Quartzville Wild and Scenic River is an easy drive northeast of Sweet Home Oregon off i5 near Albany. This is another one of those must visit annually places for us. The BLM has set aside an ~eleven mile area that runs along the Santiam River for gold prospecting and dispersed camping. Anywhere you see a fire ring is a designated camp and you are good for up to 14 days of free camping. It is a pack-in/pack-out area and you should be mindful of keeping and leaving the area clean. Though we have never had any run-ins with wildlife except for field mice and a squirrel or two, there are black bears and cougars know to visit during the off season. I found this out from a camper that had remained beyond the designated season and was visited by a hungry black bear.
Of all the spots on the river, “Miner’s Meadow” is my favorite. There is a large rock formation that is an easy climb that has a great view of the river below. Here is a panorama from that spot:
Below is just one of many examples I could show of the campsites along the river. While most are just off the forestry road, there are some, like this example that you are tucked away in the trees with both shade and easy river access.
For any who have a desire to do a bit of gold panning it won’t take long down at the river before finding a few sparklies in your pan. On occasion you may hear dredges running during daylight hours down at the river, though this has never been an irritant for us.
No mater what the angle, there are great views!
carried away from the hammock.