McCormick Park on the Snake River

McCormick Park from Oregon side of Snake River. (Julianne G Crane
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Beach at McCormick Park. (Julianne G. Crane)

We have traveled the Snake River Road numerous times between Oregon and points east, and back west again. We would always comment when seeing McCormick Park from the Oregon side, but never stop.

On this journey, however, immediately after crossing the Snake into Idaho, we pulled off Highway 71 onto the park’s access road. McCormick Park is one of Idaho Power’s Hells Canyon campgrounds. It is nestled on the shores of the Snake River (called the Oxbow Reservoir at this point). The park sits just below the Bownlee Dam at around 1800-feet elevation, 29 miles northwest of Cambridge.

Site 29 under the trees at Idaho Power’s McCormick Park. (Julianne G. Crane)

McCormick Park covers nine acres of beautifully maintained grass with lots of shade trees in the common areas. There are 29 RV and 8 tent sites with electric hookups (30-amp) and shared water.

Amenities include

– Restroom with showers, one shower in each restroom. (showers are not ADA accessible).
– Public pay phone (phone card required for non-local calls) There is no Verizon cell reception in the park.
–  There is however Wifi service for $5 day/2 devices; $20 week/2 devices.
– Other amenities are Boat Ramp/Docks, Fishing Access, Picnic Tables, RV Dump Stations.

“Built in 1958, the park is named for Fred McCormick who worked for Idaho Power for 25 years. He was chief engineer during construction. Oxbow got its name from a three-mile bend in the Snake River. To early settlers in the area, the bend in the river looked like the U-shaped frame that forms a collar around an ox’s neck.”

Small signs seen from Idaho 71 (at bridge).
Campsite Fees

Summer (April 1-Oct. 31)
RV site-$16/night
Tent site-$10/night
Winter (Nov. 1 – March 31)
RV site-$8/night
Tent site-$5/night

Day use in the park is free.

— Text and photos: Julianne G. Crane

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