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A visit to Beacon Rock State Park is one for the memory book. Not only is the campground itself a woodland wonderland with winding paths through tall old growth forest areas, but the surrounding area of the park itself is impressive with exciting things to do around every corner.
Located along the Columbia River, the park has the asset of water activities while also the beauty of waterfall paths, public spaces ideal for family gatherings and of course the iconic Beacon Rock itself which towers above the surrounding area as one of the more unique look outs you will find.
I visited this park on a warm and blustery day. I started out hiking the Beacon Rock itself where I was impressed by the views and challenged by the ongoing ascent of the switchbacks. Following my challenge of the morning, I moved over the campground itself. Mid afternoon on a busy day, I expected to be turned away as the park was pretty crowded but instead I was impressed to find that the campground still had a few sites available and was able to settle into one for a few hours of R&R.
The sites were large enough to comfortably park my small car and have plenty of room to spread out. While I don’t see this camp being great for excessively large rigs, I did see a few smaller and mid sized units on the loop.
Sites were basically fitted with tables and fire rings while common spigots were located in several locations around camp for those needing water. Both trash and recycling receptacles were placed near the kiosk of camp, something which you will not find unless you travel all the way around the loop.
I enjoyed this site because of the access it had to the trail system beyond the Beacon Rock trail(which is located across the street from the camp). Several trails spur off the back side of the camp near an overflow parking area for those who need more than one car for their adventures.
Even as the camp filled up there was enough spacing that it didn’t seem to be loud and short of a few dogs barking here and there it was pretty quiet into the evening.
A centralized restroom and bath house was such a perk and justified the higher pricing of the site which I did feel was pretty high overall but somewhat fitting for the area. The showers were coin operated with every 3 minutes costing$0.50 a great investment after being on the road and staying at another campground previously which was having water issues which prevented me from being able to take a shower the night before. The showers were hot, the pressure was good and the overall impact of this was game changing!!!
- Bear Warning- This area is a bear zone however you will not find bear boxes like you will at other campsites in the area. For this reason you need to come prepared and make sure you are able to secure your items in a safe way.
- Other Campsites- There are several campsites beyond the mainly advertised loop. You can find these a bit further down the road and they offer RV hook ups and also equestrian camping. No Supplies No Problem- At this campsite you are only a short distance from town so if you do happen to forget something and need it the drive to a store or station is very short.
- Cell Service- This is one of the few locations in the area I did have cell signal with AT&T!!
Campground Review: Beacon Rock State Park
Beacon Rock State Campground is a very nice, small, looped campground located across the freeway and about a mile or two away from the amazing hike up Beacon Rock. There's trees galore and there's also several very nice hikes of various lengths that leave right from the campground. Camp sites vary greatly, and every time I've gone it's first-come, first-served, so it helps to come early to grab a spot, though even in summer we've had luck on an off-night (like Sunday or Wednesday) grabbing a decent site. This most recent trip was early in the season, so even though the weather was lovely, we had practically the entire campground to ourselves.
In addition to the 28-site campground, there's also two day-use areas that you'll pass on the way to the campground which are very nice and include basic kitchen set-ups built back in the 1930s by the CCC, bathrooms, and picnic tables. The first day use area on the right as you enter also has a playground, while the second area on the left has great views of Beacon Rock.
Pros: Great spot for heading out on hikes. Showers and decently clean bathrooms. Trees.
Cons: Definitely some spots better than others.
Overall, a great spot as a base camp for hikes in the area, but not a ton to do at the actual campground.
Campground video: https://thedyrt.com/member/corinna-b/reviews/44685/media/141684
Ranger Review: Wenzel Oversized Quad Chair
Stats: 22x22x36 inches, about 7.5 pounds. Supports up to 350 lbs.
The Wenzel Oversized Quad Chair is a well made, sturdy chair that works equally well for car camping or outdoor events. As a Dyrt Ranger, I was given a gift certificate to Wenzel in order to choose an item to review. We used it two purchase two of these Quad chairs, and they've quickly become the chairs everyone fights to sit in anytime we're at a kids' soccer game or camping. While they'd definitely be too heavy for walk-in campsites or hiking (about 7.5 pounds on a bathroom scale), the built-in strap makes them perfect for carrying a couple blocks. After almost two months of weekly use, the construction is holding up very well, unlike other chairs we've purchased from other companies in the past.
- Well made, including arm rests and cup holder
- Very easy to set up and put away
- Good looking, with blue stripes and pattern
- Good price
- Somewhat heavy. Not made for carrying more than 5-10 blocks.
- While everyone else in my family loves the comfort of the chair, for me when I'm sitting forward, my thighs hit the hard plastic squares on either side of the seat.
Overall, the Wenzel Oversized Quad Chair is a very solid option at a good price. I've been impressed with how well they've held up so far. These have become a must-have addition to our car camping trips.
We went over there after we went Easter egg hunting with the grandkids because camping season came early this year. Beacon Rock was as pretty as it always is and lots of people at the day-use area, but there were only a couple of other people at the campground.
Spring flowers and everything is pretty and blooming and it was a nice stay. Also what’s fun about the campground is that it's the starting point of a bunch of hikes that are anywhere from a quarter mile to several miles. One particular hike we like is the one to small Beacon Rock where you hike up and have a great view of the larger Beacon Rock.
One thing is that later in the season as far as hiking goes you do have to watch out for poison oak. And about the campground, while it’s not large (about thirty spots) you can get to the restrooms easy but you do have a certain amount of privacy, depending on which spot you get.
This campground is a good place to go in that it’s a place you can get close enough to other things when you can camp there and do quite a bit of exploring in the Gorge. So I guess the bottom line is I would recommend this campground at at least 4 stars and probably 5. It would only get 4 because some other campgrounds have a little more privacy.
Very clean and well maintained
Beacon Rock is an incredible, tall hill in the Columbia River Gorge and a Washington State Park. The climb up the rock is through a well-built trail. It can get narrow at spots and not for those who fear heights. The view at the top, however, is amazing. Easy day-use area and there is also a popular campsite nearby with hiking trails.
Camp sites are kind of small, with most in forested areas. A few are slightly more exposed and some are split-level, in that you park up top and walk a few steps down to your camp site. Bathrooms and water on-site. It is close to Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington and very popular and busy.
amazing walk straight up the side of beacon rock!
There's some really cool hiking here. Beacon Rock is amazing. What happens is you sneak across the road and there’s a road up the hill with first come first served spots. Some are pull in and some are back ins. Just before the campground there’s a 1/2 mike hike or so where you can look back over and see Beacon rock from the other side. The campsites are wooded and nice, but the hike is where you get the good views. There's a ton of poison oak so be very careful. This is one of the two largest areas of poison oak that we’ve come across in Washington. It's on both sides of the trail. As my wife says, "leaves of three, let it be"
There are at least four different campgrounds within Beacon Rock state park including the main camping site, an equestrian area with two spaces large enough for horse trailers, a group camp site that can hold up to 200 people, and a small 2-tent and 5-RV space down by the boat launch (at the base of Beacon Rock). This review is for the main "Beacon Rock" campground, which has 28 sites nestled in the woods including two walk/hike-in only sites. From the main road, head north directly across from Beacon rock until you come to a parking lot on the right that's the trailhead for Hamilton Mountain, Whispering Pool and others. Just past the parking lot (which also has a nice day-use picnic area and shelter) and on the right you'll come to the entrance of Beacon Rock campground.
Sites are a good size with lots and lots of beautiful trees, though the size and privacy varies greatly depending on which site you get. Ones on the right when you first enter are smaller since they butt up next to a ridge. For the most part the sites on the inside of the loop and especially the back side (it's a one-way counter-clockwise loop) are larger. Sites are first-come, first-served, and even on Memorial Day weekend there were several still available at 5pm on Sunday. Not sure if that was a fluke or we just got lucky. The campground and day use areas were built by the CCC in the 1930s so there's some beautiful rock work here and there, but it was not built with RVs in mind, so most people had tents, though a smaller trailer or pop-up might work depending on maneuverability.
Pros: Sweet little campground with lots of beautiful trees and greenery. Still had spots available on a busy weekend.
Cons: Best for tents only or a smaller trailer. Some sites are definitely better than others.
Has a great stay
We had plans to dry camp by one of the lakes we use to as kids, but where met with boulders blocking the road in so we wandered down to the park and by the luck of the camping gods the camping full sign was broken so people just kept driving. There where two spots left just enough for our group. We stayed in 2 of the RV spots, they are on the smaller size and I have no idea for the size of the park why there is not more than 7 camp sites in the whole park. The bathrooms and showers are amazingly clean and updated. Nice place for kids to play and so much to do in the area.