Come hike and enjoy the beautiful views of cougar mountain in Mitchell Oregon. There is a lot of a lot of juniper on the property and you can also see john deer river canyon
PLEASE CALL me to confirm details 2 days prior to your booking / before you arrive so that I can greet you and show you around.
- Check in: After 7AM
- Check out: Before 12PM
- Cancellation policy: Moderate
- On arrival: Meet and greet
- Minimum nights: 1 night
- Accepts bookings: 12 months out
Offered on the Host's property or nearby.
Natural features you'll find at Bucking Horse Ranch in Oregon.
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Adventurous & incredible
As you may have gathered from the listing or from other reviews, this is not a place to simply pull over and go to sleep. You are on top of a mountain, or I suppose one might call it an enormous hill. This is the Painted Hills after all. Either way, the view is 360 degrees and downright spectacular.
The road in is well maintained. I arrived in a 4WD truck so it was simply a non-issue. After a few miles on an unpaved county road you turn on to Robert's property. At this point the road is rutted out in places. It's not too bad and and never dangerous. As previous reviewers have alluded, you could get a Honda Civic up there if you know how to drive that kind of road. If any of this sounds too scary then this probably isn't the spot for you.
I was there with me 13 yo son on July 5th and 6th. We were there for two nights and never saw another person. Never saw, or even heard, another car. We were alone with the wind, the sun, the moon, the stars. It was the most sublime car camping experience of my life. In order to achieve solitude like that I've always had to backpack.
Now, obviously, I can't guarantee you will get that solitude. Another Hipcamper could drive up at any time. There is room up there for a lot of people, with a lower meadow and mountain top tenting spots scattered about. What I can guarantee is that that assuming the weather is good and you come prepared (we brought 10 gallons of water which ended up being twice what we needed -- better safe than sorry) this will be one the most spectacular places you've ever camped.
It was immaculately clean. Just like backpacking, be sure to pack out anything you bring in. There are fire rings all over the place but there is a burn ban in effect for much of the year so if you come in the summer be expect to use a stove only.
As for the directions, I'm not sure why Robert is so cryptic. Specific directions are only given via telephone and he is darn near impossible to reach due to lack of cell service. It was frustrating as I was busy planning an extensive trip. I ended up getting two numbers via text a week after I made my reservation and was able to get through to a woman who was able to give me passable directions. There are lots of clues in the reviews as well. This one included.
Tempted as I am to lay out easy to follow directions, I'm going to respect Robert's process. I'm guessing he keeps the directions challenging in an attempt to keep a certain type of yahoo camper away. The type that might trash the place.
I never saw Robert. I never talked to Robert on the phone. But I made my way to the camping area he has created and had an incredible experience.
After booking with Hipcamp, go ahead and call your host to go over your camp details. He has limited cell phone service out there and wants to go over driving instructions and other details before you arrive. If you don’t call after booking or at least a couple days before arriving, you may not get ahold of him. After chatting on the phone with our host a few times before arriving, we had the information we needed to arrive there with ease. Try not to arrive after dark, for that will make it a bit more difficult when trying to find the place. If you aren’t used to driving out in the mountains or back country roads, you are going to feel like you have been driving for FOREVER, but that is normal - keep going, you’re almost there. There are green trail markers all along the way and they help tons in reassuring you are on the correct path. We have a 2WD Honda CRV 2002 model and drove it up the dirt path all the way to the top of the mountain without an issue, if you know how to drive your car, you can surely make it up here without an issue.
After many twists and turns and green markers, we found ourselves pulling up to the top of the mountain where we were told to camp anywhere. We drove up to the tip of the top and set up our camp there. We pulled some old volcanic rock together and formed a fire pit and in the distance looked out to mountains and valleys as far as the eye could see. The chilly October air gently danced around us as we set up our tent and got our fire started. We made tea and sat down together to watch the sunset. A lovely set of pastel pinks and purples painted the evening sky. In the distance a prominent volcanic type mountain stood, mesmerizing us with its’ beauty. Besides the cackling of our campfire, there were no other sounds in the night. As the pastel shades of pink and purple turned into deep violets and indigo, the sparkles from the night sky started to shine through the atmosphere. The night sky was so crisp and clear, the Milky Way and a few shooting stars decided to make their presence known, we wish we would have brought a telescope.
A short walk down the hill, you will find two triangular structures jutting from amidst the earth. Upon further investigating, these intriguing futuristic structures are the outhouses. Super rad. I rate these as 5 star outhouses. There is not a sink or water spout, so bring in your own water or hand sanitizer. There is a large trash can available for use near the toilets, as well as a table area. There are no showers available here either, so if you are picky about cleanliness, bathe beforehand.
We did not have any cellular reception here, so make sure you write down your driving instructions before arriving and take care of anything else you need to get done using internet before coming to camp! Once you are here, you will love that you can be so disconnected from your phone/technology/social media - it’s a serene place to go with a sweet heart or with friends.
*Call camp host after booking or call at least 2 days before arriving — He wants to make sure to go over everything with you and if you wait last minute, he may not have phone service at that time and won’t be able to go over everything with you before arriving to camp.
- Try not to arrive after dark so that you will not get lost upon arriving
- Follow the green markers - they’ll lead you up to the campsite
- -Great 360 degree views.
- Wonderful secluded mountain camp spot
- Nice little rocky fire pit area on top of mountain
- Great aesthetic design on the toilets
- No sinks or water spout // bring hand sanitizer if you are wanting to wash hands
- Table available for use
- Trash can available
- No showers
- No phone service
I didn't get to stay there because the campground is up a very steep hill and our car wasn't able to make it up. There should definitely be a warning that you need a car with all wheel drive and/or a crossover or SUV in order to make it up. I did walk up the hill to the campground and it seemed beautiful. Just a warning to only go if you have the vehicle for it.
Beyond words. This is a special, special place. Robert is a delight and it was an honor to be a guest on his land. My expectations were completely blasted into smithereens and replaced by total awe. I wanted to stay forever. Don't let other reviews make you nervous, the directions you get from the pre-trip phone call are more than sufficient. The rig (subie) made short work of the road, which really wasn't any different from any other steep dirt road, except for the bombardment of increasingly mind-blowing views. Vehicular performance can be substituted with competency to a great extent - know your car. I really can't describe the sacred magic of this place...just go here!
We stayed for two nights. It's a remote location with amazing views during sunset as well as star gazing. It can be a quite windy, so choose tent location carefully and plan accordingly.
There is a fairly long dirt road in. Our Honda Civic was able to make the trip, but it was right at the limits in terms of grip and ground clearance.
Bucking Horse Ranch was at a beautiful location and very close to Painted Hills, Mitchell and Ochoco National Forest. It is the ideal location. Our host, Robert, was friendly and accommodating. Also, Robert was very helpful in helping us find places to go.
I enjoyed my stay at this campsite last night! I'm pretty new to solo camping and I felt very safe. It's secluded, really quiet, and gas great views. I called Robert after I booked for directions, as advised on the site, and he gave me some good tips and things to look out for on the drive up. I had the place to myself but even if there were other campers, there's plenty of space and flat ground to spread out and not see anyone else
Tried to call several times like the site says. Got a spotty reception call with Robert. After finding the confusing landmarks given to me by Robert (no signs). Made it up the trail (we were in a trailblazer) and saw a confusing sign just past a house saying that we were going the wrong way (I believe it said "Danger") so asked the people in the house for directions/if we were going the right way. She allowed us to stay on her property for the night so we didn't have to keep trekking up the steep, unsteady hill. So I can't comment on the site itself, but make sure you have a car/suv that can traverse steep, narrow, gravel roads and get clear directions from Robert.
The views were spectacular!!
What a beautiful location! The drive up the road to the top of the mountain is a whole adventure! We took a wrong turn and ended up testing our little jeeps abilities. When you get there like others have said... Follow the green signs. I was a little thrown off by the fact there were multiple other parties at the site which made the small area feel a little crowded. The outhouses looked neat but somewhat odd to use when there is other parties set up around it. Our second night we decided to drive a little down the road to another flat spot for some little privacy and a beautiful view of the John Day Area. All in all amazing spot to stay in Oregon but be aware it might not be as private.