Bing Canyon Pioneer Camp

Two miles north of the intersection of 16 PR SW and Highway 14.
Approximately 10 miles northwest of Plymouth, Washington, United States


Bing Canyon Pioneer Camp provides a primitive, secluded, secure site for trek groups. It is on rangeland that is part of a large irrigated farm that the Church owns and operates. The terrain is rolling hills and small canyons, and the vegetation is low shrub and prairie grass. Elevations range from 500 to 1,000 feet.

The campground can be used for stake, ward, or family activities by appointment.

Directions—Follow these, not GPS: To reach Bing Canyon Pioneer Camp, on I-82, heading north after crossing the Columbia River leaving Umatilla, Oregon, or on I-82 headed south from the Tri-Cities traveling toward Umatilla, Oregon, take the I-82 Washington exit 131 onto Washington’s Highway 14. Head west for 8.4 miles, then turn at the sign that says “Agri Northwest, Plymouth Farms, Prior West Entrance.” (DO NOT USE Prior East Entrance.) There will be a row of trees on both sides of the farm road. Then travel north, following the signs to Bing Canyon.

Overview | Scheduling | Itinerary | Essentials | Training | Other


1. In what months are treks allowed at the site?

Mid-June to August.

2. Is there a cost to use the site?

Yes. Because of fluctuating prices, the cost will be quoted at the time of inquiry. Presently (2024), we have been able to hold the cost at $3 per person for overnight campers at the campground and $15 for each participant in a trek event. There may be additional costs such as dumpsters, ice blocks, and so on.

3. How many participants can the camp site accommodate at one time?

There are 8 acres of grass, with two main gathering areas plus individual campsites—the combination of a stake and ward or two wards and a large family event.

4. How many handcarts are available?

Give or take about 100. Each has a weight limit of 400 pounds. But because of trail conditions, the load weight limit is reduced. A standard load is 10 five-gallon buckets for personal items and 2 five-gallon water coolers/dispensers.


1. Who may schedule a trek?

Stakes, wards, and families may schedule a trek.

2. How far in advance should treks be scheduled?

Treks are scheduled one to four years in advance.

3. What is the site contact for scheduling?

4. What do the service missionaries do?

Service missionaries schedule treks, maintain trails and parks, answer questions, hold pre-trek orientation, and host treks. Service missionaries wear blue shirts and missionary name tags.


1. What is the recommended length (in days) of a trek?

Usually 4 days.

2. How long is the trek trail?

Total miles is just over 15.

It is very important that participants stay with their group on trek trails and that they avoid machinery, fields, rock pits, orchards, and sprinkler pivots.

3. Is the trek a set route?

It is a set route to meet the needs of individual groups while minimizing the impact to natural resources and farming enterprises.

4. Are there special activities that can be done on the trail?

The trails simulate parts of the pioneer trail from Iowa City to the Salt Lake Valley with names like Winter Quarters, Scott’s Bluff, Fort Laramie, Martin’s Cove, Rocky Ridge, and Fort Bridger. There are places like the Hard Rope Pull (unique to Bing Canyon Pioneer Trek), the Women’s Pull, Sweetwater Crossing, and graves along the way. Each provides the opportunity for vignettes or reenactments such as the Jens and Elsie Nielson story and more.


1. Is water available on the trek trail? How do groups handle transporting water? Do they bring their own containers?

Each person should bring their own water bottle to drink from. These water bottles can be filled as needed from the two- to five-gallon water coolers/dispensers you provide to be carried in each family’s handcart. At Iowa City, the handcart trek starting place, there will be potable water to fill the two water coolers. At rest stops along the trail will be 250-gallon totes also filled with potable water from which to refresh your water coolers. Water buffaloes will be stationed at the first night’s camp (Scotts Bluff) and second night’s camp (Fort Bridger).

At Bing Canyon Campground, there are faucets stationed throughout the park. The BLUE faucets are potable water, and the RED faucets are river water. Since the potable water is purchased and hauled in, it is only used for drinking and food preparation.

2. Are portable toilets available along the trek trail?

Yes. At Iowa City and each of the two campsites, there will be eight porta-potties. At rest stops along the trail there will be 4–6 porta-potties. Just before each trek leaves, a unit of portable toilets will be assigned to people from that trek group, and they are required to clean up the porta-potties and restock them with supplies provided in a tote.

3. How is trash handled?

For large group gatherings or for treks, dumpsters can be brought into Bing Campground for an extra fee. Otherwise, all trash generated must be removed by the group.


  • No littering along the trail. No garbage is to be left at campsites. At trek campsites, the trash can be collected and carried out by the logistics crew or by someone appointed to the task.

Overnight campers at the campground:

  • They are to clean up after themselves and take the generated trash out with them.

4. What is the fire protocol on the farm?

Fires are allowed at the Bing Canyon Campground in pavilions and in fire rings. On the trek trail there are no fires, heat sources, or spark generating items allowed—period!

5. Is the campground open all the time?

No. It is by appointment only. There is no camping over Saturday night into Sunday, nor from Sunday night into Monday.


1. Do the site service missionaries provide training to trek leaders? Is training mandatory? When is it offered? How much does it cost?

Important training to be a ma and pa or planning guidelines for food and so on is provided by the stake.

  • Bing Canyon does provide orientation, which allows the leaders to see the pavilions, cooking accommodations, the camp areas for cooks and logistic folks, walk-in food coolers, service access roads to campsites, rules and requirements, and so on. It also provides an opportunity to see some of the trek trail and get a feel for the terrain. It is an opportunity for the trek leaders to meet their service missionary hosts, and it is a wonderful opportunity to ask questions and learn from the questions others ask. This is free of charge.
  • It is mandatory for at least someone representing the group to attend to ask questions and take back answers. However, attendance is not restricted, and as many of the leaders who want to may attend.

Orientation is offered each spring during April or May. However, trek leaders can contact us, and we will do our best to accommodate a time and date to fit you or your group.

2. Does the site have a site-specific handbook?

Yes. Your trek group will receive a copy when you reserve a trek. It is to be used in conjunction with the Church’s youth guidelines. For those using just the campground, rules and guidelines are given to them at the time of reservation.


1. Does the site rent handcarts for groups to use at different locations?


2. Are other activities, besides trek, offered at the site?

Bing Canyon Pioneer Campground can be reserved for stake activities, ward activities, father/son activities, Young Women camps, weddings, family activities, and campouts. All activities must be prescheduled.

  • We have two pavilions. Each is enclosed on two sides and has a cement floor, a sink with potable water, electricity, lighting, counter space for food prep, a refrigerator, a freezer, and access to a walk-in cooler.
  • Eight individual or family camp spots with fire rings are scattered about with easy access.
  • There is a fire bowl at each end of the park, with bench seating of 150 to 200 people each.
  • There are about eight acres of lawn lined with shady poplar trees.
  • There are numerous faucets throughout the park—one blue faucet with potable water and a red faucet with river water.
  • The Reflection Trail is approximately 1.7 miles and threads its way through trees, across streams, and high desert terrain. Along its path are stations describing the migration of Latter-day Saints west.
  • The trek trail winds through small canyons, along horizons, and through an arid sagebrush landscape. There are two overnight trek camp spots (Scotts Bluff and Fort Bridger) with great views of the surrounding area and Columbia River. There are also historical spots to learn about those who gave us our pioneer heritage.

3. Are vehicles allowed?

There is no touring the farm. On all farm roads, there is an upper speed limit of 35 miles an hour. Farm equipment has the right of way on all farm roads. The number of vehicles must be minimized.

For treks:

  • Vehicles are needed to transport the heavy, bulky trek camping equipment such as tents and sleeping bags from point of use to the next camp spot; transport food prepared at the campgrounds pavilion to the location for breakfasts, lunch, and dinner; and retrieve garbage. Vehicles must use only the designated farm land access roads to rest and camp spots.
  • One small ATV for medical purposes is allowed on trek trails to follow the trek group. It can carry the medical supplies that are too heavy or bulky to be carried by walking medical staff and to transport the sick or injured as needed. It needs to be four-wheel drive.

4. Are recreational vehicles, campers, and camp trailers allowed at the site?

No. The site is not equipped with RV hookups or with RV sanitary dump sites. There are trailer parks located off the farm about 15 minutes away.

5. Are mountain bikes, horses, dogs, firearms, ammunition, fireworks, or fishing equipment allowed at the site?

No. An exception for service dogs with limitations can be made. (Owners must clean up after their service dog.)

6. Where are the nearest medical facilities?

  • Trios Southridge Hospital, 3810 Plaza Way, Kennewick, Washington, 99338. It is about 35 minutes north of Bing Canyon Pioneer Camp.
  • Good Shepherd Medical Center, 610 NW 11th St., Hermiston, Oregon, 97838. It is about 25 minutes south of Bing Canyon Pioneer Camp.