The Ochoco Divide Group Site is a convenient place to camp while traveling across scenic State Highway 26 by bicycle or car. Resting at the top of the Ochoco Divide at an elevation of 4,700 ft., the group site is set on a hill away from the road as an extension of the general campground. Summertime in the Ochoco National Forest brings pleasant temperatures; the campground is closed during winter.
The group site of the Ochoco Divide Campground is mainly used by touring cyclists. It is also a good place to take a relaxing stroll through the woods. There are opportunities for hunting, mountain biking and hiking in the national forest surrounding the facility. Several trailheads begin at the Bandit Springs rest stop about one mile from the campground on Highway 26.
The group site is part of the main Ochoco Divide Campground. There is no drinking water at the group or main campground. Visitors are advised to bring their own, though bottled water is available through the camp host if necessary. The group site can comfortably fit up to 12 people; no more than 35 are allowed. Parking is limited. Campers must park at the base of a small hill and walk up to the site. There is a day use area at the group site as well.
The scenery surrounding the campground alternates between thick Ponderosa pine forests and grassy meadows, though shortly beyond the campground the road descends into lower-elevation, arid canyon lands.
One of the most unique geologic features of the Ochoco National Forest is the 'thunder egg,' Oregon's official state rock. Thunder eggs are small, colorful, round volcanic rocks similar to geodes that have been exposed over time. The U.S. Forest Service has designated specific sites for rock hounding.
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is less than an hour away. Hike amongst the Painted Hills and famed fossils, take a journey through time at the museum at Sheep Rock or picnic beneath the beautiful mountain scenery.
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
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We arrived mid-Saturday Labor Day weekend and less than half the sites had been claimed. It was perfectly positioned between our weekend activities: Painted Hills and Lucky Strike Mine. By late Saturday most (if not all) sites we're claimed.
The sites are large and well looked after. Bathroom was surprisingly clean and not smelly. Camp host even provided a large tank of water (but I wouldn't count on that).
Pro Tip: drive 20min East to Mitchell, Or and get a pint at Tiger Town Brewing. Great people, food and beer! We packed camp dinners for both nights, but ended up at Tiger Town every night because the atmosphere was so good.
Camp ground is high up over 4700 feet so even in the summer it tends to get a little chilly at night but not bad.
This is a medium busy campground right on the maon road, but its never too noisy after dark.
The place is very clean and the vault toilets well looked after and not stinky!
The spaces are a good size and the ones for tent camping are at the back of the loop.
Not much trails but you can find something to do.
One of my best nights camping was ip here. During the week late summer, Huge full moon, then the coyotes began to yip/howl..magnificent
Date Stayed: July 9th& 10th 2019 Campsite:#8 needed 3 inch left side lift to level Price:$13 no electricity Dump Station: No Altitude: 4730 ft Camp Host: Caroline was attentive and very friendly. She collected and handed out free firewood that had been left behind by other campers. Or you could buy forest service wood for$6. Ease of Access: Right off hwy 26, our 28 ft travel trailer easily fit with room to spare. Easily circled campground once to find a space. Weather: Days sunny low 80's nights upper 50's Noise: Could hear occasional vehicle climbing hwy 26 grade from the rest stop. Activities: Geocaching cache three within a couple of miles. John Day Fossil Monument 30 minute drive away. Wife and I enjoyed the campground, sites were surrounded by pines.
We came upon this gem on the pass late afternoon after a long drive. This campground has 25 sites including 5 level pull throughs with more than adequate length for our long truck and trailer. July 11 and no mosquitoes, lovely flowers, perfect temperature for sleeping.
Pit toilets and no water, but the price reflects the level of service. Nice campground host. Lots of area between campsites. Fire pits, picnic tables. Paved campground road, graded gravel sites.
The best part is the Ponderosa Pine forest that surrounds the campground. Trees up to 150’ .
One group site available by reservation , the rest are first come first serve.
May the Forest be With You.
This campground is fairly open and you can see into quite a few other campsites. But other than that I don't have any complaints. It has plastic port-a-johns and one of those plastic sink things; a setup you'd be more likely to find at an outdoor concert than a campsite but it all worked. Nothing that really stands out too much about this campsite itself. If you're staying here it's for it's location. It's right on the edge of Ochoco national Forest and is about thirty minutes from the Painted Hills. I stayed in September 2017 when half of Oregon was on fire, so fires were not allowed at the time. It can get quit cold at night, around freezing when I was there despite being in the 70's during the day, so be prepared for that.
This was dry camping at its best. Huge sites, lots of privacy, a great stay!!!! You're staying at the high point of the pass, so can get very cold at night. No hiking from the park like in most of the state parks, but still a place I'd highly recommend.
An easy 30 minute drive from Oregon's Painted Hills, the Ochoco Divide campground is a great home base for exploring the area. The campsites are spread out in a Ponderosa pine forest, providing plenty of space for each. The vault toilets are very well maintained and the camp host is friendly and helpful. Note that there is an additional charge for every vehicle over one per campsite, even the group site. It is close to the highway, but from most of the campsites, the noise is not very noticeable. The only downside is that there is no water available, so you need to bring all you need. Otherwise, I would have given this campground five stars.