- Your Public Lands
Umatilla National Forest (Walla Walla Ranger District), National Recreation Trail
- What To Do
The Jubilee Lake Recreation Loop Trail (#3230) is 2.6 miles (around the lake) and begins near the boat ramp. This trail is actually a National Recreation Trail. The designation of a National Recreation Trail is given to trails that contribute to the health, conservation, and recreation goals of the country. They also recognize exemplary trails of local and regional significance. Trails are nominated and confirmed by either the Secretary of the Interior or Secretary of Agriculture. The Jubilee Lake Recreation Loop Trail earned its designation in 1981. Roughly half-way around the lake, there is a rope swing if you dare.
There are 53 campsites available (48 tent/ trailer sites and five tent only sites), 37 picnic sites, and potable water through October 1. Regarding larger RVs, the sites were not originally designed for today's longer trailers. There are pull-through sites that are likely the best option.
The boat launch is available for electric powered or human powered vessels. There is a dock next to the boat launch and multiple spots around the lake to cast a line in from the shoreline. Thanks to support from the Tri-State Steelheaders and Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, the Jubilee Lake Kids Fishing Derby aims to foster lifelong appreciation and interest in fishing. Activities include food, games, prizes, and even professional instruction available at the lake that day. More information is available on the Events page as the current year's details are released. 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.
- Paddleboarding/ Kayaking
This 90-acre reservoir developed specifically for recreation is a prime spot for paddleboarding and enjoying a day in the mountains. Kayaking is also a great option if bringing the binoculars for birdwatching or taking lunch to the other side of the reservoir. Remember when embarking on a water adventure, make sure to wear a life jacket or have a back-up flotation device with you.
- How To Get There
Please do not solely rely on Google Maps as their route might not always reflect what is maintained. From Walla Walla, take HWY 11 south through Milton-Freewater, OR. Travel another five miles and turn left on Winn Road. Follow this little backroad for two miles and then turn left to connect with HWY 204. Drive roughly 19 miles and turn left onto Skyline Road/ NF-64 (just past Langdon Lake). Follow NF-64 for 12 miles and turn right onto NF-250, which takes you to the campground entrance.
As a heads up, a few of those miles are on a gravel road that no matter the year or weather seem to be afflicted with pretty intense washboarding. The destination is worth the jiggling--just tie down the coolers and check the hitch one more time.
- When To Go
Typically Jubilee Lake and all its facilities are open July through October 15. Usage is heavy during holiday weekends. If the campground is full, still consider utilizing all the fun activities of Jubilee Lake during the day and camping at nearby Target Meadows Campground, Mottet Campground, or Woodward Campground. Visiting during the week is also a great option.
- What To Expect
The area around Tollgate, OR provides many opportunities to recreate. Big views on the way to this destination will showcase many features of the Blue Mountains. This particular location doesn’t offer expansive viewscapes, but the forest, lake, and all the activities provide plenty of entertainment. Though heavily used, the campsites are positioned nicely and offer plenty of room from neighboring sites. There are many places along the lake to enjoy a quiet moment, and the lake is plenty big enough for everyone.
If just visiting for the day, expect a $3 day use fee. Camping is $17 per night for a single site, $24 per night for a double site, and $5 per each additional vehicle.
Valid Oregon fishing license (if fishing)--Not available at Jubilee Lake for purchase. Fishing licenses are available online via the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife or locally at Ranch & Home in Milton-Freewater, OR off HWY 11 on your way out of town. Check with the Alpine Outpost in Tollgate, Oregon as well. Remember, you have to purchase an Oregon fishing license in Oregon.
No gas powered boats, but electric motors are okay. 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.
There are five flush toilets and four vault toilets, potable water, and picnic tables.
- 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.