Cottonwood Canyon State Park

Acreage: 8,000

Annual overnight attendance: 10,536

Annual day-use attendance: 31,244

Cottonwood Canyon State Park FAQ


Is there cell phone coverage?

No. There is no cell phone coverage at the park, including the campground, day-use area and river trails. Do not rely on cell phones for emergency communications.

I want to spend the day exploring. What do I need to know?

Check the information station for latest information about wildlife, river conditions, fire danger and more. If you’re hiking alone, consider stopping at the Visitor Station to record your planned returned time. We’re not monitoring your trip, or launching a search if you don’t return by your stated time. Take plenty of water and dress for the weather. Vault toilets are available only in developed day-use areas. Also consider carrying a hat, first-aid kit, large bandanna, knife, flashlight and matches. And, always wear solid hiking boots or shoes.

About Camping

Can I bring an RV?

No problem if the RV is self-contained. Cottonwood does not have sewer hook-ups; electric hook-ups or individual water hook-ups.

Potable water is centrally located in the camp loop but is not available individual at each site. Tanks can be filled in the day use parking area.

There is no sewer dump and the closest dump station is 30 minutes away.

Can I make a reservation?

All Cottonwood sites are on a first-come serve basis. Given that it is Cottonwood’s first year fully operating we cannot predict availability.

Are there flush restrooms and showers?

Yes. Cottonwood has 2 vault toilets in the campground area without running water. Flush restrooms and shower facilities are available in the cabin area.

What's Allowed

Can I have a campfire?

Campfires are allowed in the campground at campsite fire rings. Campfires are banned from early summer to late fall, June 1 to Sept. 30. During these same months, smoking is permitted only in a closed vehicle, while standing in water, or while in a boat on the water.

Is hunting allowed in the park?

Hunting is open outside the developed areas of the park per regulations set by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Visitors may see hunters and their harvests during the late summer through mid-winter depending on the hunting seasons. Hunting is not allowed within the 200-yard area surrounding the boat launch at the J.S. Burres site at Cottonwood Bridge. Additional closures (for public safety and resource protection) will be posted at park entrances. Check at the Visitor Station for more information.

I have a boat with a motor. Can I use it on the John Day River?

The John Day River is closed to motorized watercraft year-round between Clarno and Cottonwood Bridge and is closed seasonally from May 1 to September 30 between Service Creek and Clarno and between Cottonwood Bridge and Tumwater Falls. (An exception is made for small electric motors, 40 lbs. thrust or less, which are permitted between Service Creek and Clarno.) There are no motorized boat restrictions upstream of Service Creek. The river is closed to personal watercraft (jet skis) year-round upstream of Tumwater Falls.


Do rattlesnakes live here?

Yes, but leave them alone; they won’t bite unless threatened. Look for more information at the park and trail heads. If you’re bitten by any kind of snake, get to a hospital emergency room as quickly as possible.

Are those little spider-like things ticks?

More than likely, they’re ticks. Most active in spring and early summer, they find their way to you in long grass and brush. Although not poisonous, ticks can spread diseases. Avoiding Ticks

Statewide FAQ

Available via this link