The United States of America is a country sprawling with greenery, lush mountains, pristine waters, and montane forests. You’ll never run out of places to camp! … except in New York City.
One such state that is rich in recreational areas would be Oregon. The first instinct of campers and nature lovers like us is to escape the city whenever we have a chance. Do you want to be transported to a magnificent nature paradise? Go to Oregon.
There are many campsites along the Rogue River in Oregon but if you’re looking for an excellent and uncrowded one, you should go to the Natural Bridge Campground in Oregon.
Oregon is a far from New York. If you look at the map, you’ll find them at opposite ends. It’s a very diverse state because of the various nationalities and tribes that inhabited the land years ago.
Oregon was ranked as one of the most populated states in the US in the past decade, but its breath-taking landscapes are still as beautiful and untouched as when I first set foot in it when I was just a little girl.
My dad’s brother lived in Oregon so we would visit him every few years or so. If you’re reading my blog for quite a while now, you know very well that my dad is a hunter and an outdoor enthusiast. His love for the great outdoors was sparked by the natural landscapes he wakes up to every single day in Oregon when he was younger.
My dad would always take us on a road trip to off-the-beaten paths and less known places in Oregon whenever we stay there. One of the places that I distinctly remember from the hundreds of road trips with my dad was the Natural Bridge Campground.
Before I introduce you to this amazing campground, let me first guide you on your way there.
Going To The Natural Bridge Campground
Since the Natural Bridge Campground is located in Oregon and I live in New York City, I had to find the easiest mode of transportation available. The distance between the two is a hefty 2,364 miles.
Yes, it’s that far. The fastest way you can travel to Oregon is by air. It’s a time saver too. Book a flight to Rogue Valley Medford with a travel time of more or less 8-9 hours, including two to three stopovers.
From there, Natural Bridge Campground would just an hour away. The only way I know to reach the campground from the airport is by car. Just head northwest on Rogue Valley highway 99 toward Charlotte Ann Rd. and turn right into Garfield St. Traverse the left lane to merge onto I-5 North then take exit 30 for OR Route 62 until you reach the city of Prospect.
Upon reaching Prospect, at intersection of Mill Creek Dr. and 1st.St., take Mill Creek Dr. north to a “T” intersection.Turn right onto State Rt. 62 and go 9 miles to campground sign. Lastly, turn left at sign and go 0.3 miles to campground on the right.
The Natural Bridge Campground
The Natural Bridge Campground is located in the High Cascades Ranger District near the scenic Rogue River.
Long before it became a campground, the place was filled with lava and water which combined to carve out gigantic rocks, caves, and a river flowing in between, transforming the entire place into a stunning landscape.
The campground is very spacious! “Spacious” is even an understatement when you see the whole campground. It offers a total of 17 campsites with parking spaces big enough to accommodate RVs.
You can also rest easy knowing that you don’t have to prepare and bring a lot of survival necessities because this campground has it all – fire pits, cooking stoves made of rock, picnic tables, and vault toilets.
There are open and wooded sites in the area where you can choose to set up camp.
You just need to bring the following: active wear, swimwear, dry towels, recreational tools (fishing poles, bikes, etc), food and trash bags.
An important reminder: The campground doesn’t have trash bins so you should bring your own trash bags and clean up everything before leaving.
Things To Do in the Natural Bridge Campground
1. Fishing, Swimming and Kayaking
Since the campground is situated along the upper Rogue River, you can enjoy some chill water activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, and kayaking.
For a quick view of the Rogue River, check the video below.
The river surrounds the entire campground. Along the grounds, the river is serene and very still. On this side of the river, there’s an abundance of rainbow trouts that you can fish freely.
Just bring your own fishing pole and rent a boat and you’re good to go. When we went here the last time, there were grown men dotted along the river bank teaching their sons how to fish.
Looking for some romance? Ask your wife to go canoeing with you in this peaceful river amid the sunset for a romantic date (just like Noah and Allie in The Notebook).
If you’re looking for an extreme activity, try river rafting in the violently cold waters of the Upper Rogue River Trail. The Natural Bridge river flows through a lava tube behind rock walls across the channels. When the water is low, the entire river flows through the tube, creating “potholes”.
Moreover, water sprays up from the small flow holes of the Natural Bridge, showing a hint of the turbulent nature of the river. Isn’t it amazing to realize that this violent water rushes and disappears every minute of the day for the past thousands of years? Like, it’s what it basically does every day.
Have you ever wondered where that particular drop of water goes after it passes through the river? It’s mind boggling!
Going back, water rafting is a perfect activity to do in the Natural Bridge River. Dress appropriately and be prepared to get wet! The staff offers rafting boats, life jackets, and paddles for rent.
Check out the exciting video of tourists braving the rough waters of the Natural Bridge River below.
2. Hike, Climb, and Bike
Hiking and climbing are two wonderful activities you can do at the campground. On both sides of the Natural Bridge River were trail-less mountains which are perfect for hiking and climbing.
Throw your hiking boots on and sweat a little. The hike loop was just beside the river and as you go along, you’ll be thrilled to see the spectacular Oregon coast where the river flows. The loop wasn’t very challenging which makes it perfect for beginners.
There are also some areas where you have to turn back because of the fences. Though the loop was not that far from the river, the place is notoriously quiet. If you want to meditate and have a peace of mind, you should hike here.
I felt so light just staring blankly at the pine trees and admiring the soft rushing sound of the river. It’s definitely therapeutic for anyone.
Here’s a video of hikers enjoying the trail. I bet you’ll plan to go here as soon as possible after watching the clip.
The vast campground is suitable for biking. If you have your kids with you, do not forget to bring their bikes as it will be the first thing they’ll beg to do when they see the campsite.
My son said he was hungry when we were on our way to the area but the first thing he did when we arrived at the campground is to speed off with his little bike. I envy kids because they just do whatever they want to!
3. Camp And/Or Retreat
The campground offers group tents and single tents for campers as well as picnic tables and fire rings.
When darkness begins to engulf the sky, gather your family and friends and sit yourselves on the camping ground.
Grill some burgers in the fire ring and drink some beer while singing familiar songs along with the guitar and chatting the night away. If you’re a group of college friends, playing drinking card games will surely liven up the night.
The park can also be a venue for yoga retreats, kids retreat, youth camps, and all kinds of retreat whether day-trip or overnight. I accompanied my niece on a youth camp here once and I must say that the kids really enjoyed this place.
In my honest opinion, you really don’t need to do anything to enjoy the place. Just the mere fact that you are standing on a beautiful piece of nature is pure joy. All you have to do is breathe in the view and the surroundings, and inevitably, you’ll be overwhelmed with happiness.
Of course, since you’re at it already, try to do some outdoor activities that the campground offers because it’s not every day that you get to see and feel nature’s wonders.
Hey reader! Have you been to the Natural Bridge Campground? What can you say about it? Have you tried hiking along the Rogue River? Isn’t it therapeutic? Share your thoughts below!
The Natural Bridge Campground has few references on the internet and I really think it deserves more reviews because it’s an undeniably great place. Can you share this article to show some love for the campground?