Amenities are awesome - excellent fishing, river views, play place, Pacific Crest Trail within a mile, Stern-wheeler cruises, right in the cool town of Cascade Locks. As such it should feel touristy but doesn’t. It’s not a nature lovers paradise, but open and fun overall. On the downside were a cranky, all business camp host - this is an important place, so decide NOW - and small campsites on lawns.
This is a great little campground accessible by public transit or car. It's best for car camping or RVs, but there are plenty of tent campers too. No trees for hammock campers.
The river views make up for this not being a very woodsy campground. So does the adjacent park with a playground and plenty of room for kids to run loose.
For the adults, Thunder Island Brewing is right there with delicious brews and sandwiches.
Just up above the campground is the main road through Cascade Locks. That means you are within walking distance of Bridge of the Gods (and this the PCT) as well as an ice cream shop, the Gorge Express stop if you want to pop down to Multnomah Falls or up to Hood River.
My husband, dog and I stayed at the Cascade Locks Marina Park campground on the last night of our month long backpacking trip. We accessed it on foot, but it is right in the middle of the town of Cascade Locks so getting there by car is super easy. They have hook ups and are very vehicle friendly. If you don't have a vehicle, you can set your tent up anywhere on the grass. This makes for a very soft camp site for tent campers.
What I liked about it:
1) The camp host was super friendly and the whole are was very hiker friendly in general. It is also quite affordable (less than $5 I think per night).
2) You can set your tent up on grass which is nice and soft. In the summer there are a lot of through hikers so it is a great community feeling.
3) It is right along the Columbia River so you can hear the water and it is a pretty setting for being right in the middle of town.
4) Showers (free) and flushing toilets. The showers are quite high pressure and don't have a separate area to change so whatever you bring in the shower room with you it may get wet. They are single shower head rooms.
What is was less then excited about:
1) It is right along the train tracks so you can hear the trains coming through as early as 6 am. Since I had been getting up with the sun for the past month it wasn't a big deal but it may not be pleasant for other people.
2) There is no privacy. Tents are in an open field and the pull in spots are right next to each other almost like a parking lot.
3) No fire pits or individual picnic tables for tent campers. There are a few tables but they are communal. Not usually a big deal for me, but this may be a concern for others.
Summary: For PCT backpackers this is a great spot to camp while you are in Cascade Locks for resupply or rest. It is close to the main road and the grass is soft to sleep on. Plus there are always other through hikers to chat with. As for a car camper, this would not be my spot of choice unless it was late and I am just passing through.