Fly-fishing the pool & river at Jackson F. Kimball (2010)
Nestled in a pine forest 15 miles southeast of Crater Lake National Park’s south entrance, Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site offers a small, but exceptional camping escape. And for anglers, particularly ones with canoes, the river is a fly-fishing delight. Catch and release regulations are in effect, with a limit of one trout allowed per angler, per day.
When the park was developed in the 1950s, it was located by The Dalles-California Highway. That highway, now U.S. 97, was eventually re-routed, leaving the park “off the beaten track.” Since then, its 10 tent campsites have remained essentially untouched. “If you want to see what an original state park campground looked like, this one is in pristine condition,” says Park Manager Jim Beauchemin.
Equally significant, Jackson Kimball campsites are next to a clear, reflective pool filled by the nearby headwaters of a river. A short trail leads from the campground to the place where the Wood River emerges from a hillside spring. The river eventually flows through a grassy meadow beneath stands of quaking aspen. This secluded setting is a find for photographers, especially in the fall when the leaves turn a brilliant yellow.
You can experience this park’s out-of-the-way appeal by using alternative transportation. A 10-mile trail for horseback riding and hiking connects it with Collier Memorial State Park, which is on the new U.S. 97 north of Chiloquin. Helpful trail maps are available at the Collier Memorial park office. A primitive horse camp with corrals is at a trailhead behind the park’s logging museum.
If you go:
Seasonal, first-come, first-served camping. Rate (subject to change) $10 per night (May 1-Sept. 30.)
Bring drinking water, camera and fly rod.
For more information about the park and directions, visit the links below.
Crater Lake National Park (National Park Service)