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

  1. Tucker Park Camprgound
  2. Ainsworth State Park Campground
  3. Trillium Lake Campground
  4. Elk Meadows Campground
  5. Viento State Park
  6. 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!

Hood River

The Hood River flows right by Tucker Park. In the spring, you can 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.

Ainsworth State Park Columbia River Gorge Campground

Ainsworth State Park. Photo by brx0 via Flickr.

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!

Trillium Lake Campground Columbia River Gorge

Photo by Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife via Flickr

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.

White Salmon River near Elk Meadows Columbia River Gorge Campground

Elk Meadows is close to all the beautiful Washington adventures, like rafting on 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.

Starvation Creek near Viento State Park, a Columbia River Gorge Campgound

Starvation Creek is just a one-mile walk from Viento State Park along the Historic Columbia River Highway. Photo by Rachel Sandwick via Flickr.

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.

Boat Rentals at Lost Lake, a Columbia River Gorge Campground

Rent a boat and paddle around the bend for stunning views of Mt. Hood! Photo by Bonnie Morland via Flickr

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!