Brandon K.

Pro

Pendleton, OR

Joined July 2020

Neat, Convenient, Busy

Hilgard Junction is a small, Riverside day use area, travel rest-stop and campground at the junction of I-84 and Highway 244 on the Grande Ronde river at the base of Mt. Emily.

This park is near La Grande, Oregon so if you are not just resting on your trip, you can run into a cute little university town to explore the Eastern Oregon local life.

Crystal clear water runs this high in the Grande Ronde, making for fun swimming and water play. Make sure to bring your gold pan to this shallow river bed, as it has been historically found all along this river. The RV park has no connections so bring your generator and solar panels with you. This is self contained type of camp, that provides two bathrooms and firewood.

It is an ADA friendly area with paved rv spots and designated well kept tent spots. Keep in mind this park is directly off of the interstate so there are a lot of random travelers coming and going at all hours of the day and night. One minor bit of awkwardness is that there is a youth correctional facility less than a mile up the road. So your traveling children maybe curious and ask odd questions if they see it.

The Most Camped in eastern Oregon

Jubilee lake is a beautiful densely forested mountain top man made lake in the Blue Mountains in Eastern Oregon. The lake water is semi murky in the muddy areas but clear and beautiful in the pebble beach areas. This body of water makes for a beautiful backdrop that glistens in the sun.

There are 53 designated campground spots with sporadic dispersed camping all over the road on the way in. The sites are non-reservable. The campground is semi primitive with some sites having basic water hookups, there are flushable and pit toilets both available.

The lake is chilly but swimmable from July - September. The camping spots are pretty spaced out and private. Some are very landscaped and fun to be in such as the dual level spots. Some spots are lake front, but most lake front is wild and picnic/day use.

This is a popular location for canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding. There is a 2.8 mile trail circling the lake with breathtaking views all along. A rope swing into the water awaits the daring, am easy 20+ ft arc with a variable drop.

2 weeks is the maximum stay, rvs and tents are both allowed inside, most spots can easily take a 32 ft trailer. Remember this is a very popular destination, so be on the look out for the spots on the way in, just in case it is full.

The Most Camped in Eastern Oregon

Jubilee lake is a beautiful densely forested mountain top man made lake in the Blue Mountains in Eastern Oregon. The lake water is semi murky in the muddy areas but clear and beautiful in the pebble beach areas. This body of water makes for a beautiful backdrop that glistens in the sun.

There are 53 designated campground spots with sporadic dispersed camping all over the road on the way in. The sites are non-reservable. The campground is semi primitive with some sites having basic water hookups, there are flushable and pit toilets both available.

The lake is chilly but swimmable from July - September. The camping spots are pretty spaced out and private. Some are very landscaped and fun to be in such as the dual level spots. Some spots are lake front, but most lake front is wild and picnic/day use.

This is a popular location for canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding. There is a 2.8 mile trail circling the lake with breathtaking views all along. A rope swing into the water awaits the daring, am easy 20+ ft arc with a variable drop.

2 weeks is the maximum stay, rvs and tents are both allowed inside, most spots can easily take a 32 ft trailer. Remember this is a very popular destination, so be on the look out for the spots on the way in, just in case it is full.

McDougall Mushroom Wonderland

McDougall is a small mountain community located in the blue mountains above Weston, Oregon. There is a small neighborhood consisting of permanent RVs, cabins and shanties. There are a number of mountain man type locals that call this area home.

Just past the village you get into the woodland where the Morels are plentiful. This is an ideal location to go mushrooming. The camping is unrestricted, just be respectful and careful. This is not RV camping, but tent and bag only.

Tall pines and firs shade the eastern Oregon forest floor provided a nice region to explore, continuing up the forest road you’ll reach a large meadow the rolls for miles downhill into the valley. The views here are breathtaking - this is an amazing location to bring your family.

You’ll see many types of wildlife here are hundreds of varieties of meadow wildflowers.

Spend a few days in the blues and shake off those blues.

First to Review
Not for camping

This location is definitely not for camping, this is a tight-nit micro community of drug abusers and transients. The police are often present here, there are grass fires each year from unattended cooking fires and the lot is not managed well.

There are other locations in Pendleton that are a fair sight better in all capacities- avoid this location unless you are looking for a place to lay low from a less than ideal lifestyle.

Riverside desert experience

Farewell bend is a day use state park and campground located near Huntington Oregon and nestled on the Snake River.

The park is a dry desert setting with yellowing grasses, tall spiny trees and sand dunes. The snake river is a deep emerald green flowing with foam from the upriver reservoir.

The campground has three large loops that can accommodate the largest of personal busses down to the classic sleeping bag. There are electric and water connections, a sewer dump and a boat launch. There are a couple of rentable waterfront cabins available on C-loop.

Many fisherman come here to enjoy the well stocked waters, keep an eye out for the other river wildlife commonly seen, rattle snakes. Other water sports are welcome here, boating and waterskiing happens all day long. The dunes across the river are a popular off-road and motorized fun location.

The river is pretty much inaccessible from the campgrounds, the day use area allows for access to the rocky beach, but the waters edge is not clean sadly, polluted with litter and river foam.

The park is a very warm and sunny Oregon escape with little to no cellular service.

Danger and Exhilaration

Miles outside of established civilization, past Dayton, Starbuck and Lyons Ferry rests a hidden high desert gem, Palouse Falls. This roaring waterfall has captured the hearts and minds of many since a few years ago when a man rode a Kayak over its 200 foot descent.

This tents only and day use park keeps you safe from the bowl sided cliff with fencing allowing you to take photographs to your hearts content. For the more daring, there is a gap in the fence that leads you on a 30 minute adrenaline rush. Along the winding cliff face are trails work to dirt from the daring, down through ravine and a little minor trespassing on Union Pacific property allows for the 125 foot defending trail of fractured loose stone.

Once you’ve reached the base of the valley, you’ll meander through desert Brush and trees while clamoring over extremely large winter wash boulders. Keep a keen eye for rattle snakes, though they are rarely seen - they can be resting on stones sunbathing and comparing tan lines.

Past the brush you’ll reach the minor step down falls, this is an excellent swimming and fishing hole, safely far enough from the great falls to enjoy a day at the river. If you are still in the hiking mood then pass the swimming hole and continue south through the canyon. You’ll see a wall strewn with limestone scrawling, some decades old professing loves to last a lifetime, mine included.

There are two distinctive paths to take, one is river side and one is wall side. The wall side trail is much like any other hiking trail you’re used to, minor rising and lowering according to terrain, it is dirt with stones and sagebrush. The river side trail is massive boulders from which to enjoy a parkour-like hike leaping from stone to stone and the feeling cheating death along the cliffs edge.

At the furthest point on the trail you will reach the top of The towering Palouse Falls itself, the energy of the earth with surround you and the mist will lightly cool you as you feel accomplished, rowing spited of granite are like statues peering over the 200 foot drop.

Please be cautious here as many people have not lived to tell of their experiences at Palouse Falls, but do not let a darker subset of history dissuade you from your exploration as this is a once in a lifetime journey.