the dyrt
Malheur National Forest, OREGON
38 Reviews 87 Campgrounds
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Most Recent Malheur National Forest Camping Reviews
Nice campground near Crater Lake

Nice campground on the Upper Rouge River at the base of Crater Lake. Some sites on the outer loop don't look that great but the sites by the river and creek are pretty good. Running water at some sites but not others, so you may have other campers coming to your site to get water if you have a water site. Nice river attractions nearby upriver and downriver. Good variety of site sizes.

Good spot if you're passing through

Between the John Day River and the highway outside of John Day, this campground is beautifully maintained. The lawns are green, the bathrooms spotless. There are full hookup rv/trailer sites, tent sites, and hiker/biker sites. The restrooms include free individual shower rooms. There is some traffic noise but it isn't too bad. This is a first-come campground so no reservations are available. Get there early during the summer months.

Recommended. RV/Boat Focused, but good tent sites.

Strolled in on a Thursday eve and got a tent site w/o issue. Amenities as listed are accurate: flush toilets, drinking water, no showers. Water level in reservoir was very low (early-Sept.) We had no mosquitos - mega bonus.

Simple and quiet

This out-of-the-way campground was small and full of trees. It was very shady, quiet, and clean. There was, unfortunately, cow poop all over the place, luckily, we had a shovel. I believe that is a seasonal issue. There is a nice creek that runs through the campground.

Best place to camp!

Oregon is the best place to camp. Period. Places range from desert to forests to beaches and back again!!! The most breathtaking views throughout the entire state!!

Mosquitos the size of small birds

On our way to Walloa lake we stopped at Clyde Holliday for the night as we have plans to visit the Kam Wa Chung museum in John Day, nice spot and very well watered allowing for mosquitos the size of small birds…come prepared with a screen room and repellent if visiting in early summer!

Nice, quiet and secluded

This was a great little campground for getting away from the Memorial Day crowds. Over the weekend we stayed, there were only 2 or 3 other campers as well.

Just south of Prairie City, this was a good location to explore the surrounding Strawberry Mountain wilderness and John Day Fossil Beds. As the road turns to a forest road, it’s gets a bit adventurous, but we just kicked it into 4 wheel drive and had no trouble getting there. We picked a site next to the creek in the back and it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. We even got a visit from a few deer every night around dinner time. They kept their distance but still came within 20 feet to check us out.

From the campground, you can take the trails to the lake, which was a fun hike. The vault toilets were clean and the Ranger came around every day to check in. The only thing I would change is the temperature. We didn’t realize it was still so chilly at the end of May and we’re thankful for our extra layers and warmer sleeping bags we packed just in case.

Tips for camping here:

*I had my 9 year old nephew with me for this trip and was thankful I brought our bikes and games. Since the campground wasn’t busy, there weren’t other kiddos for him to play with so we needed some fun stuff to do between hikes and outings.

*There’s a steep drop off next to some sites that goes right into the creek. Keep an eye on kiddos or pick a site farther away from the creek if you’re worried about that.

*The campground was a bit dusty so bring stuff to wash up when needed.

*Lots of wildlife in the area so make sure to keep your food and other items locked up so the critters don’t get into it.

*Bring your own firewood, as there isn’t a camp host to buy it from.

A gem in the middle of the forest

We stumbled on this campground with no reservations and it turned into one of our favorites. Large spots with hardly anyone around. Beautiful trees everywhere. No hookups but water available and bathrooms. Fires pits and picnic tables. We were able to have the dogs off leash cause there was nobody around. I think it was $10 bucks. Worth every penny!!!

Beautiful sites along the river

This is a beautiful, clean campground. Tons of undergrowth which makes for very private spots. Spots along Union Creek are great, spots on the river are great, even the spots in the open aren’t bad amongst the towering trees. No showers or sinks, be ready for that.


Dog friendly. Water is refreshing. Perfect weather. Super relaxing. Worth the long drive to get there .

Camping at the lake

Reservations can be made for this Primitive campground in the Malheur National Forest.

Nice quiet location right on Magone Lake.

This can be tricky when towing a larger trailer as its one lane gravel and very wooded.

Close to John Day National Monuments.

Hidden State Park

This is a Primitive Campground. No RV Hook Ups. Reservations Cannot be made.

Sites are spacious and pads are gravel. Perfect campground to spend the night in after taking in John Day and heading for Baker City, OR.

There is no playground, but a nice picnic area is available.

Only State Park Near John Day

This is the Only State Park Near John Day!

You CANNOT make reservations for the campsites in this park. Only the Teepees are reservable. However the park hosts here are amazing and allow boondocking in the large park overflow area when no sites are available.

The sites are spacious with hook ups available. There is a restroom and shower located in the center of this small campground. There is no playground, but there is a large day use area adjacent that my kiddos loved to run around in. The John Day River runs along the south side of the campground and there is a nice walking trail.

Be advised the closest store is 8-10miles in the city of John Day. Prices are high and selection is limited, so do come prepared if staying a few days!

If the 3 John Day National Monuments are on your list, I highly recommend this campground for its location, friendly park hosts, and small campground feel!

First to Review
Small but friendly

Our truck broke down just outside of Burns and we ended up having our travel trailer towed to this RV park, as it was the only place we could stay for the week while waiting to get our truck repaired. We had a full hookup spot, which was super nice, but the spot itself was pretty small. This is typical of many RV parks I have been too - good amenities but small spot.

There were some other spots in the park that were slightly larger and had picnic tables, but ours did not. We had only a tiny plastic table with 2 chairs, but we were so close to the RV next to us that we were basically either looking in their window or we would have to be right next to the "road'. Not ideal so we didn't spend much time outside.

There was room here for all sizes of campers - from tents (I saw I guy on a bicycle who tent camped for the night) to giant motorhomes with cars towed behind. The park hosts were all extremely nice and helpful, given our circumstances. They also gave us a military discount since my husband is a veteran.

Restrooms and showers were fairly small (only 2 toilets and 2 showers in each bathroom) but I think most folks used the facilities in their RVs. The shop/office sells propane and ice, so we were able to restock on both (plus they have wine and ice cream if you need a little splurge).

The park is right off of the highway so you may get some truck/traffic noise but it didn't seem to bother us city folks too much. :)

Wifi was fairly decent and you can get some local channels in the TV, if those things are important to you.

Dog and kid friendly, but there is really not much for either to do here.

Overall, this suited our purpose, in that we had a nice safe place to stay while our truck was repaired, but I'm not sure I would stay here just for kicks. Close to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge and a great stopover if you need a night to rest while driving through the high desert of Oregon.

clean, close to road

great location. sites 1-6 are pretty close to the main road, but tidy little sites, a pit toilet. no running water.

but the region is besutiful, thr campground is easy to find, close to the Strawberries.

beautiful, clean

little pond with camp sites surrounding. no portable water but next to the John day river, and clear to filter. bathrooms were really clean, sites were tidy. really nice spot

First to Review
RV Park primarily

a couple tent spots. sub-par for tents, not scenic. but clean, bathrooms, fresh water. rv hook ups, some nice shade and a play area for kids. in the town of prairie city, with good coffee

Love the cabins

This is a great place to come to getaway from the fast pace life. They have really cool cabins here at Hilltop Hideaway that are great! The cabins, however, are not very big. The max occupancy is 4 people. We had 4 people and I would say it did feel crowded but we managed. They only have 1 room, but there are bunk beds. There is a kitchen with fridge which is also nice. There is also an oven and microwave which made making food easy! The living room is cute, very "cabin" like feel. There was a couch and some chairs. We also brought a few folding chairs, which helped with more seating. The cabin also is equipped with a bathroom, running water, and shower. This piece was nice after a long day of exploring and getting dirty! Just FYI- and it does say this on their site- but there is no running water the months of October-May. We didn't have any issues with this because we went in June. Outside the cabin they do have a picnic table and grill, for those who want to do more outside cooking and activities. We BBQ one night, and it was a lot of fun! Another great thing about these cabins are dogs are welcomed. We brought our lab, and he had a blast! We enjoyed outdoor activities nearby- hiking, mainly. This place was great, however my only complaint would be the size of cabin (4 max), but it is obviously more room than a tent :)

Beautiful spot to relax

The national forest is very nice, large trees and the sound of moving water. Good walking paths.


Specious spots, beautiful in the fall. Awesome little waterfall.

Murderer's Creek is Full of Surprises

The Cabin

Besides the pullout couch leaving a lot to be desired, this little guard station was wonderful. Perfect for two, this cabin comes with propane heat and powered appliances, so no need to sacrifice meal quality or comfort. We were here for Thanksgiving and it was great to be able to explore the Malheur National Forest during the crisp days, and come back to a warm cabin late in the afternoon. In the spring, I imagine you can fish the creek behind the cabin.

The Wildlife

If you hike a little off trail, there's plenty of wildlife to be seen. We ended up hiking to Horse Mountain (about 3.5 miles from the cabin), and saw wild horses early in the morning. We also saw mule deer and turkeys. Maybe it is because it was November, but there were very few people out exploring the area.

The Terrain

The forest was super easy to move through, and if you're driving from western Oregon, the terrain is quite an amazingly unique site given its golden hills and red rocks. All in all, I highly recommend staying here for a nature filled getaway.

Great State Park Near Painted Hills

In general, Oregon State Parks are great. This is another nice one with plenty of tent and RV sites available. Bathrooms and showers on-site. The park sits nestled in a picturesque treed area, near the Painted Hills. Great location if you are wanting to get to the Painted Hills area of central Oregon.

This Oregon State Park is one of the best

This is my second time staying at Clyde Holliday and wound up in the same site I stayed in last year. The sites are huge and well spaced. Lots of trees and a nice trail system along the river. Close to John Day and the Sheep Rock Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds.

A Diamond in the Middle of Nowhere

I had originally intended on staying at Ukiah-Dale State Park, but at 4:30 p.m. in October found it prematurely closed (wasn't updated on ORPD's website). This meant another hour on the road hoping the next town, Long Creek, would have an acceptable place to land before dark. I was surprised to find that it did indeed. Hitching Post RV Park, is very simple, very basic, very clean and very friendly. It was perfect for what I needed. Full hookups, easy parking, nice view of a local ranch in the back, deer everywhere!! It was also super quiet all night.

Nice spots near painted hills

Grabbed one of the last spots at 6pm. Decent camp sites. Not a ton of privacy, but nice trees and grassy areas. Flush toilets and warm showers. There's a small creek that runs by the camp where you can wade and kids try to catch crayfish. Overall totally pleasant.

Easy hikes

Lots of really good hikes, waterfalls, but cold water if you want to swim.

Great Campground!

Our one-night stay at Union Creek Campground was very pleasant! The sites were perfectly spaced out, the restrooms were clean, and the scenery was beautiful!

Kinda creepy...

It had been about 25 years since I stayed at Yellow Pine Campground. Unfortunately, my memories did not match today's reality. Yellow Pine is a large campground that sits close to Highway 26. Today it looks like it is not often used. There was a lot of undergrowth that would have made setting up a tent difficult. As I drove through the empty campground, I came upon the campground host's site. Their "stuff" was spread out over a few campsites. I must confess, their presence did not instill confidence in me. In fact, it seemed kinda creepy. Sooo…even though the sun had begun to set. I made a speedy exit in search of a pleasant and safe campground.

Rough road for a Mazda 3...

I was lured to Strawberry Campground by it's accessibility to the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness. I'd been planning my trip for months! But, the drive to Strawberry Campground proved a bit difficult. It started with approximately 6 miles of gravel road…no problem. Then the road became a forest road…no problem. Then it began raining. It looked as though the area had experienced rain recently. The road was slick. The ruts and holes in the road began to increase. When I was about 2 miles away from Strawberry Campground, I turned around. I just didn't trust my Mazda 3 to make it without bottoming out or getting a flat tire. If I had been with someone, I might have tried to make it; but, as a solo camper, it didn't seem worth the risk.

Would I go again? Yes…but, only in a high clearance vehicle.