Cottonwood Canyon State Park - Wasco, OR
Cottonwood Canyon State park is a 21 site campground set in a deep canyon carved by the John Day River. When we are referring to this campground and I can't remember the name, I always call it "the Settlement". It reminds me of a pioneer settlement for some reason, I can picture the covered wagons finding a flat area next to the river and deciding to settle here. There are vault toilets and potable water, but no hookups. We love that there are no reservations and it is open year round. The price is nice too - $10 / night in 2018. The sites are very open with little privacy and the wind can really get going through here, but the setting next to the river is really peaceful. The 4.3 mi Pinnacle trail follows the river and makes for a beautiful morning or evening walk.
Getting Here: This park is a little remote so use google maps for the best route from your location. From The Dalles, take I84 East for 28 miles then take OR 206 South East for about 16 miles.