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Open Year-round
?
Reservations possible?
Yes
RV Hookups
No
Potable water
Yes
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Located within Oxbow Regional Park and right beside the Sandy River, the Oxbow Campground is one of Portland’s most accessible and beautiful campgrounds. That being said, Metro, who runs the park, does not take reservations for any of the 57 camping sites, so get in early because campsites are available on a first-come-first-served bases. Firewood is available for purchase ($5/bundle) and there are showers, but bring your quarters, as one $0.25 coin will get you only 2.5 minutes of hot water. Note that all of the RV sites are reserved for RV’s only, however there are no potable water or electrical hook-ups.

To fully explore the park, a few of the river's swimming holes, and its impressive grove of old-growth Douglas fir, western red cedar and western hemlock, hop onto the Oxbow Nature Trail at the north end of the campground.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Pros

Proximity to city. Park amenities. Swimming in Sandy River. Hiking trails.

Cons

No dogs allowed.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Managed by

Metro

Reservation phone number

503.663.470

Address

SE Oxbow Park Rd
5499
Gresham, OR 97080
United States

Features

Flushing toilets
Showers
Boat ramp(s)
Swimming holes
Potable water
Picnic tables
Covered picnic areas
Horseshoes
Playground

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

07/12/2017
Perfect place for the kids' first camping trip! Sadly, we hadn't been camping in easily 10 years (you might be brave enough to camp with infants but not me! :) ), but this "beginner" campground made it easy to fall right back into it. We reserved our spot online ( https://www.reserveamerica.com/camping/oxbow-regional-park/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=OR&parkId=402500 ) and I noticed there are some RV and ADA spots, too.

Each camp site has a fire pit with grill, raised barbecue, picnic table, shared recycling/garbage and water spigot with neighbors, and most have a lantern hook. Camp sites are generously-sized and spread out enough that even though we could see and hear the closest neighbors pretty clearly, we didn't feel an uncomfortable lack of privacy. Our site was near the path down to the river, where someone had helpfully created a little rock dam to make a safe place for littles to play in the water. There are bathrooms (glorified port-a-potties) in each loop and a real bathroom with showers at one end as well. We were there in the middle of the week and the campground was maybe half full, so the bathrooms were not too bad and we didn't have to wait in line. You will want to bring a flashlight for middle-of-the-night potty trips.

The wildlife is fairly tame; as we drove in we saw rangers shooing deer out of someone's site and several deer wandered in to check us out. Chipmunks and squirrels were extremely bold, even hopping up onto our picnic table hoping we'd share lunch with them (we didn't, of course). The trails are gorgeous and clearly defined but nature sure does like to creep in, so pack something to soothe nettle stings if you bring kiddos (it was our biggest "tragedy").

The only small con (for us) was the proximity to PDX. We heard planes coming and going late into the night and early in the morning, but honestly it was easy to ignore with the sound of the rushing water nearby. We'll definitely be back with the kids again and next time we'll check out the amphitheater and events, too.

There will be construction this summer and fall, so the traffic and noise may be different from our very mellow experience. From the Metro website: "Construction is starting on a Sandy River restoration project. A heavy-lift helicopter will be used 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 19, 20 and 31 and Aug. 1 and 2. Please excuse the construction noise in the park. Most of the park will remain open during this work. Construction on a new campground road is underway at Oxbow. Work is expected to last through September. All open campsites remain accessible to vehicles."



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