Bates State Park

Near John Day, Oregon, United States

COVID-19 UPDATE

Park is open to day use and camping, with reduced services. 
  • Water is available.
  • Vault toilets are open.
  • Reduced garbage service. Please pack out trash.
  • Do not travel far to visit. Be prepared to turn around if crowded. 
  • Facilities may close without notice. 
 
---------------

Bates State Park was once the site of a thriving lumber mill and an adjacent company town set in a lush valley in the Blue Mountains. The mill closed in the mid-1970s. Families--and in some instances their houses--moved to nearby Prairie City and John Day. The mill buildings and town were dismantled; the land sat empty for more than 35 years.

The memory of Bates lives on in many of its community members, and the site is now a state park, thanks in large part to their efforts. When you visit or stay at the park, look for the interpretive panels that describe Bates life in the early to mid 20th century and the steps taking place now to restore the land and waterways.

You can explore Bates on the more than three miles of hiking trails. Viewpoints along the trails overlook the park, old mill pond and valley. The 131-acre park lies along the Middle Fork John Day River, Bridge Creek and Clear Creek. Check the Oregon Department Fish & Wildlife website for fishing regulations.

Campground info

  • 28 primitive sites for tents or self-contained RVs (first come, first served)
  • Vault toilets
  • Potable water
  • Hiker/biker camp with six sites and electric plug-ins

Universal Access
Three campsites are accessible to campers with disabilities.
 

Effective Sep 18, 2020
 Campfires are banned in all state parks, including campgrounds, day-use areas, and beaches. The ban includes wood, charcoal briquettes, candles, tiki torches and other devices that emit flames or embers. Propane stoves and other cooking devices that have an immediate shutoff valve are allowed for cooking only. Locally, park managers have discretion to allow fires in designated campfire rings only if conditions have improved enough to do so. 

mdi-white-balance-sunny Open for day use May 1 – Oct 31
COVID-19 may affect dates
mdi-tent Open for camping May 1 – Oct 31
COVID-19 may affect dates
mdi-car-side First-come, first-served camping mdi-cellphone Call for info: 800-551-6949
Call park: 1-541-448-2585
Current Conditions Directions Feedback

Amenities & Features

History

OPRD purchased the property from Grant County for $407,000 in April 2008, using lottery fund dollars. The park is the site of a former lumber mill (Bates Mill), which operated from 1917 to 1975.

Brochures and Maps

mdi-file-pdf-box Bates campground map

Photos & Video

Some parks are open for day-use and camping, with reduced services. Check the Park Status Map and FAQ for details. Campfire restrictions may be in place.