Beach camping in Wickiup Reservoir with fishing

Fish for giant brown trout or go for a swim at this high desert reservoir.

97% (380 reviews)
97% (380 reviews)

Popular camping styles for Wickiup Reservoir

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Beach camping in Wickiup Reservoir with fishing guide

Overview

Not far from the town of La Pine in the Central Oregon high desert, Wickiup Reservoir is a well-known spot for cooling off in the oftentimes sweltering summer months. Both non-motorized and motorized boats are allowed here, and there are multiple boat launches, with two at the two lakeside campgrounds and a third on the reservoir’s eastern banks. Wickiup Reservoir is also a popular spot for both birdwatching and fishing, particularly if you're hoping to catch a large brown trout. While many people fish directly from their boats, shore fishing is an option earlier in the season.

Notable campgrounds

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. Reservations for the can be made directly through the Forest Service, either online using recreation.gov or over the phone. Campsites open up for reservation six months in advance, at 6 am.
  2. The peak season runs from the end of May until the end of September. Outside of that time, campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  3. If you can’t find a spot at Wickiup, note that there are still tons of places to camp in the area, both in nearby state parks, on BLM land, and at privately run Hipcamps.

When to go

The best time to visit Wickiup Reservoir is in late spring or early autumn, when the weather is warm and dry and the crowds are fewer. July and August are also great months if you like warm weather, but the reservoir and area campgrounds can get very busy with summer vacationers. Accessing the area during the cold winter months can be challenging due to heavy snowfall.

Know before you go

  • The easiest place to pick up groceries and other supplies is the town of La Pine, about a half-hour drive from the reservoir.
  • Do not enter the water during cyanobacteria (harmful algae) blooms. The forest service puts out alerts about blooms, but it's always a good idea to do a visual check just in case. Water that looks foamy or thick and is a green, blue, or brownish-read color should be avoided.
  • Forest fires are an issue in this part of the forest, and bans on fires and even some types of cooking devices are not uncommon. Check before igniting anything.

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