Goose Lake State Recreation Area
Guide

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Introduction

Located on Oregon’s border with California, Goose Lake State Recreation Area is a secluded nature lover’s paradise. The park is framed by the scenic Warden Mountains, giving a stunning backdrop as you hike along the lake and the stream that runs through the park.

The area is a great spot for wildlife viewing, as well as nature photography. Every spring, waterfowl pass through the park as they migrate south. The park is home dozens of bird species, as well as a wide range of plant and tree species. You’ll also be able to see large herds of mule deer as they move through the park. They often visit the RV campground as well, so make sure your food is covered.

The RV campground located within the recreation area has 42 electrical sites with water hookups for your rig. The campground has full modern comforts, with hot showers and restrooms. If you have a pet, you can take them to the fenced recreation area and let them run around off-leash. You’ll also be right next to the park’s main hiking trail that leads to the wildlife viewing area on the shores of Goose Lake.

RV Rentals in Goose Lake State Recreation Area

Transportation in Goose Lake State Recreation Area

Driving

Goose Lake State Recreation Area is located in southern Oregon, along the border with California. The park is remote, but has well developed infrastructure that makes it simple to get your RV to the campground.

If you are coming from Portland, take I-5 south out of the city and you can get to the park in around six hours. From Eugene, take OR-58 south and you will reach the park in four and a half hours. Driving from Sacramento, take US-395 north and you will reach the park in just under six hours.

The park has one main road that leads directly to the campground. It’s well paved and straight, so you won’t have to navigate any turns to get to your site.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Goose Lake State Recreation Area

Campsites in Goose Lake State Recreation Area

Reservations camping

First-come first-served

Goose Lake State Recreation Area Campground

The park’s campground hosts 42 sites, all of which have electrical and water hookups. They also have fire pits and picnic tables, and are pet-friendly. Just make sure your dog stays on a leash. There are showers and modern restrooms located on the edge of the campground.

The main hiking loop can be accessed directly from the campground. You’ll also be a quick walk from New Pine Creek and the park’s day use area, where the fenced pet recreation area is. Goose Lake is nearby as well, in addition to the wildlife viewing areas.

None of the sites are available for reservation, and are first-come, first-served throughout the year. However, you can find details on the individual sites online, including the maximum RV length. The park is fairly out of the way, and rarely fills up, so you should be able to find a spot. If you’re concerned about availability, call ahead to ask the park office.

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Goose Lake State Recreation Area

In-Season

Hiking

RV campers who want to hike will also find multiple trails. The park has a trail that loops around the campground and takes you to New Pine Creek, which fills up as the snow melts in the Warner Mountains east of the park. The trails are just minutes from the RV and trailer campground.

If you visit during the spring, you can hike down to Goose Lake, which often refills after winter. Waterfowl find their way to the shore, as well as herds of mule deer.

Photography

The park and the surrounding areas are an excellent location for nature photography, with beautiful waterways and scenic mountains. If you visit the park in your camper during the spring, you can see Goose Lake as it refills. Dozens of wildlife species are drawn to the shores of the lake, including bald eagle. You can also see migratory waterfowl as they stop to rest and feed at an old orchard in the park. You can capture images of the herd of mule deer that visits the park, often passing directly through the campground.

Birdwatching

The park is a great destination for RV campers who want to spot rare bird species. It’s home to dozens of bird species, including bald eagle, loggerhead shrike, and greater sage grouse. During the spring, you can catch migratory waterfowl as they pass through the park. Water levels tend to be highest this time of year, making a great resting spot for ducks and geese.

Oregon has many birdwatching societies which provide excellent educational information on the birds in the area. Check their websites before visiting the park to find field guides and checklists. The park office may also be able to provide you with more information on the birds that are found in the area.

Off-Season

Kayaking

Goose Lake dries up for most of the year. However, the lake will often refill in spring, as the snow melts in the nearby mountains and drains down into the park. If you visit the park during the spring, you can bring a kayak and explore the lake. The Warden Mountains create a scenic backdrop as you paddle along the shores packed with migrating waterfowl. The park does not rent any boats, so you’ll have to bring your own kayak along with your rig.

Wildlife Viewing

The park is home to a wide range of wildlife species, so it’s great for RV campers who want to relax and soak in nature. Herds of mule deer pass through the park and graze on the edge of the campground. You’ll also be able to see coyotes, rabbits, and raccoons, and may also spot elk. Check with the park office when you arrive for more information on the wildlife that lives in the area.

Picnicking

The beautiful setting of the park makes it a great spot for a picnic. The Warner Mountains are just a few miles to the east of the park, creating the perfect backdrop for a picnic. The picnic area is also right next to a fenced pet recreation area, where you can let your dog run around off-leash. There are also picnic areas near Goose Lake, where you can relax by the water when the mountain springs drain into the lake.

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