For a popular Columbia Gorge hike so close to Portland, the pristine feel and panoramic views from hiking Larch Mountain make it an Eden just off the beaten path. That you get this legendary hike in an area not known for camping is of course to your advantage - 99% to 100% of the crowd goes home every night. So having a campsite near the start of the hike, and a larger one just after the first descent, isn't a bad thing. If you see anyone, they are thrilled to be there, and as soon as it's dark, you have the place to yourself. Heck, throw on a headlamp - the trail is clear and the trees, boulders and stars are spectacular. And don't worry, it'll still be a best kept secret.