The best camping near
Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WASHINGTON

528 Reviews 270 Campgrounds
Camping Washington Gifford Pinchot National Forest
EXPLORE
Most Recent Gifford Pinchot National Forest Camping Reviews
Can't complain - Quiet and Free!

Turkey Hole is actually an angler's water access site on the Klickitat River but we used it for a dispersed campsite in winter while enjoying the wine areas of the gorge & post skiing at Mt Hood. Since it is free (as of 2018 for up to 14 nights) I would guess it can become quite busy at certain times of the year. We visited in Feb on a cold snowy weekend and there was only one other camper. There is a bathroom there also, but no running water.

Compact & Crowded.... but oh those Columbia Views!

Memaloose is a popular busy Oregon State Park with a compact layout and close together, less than private sites.  Not our ideal campground.  What it does offer to offset the negatives though are beautiful views of the Columbia River and easy access to Hood River and all of its attractions.   We had no reservations on a Sunday in July and lucked out and a pretty decent spot was available, B35, with views of the river.*** I think B33, might be the best spot in the park. For a crowded park, with close together sites, it was surprisingly quiet and we had a great night sleep.

Midweek Isolation

Just got back from another trip to Council Lake, WA. Arrived on a Tuesday and left on Thursday in the middle of November, and had the entire campground to ourselves. We didn't even have day use visitors or motorcycle riders pass through the whole time we were there. 

The place was reasonably clean, with just a little trash left around some of the sites. Roads were still easy going, but it snowed maybe an inch the night before I arrived. And if my memory serves correct, I think they close the main access forest road NF 23 as soon as snow starts to accumulate.

Very clean

Will come back love it

Lovely! Cute!

I’ve stayed at this camp ground a hand full of times. I live maybe 15 20 minutes away and it’s always great! The camp ground is a good size with many tent and RV sites. If you get the right spot it can be a very private experience and you could be close to the river. Otherwise some sites can be kinda small and close. But there’s many sites to chose from and gets pretty popular with a lot of traffic. Showers were recently re painted during last visit and the bathroom is ok.

A river runs through it.

Stayed in this campground on the last part of my first solo trip. I was a little anxious due to not having this site reserved ahead of time but I made it to the campground early and picked a suitable enough site for one night. The Rangers in the visitor center at the campground were super great. The site I ended up choosing was okay, but the site next to it kind of over run into my site, and the couple next to me too full advantage of that, so it left me slightly uncomfortable. Otherwise, the campground itself was clean and well maintained. The trails that lead out of the campground were great and branched off in every direct so I hiked in the area for an entire afternoon. I would potentially try to fins another campground in this area if I'm ever out that way again, but if nothing presented itself I would stay here again. The river being just down the bank from the campsite provided fantastic ambiance and white noise when bedtime rolled around, especially considering the other people in the sites next to mine were in very close proximity.

My go to campground

The campground is awesome. It's my go to camping spot when I need to get out of town. It has everything I need. It gets busy during or around holidays, but mid week or off season is perfect. The hosts are always friendly and it's always been clean.

Busy

This could be a beautiful campground if it wasn’t for all the people. We were there later in the summer so maybe it’s nicer earlier but there was trash everywhere. Too bad some people have no respect for these beautiful areas.

Nice campground

Some sites have beautiful views of the Columbia Rive Gorge.

Wonderful teardrop gathering in The Gorge

Still one of my favorite camping trips each year, and 2019 didn't disappoint. The Annual Gorge Gathering, hosted by Teardrop Trailers of Oregon and Washington, is held here each Memorial Day weekend. Find out more information here:

http://www.skamaniacounty.org/facilities-rec/homepage/events/tear-drop-trailers/

There's tons of cute trailers to check out, nice people, pot lucks, a large indoor area with a kitchen, and things to do in the area. Definitely worth checking out if you either have a tear drop trailer or are just interested in seeing some.

Seemed to be more kids this year, as well as more vegetarian options in the potluck, both of which made me happy.

The fairgrounds are also available for other group campground gatherings.

Great hidden gem

Nice spots close to small river and off the road just enough. Awesome spot!

Beautiful

We had a blast! So green and beautiful. Not far from downtown. Lots of space/areas for our kids to run to climb big rocks. We will 100% be back.

Ranger Review: Gregory Pack Amber 28 at Walupt Lake Campground

I strongly think that Washington State has the best places to camp and hike. The Pacific Northwest has a large array of amazing camp grounds and hikes, and I love it!! I recently wanted to hike within the Goat Rock area, and decided to stay at the Walupt Lake Campground so I could be closer to the trailhead. I left Friday evening after work and headed to the campground. There wasn't as many people as I expected, but the weather forecast was calling for some rain. I went in the beginning of September, so was bummed that I wasn't going to see the fall colors (usually the end of September-beginning of October is when this happens). The campground was great, and I was glad that I stayed here. Because we got here around 7:00pm, we really only pitched our tent and grabbed a quick bite to eat. I didn't tour the campground because it was already getting dark. We woke up early in the morning and headed to the Goat Rock Wilderness. We spent the entire day hiking (13 miles to be exact!). From the top of the hike we were able to see Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Rainier. It doesn't get any better than that!! I would highly recommend this campground if you are just looking to camp, but also if you have a hike you want to do in the area early in the morning. 

PRODUCT REVIEW: Amber 28 Gregory Pack

As a DYRT Ranger, I was able to test the Amber 28 Gregory Pack. I was pretty excited to get to test this pack, because I have a few other Gregory Packs and have been eyeing this pack for awhile. During my 13 mile hike I was able to test this pack. 

3 reasons why I love the Amber 28 Gregory Pack:

1. Comfortable- I love how comfortable and form fitting this pack is. I love packs that don't sit right on my shoulders. This pack gave a little room between by shoulder and the pack which is great! I like being able to carry the weight of the pack by my hips, and this pack allowed that.

2. The space and pockets- I appreciate a pack that allows me to pack multiple items (10 essentials!). The pack had plenty of room, and extra zipper pockets. I was able to utilize all the space in this pack, and it still didn't feel heavy.

3. Breath-ability- The back of this pack has a wire meshing and pads to help with the breath-ability. I do sweat a lot when I hike, so I like this component of the pack.

Overall, I would highly recommend this pack. It comes in a few colors as well which is always nice :) You can find the Amber 28 pack here:

https://www.gregorypacks.com/packs-bags/day-packs/amber-28-77831XXXX.html?dwvar_77831XXXX_color=778315590&cgidmaster=packs-day-packs#sz=18&start=37

Campground near Trout Lake/Guler Ice Caves

This campground boarders both sides of the Lost Creek (Dried up most of the time).  The sites are fairly large, but very open with little to no privacy.  I was in spot 10 and the entire spot was open up to the road, which is not my favorite.  Many of the other sites were open due to no small trees/brush.  There was also a very fine dust in the entire spot that can drive certain people nuts, especially ones with small dogs who turn into little clouds of dust!  

There were a couple deer that roamed the campground and wondered in and out of campsites.  I had to shoo away 1 so he wouldn't stomp on my little dog while walking through my site.  It was cool seeing them up close though.  Also it was the start of a very good huckleberry season and the entire campground was full of huckleberry bushes.  I was able to gather several cups just from my camp spot alone.

While this isn't my favorite campsite, it was overall a good campground and if you are in the area I would recommend it.

Beautiful and clean

Loved it here. The campground was well maintained and sites were super nice. Lake was amazing as well.

Beautiful

We stopped here for a night with our RV and it was really kid friendly with a small park. I loved how easy it was to check in and navigate. It’s a little crowded. We made our reservations 2 weeks in advance.

Love

I love this park for its location on the Gorge. Beautiful views and great site for an awesome weekend.

Ranger Review: Mountain House Meals at Golden Lakes Campground

Campground Review:

My partner and I were hiking the Wonderland Trail (93+ miles around the base of Mount Rainier) and this was our final site on our long trek. Since we got a walk-up permit, we didn't have much choice in what campsites we got, but really felt lucky to land the group site at Golden Lakes. It was sizeable, but not gigantic- could fit three medium sized tents comfortably. It overlooked the lake and had the best water access of the entire campground. There were logs to set things on as you cooked, a really nice outhouse, and lots of trees to give you some privacy from the other campsites. Unfortunately, there were some louder groups staying next to us, and there isn't much spacing between sites so it can get pretty noisy. Overall, we agreed it was one of our favorite sites on the trail (and we stayed at 8!). Pretty simple hike from Mowich Campground, too!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Product Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I got an opportunity to try out MH Mac and Cheese! We saved this meal for last because we were SO. EXCITED. We literally couldn't stop talking about how excited we were to try it out- calorie rich, lightweight, and mac and cheese in the backcountry?! What's not to be excited about. Although it didn't FULLY live up to our expectations (I mean, we really talked it up in our mind), it was delicious and the perfect end to a long day of hiking- we definitely didn't go to bed hungry. The 3 servings is great after a 15+ mile day and was one of the few dinners that didn't leave us wanting. It was a little soupier than I expected, but tasted like homemade mac. Super easy to make, takes MUCH shorter time to cook than Backpackers Pantry meals, and is a perfect addition to any backpacking/camping trip. Will purchase again, just wish MH made more vegetarian options….

Thousand Trails Paradise Is Awesome

This was a very nice Thousand Trails. We stay two nights from September 13th through September 16, 2019, in campsite 187, the stay was free due to our Thousand Trails membership. Our site had electricity and water hook up. 

The site was level and backed up to a creek that was down below the site. The stay site was quiet, no one camping on our driver side did have a neighbor on the passenger side. The campground is at an elevation of 125 ft. Access to the campground was right off hwy 12, our 28 ft travel trailer easily fit with room to spare in our site. Once we entering the campground, the pavement turns to hard-packed gravel as we circled around a couple of times to find our campsite. 

The weather was high overcast in the mid 60's, the nights low 50s. It did rain hard on Sunday morning from 2am to 10am. This is a very quiet campground, activities we found at the campground to keep busy was shuffleboard which we enjoyed for the first time. The Billards table was in really good shape too. A musician name Dr A played music Saturday night in the lodge. The campground has clean free showers, plenty of hot water and not more than a 5 minute walk from our campsite. Since we arrived on a Friday school day, the campgrounds were not full, there was no waiting for showers. 

My wife and I enjoyed the campground, we will be back the next time we want to hike at Mt. St. Helens.

Suprised

When we pulled in with our 40' Coach I thought oboy I blew it. Getting into our site was a little tight but doable. We were in a pull through tucked in the forest with full hookups. A fire pit and picnic table too! If you go camping to stay inside our Verizon phones, Sprint hot spot and over the air TV all worked. You can hear the train in a distance and a little traffic. It is a great spot and we will come here again.

The water was excellent

This was my inaugural trip with my Roof Top Tent from Tepui.

A quick trip around the camp site and my son and I picked out spot 72 and after paying for the spot it only took a few tries to get the tent level.

Our neighbors were friendly and the white noise from the water helped hide the proximity of our fellow campers.

One of the locals stopped by to comment on my tent and said the salmon were biting - he even gave me a lure (Where am I and who are these friendly folks!?) that he caught a fish on earlier that day. My kid loved that.

He also warned of the chipmunks on the other end of the camp and how persistent they can be if you leave food anywhere they can get to.

The spot we stayed at would have been sweet for ground camping as well. Will be coming here again.

Oh, and the cell reception (AT&T) was good enough to tether and get some work done.

Well appointed and beautiful

We loved camping at Ohanapecosh! We got lots of helpful information at the visitor center. Even though it was a weekday off-season, the campground was totally full 30 minutes after check-in. Walk up only after Labor Day. You circle the campground looking for an open spot, then pay your fee at an electronic kiosk outside the visitor center.

An interpretive nature trail to hot springs leaves from directly behind the visitor center. Camp host sells firewood from a truck, $7 per bundle. Sites were all beautiful and private… sites closest to the creek seemed coveted. Marvelous night sky! 

We were glad this was our destination. Takes 45 minutes to drive to Paradise from here.

Labor day fun

Camp ground maintained by super nice camp hosts from hoodoo. Lost of trees and space between sites. Easy access to Rimrock lake. A littel road noise but worth the views and access to the lake. No power but several pit tiolets on site.

Views of All Kinds, Massive Quietude

Only four sites here - get in early or on a weeknight. Gorgeous drive through the town of Hood River a big bonus. Once you get in, you’ve got hikes right there with great views of Mt. Hood, the small, charming and swimmable Rainy Lake 2 minutes by walking, and just tons of shade and peace. Even though 3 sites are scrunched together, we didn’t hear our neighbors. A fabulous place to get away.

Superb camp with awesome amenities

We were so glad we found this campsite, it looks really nice, located by the nice Trucker river, there are sites right next to the river too.

For the price you get showers, drinking water, normal toilets and a clean environment. You can pay with card too using their vending machine which was also super convenient.

Overall one of the best camps we stayed in yet

Ranger Review: Ice Mule coolers at Bumping River

campground: my family and i have been enjoying this area since i was a kid. this spot will always hold a very special place in my heart. camping along bumping river seriously has it all, wide open sites that allow shooting, biking, fishing, fires, you name it. a very short drive to the lake. please keep this area clean! this is a dispersed camping area, no toilets, no tables, no potable water. be prepared and do your part to keep our forest clean. 

Product: As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test products. At Bumping River CG, I tested two Icemule Jaunt 9-liter capacity cooler backpacks! Im giving this product a 4 star rating! These backpacks are very small and compact which I love. Its rated to hold a 6 pack but I would say you can comfortably fit 7! Its comfortable, light and stylish to wear. They kept our drinks cold, my only complaint was that I noticed on day 3 it was starting to sweat. We were camping in very warm weather so I think that played a part. I would not recommend using this bag as your main source of cooler. Certainly perfect for a day out on the boat, kayak, bike ride or even a short day hike.

A gem in the Columbia River Gorge

Stumbled upon this place a few summers ago and have returned many times since. This is a perfect spot to post up for a few days with a book. It’s very quiet and the hosts are great! Super friendly and never any issues getting fire wood. Family/four-legged friendly.

Pretty big campground with 80+ sites. I usually try and snag oak site b/c it’s big and really private. Neighboring sites are also wonderful.

It’s first come first serve so I would get there early, especially in the heat of the summer. Open May-November I believe. Bring cash for payment.

Picnic tables, big fire pits with a little spot to cook if you don’t have a stove. RV hookups, water, garbage dump. Should have everything you need.

It’s close to Lost Lake if you’re looking for a day trip. Less than 20 minutes to downtown Hood River. About an hour or so from Portland.

If you like beer, check out Pfriem on your way out.

Great place to exhale.

Nice campground. I went mid-week in Sept. Only gave 4 stars because of the toilets. Highly recommend yellow jacket traps this late in summer. Aggressive is an understatement.

Love this place

Our go to spot, love walking the dogs around the lake and along the gravel road. It’s very quiet and peaceful. The part is clean and the camp hosts are very friendly and helpful. They have vaulted toilets, they are clean but towards the end of the season they can sometimes get stinky so we always bring air fresheners to leave in the bathrooms..

Very kid friendly

We went the busiest weekend of the year. We went on Labor Day and they were packed, but there was so much for the kids to do. There are 2 pools, playground, bikes to ride, hayrides, scavenger hunt. I’m sure I forgot something.. almost all the sites had power and water, and about 60ish sites also has sewer. The parks is on the older side but the restrooms were clean. They also had work campers the were consistently cleaning and emptying the trash. Also if you were able there are lots for sale. My kids are grown but if I had kids that is ere I would go all the time. Because I can’t tell you how many time I heard I’m bored there is nothing to do.. well at cascade peaks there is always something for them to do… we will be going back..