Nestled in the forested foothills of Washington’s Cascade Mountains, Battle Ground Lake State Park is an easy escape from the local urban jungles. Located just 20 miles northeast of Vancouver, WA, and 30 miles northeast of Portland, OR, this small recreation area sits in quiet, evergreen woods, in the city named for an 1855 incident between the local Klickitat peoples and U.S. Army soldiers from nearby Fort Vancouver. The lake itself, in the center of the park, is actually in a volcanic crater, formed when a magma-induced steam explosion blasted a large hole in the ground, which subsequently filled with water. Visitors to Battle Ground Lake will find plenty of camping and outdoor opportunities in the park, with even more to discover in the surrounding area.
There are numerous ways to stay and play at Battle Ground Lake. The main campground offers 35 sites with picnic tables and fire pits; a few have partial hookups for RVs. There are showers and picnic facilities nearby. The park also has 15 hike-in campsites offering more rustic camping opportunities. For groups, there is a large area with four Adirondack shelters and a covered cooking area, and for equestrian campers, there’s a group area that provides corrals, picnic tables and a vault toilet. Inside the main campground, there are also four rustic cabins to rent, each with covered porches, outdoor grills, picnic tables and electric lights and heat; BYO bed linens. Seasonal campsite rates range from $12–$45; cabin rates range from $45–$79
While you may be inclined to just kick back and nap by the lakeshore, there’s plenty to do in the park and the surrounding area, including several miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails and a self-guided nature trail. Cool off with a dip in the lake, go for a paddle, or cast a line for rainbow trout and small-mouth bass. Just 20 miles west of the park, you can visit Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and enjoy some of its exceptional bird watching. Or, drive one hour north for an exciting underground journey into the Ape Caves, a 2.5-mile long lava tube on the southern flank of Mount St. Helens. The lower portion of the tube is easy and family-friendly; the upper portion is a strenuous endeavor for the truly adventurous. Wear sturdy shoes, a jacket, and bring your own flashlight, as this volcanic subway is as wild as it gets.
One of the best State parks for camping. Well manicured sites. Plenty of privacy. Great fishing! Trout, bass, blue gill.. swimming area. Store on sites. Nice hike around lake with plenty of spots to rest and fish. Rope swing. Very popular.
Love that it is close to town and you feel like you are out in the woods.
The campsites are spread out and private. There are tent sites, RV sites, and cabins. Quiet lake with two trails around it.
This park has it all, camping, fishing, hiking swimming, playground, horse trails!
Battle ground lake is a perfect getaway!
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.
This campground has lots of tent sites, and some cabins. There’s a swim area roped off, and a small sand area for the kids to play. Bathrooms are throughout the campground. Also has day use areas. There are two hikes around the lake; an upper, and a lower one. Both are easy hikes, and are dog and kid friendly. There’s a seasonal store with a window you can order bait, snacks, etc. There is a ramp to take your small boats to, and fishing around the lake.
Pros: Good lake to swim in, smaller state park so not too busy, kayaks you can rent, small playground if you have kids, pet frIendly cabIn I stayed In was faIrly secluded Cons: because it’s smaller, kids on bikes were on the road often so you have to be aware, only one shower stall in the restrooms
We love it! For a lot of reasons. Part of the reason is it’s close, so that’s part good. Driving up there the way we drive (from Vancouver) you go up through ranching/farming territory and it’s nice and green and pretty, so it’s nice getting there. You do have a lot of options, in that the first time we went up there was with our hiking club, and we went up there for a hike around the calderas so it’s easy to do a day trip in a car. Part of our discovery was while we were there is that the food place is really good and very nice. The kids playground was great for the grandkids.
As far as the camping, while it’s open, for the most part you do have a limited amount of privacy in the campground. The campsite we picked was a mix of things: just far enough away from the restrooms where we don’t get all the traffic there, but close enough so it’s not too far either. We were within easy walking distance to two restrooms/showers.
One thing that always looked intriguing is they do have the cabins, so maybe one of these times we’ll rent one. Another thing that some people might like is that they do have horses and some of the trails around the lake you can have horses on, plus a separate area/campground where you can have your horses, which are fun to see.
It’s a small lake but big lake, meaning they do not allow motors on the lake, even electric motors, so it’s all floats, kayakers, etc. A lot of people grab the big inter-tubes and go with that. And of course fishing up there is generally pretty good, especially when they stock it. The trails around the lake are kind of fun also because you have a high trail (very forested) and you also have a certain amount of low trails right on the water where you could have your own spots to fish and swim.
Like most campgrounds, it has its peak season and its off-season, but you can go there year-round if you choose to. The beach area isn’t big, but that’s okay. Wherever you’re heading (from the campsites down to the water, to the playground, to the food shack) you always have different trails and options for how to get from one place to another if you want to explore. If there’s anything you forgot (groceries, fishing gear etc.) you can be in the small town of Battle Ground within 5 miles.
BGLSP is a really lovely park not too far from Portland with camping and rustin cabins. Most of the campsites are large enough for 2 tents, and there were many RVs and popups - good size driveways/parking areas. Cabins C17 and C21 were the most private, though C13 and C15 had a partial view of the lake. Campsites 19 and 20 were really tucked back and adjoined such that two groups could spread out. There is only one bathroom for the entire camping/cabin area, and it got pretty dirty/crowded at times, so that wasn't ideal. I would also recommend checking out the water quality information before going if you plan to do water sports or swimming. There was a high bacteria advisory when we went, so swimming was discouraged. We ended up going to nearby Klineline Pond to swim instead. There is a nice little concession stand, though, and they offer SUP and kayak rentals that looked nice.