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Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WASHINGTON
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Most Recent Gifford Pinchot National Forest Camping Reviews

Nuff said

Quiet escape from crowded Rainier

This is a great little campground to head To when Ohanepecosh in Mt Rainier NP is full and you still want to be in the area for local hikes. There is a great watering hole to swim in in the frigid but refreshing river that runs alongside most campsites, accessible from the upper (closed) loop. Some brave souls jump from the rock outcropping though we were not so intrepid. Friendly camp hosts, mostly families in camp made for a nice atmosphere in a lovely setting. Good access to Mt. Rainier hiking trails.

Great Location, Spots and Price

Great campground in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Smallish campground with about half the spots right on the river. Nice day use area slightly separated from the camping. Picnic tables and fire rings. Mostly tents when we were there, but there's also pull-through driveway type spots that could fit a trailer. At just $12 per night, price can't be beat.

Plenty of trees and grass. Most spots are slightly exposed to the turn-around road, but still feels private since there's space and trees between the spots.

Not too far from Mouton Falls, which are amazing, plus other hiking and swimming areas nearby.

Petroglyphs Galore!!!

When we are in the area we normally stay near Maryhill State Park. This campground was a delightful change to our routine. The site is small but it offers quite a few different ways to camp: tents, RV, cabins even a teepee!! This site is on Horsethief Lake and offers some great summer fun.

One of the best aspects was the petroglyphs that were along trails near the campground. This was a great spot and I highly recommend it!

Surprisingly Nice

Initially I was put off by the older RV’s when we first entered mainly because it looked like a mobile home area. As you move past them there are some very nice spots for camping. The price is right for what you’re getting and I would definitely stay here again.


This is where I first picked blackberries 😜. Being from the desert it was definitely awesome to pick them fresh. I loved this state park because of the view and the blackberries of course. We had a great spot with a good amount of space and privacy. The location can’t be beat for watching the kite surfing nearby and we took a tour of session beer that was awesome!

Camping in Mount Rainier

Very nice area. Bathrooms are available, which helps immensely for folks with children, and camping spots are plentiful. There is also a man who drives around with firewood since you can't bring your own from the outside, and it's very inexpensive.

Water issues

This site was great because of the stocked ponds for fishing and the pools but there was some sort of water issue and the restrooms had to be closed, forcing the use of very few port-a-potties. Pool area there was a deteriorating ledge under one of the pool filter caps that I feel needs to be replaced. I fell hard through it as I walked around the narrow walkway surrounding the pool. My leg is still knitted, bruised and slightly swollen and that was in August.

Pretty campground but a bit tight

We met some friends at Cougar Rock Campground on Mt Rainier at the end of September thinking we would have no problem getting a site. We ended up getting the very last site in the entire campground. So even if you're going a little later in the season, I would recommend getting a reservation. (And the campground closes in October for the season.) Of course, we ended up at a site right next to the bathroom, which is not my favorite. But once again, lucky to even get a site. The site (C-22) was actually kind of interesting because there is a big rock right behind the fire pit so you can sit on the rock and be a little higher over the campfire. The bathrooms were clean and fine. You really can't go wrong looking at the stars on a clear, September evening on Mt. Rainier.

On Sunday before heading back to Portland, we took the short drive up to Jackson Visitors Center at the top of Rainier where we took some easy walks (can't even call the hikes) around the absolutely gorgeous area. The colors were stunning! Then had some awesome chili at Paradise Inn right next to the visitors center before heading home. Perfect fall weekend.

Quiet, rarely full

After spending many weekends in this campground, I've definitely fallen in love with it.

The only time I've seen it anywhere near full was Labor Day Weekend when there's a community swap meet about a third of a mile away. Even then, there were plenty of sites to snag.

There are flush toilets and pay showers through mid September. After that, they bring in porta potties.

Sites have a 5 vehicle max, so they're good for groups. Each site has a water spigot. The campground is dog friendly.

No views of Adams from here, but a quick walk or bike ride away will provide some stunning views on a clear day.

Best hiking!

We really wanted a camping spot to do some hiking in the Mt. Rainier National Park area. This was the perfect spot to camp to be close to some awesome hiking. We loved it stay here and would definitely come back. We did some incredible hiking and had the best views of Mt. Rainier. We hiked Fremont Lookout and Bouroughs as well. We also did Pinnacle Peak and Naches Loop. The weather was perfect and I couldn’t have asked for a better long weekend. The campground is great! Clean, quite and beautiful views. Only 1 bathroom but we didn’t mind. We were gone most of the day hiking and exploring. We couldn’t do a fire when we went because there was a burn ban on, but that didn’t bother us. Would come back again!

Gorgeous!! Bring hiking shoes & a headlamp.

The only thing missing from this amazing camping spot is electricity and running water. Otherwise, it’s perfect! Absolutely gorgeous view of Mt. Hood, tons of hiking, a beautiful lake and camping spots for everyone. They have walk-in spots, yurts, a-frames, RV spots, a horse camp and even a few rooms at the lodge. Make sure to spend at least 3-4 days!

Beautiful and Peaceful!

This was our favorite campground over the course of 40 days on the road. Our site was right next to the river – the sound of the water was super peaceful! We were early in the season, so it was very quiet. Lots of tree coverage!

Hidden Gem in Gifford Pinchot

This is my go-to campground when visiting the Gorge area. Located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, just north of the town of Carson. Its about a 20 minute drive to the Columbia river, and 10 minutes to the small town of Carson. Its tucked away down a beautiful Forest road. You are nestled amongst towering old growth trees, wild ferns and thimbleberries, with Panther Creek running alongside the camp. The 2018 season had excellent campground hosts, I hope they return next year! They were very friendly and had helpful tips for trails in the area.

The pit toilets were clean, though heavy smell of ammonia which is not unusual at campgrounds like this. Each site has a fire pit and picnic table. There are potable water pumps, as well as garbage and recycling. Frequented mainly by families, and some PCT hikers, as it is located just of the PCT trail. They have first come first serve as well as reservable sites. It fills up quickly on the weekends, so if you dont have a site reserved I highly recommend getting there early. Each regular site is $18 a night. Enjoy!


It's very hard to get a reservation anywhere near Mount Rainier. We got one Thursday night in August! The campgound is very nice. Visitor center, restrooms, nature trail. The river behind our site was beautiful! Lots of logs and boulders. Close to hiking. Our neighbors were close, but the site was very deep so it gave the illusion of more privacy that there really was.

Quiet spot on the Columbia River

This small state park is tucked alongside the Columbia River and Horsethief Lake. The campground is not large with only 4 regular campsites, 4 walk in sites, 8 partial hookups, a Teepee and 2 platform tents. The grounds surrounding the campground and alongside the lake are large, green grass areas with picnic tables everywhere. There are also archaeological sites with artifacts and pictographs within walking distance of the campground. There was a small kayak/canoe rental place that is run by the super friendly camp host.

I reserved the Teepee. I arrived a dusk during what would be a very strong wind storm that would last all night and all the next day. When I first went into the Teepee I noticed the canvas at the bottom was so rotten and the inside flap was secured to nothing so every time the wind blew the inside flap would fill up over half the inside and dirt would swirl everywhere. The front door flap was also very rotten and would not secure, so every time the wind blew, the door would fly open and let in more dirt. Needless to say my dog and I lasted about 5 minutes.

After talking to camp host I was able to get into one of the platform "tents". I later learned from the Park Ranger that stopped by that the canvas on the tents had rotted out in May so he had built what I would call plywood cabins with canvas roofs. There were 2 cabins, each one had 2 windows, 2 sets of bunk beds, a weak light, and a latch secured door. The cabin let in not one bit of wind which was nice, but also got very hot even though it was a cool evening and I had the window open all night. The next day the wind continued, not a big fan of strong sustained wind, but I figured out that when the door was open it created an arc of no wind right in front of the cabin which was nice to sit, watch, and relax. Please note, the cabin is not sealed to the creatures, on the second morning my dog woke me up to a bat that got stuck inside the cabin and was trying to get out, I was able to get the door open and it flew out.

The downside to the platform cabin is the lack of air flow, which in the summer could be rough. Also the only bathroom was a bit of a walk, but was kept clean and had showers. Also the parking was far away, so again a lot of walking. I was also informed by the Park Ranger that the Teepee would be taken down at the end of the 2018 season with no plans to bring it back.

Overall it as a good state park if you don't mind the wind and just want to relax. I'm not sure if I would go back but would recommend it to others.

Large campground inside Mt. Rainier National Park

Large campground located near the Paradise area of Mt. Rainier. Many sites tucked into large trees. Some loops close to main toad so the noise can be an issue, but overall beautiful!

Large, secluded, private

This is an off the beaten path campground, large and secluded. Campsites seem very private due to lots of large trees separating campsites No cell service.

Riverfront, sprawling, good access to Mt. Rainier Nat. Pk.

I camped here twice this summer, once in late June and again in late July. Both times for hiking in Mt Rainier Nat Park. Great alternative to the parking lot conditions at Ohanakaposh just inside the park. Most of the sites are reservable, but a fair number are first come, first serve. The campsites along the river are the best, but fill up quickly near the weekend. Best to go early in the week if you don't have reservations. On my first trip I managed to get a riverside spot, not so lucky second time around. However, all the campsites are nice, large and well equipped. Camp hosts were very friendly and helpful.

Fantastic campground

My first time camping in WA, so I have nothing to compare it to but being from the east coast it’s probably the best campsite I’ve ever stayed at.

Train lovers paradise

Nice campground. Clean, plenty of rv hookups.

Short, 5 minute walk to the river.

A train track runs throught the middle of the campground. Trains run every hour or so. VERY loud.

Tent spots were $8. Rv spots were $24.

Beautiful views of Columbia river!

Very clean and well maintained

Beautiful Forested Campground

The route (FR 90) we drove in was terrible. It must have washed out over the winter or something. I was surprised the Bascamp made it, but that's what we bought it for. We noticed a couple folks missing back bumpers and poop tubes so we must have been lucky.

The campground is beautiful. We were is site 11 on the Lower Loop, right across the little paved road from the river and the trail. You could walk right down to the river. The hiking is spectacular! The pictures tell it all. It was busy, but quiet. No hook ups, no cell service. The website said there was water available, but it was not yet turned on as of June 5th when we were there. The composting toilets had the worst smell I have ever experienced in a vault toilet, don't stay downwind from them!

Secluded convenience

We went camping here in early August. We did not make reservations but with the camp hosts assistance we were able to get a great spot. It was surrounded by enough trees to make it feel secluded, but they vault toilet was not far and the water spicket was easily located. My family of 4 had a great time. The camp hosts were friendly and very helpful. I do suggest if you are coming for the west side to stop and get firewood in Packwood as it is easily $3 cheaper in town than at the campground.

Great location during huckleberry picking season

We've stayed at Tillicum CG during for more than 15 years. It used to be a very large CG, with water available; no water now. There are 2 vault toilets, with garbage cans, in the main loop of the campground, and a few old, small wooden toilets scattered throughout the other loops, but I don't think the Forest Service maintains them. We've stayed there in a 11 1/2' pickup camper, and now a 33' class A motorhome, and have had to trim a few limbs in order to get to campsite #12. The interior dirt road erodes more every year. It's a densely forested campground, but we've been able to get satellite TV reception in site #12 in the past, but not this year. There's no cell service in the campground, but 1-2 bars of AT&T 4G is available about 3 miles from camp, (1 mile up FS Rd. 8854, near the junction of FS Rd. 8851 and FS Rd. 24). The current fee is $5.00 per night, or $2.50 if you have a Senior Pass or Golden Age Passport. Squaw Butte trailhead is at the end of the campground.

Mark Twain, Anyone?

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.

Shade, Trails, Large River Access vs. Noise, Small Sites & Neighbors

Lots to offer here and is good for one night for more avid tenters wanting the sights or nature, or multiple nights for social campers or RVs. Good trails, well run, clean, and smack dab in the middle of Columbia Gorge, one of the most beautiful places in the country. Plenty of tall trees. I grew up next to a freeway and I love trains, though the highway and train honks are substantial if your idea was to relax in nature for the weekend. Would be four stars if the sites were a little more spread out, I reckon'. Bring your kayak, fishing pole or wetsuit - as of today, indicated locations up- and downriver from Viento were safe (though it's harder than it should be to find that kind of information). Video from the tent sites south of I-84, most of the photos are from the north, river more RV-ish side.

Riverfront Tent Spots Perfect for Boating Trips

Primarily a day use area with a boat launch on the Columbia River and part of Beacon Rock state park, this site also has a handful of campsites that are perfect if you are looking to get on your boat and fish. The sites themselves are nothing special, though you are very close to the river shore.

Nice bathrooms and full showers on site. Picnic spaces available as well. A handful of RV spots are also available further away from the water.

Well Loved State Park

Battleground is a nice and well loved state park not far from Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. The part itself centers around a clear caldera lake with tent camping, RV camping, cabins, trails, group sites, and the like. The lake is also frequently stocked, and fishing is popular. Not motorized boats, but plenty of kayaks and rafts. There is a small camp store with snacks and fishing supplies on-site. Campground is well appointment with showers, water, etc.

Hiking around the lake is fun. And well a crowded park, it is easy to sneak away to a quiet spot. Some cabins and campsites have nice views overlooking the lake. The town of battleground is nearby with restaurants, grocery stores, and any you might have forgotten.

Great quiet getaway near some great hiking

16 campsites, with about 6 along the year-round creek. Beautiful and quiet. The Sleeping Beauty trail is a short drive and well worth the effort. This is truly a hidden local gem and only about 20-25 minutes from the tiny community of Trout Lake, at the base of Mt. Adams. An added bonus is a short trail through an old growth forest with breathtaking trees.