Whilst Portland has so much to offer in the city sometimes you just need a break and reconnect with nature. The surrounding areas of the city are the perfect place to do so, with beautiful forests, and stunning mountain ranges, and all very close to the city itself. A camping trip is ideal to help you and your family to breathe the cool crisp air and enjoy a weekend or more together. With so many places to choose from, here is a list of 15 of the more popular and scenic sites in Portland, Oregon you can pitch your tent and forget about work for a few days…
1. Oxbow Regional Park Camping – enjoy hiking the 12 miles of trails that surround you and disconnect from the modern world
This is a great choice for pitching up the tent and relaxing, with over 70 sites to choose from you are spoiled for choice. With places to swim, go kayaking, and rafting all available within the park, Oxbow really does have it all and is suitable for all ages.
There are also miles of well-planned and maintained trails for walking and taking in the picturesque landscape. The official campsites offer fire pits, cooking grills, and picnic tables.
Address: 3010 SE Oxbow Pkwy, Gresham, OR 97080, United States
2. Silver Falls Campground – located within the largest state park in Oregon with an area of more than 9,000 acres
Silver Falls State Park is the largest in the state of Oregon and yet is only about an hour’s drive from Portland City. This makes it perfect for camping for the weekend or longer breaks with the family. The park is best known for its waterfalls and the chance to see wild Deer, Rabbits, and a plethora of birds and other wildlife.
Hiking is one of the many pursuits that draw over 1 million people here each year. There is a range of trails, some easy and some a bit more challenging for the more healthy of us. You will need to book in advance if you wish to use one of the campsites but anybody can come for the day and enjoy the many amenities on offer.
Address: Silver Falls Hwy SE, Sublimity, OR 97385, United States
3. Champoeg State Heritage Area – a pioneer town long gone, now home to a museum, campsites, cabins, yurts and pet-friendly hiking trails
A beautiful place for camping and steeped in history, the park offers campers a look back to an era gone by. You can spend your day hiking or swimming but also view the original buildings where the first provincial government was formed in 1843.
Situated on the peaceful Willamette river it is also popular with anglers and makes for a nice walk in the evening or early mornings. It can be a busy area in the summer but not overcrowded, booking in advance in the summer months is advised.
Address: Champoeg State Heritage Area, St Paul, OR 97137, United States
4. Barton Park – hiking, biking, picnicking and other family-friendly activities for all ages
Barton Park adjacent to the Clackamas River is a beautiful place to put the tent down even if it is only for a night or two. Great facilities and scenery, with 112 sites throughout the park to peg the tent down or park the RV. Great for fishing, boating, trail walking, and nature watching.
The campsites have picnic tables, partial hook-ups, and campfire rings. If you have your boat there is a launching ramp to the lake and an air compressor for inflatables. Booking at least 3 days in advance is mandatory, when booking if you anybody who needs wheelchair access please say as the park has disabled friendly campground.
Address: 19009 SE Barton Park Rd, Boring, OR 97009, United States
5. Promontory Park Campground – family camping, boating, and the potential to stay in a yurt – the perfect combo!
Located on the Northfork Reservoir which is part of the Clackamas River it offers a wide range of family fun and is a great campsite to spend time with loved ones. This 1950s campground is alcohol-free and has a vast variety of amenities and activities for all the family. The park offers cooking facilities, a kid’s nature area, swimming opportunities, paddleboard rental, and a boat launch.
There is also excellent angling for those who may want to catch their diner. Whitewater paddling is also available for the more adventurous, reputably some of the best in Oregon. Reservations are necessary but can be made months in advance. Fantastic family-friendly park well worth a visit.
Address: 40600 OR-224, Estacada, OR 97023, United States
6. L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park – with an expansive 1,654-acre swath of land and activities including hiking, and mountain biking
This is a relatively new campground located in the state park system. With multiple sites to choose from it is becoming more and more popular with campers. Only 35 miles from Portland City it feels like a million miles from the downtown hustle and bustle.
It has become well-known for its hiking trails through the forests, horse riding is also available, and maintained mountain bike routes for the more adventurous camper. Whilst getting more popular it still has a quiet serene atmosphere, Stewart State Park is well worth considering.
Address: L.L. Stub Stewart State Park, Buxton, OR 97109, United States
7. Cape Lookout State Park – located in Tillamook County, south of the city of Tillamook, on a sand spit between Netarts Bay and the Pacific Ocean
If you want something more than forests this is the place to go, located only one and a half hours drive from Portland City you can be beachside in no time. With 70 tent camping sites, it offers the usual hiking and swimming options, which are stunning.
But it has some other activities that the others on this list do not. These include beachcombing and spectacular opportunities to go whale-watching, this is a must for many people and is not something you will forget. A fantastic site that many people return to every year.
Address: 13000 Whiskey Creek Rd, Tillamook, OR 97141, United States
8. Beaver Campground – nestled among large, old maple and sycamore trees, offering a quiet and private family camping experience
With the famous Wind River close by and surrounded by huge and ancient Sycamore trees Beaver Camp Grounds is what camping is all about. Only a short drive from Portland City it is an ideal place for weekend camping, and the campsites are small, only offering space for 24 tents.
Which is one of the many reasons it is many people’s favorite campsite. Nearby attractions include the Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument and Gifford Pinchot National Forest. A small camping area but huge forests for walking or hiking is why it is so popular.
Address: Wind River Hwy, Carson, WA 98610, United States
9. Lost Lake Resort And Campground – you might even be lucky enough to see the reflection of Mt Hood shimmering in you relax by the lake
Less than 2 hours drive from Portland City, Lost Lake caters to all types of campers. But, the tenting options are in abundance and the favorite of many people.
With 148 sites all in the Mount Hood region offering spectacular views of the towering mountain. Another fantastic aspect of this site is 2 miles of handicapped-accessible trails giving everybody a chance to enjoy this spectacular area.
Address: Lost Lake Rd, Hood River, OR 97031, United States
10. Misty River RV Park and Glamping – a dog friendly campsite with safe swimming and lots of manageable hikes
Misty River offers many activities for outdoor lovers but that doesn’t mean it is not a family-oriented place to stay. Vast forests give shade from the summer sun for both the tent campers and RV enthusiasts.
Good but very manageable hiking options are available and there are quite shallow parts of the river that are safe for supervised children to swim or paddle in. Reservations are necessary but there is usually space for both tents or RVs. A nice and relaxing time for all the family.
Address: 11300 Cedar Butte Rd, Tillamook, OR 97141, United States
11. Sunset Falls Campground – an easy, laid-back site that is great for families and weekend camping trips
This campground is relaxed and a perfect getaway with family, surrounded by ancient forests that have been inhabited thousands of years before settlers arrived, a truly stunning area. Perfect for the family, all the sites are within 200 yards of the river which is pretty cold but very refreshing, great to wake you up in the morning.
Located just inside Gifford Pinchot National Forest it offers a great experience for nature lovers and hikers. Moulton Falls Winery is close by and has great live music, food, wine, and cider if you don’t fancy cooking yourself. Overall a fun place with lots to do for ages.
Address: 40806 NE Sunset Falls Rd, Yacolt, WA 98675, United States
12. Gales Creek Campground – basic but still one of the best tent camping sites near Port
Situated in the stunning Tillamook State Forest Gales Creek Campground is pretty basic compared to some of the other grounds on the list. But, it is one of the most back-to-nature experiences you can have. Wake up next to one of the many rivers in the creek and the only sound you can hear is running water and birds singing.
There are mountain bike trails and hiking trails dotted all over the area, if you choose one of the more organized sites they will provide picnic tables, hand water pumps, and fire grates. A true back-to-nature experience.
Address: Gales Creek, OR 97117, United States
13. Trillium Lake, Government Camp – Mount Hood rises mightily over the northern shore of Trillium Lake, and you camp on the east
Boasting unrivaled views of Mount Hood, Oregon’s tallest mountain, this area is ideal for pitching your tent and relaxing. Alternatively, Trillium Lake offers many opportunities for campers such as fishing, swimming, a boat ramp, and a 2-mile boardwalk for evening strolls, there is something for everybody to engage in. Surrounded by vast forests, hiking or just casual walking is a great way to unwind at Trillium Lake.
Address: From Portland, OR travel southeast on Highway 26 for about 40 miles. Turn right a mile east of Government Camp, OR. Continue 2 miles to the campground entrance.
14. Green Canyon Campground – nestled on the Salmon River, visitors to the campground enjoy hiking along the trail that follows the Salmon River for miles through an old-growth forest
Running alongside the Salmon River Green Canyon Campground is the ideal spot for campers or RV owners. Quiet with only 15 sites and miles of very good hiking trails, it is family-friendly. The campsites are equipped with picnic tables, and a campfire grill with a ring, but no hook-ups.
Mountain biking and horse riding are also popular in the forests, unfortunately, there are no wheelchair-designated trails or paths. The site is open from May until September, there is no booking, it is just first come first served.
Address: 34000 E Salmon River Rd, Welches, OR 97067, United States
15. Battle Ground Lake State Park – The state park is covered by an evergreen forest located around a crater lake of volcanic origin
Although one of the more rustic sites that do require a bit of a walk from the parking area, you can’t really go wrong with weekend camping at this site. Nestled in the forests of the Cascade Mountains, you are provided with nature trails, and opportunities for swimming.
This is back to nature at its best. Whether you’re with friends or family, it doesn’t get much better than this if you enjoy the outdoors.
Address: 18002 NE 249th St, Battle Ground, WA 98604, United States
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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 danced 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 family, cats and ukulele.