Nestled between Oregon and Washington are some of the best Columbia River Gorge campgrounds for those looking for an adventurous vacation. Within the Gorge are hundreds of activities and hours of fun, from rafting down the White Salmon River, to mountain biking, to windsurfing, the Columbia River Gorge has all the outdoor action, and most activities have beautiful campgrounds close by. Columbia River Gorge campgrounds are a great option for anyone looking to add a little extra adventure to their vacation while saving on the cost of hotels or AirBnBs. These are our picks for the best Columbia River Gorge campgrounds!
Top 6 Columbia River Gorge Campgrounds
- Tucker Park Camprgound
- Ainsworth State Park Campground
- Trillium Lake Campground
- Elk Meadows Campground
- Viento State Park
- Lost Lake Resort
From alpine lakes to riverside campgrounds, here’s the inside scoop the best Columbia River Gorge campgrounds.
Tucker Park Campground
Best Riverside Columbia River Gorge campground
Tucker Park Campground is located on the outskirts of Hood River, OR, along the banks of the Hood River. Fall asleep to the river sounds as it flows right next to camp. On the border of Hood River and Mount Hood National Forest, it’s easy to access the town of Hood River for shopping and dining, or to escape into Mount Hood National Forest for a hike. In the spring, you can even raft the Hood River!
Ainsworth State Park Campground
Closest Columbia River Gorge Campground to Portland
Right off of I-84, this Columbia River Gorge campground is located in the National Scenic Area, Ainsworth State Park has easy access to Portland and is minutes away from the many hiking trails located on Historic Highway 30. The campground is only a short hike away from a stunning overlook of the Columbia River Gorge and the infamous Multnomah Falls.
Trillium Lake Campground
Best Columbia River Gorge Campground for Families
Trillium Lake Campground is a quiet campsite near Government Camp on the south side of Mount Hood. The lake is perfect for swimming, paddling or fishing and has a 1.9 mile hiking loop surrounding it. Nearby is Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Skibowl. The winter ski resort transforms into a wild summer adventure with alpine slides, disc golf, and bike parks that will entertain your kids for hours!
Elk Meadows Campground
Best Columbia River Gorge Campground for RV’s
Located in the quiet town of Trout Lake, Washington, Elk Meadows is a fantastic campsite for RV’s. Trout Lake is often missed by visitors looking Columbia River Gorge campgrounds, but it has easy access to the amazing natural features on the Washington side of the Columbia River. From Elk Meadows you’ll have a short drive to natural wonders such as the Cheese Caves, Mount Adams, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and the White Salmon River.
Viento State Park
Best Columbia River Gorge Campground for Hiking
Located five miles outside of Hood River, OR, Viento State Park has easy access to some of the best hikes in the area. Within a five-mile radius there are four waterfalls and three different trail systems, making this the best Columbia River Gorge campground for hiking. These trails are fantastic for day hikes or backpacking. There is electricity, hot showers, and flush toilets accessible at the campground.
Lost Lake Resort
Best Columbia River Gorge Campground for a Mountain Retreat
Lost Lake Resort is the best Columbia River Gorge campground for stunning views of Mt. Hood. We won’t spoil these views with a photo, you have to see for yourself! Located right on an alpine lake, the resort rents out kayaks and canoes; try to spot the fish from a glass-bottom boat, or paddle out for uninterrupted mountain views! Take a stroll on the family-friendly hiking trail that wraps around the lake.
With proximity to all the outdoor activities that this area is known for, Columbia River Gorge campgrounds are a great option for adventurers looking to save money and beat the crowds. These top picks will make it easy to get out and explore!
Author Sharon is a kayak instructor and Reservations Manager at Wet Planet. She is always stoked to share her love of whitewater and to be a part of the incredible team at Wet Planet! Read more by Sharon here.