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Cottonwood Canyon State Park, Wasco

4.8
#164 of 255 in Nature in Oregon
State Park · Nature / Park
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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 5.0
24 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Cottonwood Canyon is one of Oregon's newer state parks and it is a great one. The park is probably better experienced hiking or on the water. I had done some hiking at the fossil beds earlier in the.....  more
    Cottonwood Canyon is one of Oregon's newer state parks and it is a great one. The park is probably better experienced hiking or on the water. I had done some hiking at the fossil beds earlier in the.....  more »
  • 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... 
    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 »
Google
  • This is one of the best campsite/campgrounds we’ve ever stayed in. Although it is in the desert they have done their best to create shade with both lots of trees and wooden shade canopies at every second site. We had site number five. This was a wonderful campsite incredibly clean and intentional. I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in a park with so much intention built in, from the Rusty handmade signs to the shade canopies at the site. The sides are huge and the amenities incredibly clean. We would absolutely go again.
  • One of my favorite places. Spent two nights here where we got a taste of the weather. One very nice day, followed by monsoon rain.... then nice again. I couldn't complain one bit though. Bathrooms are very well taken care of as well as nice showers to get refreshed before you get back on the road.

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