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The 10 Best Campsites near Portland, OR

Portland, Oregon: home to sweeping landscapes, incredible microbreweries, and some of the best camping in the Pacific Northwest.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

From the Columbia River Gorge to Mount Hood, the greater Portland area features rich ecosystems and an abundance of campsites to explore. Choose your scenery: golden beach dunes, easy lake access, old-growth forests, or jagged mountain peaks...you really can't go wrong. We've also included a few backcountry campsites for those looking to find that extra bit of peace and quiet. Pack the car up, rally your crew and go explore! 

Photo: Kyle Szegedi

Bring friends, family, and furry friends for a relaxing and unforgettable weekend at Trillium Lake. Trillium Lake is the epitome of serene lakeside camping, with stunning views of Mount Hood. Bring a camera to capture the stunning reflection of Mt. Hood alpenglow on the lake.

Photo: Angela Clarke

Just over an hour from downtown Portland, Burnt Lake is the ultimate backpackers weekend destination. You need only hike for four miles to reach the campsites at Burnt Lake. After setting up camp, hikers can feel free to follow the trail the rest of the way to the summit of Zig Zag Mountain. You’ll enjoy gorgeous views of Mount Hood throughout the duration of your trip.  

Photo: Austin Jackson

Silver Falls State Park is easily accessible from Portland, with ample flora and fauna to enjoy. Choose from a tent or a more comfortable, yet rustic, heated cabin. Nearby is the Trail of Ten Falls Loop - a gorgeous hike where you pass by (and under!) many waterfalls. Silver Falls State Park is also a great location for mountain bikers and cyclists.

 Photo: Jennifer Heifferon

Just across the Columbia River, Dougan Falls is a quick hour and a half drive from downtown Portland. This portion of the Washougal River features many refreshing swimming holes, with rocks to jump off of and places to perch while enjoying a picnic. This campsite is most popular from summer through early fall, and does not accept reservations so make sure to get there early!

Photo: Jenn Z

Elk Meadows is the perfect intro to backpacking trip. Between the stunning views of Mount Hood and the peaceful nature of the meadows, this hike is enjoyable for even the most experienced backpackers. You can backpack to Elk Meadows year round, although you may want snowshoes in the winter.

Photo: Seth Whelden

Wahtum Lake is the campsite that has it all: amazing views of Mount Hood, a plethora of nearby activities, and lake access. The well-maintained trail to Chinidere Mountain is the best nearby hike, with unforgettable vistas of the nearby dormant volcanoes that dot the landscape. On your way back to Portland, make sure to stop in Hood River at Double Mountain Brewery.

Photo: Andrew Hoang

Year round beach camping - do we need to say more? Nehalem Bay is a true treasure, with miles of gorgeous, undeveloped golden sand and grassy dunes. Choose between yurts (for added comfort) or tent sites (a more traditional camping experience). Don’t forget the s’mores!

Photo: Austin Jackson

Lost Lake is an oasis - the perfect weekend escape from urban life. You can enjoy a variety of activity options including hiking, fishing, and photography. Canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, and row boats are available for rent. Choose your level of comfort: tent camping, yurts and cabins are all fabulous choices. If you choose tent camping, get there early to secure a first come first serve lakeside spot. Don’t forget to stock up on firewood and s’mores supplies in the camp store!

Photo: Dan Moe

Forlorn Lakes are equally accessible and scenic, with isolated and roomy campsites that come with a picnic table and fire ring. This is the perfect place to try out some new campfire recipes, like these campfire burritos. Explore nearby Guler Ice Cave, a lava tube that is filled with ice formations for a majority of the year.

Photo: Erik Sanders

Albeit the drive to Whitewater Trailhead is a bit lengthy, you’ll hardly notice the last hour as you weave through stunning Willamette forests. This is a Pacific Crest Trail hike to Mount Jefferson, a local legend. The scenery is some of the most stunning that the Pacific Northwest has to offer - a guaranteed perfect weekend getaway!

Cover Photo: Erik Sanders

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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