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Looking for advice on local camping spots in Portland OR!

Hi friends!

I recently moved to Portland last September, and this will be my first summer in the PNW. I love to camp and was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on where to start? There's so many options out here it's almost overwhelming on where to go!

Any suggestions would be much appreciated, thanks in advance!

8 Replies

@Bryanne welcome to the PNW and thanks for joining the co-op's online community! One of our Portland area employees suggests Stub Stewart as a great place to check out, with lots of trails for hiking and biking and only ~20 minutes outside the city With that said, it's important to note that most (if not all) campgrounds are closed right now and state parks may stay closed through September, so you'll likely need to double-check the status of parks/campgrounds as we get closer to the summer months. 

Hope this helps! We'll circle back if we get additional recommendations from other Portland-area REI employees!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.


Here is another recommendation from one of our Portland area employees!

Great place on the SE side of Portland for camping and paddle!

Milo McIver State Park 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@REI-JenK thanks for the suggestion! And definitely, with all the downtime I'm just looking to scope out some good spots for when camping opens back up.

@REI-AlyS thank you!!

Feel free to add any other camping spots or must see destinations outside the city - I'm willing to drive!

I appreciate it!


Hello again @Bryanne !

We had some more advice roll in! Here is what I've been told...

All the Oregon State Parks are great!  They are likely closed until June, at least.  The closest ones to Portland are Stub, Milo McIver, and Champoeg.  They offer campsites, yurt, cabins, and are great for families.  Also, take a look at Cape Lookout SP on the coast.

With the coast and the mountains 2 hours away, the possibilities are endless.  Some state parks are very popular and hard to reserve, so some smaller Forest Service, County, and BLM campgrounds that don't take reservations are good options. 

We will continue to update you with more options, but hopefully this gives you a great start! 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I'm a fan of Ainsworth State Park. It's either a nice overnight bike trip, or a good stop on a longer bike tour/bikepacking trip. When it reopens, Ainsworth is near hiking trails and not far from the Bridge of the Gods.

I mean, you could drive there also. 


Hi @Bryanne, Portland is a beautiful place. I hope you're enjoying it; I lived there for three months a couple of years ago.


If you're into hiking/scenic trips/rock climbing, I would highly recommend you check out Smith Rock State Park - it's only a 3 hr drive from Portland. There is a walk-in bivouac area for tents that is super scenic, and it's not very far of a walk from the car. If I remember right, I believe camping costs $10 per vehicle per night. There are also other nearby campgrounds (not inside the park like the bivouac area) where you could choose to camp, then drive to the park and pay for day admission. If you're in the area, I also suggest checking out the town of Bend, OR - it has a super cool and unique culture. 

Smith Rock State Park, ORSmith Rock State Park, OR

Closer to Portland, I have stayed in Camp Creek Campground, which is located in a beautiful wooded area. It's not too far out of the city, and is actually located close to the base of Mt. Hood in Mt. Hood National Forest, which has a bounty of beautiful hiking trails.

Here are also a couple of websites that may help you in your search:

Oregon State Parks

Reserve America - Campground Directory

National Park Service

Camping USA

The phone app and website iOverlander is also an amazing tool to find camping (including free locations on BLM land).

Have fun camping!

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one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

If you want to camp in a place close to town and yet with a wild river and forest, try Oxbow Park in Gresham. It's beautiful there but very convenient. 

Hello Bryanne,

If you don't mind some driving, goat rocks wilderness specifically the hike and camping going up to hawkeye point in goat rocks is beautiful! I have done that trail for the past couple of summers.


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