- Your Public Lands
- What To Do
There are 26 campsites with water and electric hookups, picnic tables, and fire rings. Two of those sites are ADA accessible. If pitching a tent isn’t your thing, consider trying out one of three cabins on the grounds as well. Don’t expect your WIFI to work or cell phone service in general for that matter.
Fishing is allowed at Harris Park. The season is typically late May through the end of October and include various species of trout and steelhead. Fishing regulations are highly specific and based on location and species. Please always consult the latest information available from the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.
Roughly 1/2 mile beyond Harris Park is the lower trailhead for the South Fork Walla Walla Trail (#3225). This trail also provides access to Table Springs/ Bear Creek Trail (#3223), Burnt Cabin Trail (#3226--the bridge is closed), the North Fork Walla Walla Trail (#3222) via trail #3223, and Rough Fork Trail (#3227).
Consider downloading the Motor Vehicle Use Map. This part of the forest is reflected on Map 15. The Avenza Map app is also quite helpful as users can upload three maps (or unlimited with a subscription) within the app to use offline. It can track your location offline and overlay your location on the map. Most of the intersections along the trail are not clearly marked, which is why this tool is so helpful.
- How To Get There
Head south to Milton-Freewater on HWY 11. After passing through Milton-Freewater, OR (don’t forget to explore a little), take a left on SE 15th Avenue/ Walla Walla River Road (there is a sign for Harris Park). Travel five miles and veer right onto South Fork Walla Walla River Road. Harris Park is eight miles ahead on left.
- When To Go
The park opens in April and closes at the end of October. There really isn’t a bad time to visit Harris Park. The spring snow melt makes for dramatic river viewing. Birding, brushing up on your entomological skills, or referencing a few guide books to expand your knowledge of local flora and fauna are just a few ways to utilize the park throughout the seasons.
- What To Expect
The park itself is quite spacious. There are a few covered areas near the river, a large field to let the kids run and play games, a playground facility, sand volleyball court, horseshoe, and a day-use area with a number of picnic tables. If interested in hosting an event, there is a covered, outdoor facility with power, water, gas, and all the kitchen conveniences you could possibly need. The campsites themselves aren’t all that spacious, but the rest of the park offers plenty of room for private, quality time with the family.
Fees are $20 per night for tent sites, $30 per night for RVs with 30 amp service, $35 per night for RVs with 50 amp service (only two sites available), and $35 per night for a cabin rental. To rent one of the event facilities, it is $30 per day for the smaller shelter (accommodates up to 30 people) and $75 per day for the large shelter (accommodates up to 75 people). For additional information regarding hosting an event, please visit the Harris Park website.
Valid Oregon fishing license (if fishing). Fishing licenses are available online via the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife or at Ranch & Home in Milton-Freewater, OR.
Campers can stay up to 14 day and then must leave the park for at least 10 days before returning to camp. No tobacco use is allowed on the premises.
There are ADA compliant restrooms as well as portable facilities located in the parking lot of the day-use area.
- Wildlife Awareness
We are all so fortunate to recreate in the Blue Mountains. So many opportunities exist to play outside whether in a national forest, wilderness area, on a Wild and Scenic River, and more! With these opportunities comes great responsibility to appreciate that we are mere visitors and should all take pride in being good stewards of the wild. Many animals call these protected places home, including moose, elk, bear, cougar, bobcat, and snakes to name a few. Take precautions to respect their home and understand the appropriate response should an encounter occur. Additionally, many plant species thrive in the Blue Mountains, so staying on trail is always good practice. Carry First Aid supplies to better respond to accidents or encounters, and always let others know where the day's adventure is taking you.
- Field Notes
Navigation: Consider downloading the Avenza Map app. This app allows users to upload three maps (or unlimited with a subscription) to use offline. It can track your location offline and overlay GPS data from the phone onto the map. The vehicle use maps (for trails allowing motorized vehicles) are the easiest to use. Otherwise, Geo Tracker offers similar tracking capabilities and additional details about your adventure. If no service, Geo Tracker will at least show your location. The Blue Mountains and surrounding area offer a remote recreating experience, and knowing your location is paramount to staying safe. Always make sure to bring paper maps. Tell others where your adventure is taking you and when you expect to return.
Difficulty Level: Here is what we are thinking when we assign a difficulty level: Day Tripper--You don't have much experience in the area but want to get outside! Great for families of all ages. Adventurer--You know your way around the Blue Mountains and love a leisurely day outdoors. Mountaineer--You are ready for a challenge. Wild places excite you and sweat is the goal. Small children beware. Keep in mind some activities may apply to multiple difficulty levels based on usage.
Pets: In general, pets are allowed on a leash and under control throughout jurisdictions. The only restrictions we have encountered are around swimming areas. As a best practice, be mindful of riparian habitat in general. You never know where a precious spawning area might be located. Pack it in and pack it out applies to your furry friend as well.