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.
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Tent camping next to beautiful Paulina Lake. RV spots also available. Short walk to Paulina visitor center with fun exhibits and ranger programs.
Campground has flush toilets, boat launch. Great location to explore all around Paulina Lake including hiking trails and activities.
Camp sites spacious but most of the campgrounds at East and Paulina Lakes are often busy and can be loud with boats, RVs and general camp traffic.
Shoreline is not a beach, but more of a boat launch. There's better swimming nearby in other areas of the lake.
Beautiful campground location on the shores of East Lake. Many campsites available along the shoreline with gorgeous views. Other spots are less exciting but still close to walk down to the busy and popular beach.
Flush toilets. Boat launch available. If you aren’t along the shoreline, many of the spots are not that secluded. As it is the end of the road, you're more often able to find available camp sites, though you are further from Paulina Lake lodge, the visitor center, and other park amenities.
East Lake Campground is very popular because many spots, tent and RV, are available right on the shoreline. The trade off is that you are also right on top of each other with little privacy.
The beach is beautiful, and the lake fun to play in. A good location to all of the rest of the Paulina Lake trails and activities. Flush toilets, fresh water. Boat launch available.
One of the more popular campgrounds, it is often full due to its popularity.
Old school resort on the shores of beautiful Paulina Lake. Wonderful, small log cabin lodge with amazing food. Other log cabins to rent ranging from three people to large families with fire places, a couple right on the water.
Cabins have running water, bathrooms, cozy fireplaces, comfy couches. Resort has a boat launch and small general store for supplies, food, and bait.
The Lake itself is beautiful and the location puts you right next to all of the fun hikes, biking, trails and activities all around Paulina Lake area. Possibly also some spots for RVs.
Try the Apple Crumble and the“Knife Burger” (huge burger with steak knife stuck in it). You will not be disappointed.
Another very popular resort, this one is on the shores of East Lake. Rustic cabins built between the 1940s and 1960s, but quaint and cozy, most with toilets and showers and close to the shoreline. Prices vary between cabins.
A boat launch is available. Nice beach to put in for kayaks, sups. Cafe at the small lodge with good food and snacks plus a general store for supplies. RV spots available across the road.
Another beautiful location to use as a base to explore throughout Paulina/East lake area. Very popular in the summer.
No frills RV-only park near Troutdale. Many RV pads are cracked and uneven. Location is right next door to a saloon and also has frequent police visits.
Weekly and monthly rates available. Daily rate not too expensive. Many if not most of the residents are long-timers.
Bathrooms, laundry facilities on-site. Not overly impressed, but in need of a spot at the mouth of the Gorge, you could do worse.
Ainsworth State Park is a gorgeous state park in the heart of the Gorge with great hikes and views of the Columbia river, all not far from Portland. The campsites, however, are located right next to the History Columbia River Highway, making for loud camping experience, though you are near all the great park activities. And when I say close, I mean you can see the highway from your tent.
Its location near Portland makes it very popular, and it is often full. Restrooms and showers available.
There is not a sign stating the name of the campground but I have to assume that it is Little Fan Creek. There is one picnic table and multiple fire pits the nicest of the fire pits is next to the site with the picnic table. It looks like someone took a lot of time making it. There is a bathroom but it is not currently serviced. This is a walk in campground. When I arrived there was a lot of paper trash around the site, but I cleaned it up. It was very peaceful with no one else camping there.
Great park for overnight, short term or long term. Moved in 11/25/19, today is 03/22/20. Full hook ups, incl water, sewer, garbage. Electrical is extra. Great people in the office. Park is paved grass at every sight. Close to town, convenient store close by. Showers, restrooms and laundry available for campers.