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No reservations: Forest Service moves Three Creek Lake campsites to first-come, first-served amid staffing challenges

Three Creek Meadow Campground
Three Creek Meadow Campground

Also: Forest Road 16 will be a rough drive until work can happen in 2023

SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) --Due to staffing challenges, three popular campgrounds in the Three Creek Lake area of the Sisters Ranger District have moved from reservable campsites to being available only as first-come, first-served, the Deschutes National Forest announced Monday.

The Three Creek Lake, Driftwood, and Three Creek Meadows campgrounds will be closed to reservation camping until a campground host can be found for the sites. Campers who previously made reservations for the sites will receive cancellation notices and a full refund of their reservation fees.

“The Three Creek Lake area is one of the crown jewels for recreation on the Sisters Ranger District. We appreciate the public’s patience while we work through staffing challenges with our partner and hope that offering free, first come-first served camping in the interim will help alleviate the unfortunate situation,” said Ian Reid, Sisters District Ranger.

The public is welcome to camp for free in designated sites within the three campgrounds. The Forest Service will provide periodic toilet service at the campgrounds until the staffing issue is resolved. Due to the lack of garbage services, the public is being asked to not leave trash at the campgrounds, but to take it with them when they go.

If a person is interested in being the campground host for the sites, they should contact Vista Recreation at 541-323-1746 to apply.

Visitors to the area also should note that Forest Road 16, accessing the Three Creek Lake area, which is annually maintained, requires more reconstruction than just annual maintenance this year. 

Until that reconstruction can be completed, visitors should anticipate rough road conditions and drive slowly and defensively in the area. The Deschutes National Forest expects reconstruction work to be done on Forest Road 16 in 2023.

For more information, contact the Sisters Ranger District at 541-549-7700.

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