The Pacific Northwest and throughout the state of Oregon are prime for camping, during your typical three seasons. There are campgrounds suitable for RVs and tens by the coast, or spots hidden away in the national forests. Explore the best places to camp in the state, from amenity-rich campgrounds great for families to free, primitive spots to boondock with some privacy.
The Best Camping near Portland, Oregon
Home to old-growth forests, volcanoes, miles of Pacific coastline, and frisbee golf, camping in Oregon is as much an experience as walking around downtown Portland. Plenty of campsites abound in the Pacific Northwest, for both tents and RV campers. With sightings of Sasquatch as common as sightings of the unicycle-riding Scotsman in a Darth Vader …
Top Oregon Campgrounds by City
Travelers often like to post up near a major tourist destination, such as a big city like Portland, or a tourist town such as Lincoln City by the coast. Usually, the RV parks are closer to the main roads and highways, so these are always easy to find on your travels around the Beaver State. Most have sites for tents too. Here’s a look at the closest Oregon campgrounds listed by proximity.
Where To Go Camping in Oregon
Oregon is known for its moderate weather, national forests, and strong camping and outdoor culture. Visitors looking to find some of the best greenery in the US should pack their raincoats and head to the Beaver State.
The campgrounds in Oregon provide access to some of the West Coast’s best outdoor adventures.
Best Times to Go Camping in Oregon
Camping in Oregon is a double-edged sword in many ways. Summers here are beautiful and offer some of the most comfortable camping weather in the country. The only downside is that it isn’t exactly a secret that Oregon summers have the ideal outdoor adventuring weather, so crowds are a guarantee at popular spots.
In the summer months, visitors looking to avoid crowds should skip the major stopping points like the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, Crater Lake National Park, and the Willamette National Forest. While the coast is the ideal place to be during the summer, crowds are a guarantee.
Those looking for room to spread should head inland to the lesser-trafficked national forests. Spring follows a similar pattern, but early spring visitors can beat most of the crowds.
In the fall and winter, Mt. Hood is one of the most popular destinations. While you’ll have to brave some crowds, it’s likely worth it. Mt. Hood and the surrounding national forest is perfect for fall hiking and camping when the leaves change. Any outdoor destination in north central and northwest Oregon is going to be a great spot in the fall, though.
Winter brings some colder weather and snow in parts of the state. Snow camping enthusiasts will love northern Oregon, especially around Mt. Hood. Mt Hood is also one of the most popular ski areas in Oregon if you want to trade your trekking poles for ski poles and hit the slopes.
The coast avoids most of the snow but still gets cold, wet weather. That being said, winter high temperatures on the coast get up into the low 50s, and nights don’t get below freezing too often.
National Park Service Sites in Oregon
There are 10 National Park Service (NPS) sites in Oregon, and two of them offer camping. Most of Oregon’s camping options are in the national forests and state parks, so NPS options are pretty limited. Still, visitors heading to Crater Lake should try to get a campsite for at least a night or two.
Note that Crater Lake has two campgrounds open seasonally during summer and only about 230 campsites between the two of them. Mazama Campground, which has more than 200 of those total sites, is run by a third-party concession, so you won’t reserve sites through recreation.gov like most NPS campgrounds.
- Crater Lake National Park
- Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve
National Forests in Oregon
There are 11 national forests in Oregon, with one that crosses the border into California and one that crosses into Washington. Technically, there are 12 total national forests here, with California’s Klamath National Forest (just below Rogue-River Siskiyou National Forest) crossing the border into Oregon. However, so little of the national forest is in the state that it isn’t properly considered an Oregon national forest.
- Deschutes National Forest
- Siuslaw National Forest
- Fremont-Winema National Forest
- Malheur National Forest
- Umpqua National Forest
- Umatilla National Forest (shared with Washington)
- Willamette National Forest
- Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
- Mt. Hood National Forest
- Ochoco National Forest
- Rogue-River Siskiyou National Forest (shared with California)
Best Free Camping in Oregon
Just a bit over half of Oregon is federally managed. Of that land, 92% is run by the USFS, and another 6% is owned by the BLM and US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). This means just about half of Oregon is open for free camping.
The remaining public land in Oregon is either managed by the National Park Service or the US Department of Defense. While you often can’t camp on FWS land, there are a handful of spots throughout the country where you can, and Oregon has one of them, the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge.
Some of the most popular free camping spots in the Beaver State include Alder Springs Campground in the Willamette National Forest, Smith River Falls Campground near Reedsport, and the Mount Hebo area of Siuslaw National Forest.
Oregon State and Public Parks
While Oregon isn’t the strongest state in terms of NPS sites, it more than makes up for it with its national forests and robust state park system. The Beaver State has 170 state parks and 65 of them offer camping. If you’re starting to make a list of state parks here to visit, start with these 10 popular spots.
- Wallowa Lake State Park
- Harris Beach State Park
- The Cove Palisades State Park
- Beverly Beach State Park
- L.L. Stub Stewart Memorial State Park
- Smith Rock State Park
- Milo McIver State Park
- Silver Falls State Park
- Sunset Bay State Park
- Valley of the Rogue
RV Resorts and Unique Stays
Oregon puts together a strong showing when it comes to comfortable camping accommodations. With outdoor travelers and those wanting unique stays in mind, plenty of enterprising Oregonians have put together RV resorts, glamping retreats, and all sorts of wild and wonderful stays. For six of the best in the state, check out this list.
- Umpqua’s Last Resort
- Lone Mountain Resort Glamping and RV
- Grande Hot Springs RV Resort
- Sun Outdoors Coos Bay
- Steens Mountain Wilderness Resort
- The Vintages Trailer Resort
The Beaver State is synonymous with tree-covered adventure and a beautiful coastline. With so many parks and forests, it’d take a lifetime to see all that the Oregon outdoor scene has to offer.