SP Campground Review – Clyde Holliday State Park, John Day, OR

A relaxing spot near the John Day River
The lovely pond at Clyde Holiday State Park

A very pretty and green State Park in a great location to explore the John Day area in NE Oregon

Link to campground here: Clyde Holliday State Park
Link to map location here: Clyde Holliday State Park

  1. Site Quality = 4/5
    Very nice site quality here with just a few small dings. There are a total of 31 paved sites, 30 of which are back-in, one pull-through with 50 Amp/water at each site plus picnic table, fire-pit and waste water dump. Sites 1-4 are uneven, but the rest are very flat/level. As is common in Oregon State Parks inner facing sites are at a right-angles to the road and better accessed by smaller rigs while outer-facing sites are angled and easily accessible for any-sized big-rig (longest site is 86 feet!). The most impressive thing here is the green and there is masses of it! Sites are extremely well-spaced with lots of trees, flowers, grass and very pretty landscaping, plus the lovely John Day river running right behind the campground. Three of the sites (#5, 7, 9) even have views of the river out the back. It really is a beautiful setting. The only ding is the proximity to Hwy 26. There is definitely some road noise here, more so if you chose one of the sites on the road-side (#23-#31). However if you park in one of the river-facing sites (#5-15) you’ll be quite relaxed.
    Note/ In addition to the RV sites there is also a hiker/biker camp ($5/night) and two reservable Tepees ($44/night)
  2. Facilities = 3.5/5
    Very nice facilities here. Clean flush toilets and large (really big -> the largest I’ve seen at a State Park) individual shower stalls with spacious separate bench/clothing area. Only ding is showers have those annoying spray heads plus timer buttons. However they have  very good water pressure and temp. Pleasant green day-use area plus on-site dump station.
  3. Location = 4/5
    Really nice location here. You are right next to the lovely John Day river and only a few miles from the town of John Day which has shopping, food & the excellent Kam Wah Chung Heritage Site. To the west you are only ~40 mins from the Sheep Rock section of John Day Fossil Bed National Monument. Also a lovely hiking trail leaves the park and follows the river to a nearby pond (fishing/viewing). Only ding? You are rather close to Hwy 26 and will hear road noise from camp.
  4. Pet Friendliness = 5/5
    Excellent location for doggie & paws. Lots of green space in camp to roam around, plus very pleasant hiking trail next to the river.

Overall Rating = 4.1
BONUS ALERT = Camp right next to the lovely John Day River!

Summary: We’d heard good things about this State Park before coming here and it did not disappoint. The biggest pluses are the location and the landscaping. You are only 6 miles from the cute town of John Day to the east and ~40 mins from the Sheep Rock Section of the John Day Fossil Bed National Monument to the west. Between the two you’ll have good shopping, food and lots of sightseeing including the most excellent Kam Wah Chung Heritage Site and the stunning hiking trails in the Blue Basin. Within the park the sites are lovely -> very nice separation, spacious and green with lots of grass, trees and flowers and the lovely John Day river flowing right behind the park. Sites are all paved back-ins with 50amp/water, picnic table, fire-pit and waste water dump. A cute little path takes you for a hike along the river right from the park to a lovely pond for fishing and relaxing, and in springtime the trees are flowering all around. It really is a gorgeous setting! The only real ding? You are close to Hwy 26 here and will hear road-noise especially if you take one of the sites closest to the road (#23-31). However, if you manage to grab one of the sites on the river-side (#5-15) the noise is not really bothersome. We enjoyed our stay and would definitely come back.

Extra Info: Decent/stable Verizon signal (3 bars of 3G, no 4G). RV sites cost $24/night (50Amp electric/water) in summer, $20/night in winter. 31 sites all first-come-first-serve (no reservations). Two reservable Teepees ($44/night). On-site flush toilets, showers, trash and dump.

Extra, Extra Info – OTHER CAMPING: If the State Park is full or you decide you’d rather stay right in town Grant County Fairgrounds has a very pleasant RV park walking distance to downtown John Day. Sites cost $10/night for dry camping or $27/night for full hookups. If you want to stay further west closer to the John Day Fossil Beds then Fish House Inn & RV ($25/night+tax for FHU) offers a very nice setting in Dayville, OR just minutes from the Sheep Rock Section of the Monument.

Front view of our site #13. It was huge!
Front view of our site #13. It was huge!
View to the side of our site. We're in #13, #11 is behind it
View to the side of our site. We’re in #13, #11 is behind it. Good site separation here.
View of one of inner sites #14.
View of one of inner-facing sites #14.
View towards entrance of park. Site #7 in front, #5 behind.
View towards entrance of park. RV in site #7 in front, #5 behind. Both of these have lovely river views out the back.
View of another very pretty site #22. The cherry blossom on the right was so aromatic.
View of another very pretty site #22. The cherry blossom on the right was so aromatic.
View towards road-side sites. #25 on right, #23 behind. Too much noise for our taste here.
View towards road-side sites. #25 on right, #23 behind. Sites were lovely, but there was too much road-noise for our taste here.
Typical sitting area. Picnic table, fire-pit and waste-water dump.
Typical sitting area. Picnic table, fire-pit and waste-water dump in back.
View of facilities in middle of campground.
View of facilities in middle of campground.
View along the riverside walk by the day-use area
View along the riverside walk by the day-use area
View of one of the two tee-pees where you can stay on-site
View of one of the two reservable Tepees. That’s the John Day river in the background.
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do

  1. Rowanova says

    All this amazing Pacific Northwest scenery and greenery seem have enlightened your writing as of late. Another great post today with more amazing photos. Nice to see, and read. :)
    Are you planning to stay in Jofn Day for a while? Or are you off to the next big Paul and Nina reveal? (I’ll keep checking in) :)

    • libertatemamo says

      We extended our stay one more day here (2nd extension already) just coz we like it so much, but tomorrow we’re off to the next big secret :) probably won’t have internet for a few days, so you’ll have to wait a little to find out. It’ll be worth the wait though…I promise :)

      • Rowanova says

        Hmmmm… Sounds like some serious boondocking in the Oregon boonies. Gotta love that!
        Looking forward to hearing about it. Enjoy, as I know you will. :)

  2. says

    We loved this campground, and also found it thanks to some other bloggers. Donna and Russ liked it and told us about it before we stayed there last fall. So glad you got to see a bit of the John Day Country, and hopefully you will have some time to roll around there a bit before heading for the coast. Joseph is waiting for you, Nina…

    • libertatemamo says

      For some reason I had totally blanked that Donna & Ross stayed here (well, until they mentioned it LOL). Seems it’s a well-known gem by local Oregonians.


  3. says

    Wow $24 for 50 amp electric/water. You sure aren’t in California any more Dorothy. Great pictures and terrific information. Looks like a wonderful place. You definitely pick good ones. Thanks!

    • libertatemamo says

      Yup, I love the Oregon State Parks. Always very reasonably priced, even on the coast.


    • libertatemamo says

      You know that spot came up in one of many searches for camping info in the area. What a unique-looking place!

  4. Don says

    Those picture are just perfect! Do you know if the area State Parks uses chemicals to keep the grass and trees so perfect? If so what type of chemicals. Roundup or ???

    • libertatemamo says

      I have no idea, but I doubt they use anything. This is naturally a very green area and they have automatic sprinklers that keep it that way. But if you wanted to be sure (e.g. You’re sensitive to chemicals or such) then I’d call the State Park and ask. Let us know the results if you find out.


      • Don says

        I contacted the Oregon State Parks:
        Mr.Richard Walkoski
        Communications and Research Division
        Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
        (503) 986-0748

        Our parks use an integrated pest management approach to control invasive species, pests and weeds……One of the most common applications is Roundup sprayed on grass/lawns and on parking lot and curbs area.

        So with chemicals usage as heavy as stated it is a nice picture, but out for me since I’m so sensitive to chemicals especially “roundup”.

  5. says

    You are both an inspiration and a guiding light as we prepare to move to the full-time RV lifestyle. We have just sold our house, have a deposit on a coach and are now preparing to sell off all belongings. Our goal is to leave Toronto on August 1st. Your blogs are excellent and informative; your photos 2nd to none and we love your sense of humour. You are definitely the “rock star” of boon docking (I think it was Amanda [WatsonsWander] who called you this). Our coach will be one of those with all the slides that Technomadia giggle at… – all the comforts of our new home. We are so excited about the upcoming adventure and anxiously await embracing new friends and memories. We will be on the look-out for “the beast”.
    Safe travels and keep up the awesome work.
    Jacquie & Chuck

    • libertatemamo says

      Well a huge congrats on the upcoming adventures! I know what a massive change it is, and I sure hope your travels turn out to be everything you imagined! Thanks for the lovely compliment…and maybe see ya down the road.

  6. says

    We just happened upon Clyde Holliday SP in July 2009 and were also pleasantly surprised by how nice and green it was. It was really hot then, in the 90s when we did the Blue Basin hike.
    Can’t wait to see where you are now. We’ll be heading into OR in a couple weeks.

    • libertatemamo says

      I gather it gets pretty toasty here in summer. Right now we’ve got some near-ideal temps…a tad chilly in the morning at 45, but hitting nice mid-70’s in the afternoons. Plus it’s a pleasure to see all the trees/bushes blooming.

    • libertatemamo says

      And the best is yet to come…I’ve got a full 2-part series on the Fossil Beds coming up next. What a place!

  7. Randy and Cheryl DeBauw says

    We have lived on Oregon all of our lives and I have visited John Day a few times for work. It is a great area this time of year.
    How close to Portland do you plan on getting before heading to the coast. We would love to meet up with you two.

    • libertatemamo says

      We are actually planning to be in Portland the last week of this month, so would be perfect to meet up. I’ll send you a mail when I get back to my regular computer.


  8. says

    Love this park and the entire John Day area. Great review. We stayed here a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Unfortunately, the museum was closed when we were there so didn’t get to see that.

    • libertatemamo says

      Seems the museum is only open in summer. We were lucky we got to see it (it only opened a few days ago!)

  9. says

    Thank you, Nina, for writing about this area. I came to this area specifically because you recommended it! Your posts are fabulous and have lead me to many SAFE and fun places to stay as a soloist 66 youngish gimped female! I cannot thank you enough for the service you and Paul have provided to us, the solo traveler!

    I hope to cross paths with you someday!

    My very best to you!


    • libertatemamo says

      Oh I’m so happy you like the area (and the blog of course). Good traveling to you and do hope to meet you sometime.


  10. Brent says

    Not sure what was up with Verizon when you were here but we have super strong 4G, 24/16 mbps.

    On the bad side though the mosquitos are a major nuisance. Not sure if you guys were here early enough that they weren’t out or what but they are everywhere and hungry.

    • libertatemamo says

      Hmmm…interesting. I wonder if Verizon just opened up a new 4G tower there? This happened to us last year while we were staying at Cape Blanco -> we went from marginal 3G to sweet 4G in one day.

      No mosquitoes when we were there last month. Must just just have missed them. Good to know.

      Cheers for reporting back on your experiences!



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