About 60 miles east of Burns and 72 miles west of Ontario, Juntura is an oasis on a long and lonely stretch of US Hwy 20 in arid eastern Oregon.
This small community sits near 4,000-feet at the confluence of the Malheur River and North Fork Malheur River. (The word ‘juntura’ in Spanish is ‘joint.’)
In addition to the proximity of the Malheur River, Juntura offers two extremely important attractions for the weary traveler during hot summer weather: shade and the Oasis Cafe, Motel and RV Park.
We stayed three nights in the modest RV Park. Cost was $24/night with full hookups and restrooms with good showers. No reservations. (Our camper can be seen tucked under the cottonwoods on right of photo on left.)
Jimmy was one of four guys helping install new siding on one friend’s “hunting cabin.” This region of the state is known for its elk and chukar hunting.
The Oasis complex is very retro. It is reminiscent of places we’ve seen along old Route 66. While it may appear to be “a bit run down,” that’s part of its charm. Inside the Oasis Cafe, the linoleum flooring shows years of wear, however, the decent homemade food and friendly service are also reminiscent of in years gone by.
Ranchers, long-haul truckers, motorcyclists, RVers and cross-country bicycle tourists make for an eclectic mix of customers and adds to the ambiance of the place. A small gift shop is attached to the diner with an assortment of random items, and a beverage cooler stocked with soft drinks and cold beer.
Oasis Cafe, Motel & RV Park
5838 US Hwy 20
Juntura, OR 97911
For camping information on a nearby Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land campground, that is six miles up a gravel road off U.S. Hwy 20 in Juntura click on: Chukar Park Campground . This dry camp sits along the North Fork Malheur River and is popular with hunters, fishers.
— Photos and text: Julianne G. Crane