Armstrong Campground is a small but beautiful place to camp, right on the edge of the Clackamas Wild and Scenic River. The river flows right by spacious, lush, family-friendly campsites, giving visitors plenty of access to the river, as well as to the surrounding forest.
Fishing is very popular in the Clackamas River and anglers can expect a catch of winter steelhead, spring chinook and late summer coho salmon, as well as other species of freshwater fish. The Clackamas contains miles of wild water as it bends and drops through the scenic Cascade Range, creating prime whitewater rafting opportunities.
A hiking trail follows the river north and south and begins about a mile away at Fish Creek Campground.
The campground offers single-family sites available mostly for tent camping, but a few sites having space for RVs. Larger RVs may have trouble navigating the roads within the facility. An overflow parking area is available.
Each site is equipped with a table and campfire ring with grill. Accessible vault toilets and drinking water are provided. No hookups are available. Parking surfaces are gravel and dirt.
The campground is located in Mt. Hood National Forest at an elevation of about 870 feet. A variety of ferns, shrubs and grasses cover the forest floor and provide some privacy between sites. While the campground is close to the road, the sound of the river blocks most of the noise.
The forest provides habitat for the federally protected bald eagle and northern spotted owl, as well as an occasional peregrine falcon. A variety of wildlife makes its home in the area.
A boat ramp is available at Fish Creek Campground, which is less than half a mile south of the campground. It is a convenient place to launch kayaks, canoes or other boats on the river.
Just below Indian Henry Campground, the Clackamas River offers 12.5 miles of class III-IV whitewater. The Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival is hosted annually on the river, attracting rafters from all over the country.
ADA Access: N
Situated on the Clackamas River in the Mt. Hood National Forest. River is easily accessible from most riverside sites. Hiking trails nearby (I enjoyed the Fish Creek trail just up the road). Vault toilets were in good shape in April 2019 and there is water available via hand pump well.
This is a beautiful campground nestled down by the Clackamas River. You can hear it rushing by the campsites, which are right down by the water. Each campsite has a nice sturdy picnic table and a fire pit with built-in grill. The restrooms at some of the cleanest, nicest-smelling pit toilets I've ever seen at a campground, conveniently located within the campground.
Each site was generously roomy. Our camping trip was, in part, a chance to test drive the new Chevy Blazer SUV. It's a big car but there was no problem maneuvering it through the campground or parking it at our site. We might have even been able to fit another, smaller vehicle too if we had more than one party with us. We had no problem pitching two two-man tents and getting out two camp chairs, and would have had room for a third easily. And although the campground is in sight of one of Oregon's classic pretty bridges and there is some road noise, it's balanced out by the white noise of the Clackamas and wasn't a problem.
Nearby Fish Creek campground was much busier than Armstrong on a rainy Wednesday night, but we had Armstrong almost entirely to ourselves. A vanlifer left sometime that evening and a camper in a pickup truck with two kayaks appeared close to bed time. Other than that, everything was quiet, secluded and just right for relaxing. We even got to see a bald eagle the next morning!