Barnhouse Campground – the best campsite near Mitchell, OR

Barnhouse Campground – the best campsite near Mitchell, OR

Location: Ochoco National Forest, Oregon
Season: All year round
Reservations: On “First Come, First Served” basis
Phone Number: (541) 416-6500
GPS Coordinates: N44 28.077 W119 56.455
Visitor’s Information This is a free campground


Starting to plan a visit to John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, don’t forget to think about overnight possibilities beforehand. As camping is forbidden in the area of three units of the National Monument, one of the great options, which we highly recommend, is Barnhouse Campground.

It’s quite close to Mitchell town. If you go east on Hwy 26 from Mitchell town, approximately in 13 miles you will reach Forest Service Road 12; going south along this road for about 5 miles will bring you to Barnhouse Campground.

Barnhouse Campground is a free camping possibility in Ochoco National Forest. It is not gated and is opened throughout the year. The campground is available on “First come – first served” basis, that’s why we do not recommend it during the hunting season, as it is one of the favorite facilities for the hunters, and may be too loud and over occupied at this period.

The narrow winding road will take you through the mixed conifer forest to 6 campsites of different size. In the northwest part of this campground you can find the trailhead of the Barnhouse Trail.

Being quite narrow and with sharp turns leading to the sites, the road cannot admit vehicles over 25 feet long. All other trailers are welcomed, though the space for a trailer differs from site to site.
Except for offering a lot of space for tent camping, each campsite has also a picnic table and a fire pit/grill. There is a vault toilet at the campground but mind that there is no potable water and dump station, that’s why all the garbage must be packed out.

Camping at the Barnhouse Campground you will be amazed how quiet and peaceful this place is, regardless such a close position to the highway. Spending the night under the canopy of beautiful ponderosa pines will have a chance to admire the sounds of nature, represented in summertime mostly by howling of coyotes and hooting of owls hunting their prey in the hush of the night. You can also meet some deer here. This place has definitely its own enchantment!

The activities, this campground may offer you, are hiking, biking, horseback riding, hunting and some snow sports for wintertime travelers. The pets are allowed at Barnhouse Campground.

Being mesmerized by this campground and the surrounding nature don’t forget that the stay limit here is only 14 days.


Photo: Roman Khomlyak
Photo Editing: Juliana Voitsikhovska
Information: Svetlana Baranova

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