Fill your lungs with fresh air, cast your eyes upon the abundant beauty, hear the ambient hum of nature, grip a piece of shale, sharpened by eons of howling wind and take in the warm glow of the desert canyon. Experience it all as it was all meant to be. This is Oregon. This is Cottonwood Canyon.
As you descend the rolling hills to the canyon floor below and catch your first glimpse of this sprawling 8,000 acre playground, create a mental picture, as you process the inspirational expanse that is Cottonwood Canyon State Park. Expect a new plateau of sensory enlightenment as you gaze in awe at its sheer majestic cliffs, its sparkling waters fed by the John Day River (one of Oregon's few undammed rivers); so peaceful, the busyness and cling-clang of the city will be but a distant memory.
Cottonwood Canyon is a once in a lifetime experience, a natural joy that shares the acreage with big horn sheep, deer and the occasional rock lizard. Fortify yourself with a fishing rod, a mountain bike, a tent, a kayak, a horse, hiking boots, firewood, a camera and your sense of wonder to this unfiltered paradise - the latest and second largest Oregon state park funded in part with Oregon Lottery dollars.
The Oregonian Editorial Board | 9-30-2013
"If I were a rich man, this is the piece of river I'd buy."
Henry Miller | Statesman Journal | 3-10-2014
The 8,000 acres of scrub, grass and sagebrush along 16 miles of the lower John Day River are about 173 miles, a three-hour drive and a century and a half back in time from Salem.