Camping in Western Oregon

Camping in Western Oregon

A Guide to Campgrounds Along the Oregon Coast and the Cascades

Enjoy the splendor of Oregon’s scenic beauty, from the Oregon Coast to the Cascade Mountains, by staying at one of its many state park campgrounds.

Camping in Oregon is as easy as picking your location, packing your tent and warm clothes, and driving to the location. Most campgrounds are equipped with restrooms, some even boast showers. Half of Oregon’s State Campgrounds are first-come, first-served while the other half accept reservations in advance. During the peak summer months, make sure to call the campground to ensure you have a place to stay. If tent camping is not appealing or appropriate, try using one of the many yurts, cabins or teepees available at many state parks. Yurts sleep up to 5 adults, include a futon sofa, bunk bed, heat, electricity, a skylight, and a door, which locks. Pets are not allowed in the yurt but can stay outside. Just bring bedding, food, and dishes and you are ready to go yurt camping. Yurts are available year-round. Teepees are similar to yurts but are only available in late spring through fall, and are only located at two Oregon State Parks in Eastern Oregon.

There are a lot of options available for people that are interested in camping in Oregon. The state is home to one of the most diverse topographies that you can find in the continental United States. During your trip to Oregon, you can camp on the coast, visit the ragged peaks of the Blue Mountains, climb the forested mountains of the Cascades, wander through the lush rainforests of central and western Oregon, or set up camp in the remote badlands of the east. There really is something for everyone in this state.

Popular Natural Areas

The whole of Oregon is absolutely covered with popular camping locations. However, some of the most popular in the state are located around the Portland, Oswego and Clackamas areas. This area acts like something of a hub for people wanting to explore the best of what Oregon has to offer. From here, you can go west to the coast, or east to the beautiful Blue Mountains and some of the biggest waterfalls in the country. The following areas are all within a few hours of the Portland metro area by car or RV.

Jessie M. Honeyman State Park

Jessie M. Honeyman State Park is located 3 miles south of Florence on the central Oregon Coast. The park is located several miles away from the beach, within the Oregon sand dunes. There are two freshwater lakes available for fishing, boating, and swimming. Services and amenities include nature programs, interpretive events, bird watching, showers, and walking trails. This park is the 2nd largest campground in Oregon.

Detroit Lake State Recreation Area

Detroit Lake State Recreation Area is home to the Detroit Lake State Campground, situated along part of the lake’s 32 miles of shoreline. Some sites are located right along the shore. Imagine waking up to the lapping lake waves glistening in the sun, or views of the magnificent Mt. Jefferson. Detroit Lake, or rather a reservoir, is 400 feet deep and nine miles long. Fishing, boating, swimming, and water skiing are many of the recreation options available at the park. The Detroit Lake State Campground is open from March 1 through November 28. Celebrate the 4th of July by enjoying the fireworks show over the lake, which happens the weekend before the holiday. The lake’s only public boat launch is located 1.5 miles west of the campground, at Mongold Day Use Area, which also includes a designated swimming area.

Cape Perpetua Campground

Perhaps one of the most beautiful places for a campground is Cape Perpetua, located on the Oregon Coast between Florence and Yachats. The Cape Perpetua Campground is open from May until September, and usually heavily used. The campground is nestled amongst the old-growth, below the towering cape, named the highest point along the Oregon Coast. Hike the Saint Perpetua trail, a swayback trail rising from 100 – 800 feet, reaching the top of the cape. During the gray whale migration along the coastline, view the whales from atop the cape. Watch for the blows before they dive below. Take the hiking trail to the Giant Spruce, following the meandering stream or take a walk to view the tide pools.

Tillamook Forest

The Tillamook forest is home to a host of different camping opportunities. There are parts of the forest that are inaccessible to anyone but the hardiest of hikers. However, there are a lot of great places for once-in-a-while campers and RV users.

Browns Camp

This camp is set up as a multi-use camping area. You will find everything from tents to camper-vans here. The camp is a popular spot for people that want to see the river, see the forest, and just get away from the hustle and bustle of life for a while. This spot is also great for anyone that has a toy hauler with an ATV or motorcycle. There is access to many multi-use trails from the campground to Tillamook forest.

The Oregon Coast

The coast of Oregon is dotted with a surprising amount of campsites and hiking opportunities. This area is generally considered to be the most accessible to motorized travelers and is a popular RV destination as a result.

Cannon Beach

Cannon beach has been called the most famous beach in Oregon by a number of different publications. The beach is easily accessible to people in RVs and there are loads of campgrounds here to indulge in. There are also a lot of opportunities for whale watching and seal watching here as well. The whale watching really starts to hit its peak in the spring and late fall during the yearly grey whale migration. These migrations create a spectacle that draws a lot of people to the coast. People can camp at one of the many RV campgrounds here or they can make their way to some of the more remote and secluded forests lining the coast.

Mt. Hood National Forest

Mt. Hood is the tallest mountain in Oregon and the forest surrounding it creates a number of unique camping opportunities for those that are interested in taking in a genuine slice of wilderness during their time in Oregon. There is quite a mixture of RV and backpack camping opportunities for anyone that is interested in checking out the forest.

Mt. Hood Village

With a breathtaking view of Mt. Hood, Mt. Hood Village is a very popular campground for people visiting the forest. The campground offers a full range of amenities for RV campers or tent campers and has a number of great buildings on hand for events.

Ainesworth State Park

Ainesworth is a very popular spot for RV campers and tent campers alike. It is nestled within the largest concentration of high waterfalls in the world and that is a large reason for its popularity. Multnomah falls is easily accessible from the campground and it is the largest waterfall in the state.

Renting an RV

If you don’t live in Oregon, then you may want to rent an RV to get around. This can be a great option for people that plan on visiting a lot of places in the state and who want to save money on constant hotel stays. You can rent an RV in many locations throughout the Portland area. It is best that you search online for “Portland RV rentals” since it would be difficult to create an exhaustive list of options for anyone looking for an RV.

To rent an RV, you will need to show identification and proof of eligibility to drive in the state of Oregon. Larger RV rentals will require you to have a class “C” license due to their weight and size. The rentals can sometimes be priced for blocks of time and are generally priced by the amount of days you plan on keeping the RV.

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Camping in Western Oregon

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