Metolius River Area in Deschutes NF

Basic Information

  • Forest: Deschutes 
  • District: Sisters 
  • Area: Metolius River 
  • Phone Number: (541) 338-7869 

The Metolius River Area is what you may think of when camping comes to mind. It doesn’t have a mountain to climb or a lake to boat on, but the gurgling of the river, the usual sunshine, and the smell of the pines all help draw me to the campgrounds here. Your visit should start with a short side trip to the Head of the Metolius located just off Hwy 20 on the road into Camp Sherman. The river starts here as it gushes out of the hillside full force. The flow seems to stay constant year around. The short trip to get here is well worthwhile. Years after you leave, this spring will be what you will tell your friends about. The biggest advantage to this area is that it is often a picturesque spot to escape the spring rains of the west side of the Cascades. This area is always my number one choice for Memorial Day camping. This area and Perry South are the last ones to get a rain storm. If it is raining here, it is raining everywhere else as well.

Before you go into Camp Sherman, be sure to stock up with provisions or lunch at nearby Sisters. There are many fun stores and plenty of provisions for the camper at a decent price. Fly fishing only, is allowed on the Metolius. When you need some local information or a shower, laundry or RV dump stop at the Camp Sherman RV and Motel (AKA Black Butte RV Park), a member of the Hoodoo family of campgrounds. Camp Sherman RV is located next to the Camp Sherman school as you enter town. Ice and firewood are available there as well.

There are twelve campgrounds in this area. All are on the river and most are first-come, first-serve sites except Camp Sherman Campground, Smiling River, and Sheep Springs which is a Horse Campground. The other campgrounds vary in type and size. You might like to drive through the area first before you pick a campground and a site, but all of the campgrounds are nice.

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