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Open Year-round
Yes
Reservations possible?
No
RV Hookups
No
Potable water
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Service Creek Campground is a great resource for boaters making the trek out to Central Oregon for a float down the beautiful John Day River. The section from Service Creek to Clarno is 47 miles long and is commonly completed in three days, but the dearth of established campsites in the final 11 miles can make planning your distances a little tricky. The Service Creek Campground offers boaters an easy opportunity to get an early start on day one, which can ease the burden of the miles that must be covered later in the trip. In addition, boaters can easily set up their shuttle (and grab breakfast or last-minute supplies) at the Service Creek Stage Stop just up Highway 19 and leave vehicles to be shuttled in the shared boat ramp and campground parking area.

The campground itself is quite straightforward. The exact number of sites is negotiable, and all are walk-in and first-come, first-served. Picnic tables and fire rings are dispersed throughout the area, but the spaces available for tents far exceed these options. Vault toilets are available, but there is no potable water here. Water in the John Day River is full of agricultural runoff, so filtering isn’t an option; be sure to bring everything you’ll need for your trip. A large canyon wall juts up across the river from the boat ramp, which is impressive, but which also acts as a sounding board that bounces sounds from the put-in back toward the campground. Keep this in mind as you plan your arrival: Boaters who arrive late at night and plan to rig for an early morning departure will almost certainly be disturbing people in the campground. Please be respectful and avoid this scenario.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer

Congestion

Occasionally full

Parking Pass

None

Price per night (basic site)

5.00 $ (4.20 €)

Pros

Close to the boat ramp. Perfect for shuttle logistics. Close to a store and restaurant. Nice views.

Cons

Near the road. No privacy or site separation. Dust from parking area and boat ramp. No potable water.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Managed by

BLM

Features

Family friendly
Vault toilet
Boat ramp(s)
Big vistas
Near lake or river

Access

Vehicle

Total number of sites

12

Location

Field Guide

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