When touring the Sumpter Valley in Oregon, the Southwest Shore Campground is a cozy lakeside camping spot that is worth keeping in mind. In fact, there are three separate campgrounds to choose from around Phillips Lake, which includes the fully developed Union Creek Campground and Social Security Point, which is a free dispersed camping area with basic facilities. The Southwest Shore Campground is nestled in the high ground pine woods overlooking the lake, so this campground offers the best views. Better still, Southwest Shore is located next to the Sumpter Valley Wildlife Management Area, so all that a camper needs to do is set out on foot to do some serious birding early in the morning!
The Southwest Shore Campground offers car & tent sites and there are a few pads that are large enough to accommodate RV campers or trailers. The tall pines provide plenty of shade, while a cool breeze blowing through the trees is like music to the ears. This is a great spot for a siesta after a busy morning of wildlife viewing and the location is perfect for touring the historic sites in the Sumpter Valley.
The neighboring Wildlife Management Area is actually an old gold dredging environmental disaster area that has been reclaimed and the seemingly endless rows of dredging canals have been turned into migratory duck ponds. Walking paths can be found on the old dredging mounds and there is a vast meadow next to the lake where deer graze early in the day. Osprey nesting poles are also located in this area, which provide hours upon hours of interesting birding entertainment. The Southwest Shore Campground certainly is like a dream come true for wildlife viewers, so be sure to pack a fast camera and a powerful lens for the venture!
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