Big Bend Recreation Site
Like the Colorado and the Rio Grande, the John Day River also has its own “Big Bend.” The Big Bend Recreation Site is found a few miles north of the small town of Kimberly, at – you guessed it – a big bend of the John Day River. Given the large turn that the river takes here, the waters flow slowly enough to create a fantastic swimming hole. For those who’d like to stick around for more than a day, five campsites on the northern bank of the river offer incredible views of the John Day and surrounding desert landscape.
Outdoor Project review of Big Bend Recreation Site
Bridge Creek Swimming Hole
Conveniently located between Highway 26 and Painted Hills National Monument off of Bridge Creek/Burnt Ranch Road is the Bridge Creek campground. This is an excellent place to stop on your way to or from Painted Hills, one of Oregon’s Seven Wonders. Whether you’re spending the night or not, this campground provides access to a lovely swimming spot on Bridge Creek, a 28-mile long tributary of the John Day.
The Dyrt review of Bridge Creek/Burnt Ranch Campground
How ONDA is Working to Conserve Desert Waters
With yet another hot and dry summer upon us, there’s no question that addressing, mitigating and reversing the effects of climate change and drought needs to be a top priority for everyone.
ONDA contributes to mitigating the effects of climate change in the high desert in two key ways: through our riparian restoration program and by advocating for protection for critical desert rivers and streams.
ONDA restores riparian areas – the green habitat zones along the banks of rivers and streams – by planting native, climate resilient tree species that provide much-needed shade for desert fish and wildlife that depend on cold-water habitat. We are also working to Congressionally protect these waterways, joining Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley to advocate for Wild and Scenic designation for more than 1,000 miles of desert rivers and streams included in their River Democracy Act. This landmark legislation would give these desert rivers and streams the protection they need to keep flowing and serving as lifelines in the high desert, carrying cold snowmelt down from places such as Steens Mountain and the Trout Creek and Pueblo Mountains to desert habitats below.