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Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!!
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goldtooth
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:58 pm    Post subject: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

As usual here is the YouTube video of our trip and below is the write up. We really enjoyed this trip and took some pretty good drone footage this time and am getting used to our new camera as well. This area of Oregon is amazing and it is so different then the rainforests of the Cascade range.
Enjoy the report and if you find yourself on our YouTube channel, please do us a favor and subscribe. It really helps us out a lot!! We are really trying to make great content and the more subscribers helps our videos get seen more which in turn helps us.
nate





Link




Since our last trip to the Painted Hills, we have been anxious to return to the area and explore some more. Previously we were a bit rushed due to the weather and only spent a few hours in the park before we headed back west for the next night. This time we planned on staying in the area for two nights so we could dig a little deeper into this amazing place.

We left from Portland mid morning, taking our time heading over the pass and we stopped for lunch on the side of Highway 26 with a great view of the mountain.
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After one last gas stop we headed towards the same campsite we found on our last trip, hoping it would be empty when we arrived. We were fighting the sunset, the need to get video and drone shots with the anxiety of our spot being open. The last few miles were a bit stressful!

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As we neared the spot, we could see that there was no one there and we could enjoy a peaceful night alone on the bluff.

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As we were setting up camp, we noticed a vehicle pulling into our site and Nancy said it looked like a Sheriff. He pulled up and asked us where we were from and we talked about the area, backroads, Painted Hills, and exploring for about 20 minutes. He mentioned that the road we were going to take north of the Painted Hills was muddy and a truck was actually stuck down there now. Good thing we got some local info on the road conditions!

After he left we made dinner and settled in by our propane fire pit, enjoying some delicious stouts.

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A cold morning came and we were presented with a beautiful clear day ahead of us. There was frost on all surfaces as it got down to the low 30’s overnight. This trip was the first time we used our GoWesty insulated window covers. They rock and we wished we would have got them years ago.


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We headed into the Painted Hills early in the day to avoid any crowds that might be there on clear January day. We were excited to explore the area on such a beautiful day.


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First stop was the infamous Painted Cove trail. Though not much of a trail (really just a short walk around some red hills), it is a stunning way to start the day.

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Us looking like a couple of badasses
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Next stop was the Leaf Fossil trail. Another beautiful hike though we did not see any fossils.

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From there we drove on a gravel road outside of the park to make a quick taco lunch with Impossible burger “meat”. Yum!

After the amazing lunch, we made the iconic overlook our last stop as the park was staring to fill up and we wanted to head north to explore the area some more.


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We headed north on Burnt Ranch road to find a place to sleep for the night. The Sheriff mentioned that Priest Hole was a nice area so we headed there first.

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There were already a few people at Priest Hole and it was a bit windy on the river so we kept driving to find something a bit more secluded. After passing the Burnt Ranch, we spotted a dirt road that seemed to lead down to the river. It was a rough and steep road and we figured that would keep most people away from this area.

At the bottom was a small parking space but there was another steep dirt road that lead to a large spot that we could have all to ourselves. Score!


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We took our chairs up to the top of the small hill by the van and enjoyed the sunset and a few beverages.

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The next morning we packed up and had to get back up this loose rocky hill that we descended last night. The Westy climbed up it like a mountain goat and before we knew it we were back on the main gravel road headed to Highway 26.

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We decided to head back to I5 through Highway 22 that was devastated by the wildfires over the summer. It was startling to see how some areas and homes remained untouched while others were leveled. A sobering reminder what nature can do.

All to soon we were back home to unpack the Westy and get ready for our next adventure!

Till next time guys!
nate[/youtube]
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Last edited by goldtooth on Tue Jan 26, 2021 11:15 am; edited 2 times in total
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Mikesarge
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

nice report- makes me want to get out that way this winter.

I've been spending my weekends doing day trips floating the popular coastal and metro area rivers in search of steel the last few weeks, gettin' tired of the enormous crowds. Those wide open spaces sure do look attractive.
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markz2004
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

Thanks for posting. We’ve been there before, but really were rushed and only did the board walk. Definitely lots to see.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 10:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

Cut. Print.

Nice Job.

Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 6:14 am    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

what a beautiful place, thanks for bringing us along.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:00 am    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

Nice report, traveling vicariously through you

Very Happy

What happened to the rest of the giant elephant in shot number 25 ?




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Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:00 am    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

Beautiful! Great photos. We toured that area a couple of years ago. Wound up down by the John Day (?) river very near where you took the shots of the colorful hills. If you look close you can see us under the tree!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:26 am    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

I loved the video so much! What a beautiful area, I'd love to visit it someday.

Thanks for sharing!
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goldtooth
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

Mikesarge wrote:
nice report- makes me want to get out that way this winter.

I've been spending my weekends doing day trips floating the popular coastal and metro area rivers in search of steel the last few weeks, gettin' tired of the enormous crowds. Those wide open spaces sure do look attractive.


We usually camp a lot in the woods but we have been drawn more and more to central and eastern Oregon for the wide open spaces and no people.

What do you mean searching for steel?
nate
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Last edited by goldtooth on Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

Great report, Nate! Love the video. Your white van works well with the drone, easily identifiable in that giant landscape.
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Mikesarge
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

goldtooth wrote:


What do you me searching for steel?
nate



Winter steelhead fishing, north coast peak season starts about now, through early march. Just about everyone and their dog took up steelhead fishing this winter though apparently.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 6:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:
Nice report, traveling vicariously through you

Very Happy

What happened to the rest of the giant elephant in shot number 25 ?




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Laughing


I don't know, it was like that when we got there Smile
nate
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:20 am    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

Beautiful trip & report...thanks for another great post! Cool

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 8:26 am    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

Igeo wrote:
Beautiful! Great photos. We toured that area a couple of years ago. Wound up down by the John Day (?) river very near where you took the shots of the colorful hills. If you look close you can see us under the tree!

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I see it! The John Day river area is beautiful and there are many dispersed camping opportunities

Thanks so much for the positive feedback!
nate
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erste
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 7:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

What an awesome trip. I haven't finished the video yet, but that place is gorgeous. I've gotta get out there. Thanks for sharing!
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 7:41 am    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

erste wrote:
What an awesome trip. I haven't finished the video yet, but that place is gorgeous. I've gotta get out there. Thanks for sharing!


The entire central and southeast part of Oregon is breathtaking. So different than the PNW side for sure!
nate
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 8:05 am    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

Yes, the SE area is interesting. We went through the Hart Mt. Antelope preserve and did see Antelope. Hot springs too.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 4:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

Igeo wrote:
Beautiful! Great photos. We toured that area a couple of years ago. Wound up down by the John Day (?) river very near where you took the shots of the colorful hills. If you look close you can see us under the tree!

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Is that one of the BLM primitive campgrounds?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 4:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

I guess it's BLM. And I suppose you could call it a campground. There is a decent graded road to the river not far from the Painted Hills overlook. When we got down there we found quite a few people clustered in the campground. I say "campground" because there is a pit toilet there. We decided to continue down river a mile or so. Not a soul down there. We even had a shade tree and a little private beach making it even better.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 7:27 am    Post subject: Re: Painted Hills Camping Trip Report!!!! Reply with quote

Nice pics. So you went down Burnt Ranch road to this site? (taking a left as you leave the park on the gravel road)

nate
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