HWV Leaves the Valley! Part 2 – Chief Miwaleta Campground

This is the second part of a short series where we left the valley and took a trip to the southern(ish) region of Oregon – the entire time was only a few days, but we packed quite a bit into that time.  This time it’s about the Chief Miwaleta Campground. We stayed in two of the three small cabins at the campground – number 3 and number 1 and also took some walks along the paths. The campground was fantastic and really shows how a small county owned campground can be much better than the larger popular campgrounds. We took lots of pictures of the cabins, and also managed to get some great shots of the park nearby and the night sky – who knew an iPhone could take such amazing pictures – must have been the low light environment.

Where is Chief Miwaleta Campground?

The Chief Miwaleta Campground is located in Douglas County and about 10 miles to the east of Interstate 5. It is managed by the Douglas County Parks and Recreation Department.

Cabin 1

The first cabin we arrived at was cabin 1. The directions to get to the cabins were a little bit confusing and we were a little unsure how to proceed to them initially (all of that my fault!!). We arrived at cabin 1 which was further to get to first. Looking at the cabin it is rustic but that’s exactly what we were looking for. The host was extremely pleasant and had notes with our names next to the door and how long we were scheduled to be there. The larger (though more rustic) cabin 1 was only $50 per night – which felt like a very good price.

Cabin 1 has enough room to have everyone in our party stay under the eaves – so we didn’t get damp during the last day of rain. We left some firewood for the next campers. It’s handi-accessible which was a nice feature.
There is plenty of room for at least 6 adults to set up their chairs and avoid the weather.

I didn’t take a picture of it, but the parking area was nice and could easily accommodate larger vehicles and still have room to feel comfortable. We left some wood next to the door to “pay-it-forward” for the next group that stayed in the cabin.

All of the cabins were very sturdily constructed with nice outside lights and wood log construction.

There are a multitude of features on the cabins, both exterior and interior. I didn’t make a note of everything, but from what I noticed, it was the little touches that made the biggest difference, like several outside pegs to put your jackets onto – in the event of poor weather, it’s easy to put your coat next to the door to drip onto the outside of the cabin rather than the interior.

Inside Cabin 1

The first room inside cabin 1 was a smallish room that has a futon-type bed – that folds out flat if needed. There is also a small table, microwave, and heater. To the other side of the door to the next room there is a dining room-type larger table and a couple of wooden chairs.

The next room which was a bit larger had a queen-size bed in it, and a couple of other chairs. There was a nice sturdy shelf to put luggage onto to keep it out of the way, and more wall pegs to hang clothes and garments onto.

Cabin 2

We didn’t stay in cabin 2 but did get a picture of it. It’s a bit closer to the reservoir, but still close (but not too close) to Cabin 1.

Cabin 2 is smaller than Cabin 1, but looked very cozy!

Cabin 3

Cabin 3 was the furthest from the reservoir, but did have some nice added features not in Cabin 1, which was a full kitchen and bathroom/shower. These particular features made Cabin 1 very comfortable – those nightly visits to the restroom were much less painful. Cabin 3, due to the extras, cost a bit more at $75 per night and does not allow pets.

Inside Cabin 3

The front room in Cabin 3 is fairly small, but does contain the bed area, which is a futon, the dining area – which is a small foldable table, and 2 chairs. The room heater is between the kitchen area and the table. The hot water heater is located under the sink, and there is a small fridge under the cook-top area. Toward the back on the right is the door to the restroom.

The Message

One of the nicest things we saw – which was on the table near Cabin 1 was a nice message left by a previous camper.

Super cool note someone left on the table near Cabin 1


I just barely caught the sun going down behind the mountains to the southwest. View from Cabin 3’s outside table.

Short Walk to Playground

We went east from the boat ramp at the campground along a well marked trail. Along the trail is a very nice bathroom building and several tables. Also along the path was a very nicely constructed (maybe new?) pirate ship play structure.

Super nice bathrooms for the tent camping folks.
Quite a few very nice wood picnic tables along the path to the play area.
Sunset along the path to the play structures created some lovely shadows.

The play structure looked new – doesn’t seem to have weathered any winters or have any significant sun damage.

It’s a pirate ship!
Much easier to see the pirate ship in the play structure from this angle.

Night Sky

The night sky was amazing. Not only could significant numbers of stars be seen, but my new fancy phone got some very nigh shots as well – not as steady as I would have preferred, but the intention is there and the stars are still absolutely stunning.

View of the night sky from beneath the trees near cabin 1.
Looking toward the mountains to the south from near Cabin1. Can see the Milky-Way galaxy clouds.
Looking southeast from near the shore of the reservoir. The stars were incredible.


We loved visiting the Miwaleta Campground. It’s not too far south from the Willamette Valley and was a fantastic location. The super nice folks at the Douglas County Parks and Recreation department were kind enough to move our reservation once and had tons of information about the area and the campground. One thing – there is no cell service at the campground, you’ll need to head back toward I-5 to get anything, but for us, it was a great opportunity to reconnect and explore a new area. I definitely give the Chief Miwaleta Campground 5 Hey Willamettes, and definitely recommend this spot. Even if you don’t stay in the cabins and bring an RV, or tent camp, the spots are amazing and we look forward to going back very soon.

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