Ashley B.
Vancouver, WA
Joined May 2018
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.

Campground on shores of Rock Creek Reservoir

This is a small campground on the shores of Rock Creek Reservoir, however when you go in the late summer there is no water remaining near half of the campground. The remaining water in the reservoir was small and near the dam, with lots of people fishing the remaining fish. Even though the water levels were super low, there is evidence the water is much higher in the spring/early summer which means most of the spots in the campground would be right on the water.

I was in spot 28, on the edge of the reservoir, but couldn't see any water. The spot was huge with plenty of room for multiple tents. The campground host was quick to greet me, and remind me "No Fires due to extreme fire danger" but overall was very nice. I even spoke to her the next morning due to my neighbors blaring bad music loudly until about 0200 and she talked to them, and the next night no loud music.

The cons to the spot, the bathroom was kind of far away unless you cut through other peoples sites. Also people walked through my site to get to the reservoir, which was very annoying.

I would definitely go back to this campground, it was a great campground. But I would go back in early summer so I could enjoy a lake front campsite.

Campground near Mt. Saint Helen's

This is a campground on one of the roads leading to Mt. Saint Helen's. It was a decent sized campground with RV spots, tent spots, group spots, and walk-in spots. It had a huge playground area as well as a day use site with covered shelters within the park. The visitor center was a short 1 mile walk from the campground that had an under road tunnel leading under the highway. From the visitor center here was an additional path through the marsh with views of Mt. Saint Helen's, or at least I think there are views the smoke was so thick we could not see the mountain. At night the campground had a great Junior Ranger program with a very enthusiastic park ranger that kept the almost 50 people/kids entertained. She was great at engaging all the kids and teaching them about the park, highly recommend this for anyone bringing kids. For being completely full the nights we were there it was pretty quiet with only the occasional noise coming from the nearby highway.

We stayed in the group site, spot 60/61. Since we booked the group site we were required to book both of the spots at the same time. It was the smallest group site I have ever seen. There was barely room for the 3 tents we set up and originally we would have had almost 6, which would not have fit in this spot. There were 2 large tables as well as 2 fire pits, however 1 fire pit was inches away from the bushes and would not have been good for people to sit around. Luckily the other fire pit was great and we were all able to sit around it. The bathrooms and water were close by.

There were other sites that were much bigger and would be able to accommodate larger groups. I would not waste my money on the group site if you need more then 4 tents, honestly 3 was a squeeze. It's a great campground for those that are spending multiple days in Mt. Saint Helen's since it was a very short drive away.

Great Campground near the Crater Lake Area

This is a great campground only about 45 minutes from Crater Lake National Park. It is a very large campground with spots on the river, sunny spots, spots with rock fireplaces, very large spots, a wide range of spots to choose from. There was heavy smoke from nearby forest fires and fires from California that caused a lot of people to not visit the campground, making it very quiet and relaxing for those of us who did visit. Due to the smoke, I did not visit any of the nearby hiking spots but did take a photo posted on the information board. However the park is so large with many roads and paths that just walking around the park was great. There were also several people and kids riding their bikes around, I definitely recommend bringing bikes. The small village of Union Creek at the entrance had a couple restaurants, a food truck, a general store, an ice cream shoppe, and another campground. The general store sold bundles of wood for a couple bucks cheaper then the Campground Host, and the Huckleberry ice cream at the shoppe was a perfect summer treat.

I was in spot 78. It was a large spot with the river running about 200 yards behind it. There was enough room for several tents. The path to the river, led right to a private sand bar in a slow moving part of the river. Great for families. The bathroom was also fairly close to the spot.

The cons for this spot, the water and trash were very far away. If you were filling up anything more then a water bottle you would have to drive to fill up on water. There were also only a couple locations that had trash bins making it possible to walk to, but again if you had a large amount of trash or leaking trash bag you would have to drive.

Overall I highly recommend this campground, especially the spots near 78.

Good spot halfway from Portland to Crater Lake

This is a good campground if you are traveling between the Portland area and Crater Lake and want to stop half way. It is a very large campground located between the Highway and the River. There is road noise as well as train noise that is across the river, but didn't notice either in the early hours of the morning. The spot I was in was good size, had very little shade, and was a distance from the toilets and water. There was a nice access ramp to the river, as well as additional parking near the ramp. Not a campground I would travel to stay in from the Portland area but would stay again if I was headed to Southern Oregon and needed to stop.

Small State Park off Hwy 97

This review is for the main campground, there is another group/horse campground across the highway that I did not stay in. The small campground is right off Highway 97. The first part of the campground is where the hook ups, large RV's, small trailers and tent campers are located. The spaces are very close together with very few trees separating spaces. Some spots looked barely big enough for a 2 person tent. In this same area is the only flush toilets/showers (Coin operated). Continuing past this main area and over a small hill is where the tent camping/sheep herders tents are located. Since it was located away from the main camping area it was quiet with regards to hearing fellow campers, the downside is the spaces are closer to the Highway. Day and night, semis speed past the state park on either a downhill straight away or an uphill straight away, regardless it sounds like a freight train or military landing pad all night/day long. It was so loud you had to stop talking until the semi passed. The space I was in was so small my 3 person tent only fit if one side was touching the fire ring. Luckily there was a fire ban so no fire to melt my tent. The space also had full view of the pit toilet, since it was the only toilet on that side, I saw everyone come and go. It was also super close to one of the sheep herders tent site. There were 2 sheep herder tents sites. The spots looked large and the tents looked like they would sleep at least 4-5 people. The other tent sites where much larger, but still all the sites could hear the highway. Note, be careful about leaving food out, zipping your tent up, leaving car doors open. The mice were pretty bad and came out at night driving my dog crazy. There were a bunch of trails that ran through out the park that provided a nice alternative to get to the other side of the park or climb to the top of the hill near the power lines. The camp host was also a very nice gentleman who suggested activities in the near by area. I was exploring the area cause it's new to me, but I wont return cause it's not my type of camping.

New state park that will get better with time

This is a great new state park, that will be fantastic in a few years. Not too far from I-84 and the Portland area, the park sits down in Cottonwood Canyon. The campground was at the end of the road near the Pinnacles trailhead. The wind in the area is strong, but the park has built walls to block your tent from the wind. The trees are still small, but when they get big all of the spots will be nice and shaded. Some of the spots have covered tables to block the sun. The spots were large and not too close to other campers. There is new construction happening and it looks like eventually there will be more camp spots, a bike path running along the entire state park, and more bathrooms maybe even a shower house. Near the entrance was a large grass area with a barn, a horseshoe pit, and a picnic/day area. There was even free bikes that anyone could borrow to cruise around the park. The Pinnacles trail was a flat 8.6 trail running alongside the John Day River. I recommend starting early and enjoying a sunrise hike, I started at 0445, because there is no shade along the trail. I was able to finish the hike just as the sun came over the mountain, and before it got too hot. I would recommend this campground.

Free horse camp near Ukiah

One of the few national forest campgrounds on road 53, or the Blue Mountain Scenic Highway. It was a beautiful drive to the campground. There are no spot numbers for this campground and is free to camp. There are only 5 picnic tables scattered around a large cul-de-sac parking lot. I choose one at the bottom of the cul-de-sac with full view of the parking lot and no one on either side of me. This is definitely a campground geared for equestrians with a horse corral available. The only amenity is a pit toilet. Aside from the horse trailer/RV that ran its generator most of the night and morning, it was a great spot to camp. There was even a short hike (2.5 round trip) up to Gibson Caves with great views along the way. The only reason I gave it 3 stars is cause of the RV running it's generator all night and being annoyed.

Not my favorite campground, but not horrible

This is not my favorite campground, but probably due to the spot I was in and the distance I had to travel to get there. If coming from the Vancouver/Portland area it takes at least 3 hrs to get to the campground, which on a Friday after work means getting in late/dark. The spot I was in was close to the river and close/open to 7 other camp spots. This means that there were little to no trees blocking you from your neighbor. I believe my table was maybe 15 ft from my neighbors table. Everyone was very quiet and respectful expect for the huge "frat" party happening on the end spot which we all got to be apart of not by choice. Spot 24 was large enough for a few tents, and close to the restrooms but not too close. I would recommend the spots furthest from the river or on the 'bend' of the campground. There were 2 huge group spots with spot 11 looking like the best spot. I would definitely recommend for a large group. The hosts were present and kept the bathrooms fairly clean. The trails around the campground are mainly for off-road vehicles, but I was able to hike up the mountain with Mt. Saint Helens peeking from the clouds and no off-road vehicles around.

Close campground to Cannon Beach

Great campground about a mile from Cannon Beach. There are cabins, RV sites, and tent spaces. It's a little higher in price then a national forest campground, I paid around $40 a night, but was there for the Cannon Beach Sandcastle Competition, which I highly recommend going to. There were several tent sites with some in the shady tree area and others in the sun. The bathrooms were clean and the showers were hot. At the bath house there was an outdoor sink area, where you could do your dishes. There are even horse stables on the grounds that you can pay to ride on the beach. It is a great campground in the city of Cannon Beach. I would recommend this park to anyone wanting to camp near the beach.

Campground near Mt. Hood, right on the river

What a great campground. Not too far from the Portland area. I was in spot 21 which was right on the river. The spot had room for at least 4-6 tents, with enough room to be spaced out. It was a bit cooler than the rest of the campground due to it being right on the water and almost completely in the shade. The bathrooms were clean and well maintained for being pit toilets. Firewood was sold at the camp host spot. Walking around the campground I noticed most of the spots are on/near the river with only a few walk in spots not on the River. Please note, there is no potable drinking water available at this campground so make sure to bring enough water. I would recommend this campground.

State Park on the edge of a Lake

I wasn't overly impressed with this campground. I was there the weekend after Labor Day and it was still pretty busy/full. There were a couple sites that sounded like Frat Parties that went well into the night. The spots were also very close to each other, so the people in the spot next to me could hear our conversations and same for us. Also there were RV spots looking down on the tent site I was in. The sheriff and rangers were also constantly patrolling the campground, which made it seem not as safe. Also this late in the season the lake is very low, so it was a bit of a walk to get to the water's edge. The pros were there was a great trail (3 miles) going all away around the park/along the lake. The bathrooms were clean and well lit. There were plenty of activities for children and families.

Close to Timothy Lake

Great campground when nearby Timothy Lake campgrounds are full. The spot I had was large and not too close to other spots. The campground was full, so there was the early morning sounds of children playing. I was in spot 8 which looked onto Clackamas Lake. Which side note is not a "lake" but more of a marshy pond with reeds and grass around the edge. Still I was able to situate my tent to look onto the lake. This spot is in the horse section so there were corrals in each spot. Looked like a horse had camped in the spot a few days earlier cause there were large piles of fresh horse poop I had to keep my dog away from. The table/tent area was about 75 feet from my car so I had to make many trips to get all my stuff into the site. If you are extra adventurous and in shape you can walk from the campground, around Timothy Lake and back, be warned this is just over 18 miles. The trail around Timothy Lake is not strenuous, and offers amazing views of Mt Hood, and there is water about half way through, but again be ready for a long hike.

Very Close to Logging Operations

Was not impressed with this campground. I thought going on a Monday and Tuesday it would be nice and quiet, but that was far from the case. The chainsaws and falling trees from a nearby logging operation started at 0530 my first morning there and continued through the day, with an addition of logging trucks barreling down the road very close to the campground. Needless to say not the relaxing camp trip I was hoping for. The spot I had, spot 2, was very open to all people walking by on 3 sides of the spot. The campground was very busy for being there during the week. On the plus side there were flush toilets in the main campground area and they had a later check out of 1400. The trail leading from the campground was also a nice trail.

Hidden Gem in the west side of Mt. Hood National Forest

This is hands down one of my favorite campgrounds, because the spots are large, far apart from the other sites, and very quiet. It is not too far from the Portland area, I would recommend getting last minute supplies before getting off the highway. The campground is a horse campground, but I reserved on the Monday before arrival and it was still very empty so no fear about taking a spot from equestrians. The spot I had (Spot 4) was huge, plenty of room for a larger party, felt like a quarter of an acre. There were no neighbors on one side of the spot and only the water spigot on the other. All the spots in the campground had plenty of space between spots. There was lots of dead, dried out wood laying all around the site that after a couple hours of collecting I had plenty to keep a fire all weekend, and still left a pile of wood when I left. The campground is close to many trails in the area, mainly Romano Falls Trail. There are views of Mt. Hood, peeking out through the trees here and there.

Small, quiet campground close to Bagby Hot Springs

This campground is an easy drive from the Portland area. Would recommend getting ice, firewood, last minute items at the Ripplebrook Ranger Station as it's the last place to do so before the campground (15 minutes from campground). I was in space 12, which was very sunny and had little shade. It had a great trail, Riverside Trail, that had direct access from the campground and ran along the river. It was also close enough to Bagby Hot Springs where you could get up early and beat the weekend crowds.

Great place for Families!

I stayed in the 1 of 5 tent spaces. They were a bit close to the other sites, but still large enough for a few tents if needed. There was only 1 parking lot for the tent/cabin spaces, so had to carry all my stuff about 100 feet. The bathrooms were clean and well lit at night. The bike paths through the campground/park were great and lots of people were using them all day. I walked the path around the entire park, which took me about 3 hours. Along the way got to see the Champoeg Heritage site with period piece actors, wide open spaces, and the Willamette River. There was a huge playground for the kids. There was also a large field area for dogs to roam around, just no fence. For being so close to the greater Portland area it felt like we were much further away. I would recommend this place, just make reservations early.