Image: David Jensen
John Day River, Oregon

Opening on Sept. 25, Cottonwood Canyon State Park is anticipated to be a haven for day-trippers, campers, and explorers alike, adding it to the slew of over 240 state parks already residing in our pocket of the northwest. With 16 miles of riverbank and 8,000 acres to discover, Oregon’s newest state park furthers opportunities to travel the state. 

Seated along the John Day River, Cottonwood Canyon will not only be respite for people, but is also where animals like burrowing owls and bighorn sheep reside. If those endearing (and slightly intimidating) animals don’t convince you to visit, perhaps the fishing opportunities will. Among others, both rainbow and bull trout attract anglers to the John Day.

In preparation for this week’s opening, the park is in tip-top shape, and a primitive campground is ready to go should you plan to stay overnight. Although the park has undergone some restorations and maintenance, it remains primarily untouched—a glimpse into the true Oregon wilderness.

For more information, visit oregonstateparks.org