A motorhome camping in Oregon outside Bend, OR

Camping in Oregon in 2023 (11 Best Sites + 5 Tips)

Oregon camping is the best way to explore the “Beaver State.” Old-growth forests and hundreds of miles of Oregon coastline invite tent campers, RV roadies, and van lifers to bust out the camping gear and sleep under the open sky.

As a west coast local, I’ve camped in Oregon from north to south in both a motorhome and a tent. You’ll find my top 11 places to camp in this ultimate guide as well as helpful camping tips on camping essentials and Oregon camping etiquette. Saddle up, this list gets in-tents!

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11 Best Places to Go Camping in Oregon

Mazama Campground

A national park campground with views of Oregon’s most famous lake.

A cup of coffee and a book with an overlooking view of the Crater Lake
Enjoying a hot cup of coffee and a good book in my motorhome overlooking Crater Lake
View of the Crater Lake from the inside of McKenna Mobley's motorhome
Another view of Crater Lake from my motorhome

🗺️ Distance from Klamath Falls: 1 hour | Google Maps | Mazama Campground Website | Reservations: first-come, first-serve in June, online reservations July-September | Amenities: restrooms, potable water, gas station, food storage lockers, dump station

Mazama Campground is the best place to stay in Oregon when visiting Crater Lake National Park, one of the coolest things to do in Oregon. Tucked deep into the forest just past the park’s south entrance, Mazama Campground is the perfect tent or camper base camp for exploring the park.

Due to heavy winter and spring snowfall, the campground is only open from May-September each year and typically fills to its 214-site capacity quickly. Be sure to reserve your spot ahead of time if visiting after June.

Fort Stevens State Park

One of my favorite camp spots along the Oregon coast.

A rusted shipwreck on the shoreline of Fort Stevens beach
A famous Fort Stevens beach shipwreck

🗺️ Distance from Astoria: 18 minutes | Google Maps | Fort Stevens State Park Website | Reservations: online reservations | Amenities: full hookups, pets allowed, flush toilets, hot showers, dump station, boat ramp, disc golf, playgrounds

Most who visit Astoria can’t help but fall in love with this portion of the Oregon Coast. Reserve a spot at Fort Stevens State Park Campground and enjoy the charming seaside town at your own pace.

The campground at this state park is one of the largest in the nation and hosts freshwater lake activities, trails, wildlife viewing, and nearby fishing. I recommend hiking to South Jetty Observation Tower for pristine views of the Columbia River Gorge.

With 174 full hook-up sites, 302 electrical sites with water, tent sites, and cabins, Fort Stevens State Park Campground has room for everyone.

Cannon Beach RV Resort

A campground on the beach with the essential amenities.

A dog walking on the sea side of Cannon Beach during sunset
Cannon Beach at sunset

🗺️ Distance from Portland: 1 ½ hours | Google Maps | Cannon Beach RV Resort Website | Reservations: online reservations | Amenities: full hookups, indoor pool & spa, WIFI, convenience store, game room, laundry, gas, propane

Cannon Beach is not only one of the best things to do in Portland but is also one of the most recognizable sites in the ‘Beaver State.’ Book an overnight campsite at Cannon Beach RV Resort and walk to the sandy Oregon coastline to catch the sunset.

The Cannon Beach RV Resort campsites are surrounded by lush Oregon foliage and a sweet saline sea breeze, inviting the perfect summertime weather. Nearby attractions like beachfront horseback riding and the art galleries of downtown Cannon Beach also contribute to the campground’s charm. 

Thousand Trails Seaside

One of the most complete campgrounds on the coast, imploding with every offered amenity imaginable.

An RV at the Thousand Trails Seaside in Oregon
Oregon’s lush green coast

🗺️ Distance from Cannon Beach: 20 minutes | Google Maps | Thousand Trails Seaside Website | Reservations: online reservations | Amenities: clubhouse, pool & spa, WIFI, laundry, volleyball, pets allowed, hot showers

Seaside is one of my favorite places to spend the Fourth of July along the Pacific Coast Highway. I usually drive my motorhome from my home base in California to Thousand Trails Seaside to participate in the beach fireworks spectacular.

Thousand Trails Seaside is one of the best RV chains to stay for families with children. The number of entertaining activities at Thousand Trails will keep your little ones occupied all day. From volleyball to horseshoes, a swimming pool, pickleball, basketball, and tennis courts, this campground has it all.

Salmon River Old Trail

Primitive backcountry spots right along a river rich with salmon.

View of the rocky  Old Salmon River in Oregon
Oregon’s Old Salmon River

🗺️ Distance from Mount Hood: 40 minutes | Google Maps | Salmon River Old Trail Website | Reservations: first-come, first-serve | Amenities: none

The Salmon River Old Trail campground is one of my favorite backcountry sites in Oregon. Hikers can choose from more than 15 backcountry campsites along the river for a quieter Oregon camping experience.

Campers who prefer to stay at an established campground near both Mount Hood and the Salmon River can opt to stay at the Green Canyon Campground. Although this site has a $25 nightly camping fee, it’s situated right on the river and provides perfect access to salmon fishing.

👉 Pro Tip: The Green Canyon Campground offers a 50% discount to Interagency Senior, Interagency Access, Golden Age, or Golden Access pass holders.

Hoodview Campground, Timothy Lake

A lakeside campground with background views of Oregon’s highest mountain.

View of boats on the Timothy Lake
Timothy Lake on an overcast day

🗺️ Distance from Mount Hood: 50 minutes | Google Maps | Hoodview Campground Website | Reservations: online reservations | Amenities: fire rings, vault toilets, water, boat ramp, camp host, pets allowed

Camp on the shores of Timothy Lake with the glaciated prism of Mount Hood looming in the distance at Hoodview Campground. Abundant fishing and hiking trails dot the surrounding area of the campground as well as an on-site boat launch.

The Hoodview Campground is one of my favorite places to stay near Mount Hood without the tourist crowds. Plenty of tent camping and primitive RV sites are available for reservation online, many of which sit right on the scenic lake.

Silver Falls State Park Campground

A campground amid tens of crashing cascades.

An RV parked at the Silver Falls State Park Campground
A primitive back-in RV site

🗺️ Distance from Salem: 35 minutes | Google Maps | Silver Falls State Park Campground Website | Reservations: online reservations | Amenities: flush toilets, showers, pet-friendly, electrical sites, tent sites, cabins

The waterfall-intensive Silver Falls State Park Campground is the ideal spot to camp in the summer. Plenty of waterfalls are dispersed throughout the state park including the 177-foot South Falls and the Trail of Ten Falls, one of the top hikes near Portland.

Escape the heat of the summer with a hike behind one of four waterfalls in the state park, a major highlight of camping in the area. The Silver Falls State Park Campground has tent sites, RV spots, cabins, and even a designated horse camp. 

👉 Pro Tip: Firewood bundles are for sale at the campground for $5. I recommend bringing your own firestarter to get things blazing even quicker. I never camp anywhere without these trustee firestarters.

Beacon Rock State Park Campground

A campsite right across the OR/WA border with sweeping views of the Columbia River.

Overlooking view of the Columbia River from the Beacon Rock State Park Campground
A view of the Columbia River from a state park viewpoint

🗺️ Distance from Portland: 1 hour | Google Maps | Beacon Rock State Park Campground Website | Reservations: online reservations | Amenities: mountain biking trails, hiking trails, full hookups, equestrian campsites, vault toilet, showers

One of the best places to stay near Portland, Beacon Rock State Park Campground is an outdoor playground for the whole family right on the Columbia River Gorge. The 28 campsites at the main campground are more suited for tents and smaller campers.

The Woodard Creek Campground in the state park has five sites that can accommodate rigs up to 40 feet as well as equestrian sites and a group camp suited for up to 200 guests. With a boat dock, 8 miles of hiking trails, and 13 miles of biking trails, Beacon Rock State Park is one of Oregon’s top summer camp spots.

Umpqua Lighthouse State Park

A campground situated on the best waters for crabbing and fishing in Oregon.

Relaxing view at Lake Marie in Umpqua Lighthouse State Park
Lake Marie in Umpqua Lighthouse State Park

🗺️ Distance from Eugene: 1 hour, 40 minutes | Google Maps | Umpqua Lighthouse State Park Website | Reservations: online reservations | Amenities: shower, flush toilets, cabins, yurts, full hookups, bike sites, RV sites, tent sites

The Umpqua Lighthouse State Park Campground is one of the best places to camp in Oregon for crabbing and fishing. Relax in the shade on the sandy lakeside beach with a good book or go for a short hike to the lighthouse.

The quiet campground offers both RV and tent sites as well as cabin and yurt options for campers who prefer glamping to a more primitive experience. The beach is only a short 5-minute drive from the campground, so don’t forget to bring your bathing suit!

Cold Water Cove Campground

A Willamette Valley campground scant on crowds and abundant with alpine views.

The Three Sisters Mountains from afar from Cold Water Cove Campground
A distant view of the Three Sisters Mountains

🗺️ Distance from Sisters: 40 minutes | Google Maps | Cold Water Cove Campground Website | Reservations: online reservations | Amenities: picnic table, fire rings, vault toilets, drinking water

Camp in Oregon’s famous Willamette Valley at Cold Water Cove Campground. Most of the 34 campsites are nestled between the trees with coveted views of the turquoise Clear Lake. As a result, wildlife and nature photography is ideal at the scenic Cold Water Cove Campground.

What this campground lacks in RV hookups, it makes up for with views of the Three Sisters Mountains and Mt. Washington on a clear day. Attend an evening nature talk at the Clear Lake Amphitheater or splurge on leisurely lake activities at Cold Water Cove Campground for a trip to remember.

Prineville Reservoir State Park

A southern Oregon campground with the darkest views for night sky photography.

View at the Prineville Reservoir State Park in Oregon
The Prineville Reservoir

🗺️ Distance from Bend: 1 hour | Google Maps | Prineville Reservoir State Park Website | Reservations: online reservations | Amenities: pet-friendly, boat ramp, showers, picnic tables, hiking trails, flush restrooms

The Prineville Reservoir State Park is one of the best campgrounds near Bend, Oregon. The scenic Ochoa Mountain Range sets the backdrop at this campground right along the Crooked River. 

Stargazing is one of the top activities at this campground, given it’s a designated international dark sky park. My favorite place to relax at the state park and work remotely is at the picnic tables right on the lake. 

Tips About Camping in Oregon

Pack It Out

Keep wild spaces wild by packing out everything you brought into your Oregon campground. This includes food, trash, clothing items, broken chairs, and all other material items. 

Not only is trash harmful to wildlife populations, but it also disrupts the natural flow of camping in nature for other campers. Leave your Oregon campsite in a better state than you found it.

Check Fire Regulations Beforehand

A fire ring at night in Timothy Lake
The provided fire ring at Timothy Lake

Camping and campfires go hand-in-hand, but only if they’re allowed at your Oregon campground. Check campground fire regulations before you purchase firewood to stay in accordance with the rules.

Most campgrounds located in Oregon’s Willamette and Deschutes National Forests are banned due to recent wildfire activity.

Store Food in a Bear Box

Avoid an encounter with an Oregonian black bear by storing all camp food in a bear box. Most Oregon campsites have bear boxes on-site, especially in national forest areas or bear-intensive woods.

In case your campsite doesn’t provide a bear box, it’s always a good rule of thumb to carry your own bear canister with you just in case. I bring the BearVault canister with me whenever I hike or camp in bear areas.

👉 Read Next: Best Hiking Trails in Oregon

Consider Boondocking

The author, McKenna Mobley boondocking in a camping site in Oregon at night
Boondocking under a dark sky

Staying in established campgrounds is needed to utilize shower or picnic facilities but campers can save big time when staying at boondock sites. Boondocking, or staying on free public land, is popular among van lifers and other “rubber trampers.”

Download the app iOverlander for the most up-to-date information on Oregon boondocking sites. This app is a true campervan lifesaver. 

Don’t Forget the Essentials

Be sure to bring the top travel essentials with you on your next adventure in Oregon. Some items you don’t want to forget next time you go camping are a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, water, camp food, stove, and a headlamp.

🌲 Read Next: Best Oregon National Parks

FAQs About Oregon Camping

Is it legal to camp anywhere in Oregon?

It is not legal to camp anywhere in Oregon. Camping is limited to designated campgrounds and BLM public land in Oregon. Camping is also allowed in state parks, national forests, and some private properties.

Is Oregon good for camping?

There is such a diverse array of camping in Oregon. From Oregon Coast camping to camping among dense forest pines, Oregon camping is one of the best things to do in the state.

How much does it cost to camp in Oregon?

Oregon campgrounds vary in price. Some backcountry campsites like the Salmon River primitive sites are free whereas state park campgrounds like Silver Falls State Park cost anywhere from $15-$40. Private campgrounds like Thousand Trails Seaside tend to be the most expensive and often exceed $100 per night.

What are the best campsites in Oregon?

Mazama Campground in Crater Lake National Park, Silver Falls State Park Campground, Cannon Beach RV Resort, and Fort Stevens State Park Campground are some of the best campsites in Oregon. 


Thanks for reading my complete guide on Oregon camping! Drop a comment below on which Oregon campsite is your favorite and don’t forget to check out our Oregon packing list guide in the meantime.

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  1. Mazama is overrated. Broken Arrow or Diamond Lake State Park just outside the north entrance are better values.

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