If you’re planning on camping there are a myriad of great options in and around the Gorge. While certainly not all your options these are some of the best:
In the Gorge
For all spots in the gorge be aware that there will be noise from the freeway, but living within the forest is such a wonderful experience that this noise is easy to look past for most.
Eagle Creek is perhaps the first Forest Service campground in the country. For that and its incredible view of Bonneville Dam and the river it is worth considering. It is also the starting point for many very popular hiking trails.
Sitting just outside of Cascade Locks by Bonneville Dam, Eagle Creek is open from April 15 through December 1st. There are seventeen sites so space is limited. It is $15 a night to stay at Eagle Creek.
Ainsworth State Park
Conveniently placed just east of Multnomah Falls, Ainsworth is a great choice. Its noise pollution is low, and there are separate sections for RV and tent campers. Ainsworth has 40 full hook up spots for RV’s and 6 walk in tent sites.
Ainsworth is open from March 14 through October. The price per night is around $20 for a RV site and $13 for a tent site.
Viento State Park
Once a railroad station, Viento is now one of the best windsurfing spots in the Gorge and a beautiful campground as well. Be prepared for train horns throughout the day and night however as Viento is near a working railroad crossing.
Viento also makes for a great day trip, as a one mile section of the Historic Columbia River Highway no longer open for cars leads from the park to the Starvation Creek waterfall.
Viento holds 55 hook up sites for RVs, and more than 15 tent sites. The price per night is around $20 for a RV site and $13 for a tent site.
Memaloose State Park
In the hottest part of the Gorge, Memaloose is something of a sanctuary. Right on the water’s edge, and under the shade of maple trees the park isn’t lacking in ways to cool off. Expect the skies to open up at night and stars – shooting and otherwise – to appear crystal clear in the heavens. Expect a far off train call every so often in the otherwise serene locale.
Memaloose holds 40 hook up sites for RVs, and more than 65 tent sites. The price per night is around $25 for a RV site and $15 for a tent site.
Looking for a something a little more quiet and out of the way? Try camping in the Mt. Hood National Forest or around Troutdale.
A little under two hours away from Troutdale, Lost Lake is deep within the Mt. Hood National Forest. A tranquil, remote lake with no motorized boating allowed, Lost Lake is the essence of peace. Stare up at Mt. Hood from it’s most photographed spot, and catch its crystal clear reflection in the lake. Lost Lake is an ideal place to stay if you’re looking to supplement your vacation with some Mt. Hood exploration.
Find their rates for cabins and camping, and reserve a spot.
Just a few miles outside of Troutdale, Oxbow Park is a great campground right along the Sandy River. Explore the 15 miles of trail in the Oxbow forest while you’re there and run into deer, beavers, elk and more. If it’s hot jump in the Sandy River to cool off, or take a boat out onto the water. At Oxbow you’re never far from the city as Oxbow is the closest campground to the Portland metropolitan area, so if you need something you won’t feel as if you’re stuck in the wilderness.
Fair warning – the Sandy River is a strong and dangerous river. There are numerous holes and deep spots near to the shore, and the water is cold year round. Life jackets are recommended if you plan to play in the river, especially for children.
There are 57 drive in campsites, and 10 RV sites with no hook ups. There are also bathroom facilities with showers. Check rates and reservations at their website.