11 Top-Rated Campgrounds in Oregon

Written by Brad Lane

From the morning sun rising above an ancient caldera to the rhythmic lullaby of the rolling ocean, campgrounds in Oregon expose the many environments that make the state so special. Glaciated peaks, forested headlands, and wild rivers are just a few of the natural attractions adjacent to some of the best campgrounds, while mountain biking, white-water rafting, and all-day hiking are a few of the favorite things to do. Tourists, families, and long-term explorers of Oregon occupy campsites on every warm-weather weekend, with places like Silver Falls State Park and Cape Lookout filling with advance reservations well before the season. The Columbia River Gorge and Oregon coast are a couple other all-star adventure places to visit with campsites nearby, and like the best hiking trails in Oregon, campgrounds throughout the state often lead to an easy escape into nature. Find the top spots to pitch a tent with our list of the best campgrounds in Oregon.

1. Cape Lookout State Park, Tillamook

Cape Lookout State Park Cabin

Cape Lookout State Park Cabin | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

At the center of the Three Capes Scenic Route, Cape Lookout State Park epitomizes the fun to be found on this edge of the continent. Providing immediate access to the ocean and other stunning environments, over 200 campsites and a dozen cabins invite multi-day stays on the cape, with hot showers, flushing toilets, and potable water available nearby. The Cape Lookout Trail is the best way to explore the coastal forested surroundings, and the undeveloped Netarts Spit to the north provides a peaceful hiking experience. Beachcombing is another popular recreational outlet, and each evening at Cape Lookout provides a stunning display of changing light and color.

2. Mazama Village Campground, Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park

The main spot to spend the night in Crater Lake National Park, the Mazama Village Campground operates with a limited season between June and September. Expect all 200 campsites to be well utilized throughout the summer, with many reserved well ahead of the start of the season. The site accommodates RVs and tent campers alike, and provides access to flushing toilets and potable water. It's the spacious and shaded campsites that account for Mazama's popularity, but it's the access to the nearby caldera that attracts international attention. With a short drive or uphill hike, campers at Mazama Village can reach the breathtaking beauty of this top attraction of Oregon and take all the time needed to appreciate the unique landscape presented at the rim.

3. Silver Falls State Park Campground, Sublimity

South Falls at Silver Falls State Park

South Falls at Silver Falls State Park | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Twenty miles east of Salem in the Willamette Valley, Silver Falls State Park delivers on a dazzling showcase of stunning waterfalls. The internationally renowned and nationally designated Trail of Ten Falls meanders throughout the 9,200-acre state park, passing by and behind multiple waterfalls over 100 feet tall. The Silver Falls State Park Campground easily accesses this National Recreation Trail and is closely located to the exemplary South Falls, one of the best waterfalls in Oregon. Nearly 50 sites are available for tent camping at Silver Falls, and another 50 sites accommodate RVs with electrical hookup. Cabins and large group sites can also be reserved ahead of time. Showers, flushing toilets, and potable water are available throughout all camping loops.

4. Little Crater Campground, Newberry Volcanic Monument

Little Crater Campground shoreline

Little Crater Campground shoreline | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Overlooking Paulina Lake within the Newberry Volcanic Monument of the Deschutes National Forest, the Little Crater Lake Campground offers land, water, and hot springs attractions. All 49 sites share a great view of Paulina Lake and the surrounding volcanic landscape, and while the water is a bit too cold for extended swims, it's a popular outlet for boating and fishing. With vault toilets and potable water available, the sites at Little Crater fill up quickly on warm weather weekends. The trailhead for one of the best hot springs in Oregon is accessed at the end of the campground, and the roughly two-mile shoreline hike to Paulina Hot Springs is a scenic part of the endeavor.

5. Paradise Campground, Willamette National Forest

Tamolitch Blue Pool near Paradise Campground

Tamolitch Blue Pool near Paradise Campground

Waterfalls, hot springs, and stunning blue pools of water can be found stemming from the banks of the McKenzie River within the Willamette Valley, as well as one of the best hiking trails in Oregon, the 26.4-mile McKenzie River National Recreation Trail. Paradise Campground is the closest place to pitch a tent near all the excitement surrounding the McKenzie River, and its aptly inspired name reflects the campground's immediate surroundings. Constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, nearly all 64 sites at Paradise have views of the water, while the rest are nestled comfortably into the encompassing old-growth forest. Flushing toilets and potable water can be found in both campground loops.

6. Harris Beach State Park, Brookings Editor's Pick

The rugged southern Oregon coast

The rugged southern Oregon coast | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Exemplifying the rugged nature of the southern Oregon coast, Harris Beach State Park lends access to stunning sea stacks, cliffside views, and one of the best beaches of Oregon. The southernmost state park campground on the coast, Harris Beach offers over 150 campsites accommodating tents, RVs, and anyone traveling via backpack or bicycle. A sprawling day use area lends access to the ocean, and with a short drive north, interested hikers can stumble upon Lone Ranch Beach and the beginning of the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor. In the opposite direction, a biking trail leads to the city of Brookings where restaurants, groceries, and other city attractions can add some cultural enjoyment.

7. L.L. "Stub" Stewart State Park, Buxton

Stub Stewart welcome sign

Stub Stewart welcome sign | wittco.gmbh / photo modified

Accessed with a thirty-mile drive from Portland, this 9,000-acre state park provides one of the best campgrounds near Portland and a plethora of activity from which to choose. More than 20 miles of hiking trails explore the dense forested surroundings of L.L. Stewart, with additional trails specifically designated for mountain biking and horse riding. Alongside the abundance of activity that caters to active campers, L.L. Stewart also provides an array of campgrounds. Dairy Creek West and Dairy Creek East accommodate over 100 tent and RV campers total, and the Brooke Creek Campground caters specifically to hike-in campers. For equestrian visitors, the Hares Canyon Horse Campground is well known as one of the best of its kind in the state.

8. Joseph H. Stewart State Recreation Area Campground

Lost Creek Reservoir

Lost Creek Reservoir

On the banks of the Lost Creek Reservoir in southern Oregon, this campground and recreation area were created to explore this massive impoundment of the Rogue River. Thirty miles from Medford, Joseph H. Stewart provides over 200 campsites with hot showers, potable water, and flushing toilets available. Lake activities like boating, fishing, and swimming in the shallows are popular, and 12 miles of hiking trails can also be accessed from the campground. Open to RV drivers and tent campers, Joseph H. Stewart is a popular playground throughout the year, especially in summer when reservations are recommended.

9. Natural Bridge Campground, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest

Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge

Fifteen minutes from the West Entrance of Crater Lake National Park, Natural Bridge Campground is a great home base for exploring the surrounding Rogue River and Siskiyou National Forest. Featuring 17 campsites available on a first-come, first-served basis, including access to vault toilets, campers at Natural Bridge need to pack in their own drinking water. An easy day-trip distance to Crater Lake, Natural Bridge Campground also lends immediate access to other nearby attractions. Along the Wild and Scenic Rogue River adjacent to the campground, the current suddenly disappears underground into a 250-foot lava tube, creating a natural bridge and the campground's namesake feature. Other popular recreation areas nearby include the Rogue Gorge and the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway.

10. Tillamook Head Backpackers Camp, Ecola State Park

Tillamook Head

Tillamook Head | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Nestled into the forested surroundings of Ecola State Park on the Oregon coast, a unique free tent camping area awaits anyone willing to carry their gear to the top of Tillamook Head. This free hike-in campground features three Adirondack shelters and available space to pitch a tent. The potential popularity of this headland camping area is somewhat decreased by the lack of available water and the access hike to the top of Tillamook Head. Nearby vault toilets help keep the area free of catholes.

The backpackers camp can be reached from either the cities of Cannon Beach or Seaside, and a commute on the Seaside Streetcar to the North Tillamook Head Trailhead is the recommended approach. A four-mile hike from the north trailhead, a covered picnic area at the campground is popular with overnight visitors and day hikers alike. For evening entertainment at the campground, a short spur trail leads to a dramatic western-facing view of the offshore Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. A large communal fire pit near the Adirondack shelters is also a popular community spot outside of fire-ban season.

11. Strawberry Campground, Malheur National Forest

Strawberry Lake

Strawberry Lake

A tucked-away gem in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon, this campground sits at the entrance to the enchanting Strawberry Mountains Wilderness. Featuring ten sites available on a first-come, first-served basis, each with a favorable rate, this campground is popular for those hitting the Strawberry Basin Trail early the next morning. Potable water and a single vault toilet are available to all overnight users. Despite the popularity of the adjoining wilderness area, Strawberry Campground remains relatively uncrowded even in the summers, largely thanks to the ability to backcountry camp a mile down the Strawberry Basin Trail.

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Outdoor Adventures in Oregon: Alongside some of the state's best campgrounds, the best hiking trails in Oregon can give you even more to explore. For destination specific adventures, the best hiking trails near Portland are fun to explore, and the best campgrounds near Portland provide some scenic places to spend the night. If you are heading to Bend, be sure to read through our list of the Top-Rated Hiking Trails near Bend.

Oregon Cities to Explore: While many cities in Oregon deserve to be at the top of the list, Portland provides the densest collection of culture you'll find throughout the state. Other inland cities that are fun to explore include Bend, Eugene, and the state capital of Salem. Coastal cities in Oregon that deserve some extra attention include Astoria, Newport, and Seaside.

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