Diamond Lake Campground Review


We went on a camping trip to Diamond Lake in Crescent, OR. Diamond Lake is part of the Umpqua National Forest. We stayed at site M10.

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The Campsite

Our particular site, M10, was a little difficult to park a 20 foot trailer in. There wasn’t much wiggle room to get into the spot because there were large trees on either side of the parking pad. But the big issue for us was the slope of the spot. The trailer was in an area that was fairly level. But, the truck was on a steep slope. Because of that it was difficult to unhitch the trailer. There was a lot of wiggling of the tow vehicle back and forth to try and get enough pressure off that the hitch would release. But it worked out fine, it just took longer than normal.

The parking pad was situated in a way that wasn’t super ideal for a trailer but it worked out. Because of the trees we couldn’t pull the awning out very much. We also couldn’t put out our outdoor rug. But, we liked that there were lots of trees around so that wasn’t a big deal.

The site was very large. The main area was off to the side of the trailer on the opposite side of a large log. At first we thought it was a different site but it was all part of M10.

The picnic table was busted and not usable. We have a large side table and two small side tables for the kids we like to use with our camp chairs so we just used those instead.

Before I talk about the good parts about Diamond Lake, I need to mention the big negative part. There were swarms of bugs everywhere! They were midge flies and completely harmless. But they were everywhere. They were in our face, in our food, and in our truck and trailer.

They came in swarms so sometimes it wasn’t too bad and other times it was terrible. It was often difficult to even be outside because there were so many and we were completely unprepared for it. If we had brought a bug tent we probably would have had a much better experience. To avoid the bugs, we ate in the trailer and spent more time inside then we would have otherwise.

I did check with a ranger there to see if there was a season where the bugs aren’t as prevalent. She said their eggs die in the cold so if you go around the end of their season (around September) sometimes there are less. She said it is normally too cold to swim in the lake during that time of year though.

She said the midge flies really vary year to year depending on the weather. The year we went (2022) they were especially bad. She said the prior year though (2021) they were minimal. The snow melted earlier that year and so their eggs hatched. But, then there was a cold spell which killed off the new eggs and they never were able to come back with as much force that season.

Now, for the good part. Diamond Lake was the most beautiful campground we have ever stayed at! The campground is long and narrow and follows the side of the lake. About a third of the sites are directly on the lake. We were right across from it and couldn’t believe how beautiful the view was. We had the view of the lake, which was crystal clear, a snowy mountain right behind it, and a beautiful blue sky. Plus, our site had a ton of trees and shade.

The view from site M10 at Diamond Lake.

It really was absolutely beautiful there. It was such a shame that the annoying midge files forced us inside more than we would have liked. But, even with the bugs, we still want to plan a trip back there. Being prepared for the bugs would make a big difference and the campground is so gorgeous it is definitely worth dealing with the midge flies.

We walked through a handful of sites that were on the lake. All of the ones we saw had little spots that you can use to get right into the lake. We actually were lucky enough to go through the site right across from us, site M9, to swim in the lake.

The water was beautiful clear water. And it was shallow enough that it wasn’t too cold. It got colder as you went deeper but it was easy to adjust to it. It felt great and was a nice way to spend the warm afternoon.

The campground is a dry campground. They do have a dump station. The sites have fire pits and there were even several sites that had wood already cut and stacked.

Diamond Lake is a breathtaking place to visit. As long as you’re prepared for some small annoying bugs, it is an incredible place to stay.

The Weather

We were there in June and had nice warm weather. It was a high of about 82 degrees while we were there which was a great temperature to swim in the lake.

The Activities


Well, the most obvious activity to do here was swim in the lake. We had so much fun getting to swim at Diamond Lake! The only downside is if you don’t have a lakeside site there aren’t very many places where you can get into the water.

Swimming at site M9 at Diamond Lake.


Diamond Lake does also have a boat ramp and there were several people out there in fishing boats. (Be prepared there were also lots of fish hooks on the ground so make sure you have water shoes if you want to go in the water.)

Crater Lake

The main reason why we stayed at Diamond Lake and the big activity we had planned was to visit Crater Lake. The Crater Lake North entrance was only a 10 minute drive from Diamond Lake. Crater Lake was absolutely beautiful. The water is a vibrant color of blue that is hard to find in nature. It really was worth seeing.

The kids were also very excited because Crater Lake had a ton of snow even though we were there at the end of June. We had some cardboard in the back of the truck so we were able to stop and let the kids slide down the snow on a cardboard “sled.” I think they enjoyed playing in the snow even more than they enjoyed getting to see Crater Lake.

Junior Ranger

An unexpected activity we really enjoyed at Diamond Lake was the Umpqua National Forest Junior Ranger program. When we got there the kids were each given an activity book. Honestly, they would have been happy if the program stopped there. They enjoyed the coloring, the quizzes, and the mazes.

After they finished their activities they took their books to the ranger station. The ranger looked through their books and talked to them about the different activities for a few minutes. Then he told them they qualified for the junior ranger program. He swore them in by having them repeat the Junior Ranger oath after him and then gave them both their activity books back with their new Junior Ranger badges.

The whole experience was really special for them. It was really great that the rangers take the time to make it feel like an exciting moment for the kids. It was a highlight of our entire Oregon camping trip and a lasting memory for our family.

The Dog-Friendly Hiking

We took our dog with us to Crater Lake. It was no problem to bring him and check out the vista points with him. He was also pretty happy to play in the snow.

We were, however, hoping to do some hiking at Crater Lake. Crater Lake is a National Park though and pets are not allowed on any of the trails. We didn’t actually realize this at first and so we did try to go to a few different trails. The ones we tried were inaccessible because of the snow. Then we realized dogs weren’t welcome so we stopped trying.

I think if we had tried to hike around Diamond Lake or anywhere outside of Crater Lake we would have had much better luck with a dog-friendly trail. We ran out of time though so hopefully we’ll get to find a dog-friendly hike someday when we get to visit Diamond Lake again.

The Beer

There really isn’t much around Diamond Lake. There were no breweries in the area. There is a pizza and ice cream shop that you can walk to from the Diamond Lake campground. We walked over there and thought we’d get some ice cream and see if there were any local beers on tap, but they only took cash. That was another item we weren’t prepared for so we weren’t able to buy anything. The building looked pretty run down but the place had good reviews online. Seems like it would be worth trying if you remembered to bring some cash.

We had plenty of local beers from other stops in Oregon so we continued drinking Ninkasi, Rogue, and Deschutes beer.

The Recap

Diamond Lake is a gorgeous campground. And the Junior Ranger program is a must for kids. Yes, there are small harmless (but annoying) bugs there. But don’t let that stop you from seeing one of the most beautiful campgrounds there is.

Campground Details:

Diamond Lake Campground
43 GA-122, Crescent, OR 97733

Can reserve online at recreation.gov. Reservations open 6 months ahead.

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