RV Rental Winema National Forest, OR

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Officially established in 1908 as Winema National Forest, the park was named after a Modoc Native American, Toby “Winema” Riddle. Winema was a nickname that roughly translates to “woman chief.” Toby was a prominent leader among her people and played a critical role as an interpreter for the U.S. Army in the 1870s and 1880s. She was one of the few Native Americans to receive an Army pension. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps, operating under President Roosevelt’s New Deal program, blazed hundreds of miles of trails, laid down roads, and built cabins and lean-tos. Many of these amenities are still used by visitors to this day. Now known as Fremont-Winema National Forest (as of 2002), Winema National Forest often is referred to as Oregon’s outback due to its extremely rugged terrain.

The closest large town is Klamath Falls which boasts a small shopping district, a hospital equipped with an emergency room, and robust outdoor recreation culture. Klamath Falls is one of the few towns in the United States that obtains its heat entirely from a geothermal source. Most of the roads and sidewalks are heated, as well. Search for an RV in Klamath County, OR, and jumpstart the ultimate RV camping retreat.

Discover Winema National Forest

Getting Outdoors

Over a million acres sprawls across the eastern slopes and the valley of the Cascades mountain range. Winema National Forest mostly consists of rambling woods, meadows, and marshes. Because the terrain is challenging to navigate, a large percentage - around 70% - of the forest is untouched. Some trees have been found to be between 400 and 600 years old.

Thanks to the presence of marshes that line the Klamath Basin, Winema National Forest is a popular stopover spot for migratory birds and waterfowls on their twice-yearly journey north and south. In spring and autumn, it’s a majestic sight to see millions of birds descend and ascend in an intricate ballet. Many visitors, hunters and otherwise, enjoy observing this event.

With over a million acres of wilderness, there’s plenty of room to explore and engage in different activities ranging from hiking to horseback riding and skiing to fishing. There are several hundred miles of trails, though not all of them are well-maintained, which adds to that quintessential wilderness experience.

Bring a camera, as the woods and marshes of Winema National Forest are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including but not limited to pronghorns, elk, and deer. Shy black bears and cougars are not uncommon. However, being elusive, campers often learn after the fact that they were visited when they discover scat or pawprints in the morning. Keep an ear out. Northern Spotted Owls are known to dwell in these woods, though due to their endangered status, it’s unlikely that people will see them. However, their distinctive hoots are recognizable in the distance.

Camping at Winema National Forest

Considering that Winema National Forest has plenty of ground to cover, it’s smart to rent an RV instead of utilizing a hotel. One needs to simply step out the front door of their rental RV to gain immediate access to the great outdoors. Winema National Forest RV campgrounds lack hookups, but most have restrooms with vault toilets at minimum.

Winema National Forest has around 26 campgrounds, many of which do not require reservations. If one is full, continue on to the next one. The Aspen Point Campground at Lake of the Woods is one of the larger ones with around 50 sites. There are four restrooms with flush toilets, potable water, and a dump station, all of which are a rarity.

RV camp near Lakeview, OR, at Willow Creek Campground, which operates on a first-come, first-serve basis. It’s a smaller campground with only eight sites, which means a quieter camping experience. Most sites have a view of the lake.

Alternatively, consider Airstream camping a few miles south of Paisley. Also a small campground, it has seven sites for RVs. Conveniently close to the river, this campground is popular with fishermen. All of the sites have fire grates or rings, and there is a restroom with a vault toilet.

Exploring the Area

The mountain towns of central Oregon are full of charm, history, and local quirks and oddities. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Chiloquin is home to one of the longest hobby train systems in the world (as of 2019). The intricate tracks cover around 25 miles. Visitors can examine the diorama as well as visit the on-site railroad museum.

Several small towns line the perimeter of Upper Klamath Lake. Tour them all in a motorhome rental and enjoy the historic buildings and homes, many of which are on the national register of historical places, museums, and gift shops. In a nod to its role in the Old West era, Klamath Falls operates a small museum, the Favell Museum. On display are various cowboy and Native American artifacts and tools, Western art, and a collection of firearms.

At the end of a long day of adventures and sightseeing, kick up your heels outside a camper rental and look skyward. In Oregon’s outbacks, the stars are clear and distinct. It’s easy to find celestial bodies with the naked eye. Find your perfect RV camping adventure in the Oregon wilds today during your epic outdoor excursion.

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Popular nearby hiking trails and campgrounds

  • Hiking TrailLocation
  • Varney Creek Trail to Lake Harriette, ORWinema National Forest, OR
  • Varney Creek Trail to Lake Como, ORWinema National Forest, OR
  • Mountain Lakes Loop Trail, ORWinema National Forest, OR
  • South Pass Lake Trail, ORKlamath Falls, OR
  • Rye Spur Trail, ORWinema National Forest, OR
  • Lost Peak via Badger Lake Trail, ORKlamath Falls, OR
  • Lake of the Woods Area Trails, ORWinema National Forest, OR
  • Four Mile Lake Loop Trail, ORWinema National Forest, OR
  • Squaw Lake Trail, ORWinema National Forest, OR
  • Mount McLoughlin Trail, ORWinema National Forest, OR

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