Cottonwood Canyon State Park

Courtesy of

Cottonwood Canyon State Park is a true gem and a wonderful place to go stargazing! There are areas for telescopes and cameras, but camping space is limited, so make sure to reserve your spot early!

Cottonwood Canyon has a limited number of camping spots and can be a bit isolated from other lodging areas, so make sure to book early. This remoteness also makes the park a great place for astronomy since it is so dark. Cottonwood Canyon is almost 1/2 way between Portland, OR and the John Day Fossil Bed Monuments, with the drive being about 2 hours to each location.

The Cottonwood Canyon State Park has a Bortle light pollution scale color of Black, which means great seeing! It is open to the public, but is in incredibly hard to get a cabin as there are only 4 cabins. Make sure to reserve the spots early! One can bring any astronomical gear available.

Cottonwood Canyon State Park

Image courtesy of


  • How far outside of Portland? ~130 miles, so about 2 hours and 15 minutes without traffic
  • Google Maps Location


  • # of spots: 30+
  • Cost For Parking: $5 Day Day Use Fee–>Camping Costs if Staying the night
  • Parking Permit(s) Required: Oregon State Parks Payment for entry
  • Where Permit(s) Can Be Obtained: Park Entrance

Overnight Accommodations

  • Lone Tree Campground info:
    • 21 primitive sites for tents and self-contained RVs (max site size is 75 feet). Available first-come, first-served
    • 4 rustic cabins (reservable; Bighorn and Rattlesnake cabins pet friendly; see our Pets in Parks FAQ for more info)
  • All information comes from Oregon State Parks
  • Reservations via Reserve America
    Rate Type Cost
    Extra vehicle $7
    Group Tent $71
    Hiker-biker per person $7
    Pet Friendly Rustic Cabin $58
    Primitive site $10
    Rustic cabin $48

Upcoming Weather


Current Seeing Conditions/Forecast Charts

The chart above is courtesy of and the chart below is courtesy of

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