Car Camping Along Quartzville Creek

Sunrise over Quartzville Creek

Normally I use car camping as either a cheap place to stay on the way to somewhere or as a base camp for hiking out of. I had never planned a single location, multi-day trip so it was a new experience for me. But I had two good friends who were leaving town, one back to Idaho and one back to Afghanistan, so car camping was the best option. I was torn between the Blue River area and Quartzville Creek, but having recently made a few trips to the Middle Santiam Wilderness, Quartzville Creek won.

Quartzville Creek downstream from the logjam
I was absolutely blown away by the amount of car camps along Quartzville for Memorial Day Weekend. It seemed to be 28 miles of unbroken car camps. There was even some kind of mining gathering at the site we camped at. After talking to a miner who was at the event they had over 50 vehicles in the area. Thankfully our weekend wasn't this busy, but I would still suggest arriving Thursday to grab a good site.

Just part of the massive logjam that spanned Quartzville Creek

Our campsite was situated only about 15 yards from the Quartzville Back Country Byway, which wasn't too much of an issue because our campsite was nearly 28 miles from Highway 20. There was a metal fire ring and during the Summer a portable toilet. We quickly realized the toilet was used by campers from other close by sites. The only issue with the campsite was that a trail leading to the logjam was near it. This lead to a fairly awkward and irritating situation with a family. Please teach your children to respect other people and do not enter their camp without permission.

The campsite from a rock berm

Our last night there we had the interesting experience of dealing with a swarm of flying ants. At first we noticed one or two, then they were absolutely everywhere. It started in the afternoon and by night fall they were all trying to find something to dig into or hide under.It seemed there were hundreds under every piece of firewood we had collected. Only one person was bitten by one when he accidentally partially smashed it. I'm not sure how often this happens, but it was definitely something worth seeing once.

Cider on the left, Porter on the right

To find this campsite, follow paved Quartzville Road for 28 miles from Highway 20, it will be on your left. It's almost directly across from Forest Road 1142. This site is perfect for a large gathering, or an easy camp spot if you're exploring the Quartzville Back Country Byway. It was a fairly high traffic area so if you're expecting any degree of solitude find a different place.

Good very cold swimming hole just up stream of the logjam

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