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Central Oregon is a geographical area located in the state of Oregon. It comprises Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook counties. It is a remarkable land blessed with colorful volcanic rock formations, pristine lakes, and majestic mountains, among other striking natural features. Central Oregon enjoys a temperate climate. It receives plenty of sunshine during summers.

To make summers memorable for kids, R.A.D. Camps bring you a fun-filled summer day camp adventure. During our Summer Day Camp Program, we take the children to over 50 unique adventurous summer camp destinations in Bend, Oregon.  

Listed below are some top-of-the-list and fun-filled summer camp destinations our campers visit every year.

Cascadia State Park

Cascadia State Park is located near Sweet Home, at a point of intersection for Soda Creek and the South Santiam River. This state park offers multiple opportunities for exciting activities, such as 22 campsites for camping, hiking trails, a day-use area, and 150-foot Lower Soda Creek Falls. The camping sites are situated near Soda Creek. They are surrounded by mature trees, enhancing natural beauty and offering plenty of shade.

Cascadia State Park comprises two major hiking trails. The ¾-mile loop River Trail leads to the pristine South Santiam River, where visitors can fish, swim and enjoy other water sports activities, whereas the one-mile loop River Trail transcends Lower Soda Creek Falls.

Charleton Lake

This clean and gorgeous water body is located at an elevation of 5,692 feet, making it one of the highest lakes in Oregon. It has a total area of 130.86 acres and a shoreline that extends over 2.73 miles. The lake lies in a deep, glacial basin enclosed by a thick coniferous forest, including The Pacific Silver Fir and Mountain Hemlock.

Charleton Lake is arranged in a U-shape. Multiple small, shallow bays are connected to it. It is primarily a fishing lake, offering fun-filled activities for our little campers. These include fishing, swimming, and playing games in the nearby coniferous forests. Multiple good campsites are located on the western shore of the lake.

Clear Lake


Clear Lake has a fascinating history. About three thousand years ago, a volcanic eruption took place in Central Oregon. The volcano’s lava changed the McKenzie River’s course, pushing it southwest, resulting in the formation of Clear Lake.

The lava burnt the nearby forest as well. Traces of the scorched forest can still be seen submerged in the McKenzie River. Later on, The Clear Lake was discovered in 1859 by a group of men looking for a passage over the Cascade Mountains.

Some interesting facts about Clear Lake are listed below:

  • It is expanded over 142 acres and is located at an elevation of 3,012 feet.
  • It is approximately 175 feet deep.
  • Clear Lake is one of the coldest water bodies in Central Oregon.

Clear Lake is true to its name. It has a visibility of 200 feet and is filled with pristine and sparkling turquoise waters, making it an ideal destination for freshwater diving. It offers multiple fun-filled activities such as fishing, canoeing, stand-up paddling, and kayaking.

We encourage the little campers to dive into the frigid cold waters of the Great Spring to experience the marvelous mother nature in its truest sense. Visitors can also enjoy hiking and biking on the McKenzie River Trail.

Cline Falls

Cline Falls State Park lies on the bank of the Deschutes River and covers an area of 9 acres. It is a popular recreation site with an abundance of wildlife. It provides an excellent place for kids to enjoy multiple outdoor activities. A gorgeous open lawn is also available for group activities. Swimming sites that range from deep, calm pools to shallow coves allow children to explore the beauty of Deschutes River Canyon. ​

Cine Falls Waterfall

Cline Falls Waterfall, a steep segmented cascade, is one of the highest waterfalls along the Deschutes River in Central Oregon. The 20 feet high waterfall is located about four miles west of Redmond. The waterfall was named after a dentist, Class A. Cline, who owned the land adjacent to the falls. In the 1950s, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department extended the beauty of this waterfall by creating a day-use park.
Cline Falls park runs along the east bank of the Deschutes River 0.25 miles upstream from the waterfall. A popular hiking trail follows the river downstream from the park to the falls. It is one of the best campsites that offer plenty of opportunities for young campers to admire the beauty of nature and learn new things through engaging activities.

Crane Prairie

Located approximately 42 miles southwest of Bend in Deschutes County, Crane Prairie is a man-made lake. It serves as the habitat of Oregon’s largest rainbow trout fisheries. 19-pound trout was the heaviest fish ever caught in the lake. Crane Prairie lake offers a prime location for a summer camp where children can play, swim, and enjoy water sports. On the lake’s east shore, the Crane Prairie campground is located.
The campground is situated at an elevation of 4,450 feet and has 146 camping sites. The area is home to fantastic bird species, including Sandhill cranes, bald eagles, Rocky Mountain Elk, mountain chickadees, osprey, and more. Craine Prairie is a perfect summer camp location as it allows children to become familiar with local flora and fauna.

Echo Basin

At the head of Echo Creek sits a spectacular and little-known collection of trails. It is a two-and-a-half-mile loop hike to a high elevation basin exploding with wildflowers. Wildflowers bloom profusely in the basin, especially in summer. The hike allows children to explore a creek within the old-growth forest and reconnect with nature.

Accompanied by our passionate guides, children learn to share, interact with one another, solve problems, and experiment with ideas. There are parts of the boardwalk in the meadow where children can walk on. The overabundance of natural beauty inspires children to learn more about the world around them.

Outdoor experiences benefit a child intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically. To give your children a perfect opportunity to spend quality time outdoors, enroll them in our R.A.D. Camps summer programs. Our summer day camp programs are located in Bend, Oregon. We offer multiple fun-filled trips for children to the Deschutes and Willamette National Forests. Our motto is “no child left inside.” We connect children with nature through fun-filled activities.

​For more information, visit our website, contact us, or call us at (541) 410-7258.


Chance is the owner and CEO of R.A.D. Camps in Bend, Oregon. He attended R.A.D. Camps summer programs as a kid and loved it so much he bought the company!