Jones Creek Campground
This one is down the road from Elk Creek, you can camp one night in each if you want to make a weekend of it. Good buffer of trees between the campgrounds, longer driveways.
Definitely check out the Tillamook Forest Centery, you can even hike over from the campground.
Water on site, trash, friendly camp hosts.
The river is where it’s at, folks are swimming, tubing and fishing dawn to dusk. Folks jumping off the bridge and having picnics. Sites are drive in and walk in depending on your preference. Showed up late and had to leave early, didn’t get a chance to explore much but it looked prety nice.
Elk Creek Campground is gorgeous, shady, Elk Creek itself winds around the campsites spooning it and provides ample swimming and fishing spots. There are compost toilets availabe and water on site, though the website says there isn’t, there is infact drinkable water on site and toilets.
No reservations online, first come first serve on the sites so sometimes the place is full when you arrive, but it’s always worth checking back
Sites have enough space between ‘em that you have a bit of privacy during the day and night. The sites are walk in, so you park in the general lot and huck your stuff in but never very far; no wheelbarrows or anything on site so only bring what you’re able to carry.
True pack in and pack out, be ready to haul your junk home – not everyone remembers this unfortunately.
If you are a glutton for punishment, set up camp and then hit up elk Mountain the hard way, 2,000 ft of elevation gain in less than 2 miles.
I am going to try staying here again in the winter, the sites are small and close enough together that in peak summer season it’s pretty darn noisy, the joyful din of summer break.
Lots of trees around the tent sites so there is a lot of shade which is nice. Shorter driveways though so not a lot of room for extra cars. The ADA accessible spots are great, paverstones under the picnic areas and such; very nice.
If you like disc golf this is definitely the place to go, huge sprawling shaded course is very inviting and everyone who was playing looked like they were having a good time. Great destination for lazy bike rides, miles of paved low incline trails. Plus as well, they have a bike tools available as well, a work station for light repairs.
Full service campgrounds, yurt sites have more space around ‘em so it may be a better option for in the future.
Good river and fishing access, lots of low-key trails to explore. Dogs are welcome on leash and there is a designated area for them to romp too.
*Huge family oriented campground, great for family camping.
*Ice and wood available
*Wifi (spotty at best) available at lodge
*Garbage and all manner of recycling available
*Friendly and accessible park hosts
*Very ADA accessible
A great family campground with a myriad of trails for all skill and comfort levels. I will note that many of the trails down around the falls are off limit to dogs which seemed a bit of a surprise to some folks out here; please check the online trail map before you go or be prepared to explore other areas of the park, there is still miles of fun for four leggers. If it is a summer month, assume there will be swarms of children riding their bikes through the loops from dawn to dusk, roving bands of ‘em.
The sites are very open, level and can easily accommodate multiple tents and gear. When the park is full there isn’t much sense of privacy at all as the sites are close together, but if you picked this place then privacy probably wasn’t your goal. My neighbor’s tent is probably 6 feet away right now. This trip all of the rangers have been very friendly and happy to answer questions.*Sidetrack… a friend stayed here once with their wife and was chided by the park ranger for having marital relations, in the middle of the act, in the middle of the night, sound travels easy here.
Restrooms and showers in “A” loop were updated recently, they are clean, regularly maintained and have 3 double plug outlets for use for charging those batteries etc. There is a playground in the RV loop in addition to there being one over by the swimming hole on the park side of things. The swimming area itself has almost no current (in low summer season) and is perfect for a lazy afternoon and tubes.
Came here with family so there was a variety of ages and everyone had a nice time. Plenty of wildlife here too, so watch your dog bowls, a Stellars Jay was using ours as his personal bathtub and eating trough. Rabbits in the morning by the bathrooms, all kinds of birds, garter snakes by the stream, anthills the size of babies, a deer family waltzing through at dusk and of course a menagerie of insanely cute chipmunks and tiny squirrels. At night the raccoon(s) will come through and take anything not nailed down, they aren’t fazed by humans, so best to just make sure everything is tucked in right before you retire.
Great spot to go if everything else is full which it was, first time we've ever headed to the coast with no reservations in an act of "spontaneity" or "adventure". I advise against doing that in the summer, lol.
For an RV oriented place, the campgrounds are pretty okay. There aren't site numbers or designators, it's just pretty much anywhere on the grass that has a picnic table. There were at least a dozen sites that we could see and we got the impression that you could really pitch a tent anywhere as long as you didn't try to move the fire rings or disturb the RV folks, we were literally instructed "just stay on the grass".
There is definitely a mixture of long-time residents and short term weekend warriors in the RVs themselves which I always find interesting. In one site we had a family in a rental RV rolling in from Cali and in another site, there was a shirtless old man playing with bubbles and blasting Spanish opera music. If you use the expression "variety is the spice of life" then you might enjoy it here. If camping alongside folks who live in their older RVs 24/7/365 makes you uncomfortable, then this won't be the place for you. There is a Harley riding resident who seems to make a lot of motorcycle trips in the day but not late into the night and not early AM, everything was peaceful and quiet by 10pm.
Additionally, if you are a camper that doesn't want nature too much in their face, this may not be the place for you either, there are a butt-ton of coyotes in the area and we had some stubborn garter snakes in the site that didn't seem fazed by us at all.
This fella did a great drone video of the grounds, you can get an idea of all the options for water play options with the river:
Lots of fishing access though we didn't get a chance to try it, we could see 'em swimming which is always promising.
We will probably come back here if we have plans to kayak as it is easy, gentle access to the river and we know we'll have a basecamp and a hot shower (albeit a paid one) to paddle back to. Other than that, we'll probably only come here if Cannon is full.
Lazy inner tubing, kayaks, canoes, that low-cost inflatable raft you impulsively picked up at Fred Meyer during the last camping sale… any of these can put in at Lake Harriet. It's a buoyed reservoir on the Clackamas.
What the place lacks up in campsite privacy, it makes up for in the abundance of trails that are a trot or short car ride away. Definitely a family campground with composting toilets and a water pump, so expect kiddies and pups to be darting around. The spots are adjacent to the gravel loop, not a lot of grass, very open. Very crowded when we were there but everyone was having a good time so the vibe was still pleasant. Gravel semi single lane road leads in so drive cautiously and don't be a jerk, also don't bother washing your car until after the trip.
We come here with fishing in mind, there are an abundance of shore opportunities on top of what you can access with a floater. Some feeder streams and side shoots offer hiding places for the fish during the heat of the day as well so everyone's got a chance to catch something. I would encourage this to be a "family camping in the big tent" or a fishing destination; not a place you go for quiet reflection and to savor your whiskey among nature.
A hand full of semi-private camping groinds along the crystal clear creek. Right off the road but not much road noise, lots of stream sounds. We love camping near water. Big wooden picnic tables at all the sites, fire rings with a grill you can flip up for roasting, composting toilet and trash bins on site. No water (or we couldn't find it) so pack your own or get some from the stream at your own discretion, no matter how good it looks we always filter or you get an intestinal surprise!
One site is literally right up on the stream bank, that's the one we want next time for sure. All spots have room for one larger tent or two smaller 2-man tents. The cars get parked only a few feet away so feel free to pack all the fun heavy amenities you wouldn't bring if you were packing it.
We go here when Buck Lake is full, which is almost always these days.
In brief: quieter campground, good for families, small groups, dog owners and hikers.
If you love being lulled to sleep by the sound of waves, this is your spot. The Pacific ocean sang us to sleep each night.
But enough poetics, this is one of the comfiest beach access campgrounds within an hour-ish of Portland. Large tent sites leave plenty of room for you to bring a buddy or to pop out extra lawn chairs.
When we were there the only showers available were over in the RV area but they were clean, private and warm - car camping jackpot! We saw the park staff cleaning the restroom at regular intervals and there was always toilet paper. Fire rings have grill bars on top for hotdogs and that perfect baked potato.
There are always lots of dogs here and while the rangers try to get everyone to keep their pups on leash in camp, be prepared for a surprise sniff or two. Plenty of firewood for sale - and the ecological importance of not bringing your own is pretty big unless you live nearby.
In the summer months expect kids to be riding their bikes and scooting through the park loop Dawn to dusk but at least they are outside!
We've been here in the winter months and it is much quieter, if a cloudy day is your thing then that's a good time for you to go as well.
We always scout out the whole grounds for future trips and take notes on our favorite spots, I'll include some of those below:
55 and 54 spacious private
42 full shade lots of trees full shade smaller Camp pad
32 Shady Tree filled has a climbing log. Room for multiple tents privacy longer driveway
27 much wider cement pad room for at least three tents 26 right next door both pretty open and connected
67 has hammock trees and room from multiple tents.
Backside of D loop will be great for summer heat