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Elle Ossello | 07.31.2017

If you have yet to experience the immense joy that is weekday camping, we envy you. The first time you wake up in a cozy campground, make coffee under a towering tree, and zip home for a quick shower before you head to work is one that we wish we could relive. There’s a sort of secret pleasure in digging into a day’s worth to-do list with the satisfaction that you spent the night in the woods—it’s a soul-filling experience that we highly advocate. 

Also, let’s not ignore the fact that Portlanders love to spend their weekend camping. Many of the campsites that might be booked solid for the foreseeable summer weekends will most likely feel like ghost towns on a Tuesday or Wednesday night. Snagging a primo spot at Beacon Rock State Park Campground or Lockaby Campground will invariably make you feel like a camping celebrity. Plus, there’s hardly a better way to delight your dog.

Each of the campgrounds listed below is somewhere between a 45-and 90-minute drive out of the city, proving that Portland is privy to some amazing gems in astoundingly close proximity. Keep in mind that this is by no means exhaustive; there are hidden gems everywhere (plus you can pitch a tent off of nearly any Forest Service road within a state forest or a national forest). So snag your best adventure bud and plan your next happy hour with the rivers and trees of your backyard. And, as always, above all: Leave No Trace.

Note: All drive times measured from Portland International Airport

Just over the Washington Border

Paradise Point State Park Campground: 30 minutes
$25 | WA Discover Pass | Two yurts, plenty of walk-in camping | Disc golf course and swimming hole and short hiking trails

Tillamook State Forest/Northern Oregon

Dairy Creek Camp East + West: 1 hour, 7 minutes
$31 | State Park Fee ($10) | 70 RV sites/14 tent sites | Adjacent hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trail network and disc golf course

Elk Creek Campground: 1 hour, 19 minutes
$15 | no pass required | 14 tent sites | sites along creek. Campsite at the base of Elk and Kings Mountain Hikes

Keenig Creek Campground: 1 hr, 31 minutes
$15 | No pass required | 12 tent sites | Private walk-in campsites and swimming hole along the Wilson River

Jones Creek Campground: 1 hour, 27 minutes
$15 | No pass required | 28 car sites 14 walk-in | Large/private sites and adjacent to the Wilson River, Tillamook Forest Center, and Smith Homestead Day Use Area

Champoeg State Park Campground: 57 minutes
$19 | State Park Fee ($5) | Six yurts, six cabins, six walk-in tent sites, and 67 RV sites 

South of Portland/Clackamas River

Milo McIver State Park Campground: 40 minutes
$21 | State Park Fee ($5) | 44 RV sites and nine walk-in | Access to Milo McIver State Park amenities

Promontory Park Campground: 50 minutes
$18 | No pass required | 13 yurts and 27 car sites | Close to boat ramp, day use facilities, and showers and kitchen areas

Sunstrip Campground: 1 hour
$18 | No pass required | Nine campsites | Direct access to the Clackamas River and nearby swimming holes, hikes, boating, and fishing.

Feyrer Campground: 1 hour
$26 | No pass required | 21 tent sites | Extensive day use area, river access, and showers

Lazy Bend Campground: 1 hour
$21 | No pass required | 18 tent sites | Spacious/private campsites and direct access to the Clackamas River 

Carter Bridge Campground: 1 hour
$16 | General use day fee ($5) | 15 tent sites | Kayaking/swimming on the Clackamas River

Lockaby Campground: 1 hour
$20 | No pass required | 30 tent sites | Nearby swimming holes and spacious campsites

Armstrong Campground: 1 hour
$19 | no pass required | 11 tent sites | access to Clackamas River hiking, fishing, boating, etc. 

Mount Hood Area

Tollgate Campground: 1 hour
$20 | No pass required | 13 tent sites | Spacious campsites and old-growth forest

The Columbia River Gorge

Herman Creek Campground: 47 minutes
$10 | No pass required | Seven large tent sites, two horse stall sites, two corrals

Wyeth Campground: 48 minutes
$10 | No pass required | 17 tent sites | Spacious sites + nearby trails

Viento State Park Campground: 53 minutes
$20 | General Use Day Fee ($5) | 56 RV sites and 18 tent sites | Great beach

Eagle Creek Campground: 42 minutes
$25 | Pass not required | 16 tent sites | Close to hiking, flush toilets, small amphitheater/group facilities

Ainsworth State Park Campground: 32 minutes
$17 | No pass required | 43 RV sites and six tent sites | Abundance of nearby hikes and waterfalls

Beacon Rock State Park Campground: 42 minutes
$23 | WA Discover Pass | Five RV sites, 28 tent sites, two horse stalls | Top-notch hiking nearby

Reed Island State Park Campsite: 32 minutes
$12 | No pass required | One tent site | Unique location, river and mountain views, and access only by water


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