF-19
Blue River, OR 97413
541-822-3381
541-225-6300
Reservations: 877-444-6777
Official Website

GPS: 44.0425, -122.2094

Last Price Paid: $16
Number of Sites: 17
Pad Type: asphalt
Elevation: 1883 ft
Max Stay: 14
Max Length: 30 ft
Tent Camping: Yes

1 person has reviewed this location.

Ratings Summary

Access
Location
Cleanliness
Site Quality
Noise
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Nathan @ Wand'rly

14 Volkswagen Bus, Champagne Edition, Riviera Campwagen
293 reviews
Nightly rate: $16
Days stayed: 2
Site Number: 15

Nathan @ Wand'rly would stay here again

“Nature's splendor preserved like before they chopped down most of Oregon...”

Reviewed Jul 14, 2015

Overall Rating

The campground itself, and the hike across the street, are all virgin old growth. Mostly Doug-firs but lots of red alder, vine & bigleaf maples. Everything is covered in moss. The south fork of the McKenzie River flows through it all, and it is exactly my idea of paradise.

If you despise giant spaces, and don't want to be near the river, then choose spot #9. You'll just barely fit your bicycle in there. Otherwise, all of the other sites are massive, #6 was where our pals (old chums, you know, buddy-buddy) stayed and though the site itself was as large as a rock star's ego, even better was the trail leading back to a secondary, secret fire pit near the river which was absolutely secluded.

If you've got a rather small camper, maybe a 16' or a campervan, you could theoretically stay across the street in the parking lot (each parking space is divided by trees and some have fire pits) due to the lack of "no camping" signs (and the trail itself serves as access to hike in camping). That would run you a total of FREE every night, whereas this official French Pete NF campground is $16 / night.

Nearby Terwilliger Hot Springs was nice, and the Cougar Reservoir was gorgeous even as dams go...

The only problem here was the campground host, who has been at it for years and is likely not going anywhere, was completely over the top.

We had several encounters with him. Once when our van was 2 inches past the "pole". What is the pole? Well, it's a piece of wood in the ground showing your site number. And if you're even 2" past it after parking, you will be informed about the hell that is about to all rain down on you by everyone from the national forest service to theoretical 5th wheel owners to the good Lord himself.

Didn't pay your site fee within 7 minutes? Bam, another lecture.

Finally got your van behind the pole, well that will only warrant you a 30 minute conversation about the other possible places you could park it if you can't get your van behind the pole, but even though you have let's still discuss it for awhile just in case you want to know all of the options but don't worry you're fine but just in case, well...

He also watches over the hot springs, which people trash often I guess. He's much nicer when he's the hot springs overseer than the campground host.

Did I mention I love this place to high heaven though? Because--despite Mr. Campground--I do, and would come back a million times.

There is no cell service, but if you drive back to the main road, near Delta Campground, you can get service. The nearby town of Rainbow has a store with everything you'd typically need, and a bar/restaurant and a bike shop make up the rest of town.

Access
Location
Cleanliness
Site Quality
Noise

This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of Campendium.com


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Old-Growth National Forest Campgrounds of the Pacific Northwest on Wand'rly

A naturalist was standing just outside of the fence surrounding the Big Tree, an ancient, massive Ponderosa Pine near La Pine Oregon, when a tourist approached him. “Th...

Hookups:
  • dry camping
Recreation:
  • fishing
  • picnic area
  • recreation trail
  • water access
Site Amenities:
  • fire ring
  • picnic table
Facilities:
  • restrooms: vault
  • trash
  • water available
Pets:
  • pets

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