For a rustic overnight stay deep in Eastern Oregon, let your tires roll past the Painted Hills 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).
- When fire restrictions are not in place, campfires are allowed ONLY in raised, metal fire pans. Hundreds of rock fire rings are found each year, scaring the ground and creating resource damage. Please help us preserve this precious resource.
- Please bring your own fire wood. Cutting vegetation, including standing dead vegetation is not allowed.
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!