The U.S. Forest Service announces it will cancel reservations at campgrounds in the three creek lake area for the rest of the summer.
“That includes Driftwood campground, Three Creek Lake Campground, Three Creek Meadow Campground and Horse Camp,” said Jaimie Olle, a public affairs officer for the Deschutes National Forest.
The Forest Service’s campground concessionaire was unable to find a host for this camping season.
“Unfortunately, it’s a really challenging location to hire for just due to its nature. It’s pretty remote. It doesn’t have as many amenities as some of the other campgrounds,” said Olle.
Campers with reservations will receive notices and get a full refund, the Forest Service says.
Central Oregon Daily News went to the campgrounds to ask campers how the reservations being canceled impacted them.
Judy Seiffert and her husband, who reserved a spot in February, said the whole process has been frustrating but it worked out in the end.
“Just a few weeks ago we heard that there’s no camp host and no reservations matter,” said Seiffert. “So we just winged it like we did before, all of the other times. We lucked out and got the last two [campsites].”
Nancy Stuckart and her family wouldn’t have been able to stay at Three Creeks at all with the reservation system in place.
“Honestly, for us, it was great. We don’t tend to be able to plan a year in advance. So being able to come up and get a beautiful site on a moment’s notice was actually fantastic for us,” said Stuckart.
Jason Caldwell told us being able to set up his tent was a “godsend.”
“I didn’t make reservations. I was meeting people out here, and I ended up getting lost and plotting down right here in this spot after I was told there were no reservations,” said Caldwell.
The campgrounds are still open and available on a first-come, first-serve basis, free of charge.
Campers should be aware the toilets will be periodically serviced and garbage collection will be limited. Campers are asked to pack out anything they bring in.
Also, Forest Service Road 16 to Three Creek Lake will be getting additional reconstruction, but it won’t be done until 2023. Drivers should expect rough road conditions and are advised to drive slow and defensively.