Harris Park is located on the South Fork of the Walla Walla River,
about 14 miles southeast of Milton Freewater, Oregon. It is owned and
operated by Umatilla County is used for overnight camping and has a day
use area for picnickers and outdoor enthusiasts.The park
open from early spring to late fall, depending on the weather. It has
many amenities that meet ADA requirements, and a large covered shelter
that is rented for group functions. Reservations for camping are
advised but not necessary, however calling ahead to make sure there are
spaces available is advised. Call 541-938-5330 for information and
reservations. Year round on site Managers live in a cabin on the west
end of the park property.
In the 1920’s the Rotary Club of Walla Walla developed the area for
a Boy Scout camp. Early in 1950 most of the land was deeded to the
County. As a result of the cooperation between the Rotary Club, Mrs.
C.H. Harris, Harris Pine Mills, Mrs. Bessie Demaris and Umatilla
County, Harris Park was developed as a recreational area.
The park is situated in a relatively narrow canyon bottom, with hillsides to the north and south of the river. The County road ends about 1/8 mile beyond the Gene Palmer Campground. The U.S. Department of Interior (BLM) manages the three-mile stretch of the south fork of the Walla Walla River that runs from Harris Park boundary to the Umatilla National Forest, west boundary. This land is designated an area of critical environmental concern (ACEC). The main management goal is protecting and enhancing the riparian ecosystem, fisheries habitat and the scenic resource while allowing regulated recreational use. Harris Park is an entrance to the ACEC for hikers, horseback riders, motorcyclists and hunters who use public lands (Forest Service or BLM lands) but has no enforcement authority.
(Limited description, additional policies posted at Park)
Palmer Campground is a fee use area designated for overnight camping
only. The Miller Day Use area is for picnicking only and is open from 8
am and closes at dusk. No camping allowed in the day use area.
must be on a leash in campground or day use area.
- No horses or
livestock allowed in park
- Campfires are allowed in established fire
rings/fireplaces only. Campfire and smoking bans may occur in the
summer month and are strictly enforced.
- Fireworks prohibited at all
times on park property
- Firearms may not be discharged within ½ mile of park property
- Parking is not permitted on the Gene Palmer
campground “loop” road or County road going through the park
- One RV and
one vehicle are permitted in campsites 1-12 and 13-26
- One tent and one
vehicle are permitted in campsites 2a, 3a ,4a, 7a, and 9a.
- Tents are
not allowed in site # 10 or sites 13-26
- Camping is limited to a 10 day
- Checkout is at 1 pm daily.
- No pets in cabin
- No food in cabin
- No smoking in cabin
- No electrical appliances
- No cooking in cabin
- Anything damaged you are responsible for.
- Please clean up after yourselves.
- If you have questions please ask.
- Check out is by 1PM
Gene Palmer Campground Amenities And Information
The campground has 26 campsites, each with water, electricity,
picnic table and fire/grill ring. Two sites are handicap accessible.
All sites have ample room for an RV and one car. Some sites will
accommodate larger RV's. The tent sites will accommodate one four man
tent and one car. Of the total campsites four are located along the
river. Some sites are used/reserved more often than others because they
are more private and provide access to the river. The upper campground
is a large mowed area with sites side by side, without landscaping.
Other amenities and facilities in the campground area; public restrooms for men and women that meet ADA requirements, a large covered shelter, a sand filled volleyball court, and a campfire wood storage shed. The large shelter (Widner Cove) has electricity, lights, hot/cold water, refrigerator, electric 4 burner stove with oven, gas barbecue, picnic tables and a fireplace. It is rented for family reunions, group meeting, weddings etc. The camp host site behind the restroom is used exclusively by volunteers that are selected by the County to assist in park operations during the peak periods.
Miller Day Use Area Information And Amenities
The day use area of the park is free for
public use. No camping is allowed and the area closes at dusk. The
large shaded area
to river for picnicking has tables, and raised
grills for barbecuing .The small shelter has tables, a fireplace and
barbecue grill. There is a handicap parking and a paved road leading to
a ADA toilet, and the covered river viewing platform for handicap
individuals. A pay telephone sits on a concrete pad and is ADA
The playground and horseshoe pits are adjacent to the small
picnic shelter. A prefabricated children’s play structure in the
playground area was installed in 1998. The playground, volleyball
court, horseshoe pits and play equipment is common ground for day users
The park features an extensive rustic rugged hiking trail recommended for experienced hikers located on the south side of the park. This hiking experience is an enjoyable way to view the various parts of nature in the valley. The trail entrance is located near the entrance to Harris Park on the north side of the road. It is recommended that children be accompanied by an adult as the trail is narrow in places and primitive in location. (Always be careful and use at your own risk.)