Call ahead This experience may be open for on-site visitation; however, offerings and/or operating procedures may have changed due to COVID-19. Please verify details before you go and visit the COVID-19 Resources page for more information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.