About Columbia Hills State Park
This recreation area is part of The Dalles Lock and Dam, Lake Celilo
Drive In, Boat In
Columbia Hills State Park is located in Washington
4 Reviews of Columbia Hills State Park
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!
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.
The campsites here are nothing amazing. Each has a tent pad, fire ring, and picnic table. Some are definitely more private than others. The views here are what makes it awesome. Right on the Columbia River and it was GORGEOUS! There’s also a lake for swimming which is awesome because it gets super hot here in the summertime.
First to Review
This was a great location for loads of hikes in the area. Close enough to the Dalles and Maryhill if your dinner went south, but far enough away where it wasn't an issue of feeling like you were in a city. Beautiful Lake and super close to the Petraglyphs (do the tour that leaves a 3 minute walk from the campsite!!) It was SUPER windy, the bathrooms seemed pretty far from the tent camping sites, (they were all walk in) and there was a train track super close, but overall a good experience.