Tumble Lake Oregon

It has been a long time since we have done any real camping. We have gone to the state parks and pulled in to pitch a tent over the last few years, but not any real roughing it. Well, on this trip we really went roughing it. If we didn't pack it in on our backs then we had to go without.

Originally, the plan was to go to Marion Lake which is about 16 miles past Detroit, but with the big fire last year, the forstry department put a ban on camp fires up at the lake. What would camping be without a nice warm fire to start and end each day? So the plan changed and a nice little lake close to Detroit was located. Drive time is still about the same because there is a lot of fire road driving going on.

Starting in Salem, head East on SR-22 for about 50 miles. Turn left (North) onto French Creek Rd and drive 1.6 miles Bear left (West) onto FR-2223 Rd for 6 miles. Get directions on Google Maps.

From this point it is about 1 mile of hiking to get to the lake. (A 3D map gives a feel for the climb down to the lake and back)

There are several small creeks and waterfalls in this area all within a comfortable walking distance. There are also many interesting rock formations and amazing natural beauty all around to enjoy. Best of all, there are very few people that visit this area. Unlike a pull-in and park camp ground, the people that come to this area are after the same peace and quiet we enjoy.

The hike down to the lake turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. The curse is that the map only shows how long the trail is (see top image) but it doesn't show how hard the climb down to the lake really is. Then the climb back up is even harder especially when you consider that we each had a pack of about 48 pounds of gear on our backs. But this hard climb down and back up was also our blessing. We only saw three people down by the lake. No cars or off road vehicles to be seen or heard. It was wonderful!

Below are some pictures from our trip. The first image shows the packs we had to use to haul all of our supplies. Each pack was about 48 pounds. We had to pack in all our food, cloths, sleeping bags, two tents, cooking supplies, a camp stove and various other supplies. The next picture is us. Starting from the left to right Glenn the father age 37, Dusty the son age 18 and Bobby the long time friend of the family age 17. We hope that you enjoy the images. Click on any image to get a larger view.


Hard to believe, but we even saw some snow that hadn't melted yet! We ran into snow in a few places. There wasn't any down by the lake and the weather was actually very nice. It was a bit of a suprize to see snow, even if it was only on the side of the road.


We started out setting up camp in a small opening. There was just enough room for our tents, packs and a small fire. But while out chopping wood we found another spot that was much larger and it had a great view so we packed up and moved. It was a bit of work and we were really tired by that time but the move was well worth it.


The views were breath taking. We had the lake, waterfalls, the mountains and a lot of sky to enjoy from dusk to dawn. When the sun went down the stars put on quite a show like you would never see in or near the city. Once we camped we hiked all over the area to experience all that nature had to offer. The warm sun and cool water made for a fantastic combination.


The waterfall to the right is around 200 feet tall. We couldn't see the entire fall from top to bottom from any one view point. It was a bit scarry looking down over the side of the cliff at the rocks below.


Although there were a great number of animals in the area, getting good pictures proved to be a difficult task. Getting the plants to sit still for pictures was a bit easier although only a few were interesting enough to shoot.


We spent a bit of time by the camp fire each morning and evening. We didn't need the fire to stay warm as much as we just liked to poke at the fire while we ate breakfast and dinner each day. We also did most of our talking by the fire.


From various points around the lake and near by areas, many wonderful vistas were found and photographed. The sound of birds and wind whipping trhough the trees is all that could be heard while we took in these amazing sights. Besides eating, sleeping, hiking and poking at the fire, we took time to do some swimming. The water was a little cold after a few feet below the surface, but the top layer of water was quite wonderful.


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