If you find yourself in central Oregon and want a beautiful destination with free dispersed camping and plenty of public lands to explore, consider a stopover near the small town of Sisters, Oregon. Located on the eastern edge of the Deschutes National Forest, Sisters is home to excellent coffee and baked goods. It also offers excellent four-wheel-drive roads leading to incredible views of craggy volcanic peaks smeared with icy glaciers.
Where to Camp
We had no trouble finding level campsites with excellent cell coverage in the vicinity of Peterson Ridge Road which branches off of the McKenzie-Bend Highway just South of the town of Sisters. While there are no services offered in these dispersed campsites, they are very close to both Sisters and Bend in case you need to resupply during your stay.
Places to Explore
From Peterson Ridge Road we enjoyed a short four-mile round-trip hike to the Peterson Ridge Overlook which yielded incredible sunset views of the South, Middle, and North Sisters which dominate the nearby skyline. Here is a great trail map of the local Sisters area.
For those of you who want easier access to incredible views, the Three Creek Road climbs high into the national forest, passing through groves of large pine trees and old burn scars before finally coming to an end at Three Creek Lake. There are multiple trailheads along this route which provide access to other hikes in the area as well as paid Forest Service campgrounds. The lake at the end of the road has beautiful views as well as fishing and hiking opportunities.