Buck Creek Forest Camp and Trailhead

Area Status: Closed
Large parking area in pine forest at Buck Creek Forest Camp

Located on the western side of the Eagle Cap Wilderness and very close to the wilderness boundary, the Buck Creek Campground/Trailhead was built to meet the needs of both wilderness trail users and overnight campers. After crossing the Buck Creek Bridge off the North Fork Catherine Creek Road, the narrow dirt road travels through isolated forest and towering rock cliffs to the combination campground and trailhead.

The area is also very popular for mushrooming in the Spring and berry picking in the Fall.  In the late Summer and Fall, big game hunters use the site for day and extended overnight hunting trips.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Current Conditions
Reservations: This site is not reservable.
Area Amenities: Accessible, Tent camping, Camping trailer, Fee charged for some activities, Picnic tables, Toilets, Parking
Fees: The campground and trailhead are two separate fee sites.
  • Trailhead: $5/vehicle/day - Recreation Passes may be used as a form of fee payment.
  • Camping: $10/night for users staying in the designated campsites.
Permit Info: All visitors to the Eagle Cap Wilderness must obtain a Wilderness Visitor Permit before entering the area. Only one permit is required per group and there is no fee for the permits. Registration and Permit boxes are located at each trailhead near the information board. The permits are self-issued.
Open Season: May
Usage: Light
Restrictions: General rules of use and restrictions apply for this developed recreation site. Wilderness Regulations apply within Eagle Cap Wildernes.
  • Motorized vehicles, bicycles, carts, hang glider and other mechanical equipment is prohibited in the Wilderness area.
Closest Towns: La Grande, Oregon (34 miles); Union, Oregon (15 miles)
Water: No
Restroom: Vault toilet
Passes: You will need to display a valid day pass (or annual pass) for each day your vehicle is at a recreation site where a fee is required
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: For trailhead access or facility info contact, La Grande Ranger District. For trail info contact, Wallowa Mountains Office.

General Information


From La Grande, Oregon, travel south on State Highway 203 for about 25 miles (the road is known as the Medical Springs Highway after leaving Union); Turn left on the Catherine Creek Lane (which becomes Forest Road 7785); Travel on Forest Road 7785 for four miles to Forest Road 7787; On Forest Road 7787, travel about 4 miles to Forest Road 150; The campground and trailhead are about 1/4 mile further up Forest Raod 150. 

Part of the Forest 7787 road is narrow and steep with a gravel surface.

General Notes:

The campsites have large, up to 60 foot long, pull-through and back-in parking area which welcomes long RVs and horse trailers.  Camp sites are used by trailers and stock users.  Hitching rails and a loading ramp are available. Bring stock and potable water.

The center parking island is used for wilderness trails visitors.


Note: You will need to obtain a valid trailhead day pass/season pass, or camping permit, for each day your vehicle is at a fee site-even if you intend to stay for several days in the backcountry.  

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

Camping sites can accomodate both stock and trailers.

No. of Sites 4 single sites for trailers and stock users
Reservation Info Not reservable
No. of Accessible sites None

Day Hiking


Backpackers can use inside parking area for short and long term parking. See fee section for required passes.

Horse Riding


Camping trailer: 4 sites
Picnic tables: At each site
Tent camping: 4 sites
Parking: Day use and trailer
Toilets: Accessible vault
Fee charged for some activities: Day and Overnight fees
Accessible: Vault toilet only

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities



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