A mere 29 miles from I-205, Beacon Rock State park offers the best close to Portland camping available. In spite of its proximity to a major metropolitan area, beacon Rock has the feel and flavor of a remote mountain campground.
The landmark beacon Rock is on the south side of Highway 14, rising 848 feet above the Columbia River. A engineered trail leads to the summit, utilizing stairs, bridges and ramps in a zig-zagging route up the near vertical rock face. Not for the acrophobic, unleashed children or dogs. The campground is on the north side of Highway 14, through a forest and in a quiet grove.
There are 26 campsites. Half are very private and half open. All have tables, fire pits, and level tent sites. Large motor homes can be accommodated. There is a central bathroom/shower facility, which is well lit and has hot water. Coin-op shower.
Little traffic noise filters through the woods, but trains on the Oregon side can be heard at night.
Bonus features include the trail head for the Hamilton Mountain and Roddy Falls / Hardy Falls trails. In season, Beacon Rock offers a bountiful blackberry crop. Perfect for morning pancakes.
Camping fees $22 per night.
Tip: Arrive Thursday night, set up your tent, pay for three nights, and go back home to work your normal Friday. Arrive after work without rushing and know you have a prime campsite. Worth $22 to not worry if the campground will be full.
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