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BLM John Day River - Priest Hole

16 Reviews

About This Campground

Bureau of Land Management

For a rustic overnight stay deep in eastern Oregon, let your tires roll past the Painted Hills-one of Oregon’s Seven Wonders-and drive deep into John Day River Territory to the Priest Hole Recreation Site. Although primitive, camping here lands you in the middle of the Wild and Scenic John Day…

Fee Info

No FEES for camping or floating the one-mile section around Priest Hole.

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Access

  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site
  • Walk-In
    Park in a lot, walk to your site.

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
    Unknown
  • Verizon
    Unknown
  • AT&T
    Unknown
  • T-Mobile
    Unknown

Site Types

  • Tent Sites
  • RV Sites
  • Standard (Tent/RV)
  • Dispersed
  • Group

Features

For Campers

  • ADA Access
  • Toilets
  • Alcohol
  • Pets

Reviews

16 Reviews of BLM John Day River - Priest Hole

Ratings Breakdown

  • 0
  • 0
  • 5
  • 4
  • 7
Jim B.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Oct. 21, 2021

Primitive Beauty

We chose this place when our first choice was overbooked. As other reviewers have mentioned, getting to it is its own adventure. Be careful on the narrow mountain road coming in from the east. We got one of the last sites overlooking the River, but it was smallish, not level, so orienting our…

Month of VisitJuly
L
Reviewed Sep. 18, 2021

Out of this world campsite

Our reward for braving miles of gravel and dirt road was our pick of a spot on a huge gravel bar in the middle of the John Day River. We brought a 30 foot AF trailer with high clearance- that’s probably the max to make it down there. Beautiful vistas in the late afternoon and other campers were fly…

Sitegravel sandbar
Month of VisitOctober
Alysa W.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Aug. 25, 2021

Beautiful location, bumpy road

This campground was lovely. The surrounding area (mountains, river, etc) was stunning. No light pollution, so I was able to see the Milky Way galaxy (somewhat). The only problem is that you will need a vehicle with enough ground clearance - definitely more than a Nissan Altima, haha. I read some…

Month of VisitSeptember

Location

BLM John Day River - Priest Hole is located in Oregon

Directions

Priest Hole is located on the John Day River about 12 miles from Mitchell, Oregon. From Prineville, head east on Highway 26 and turn north on Burnt Ranch Road toward the John Day Fossil Beds, Painted Hills Unit. Pass the Painted Hills and follow the gravel road for three miles. Take a right (uphill) at the junction of Priest Hole or Burnt Ranch Rec Sites. From there, take a left downhill, following the sign to Priest Hole.

Coordinates

44.73928459 N
120.27121367 W

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Nearby Campgrounds

About This Campground

For a rustic overnight stay deep in eastern Oregon, let your tires roll past the Painted Hills-one of Oregon’s Seven Wonders-and drive deep into John Day River Territory to the Priest Hole Recreation Site. Although primitive, camping here lands you in the middle of the Wild and Scenic John Day River, designated for scenery, recreation, fish, wildlife, and geologic values. Camping is allowed everywhere, including on the gravel bar northeast of Priest Hole, where you sleep to the gurgle of the river and stepping out of your tent or trailer lands your foot in the water. Know Before You Go: Open YEAR ROUND but the rough road can make access difficult in winter. ACCESSIBILITY is primitive and not easily accessible for people with disabilities. NO FEES for camping or floating the one-mile section around Priest Hole. There is one toilet; NO potable water, trash cans or campsite amenities. PETS ARE ALLOWED under owner control. Watch for rattlesnakes. HUNTING/FISHING LICENSES ARE REQUIRED. Fire restrictions run June 1 – September 30 (liquid gas or propane only). Point of Interest: Priest Hole is a local favorite for fishing and swimming. Stopping here is a natural part of a visit to the Painted Hills, Sutton Mountain Back Country Byway and eastern Oregon! Priest Hole Brochure Explore Oregon Recreation: Priest Hole ADA Access: Priest Hole Recreation Site is primitive and not easily accessible for people with disabilities.

Connection Details

We rate connection speeds from campers like you who submit speed tests with Field Reports.

  • Good- 10+Mbps

    Campers can make calls and send texts & emails, watch an HD movie, play multiplayer games, and more.

  • Fair- 3Mbps-10Mbps

    Campers can make calls, send texts & emails, video chat, stream video, and play online games.

  • Poor- 0Mbps-3Mbps

    Campers might be able check email, send texts, and make calls.

  • Available-

    Campers have been able to connect here but we don’t know the quality of the connection.

  • Unknown-

    Connectivity is not known for this campground.

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