The Absolute Best Camping Near Portland

Written by Cindy Rasmussen
Published: September 7, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/Sean Pavone
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If you are visiting the Portland, Oregon area or are looking to get away for some camping near Portland, there are wooded mountain sites, riverside campgrounds and RV parks right in the city. Plenty of options to choose from! Read on to find out about the absolute best camping near Portland.

1. Columbia River RV Park

The Columbia River RV Park is located right on the beautiful Columbia River.

iStock.com/JPLDesigns

One of the campgrounds closest to downtown Portland is the Columbia River RV Park. It is in northern Portland, right across the street from the river and the Portland Yacht Club. There are plenty of sites and attractions right in Portland like the Oregon Zoo (visit Elephant Lands with Asian Elephants or the Polar Passage to see Polar Bears), the Lan Su Chinese Garden and the Portland Art Museum. Of course there are amazing shops and restaurants downtown as well. After a busy day in the city head north to the Columbia River RV Park.

All of the campsites in the park are paved and have full hookups with both back-in and pull-through sites. The RV park can even accommodate extra-large RV’s. Located right across the street from several marinas you can catch a boat out to do some fishing on the river or just enjoy a day of boating. This is one of the absolute best places to camp near Portland because it is on the river and close to downtown!

Columbia River RV Park
LocationNorth border of Oregon with Washington, right on the Columbia River
Distance from downtown Portland20 min (8 miles)
RV sites with Full hookupsYes, all the sites are paved and have full hookups
Tent sitesNo, tent sites not available
CabinsNo cabin rentals available
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, laundry
Pet FriendlyYes, 2 dog run areas, 1 off-leash
ReservationsYes, daily, weekly or seasonal
What makes it one of the bestSo close to downtown Portland!

2. Cascade Locks / Portland East KOA : Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Cascade Locks Portland East KOA is certainly one of the best places to camp near Portland!

iStock.com/Chaitra Kukanur

For resort-like accommodations check out the Cascade Locks Portland East KOA. It is located right by the beautiful River Gorge NSA where you can hike to waterfalls, take a stern-wheeler through the Gorge and backpack on the Larch Mountain trails. Keep your eyes to the sky for hawks and bald eagles that frequent the falls areas. It is hard to believe you don’t have to go that far out of the city to find such varied landscapes.

The campground is less than an hour east of downtown and can accommodate RV’s up to 110’ long! There are smaller RV sites, premium tent sites, camper cabins and deluxe cabins with private bathrooms and showers. After a day of exploring you can spend some time in the swimming pool or relax in the hot tub or sauna (not really roughing it!).

Cascade Locks / Portland East KOA
LocationCascade Locks
Distance from downtown Portland48 min (45 miles)
RV sitesYes, variety of full hookup and electric
Tent sitesYes, no electric but picnic table and fire pit
Camper CabinsYes, 1 room and 1 bedroom, no bathroom
Deluxe CabinsYes, bathroom and shower, mini fridge and TV
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, laundry, swimming pool, hot tub, sauna
Pet FriendlyYes, there is a dog park
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestRight next to the Columbia River Gorge NSA.

3. Camp Creek Campground: Mt. Hood

Mount Hood reflecting in Lost Lake at sunrise
The Camp Creek Campground offers hiking trails onsite or nearby at the base of Mount Hood.

Michal Balada/Shutterstock.com

If you want to go camping near Portland you can’t miss a trip to Mount Hood. The Camp Creek Campground is a smaller campground next to a creek with a classic wooded campsite feel. The base of Mount Hood is nearby for hiking in the mountains or you can hike the 1.6 mile Still Creek Trail right at the campground. There are mountain bike trails if you prefer, and fishing for trout and whitefish is common in this park.

There are 25 campsites for RV’s and tents with some being “tent only”. Sites are primitive and non-electric with vault toilets and drinking water nearby. The rivers and creeks in the park are fed by the glaciers from Mount Hood so you can imagine how refreshing it will be to splash your face with a handful of fresh water or wade out into the river to cool off in the summer. Mountain camping at its best!

Camp Creek Campground
LocationRhododendron, OR, right next to Mt. Hood
Distance from downtown Portland1 hour 5 min (50 miles)
RV/Tent sites25 sites, non-electric
Tent sitesYes, some are tent only
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesVault toilets, drinking water
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestRefreshing mountain camping!

4. Champoeg State Park Campground

Trout in Montana
Cast a line and catch some trout right off the dock in Champoeg State Park.

iStock.com/Armando Oliveira

South of downtown Portland is one of the absolute best places to camp near Portland. The Champoeg State Park is right along the Willamette River, learn about the unique history of the park before you go, dating back to 1843, when this was the site of the Oregon’s first provisional government. In 1861 the town was washed away in a great flood, leaving behind a ghost town.

One of the unique features of the campground is that it has yurts you can rent! Have you ever tried camping in a yurt? There are also RV/Tent sites and 6 cabins. You can fish right off the dock for salmon, trout, walleye and catfish or take a kayak out to explore. For hikers there are trails that are popular for birdwatching with western bluebirds and acorn woodpeckers making the park their home. You can see why this is one of the absolute best places to camp near Portland!

Champoeg State Park Campground
LocationSW of Portland, along the Willamette River
Distance from downtown Portland38 min (28 miles)
RV sites with full hookups21 sites
RV sites with electric and water54 sites
Tent sites with parking nearby6 sites
Yurts6 (3 are pet friendly)
Cabins6 (3 are pet friendly)
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, ice/firewood for sale
Pet FriendlyYes, except for a few of the yurts/cabins
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestYurt camping along the river!

5. Jantzen Beach RV Resort

Brown Pelican in flight
Keep your eyes out for brown pelicans along the river at Jantzen Beach RV Resort.

Nagel Photography/Shutterstock.com

Located right on Hayden Island on the Columbia River is Jantzen Beach RV Resort. The park has first class facilities including three heated pools and a clubhouse with a fitness center and playground. Sites include full hookups and cable TV. Take a day trip to Multnoma Falls, a winery, or visit downtown Portland for a nice dinner out. Back at the campground you can shoot hoops, billiards or try fishing at one of the marinas. While hiking along the Hayden Bay Loop Hike (2.5 miles) look for Brown Pelicans and California Gulls that are common along the Columbia River. Settle back in at your campsite for some s’mores before turning in for the night!

Jantzen Beach RV Resort
LocationRight on Hayden Island, north of downtown
Distance from downtown Portland15 min (8 miles)
RV sitesYes
Tent sitesNo, tent sites not available
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, laundry, 3 swimming pools, spa, clubhouse, billiards
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestCamping on a peaceful island close to the city.

Up Next

Portland Oregon
View of Portland Oregon with Mount Hood on the horizon
iStock.com/Sean Pavone
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About the Author

I'm a Wildlife Conservation Author and Journalist, raising awareness about conservation by teaching others about the amazing animals we share the planet with. I graduated from the University of Minnesota-Morris with a degree in Elementary Education and I am a former teacher. When I am not writing I love going to my kids' soccer games, watching movies, taking on DIY projects and running with our giant Labradoodle "Tango".

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Sources
  1. Columbia River RV Park, Available here: https://www.columbiariverrv.com/index.php
  2. KOA, Available here: https://koa.com/campgrounds/cascade-locks/
  3. Recreation.gov, Available here: https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/232837?tab=info
  4. Oregon Parks and Recreation, Available here: https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=park.profile&parkId=79
  5. Jantzen Beach RV, Available here: https://www.jantzenbeachrv.com/