Information on the pages about the state parks is taken from various sources provided by Friends groups and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. and my own observations.
The information center operates year around. Staff members are on duty to inform callers about campsite vacancies and recreational information from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time, Monday through Friday. Call toll free 1-800-452-5687 from anywhere in the U.S. From outside the U.S. or from the Portland, Oregon area, phone 503-731-3411. This service will have up to date information about park system activities.
Current information on campsite availabitlity at all state parks may be obtained fron the Oregon State Park Campsite Information Center. Call toll free 1-800-452-5687 from anywhere in the U.S. From outside the U.S. or from the Portland, Oregon area, phone 503-731-3411. Campsites may be reserved at 13 state parks. Reservations are recommended during the peak camping months of July and August. Unreservred campsites are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
The information line became the campground reservation line on January 23,1996. It handles reservations for campsites in Oregon and Washington. The new reservation system is being staffed by employees of Good Will Industries. They have been visiting the parks to provide more knowledgable service to park users. They are learning new computer and phone skills and most of the employees enjoy talking with the public. There have been up to 6000 reservations placed per day, so if the lines are busy, please be patient.
The new system allows campers to reserve park facilities as well as individual and group campsites. Reservations used to be accepted for the calendar year beginning on January 1st. The new system allows users to reserve a campsite or facility any time up to eleven months from the date the reservation is made. The number of calls per day is expected to decline after the traditional rush at the beginning of the calendar year, so you should be able to get connected faster in the near future.
Clyde Holliday State Park is located along the John Day River 7 miles West of John Day near the town of Mt. Vernon. There is a rest area beside Highway 26 and the campground has 30 sites with electrical hookups and a dump station. The hiker/biker camp is fairly secluded and offers the best sites in the campground.
Great HOT showers in the only restroom in the campground.
Clude Holliday State Park is now open from March 1st through October 31st.
The Cove Palisades State Park is located on Lake Billy Chinook off Highwas 97, 15 miles Southwest of Madras. There are 87 full hookup,91 electrical, and 94 tent sites in two campgrounds. The "E" loop campground on the canyon rim is open year around. Hot showers may be had in both the lakeside and the canyon rim campgrounds.
For information, call park headquarters at 541-546-3412.
Lake Billy Chinook is located on the Deschutes River at the confluence of the Crooked River and the Metolius River. This deep lake is very popular with water skiers because it is not drawn down during the summer. The north bank of the Metolius arm and the west side of the reservoir are on the Warm Springs Reservation. Landing on the reservation is prohibited. Special fishing licenses are required in waters that border the reservation.
There are bull trout (you can still fish for them can't you?), bass, and kokanee (landlocked salmon) in the lake. If you like crawdads, be sure to take along your trap. I have seen large catches of kokanee, usually 12-15 inches in length, and large, 10 pounds plus, bull trout landed on different occasions.
Lake Billy Chinook is in the bottom of a deep gorge. It is very interesting to drive through the desert enjoying the junipers and sage brush and suddenly come upon a large water impoundment in the bottom of a canyon.
The marina in The Cove Palisades State Park has small power boat rentals available for hourly or one day rental. They are open from April first through October. There is a marina by Round Butte Dam that rents houseboatsby the day or for extended stays. They probably operate on about the same schedule, but they closed earlier than the small boat rental shop and I didn't have a chance to speak with them last year. I will post the phone #s and addresses here, soon.
Ochoco Lake is located off of Highway 26 just outside the east edge of Prineville. The lake was formed by an earthen dam on Ochoco Creek, a tributary of the Crooked River. The campground has 22 sites w/o hookups and a maximum site size of 30 feet. There is also a hiker/biker camp.
There have been recent problems with the dam at Ochoco Lake. It was drained and the dam rebuilt in 1994. In 1995, more leaks were noticed and the lake was again drained and the dam repaired. I was there when they were finishing the repairs in the fall of 1995. The workmen assured me that this repair would let the people downstream in Prineville sleep easily. They also stated that the lake would be full for water skiing, fishing, and swimming in the spring of 1996. I guess that the local four-wheel drives will have to find another place to have impromptu mud bogs.
Prineville Reservoir is located off U.S. Highway 26, 17 miles Southeast of Prineville. This 3,000 acre lake was created as a Bureau of Reclamation irrigation project. Water sports activities include: fishing for trout, bass, or catfish; water skiing; and a designated swimming area. There are 22 full hookup and 48 tent sites in the campground. For information, call 541-447-4363.
Although HOT showers are supposed to be the order of the day, when I visited (after the normal tourist season) last fall the showers were out of order. The park staff was installing a new water or septic system and they promised improved showers this spring.
I thought that there was plenty of shade available on the 90 degree day that I was there last. Look out for grazing jack rabbits.
Click here to go to, "At Home In Oregon!"
Click here for a mushroom report.
Click here for truffle information.
Click to visit the Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum.
Click here to visit Silver Falls State Park.
Click here to visit the Sumpter Dredge.
Click here to visit Collier State Park.