Saturday morning my family packed up to meet my sister's family (sadly only her husband and 2 of their boys could make it since one of them was very sick), and other friends' families. Our destination? Emigrant Springs State Park. It's a campground situated off I-84 just far enough that the sound of passing semis doesn't interfere with the natural sounds of wilderness. The park offers tent sights, trailer/RV sights, hike-to tent sights, horseback trails with appropriate camping sights, and cabins. We rented a cabin since it's January. There's really too much snow for tent camping and even though the park plows a few sights for trailer accessibility, we would've had to lay our tent on top of cold black top. The cabin was more than what I expected. If I had thoroughly read my confirmation receipt, I'd have know that it had a gas stove/oven on the porch, electricity, heating, and a mini fridge. I left my laptop power cord at home because I didn't know there was electricity there, so I only had enough battery power to last through two movies (one for the kids while we drank beer by the fire, and the other movie was for me and Bob). Oh well, I needed a new stove anyways (we bought a new one for this trip), since our previous one broke. The cabin itself was very comfortable and well-heated. I love cabins and natural wood just sets the right mood for "cozy". The only thing that was uncomfortable were the mattresses, which were pretty thin, but not horribly thin. I would suggest bringing your own air mattress for the beds on the floor. They can be laid on top of the existing mattresses, other than the top bunk. The plus side to these mattresses is that they are covered in vinyl and therefore are waterproof and don't have other peoples'...um...you know I'm kind of a germ freak, right? Well, here's the low-down on everything:
Click here to view specifics about the park and reserve your spot.
Rustic cabin cost: $39 + $8 reservation fee = $47
Cabin comes with 1 full-size bed and one bunk (twin on top and full on bottom), small table w/4 chairs, mini fridge, heater, stove/oven combo, electricity, one rug, trash can, broom, and lighting. You will need to provide sheets, blankets, and pillows. Our cabin was big enough to place at 2 more cots on the floor and the beds are far enough off the ground that we could slide our suitcases underneath them.
Fire pit, picnic table, water spigot, bbq provided.
The camp also has flushing toilets and showers available that are just a short hike from the cabins.
Location: Just before Meacham exit off I-84 in Eastern Oregon. It's about 25 miles from La Grand, and 20 minutes from Pendleton high up in the Blue Mountain range. There are a variety of activities offered in the summer, but still sledding, snowmobiling, and other winter opportunities nearby.
Recommendation: I highly recommend this for the value received. The cabin takes the headache out of a lot of things that come with camping, and when it's cold outside, the last thing I want to is to have a problem with my tent. The kids had plenty to keep themselves busy with outside and the park is very well-maintained. The park's ranger was extremely pleasant and friendly. Overall, we were all completely satisfied with our first stay at Emigrant Springs State Park.