Very cool state park in the middle of the Wanapum Recreational area and on the shores of Wanapum Lake/Columbia River. Two camping loops, one on a bluff overlooking the river with pretty views (the loop you want to be on) and the other further away from the water..
The landscape is really gorgeous and colorful. The park has a very large boat launch area with day use facilities available. You’re also a very short drive from the Ginko Petrified Forest, interpretive center, and rock shop, all of which are super fun for rock-hounders.
The Ginko Petrified forest has amazing views alongside an interpretive center with cool rock formations and ancient petroglyphs. The rock shop is super funky with cheesy dinosaur statues out front.
Popular state park that is, as the title hints, at the confluence of the Wenatchee and Columbia Rivers. Big, wide open spaces that are available for day use and popular with locals on the weekends for barbecues and games. Large beach area on the river with swimming.
Many tent and RV spots available, but they are all out, exposed in a kind of open field with a few trees. Nice showers and bathroom facilities on-site. Gorgeous views of the river and surrounding hills everywhere you look. However you do have to navigate the city of Wenatchee office park to get there.
Only 20 miles from Leavenworth, Washington and about 2.5 hours from Seattle. Popular with kids for the playground and lots of flat areas for biking and pick-up softball/football games.
Tent camping next to beautiful Paulina Lake. RV spots also available. Short walk to Paulina visitor center with fun exhibits and ranger programs.
Campground has flush toilets, boat launch. Great location to explore all around Paulina Lake including hiking trails and activities.
Camp sites spacious but most of the campgrounds at East and Paulina Lakes are often busy and can be loud with boats, RVs and general camp traffic.
Shoreline is not a beach, but more of a boat launch. There's better swimming nearby in other areas of the lake.
Beautiful campground location on the shores of East Lake. Many campsites available along the shoreline with gorgeous views. Other spots are less exciting but still close to walk down to the busy and popular beach.
Flush toilets. Boat launch available. If you aren’t along the shoreline, many of the spots are not that secluded. As it is the end of the road, you're more often able to find available camp sites, though you are further from Paulina Lake lodge, the visitor center, and other park amenities.
East Lake Campground is very popular because many spots, tent and RV, are available right on the shoreline. The trade off is that you are also right on top of each other with little privacy.
The beach is beautiful, and the lake fun to play in. A good location to all of the rest of the Paulina Lake trails and activities. Flush toilets, fresh water. Boat launch available.
One of the more popular campgrounds, it is often full due to its popularity.
Old school resort on the shores of beautiful Paulina Lake. Wonderful, small log cabin lodge with amazing food. Other log cabins to rent ranging from three people to large families with fire places, a couple right on the water.
Cabins have running water, bathrooms, cozy fireplaces, comfy couches. Resort has a boat launch and small general store for supplies, food, and bait.
The Lake itself is beautiful and the location puts you right next to all of the fun hikes, biking, trails and activities all around Paulina Lake area. Possibly also some spots for RVs.
Try the Apple Crumble and the“Knife Burger” (huge burger with steak knife stuck in it). You will not be disappointed.
Another very popular resort, this one is on the shores of East Lake. Rustic cabins built between the 1940s and 1960s, but quaint and cozy, most with toilets and showers and close to the shoreline. Prices vary between cabins.
A boat launch is available. Nice beach to put in for kayaks, sups. Cafe at the small lodge with good food and snacks plus a general store for supplies. RV spots available across the road.
Another beautiful location to use as a base to explore throughout Paulina/East lake area. Very popular in the summer.
No frills RV-only park near Troutdale. Many RV pads are cracked and uneven. Location is right next door to a saloon and also has frequent police visits.
Weekly and monthly rates available. Daily rate not too expensive. Many if not most of the residents are long-timers.
Bathrooms, laundry facilities on-site. Not overly impressed, but in need of a spot at the mouth of the Gorge, you could do worse.
Ainsworth State Park is a gorgeous state park in the heart of the Gorge with great hikes and views of the Columbia river, all not far from Portland. The campsites, however, are located right next to the History Columbia River Highway, making for loud camping experience, though you are near all the great park activities. And when I say close, I mean you can see the highway from your tent.
Its location near Portland makes it very popular, and it is often full. Restrooms and showers available.
Forested Campground in Willamette National Forest on the banks of a river. However, location location location. If you camp here you’ll want to get a spot on the river side and you can hear the rushing of the creek.
However, the whole campground is right next to Highway 22, so even if you are lucky enough to be camping on the river side and hearing the river you may still hear the freeway. If you are stuck on the inland spots you literally can walk out of your tent and onto the highway within 10 feet.
Drinking water available on site along with vault toilets. Mostly tent campers and small RVs or trailers. Very cheap as its on National Forest land.
Tumalo State Park is one of my favorite state parks in one of my favorite areas of the state. The camp hugs the Tumalo River (though no campsites are along the river). There’s an awesome but well-loved day use area with swimming and barbecues. You can tube along the basalt rock wall and there's a grassy area for picnics.
The campsites include tent and electric RV sites nestled up against basalt rock hills. Sparsely forested, so plenty of sun, but some sites also have shade. Flush toilets, showers, and very cool yurts that are popular.
Minutes from downtown Bend if you want to get fancy, but also located next to all the outdoor hiking, biking, fishing, and rafting activities in the area. Gets very crowded due to it’s proximity to Bend, especially the day use area.
Deep in the Willamette National Forest but right off Highway 22, this secluded campground has nice campsites that are fenced with a wooden corral.
Loads of shade as it’s right in the forest. You can heat the river and there are short hikes next to the creek side. The camp site is just behind a fish hatchery which is pretty cool to check out with the kids.
Water on site. Vault toilets. Very affordable for tent and RV.
Pretty awesome campsites right on the river. That is incredibly well appointed. Full hookups for RVs electric and water. Dump station.
Some Tent sites have a built in shelter over picnic tables. Communal recycling bins. Sink dump sites near all campsites. Very nice bathrooms with full showers.
Handful of sites on the river itself. Big group camping sections and awesome group picnic shelter/hall. Day use facilities.
Very wooded and the campsites feel private. Not far from Salem. Playground and activities for the kids. Small info hut and amphitheater. Well loved but well maintained park but is affordable on BLM land.
Indian ford campsite is a quaint, no frills, vault toilet campground six miles west of sisters, nestled amongst Ponderosa pines and right next to trails to the Metolius River and Black Butte.
Sites are large with fire pits and picnic tables. The drawback is that it’s very close to Highway 20, so you hear road traffic frequently.
Bring your own water. Super cheap, only $12, with $2 extra on holidays. Also, only open seasonally. In the Deschutes National Forest.
Very well kept and popular RV park in-between bend and sisters. Asphalt pads for RVs, a little close together to my liking, but excellent bathrooms, showers, playground, putt putt golf course and, in the back, there’s a very pretty lake.
There’s also cabins to rent. Reserve well in advance. Right next to the sisters rodeo and within view of the three sisters mountain. Tip: stop in Sisters (5 minutes away) for good ice cream at BJs Old Fashioned Ice Cream.
A very cool and unique campsite on the grounds of the Laura Ingalls Homestead near De Smet, SD. Unique in that you can camp right on the open prairie and for only $10 a night. Just pick a spot of grass and you’re good to go. There are some picnic tables you can choose to be near or just head out on the frontier. There are also options to camp in a covered wagon as well as a bunkhouse. RV spots are available and include water and electric hookups. Well appointed and clean bathrooms (electricity and flush toilets) are on site with showers.
The other really cool thing about this spot—especially for families—are all of the fun activities at the homestead itself. There’s a one-room school house with tours, a barn with animals, a covered wagon ride where you (or your kids) can lead the horse-drawn wagon, opportunities to learn how to make a jump rope, twist hay, wash clothes—all things the Ingalls family had to do on a farm from long ago.
A night or two in the summer is great though with no shade for the campsites field, it can get warm but evenings on the prairie are gorgeous. All in all, a great spot to set up that is cheap but with nice facilities and staff.
Huge campsites with views of the lake. Some of the biggest camp sites on our trip. Some had more privacy than others. Both RV and tent sites.
Picnic tables, camp fire pits. Drinking water. Close to the Jewel and Wind Caves and Mr. Rushmore. About 50 sites total, with the best being on the lake side.
Vault toilets only where we were, though other parts had flush toilets.
Nice day use area with access to the lake. Boat ramps. Very popular with locals. A bit off the freeway, so no noise at night. Sites can be booked up to six months in advance, or sometimes grabbed at the last minute if lucky.
The best thing about the campsite is that it is the closet place to stay near Silverwood theme park. You can easily walk from your tent right into the park, which makes it super convenient.
There are showers on site and full hook-ups. However, you are camping here to go to the park, not to enjoy camping. Sites have little to no tree cover. If it is hot out your camp will be hot, though chances are you’ll be inside the water park anyway.
While we were there the sprinklers went off in the middle of the night, soaking our tent. Management gave us a free night and moved us for the next night. One weird thing is that you have to place your tent on a hard gravel pad, rather than the green grass (see previous sentence about the sprinklers).
If you have an RV, life is a lot easier at this park. That said, you will not find a closer place to stay, and definitely not as cheap.
Conveniently located near the south side of Glacier National park, Summit Campground is a cheap, no-frills stop-over campsite. Vault toilets on-site. Camp spots have cement pads.
Site is very close to the freeway, which makes for easy access, but not quiet. Amazing views of the mountain across the highway. Good staging spot to head into Glacier.
Sprawling, well-appointed campground on the outskirts of Bismarck, run by the park and rec district. Lightly forested with large campsites for tents and RVs. The park has showers, bathrooms, an amphitheater, disc golf, a playground, and a group area. It is very popular with locals. It is also incredibly cheap and was an easy stop-over campground.
We visited the Natural History Museum at the capitol which was free and nearby, and had lots of fun dinosaur bones and displays.