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BLM John Day River - Priest Hole

17 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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  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site
  • Walk-In
    Park in a lot, walk to your site.
  • Boat-In
    Sites accessible by watercraft.

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  • WiFi
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  • T-Mobile

Site Types

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


For Campers

  • ADA Access
  • Toilets
  • Alcohol
  • Pets
  • Fires


17 Reviews of BLM John Day River - Priest Hole

Ratings Breakdown

  • 0
  • 0
  • 5
  • 5
  • 7
SThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jul. 9, 2022

Nice dispersed camping, especially for rafters

Can get a little crowded and noisy especially on the gravel bar and with teenagers doing donuts in the parking area on their ATVs!

  • upriver from Priest Hole near Twickenham
  • (5) View All
Siteup above the river, near the restroom
Month of VisitAugust
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
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


BLM John Day River - Priest Hole is located in Oregon

Detail location of campground


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.


44.73928459 N
120.27121367 W

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