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Camping at John Day Lock and Dam State Park Lake Umatilla

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Overview of John Day Lock and Dam State Park Lake Umatilla

Lake Umatilla is the reservoir created by the John Day Dam on the Columbia River, which spans the border between Oregon and Washington states. The area is managed by multiple entities, including federal organizations like the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It offers a variety of outdoor recreation activities such as camping, fishing, boating, hiking, and wildlife viewing.

Camping Information

When planning a camping trip to Lake Umatilla and its surrounding parks, here are a few key pieces of information to consider:

  • Campgrounds: Check for designated campgrounds in the area around John Day Lock and Dam. Some may be operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or other local agencies. Campsites can vary from basic tent sites to full hook-up sites for RVs.

  • Reservations: Some campgrounds may be on a first-come, first-served basis, while others might accommodate reservations. It's always best to check in advance and book a spot if possible, especially during peak seasons.

  • Facilities: Many campgrounds offer restrooms, potable water, fire rings, picnic tables, and sometimes showers and electrical hookups. Always verify what amenities are available before you go.

  • Fees: Be prepared to pay camping fees which can be based on the type of campsite and amenities provided. Check if there is an additional fee for extra vehicles or visitors as well.

  • Fire Safety: Always follow the current fire regulations, as they can vary seasonally depending on weather and fire risk conditions. Use fire rings where provided and never leave fires unattended.

Activities

  • Fishing: Lake Umatilla is known for excellent fishing opportunities, including species like salmon, steelhead, and walleye. Ensure you have the appropriate fishing licenses and are aware of any seasonal restrictions or regulations.

  • Boating: Many areas on Lake Umatilla are ideal for boating, whether it's motorized boats or paddling. Be mindful of any designated wake zones and respect all maritime rules.

  • Hiking and Wildlife Viewing: Explore the trails and natural areas surrounding the lake for bird watching and spotting other wildlife. Always maintain a safe distance from wild animals.

Regulations and Safety Tips

  • Permits and Passes: You might require a day-use or recreation pass for certain areas. Ensure you've acquired the necessary permits before setting out.

  • Leave No Trace: Preserve the beauty of the natural environment. Take out what you bring in and follow Leave No Trace principles.

  • Water Safety: Always wear life vests when on the water and be conscious of changing weather conditions.

  • Emergency Preparedness: Have a plan for emergencies. Bring a first-aid kit, know the local wildlife risks (like snakes or ticks), and have a way to contact park rangers or emergency services if necessary.

Before heading out, it's advisable to visit the official website or contact the managing authorities for the most current information regarding open areas, closures, rules, and safety guidelines specific to John Day Lock and Dam State Park and Lake Umatilla.

Map of Campgrounds in John Day Lock and Dam State Park Lake Umatilla
Campgrounds in John Day Lock and Dam State Park Lake Umatilla
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