Finding the perfect campground can be daunting. If you're new to the camping scene, or already a camper but not from Oregon- deciding where to camp in the "Pacific Wonderland" can be overwhelming. Below are four Quick Trip ideas from Travel Portland to jumpstart your camping bug! All within a few hours of Portland, and each highlighting a unique Oregon climate (coast, mountains, desert, and gorge), these simple Quick Trips are sure to inspire!
1. MOUNT HOOD -- Trillium Lake
Located 60 miles east of Portland in Mt. Hood National Forest, Trillium Lake is a tranquil retreat offering incredible views of the mountain’s snowy summit. The area’s namesake lake is a favorite of local anglers, thanks to a population of hungry trout. Mountain bikers love the single-track Trillium Bike Trail, which gracefully circles the picturesque lake — and also connects thirsty cyclists to pizza and pints in nearby Government Camp. Visitors can reserve one of 57 tent and RV spots online to guarantee a perfect weekend.
2. COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE -- Beacon Rock State Park
A 42-mile trip across the Washington state line and to the east brings adventurers to Beacon Rock, a 5,100-acre park with 26 tent spaces in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The park’s signature attraction — the monolithic Beacon Rock — juts 840 feet above the river and features a steep, mile-long trail blasted out of the rock and leading to panoramic views of the gorge. Beacon Rock campground has 28 sites, Discover Pass for parking required.
3. COAST -- Cape Lookout State Park
Situated on a sand spit between the Pacific Ocean and Netarts Bay, Cape Lookout State Park provides unparalleled beach access and ocean views 85 miles west of Portland. Hike the 2.4-mile Cape Trail, which boasts one of the best whale-watching spots on the coast, or follow the 1.8-mile South Trail down to a secluded stretch of sand set beneath the cape. The campground has 230+ sites and is open year round.
4. HIGH DESERT -- Smith Rock State Park
Situated in Central Oregon, 20 miles east of Bend, Smith Rock State Park is and outdoor adventurer’s playground. Rock climbing, caving, paddle boarding on the Deschutes and skiing Mt. Bachelor are all close by. The 3.8-mile hiking loop intimidatingly named Misery Ridge boasts the best views in the park. This moderate hike gains 1000ft of elevation as it tops out with views of Monkey Face- the most famous rock formation in the park. First come first served camping is available year round.
Quick Trips courtesy of Travel Portland