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.
- 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
- 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 WeatherWASCO WEATHER
Current Seeing Conditions/Forecast Charts
The chart above is courtesy of ClearDarkSky.com and the chart below is courtesy of Clearoutside.com
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