Rainbow Campground provides ample access to the Wild and Scenic Clackamas River. The campground offers a great location to enjoy peace and quiet in the beautiful mountains of northern Oregon. Visitors enjoy fishing, hiking, biking and rafting.
Fishing is very popular in the Oak Fork and anglers can expect a catch of winter steelhead, spring Chinook and late summer Kokanee salmon, as well as other species of freshwater fish. The Clackamas River also provides miles of wild water as it bends through the scenic Cascade range, making whitewater rafting a popular activity.
The 5-mile Riverside National Recreation Trail, popular for hiking and mountain biking, is located not far from the campground. The surrounding area provides numerous additional opportunities for hiking.
The campground offers more than a dozen single-family sites for tent camping. Each site is equipped with a table and campfire ring with grill. Accessible vault toilets and drinking water are provided. Parking surfaces are paved and gravel.
The campground is located in Mt. Hood National Forest along the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River at an elevation of about 1,400 feet. Huge maple and Douglas fir trees cover the area, and dense shrubbery provides some privacy between campsites. The campground is not far from the Ripplebrook Ranger Station and Ripplebrook Pond.
The river 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.
Bagby Hot Springs is located about 14 miles southwest of the campground. A popular site for soaking and relaxing, the springs are in a heavily wooded area in the scenic Cascade Range. The available bathhouses are fed by three major hot water springs and several minor outlets in the area. A historic guard station was built there in 1913.
ADA Access: N
Not sure of the number, think it was 1 or 2. We got the first site at the entrance. I enjoyed the spot since it was more secluded. Others were surrounded by multiple sites without many trees. We had river access from our site. There is also a little trail at one end of the campsite which was nice.
Close to water, some places have drop of cliffs watch little ones
Rainbow campground is a great little campground that is nestled up right next to ripplebrook. A neat and easily exploitable feature about Rainbow is it's proximity to the Ripplebrook Ranger/Information Station. Being just a couple minutes down the road made it nice to access to extra firewood, bottled water, and dare I say…. candy. Out of all of the available spaces, we found space #10 to be extremely accommodating to our pop-up trailer, SUV, and one additional vehicle. What is also great about this space is that it is large enough to fit maybe 3 medium sized tents. We also appreciated being able to camp right next to the stream that flowed nearby. Now, get rid of the concessionaires running campgrounds in our national forests, and you'd have 5-star camping experience.
We ended up at this campground because it was one of the few with available spots left by the time we decided to go camping on a Thursday. We arrived Friday late afternoon, and were pleasantly surprised. There are several really nice sites that are on the creek (technically a fork of the upper Clackamas River). The creek is really pretty and provides good sound cover. The sites are good size, and clean. However, the ones that weren't along the creek were pretty out in the open. We ended up with the last available site, and it was right along the driveway and we could see 4 or 5 other tents/campsites from our spot. Still, it wasn't bad.
The biggest perk for us was the awesome trail that leads from the campsite and heads down to the Clackamas River. You can either hike the whole thing (about 4 miles, if I remember correctly), and end up at another campsite further out, or you can detour off the trail about half a mile in and find the most private, delightful swimming hole I've ever experienced in Oregon. There was no one else in sight, and the water was crystal clear, with lots of rocks to climb on and lay out. The water is COLD, but it was early in the season, so it probably warms up a little later in August.
Great site, if you can get a spot on the creek! No water available, so make sure you bring your own, and there is only one double sided vault toilet for the campground, but if you want to get away from it all, it's a winner!
This is a cool campground that is an easy drive from Portland. We hiked from Rainbow to another campground, walking mostly next to the water. Good times.