Recreation Resources

Jim Davis   Website

Last updated: May 28, 2020

The spread of Covid-19 created a widespread closure of public lands and recreational facilities across the country. Here’s a summary of the current closures in place for land management agencies in Oregon’s high desert.

As outdoor spaces reopen, please be sure to be thoughtful and recreate responsibly by continuing to keep social distancing, knowing what’s open and closed before you head out, packing out your garbage, and washing those hands.


Time Lapse: a night at Canyon Camp in six seconds

Time Lapse: a night at Canyon Camp in six seconds




The Oregon Swallowtail butterfly is the official state insect of Oregon and a true native of the Pacific Northwest. The Swallowtail can be seen in the lower sagebrush canyons of the Columbia River and its tributaries, including the Snake River drainage area.  Source: State Symbols USA

Latin name: Papilio oregonius


Michelle Frisella, member since 2017

Michelle Frisella, member since 2017

So proud of ONDA and its members and volunteers. Such hard work gets done. To use an overused word, this is patriotism!

Federal Lands

Bureau of Land Management
Closure Summary

With the lifting of public health and safety restrictions enacted by local, county and state officials, the BLM is beginning phased reopening. Many campgrounds, restrooms and day-use facilities (i.e. locations with picnic areas and/or restrooms) will start to reopen on a case-by-case basis. Contact districts for specific information.

Prineville District: Campgrounds will re-open to overnight use in the North Barr, Buckhorn, Steelhead Falls, Big Bend, Palisades, Chimney Rock, Post Pile, Cobble Rock, Castle Rock, Stillwater, and Lone Pine locations.

Burns District: Page Springs Campground at the base of Steens Mountain and Chickahominy Reservoir Campground near Riley are open. The South Steens Loop Road is also now open, providing visitor access and use up to South Steens Campground.

National Forests
Closure Summary

At the end of March, Region 6 implemented a regionwide closure of all developed recreation sites through September 30, 2020 or until public health conditions allow.

  • Closed developed recreation sites include campgrounds, day-use sites, boat ramps, trailheads, Sno-Parks, fire lookouts, and OHV areas.
  • Forest roads, trails, and general forest lands remain open. However, state and local ordinances may prohibit roadside parking in some areas, or may limit non-local travel. Blocking, or impeding, vehicle traffic or damaging natural resources may result in citation and/or towing. Users must abide by all Federal, local, and state laws. No thru-roads are clased, but some roads that primarily access closed recreation sites may be physically closed.
  • Legal hunting and fishing with the appropriate tag is still permitted across the forest.

As of mid-May, select developed sites in Region 6 are beginning to reopen. Some trailheads and boat ramps are opening, while most campgrounds remain closed. Contact district offices with specific questions.

Fremont-Winema National Forest: Select developed sites have reopened. For example, Lake of the Woods Resort partially opened on May 9.

Malheur National Forest: All campgrounds remain closed. Dispersed camping is allowed. Trails and trailheads are open.

Closure Summary

Camp Hart Mountain and Hot Springs Campgrounds are open. Refuge lands are open.

Malheur Refuge visitor’s center, store, and museum are closed. Refuge lands and bathrooms are open.

Closure Summary

Crater Lake National Park is closed. The only exception is Oregon State Highway 62 through the southern end of the park which will remain open for travel.

Newberry National Volcanic Monument is closed including the Lava Lands Visitor Center.

As of May 15, 2020, these John Day Fossil Beds National Monument areas will reopen:

  • Clarno Unit: Trail of Fossils, Clarno Arch trail, Geologic Time trail, all picnic areas.
  • Painted Hills Unit: Painted Hills Overlook trail, Carrol Rim trail, Painted Clove trail, Leaf Hill trail, Red Scar Knoll trail, all picnic areas.
  • Sheep Rock Unit: Island in Time trail, Blue Basin Overlook trail, Flood of Fire trail,
    Story in Stone trail, Cant Ranch trails, Mascall Overlook, all picnic areas.

With public health in mind, the Thomas Condon Paleontology and Visitor Center and Painted Hills Contact station will remain temporarily closed.


Tribal Lands

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
Closure Summary

All tribal conservation areas are closed, including Pine Creek Conservation Area.

State Lands

Closure Summary

Limited day-use is slowly returning to state parks starting the week of May 11, based on the readiness of the community around the park to welcome visitors, and how prepared the park is with staff, supplies, and equipment. State parks will open and close with little advance notice.  Check individual websites before visiting.

The following eastern Oregon State Parks have reopened or partially reopened:

  • The Cove Palisades boat ramp at Lake Billy Chinook near Culver
  • Prineville Reservoir boat ramp near Prineville
  • Pilot Butte to pedestrians (no vehicles) in Bend
  • Smith Rock State Park in Terrebonne is partially open, including some trails and climbing areas, for limited daytime use by area residents.
  • Lake Owyhee State Park is is open for limited daytime use.
  • Succor Creek State Natural Area is open for day use.
Oregon Fish and Wildlife
Closure Summary

Wildlife areas currently open remain open during the day for wildlife viewing, fishing and hunting but are closed from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. No overnight camping is allowed. Fish hatcheries are closed to public entry, though anglers may access hatchery properties to get to a waterbody that remains open to fishing. Social distancing is in effect. Wildlife areas that allow camping reopened to camping on May 20.

Hunting and fishing reopened to nonresidents on May 5. Many locations to fish, hunt, crab and clam are closed to public access including boat ramps, parking lots and restrooms. Beach access is closed in many areas. Please check with the land manager where you are headed for the latest information on access restrictions. The Columbia River is closed to all salmon and steelhead fishing.

Central Oregon Parks

Bend Parks and Recreation
Closure Summary

Parks and trails remain open with the social distancing rules in place. Park restrooms are open.

Playgrounds, exercise equipment and basketball and volleyball courts are closed.

Skateparks and pickleball, tennis, horseshoes and bocce ball courts are open.

Walking, running, biking, skating or using a wheelchair or other mobility device while maintaining social distancing is allowed.

Off-leash dog areas, picnic shelters and restrooms remain open.

Deschutes River Trail from Riverbend Park and Farewell Bend Park to the South Canyon Bridge is one-way only with bikes prohibited as temporary rules.

Redmond Parks and Recreation
Closure Summary

The Activity Center reopened with limited hours on May 22. The Cascade Swim Center, playgrounds, and sport courts are closed.  Parks and trails are open with social distancing rules.

Crook County Parks
Closure Summary

Skate park, pickleball court, Ochoco Lake Crook County RV Park, and Haystack are open May 15. Playgrounds, picnic shelters, basketball courts, pool and splash pad remain closed.


All launches and take-outs for the Lower Deschutes River are open as of May 21.

Segments 1 & 2: At this time Harpham and Sandy Beach launches are not available for put-in or take-out. Recreational boating for Segment 2 from Maupin City Park to Sandy Beach is not available and recreational floating is closed for this portion of the river.

All dispersed and designated campgrounds along the Lower Deschutes will re-open for overnight use on the same date.

John Day River
Closure Summary

All launches and take-outs for the John Day River are open as of May 21.

Closure Summary

Ramp at BLM Spring Recreation site is open. Ramps in Hells Canyon National Recreation Area are open as of May 21.

Lower Owyhee River
Closure Summary

Leslie Gulch boat ramp is open. Rome Launch site is closed.