The landscape in Oregon features mountains, forests, coastal beaches and more, it’s one of the most varied and beautiful landscapes in the Pacific Northwest. Home to the deepest lake in the United States, and the biggest living organism in the world, Oregon has so many points of interest for outdoor enthusiasts.
If you choose Oregon for your next camping trip destination, then you’ve made a good decision. With so many natural wonders to see, it can be hard to pick a spot for your excursion. The Oregon State Park system is one of the most popular in the United States, each year an estimated 2.5 million campers pay a visit.
With more than 250 state parks to choose from, we’ve narrowed it down to these few sites. There are options for all types of campers, from primitive to equestrian camping. No matter what, if you’re looking for the best camping in Oregon, look no further than this article. Peruse these specially selected parks and campgrounds, and find the perfect Oregon camping destination for you.
Crater Lake National Park is home to, you guessed it, Crater Lake, which is the deepest lake in the US. Close to 2000 feet deep, it was formed by the collapse of a volcano more than 7000 years ago. The lake and surrounding National Park spans over 180,000 acres of breathtaking landscapes.
While there, you can pay a visit to Wizard Island, a volcanic island with seasonal hiking trails. One such trail is the Garfield Peak Trail, which offers stunning panoramic views of the entire lake, as well as offering beautiful scenes of the rest of the National Park the whole way.
There are two campgrounds in this beautiful national park, both located in the forest near Crater Lake and unfortunately are only open in the summer. Mazama Campground accommodates RVs as well as tent campers and takes reservations for most of the season. Lost Creek Campground operates on a purely first-come-first-served basis, and is for tent campers only. We prefer Lost Creek, as it’s quieter and offers a more back-to-nature feel, and as a bonus, each campsite has a picnic table and bear-resistant food locker.
2. Sparks Lake
Located in the heart of Deschutes National Forest, Sparks Lake offers a scenic place to hike, canoe and kayak. The main attraction of this area comes in the nighttime however, as here the famous Aurora Borealis has been known to make an appearance.
Around the shore of Sparks Lake, there are 22 backcountry campsites, almost all are only accessible from the water. If you want to do a spot of primitive camping on Oregon, Sparks Lake offers beautiful, secluded and natural spots, while still being relatively easy to access.
Nearby, the Deschutes National Forest also holds Tumalo Mountain, where a moderate 4-mile trail will carry you to the summit to enjoy a scenic view of the other surrounding mountains. This trail is also famous for its gorgeous fields of wildflowers and red lava rocks.
3. Lost Lake
Lost Lake Campground is a very popular destination for Oregon camping. Situated in the Mount Hood National Forest, it combines phenomenal views with plenty of activities, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy in central Oregon. Lost Lake and the glacial Mt. Hood are on either side of this campground, so you can choose between mountain hiking or lake boating activities.
In the surrounding area, there are plenty of hiking and mountain biking trails to choose from, as well as canoes and kayaks available to rent. Lost Lake Campground is adjacent to a resort of the same name, where as well as tent campsites you can find cabins, yurts, and lodge rooms to rent. Fishing and birdwatching are popular in the area, and there are several nearby waterfalls to visit.
Eastern Oregon’s Blue Mountains are home to the world’s largest living organism, a mushroom which spans approximately 2.4 miles. If that isn’t enough to attract you to the area, Umatilla National Forest covers a massive 1.4 million acres of diverse landscapes and beautiful scenery. There’s so much to explore in this area of northeast Oregon, and Olive Lake Campground is an excellent base camp to begin from.
On Olive Lake, hikers can enjoy a 2-mile trail going all the way around, and there are fishing and boating too. Other attractions nearby include Lake Creek and the North Fork of Desolation Creek. Olive Lake Campground offers 28 campsites with accessible toilet facilities, with RV sites and tent cabins also available.
With 35-miles of trails for mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding, this state park spans more than 9,000 acres. Silver Falls State Park is home to the famous Trail of Ten Falls, a stunning 7.6-mile path that passes multiple waterfalls and descends through the forest to a creek. This hike through the beautiful canyon in Oregon’s largest state park is not to be missed.
The campground at Silver Falls has tent sites, RV spots, and cabins, as well as an equestrian campground. With regards to amenities, there are restrooms and hot showers available for use, but please note there is no full hookup for RVers. This is an excellent family camping destination, as the famous waterfalls can be accessed without much strenuous hiking, so everyone can see this stunning area of Oregon.
For some of the best camping on the Oregon Coast, check out Harris Beach State Park. Gorgeous ocean views are visible right from the campground, and in winter and spring, grey whales can be spotted in the area. Nearby, a National Wildlife Sanctuary called Bird Island is a great day trip destination. Here you can see rare birds such as the tufted puffin, making this attraction a must-see for birdwatchers and nature lovers of all kinds.
The gorgeous sandy beaches of coastal Oregon are easily accessible from the Harris Beach State Park Campground, where there are plenty of tent sites for reservation, as well as yurts and full-hookup RV sites. If you’re looking to combine wildlife sightings with oceanside camping, this is the perfect destination for your next trip.
On the northern Oregon coast, Cape Lookout State Park offers a beautiful forest to pitch your tent and days of hiking opportunities. More than 8 miles of hiking trails wind through the lush old-growth forest, and the sandy coves and ocean views make this state park an attractive location.
The campground is well equipped, with 38 hull-hookup sites and 170 tent campsites. There are also yurts and deluxe cabins to rent, and hot showers and restrooms on-site. This beautiful coastal forest is the perfect destination for hikers and campers who want to appreciate the natural scenery without leaving modern amenities too far behind.
Perfectly located in the center of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, you’ll find Eagle Creek Campground. It’s located in a Douglas fir and maple forest, where there’s excellent birdwatching due to osprey nesting overhead. It’s also a great area for fishing, as Oregon’s state fish the chinook salmon can be caught in the nearby Columbia River, as well as the Multnomah Falls and the Bonneville dam and fish hatchery.
Campsites at Eagle Creek are well spaced, good for those wanting a more private and serene getaway, with 16 spaces for tent campers only. There are no RV hookups, but drinking water faucets are scattered throughout the area. Day hike opportunities here are numerous, with easy access to the Mt. Hood National Forest.
For a change of scenery, Cottonwood Canyon State Park is a non-forested area. Instead, 8000 acres of cliffs, rivers, grasslands, and canyons offer a different landscape to other parts of Oregon. Adventurers can explore the backcountry ranching roads, or alternatively a range of established hiking trails wind through the area. The Hard Stone Trail is an easy 5-mile hike that passes by the river and through the canyons, offering an easy pathway from with to see this area.
Lone Tree Campground offers 21 primitive camping spots, available on a first-come-first-served basis. There are no hookups in the campground, but RV’s are allowed so long as they are self-contained. There are two vault toilets and water spigots throughout. This is an ideal site for some slightly different Oregon camping, on a grassy plain instead of the forests, so check this one out for an alternative experience.
10. Toketee Lake
Toketee Lake is an excellent destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. The variety here includes eagles, beavers, kingfishers, and other exciting-to-spot animals. The campground is conveniently situated by the Toketee Falls and North Umpqua Trail, which features fantastic hot springs. This short walk makes a great stop for hikers and mountain bikers looking to enjoy the scenery, and weather permitting, a quick dip in the geothermal pools.
Toketee Lake Campground has camping areas for tents and RVs and is equipped with vault toilets. There are 32 picturesque sites, lined with willow, maple and alder trees. This Oregon campground is also an ideal destination for anglers, as Toketee Lake is said to have some of Oregon’s best German brown trout fishing. The beautiful falls in this area are popular with all types of campers, including horseback riders who enjoy the North Umpqua Trail.
There are plenty of places to camp for free in Oregon, and Crane Prairie Campground is one of the best. Located in the Deschutes National Forest on the eastern shore of the Crane Prairie Reservoir, it’s the perfect destination for a spot of lakeside camping. Unzip your tent to views of Mt. Bachelor and the South Sister Mountain, and enjoy pure tranquility in this lush green camping area.
Another campground that is popular with anglers, Crane Prairie offers access to boating on the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. If you decide to pay this area a visit, you can’t miss out on the Cascade Lakes. The byway passes through multiple lakes and offers excellent views of nearby mountains. With plenty of hikes in the surrounding area and opportunities for swimming and boating, this is one of our top picks for the best camping in Oregon.
For a true mountain camping experience, consider Mt. Ashland Campground. Here, abundant wildflowers and butterflies create a dreamy and peaceful landscape. The campsite has easy access to the Pacific Crest Trail, so while you visit, why not hike a portion of the second-longest trail in America. This is essentially a primitive camping site, as visitors need to bring their own water and pack out all garbage themselves. However, it’s worth it for the secluded natural setting and stunning views from the mountain.
This campground is for tents only, there are no spaces or hookups for RVs. Some campsites have fire rings, and pit toilets are available. If you don’t need too many modern amenities, Mt. Ashland campground will allow you to enjoy a gorgeous sunset surrounded by wildflowers, from your own little slice of paradise.
Cape Arago is a beautifully rugged area, jutting right out into the Pacific Ocean. There’s easy access to the beach, great fishing, and to top it all off, this area is free for campers. You can explore the area from two hiking trails, the south and north cove trails. Down towards the south, a sandy beach offers tide pools and even a chance of whale sightings. Alternatively, the north cove trail leads to off-shore colonies of seals and sea lions, as well as fishing access.
There are picnic tables and restrooms are available for daytime use, but essentially this is a primitive camping site. On the horizon, migrating whales and other marine animals can be spotted, this cape is one of the best spots on Oregon for offshore wildlife sightings.
Oregon’s High Desert offers scenic beauty and abundant water activities to visiting campers. Mountain waters flow down into the 15-mile long reservoir, where there are numerous options for campers available. Two formal campgrounds, as well as plenty of primitive campsites, can be found along its 43-mile shoreline, so there are loads of perfect spots for some lakeside camping just waiting to be found.
Recreational activities available on the water include waterskiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, kayaking and more. If watersports aren’t your thing, there’s excellent wildlife viewing along with numerous hikes around this state park. With regards to accommodation options, you can choose from deluxe cabins with full amenities, full hookup RV sites and plenty of tent campsites. For the more adventurous, there are some beautiful secluded primitive sites accessible only by boat, so pack up your kayak and explore!
There’s so much to see in the glorious state of Oregon, an area of the United States so rich with history and natural marvels that no one could deny that it’s worth a visit. Camp lakeside in Crater Lake National Park and check out some spectacular volcanic islands, or hike the Trail of Ten Falls in Silver Falls State Park, which is Oregon’s largest state park. If you’re looking for the best camping in Oregon, one of the parks and campgrounds on this list should have you covered.
For campers looking for a sporty adventure holiday, the numerous lakes in the region have a lot to offer. Visit Prineville Reservoir State Park, where you can try out windsurfing or waterskiing. We recommend primitive camping at this location, with so many secluded spots offering fantastic views, don’t miss out on having your own little natural haven.
For those looking to do a spot of fishing, Oregon has some excellent options. Eagle Creek Campground is located right by the Columbia River, a popular place to catch salmon. While you’re there you can even check out the Bonneville dam and fish hatchery. If you prefer birdwatching to angling, Eagle Creek is also famous for the ospreys that nest in the trees above. The National Wildlife Sanctuary Bird Island is located right by Harris Beach State Park, which is also an excellent choice for beach camping.
Camping in coastal Oregan is another attractive option, there’s nothing quite like waking up to the sounds of crashing waves. If camping in a lush green forest, surrounded by the sea appeals to you, then Cape Lookout State Park is your next destination. Hiking trails throughout this area take you through sandy coves and offer stunning ocean views, and if you don’t feel like tent camping then yurts are available to rent as well.
The best camping in Oregon is hard to find, only because there are so many beautiful destinations in the state that it’s almost impossible to narrow it down. However, our list holds some of the very best options, whether you prefer hiking, fishing, or boating. Some of the best hikes in America can be found in Oregon, such as the Pacific Crest Trail, which passes right through Mt. Ashland Campground.
The Pacific Northwest has some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the United States, and Oregon is no exception. Armed with this knowledge, you are now ready to set off and see some of it for yourself.
Bonus tip: Check out this video about the Trail of Ten Falls in Silver Falls State Park, then you’ll have to see it in person!