Fall River Near La Pine Oregon

LaPine State Park

LaPine State Park (correctly spelled without a space) is in a tall pine forest south of Bend.  We were only able to get a four-day reservation. We didn’t know the reason, and couldn’t believe that the park was full, on weekdays, in the middle of May. As a backup plan, I knew that the north loop had lots of first-come-first-serve spaces. Because the north loop was the older section of the park, it has only 20 amp electric service. Alarm bells (overstatement) it was a warning.   

After arrival, I found out that my intuition was correctly founded. The north loop road was very bumpy and the road was better than the campsites. All the sites were small with little room. The trees were low and nearly every site was sloped. Not what I was looking for. It didn’t matter for the first four days, which we had reserved, in the middle loop, closer to the river. I even thought that we might have a view of the river, and would have, except for the trees.

Fall River near La Pine Oregon
Fall River near La Pine Oregon

I intended to ask the ranger (or host) about these things; hoping to find out that they would have a better plan of what to do with the extra two extra days in my schedule between LaPine and Crater Lake. My backup plan was to go further south, for a two-day stay near Silver Lake, about halfway to Crater Lake.

Oregon Disabled Veteran – Special Access Pass

After arrival, I talked to the ranger, and after some discussion, he said that I qualified for an Oregon Disabled Veteran – Special Access Pass – even though we were not residents of Oregon.  This pass allows for ten days, per month — free campsites in Oregon State Parks. So I didn’t have to pay to stay there.  The second thing he said was that we could move to a different campsite in the park (not in the north loop) and stay for two more days (also free). 

Waterfall on Fall Creek near La Pine Oregon
Waterfall on Fall River near La Pine Oregon

School Kids

The reason that the park was so full, in the middle of May, was that several busloads of fifth-grade school kids were going to show up and take over an entire section of the park.  Amity school district has done this as an annual event for years. Lots of parents also showed up, reserving most of the open spots that were not allotted to the school district.

Since LaPine was very nice and also free, we decided to see how it was with the school kids. The school kids were not going to be right next door, so we stayed for two more days in LaPine.

Deschutes River near La Pine Oregon
Fall River near La Pine Oregon

The buses pulled in much like a military expedition. Trucks towing trailers — also arrived full of camping gear. Identical tents were set up sleeping about six kids in each tent. A full field kitchen was assembled and a big tent style dining hall and chow line.  Overall it was very impressive, but just like the military, it was chaos.  

I know now that the kids were bused to local attractions each day and by the time they came back to the campground, they were tired and went to bed, right after dinner. No problem. Gone all day and quiet at night, just what I wanted in a neighbor.

Deschutes River

In LaPine, we can walk to the Deschutes River; the trail started right behind our RV and the river was just down the hill. From there we can turn upstream or downstream and make loops of several different lengths. Mountain bikes would be fun, but we have road bikes and they are fun but restricted to pavement. If we limited ourselves to the roads in the park — the rides would be short.  We also walked to Fall River which was further and prettier.

Lava Lake and Mount Bachelor near Bend Oregon
Lava Lake and Mount Bachelor near Bend Oregon

Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway

In the car, we made a loop out of the park, to Bend and along the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway, which goes near Mount Bachelor and past several lakes. This was our first experience with scenic drives in Oregon. I already mentioned the trees; what I didn’t say was the trees, in most cases, block the views even on scenic drives. We drove past several lakes on that we never saw and found that boat ramps were the best place to view the lakes.

Here is a link to the google map for the area.

Link to our 2018 Route.

Link to our route Boise to Coos Bay

Our blog page doesn’t allow comments after one month…  So much for me controlling it – I am not a coder…  Please comment anyway, by filling out the form at the bottom. Be sure to mention which post you are commenting on, I will be glad to manually insert them.   

6 thoughts on “LaPine State Park”

  1. to Dave: Yes, the Deschutes River is 100 yards through the pines. The Fall River is about a mile from the campsite through the forest. We are about 20 miles south of Bend.

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