Magone Lake, in the Malheur National Forest, about 26 miles north of John Day, is one of Grant County's most popular lakes. Geologists believe the lake was created by a land slide in the early 1800's. Trees below the surface still make non-motorized boating a bit hazardous. Angling for 8-to 15-inch Eastern Brook and Rainbow trout is consistently good. The area has a 22-space campground, (handicap accessible), a boat ramp, and covered picnic area near the lake. This area offers swimming, hiking, fishing, geology viewing, and wildflower viewing.
Magone Lake covers about 50 acres and features both deep holes (up to 100 feet) and shoals on the north side. A hiking trail circles the lake.
To get to Magone Lake from the west or northwest, drive south on Highway 395 past Long Creek and turn left on Forest Road 36. The road leads east to the lake. The other road access, (26 miles north of John Day) is from Highway 26 to County Road 18, then turn onto Forest Service Road 36, which leads to the lake. A Malheur National Forest map would be helpful and can be found at Forest Service offices in John Day and Prairie City.
For more information about road conditions, or to reserve the group campground (it accommodates about 20 people and has room for motor homes or fifth-wheels) or the picnic shelter, visit www.recreation.gov or call 1-888-444-6777. There is drinking water, and each space features a picnic table, fire ring and cooking grate. There is no electricity or garbage collection.