Portland District Header Image

PORTLAND DISTRICT

Home
Home > Locations > Columbia River > John Day

Building Strong® at John Day Lock and Dam

John Day Lock and DamJohn Day Lock and Dam Project is 216 miles upriver from the mouth of the Columbia River near the city of Rufus, Ore.

 

Construction of John Day Lock and Dam was completed in 1971. The authorized primary project purposes are navigation and power generation.

 

The project consists of a navigation lock, spillway, powerhouse and fish passage facilities. Various recreational facilities are provided along Lake Umatilla and the John Day River.

 

link to larger version of John Day map illustration

Click the small map icon (picture's lower right corner) for a larger PDF version.

 

Rules, policies & related

Collapse All Expand All

National Recreation Reservation Service logoThe National Recreation Reservation Service shows available campsites and lets users make reservations.*

Campsites can be reserved up to 240 days in advance and group facilities up to 360 days in advance. Call 1-877-444-6777 or go to http://www.recreation.gov. Click here for  a list of Corps facilities.


*(Note: not all recreation sites take reservations)

Some life jacket loan stations are only available seasonally; contact each site's managing agency for detailed dates of availability outside of the summer recreation season.

Day-use fees, including boat ramp and dump station fees, will be collected while parks are available for camping. No fees are collected during park closure dates. Some boat ramps outside fee campgrounds will charge a $3 launch fee per day, which is valid at any Corps-managed recreation site for day it was purchased.

Some designated swim beaches outside fee campgrounds may charge a use fee of $1 per person over the age of 12 or in a vehicle up to $4. However, if a vehicle has more than 8 passengers over the age of 12, there will be a fee of $1 for each additional individual over the age of 12.

All fees have been set to maintain comparable fee schedules with other federal, state, county and private campgrounds. All fees meet the requirements set in Engineering Publication 1130-2-550. Fee comparability within the same state and district is outlined in Paragraph 9 of EP 1130-2-550.

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

PORTLAND DISTRICT

333 SW 1st AVE

PORTLAND, OREGON 97201-2946

 

 

CENWP-DE                                                                                                   27 September 2012







SUBJECT: Commander’s Policy Letter #19, Geocaching Within Portland District Boundaries



1. Purpose. Geocaching may be allowed on public lands managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations Title 36 (CFR 36) and any applicable state or local rules and regulations, provided the activity is conducted in an unobtrusive manner. Geocaching can be an appropriate and compatible recreational activity on public land and water, as long as common sense guidelines are followed. Some Corps projects have used the popularity of the sport as an innovative tool to distribute information, such as water safety, in geocaches on Corps-managed lands.



2. Definition of Geocaching. Geocaching is an outdoor adventure activity for users of global positioning systems (GPS). Individuals and organizations set up geocaches (caches) all over the world and share their locations, often through the Internet. Numerous web sites are available, with one of the most popular being http://www.geocaching.com/. GPS users can then find the caches through published coordinates and site descriptions. Most commonly, a geocache is an object or container holding small objects for exchange. The finder may remove the enclosed "prize" and leave another, sign a logbook, or utilize a number of variations. Some "caches" are simply locations with unusual vegetation or unique land features the cache owner wants the cache hunter to experience (virtual caches). There is also a derivative form of the sport that searches for published coordinates of an existing historical monument, plaque, or benchmark.

While geocaching has become the standard name for the sport, other terms include Navicaching, GPS Orienteering, GPS Stash Hunt, and Benchmarking.



3. Policy. In accordance with 36 CFR 327.19 or 327.21, District Engineers, or their designees, may develop permit systems or policies to track and/or control placement of geocaches on project lands, provided this use does not conflict with project missions or security. Simplicity and ease of compliance should be emphasized. Information needed from the proposed geocache owner will include the cache coordinates (location), his/her name, and his/her address and phone number. The intent of collecting this information is to keep track of the location and number of caches on the project and to contact the owner if the cache needs to be removed. During application, the project should ask the proposed cache owner to provide a current picture form of identification with an address to confirm the applicant's identity. This information is voluntary; however, the applicant’s request can be denied for failure to comply with the information request. The project is required to store this information in a secure manner. Geocache objects or containers should be clearly identified as such when placed on public lands. Transparent containers are required, due to homeland security issues. Caches should not contain alcohol, illicit, or other inappropriate materials. It is the due diligence responsibility of the Project Operations Manager to work with the cache owners and jointly conduct periodic cache inspections to insure they are not being used for illicit and/or inappropriate purposes.

a. Individuals or groups that participate in geocaching activities on Corps property must be responsible for coordinating these activities with the Portland District, to help prevent potential conflicts with management activities (i.e., controlled burns, timber sales, planting, etc.)



4. Restrictions. It is the due diligence responsibility of the Project Operations Manager to establish designated areas where geocaching will be allowed and other areas where it will be restricted. Geocaching activities will not be allowed to occur in restricted areas where there could be conflicts with project missions, project security, or the safety of the general public.

Examples where geocaching would not be allowed include but are not limited to:

a. In designated restricted areas.

b. lf the cache, directly or indirectly, would negatively affect ecologically, environmentally, or socially sensitive areas (i.e., threatened or endangered species, critical habitats, cultural resources, tribal lands without consent, etc.).

c. In areas with potential safety risks, such as unstable banks, cliffs, or other hazards.

d. Where geocaching activities may interfere with established public uses, such as boat launching, picnicking, swimming, etc.

f. Where geocaching activities may interfere with the operation or security of the project.



5. Management Considerations. Management considerations at individual projects may require other permanent or temporary measures to ensure that geocaching activities are compatible with other project uses. For example, a project may need to prohibit geocaching during active management in an area for timber harvest, prescribed burning, hunting, or other wildlife management activities. Some projects may want to encourage and actively participate in geocaching activities to promote the Corps message in a positive way.

a. In certain instances, it may be necessary to issue a Special Event Permit in compliance with Title 36, 327.21. Conditions that may warrant the need for a Special Event Permit may include one-time activities that are publicly advertised, commercial in nature, involve large numbers of participants, provide cash prizes or other significant awards, or may potentially conflict with other uses of an area, etc.

b. If a cache must be removed from public lands for operational, safety, environmental, cultural, or other reason, a reasonable effort should be made to contact the cache owner and request removal. If the owner cannot be found, or the cache is not removed within a reasonable time, the cache may be removed and impounded as abandoned property, under 36 CFR 327.15.



6. Summary. In general, geocaching can be a fun and appropriate recreational activity at Corps projects, provided the security or missions of the project are not compromised. It provides an opportunity for positive interactions and partnerships with local groups involved in this activity.

Monitoring of web sites, communication and participation with these groups can form healthy relationships with benefits to all involved. Working with these groups can prevent problems and promote the Corps as a willing partner. Regulation should be based on common-sense needs of specific projects or areas, with a minimal permitting burden on the recreating public.



7. Point of Contact. The point of contact is Mr. Doug Dailey, CENWP-DE, (503) 808-4441.









                                                                 //original signed//

If you're enthusiastic, enjoy new people and want to protect parks, then you might want to be a volunteer!

Volunteer park hosts inform visitors, register campers, assist at entrance stations, conduct customer comment surveys, open and close parks, pick up litter, perform minor maintenance and support interpretive programs. Hosts live in the parks and inform Park Rangers about emergencies or visitor complaints. Volunteer hosts must work at least 20 hours per week, and stay in the park during certain hours to assist visitors as needed. In return, RV sites with full hookups are provided. Current Corps of Engineers openings are listed at the Volunteer Clearinghouse.


Natural Resource Volunteers assist the Corps throughout the year with natural resource management activities. Volunteers are often recruited volunteers from the community for special events such as: Earth Day, SOLV Beach and Riverside Clean-Up, Down By the Riverside and National Public Lands Day. Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, church members, school groups, and other community groups have helped with litter clean-ups, trail work, non-native plant removal, habitat improvement and tree planting.


For more about volunteer opportunities, please contact one of our Park Rangers:
  Willamette Valley: Joe Ross, 541-942-5631
  Rogue River Basin: Edward Amerson, 541-878-2255
  Bonneville Lock and Dam (Columbia River): Claudia Round, 541-374-4019
  The Dalles Lock and Dam (Columbia River): Amber Tilton, 541-506-7818
  John Day and Willow Creek dams (Columbia River): Megan Christianson, 541-506-4806

 

The Corps of Engineers, National Weather Service and other agencies cooperatively gather and analyze data for current and projected future reservoir and river level information.

NWS: Northwest River Forecast Center

   EP 1165-2-316 outlines Title 36 rules and regulations for recreation at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers locations. (Click here for another format).

For more information

John Day Lock and Dam pamphlet

Contact us about John Day:

General: 541-506-7819 / 4807

Email us about the John Day Project 

For reservations*: 877-444-6777

or go to www.reserveusa.com

*(Note: not all recreation sites take reservations)

John Day images

Operations: John Day

Collapse All Expand All
River and Harbor / Flood Control acts of 1950

John Day navigation

Lock length 650 ft 198 m
Lock width 86 ft 26 m
Max. lift 113 ft 34 m
Avg. transit time 30 min.  

John Day hydropower

Powerhouse length 1975 ft 602 m
Generators/total output 16 2160 mw

John Day recreation

Collapse All Expand All

The park will remain closed during 2014.

Contact information: 541-454-2868

Directions: From I-84, take exit 137.

Contact information: 541-481-7217

Directions: From I-84, take exit 165.

No fees. 14-day use limit; first-come, first-served availability, no reservations.

Amenities and activities:

  • Fishing
  • Vault toilet

Contact information: 541-506-7819
Directions: From Hwy. 14, turn south on the John Day Dam Road between mileposts 108 and 109, by the old aluminum plant. Follow the paved road until it becomes gravel.

Operated by the Port of Benton County since August 1, 2007.

Contact information: 509-948-6069

Directions: Milepost 155 off of Hwy. 14.

No fees, 14-day use limit. First-come, first-serve availability; no reservations.

Amenities and activities:
  • Bathrooms
  • Boat ramp and dock
  • Camping (primitive)
  • Trail

Contact information: 541-506-7819
Directions: From I-84, take Rufus exit 109, go north toward the river and turn right.

Directions: From I-84, take exit 168.

CURRENTLY CLOSED

Contact information: 541-506-7819

Directions: From I-84, take Rufus exit 109, go north toward river and turn right.

Open: April 1 – Oct. 31, 2013. Availability is first-come, first-serve unless reserved via www.reserveusa.com or 1-877-444-6777.

Fees:

  • River campsite: $22.00 per night
  • Back-in campsite: $20.00 per night
  • Gazebo tent sites (Sites T9 & T19): $16.00
  • Tent campsite: $14.00 per night
  • Overflow campsite: $12.00 per night
  • Day use fee: $1.00 per person; maximum $4.00 per car
  • Boat ramp & tie-up dock fee: $3.00 per day
  • Dump station fee: $5.00 per dump (free to paid campers)
Amenities and activities:
  • Bathrooms
  • Beach
  • Courtesy docks
  • Dump station (free to paid campers)
  • Electricity
  • Fishing
  • Warm showers

Contact information: 541-506-7819 or 541-739-2713

Directions: From I-84, take exit 114 (approximately 3 miles from John Day Dam.)

Open May 13 – Sept. 13, 2013. No fees; 7-day use limit. First-come, first-serve availability; no reservations.

Amenities & activities:

  • Camping (primitive)
  • Vault toilets

Contact information: 541-506-7819

Directions: Take Hwy. 14 to Plymouth, Wash. Paradise Park is 2.9 miles west of Plymouth Rd. on Christie Rd.

No fees; 7-day use limit. First-come, first-serve availability; no reservations.

Amenities and activities:
  • Boat ramp
  • Camping (primitive)
  • Vault toilets

Contact information: 541-506-7819

Directions: From I-84, take US-730 east / Columbia River Hwy. and go north on Paterson Ferry Rd. approximately 3.4 miles to the park.

The park will remain closed during 2014.

Dates available: April 1 – Oct. 31. Availability is first-come, first-serve unless reserved at www.reserveusa.com, or by calling 1-877-444-6777.

Amenities and activities:

  • Bathrooms
  • Beach
  • Courtesy docks
  • Dump station (free to paid campers)
  • Electricity
  • Fishing
  • Showers

Fees:

  • Full hook-up campsite: $24.00 per night
  • Partial hook-up campsite: $22.00 per night
  • Tent campsite: $14.00 per night
  • Day use fee: $1.00 per person; $4.00 max per car
  • Boat dock & ramp fee: $3.00 per day
  • Dump station fee: $5.00 per dump

Click here for the Plymouth Park recreation map

Contact information: 541-506-7819 or 509-783-1270

Directions: On Hwy. 14 between exits 179 & 180.

No fees. 14-day use limit; first-come, first-served availability, no reservations.

Amenities and activities:

  • Boat launch with courtesy dock
  • Fishing
  • Vault toilet

Contact information: 541-506-7819
Directions: From Hwy. 14, turn south on the John Day Dam Road between mileposts 108 and 109, by the old aluminum plant. Follow the road and the park will be on the left.

No fees; 14-day use limit. First-come, first-serve availability; no reservations.

Amenities and activities:
  • Boat ramp
  • Camping (primitive)
  • Portable toilets (April - Sept. only)

Contact information: 541-506-7819

Directions: 35 miles east of The Dalles from Hwy. 14.

No fees; 14-day use limit.

Amenities & activities:

  • Bathrooms
  • Boat ramp
  • Camping (primitive)
  • Fishing
  • Picnic shelters
  • Shore access to the river
  • Showers
  • Water
  • Windsurfing

Contact information: 541-506-7819

Directions: 50 miles east of The Dalles from Hwy. 14.

No fees, 14-day use limit.

Amenities & activities:

  • Boat ramp open to the public except during commercial treaty fishing seasons.
  • Camping (primitive)
  • Picnic area
  • Vault toilets

Contact information: 541-506-7819

Directions: Off Hwy. 14, about five miles west of Roosevelt.

No fees, 14-day use limit. First-come, first-serve availability; no reservations.

Amenities and activities:
  • Camping (primitive)
  • Fishing
  • Gravel boat ramp
  • Vault toilets
  • Windsurfing

Contact information: 541-506-7819

Directions: Take exit 151 for Threemile Canyon from I-84.

Contact information: 541-922-3939 or 541-567-6151

Directions: From I-82, take exit 1.

For John Day Dam information: 541-676-9009
For park information: 541-676-5576