Camp Gap Ranch (32046774294)
Photo of restored buildings and landscape, Camp Gap Ranch, July 20, 2016, by Greg Shine, BLM.
Camp Gap Ranch, preserved and protected today by the Bureau of Land Management, was one of the original camps established in the 1930s to support President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps.
The Civilian Conservation Corps was created in 1933 as a federal public works program to provide employment for out-of-work young men, particularly from the cities in the eastern United States. The Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Gap Ranch was developed in 1934.
At first a tent camp, Camp Gap Ranch was soon transformed into a more permanent facility with wood-framed barracks, kitchen and mess hall, officers’ quarters, shops, and other support buildings.
The camp was staffed by up to 200 enrollees, supervisors, and officers and operated from 1934 to 1942. The men of Camp Gap Ranch worked for the U.S. Grazing Service and built range improvements such as fences and reservoirs, drilled wells, built roads and cut vast quantities of juniper posts for fencing projects.
Most of the buildings at Camp Gap Ranch were pre-fabricated and bolted together. When World War II began in 1941, all of the wooden buildings were dismantled and moved elsewhere to support the war effort. All that remained at the camp were a few rock buildings, water tower, pump house and windmill tower, rubble rock walls, rock-lined paths, and a seemingly random assortment of concrete foundations.
After being abandoned in 1942, the remaining buildings were left to deteriorate. By the 1970s, the Bureau of Land Management began to formally recognize the historic value of the site and re-roofed the remaining camp buildings.
During the 1980s, brush was cut down and burned in order to protect the camp from wild fire. In the late 1990s, the pump house and windmill tower was reconstructed, the southern stone building was restored, and the cold house was stabilized.
Hiking, exploring and discovering the historic structures scattered across Camp Gap Ranch are popular activities. Please take care to leave the site as you found it and do not disturb buildings or rock features to remove artifacts.
Be on the lookout for ticks and rattlesnakes which are present during spring and summer. Shade is limited and temperatures at Camp Gap Ranch can reach 100 degrees in July and August. With no potable water, restroom facilities, cell phone service, or designated camping areas, travelers should bring their own conveniences.
Directions to the Site
From Burns, take Highway 20 west for approximately 40 miles to milepost 91 and turn left onto the Camp Gap Ranch entrance road.
To learn more about the site and plan a visit, contact the BLM Burns District office through one of the options below:
BLM Burns District
28910 Hwy 20 West
Hines, OR 97738
E-mail: [email protected]