The Willow Creek Valley, below and above Heppner and leading into the Blue Mountains – as well as the tablelands surrounding the valley – is a Mecca for bird, deer, and elk hunters. The south end of the Blue Mountains hosts the largest elk herd – animal per square mile – in the United States.
Good Trout fishing is available on Willow Creek and in Willow Creek Reservoir, as well as adjacent streams on Rhea Creek and Rock Creek. The reservoir also holds large and small-mouth bass, crappie and catfish. The US Forest Service maintains nearby Bull Prairie Reservoir and Park for camping and fishing.
Additional recreation opportunities abound in the Heppner Ranger District of the Umatilla National Forest. These include camping, hiking, ATV use, snowmobile, cross-country skiing, and rock hounding.
Morrow County maintains Cutsforth Park on Willow Creek and Anson Wright Park on Rock Creek for camping and get-togethers. Reservations may be made through Morrow County Parks at 541-989-8214. Overlooking the Willow Creek Reservoir, less than three miles from Heppner, sits the reservoir campground maintained by the local park district. All parks, as well as the national forest, are easily accessible from Heppner. Reservations for the Willow Creek Reservoir may be made by calling 541-676-5576.