The question of where to camp near the Sandy Ridge Trailhead has come up a few times and we wanted to provide a list of appropriate areas to spend the night on the cheap near the popular biking trail system. If you are a mountain biking enthusiast you have likely heard of Sandy Ridge Trailhead. It is a network of trails with varying terrian that spans roughly 17 miles and offers riding options for all levels of experience. Sandy Ridge Trailhead is usually open 10 months of the year depending on snow levels and is located about an hour outside of Portland.
Sandy Ridge Weather
Current Webcam at Sandy Ridge
Below is a webcam feed from Tripcheck.com for the webcam in Brightwood which is next to the Sandy Ridge Trailhead. This should help give you an idea of current conditions at Sandy Ridge.
Campgrounds Near Sandy Ridge
Tollgate Campground is located just outside the small town of Rhododendron a short 13 minutes from the Sandy Ridge trailhead. The campground is usually open from May through September but its higher elevation makes it subject to late season snowfall. Tollgate is a great spot to camp when visiting Sandy Ridge and is also the endpoint for an epic 15 mile downhill ride from Timberline Lodge (shuttle car recommended). The campground is near highway 26 so road noise is an issue but if you can snag a site near the river it helps drown it out.
Camp Creek Campground
Camp Creek Campground is located about 4 minutes past Tollgate Campground as you head up the hill towards Government Camp and Mt. Hood. It is set back a bit off of Highway 26 which helps reduce the road noise and as its namesake states it is nestled along a nice creek. This campground is subject to snow during the winter months and is usually closed from October through mid May so be sure to check with the Forest service before camping here.
Trillium Lake Campground
Riding Sandy Ridge during the summer and want that quintessential Oregon experience? Look no further than Trillium Lake. This campground is nestled at the foot of Mt. Hood and offers stunning views of the mountain during sunrise and sunset. Sure, it is about 30 minutes from Sandy Ridge and fairly popular but if you are lucky enough to grab a site here you won’t regret it. If you are staying at Trillium Lake you could even strap on a board or skis and go ride the glacier at Timberline in the morning and Sandy Ridge in the afternoon. Totally epic.
McNeil Campground is another nearby campground that could do the trick when riding at Sandy Ridge. It is located about 20 minutes from the trailhead off of Easy Lolo Pass and is a bit more remote than the other options. Like other campgrounds in the area expect the area to be closed and snow-bound during the winter months and early spring. Bonus points for McNeil: if you are into hiking you should check out Ramona Falls as the trailhead is just a short drive past this campground.
Other Camping Options Near Sandy Ridge
If any of the above options don’t work for you or you find yourself in the area during the closed season you could consider staying at the nearby Mt. Hood Village RV Park. They have RV spots, tent camping, small cabins and even yurts available.
If you are into roughing it then you came to the right place. Mt. Hood National Forest is a great place for boondock camping and you can essentially stay the night anywhere you like. Our suggestion: head out Easy Lolo Pass toward McNeil Campground and you will find plenty of spots where you can spend the night. But PLEASE, PLEASE pack out what you pack in. We love our forests but we love them even more when they are clean.
Did we miss a spot?
If you have a spot you like to camp while riding Sandy Ridge let us know in the comments below and we can add it to the list!