Frequently Asked Questions
Please do not follow your GPS. However Google Maps is correct. Although we have reported this error several times, some GPS may send you off on a wild goose chase. Directions are pretty easy –
*From I-5 (Medford to the south and Salem from the North) Take Exit 195 (from North,) or 195 B from the South) aka Randy Pape Beltline or OR 569 W to the WEST. This circuits around Eugene and Ts into Hwy 126.
*Turn Right onto Hwy 126. Go about 9 miles to Veneta. Continue on to the tiny town of Walton about 30 miles from where you joined Hwy 126. Just past the Walton Store and Post Office (that is the town) there is a flashing yellow light, slow to 50, and sign for Nelson Mountain Road.
*Turn Right (the only way you can) and go about 4 1/2 miles to our mail box and a large bear crossing sign on the left with a Big Bear Camp Retreat Center sign on top. That is the beginning of our driveway. Go left and about 1 mile to Big Bear Camp.
Basically it is 2 turns from Eugene - Stay on Hwy 126 west, turn R onto Nelson Mountain. Rd. and L onto our driveway.
2. What is there to do at Big Bear Camp?
Groups will have their own specific goals. In addition, guests can relax around the campfire, lodge, or gardens; cook together, play games, read, play horseshoes, hike from a variety of options at the camp, or watch and listen to the wildlife. Some groups like to take side trips to visit local wineries, explore Florence and beaches, or go mountain biking. We are happy to give recommendations. Most folks cherish the relaxed time staying at the camp.
3. What is the maximum and minimum number of campers that Big Bear Camp can accommodate?
We are permitted to have a maximum of 30 overnight campers.. Minimum is 1!
4. What do we need to bring to stay at Big Bear Camp?
You will need to bring your own bedding and towels. There are 30 cots and 20 3″ sleeping pads available for your use. The little yurt has two beds. The large yurt is for multi-purpose and has a pull out bed and can hold about 17 cots if desired, or can be used for meetings. The Mama Bear sized yurt has 8 wooden cots with firm 3” pads.
You will bring your own food and ice to keep it cool. We provide one large propane refrigerator and 4 large coolers. We provide all your dishes, silverware, and cooking equipment. We also provide common seasonings.
We provide propane for cooking and also firewood for the one group campfire circle.
Because we are off the grid, we have solar powered lighting only in the bathrooms and lodge. Please bring flashlights.
5. Is the campground ADA approved?
Yes. The lodge, bathrooms, and showers, are ADA accessible. There is an ADA van accessible parking space. The large 30 foot yurt is wheelchair accessible as well.
6. What are Big Bear Camp’s cooking facilities?
The camp has a large outdoor kitchen with commercial stove top, grill, griddle, and oven. There is a 3 compartment sink and large stainless steel prep table and cutting boards. In the lodge is a small cooking facility with an oven and range, prep tables, commercial sink and prep sink. Most people enjoy cooking outdoors when weather permits.
There is large pantry to store food items as well as 4 large coolers and 1 large propane refrigerator. The camp provides dishes and silverware for 30 plus folks. We supply all your cooking pots, pans, utensils, and dish towels, as well as common seasonings.
7. Do we need to bring our own water?
No. Big Bear Camp has an approved public water system which is tested for quality quarterly. Our water is very good.
8. Is Big Bear Camp dog friendly?
While we love animals, due to some previous problems, we normally have a no-pet policy, except under special circumstances. Please contact us for more information.
9. Can we build campfires?
Yes. You can build a campfire in the group campfire circle. We are not permitted to have additional campfires in any tent site or any other area. We provide your firewood. Sometimes, due to Extreme Fire Danger level, we are unable to have any campfires.
10. What is your smoking policy?
Folks can smoke in the outdoor group camp circle.
11. I see you have 3 yurts. What other sleeping accommodations are there?
There are 7 tent campsites. Some may also be used with pop-up tents or trailers. No hook-ups are available. We are very flexible to a few folks using cots inside the lodge for age or other reasons. Please bring your own tents. There are also two small trailer cabins that can each fit 3 people.
12. Do cell phones work at Big Bear Camp?
Cell phone reception is very poor. We recommend turning off your phones to save their batteries. Your camp hosts will have access to reception should you need it.
13. Do you have internet access?
No. We are an “IFZ” (internet free zone) and proud of it! Big Bear Camp is off the grid and has no electricity or internet access. We do have a small solar system which powers the lights and fans in the bathrooms and lodge. We love being “off the grid” and we hope you will enjoy your few days without it as well. Many guests comment on this being one of their highlights of their stay at Big Bear Camp.
14. Tell me more about the insurance that I need to get.
We strive to keep our prices low. To do this, you must provide your own liability insurance for your event. Most people use their own homeowners insurance with an added special event binder. Some organizations already have special events or field trip binders as part of their business insurance. Another source is: http://theeventhelper.com/. If you are still wondering what to do, call and ask for help.
15. What about one day stays with no overnight?
Big Bear Camp is a great place to do staff development, team building, or board meetings. We have comfortable and beautiful accommodations with few distractions. We offer a 30 foot yurt with an open floor plan, or you could choose the lodge multi-purpose room in the comfort of the warm fire.
You can cook your own lunch, purchase a business box lunch from the nearby Walton Half Way Cafe, or bring your own caterer.
We provide your tables, chairs, tea, and coffee as well as a beautiful natural setting.
16. Okay! You’ve got me interested. What’s the next step?
Call and we will call you back to answer questions and confirm date availability. (Check calendar page to see availability.) You can download your application from the RATES page. We’ll put you on the calendar tentatively. When we receive your application and deposit ($100/day), we’ll let you know by phone and lock in your date.
You’ll need to send us your insurance binder at least 4 weeks prior to your stay. If you don’t, then your reservation will be canceled. Sorry, but experience tells us, it’s best to plan ahead. Many people are waiting for a spot, so locking in your date with a deposit is important. Your remaining fee is due upon arrival. Your cleaning deposit will be returned if everything is shipshape at the end of your stay.
If you cancel your reservation, your deposit is nonrefundable.