Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
RV Guide


Imagine a place that offers thrilling outdoor recreation, while at the same time invites you to indulge in the relaxation of a peaceful nature setting. At over two million acres spanning across three states, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest presents all this and more. From the Blue Mountains at the Washington border to the Wallowa Mountains in Oregon and down the Snake River on the Idaho border, the forest is home to a variety of flora and fauna during all four seasons. The National Forest ranges from deep canyons to high mountain peaks and is full of lakes, rivers, and forested backwoods areas.

Due to its vastness, the recreation opportunities in the forest are unmatched. Thousands of miles of trails make it possible to hike, bike, or snowshoe your way through the forest. Nine Wild and Scenic Rivers traverse the forest offering the chance for swimming, kayaking, fishing, tubing, and water skiing. Wherever you wander, whatever the season, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has something for you.

Whether you’re looking for a primitive backwoods experience or a place to park the camper, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has ample camping choices. In fact, there are 29 RV and trailer friendly campgrounds available. We’ve highlighted the top three of these campgrounds to help you find exactly what you are looking for in your next RV adventure.

RV Rentals in Wallowa-Whitman National Forest



The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is mainly located in Oregon but stretches to the borders of Idaho and Washington. Many campgrounds and popular recreation areas can be located off of major roads, including Interstate 84, Highway 95, and State Highways 244 and 203. Although most major roads are paved, some smaller forest roads are gravel. This may pose a challenge for larger vehicles attempting to traverse through the winding mountain roads. Winter adds additional challenges with ice and snow. Some routes are maintained during the winter along with parking lots near Sno-Parks. In some cases, roads may be closed due to fires or floods. Be sure to check your route before leaving to be sure it is open and safe. Several scenic byways cross through the forest, including the Elkhorn Loop, Journey Through Time, and Hells Canyon All American Road. These routes pass through scenic, historical, cultural, and archaeological areas of the forest, so don’t forget to pack the camera in the RV.


Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Wallowa-Whitman National Forest

Campsites in Wallowa-Whitman National Forest

Reservations camping

Union Creek Campground

If you’re looking for the comfort of a modern campground, head to Union Creek Campground on the northern shore of Phillips Lake. This large campground offers 38 reservable RV and trailer friendly sites and is open from May through September. Each site is equipped with picnic tables and grills and can accommodate large vehicles up to 60 feet in length on paved parking spurs. Some sites have full hookups, while others feature electric and water hookups only. The campground is outfitted with flush toilets, drinking water, a boat dock and ramp, a dump station, and horseshoe pits. Drinking water and a concession area are also available seasonally. Pets are allowed as long as they are kept leashed at all times.

The campground's shoreline location makes it great for sightseeing and recreation alike. Swimming, boating, and waterskiing are all popular activities on the lake, so don’t forget to bring your bathing suit if you’re here in the summer months. Anglers can try their luck for bass, trout, and perch. Phillips lake shoreline trail is a scenic route for hiking and mountain biking and can be connected with other trails to make a loop around the whole lake. Other activities in the area include bird watching and wildflower viewing in the spring.

First-come first-served

Bird Track Springs Campground

If you’re looking for a primitive camping experience not too far off the beaten path, check out Bird Track Springs Campground. Located in the Grande Ronde River valley just off of Highway 244, this 22-site campground is open from spring through the fall. Sites are available on a first-come-first-served basis and are equipped with a fire ring and picnic table. Vault toilets are available onsite but water is not, so be sure to pack enough with you for your stay. Maximum vehicle lengths vary between 25 and 80 feet, depending on the site. This is a pet-friendly campground as long as they are kept leashed at all times. Although the campground is basic in terms of amenities, it makes up for it with its recreational opportunities. Bird watching, fishing, and hiking are some of the most common activities in the area. The Bird Track Springs Interpretive Trail Trailhead is across from the campground and offers excellent bird watching. It’s also a great nature trail if you’re looking for a nearby hike.

Pittsburg Campground

Pittsburg Campground is situated near the Wild and Scenic Snake River inside the Hells Canyon Recreation Area. This large, family-friendly campground offers 28 RV and trailer friendly campsites and is open year-round on a first-come-first-served basis. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and fire ring, and vault toilets and a dump station are also available on site. Drinking water is not available, so be sure to pack enough with you for your time here. Although the campground is RV friendly, it is located off of a steep, narrow gravel road, and large vehicles may have some difficulty maneuvering the winding lanes, especially in the winter months. Pets are allowed in the campground as long as they are leashed. Hiking, fishing, and boating are all popular activities due to the proximity of the Snake River. The Pittsburg Landing Boat Launch is nearby, so feel free to haul your boat behind the rig.

Seasonal activities in Wallowa-Whitman National Forest



Whether you’re an avid hiker, or just looking for an enjoyable way to see the forest, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has ample stretches of trail for beginners and experts alike. Nearly 3,000 miles of trails traverse the forest, presenting endless chances to explore, learn some history, and take in the fantastic views. Many trails have regulations, fees, or seasonal restrictions, so be sure to check into the specific route you’re interested in hiking ahead of time. The Western Rim National Recreation Trail shouldn’t be missed due to its stunning views along the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. The trail is long and has different difficulty levels depending on the section.

Gold Panning

If you’re looking for a unique way to experience the forest, try your luck at gold panning. There are over 1,500 active mining claims in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, and new areas are claimed daily. Not all areas are mineable or pannable, however, so be sure to check on the National Forest website before your visit. There are no designated gold panning areas or guides in the forest, so it’s up to you to research and bring your own equipment along in the RV. Commercial mining is banned in the forest.


Mountain bikers from near and far congregate to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest to hit the trails, so feel free to attach your bikes to the back of the rig. As one of the biggest hubs in northeastern Oregon, bikers will find hundreds of miles of ridable trails and road. Novices and more experienced bikers alike will find routes suited for their skill level. Trails vary in length, and many trails leave right from the campgrounds. For a scenic ride, go to the Hells Canyon National Recreation area along the Snake River.



Due to the size and variety of ecosystems in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, the hunting opportunities are vast. Sagebrush grasslands, the forested mountainside, and rocky canyons offer a plethora of species to hunt. Bighorn sheep, deer, chuckar, Hungarian partridge, turkeys, grouse, and quail are a few of the most popular things to hunt in the forest. RV friendly campgrounds are scattered around many of the most popular areas, making it possible to be near to your home away from home during the hunting season. Make sure that you are up to date with current state laws, permits, and licensees before setting out on your hunt.


Hundreds of trails are plowed and maintained during the winter months within the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, so don’t hesitate to pull the snowmobile behind the camper. There are five Sno-Parks within the forest, each with vault toilets and plowed parking lots large enough for RVs and trailers. A state Sno-Park permit is required for each area within the forest. Water is usually not available in the winter months, so be sure to pack plenty with you.

Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing

The snowy months don’t deter visitors from enjoying the forest during the winter season. Dozens of trails are maintained for cross country skiing and snowshoeing within the backcountry and Sno-Parks, so feel free to bring the skis and snowshoes along in the RV. Sno-parks have ample parking for large vehicles and trailers and charge a fee for winter use. For a scenic trek head to Hurricane Creek. This trail is well-liked amongst cross-country skiers and snowshoers and extends for two miles.