Three Creek Lake Visual Story - Sean Chess Photography

This near perfect camping spot in Central Oregon is a 3 for 1 special!

Besides the lake itself which include Three Creek Lake Campground and Driftwood Campground (pictured below), there are two perfect hikes to take up your day!

The hike we opted in for takes you to the top of Three Creek Lake. Starting at the left of the campground,

Tam McArthur Rim is a perfect 2.5 mile hike up above the lake with perfect views of the Central Cascades.


The trail quickly gains elevation as you hike through the forest switchbacks. You are rewarded with a slight view 1/4 mile up, but then go through a bit of dense forest for a good mile.

The trail plateaus at times, but stays consistent in gaining elevation. Don't worry, once you start seeing the trees clear, you know you are almost there! 

You know you've made it to the end of the trail when you see the sign that says "END OF TRAIL".


Welcome to a wide open 8,000 feet view! You've earned it.

The trail ends here, but there are plenty of other spots to explore around the rim at the top, and even continue on to Broken Top Mountain.

Otherwise, grab a seat, have a snack, and enjoy the views.

Looking down from the rim, you can see Little Three Creek Lake (pictured above). Another beautiful hike to a gorgeous lake, although with much less wide open views.


Take in the perfect view of the Three Sisters Mountains before a nice 2.5 mile hike down.


After that 5 mile hike, enjoy the serene Three Creek Lake itself, and if you're camping, it's the perfect spot to catch a sunset!

We opted in for "Driftwood Campground", situated on the right hand side of the lake. Most of the campsites have a

decent view of the lake, however a lot of the camp sites are small.

Only a select few campsites have a perfect open view of the lake, and if they aren't already reserved, it's first come first serve so get here early!


Take a short few steps down to the lake and enjoy the wide open sky. Even when the moon is out hiding the stars, the view is still incredible!

And what's camping without a good cup of coffee, perfect for the season and setting the mood!

(Hey Starbucks, sponsor me please. I need more coffee!)


PROS:

Drive up camping with plenty of hikes around.

Campsites are secluded from each other.

Perfect mountain lake with no effort for views!

CONS:

Immensely popular spot near Sisters, OR. (Tons of people in Summer).

Most campsites are reserved, and fill quickly.

Long (but easy) forest road drive up.