Flickr album link: Idlewild Campground
The Idlewild Campground is located on Highway 395 about halfway between John Day and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. This location is perfect for exploring points of interest in this region and it is a nice spot for those who simply wish for recreation and relaxation in the deep pine woods. This campground was constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps with hand crafted local materials and this rustic spot certainly has a good old fashioned adventurous feel. The campground features a large loop with plenty of space between the individual campsites, which have chargrill fire pits and picnic tables nestled under the shade trees. Due to the nature of this forest and the antique design, the campsite parking pads have a 20 foot vehicle length restriction, so this is a good place for car campers. Basic facilities are located onsite and drinking water is available seasonally, so all that a visitor needs to do is load up the gear and stock up on food prior to arrival.
This part of the Malheur National Forest is where logging takes place, so there are endless dirt road trails that meander all through the mountains. For this reason, the Idlewild Campground is a popular spot for setting up a hiking and mountain biking basecamp. The nature viewing along the trails is popular too, while the aggressive little striped squirrels will certainly provide plenty of entertainment at the campsite. Woodpeckers, owls and songbirds abound in this deep pine forest, so be sure to pack a powerful lens for the venture. Bears also frequent these woods, especially during the berry picking season, so safe food storage is required onsite. This pine forest is also like a tinder box during severe drought, so it is vital to heed the posted fire restrictions in order to prevent disaster. All in all, the Idlewild Campground is the perfect spot to stretch out in the hammock after a long day and listen to the breeze rustle the whispering pines!
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