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Hilgard Junction State Park
Hilgard Junction State Park © Bobjgalindo / CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Grande Ronde River flowing next to the Hilgard Junction State Recreation Area off Interstate 84 at its intersection with Highway 244.
Hilgard Junction State Park © Bobjgalindo / CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Hilgard Junction State Recreation Area campground with provided picnic table, fireplace and RV parking, located along the Grande Ronde River next to Interstate 84 at its intersection with Highway 244.
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Ukiah-Hilgard Highway
La Grande, Oregon   97850
(lat:45.3421 lon:-118.2356) map location

Phone: 800-551-6949
Reservations: 800-551-6949
Hilgard Junction State Park is next to Interstate 84 at its intersection with Highway 244 near the Grande Ronde River. The park offers camping and daytime activities amongst the cottonwood and ponderosa pine. The Grande Ronde River flows through the park, enticing anglers, rafters and swimmers. Beaver, mink, deer and a variety of birds inhabit the park area and can be viewed throughout the year.

Fall frosts gives birth to brightly colored fall foliage along the river corridor, and winter snows bring herds of elk and deer to the banks of the river. While camping at the park, you can see ruts of the historic Oregon Trail at the nearby Blue Mountain Crossing Interpretive park, explore miles of open road in the national forest, or hop over to LaGrande and stock up on groceries, have a meal or partake in community events.

If you're going to be traveling Interstate 84, be sure to stop at Hilgard Junction and spend a night or two and explore the natural beauty of eastern Oregon.
History of the Area
Located in Eastern Oregon, near the city of La Grande, this natural reserve was established as a state park in 1953. The area is named after Eugene Woldemar Hilgard, an esteemed geologist who studied soils across America during the late 19th century.

The land where it sits has been shaped by various geological events over millions of years and holds significant historical importance due to its location along the historic Oregon Trail. Pioneers traveling westward often stopped at what would later become known as Blue Mountain Crossing - now part of the park's territory.

In addition to being a resting point for pioneers on their journey towards new opportunities out West, Native American tribes also used these lands long before European settlers arrived. It served them both as hunting grounds and seasonal campsites.

Over time with increased development around transportation routes like highways and railroads intersecting nearby; there came about more recognition for preserving such areas rich in history & biodiversity leading up to its official designation into State Park status under management from Oregon Parks & Recreation Department (OPRD).

Today it offers visitors camping facilities alongside access points onto hiking trails that lead through diverse landscapes including forests filled with ponderosa pines or down riverbanks lined by cottonwood trees while providing educational insights regarding local flora/fauna plus cultural heritage aspects related back toward early pioneer days or indigenous tribal life periods prior.

Hilgard Junction State Park is located near La Grande

Hilgard Junction State Park offers picnic tables and grills, perfect for a family outing. Enjoy meals amidst beautiful natural scenery.
1. Hilgard Junction Nature Trail: This is a short, easy trail that takes you through the park's diverse ecosystem and offers stunning views of Grande Ronde River.

2. Blue Mountain Scenic Byway Hiking Trail: A moderate difficulty level hiking path offering panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

3. Oregon National Historic Trail Loop: An educational hike with historical markers along its route detailing significant events in Oregon's history; it also provides beautiful river views.

4. Wallowa-Whitman Forest Pathways: These trails are located near to Hilgard Junction State Park but technically within this national forest area, providing hikers an opportunity for longer treks amidst dense forests teeming with wildlife sightings possible including deer or elk herds.

5. Riverside Walks at Emigrant Springs Area Heritage Trails System (ESAHTS): Although not directly inside Hilgard Junction State Park boundaries, these nearby riverside walks offer tranquil settings alongside flowing water bodies where one can enjoy bird watching as well as fishing opportunities.

6. Grande Tour Route - Elgin Section: Another off-site option close by which forms part of larger 218-mile scenic drive loop around Northeastern region featuring several points-of-interest stops besides multiple walking/hiking options enroute like Mt Emily Recreation Area etc.,.

7. Rock Climbing Routes on Mount Harris Cliffs: For more adventurous visitors who prefer vertical hikes/climbs over horizontal ones!

8. Winter Snowshoeing/Cross:Country Ski Paths: During winter months when snow covers ground surface turning landscape into white wonderland then there're designated paths available specifically meant for such activities too apart from regular hiking routes mentioned above already!

9. Accessible Paved Walking Tracks Around Picnic Areas & Campgrounds: Ideal choice especially if travelling together with family members having different physical abilities/limitations since they allow everyone irrespective their fitness levels participate outdoor fun equally without feeling left out due any mobility issues etc.,.

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Nearby Hotels

1. Start by heading east on I:84 E.
2. Continue driving for approximately 10 miles until you reach Exit 261 toward North Powder/Haines.
3. Take the exit and merge onto OR:237 N/Grande Ronde Rd.
4. Follow this road for about 5 miles until you arrive at Hilgard Junction State Park.

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Oregon State Parks