Massive upgrade at The Cove Palisades campground nearly done
When you camp at Crooked River campground this summer, you will see three new restrooms/shower buildings, a new RV dump station, and a larger amphitheater. But much of the major work is hidden from sight. Renovations also include new water and sewer systems and upgraded electrical sites.
“Even though much of the work is literally underground, the upgrades make a huge difference in the quality of the camping experience here,” says Park Manager Dave Slaght. “Water, power and sewer systems may not sound exciting, but believe me, they are the nuts and bolts of a campground.”
Major solar upgrades powers a new trash compactor and the new restroom/shower buildings. Funded by Portland General Electric, the solar additions could save as much as $1,500 per month in restroom heating and lighting costs.
The new electric service upgrades all campsites to 50/30/20 amperage, meaning that RVs large and small can make easy use of every site. Forty-two sites also were reconfigured for traffic flow, and four sites upgraded for ADA accessibility. The improvements are funded largely by Oregon Lottery dollars dedicated to state parks by voters.
Deschutes Campground, home to about 2/3 of the available camping spots at the park, opens May 1 this year, several weeks earlier than usual. Crooked River, the second campground at the park, will open after renovations there are finished.
“We’re opening up for camping in waves this year,” says Park Manager Dave Slaght. “Deschutes is opening early, partly to offset the construction work finishing up at the Crooked River campground. We want everyone to get a chance to come to The Cove.”
Slaght noted that the Cove Palisades Resort and Marina, operated by a concessionaire, is offering special discounts on houseboat rentals until mid-June for campers who may not want to wait until the renovated campground reopens. Those special deals can be found at www.covepalisadesresort.com/, or by calling 877-546-7171.
The Crooked River campground is in the midst of major renovations funded by Oregon Lottery dollars dedicated to parks by voters, including new water and sewer systems, upgraded electrical sites, new restrooms, amphitheater and other improvements. That 91-site campground will open partially mid-June.
Campground closes for winter, but three cabins remain open
When you arrive at the The Crooked River campground next summer, look for improved electric service, four sites accessible for people with disabilities and three new accessible restroom/shower buildings. The campground closes Sept. 30, 2011, to prepare for the winter work. The campground should reopen in early summer 2012, but check here or the park advisory web page for news.
You can still stay in the three deluxe cabins, located about one mile from the main campground. The Crooked River Day Use boat ramp and the Upper Deschutes Day Use boat ramp also remain open. The seasonal Deschutes campground is closed until May 1, 2012.
The Crooked River campground is nearly 40 years old and the original water and sewer systems are in danger of failing. The improvements include:
- Upgrading water service and increasing electric service to 50/30/20 amp in all campsites.
- Modifying four sites to be accessible for campers with disabilities.
- Adding three new energy-efficient accessible restroom/shower buildings, including new sewer lines, drain fields and septic tanks.
- Modifying 42 campsites to make it easier for campers with over-sized vehicles to use.
- Building a new, two-lane waste water RV dump station in a new site.
- Building a new amphitheater to replace the existing one, in a location away from the overflow parking lot and RV dump station.
The project’s final budget is not yet set, but Oregon Parks and Recreation Department lottery fund dollars will fund the improvements.
The Cove Palisades State Park sits along Lake Billy Chinook near Madras in central Oregon. Tumalo State Park, 45 miles south, and Prineville Reservoir, 55 miles southeast, are the closest state parks that offer year-round camping. Private camping is available at the Central Oregon KOA east of Culver and the Mountain View RV Park in Metolius.
The Cove Palisades State Park (park info, driving directions & map)