With a strong reputation for adventures in nature, Oregon sits high on many hikers’ and campers’ outdoor bucket lists. And with over 50 percent of state land declared public, camping in Oregon is literally everywhere. To help you get started, here’s some of the best spots to pitch a tent and catch a view!
While the Cascades mountain range used to be a major obstacle for settlers riding the Oregon trail, it has now become an outdoor adventurer’s playground. Mt. Hood, the fourth highest peak in the Cascades and just two hours outside of Portland, is home the most popular park for campers looking for a taste of Oregon’s natural diversity. Aside from the snowy mountain top, the old-growth forests and flowing water features make this a prime location for camping in Oregon.
Lake lovers might appreciate the serene views of the Wy’east at campsites around Trillium Lake. Waking up to the fog that drifts on the lake and Mt. Hood standing tall behind it is a picture-perfect moment every camper dreams of. Rent yourself a boat, canoe or kayak and spend the day gliding around the 63-acre lake or angling for local trout.
If you’d like to ditch some of the crowds around Mt. Hood while also getting a hike in, make your way through a canopy of old-growth forest on the Old Salmon River Trail. The backwoods sites along the trail offer a natural escape to some of the best camping in Oregon.
If you’re looking for a more active natural beauty, venture about three hours south from Mt. Hood to Silver Falls State Park outside of Salem. People call it the “crown jewel” of the Oregon State Parks system, and once you visit, you know why. The scenic waterfall hike offers a 360-degree view of a 178-foot cascade (where else can you hike behind a waterfall?) With sites a hike away from the falls, anyone looking for camping in Oregon can’t miss this spot. Throughout your exploration around Oregon, you can find all the best campsites with The Dyrt.
We loved the Glamping tents, new and beautifully appointed, the facilities were well kept and sparkling clean. The bathrooms were clean and newly updated. We will be back.
I really, really expected to love this campground. It's one of (perhaps the) closest Oregon State Campground to Portland and I'd heard great things about it. It's also in the Columbia River Gorge, which is green, great, and beautiful. But the campground itself is just so-so. Okay sites terraced on top of each other right next to the road.
Pros: Great location, plenty of trees, and good prices ($17 tents and $26 for full hookup). Also flush toilets.
Cons: Right next to the road and sites are crammed in. Nothing really to do in the campground.
Tips: The walk-in tent sites look nice. Also, book well in advance. Very popular in the summer.
Smallish campground (15 or so spots) on a small "cliff" overlooking Cascade Locks. Spots are close together, surrounded by grass, with a small bathroom in the center of the lot. Tents are $25 per night, with several sites also available for a bit more for RVs with power and water. Reservations ($10 fee) are only accepted during the summer.
There's not much to do at all in the small campground, but there's a decent amount of places to explore right in the same area. Across a small street there's a playground, the Locks themselves, views of the Columbia River and even a museum.
Nice enough campground if you want to stay in the area for other activities, though no privacy at all between sites.
Beautiful, lots of amazing places to take pictures, good spots for camping.
[ PROS ]
We came during offseason (November) and camped at this State Park for 3 nights. Man, it was so amazing. It was super quiet and empty so we felt like we had the entire park to ourselves.
A family of deer visited us every single morning/night during our stay. We definitely didn't try to interact with them, but they were comfortable to roam right around our site which was a really magical experience
Nehalem Bay is such a beautiful area and the State Park is nestled in lots of beautiful, lush greenery. There are lots of birds, plants, and other wildlife to observe. We loved hearing coyotes yapping in evenings from the campground.
It's very peaceful and serene here. It's right by the beach and an easy walk to the coast. We also got to visit Manzanita for a little day trip and had lunch out there. Such a cute little coastal town worth checking out.
Free hot showers and really nice restrooms. I'm starting to realize that Oregon State Parks are SOOO much superior to California State Parks. The amenities at all the Oregon campgrounds I've visited are wonderful. We definitely got spoiled by camping in Oregon that it will be hard going back home to California
Very close to stores, restaurants, and gas stations if you need to pick up supplies.
[ CONS ]
- While it was a beautiful campground, the sites are rather small and close together. We obviously didn't experience this campground when it's crowded, but I can imagine how packed it would feel.
[ PROS ]
- Big interpretive/visitor center. It was closed during offseason but I hear the Rangers host lots of fun activities for kids
- There is a hospitality center where you can purchase firewood ($5), bags of ice, along with other fun gift items. You can also pick up brochures, maps, and other helpful information about the park's activities
- Lots of hiking and equestrian trails around
- Beach trail access that takes you right to the coast
- FREE HOT SHOWERS!! Woot woot! I'm from CA so most CA State Parks have pretty sad showers that you have to pay for. This was such a treat for us.
- Clean restrooms, plenty of stalls, ample toilet paper, soap dispenser. The restroom facilities are really nice!
- Close to Rogue Brewery. We went on a day trip to visit the brewery, enjoy some local brews, and have lunch. The place has so much fun merchandise and beer for souvenirs.
[ CONS ]
- Really crowded campground. We came during offseason (mid-November) and the place was still mobbed. We were on a 2-week camping road trip and all the other campgrounds we visited along the way were really empty, this place looked fully occupied as far as the eye can see.
- Individual sites are pretty small and close together. Not the worst I've experienced, but I was definitely wishing for a little more space
- Not many tent sites. Only 60 tent sites and 227 electrical sites. We ended up getting an electrical site (based on availability) so we were surrounded by large RVS all around.
We didn’t have a reservation for the campground the afternoon we decided to stop in July. To reserve a yurt typically requires a minimum of two nights. We were fortunate to get a yurt (number 7) for one night in July as a walk in. The ranger was shocked as they are usually sold out months in advance. There is a fire pit and picnic table outside each yurt. The flaps on the windows can be rolled up and down to adjust the airflow. The bathhouse is within walking distance but showed full quickly in the morning. This was a nice park with several things to see and do. Would stay here again if in the area.
I went the first weekend in December and stayed one night. Had the whole place to myself and set up in one of the spots closest to the creek. There are fire pits and picnic tables at each spot. Had to pack everything in from the gate because it is off season but it was not difficult to do at all. I will be back hopefully with some snow next time!
This is an easy to access, near to attractions, dispersed site with a view! No more than a big parking lot next to the river really, but for free…. it can not be beat! Primitive camping with no amenities other than a vault toilet= no frills, but no fees(as of Feb 2018)! It could be windy and it could get very busy so keep those negatives in mind, however check out the positives! A nice waterfront view with lots of solar potential!
A great place, very close to the ocean and very beautiful. Tent sites are $19 and pretty close together and small. We only stayed for one night and we got there when it was dark. Very busy for the end of November. Super rainy but that’s not the camps fault. Showers were hot and the bathrooms were nicely kept 😎
Memaloose is a popular busy Oregon State Park with a compact layout and close together, less than private sites. Not our ideal campground. What it does offer to offset the negatives though are beautiful views of the Columbia River and easy access to Hood River and all of its attractions. We had no reservations on a Sunday in July and lucked out and a pretty decent spot was available, B35, with views of the river.*** I think B33, might be the best spot in the park. For a crowded park, with close together sites, it was surprisingly quiet and we had a great night sleep.
I’ve stayed at this camp ground a hand full of times. I live maybe 15 20 minutes away and it’s always great! The camp ground is a good size with many tent and RV sites. If you get the right spot it can be a very private experience and you could be close to the river. Otherwise some sites can be kinda small and close. But there’s many sites to chose from and gets pretty popular with a lot of traffic. Showers were recently re painted during last visit and the bathroom is ok.
I really enjoyed the 4 nights we stayed Nov ‘19. We fortunately had great weather, cool evenings/nights and warm days. I arrived before 5:00 without a reservation, picked a site, and called the county parks line to pay (I wasn’t thinking and didn’t have cash to pay on site). Very friendly person on the phone and very friendly camp hosts. The area is very dry right now and I look forward to camping there when there’s been some substantial rain. I didn’t use the showers, my friend did and said they were good, has a good layout. She did recommend shower shoes though. Overall I look forward to going again. It has what I want with access to things I like to do… hiking, kayaking, wine tasting, and campfires! We were in sites 24 and 25, great! The price was right too! $30/night
Managed to find this great campground despite the location being incorrect on the map. We first headed down Airport Road which was a dead end… the actual turnoff to the state park is a couple of miles south of that, which the map doesn’t show.
The campground is about 50 spots - road and sites are paved with power and water. We paid $24 for a site tho we didn’t need either power or water. Well treed, and short walk to beautiful views. Highly recommend it!
Free and beautiful! Great spot near Crater Lake National Park. Head down the hill to more remote tent sites.
One of the largest state parks! Lots to do. Family-friendly. Large to medium sites. Disc Golf Course.
This was an interesting Thousand Trails. We stay three nights from October 11th through 14th, 2019, at campsite 151, the stay was free due to our Thousand Trails membership. Our site had sewer, electricity, and water hook up. The sewer connection at the campsite was a nice plus. The site was level and easy to back in to.
The sites were the closest we've been to at a Thousand Trails, with no trees for privacy. What made the Seaside interesting was there wasn't much noise even though the sites were close to each other. The campground was at sea level and just outside of downtown Seaside. Our 28 ft travel trailer easily fit into our spot. Once we entering the campground, the campground roads are all gravel.
The weather in October was high overcast in the low 60's, the nights low 40s. This is a very quiet campground, activities we found at the campground to keep busy was a very nice indoor pool, indoor sauna, indoor spa and exercise room with treadmills. The campground has clean free showers, plenty of hot water and not more than a 5 minute walk from our campsite.
My wife and I enjoyed the campground, we took a trip north to Fort Stevens for the day, geocached and hiked around the fort. Seaside was a fun town, its grown a lot since my first visit there 20 years ago.