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11 Top-Rated Campgrounds in Oregon

Written by Brad Lane
Nov 17, 2020

From the sun rising above an ancient caldera to the rhythmic lullaby of the rolling ocean in the evening, campgrounds in Oregon capture all moments of the day in the state's most scenic places. Other natural attractions adjacent to the best campgrounds include glaciated peaks, forested headlands, wild rivers, and hot springs.

Mountain biking, white-water rafting, and day hiking are a few of the favorite things to do at Oregon's best places to camp. Other activities like waterfall viewing, lake boating, and tide pool exploring are also popular. And all the best campgrounds in Oregon enable classic camping staples like bonfires, skillet breakfasts, and sleeping under the stars.

Tourists, families, and long-term explorers of Oregon occupy campsites on every warm-weather weekend, with places like Silver Falls and Cape Lookout State Parks filling with advance reservations well before the season. To make reservations at a state park campground, visit the official Oregon State Park website.

The Columbia River Gorge and Oregon coast are a couple of other all-star adventure places to visit nearby. These stunning areas both offer campgrounds operated by the U.S. Forest Service, with more primitive but comfortable campsites. And like the best hiking trails in Oregon, every campground throughout the state leads to an easy escape into nature.

Find the top spots to pitch a tent or park an RV with our list of Oregon's best campgrounds.

Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.

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 at the edge of the continent. Over 200 campsites and a dozen cabins invite multi-day stays on the cape. The campsites also provide immediate access to the ocean and other stunning environments.

Most of the sites at the Cape Lookout Campground cater to tent camping, while approximately 37 sites accommodate RV travel. Every site has hot showers, flushing toilets, and potable water available nearby. The campground also features pet-friendly yurts and cabins tucked neatly into the forested surroundings.

The Cape Lookout Trail is the best way to explore the coastal forest environment from the campground. The undeveloped Netarts Spit also provides a peaceful hiking experience to the north. Beachcombing is another popular recreational outlet at the state park. 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 Mazama Village Campground is the main spot to spend the night in Crater Lake National Park. With a short drive or uphill hike, campers at Mazama Village can reach the breathtaking beauty of Crater Lake's southwest rim. The view from this vantage point illustrates why this ancient caldera is one of Oregon's top attractions.

The campground operates between June and September. Expect all 200 campsites to be well utilized throughout summer, with many reserved well ahead of the start of the season. Sites can be reserved six months ahead of time. 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

Campsites at Mazama Village accommodate RVs and tent campers alike. Every site provides access to flushing toilets and potable water, and the village store is within walking distance. The campground also features a hiker/biker site that fills up in late summer with long-distance travelers on the Pacific Crest Trail.

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 hookups. 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.

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. The campground has vault toilets and potable water available.

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 stem from the banks of the McKenzie River within the Willamette Valley. One of the best ways to experience everything this scenic water corridor affords is to hike the 26.4-mile McKenzie River National Recreation Trail - one of the best hiking trails in Oregon.

Paradise Campground is the closest place to pitch a tent near all the excitement surrounding the McKenzie River. The campground is near the southern terminus of the National Recreation Trail, near the community of McKenzie Bridge. And its apt 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. The campground caters to tent camping and RVs less than 40 feet long (no hookups available). Flushing toilets and potable water can be found in both campground loops.

6. Harris Beach State Park, Brookings

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.

Harris Beach is the southernmost state park campground on the coast and offers over 150 campsites accommodating tents, RVs, and anyone traveling via bicycle or backpack. A short trail from the campground leads to a sprawling day-use area and the ocean. The day-use area features a playground, beach picnic area, and green space.

A short drive north, Lone Ranch Beach and the beginning of the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor also invite exploration from the campground. In the opposite direction, a biking trail leads to 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

This 9,000-acre state park provides one of the best campgrounds near Portland, a 30-mile drive from the city. This natural space offers a plethora of activities to choose from. More than 20 miles of hiking trails explore the densely 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

This campground and recreation area was created on the banks of the Lost Creek Reservoir, a massive impoundment of the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. The campground is 30 miles from the many attractions of Medford.

Joseph H. Stewart has over 200 campsites with hot showers, potable water, and flushing toilets nearby. The campground caters to RV drivers and tent campers, and most sites have electric and water hookups. Other amenities like a boat ramp, playground areas, and summer programs on the weekends cater to a complete camping experience.

Lake activities like boating, fishing, and swimming in the shallows are popular at Joseph H. Stewart. And 12 miles of hiking and cycling trails are also accessible from the campground. 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. The campground features 17 sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each site includes access to community vault toilets, but campers need to pack in their own drinking water.

An easy day-trip distance to Crater Lake, Natural Bridge Campground also lends immediate access to nearby attractions. Along with 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 steep approximately four-mile hike to the top of Tillamook Head. Nearby vault toilets help keep the area free of catholes. And a covered picnic area at the campground is popular with overnight visitors and day hikers alike.

The backpackers camp is accessible from the cities of Cannon Beach or Seaside. The route from Seaside is the recommended approach, by first taking the Seaside Streetcar to the North Tillamook Head Trailhead. It's all uphill from here, but the dense coastal forest offers a refreshing scene to distract from the deep breathing of hiking uphill.

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 the 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. An alternative approach to the area is setting up a backcountry camp a mile down the Strawberry Basin Trail.

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