SP Campground Review – Emigrant Springs State Heritage Area, Pendleton, OR

Polly checks out a historic display at Emigrant Springs
Polly checks out a historic display at Emigrant Springs

Not a “destination”, but a convenient and green stop along I-84 in Oregon

Link to campground here: Emigrant Springs State Heritage Area, Pendleton, OR
Link to map location here: Emigrant Springs State Heritage Area, Pendleton, OR

  1. Site Quality = 3/5
    Decent, but not spectacular sites here. They are all paved back-ins, with a selection of either full hookups (18 sites total -> 30 amp/water/sewer) or tent (32 sites -> no hookups) and on-site picnic table and fire-pit. Decent separation, although some are closer than we’d like plus good all-round green and trees everywhere. Biggest ding is unlevel sites (ours required all the levelers we had on our back wheels) and several of the “tent” sites are at right-angles to the road and have rather difficult access for bigger rigs. There is also a separate cabin loop (C-loop) and horse-camp area.
  2.  Facilities = 3.5/5
    Basic, good facilities here. Large warm, individual showers and toilets all kept spotlessly clean. Biggest ding is showers have those annoying spray-heads (except disabled shower). Small picnic area on-site plus large green lawn behind the community building.
  3. Location = 2/5
    This is not exactly a “destination” location. It’s a convenient stop on I-84 and is not that far from La Grande, plus it does have some OR trail history (a few displays), but not much else.
  4. Pet Friendliness = 5/5
    Good doggie site. There are no “official” trails in the park, but plenty of “unofficial” logging trails behind the facilities which go for miles into the woods. Decent space in camp, plus there is a large, green lawn for doggie to play behind the community building.

Overall Rating = 3.4
 Explore a historic stop on the Oregon Trail!

Summary: I would call this a convenient & green stop along I-84, but not exactly a “destination” location. It’s a good all-around State Park set in a thick fir forest just off I-84. The positives are the green environment and the Oregon trail history (the spring here was a common stop for emigrants and the park a few displays on it). Sites are OK, but not spectacular. They are paved and mostly quite large, but quite a few are rather uneven. All sites are back-in and have fire-pit, picnic table and a selection of either full hookups (30 amp/water/sewer) or “tent” (no hookups). Decent separation, although a few are closer than we like. There is also a separate loop (C-loop) with cabins and a horse-camp area set nicely back from the road. There are no official hiking trails, but many “unofficial” logging trails right from camp (explore behind the facilities and you’ll find quite a few miles). The biggest issue is road-noise. This campground is literally right off the I-84 so you will get constant day-and-night noise from the freeway no matter which site you choose. Not a big issue for a short stop, but it makes it way too noisy for a longer stay.

Extra Info:  Good Verizon 3G signal. Sites cost $20/night for full hookups (18 sites -> 30 amp/water/sewer), $17 for tent sites (32 sites -> no hookups) in summer season. On-site dump station and water.

Typical site view. This is a non-hookup ("tent") site A5
Typical site view. This is a non-hookup (“tent”) site A5
View of our site A4. We had a HUGE "sitting area" but our site sloped to the back
View of our site A4. We had full hookups and a HUGE “sitting area” but our site sloped to the back.
View down middle of campground. RV in site #A9 which was nicely private.
View down middle of campground. RV in site #A9 which was nicely private. You can see a “peek” of our site A4 behind the trees to the left.
View of corner of park. Site B15 in front with B13, B12 behind. These were all full hookup, but closer than we like.
View of corner of park. Site B15 in front with B13, B12 behind. These were all full hookup, but too close together for our liking.
View down back-side of campground. RV in site #B25 with B23, BB21 behind it. These are all full hookup
View down back-side of campground. RV in site #B25 with B23, B21 behind it. These are all full hookup
View of "sitting" area showing fire-pit and picnic table. This was our site A4.
View of “sitting” area showing fire-pit and picnic table. This was our site A4.
View of cabins in C-loop
View of cabins in C-loop
View of facilities
View of facilities
Hiking on the "unofficial" hiking trails
Hiking on the “unofficial” hiking trails
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do

  1. Eva Olip says

    I can’t tell you how much we enjoy your blog. My husband, John, and I have been RVing for over thirty years. I have always kept a trip journal and I do quite a bit of photography. Last year we went on a 4 week trip to the “Western States” and I wrote a blog on word press for friends and family to share. I enjoy doing it very much but I find it extremely time consuming. I would really love to know how you are able to write so much wonderful, thorough information in such great detail and still find time to enjoy your travels.

    Thanks in advance for any good tips and tricks,

    • libertatemamo says

      Well, I appreciate the lovely compliment and I wish I could tell you I have some kind of magic formula, but this blogging stuff really does take time LOL. I’ve managed to get more efficient at blogging over the few years I’ve been doing it. Generally I’ll think of the blog outline while I’m out visiting stuff and will have a good idea of what to write by the time I get home. But even with that “prep work” there’s usually a couple of hours that go into each post. It’s a lot of work…good thing I like it :)

  2. Rob says

    I have not yet seen an Oregon state park campground that I didn’t like, especially when I compare them to a Washington state campground (WA is my home state).
    As a place to park & a warm shower at a reasonable price, I’m a fan.

    • libertatemamo says

      I have to agree that OR State Parks are pretty nice. There are variations in space, location etc., but overall they do a really, really nice job. We’re fans!

  3. jil mohr says

    There is also a casino there one can park at…..we visited as a day trip from Walla Walla which was nice….but I am not a fan of Pendleton….

  4. Karen says

    It was a great picnic stopover for me last summer. I agree, a nice stopover location. I will be heading towards the Portland area next week. How far from Portland will you be just before or after Memorial weekend?

    • libertatemamo says

      We’ll be right IN Portland on Memorial Day weekend. We prefer to “hide” away in private parks during the big vacations. So, we’ll be staying at Columbia River RV Park.

  5. Bob says

    As always you give great information. Being your spectacular photo skills, I wonder if it would be too much trouble in one of your future blogs to show a closeup of the tires on blocks when you indicate ‘very uneven’ parking pad. Just curious to see how you set up. Thanks

    • libertatemamo says

      And here’s a recent pic too. The blocks under the tires are Lynx Levelers. They’ve worked great for us.
      [caption id="attachment_14682" align="alignnone" width="300"] Leveling “the beast”[/caption]

  6. says

    Another nice SP is Deschutes River State Recreation Area (found this last year, as I was driving and I wanted to stop…lol), It is a green oasis in a desert. The only “downside” were the railroad tracks. But most of the state parks that go thru the Gorge have trains passing by. We don’t have a dog any more but if we did it would get a 5/5. Very green, river is a walk thru the campground, showers very clean. Most of the sites looked pretty level to us (we are picky). Liz-Boise, ID

    • libertatemamo says

      Just looked it up since I hadn’t seen this one. Looks like a nice, green spot to stop on the east-side of the Gorge.

    • libertatemamo says

      I hope you gets bit of green and cool in your spot, Sue! We’ll be following along.

    • libertatemamo says

      I just noticed your blog was down and I sent you a message. Let me know if I can help in any way to get it up and running again. We can’t lose your blog!!

  7. wiandflbev says

    Happy to see Sue on your blog. I hope she’ll be back blogging very soon. Nina, I follow you as avidly as I do RVSue. Both of you are my favorite RV bloggers and I’m so thankful that you share your adventures with all of us.

    • libertatemamo says

      I just heard from her. She’s working on getting her blog transferred to a new host, so hopefully she’ll be up and running again soon.



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