mdi-tent Reserve

Unity Lake State Recreation Site

Near John Day, Oregon, United States

mdi-tent Reserve

Park Overview

Unity Lake State Recreation Site is an oasis of green in Oregon's high desert that offers boating and angling. The small campground is the perfect jumping-off point for visiting nearby historical sites and wilderness areas.

The day-use area has picnic tables on a large expanse of lawn with ample shade. This area includes a boat ramp, boat trailer parking, restrooms and water. Open year-round, it attracts anglers for ice fishing in the winter.

Spring and fall are the best seasons for fishing. Come October, many visitors use the campground as a base for hunting big game and upland birds on nearby public land in the Umatilla, Malhuer, and Wallowa-Whitman national forests. No hunting is allowed within the park boundary.

Seasonal Camping (April 1 - Oct 31)

Campground is accepting reservations for up to 6 months in advance at

  • 35 electrical sites with water (first-come, first-served)
  • Two reservable cabins (One pet-friendly; see our Pets in Parks FAQ for more info) RESERVATIONS REQUIRED
  • Hot showers and flush toilets
  • Hiker/biker camp
  • ADA-accessible RV dump station
  • Firewood and ice for sale
  • Universal Access: Two sites are accessible to campers with disabilities.

Nearby Attractions

Hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities abound in the three wilderness areas that lie within 30 miles of the park: Monument Rock, Strawberry Mountain, and North Fork John Day.

For a glimpse into the past, visit the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center at Flagstaff Hill.

The nearby mining town of Sumpter and Sumpter Valley Dredge State Heritage Area also offer a unique daytrip opportunity. The centerpiece is the five-story, 125-foot floating dredge that excavated $4.5 million in gold between 1935 and 1954. The dredge is open seasonally for tours, and a nature trail leads through the dredged area and past a maze of ponds. During the summer, the Sumpter Valley Railroad offers tours of the area.


Effective Nov 1, 2021 – Apr 30, 2022
Campground is closed for the season. Day-use area is open year-round. 
mdi-white-balance-sunny Open for day use Year Round mdi-tent Open for camping Apr 1 – Oct 31 mdi-cellphone Call for reservations: 800-452-5687
Call for info: 800-551-6949
Call park: 541-446-3470
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Amenities & Features


Thirty acres of the park are managed under a 1959 lease agreement with the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation. The additional nine acres were purchased from a private owner. Unity Lake was formed after the damming of Burnt River by the Bureau of Reclamation to provide agricultural irrigation water. The park was created to provide public access to the lake.

Brochures and Maps

mdi-file-pdf-box Unity Lake campground brochure and map

Photos & Video