Map showing recreational areas. Map Information
Recreation Conditions Report
In the mid and late 1800s, the North Fork John Day drainage was bustling with gold and silver mining. In the rush, mining towns popped up here and there, only to be left to ruin as the mining dwindled. The nearby town of Granite is one such ghost town, with weathered buildings and the graves of prospectors and pioneers who came to seek their fortunes.
In 1903, local mines began to notice a decline in earnings and promoted construction of a cheaper power source in an effort to operate the mines more economically. As a result, the Fremont Powerhouse was constructed and began operation in 1908. Two dams were constructed at Olive Lake and water from the lake was piped through an eight-mile-long wood and steel pipeline to the powerhouse to generate the much needed electricity. A large portion of the building collapsed in 1992 under a heavy snow load. The Oregon National Guard, led by retired Command Sergeant Major Joe Batty, reconstructed the powerhouse and cabins from 1999 through 2005. The powerhouse contains pictures and artifacts from a bygone era. There is a local caretaker who gives tours when he is on site.
Panjab Campground offers opportunities for hunting, hiking, swimming and bicycling. Just beyond the campground is the trailhead for Rattlesnake Trail #3129 that accesses Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness. This campground is located along Tucannon Springs River; which is a favorite area for mushrooming, hiking, and just relaxing listening to nature. . No camping with stock at Panjab Campground. Stock facilities are available 3 miles up Forest Service Road 4713 at Panjab Trailhead. Please Leave-No-Trace.
This campground serves as the northern gateway to the Winom-Frazier Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) trail system, with over 100 miles of trail to ride. It features 20 campsites and 4 accessible vault toilets. There is a large day-use picnic shelter near the campground entrance. Trailhead parking and an interpretive sign is located in the upper loop of the campground, near the Butcherknife Trail #3189. There is no potable water or garbage service, so please pack your garbage home.
The nearby area offers hunting, OHV riding, sight-seeing, and photography. The Tower Fire Lookout is a little more than 9 miles south of the campground on Forest Service Road 5226.
Clearwater Big House Cabin is neatly placed on a gently rolling slope in a clearing planted with a younger generation of Christmas trees in the area. The Cabin's location may give the feel of being a winter chalet hideaway, even during the warmest months of the summer. This two-story comfort cabin lives up to its name. Expansively, with 868 square feet of living space on the first floor, and another 336 square feet upstairs, there are three bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen.
Cabin lodging is furnished with propane heating and lighting, a table set, a propane cook stove, a propane refrigerator, along with queen, full, and twin beds. Renters will need to bring sleeping bags and/or bedding. Renters are also encouraged to bring their personal cooking and eating utensils for their stay. There is one nearby vault toilet that it is operational year- round.
At this time, there is no water at this site; therefore renters will need to bring a supply of water for drinking, cooking, and washing.
- Do call the Pomeroy Ranger District three business days before your arrival date to receive a combination for cabin access. Pomeroy Ranger District's phone number is (509) 843-1891 and we are open Monday through Friday, 7:45 AM to 4:30 PM.
- Availability: Clearwater Big House Cabin is available for rent year-round.
Clearwater Big House Cabin was once a ranger station and once a deep-rooted trapper cabin. In 1928 and 1929, Ranger Grover Blake built a three-room house out of scrap lumber donated by local stockmen and game department. In 1933, 200 Civilian Conservation Corps' men, whom were staying at the district, built the barn, warehouse, outhouse, and garage.
Nestled on the edge of a lake, high in the Blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon, this popular campground is only 8 miles west of the historic Fremont Powerhouse and 12 miles west of the old mining town of Granite. The campground features 28 campsites and 7 accessible toilet facilities. Other features include a 2-mile hiking trail around the lake with nearby access to wilderness and scenic area trails, a boat ramp and 2 docks. There is no potable water or garbage service, so please pack your garbage home.
Besides beautiful scenery, the lake offers many opportunities for wildlife viewing--particularly a nesting pair of osprey that return annually. Activities in this area include fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, hunting, and photography. Within 20 miles are several historic sites.