Free Guide to Northwest Camping
Giles French Park
Campground Description: Giles French Park is owned and operated by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. The park is located on the downstream bank below John Day Dam, on the Oregon Side. There is no water, electricity or waste water disposal but water and waste disposal are available at the Shell service station in Rufus, 3 miles west on Interstate 84 (I-84). Rufus also offers some grocery shopping and a restaurant. For RV camping at Giles French Park, plan on camping on a large gravel area or on the street next to some small grassy areas. Tent camping is allowed on the grassy areas. There is only one restroom facility at Giles French Park and it only offers flush toilets. There are several Porta-Potties scattered around the park. So, what's the draw to Giles French Park? Fishing. This is one of the few areas on the Columbia River where a fisherman can reasonably expect to catch salmon and steelhead from the shore. Also, because it's free, it makes a good overnight stop on your way to your next destination. Open year round. There is a 14 day limit. Reservations are not possible.
Number of Sites: No sites are marked but between the gravel areas and the paved areas, more than 100 RV campers could fit without any problem
Cost: Free - 14 day stay limit
Waste Water Dump Station: No
Directions: Eastbound or Westbound on Interstate 84 (I-84) - Take exit 109 or 112 and turn towards the river. The park is less than 200 yards from the freeway. The grassy areas are near the base of the dam.
Fishing: Yes. This is one of the few areas on the Columbia River where a fisherman can reasonably expect to catch salmon and steelhead from the shore. Ask the other fishermen what bait and tackle to use or ask in Rufus. Bass, walleye and sturgeon are also caught from the shore.
Astronomy Opportunities: Good, so plan on taking your telescope camping. There is light pollution from the dam as well as a small amount from Rufus and Biggs. The exact location for computerized telescopes is 120.65123° W, 45.72900° N.
Nearby Golfing:18.6 miles northwest in Goldendale: Goldendale Country Club 1901 N. Columbus Goldendale, WA 98620 509-773-4705 Goldendale Country Club
24 miles west in The Dalles:
The Dalles Country Club (9 holes) 541-296-5252 The Dalles Country Club take exit 82 from I-84
Lone Pine Village Golf Course (9 holes) 541-298-2800 take exit 87 from I-84
Contact Information:U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Giles French Park
PO BOX 564
The Dalles OR 97058 541-296-1181 Giles French Park
Click on any picture for a larger image
The sign at the entrance to Giles French Park
The restroom facilities at Giles French Park offer flush toilets but no showers
The boat launch at Giles French Park is fully paved
One of the many small lawned areas at Giles French Park where RV camping is permitted
In areas like this, RV campers can pull up next to the lawned area and BBQ
The gravel parking lot affords room for a large number of RV campers at Giles French Park
The John Day Dam as viewed from the RV camping area at Giles French Park
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Page last updated 04/07/2015
The Free Guide To Northwest Camping is a free guide to both privately owned and publicly owned (state, county and federal government) campgrounds. The editors of the Free Guide To Northwest Camping do not specifically endorse any of the campgrounds listed in this site. Not every available campground is covered in this free camping guide. Many of the privately owned and operated campgrounds do allow RV camping but not tent camping. If in doubt, call the campground first.
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