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Cottonwood Canyon State Park, Wasco

#164 of 251 in Nature in Oregon
Must see · State Park · Nature / Park
Cottonwood Canyon State Park, established in 2013, is the second largest state park in Oregon, encompassing 8,000 acres (3,200 ha) on the lower John Day River. The largest is Silver Falls State Park at 9,064 acres (3,668 ha).
Park headquarters, about a two-hour drive east of Portland, is adjacent to Oregon Route 206 between Wasco and Condon. The river, which here forms the boundary between Sherman County on the west and Gilliam County on the east, meanders for 16 miles (26 km) through the arid park.
The walls of the main canyon reach to 1,920 feet (590 m) above sea level within the park, which also includes four side canyons: Hay Creek, Esau, Rattlesnake, and Cottonwood. These and the main canyon are flanked by grassland, sagebrush shrub-steppe, river bottom, and cliffs composed mainly of basalts of the Columbia River Basalt Group.
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Cottonwood Canyon State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
23 reviews
  • The area is somewhat remote but quite beautiful. The geology is fascinating as you walk/hike along the river. Was there on a bluebird day and grasses were still golden vs green but it was still...  more »
  • This place is very pretty, the scenery is typical for the area, with hills and rivers, and mostly the trails are fairly even to walk on. Good place to visit, and its so lovely and quiet.  more »
  • Awesome place, hardly any people.. my family and I visited the fossil beds, went tubing down John day (7,6 and 2yr old) shallow during the right time of year. The cabins have a/c which is nice after hiking all day. ;) Will come back!
  • This campground has such a beautiful view and many activities which whole family can enjoy. There are a few cottages that you can reserve in advance as well. That area had very clean flush toilet and a few shower rooms. My family wanted to stay at one of their first come,+first serve campgrounds, but the two vault toilets had too many flies to use. Hopefully that will be fixed since everything else was amazing.

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