Best places to camp near Portland

Top 15 Best Campsites near Portland

The city of Portland is surrounded by some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the USA. If you want to escape into nature and explore some of the most gorgeous spots the state has to offer and perhaps make a longer break of it too (there’s nothing like sleeping under the stars!), here are some of the best camping sites near Portland, Oregon…

1. Lost Lake Resort & Campground, Hood River – a beautiful campground based in the Mt Hood National Forest

Lost Lake Resort & Campground, Hood River - Oregon

Lost Lake Resort & Campground is located in Mt. Hood National Forest, a massive forest reserve located about an hour outside of Portland. The sprawling national forest has plenty of places to camp and stay in it, but one of the best is Lost Lake Resort & Campground.

Lost Lake Resort has accommodation for all levels of camping, from rustic travelers just looking for a camp site to those looking for a little more comfort in rental cabins, yurts, and lodge rooms. Other amenities include a public boat launch, general store, and grille for when you get tired of your own camping food. This is the perfect base for exploring Mt. Hood National Forest.

  • 9000 Lost Lake Rd, Hood River, OR 97031
  • Distance from Portland – 1 hour 30 mins

2. Beaver Campground, Carson – a stunning family-friendly site surrounded by maple leaves and sycamore trees, ideal for a photoshoot

Beaver Campground, Carson - Oregon

Beaver Campground is located just over the state border in Carson, Washington, but is still conveniently located near Portland. This small camp site has 24 individual sites and one larger group site, all of which can accommodate tents or RVs.

The intimate nature of this campground makes it a good place to come with kids. The whole family can enjoy kayaking along the Wind River and hiking along the forest trails. The kids will get a kick out of the on-site playground. When you’re in need of creature comforts, check out the hot springs in nearby Carson.

  • Wind River Hwy, Carson, WA 98610
  • Distance from Portland – 1 hour

3. Sunset Falls Campground, Yacolt – one of the best campsites where you can appreciate nature and its serene views

Sunset Falls Campground, Yacolt - WA

Sunset Falls Campground is located near the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington state. It is a day-use area as well as a camp site. The small camp site has RV camping as well as campground sites, a few of which are set aside for unreserved use during the season.

The main attraction of this camp site is its proximity to Sunset Falls, a stunning waterfall. Other natural sites nearby include the Silver Star Hiking Area, Zigzag Lake, and the East Fork Lewis River. If you want to get out on the water, the river is open for kayaking.

  • 40806 NE Sunset Falls Rd, Yacolt, WA 98675
  • Distance from Portland – 1 hour

4. Tollgate Campground, Rhododendron – one of the most beautiful places to camp 

Tollgate Campground, Rhododendron

Tollgate Campground is on the southwest side of Mt. Hood, making it one of the best camp sites to use as a base for exploring the mountain and one of the best camping sites near Portland. The small campground has 16 sites, including one group site, that can be used for campground or RV camping. The amenities are basic but everything you need for comfortable camping.

The main draw of Tollgate Campground is its location on Mt. Hood, near plenty of trails that explore the famous mountain. There is even a section of the infamous Oregon Trail that is accessible from the campsite.

  • Rhododendron, OR 97049
  • Distance from Portland – 1 hour

5. Bear Springs Campground, Maupin – a great place for camping where you can explore trails and historic sites

Bear Springs Campground, Maupin

Bear Springs Campground is another family-friendly campsite in Mt. Hood National Forest. It has areas for day use, camping, and even family camping. The individual sites are spread out to give all campers privacy and peace underneath the shady pine canopy.

Amenities at the campsite include vaulted toilets and drinking water. It is a little rustic, but perfect for really getting into nature and exploring the trails that crisscross Mount Hood.

  • Maupin, OR 97037
  • Distance from Portland – 1 hour 40 minutes

6. North Arm Campground, Government Camp – a secluded campground that offers breathtaking views and lakes

North Arm Campground, Government Camp

North Arm Campground got its name because it is located along the northern arm of large, beautiful Timothy Lake. There are several other campgrounds along the lake, but North Arm is among the best. The lake is the biggest draw of the campground. Visitors can swim and boat on the lake. Kayaking, canoeing, and sailing are allowed, as are motorized boats as long as they follow the 10 mph speed limit.

North Arm Campground has 19 campsites that work well for RV, trailer, and tent camping. The campground is split between sites that must be reserved and others that operate on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • NF-58, Government Camp, OR 97028
  • Distance from Portland – 1 hour 50 minutes

7. Cape Lookout State Park – a very famous camping park ideal for a family gathering

Cape Lookout State Park - Oregon

If you’ve been dreaming of camping by the ocean, then Cape Lookout State Park is the destination for you. This scenic campground is located between the Pacific Ocean and Netarts Bay. Unlike many of Oregon’s most popular camp sites, this one is open year-round.

The best thing to do when you visit Cape Lookout State Park is to explore the beach. You can walk along the sand, admire the Sitka spruce, and go beachcombing. Cape Lookout State Park also has many hiking trails, including sections of the Oregon Coast Trail and a shorter Nature Trail that is perfect for exploring with kids.

  • 13000 Whiskey Creek Rd, Tillamook, OR 97141
  • Distance from Portland – 1 hour 40 minutes

8. Fort Stevens State Park – one of the biggest campsites in the country that includes wildlife, lakes and a historic shipwreck

Fort Stevens State Park - Oregon

Fort Stevens State Park is one of the largest camping sites in the country, so you will have plenty of space to relax in nature as well as plenty of opportunities to meet other campers. This former military installation on the Columbia River is now a popular destination for nature lovers.

Using the campground as a base, there are plenty of things to do in Fort Stevens State Park. There is the obligatory hiking, including opportunities to view wildlife. The location on the Pacific coast means that you can also go beachcombing and walk along the shore. History lovers will enjoy the remnants of the military presence, including a historic shipwreck. At night, build a cozy fire at the fire pit included with each camp site.

  • 13000 Whiskey Creek Rd, Tillamook, OR 97141
  • Distance from Portland – 1 hour 47 minutes

9. Oxbow Regional Park – an all-in-one spot where you can go camping, swimming, kayaking or rafting

Oxbow Regional Park - Oregon

Oxbow Regional Park along the Sandy River Gorge is the perfect campsite to appreciate the power of Oregon’s waterways. The main attraction is Sandy River, where you can go tubing or kayaking in the summer. Come in the fall to see one of nature’s greatest shows, salmon spawning. Oxbow Regional Park is beautiful year-round.

The spacious camp site has 74 drive-up sites and 12 RV sites. It has a few amenities that push it above the basic level, including heated toilets and hot water showers.

  • 3010 SE Oxbow Pkwy, Gresham, OR 97080
  • Distance from Portland – 40 minutes

10. Trillium Lake Campground – a family-friendly camp place where you can explore its majestic sceneries and a good variety of amenities

Trillium Lake Campground - Oregon

Trillium Lake Campground is another of the many camping sites that dot Mt. Hood, not far from the Government Camp area. It is one of the most popular camp sites in the area, thanks to its excellent amenities, which are particularly good for families with young children, and great views. However, this means that it can get a little crowded, so reserve in advance if you can.

The main draw of this camp site is Trillium Lake, which offers plenty of opportunities for swimming and boating. You can also go hiking on Mt. Hood and explore nearby Timberline Lodge, a historic skiing lodge.

  • Trillium Lake Rd, Government Camp, OR 97028
  • Distance from Portland – 1 hour 30 minutes

11. Beacon Rock State Park, Skamania – a very popular camping park located in the heart of the  Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Beacon Rock State Park, Skamania

Beacon Rock State Park is a picturesque camp site nestled in the Columbia River Gorge. It is open year-round, unlike many of the other camp sites on this list, making it a prime destination if you are a fan of cold-weather camping.

The main attraction near this camp site is Beacon Rock, a towering formation that overlooks the Columbia River. You can hike up to the top of the rock or take advantage of the rock-climbing opportunities if you are an adrenaline lover. There are two camp sites, the main campground and a winter facility.

  • 34841 WA-14, Stevenson, WA 98648
  • Distance from Portland – 1 hour

12. Eagle Creek Campground, Cascade Locks – a greenery campsite  surrounded by tall trees, the perfect place to escape from the city

Eagle Creek Campground, Cascade Locks - Oregon

If you like your nature to come with a dash of history, then come to Eagle Creek Campground, which was the first campground in the National Forest Service. This scenic location near Cascade Locks has survived the test of time.

Eagle Creek Campground has 20 camp sites, spaced out throughout the forest to give campers maximum privacy. Use the camp site as a base to go hiking in the surrounding forest, particularly along Eagle Creek Trail, or boating on Eagle Creek and Columbia River. However, the camp site is near Interstate 84 and a railroad, so road noise may disrupt your natural getaway.

  • Cascade Locks, OR 97014
  • Distance from Portland – 45 minutes

13. Barton Park – a recreational campsite, ideal for a weekend break

Barton Park - Oregon

Barton Park, located along the Clackamas River, is a fun campground with plenty of opportunities for all kinds of outdoor recreation. Visitors can go hiking, boating, and more. You can get a day-use pass or camp overnight at one of the 112 camp sites, which feature tent- and RV-accessible amenities.

To bond with your group, the park also has horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, and other opportunities to play sports and relax.

  • Barton Park, 19009 SE Barton Park Rd, Boring, OR 97009
  • Distance from Portland – 45 minutes

14. Tillamook Head Backpackers Camp, Ecola State Park – a superb camp base where you can explore a lighthouse and isolate beaches

Tillamook Head Backpackers Camp, Ecola State Park - Oregon

The small Tillamook Head camp is designed for hikers and backpackers. It has a few more amenities than your standard backpacking campground, including vault toilets, a covered picnic table, and bundles of firewood if you pay for them. You can stay in one of the wooded shelters or pitch your tent.

Tillamook Head Backpackers Camp is a great base to keep exploring Tillamook Head trail, which is a naturally beautiful and historically significant stretch of land that was part of the Lewis and Clark expedition. However, be warned that there is no drinking water for filtering at the camp site.

  • 19009 SE Barton Park Rd, Boring, Oregon
  • Distance from Portland – 1 hour 36 minutes

15. L.L. Stub Stewart State Park – a very spacious park where you can go camping with your pet

L.L. Stub Stewart State Park - Oregon

L.L. Stub Stewart State Park is one of the closest camping sites to Portland, located only 34 miles away. Use the campsite as a base to hike and bike the scenic park trails.

If you’re looking for a unique nature activity, check out the disc golf courses. The park has several camping sites, including the Dairy Creek Campground with hookups for tents and RVs, and rustic cabins for those looking for a bit more comfort.

  •  L.L. Stub Stewart State Park, Buxton, OR 97109
  • Distance from Portland – 40 minutes

Beth was born under a wandering star, with drama in her veins and ink in her pen. After stints studying theatre in Dublin and Utrecht she used her creative streak to see as much of the world as she could on as little money. She toured Italian Schools with a children's theatre troop, lived as an au-pair in both Rome and Washington DC, explored the British countryside, worked her way through much of Europe, Salsa'd in Cuba and road tripped down America's west coast where she discovered her spiritual home; Portland, Oregon. In between adventures she resides peacefully with her cat and ukulele amid the misty valleys and rolling hills of beautiful South Wales.

Leave a Reply