Smiling River Campground

Camp Sherman, Oregon

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Overview

Nestled in Deschutes National Forest, Smiling River Campground offers visitors some of the most stunning scenery in central Oregon and easy access to an abundance of recreational activities.

Recreation

Hiking and fishing top the list of recreational activities for visitors.

For anglers, the spring-fed Metolius river offers a stunning setting for fly-fishing. Its clear, cold water supports rainbow trout, whitefish, bull trout and kokanee salmon.

For day hikers and backpackers, the area offers a wide variety of scenic terrain, ranging from riverside trails to routes in subalpine forests.

Facilities

Smiling River Campground offers sites that accommodate both tent and RV camping, however hookups are not available.

Picnic areas, trails and scenic overlooks, along with the conveniences of firewood, drinking water and flush toilets, give visitors the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while still having many of the conveniences of home.

Natural Features

Many sites at this campground look out to Metolius River, a tributary of the Deschutes River.

The headwaters of the river are at Metolius Springs at the base of Black Butte, a 3,076-foot cinder cone. The clear, cold river flows north from the springs through diverse coniferous forest and a landscape of volcanic activity.

The area provides habitat for mammals such as mule deer, coyote and cougar. Migratory birds and native fish also call the area home.

Nearby Attractions

The Metolius-Windigo Trail, open to hikers, bikers and horses, is more than 100 miles in length, and begins near the Metolius River headwaters west of the town of Sisters, Oregon. The trail was created in the 1980s primarily to serve long-distance horse riders seeking an alternative to the Pacific Crest Trail.

Lava Lands Visitor Center in Bend, Oregon, offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the diverse landscape and history of the area through interpretive programs and exhibits.

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Adventures Nearby

  • Hike the West Metolius River Trail

    The West Metolius River trail is one of the finest river trails in Central Oregon due to its easy terrain, beautiful blue water, volcanic spring fed waterfalls, and forest views.  The hike starts just downstream from the Lower Canyon Creek Campgro...

    8 miles 280 ft gain

  • Fly Fishing the Metolius

    If there were a river in heaven it would be the Metolius. This gem located near Sisters Oregon offers year-round fly-fishing (only) to anyone who wishes to do so. The area offers multiple types of accommodations from tent camping to staying in res...

  • Run the Suttle Lake Loop

    Beginning at the Suttle Lake Lodge just off Highway 20, the Suttle Lake Loop follows a wide dirt path that circumnavigates the entire lake. Hug the lake whenever the trail opens up to camping areas or pavement - it's nearly impossible to become lo...

    3.6 miles 200 ft gain