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Less than 30 miles from town on a well-maintained, scenic road into the Blue Mountains exists dispersed camping sites skirting Indian Ridge along Tiger Creek Road. Dispersed camping is a great way to explore the forest without expectation of destination. Go where the day takes you. Perch atop the Blues and enjoy a sunset view of the valley. Walk a Forest Service road and enjoy a leisurely stroll with big views. Bring your bike and cover some distance. There are so many ways to enjoy the Umatilla National Forest as a family or even as an adventure enthusiast. Enjoy the hunt of the perfect campsite to stargaze.

  • Distance:

    Within 1.5 Hours

  • Difficulty Level:

    Day Tripper, Adventurer, Mountaineer

  • Seasons:

    Spring, Summer, Fall

  • Elevation:

    4,800 feet

  • Pets:

    Yes

  • Status:

    Open

  • Reservations:

    N/A

  • ADA:

    No

  • Multi-Use:

    N/A

  • Motorized Vehicles :

    N/A

  • Your Public Lands

    Umatilla National Forest (Walla Walla Ranger District)

  • What To Do
    • Hiking/ Biking

      Trails in the area include Tiger Ridge (#3224), North Fork Walla Walla (#3222), and South Fork Walla Walla (#3225). A good mountain bike loop for an experienced rider includes a decent down the North Fork Walla Walla Trail to Cow Camp (a large open hunter's camp). Then take Tiger Ridge Trail back up to NF-6511, and ride the forest road back to camp.

    • Camping

      There are plenty of dispersed camping spots to accommodate users up Tiger Creek Road and even along Government Mountain Road (marked NF-6511, narrow and rough road). These spots typically have a well worn turnout and perhaps a fire ring made of rocks. Follow dispersed camping regulations noted below.

  • How To Get There

    Please do not solely rely on Google Maps as their route might not always reflect what is maintained. Head east on Isaacs Avenue out of Walla Walla and continue onto Mill Creek Road. Travel on Mill Creek Road for 14 miles and you will come to the junction with Tiger Creek Road (sometimes referred to as Tiger Canyon Road or Tiger Ridge Road). Turn right onto Tiger Creek Road and cross a small bridge before the road begins its ascent. If you miss your turn, you will come to a gate for the Mill Creek Watershed. Once you're on Tiger Creek Road you will cross into the National Forest as you make your way nine miles up the winding, gravel road. Tiger Creek Road becomes NF-65 once it crosses into the National Forest. Enjoy spectacular views on the way.

    At about 7.5 miles you will come to a sharp turn that meets up with two other marked roads (NF-6511 and NF-6512). There is a nice spot just around the corner on your left side which has its own access road that makes for a good group campsite if you plan to bring friends or family. There is also a spot just off to the left of NF-6512. A third option at this junction would be to take NF-6511 a short distance to the first spur road on your right which takes you to a private spot along a ridge.

  • When To Go

    Although the forest road gate opens April 1st, many of the camping areas may be inaccessible until summer. Call the Umatilla National Forest (Walla Walla Ranger District) before going to check on road conditions.

  • What To Expect

    This part of the forest, accessed by NF-65 and NF-6511, are fun ways to enjoy a more remote experience, although not far from town. You can camp at the junction of NF-65, NF-6511, and NF-6512. Continue along NF-65 further up the mountain, and you can camp at the Deduct Trailhead, which gives you access to the South Fork Walla Walla Trail (#3225) and the Deduct Link Trail (#3228). A short trip down NF-6511 gives you access to Tiger Ridge Trail (#3224).

  • Fees

    None

  • Permits

    None

  • Regulations

    The Mill Creek Watershed boundary follows NF-65 and NF-64. It is well marked and patrolled. Do not enter the watershed!

    You may camp outside of developed campgrounds in most areas on the Umatilla National Forest up to 300 feet from an open road at no charge. Potable water, toilets, and other amenities are not generally available. If you choose to camp outside developed areas, be sure to bring adequate water or be prepared to purify any water source before drinking. Check out current burn restrictions prior to your trip as there is obviously not a camp host to relay that information.

  • Amenities

    None available, so pack in and pack out. Leave no trace! Deduct Trailhead offers a vault toilet.

  • 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.

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