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Camping Near Hood River Oregon

Sand Island Marine Parknear Portland Or

Oregon One Week RV or Tent Camping Itinerary ~ Salem to Hood River and The Columbia Gorge!

This is an excellent Oregon free camping spot on kayaking trips. Sand Island is a man-made island in the Columbia River just northwest of Portland that offers primitive free camping, as well as short nature trails and grassy areas for picnics. If youre on a multi-day kayaking excursion, you can resupply in St. Helens, a short stroll from the camping area.

Accessible by boat or kayak. Sites are primitive, no tables. This is on the Columbia River water kayak trail. The Dyrt camper Daniel L.

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Alder Springs Campgroundwillamette National Forest

Image from The Dyrt camper Eva W.

A small six-site campground, the Alder Springs Campground lies along the scenic McKenzie Pass Highway in the Willamette National Forest. Access to the Three Sisters Wilderness Linton Lake Trail is right across the road, while the campground itself features picnic tables, fire rings and a vault toilet.

So good when its hot out! Although its not very clean, the waterfall hikes are worth it. The Dyrt camper Eva W.

The Population Of Cottage Grove

Growing up in the Eugene area, I actually lived here for a good while in my younger days. I can attest to the fact that Cottage Grove is an awesome little community and a great place to call home. With a population of around 10,000 people, its big enough to have everything you need, and just a hop and a skip away from the bigger city.

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Dispersed Camping Rules & Regulations

One of our favorite things about dispersed camping is the lack of permits, reservations, and other requirements youll often find at developed campgrounds. However, that doesnt mean there arent important rules you should always following when dispersed camping.

It is best to check current regulations with the relevant USFS or BLM office, but you should plan on adhering to the following as outlined by the USFS:

  • Do not camp in areas near trailheads, picnic areas, or developed campgrounds.
  • Keep your campsite small.
  • Use existing sites and fire rings when available.
  • Pick a site where vegetation is absent.
  • Do not camp within 200 feet of a water source.
  • Dispersed camping is generally limited to 14 days within any continuous 30 day period.
  • Only have a campfire if it is permitted, and always be sure it is completely extinguished.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles more on that below!

    Leave No Trace Principles & Oregon Dispersed Camping

    One of the most important considerations when dispersed camping is to follow Leave No Trace principles. This will minimize your impact and ensure your campsite can be enjoyed by future visitors. Here are the seven principles of Leave No Trace camping:

  • Plan Ahead & Prepare: Have an idea of where youd like to camp and always be sure you are camping in an area that permits dispersed camping.
  • Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces: Never camp on fragile ground or create a new campsite.
  • Ainsworth State Park Campground

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    For nature lovers, one of the best campgrounds in the Hood River area is in Ainsworth State Park. Surrounded by forest and dominated by large deciduous trees, this campground offers 43 RV sites and six very private, walk-in campsites in the woods. The RV sites are small but some are pull-through. The campground offers full hookups, a dump station, washrooms, but no showers.

    Ainsworth State Park is located about 30 miles west of Hood River off Interstate 84, in a prime location along the Historic Columbia River Highway, just 4 miles east of beautiful Multnomah Falls. The only drawback to this location is the noise from passing trains.

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    Rufus Landing Recreation Area

    Are you looking for a quick stop for the night off I-84? Are beautiful views a bonus? At Rufus Landing, you can get both! This gravel flat is a great place to pull off for a peaceful night among the stars and right beside the river. This location is a no-frills, free RV, and tent camping spot that is all about convenience. You can choose to make a day of it and take part in boating or wind-surfing, which is popular in the area.

    A few notes about this location:

    • No tree cover, so it may get windy.
    • No hook-ups or potable water on site.
    • Water access to Columbia River and a small rocky beach nearby.
    • Right off the highway so expect some background noise.
    • Land Type: Army Corps of Engineers
    • Reservations: No

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    Best Columbia River Gorge Campground For A Mountain Retreat

    Lost Lake Resort is the best Columbia River Gorge campground for stunning views of Mt. Hood. We wont spoil these views with a photo, you have to see for yourself! Located right on an alpine lake, the resort rents out kayaks and canoes try to spot the fish from a glass-bottom boat, or paddle out for uninterrupted mountain views! Take a stroll on the family-friendly hiking trail that wraps around the lake.

    Rent a boat and paddle around the bend for stunning views of Mt. Hood! Photo by Bonnie Morland via Flickr

    With proximity to all the outdoor activities that this area is known for, Columbia River Gorge campgrounds are a great option for adventurers looking to save money and beat the crowds. These top picks will make it easy to get out and explore!

    Author Sharon is a kayak instructor and Reservations Manager at Wet Planet. She is always stoked to share her love of whitewater and to be a part of the incredible team at Wet Planet! Read more by Sharon here.

    About the Author

    Key Tucker Park Campground Regulations

    Mt Hood & Columbia River Camping | New Dometic Cooler
  • Quiet Hours extend from 10:00 PM to 7:00 AM.
  • Visitors must keep their camping gear within the boundaries of their campsite.
  • Prevent the spread of invasive pests by obtaining firewood locally. Campfire wood is no longer sold in the park.
  • Fires are only permitted in designated fire receptacles and must be attended. Fires must be extinguished upon departure. Fires may be prohibited during times of high fire danger.
  • Pets must be kept on leash and attended at all times.
  • Overnight camping is limited to 7 consecutive days and no more than 30 within a season.
  • Check for any park or campground updates: Hood River County – Tucker Park

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    Bonney Meadow Campgroundmount Hood National Forest

    In addition to popular Mount Hood National Forest campgrounds like Trillium Lake and Lost Lake, theres also amazing free Oregon camping in the same area. At Bonney Meadow, six individual campsites and horse corrals cater to self-sufficient hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. Sites can accommodate vehicles of maximum 16 feet in length.

    This awesome untrafficked campground is perfect for people who really want to get away from people. Its often mostly empty and sits on the edge of a stunning meadow. The Dyrt camper Leaha W.

    Where To Stay In Hood River When You Can’t Find A Campsite

    Luxury and Mid-Range Hotels:

    • On the edge of town overlooking the Columbia River, the Columbia Cliff Villas Hotel offers beautiful, large suites with balconies. Each suite is different but all are tastefully decorated. This is the perfect place to treat yourself to a luxury stay.
    • , which leans more to mid-range, has wonderful views of the river from its manicured grounds. Many of the rooms have balconies.

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    Oregon Dispersed Camping Rules And Regulations

    I cant repeat it enough always follow the Leave No Trace principles when dispersed camping .

    Most importantly, pack out all of your trash. Our public lands are experiencing a huge trash problem, both from unprepared campers and plain old a-holes.

    So, come prepared to pack out your own trash, including food waste. I try to leave each campsite even cleaner than it was before I got there by picking up any garbage other campers left behind.

    In addition to packing out your trash, its vital to properly dispose of human waste, especially in environmentally-sensitive areas.

    Burying human waste in a cat hole is allowed on much of Oregons public lands as long as its 200 feet from any campsite, trail, or water source. But, I personally prefer to pack all of my waste out, either in a WAG bag or, better yet, a cheap portable toilet like the Luggable Loo.

    Make sure to also follow all summertime campfire restrictions , stay out of any closed areas, and respect all stay limits .

    Best Columbia River Gorge Campgrounds

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    Nestled between Oregon and Washington are some of the best Columbia River Gorge campgrounds for those looking for an adventurous vacation. Within the Gorge are hundreds of activities and hours of fun, from rafting down the White Salmon River, to mountain biking, to windsurfing, the Columbia River Gorge has all the outdoor action, and most activities have beautiful campgrounds close by. Columbia River Gorge campgrounds are a great option for anyone looking to add a little extra adventure to their vacation while saving on the cost of hotels or AirBnBs. These are our picks for the best Columbia River Gorge campgrounds!

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    Closest Columbia River Gorge Campground To Portland

    Right off of I-84, this Columbia River Gorge campground is located in the National Scenic Area, Ainsworth State Park has easy access to Portland and is minutes away from the many hiking trails located on Historic Highway 30. The campground is only a short hike away from a stunning overlook of the Columbia River Gorge and the infamous Multnomah Falls.

    Ainsworth State Park. Photo by brx0 via Flickr.

    The Best 10 Rv Parks In Hood River County Or

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    We will return to harmony RVpark. The best park we’ve stayed in all summer. Clean. Good wifi more

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    This park is off the beaten path, but not a bad drive to Stevenson, Hood River and White Salmon more

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    We stay at this RVpark year after year! The spots a nice size and the staff went out of their way more

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    A no-frills RVPark – the only one nearby, really, so it’s actually your only option. They have more

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    Adams park right in Trout Lake. It was very pleasant with lots of space and a much more “chill” attitude. more

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    Not suited for 45’rv! Or when towing a vehicle regardless of what they say. Took out 2 spaces more

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    The owner, Chip, is friendly, easy going, and over-the-top accommodating. We can’t wait to come back to Crown Point RvPark next summer. more

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    controls what in the room. This is a resort with an RVPark and 4 hotel rooms. They are over-priced more

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    A lovely campground on the Clackamas river. It can be a bit noisy in early spring because you’re right on the river, but as the name implies this site gets a nice little slice of sun more

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    Mount Ashland Campgroundklamath National Forest

    Image from The Dyrt camper Jenny R.

    Situated within Klamath National Forest in Southern Oregon, the Mount Ashland campground offers remote mountain camping along the Siskiyou Crest. It offers access to the PCT, awesome views and excellent wildflowers, bird and butterfly watching.

    Lovely place, lovely drive in. Spots are scattered and hard to find at night. Had deer running around while I was setting up the tent. Pit toilets, hiking close by, accessible in any vehicle. The Dyrt camper Noie V.

    Best Free Camping Near The Columbia River

    2 killed in plane crash at Hood River airport in Oregon

    Whether youre looking for an out-of-the-way, rugged hangout or just a place to put your van for the night, youll be able to find both within a couple of hours of the Columbia River Gorge. Whether youre on the Oregon or Washington side, the scenery will vary between open, rocky expanses and scrubby, tree-covered ridges. However, the farther you are from a town, the better the stars will be.

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    Cascade Locks / Portland East Koa

    This is a small, pleasant, and well-treed campground offering plenty of space and privacy. Just 19 miles west of Hood River, it’s well positioned and offers easy access to town and the Historic Columbia River Highway.

    Views of the lush hills in behind can be glimpsed through the trees. This KOA features a seasonal pool, hot tub, and sauna.

    Full-hookup RV sites with pull-throughs have 50 amp service, cable TV, and Wi-Fi. If you are not traveling with an RV, tent sites as well as camping cabins are your other accommodation options.

    The park is a fun place to park yourself for a few days or longer. Sign up for a game of horseshoes, cozy up by the wood-burning fire pit, or have a game of Ladder Golf. If you are traveling with children, the playground has a great assortment of climbing structures guaranteed to tire out even the most rambunctious of kids.

    Pets are permitted, and the campground has an off-leash dog park.

    Best Columbia River Gorge Campground For Families

    Trillium Lake Campground is a quiet campsite near Government Camp on the south side of Mount Hood. The lake is perfect for swimming, paddling or fishing and has a 1.9 mile hiking loop surrounding it. Nearby is Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Skibowl. The winter ski resort transforms into a wild summer adventure with alpine slides, disc golf, and bike parks that will entertain your kids for hours!

    Photo by Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife via Flickr

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    Rufus Landing Recreation Areacolumbia River Gorge

    Image from The Dyrt camper Karina J.

    If youre traveling along the Columbia River and need a place to stop east of The Dalles, the Rufus Landing Recreation Area is a convenient boondocking and dispersed camping site. Managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it has no designated sites but is rather a huge gravel parking area, meaning tent campers might have to plan to snag spots before RVers do.

    Just because its a straightforward camping site doesnt mean it doesnt offer amenities, though. There are restrooms available just a short walk away, and theres a hiking access down to the Columbia River.

    This campground is a simple gravel lot for drop-in camping. No fire pits or reserved spots. If youre going to a show at Maryhill or just need a place to crash along the highway this is a great spot. Has restrooms and river access! The Dyrt camper Karina J.

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    Mineral Camp Campgroundumpqua National Forest

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    Image from The Dyrt camper TJ B.

    This tiny campground along Sharps Creek in Umpqua National Forest is open year-round and has three individual campsites surrounded by towering Douglas Firs. There are fire pits, picnic tables and vault toilets, but no drinking water or garbage disposal.

    This is a very small remote campground past Dorena lake near Bohemia Mountain. If you can luck out, or go in the off season, this is a nice far out spot, off the beaten path to just relax by Sharps Creek. I liked how this place is small and more primitive than others, while still being a legit campground. The Dyrt camper TJ B.

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    Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail

    Viento State Park is also a trailhead for a universally accessible 5.6-mile section of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. From the parking area on the south side of I-84, hikers and bikers will head west up a gradual climb through thick fir forests and lush undergrowth. Moss often carpets portions of the paved trail. When the forest breaks, look for views across the Columbia River into Washington. After a mile, the trail passes Starvation Creek State Park featuring an accessible view of the parks namesake falls, picnic tables, and an accessible restroom.

    The trail continues west 4.6 miles to Wyeth Campground and trailhead, passing Cabin Creek Falls, Hole-in-the-Wall Falls and Lancaster Falls before climbing to an impressive view of the Gorge. From here, the visitors cross into the forested “Mossy Road,” a section of the historic highway that became draped in moss after the highway was abandoned. The final section crosses a talus slope at Shellrock Mountain, where fences offer protection from falling rocks.

    Near Hole-in-the Wall Falls, hikers will find trailheads for Mount Defiance Trail and Starvation Ridge Trail .

    For trail information, see the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail bicycle and hiking map.

    A day-use parking permit is not required at the trailhead parking lot.

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