Camping Guide: Fingers Crossed

10 Northwest Car-Camping Sites That Might Actually Have Room for You

Procrastinators, this is for you.

By Benjamin Tepler May 22, 2018 Published in the June 2018 issue of Portland Monthly

South sister and sparks lake  1995 omnkyu

South Sister from Sparks Lake

Mt Hood Wilderness

Bonney Meadows One of the few Hood campgrounds you don’t have to scrap for, this east-side gem is a mere 1.6-mile trek from swimming-hole favorite Boulder Lake. High-clearance vehicle recommended.

Cloud Cap Saddle Hood’s 5,900-foot-elevation campground houses three small sites, sweeping views stretching to the Gorge, and a mugshot of Hood’s northeast face. Bonus: acess to the Timberline Trail. High-clearance vehicle recommended.

Horseshoe Lake A quiet, picturesque lake just south of Monon Lake in the Olallie Scenic Area with six primitive campsites. High-clearance vehicle recommended.

Central Oregon

Sparks Lake Views of South Sister and Broken Top await from the shores of Sparks Lake. Most campsites require watercraft to reach; strap your SUP to the roof and get paddling!

Chimney Rock Less than an hour from Bend, this high-desert riverside campground is parked on the Lower Crooked River, with crazy geometric basalt cliffs, excellent fly-fishing, and the eponymous 2.6-mile hike.

Delta Deep in the McKenzie River corridor, Delta is the perfect base camp for a floating/rafting adventure, or to be totally ensconced in the emerald green of the Willamette National Forest.

Cascadia State Park Perched on the South Santiam River, this family-friendly state park offers slow-moving and shallow swimming hole access and a 1.5-mile round-trip hike to moss-covered Soda Creek Falls.

Southwest Washington

Walupt Lake The 300-foot-deep Walupt Lake is a premier bivouac for adventures in the Goat Rocks Wilderness, with multimountain views from adjoining Nannie Ridge and Walupt Lake trails.

Bird Creek At the southeast base of Mount Adams, this Yakama Nation–owned site offers stellar fishing at Bird Lake and access to premier wildflowers via a 3-mile Bird Creek Meadows loop. High-clearance vehicle recommended.

Trout Lake Creek This quiet, 17-site riverside camp is just 4 miles from Sleeping Beauty, a popular 3-mile climb with astounding views of Adams, St. Helens, Rainier, and Hood. High-clearance vehicle recommended.

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