everyone talks about everything west of the cascades, but what are some great camping spots in eastern oregon
I did a road trip through Bend and into southeastern Oregon. Paulina Lake was beautiful although the fires were pretty bad the year I was there. I steered further east to Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge and there is some amazing boondocking/camping spots out there. Nobody around and my campground had a natural hot spring!
Check out the Alvord desert, the alvord hot springs are a nice place. And a bit south is Willow Creek Hot Springs, free camping on BLM land. The Owyhee canyon is a cool place too.
We stayed at this BLM camping area for one night in Riley, Oregon. It is semi-developed (there are 28 spots with fire rings) so it costs $8/night. There are also several pit toilet buildings, a boat launch area, and almost all the peace and quiet you could want. It even fit our almost 40’ Class A motorhome. No reservations necessary, first come, first serve. They also have a fairly big area that could be a group camping area.
The Steens Mountain Wilderness is some of the most remote wilderness you can find in Oregon. There is a 52 mile scenic byway, and there are 4-5 different camping areas. I did not camp there, but visited with my camera. We drove the entire byway, and visited the Kiger Gorge, saw some wild horses, and amazing views. Check out the Plan Your Visit section on this BLM website, the brochure has the map of where the camping sites are located. I’d recommend calling. Judging from the roads, it is not Class A friendly, but other options may work besides tent camping.
Eastern Oregon in my opinion has two sections, the North and South. If you’re up north area, Wallawa Wilderness is amazing to hike and then relax paddle boarding. Anthony Lakes area a little south of there has great hikes with views.
If you’re in the south area, Steen mountains and Alvord dessert is the place to be. There’s some natural hot springs In the area to relax to and you can camp on the Alvord dessert floor.
Don’t forget John Day and the Painted Hills too!