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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are probably late in the game, but we want to reserve several weekends of camping this summer. We would like to go to the coast at least one weekend, maybe up to Mt.Saint Helens, and toward Easstern Oregon.

What are your favorite places to camp? We live in Wilsonville, and would drive a few hours to get there. We've been to Eco Park Resort in Mt.Saint Helens (loved the yurt) and Jones Creek (loved it, too- great for kids).
 

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Our favorite place to go camping is along the Clackamas River past Estacada. It's just a really nice place along the rolling river between the giant green mountains. And often we take the hike up to Bagby hot springs.
 

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The only place we've camped so far is by Detroit, Oregon at Shady Cove Campground. It's a little hard to find and out of the way, but some people prefer that.


Here's a link to a forum thread that talks about it.

Here's a link to my blog post about it.

Here's a link to my photoset about it.

There are several waterfalls close by. When the weather warms in the spring, the waterfalls are amazing.

ETA: Here's a couple of links to hiking and camping websites that might be of interest to you:

NWHikers.net (hiking forums)

portlandhikers.org
 

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In regards to camping near Estacada on the Clackamas River, there are plenty of campgrounds down there, maybe 20. Our personal favorite is Lazy Bend but that's probably just because we know it best. In the summer you can watch the kayakers and rafters go by your site. We've always been able to find a site without reservations there; not so with the Coast. There is actually free camping on the side of the road if you go far enough towards Detroit Lake.. and there is camping right at Bagby Hot Springs too.
 

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I *really really really* want to camp at Champoeg this summer (great biking and wildflowers and more).
But thus far my favorite place doesn't take reservations. Which is great if you can get there between 11 and 12 on a Friday, but not so good if not.
Short Sands Beach at Oswald West State Park. On the coast between Cannon Beach and Nehalem Bay. I'm telling you I bet fairies live there
Magical! Now, they are walk in campsites. Big wheelbarrows available to trek your stuff in.
Have fun wherever you go!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ooh, thanks, mamas! We're heading up to Oxbow on Sandy Gorge tomorrow for the first camping trip of the season. I can't wait! I've never been there before, but it's close and seems nice.

I'm so scared of first come first serve! It just seems like I put so much effort into preparing to camp it would totally suck to get there and have it be full. I am lucky, though, my dad loves to go for drives and he'll take max and I (and all our gear) basically anywhere and help us get set up on a Friday morning and then Ron can meet us after work.

We have been hiking in Charbonneau several times and it's nice... but I don't LOVE it. It's really close to us, though, so we might have to try a last minute first come first serve weekend there!

We should plan an MDC camping trip this summer!
 

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we love camping too but tend to go to different places all the time. we haven't become overly attached to any one spot in oregon. the one area we've revisted the most is indian heaven in skamania county.

i think they closed the walk in camp spots at oswald west last summer because a tree fell on a campsite. i'd check before going!

we're going to the group campsite at detroit lake in june. fingers crossed it doesn't rain


we haven't camped on the coast that much here because of the need to reserve spots so far ahead and then they seem so tiny and close together! we used to be much more into remote spots where you just pick a dirt road and find a fire pit, but we've actually done some campground camping since having kids.
 

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I love Champoeg the best. There are some great spots that I have camped in there, you just have to get on the right loop!

As for the coast, I have ever only camped South Beach in Newport, but it seemed okay to me
Nice little trail to the beach, it was beautiful, even in October.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We had a great time at Oxbow. It was beautiful, great trails, and fun to play down at the river. The sites in general looked a little small (for our huge tent) but we got a good one that was deep and had some cool logs to play on.

But MAN was it cold at night! The first night we pretty much got no sleep and froze all night, the second night we brought max in with us and put his blankets and sleeping bag over us all. Nice and cozy.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ell-Bell View Post
We had a great time at Oxbow. It was beautiful, great trails, and fun to play down at the river. The sites in general looked a little small (for our huge tent) but we got a good one that was deep and had some cool logs to play on.

But MAN was it cold at night! The first night we pretty much got no sleep and froze all night, the second night we brought max in with us and put his blankets and sleeping bag over us all. Nice and cozy.

I'm glad you had fun. You definitely got a great weekend in April for camping. We've wanted to go camping there too. McIver State Park is another good one, even for a day trip. There is camping and frisbee golf and a fish hatchery to check out and it is not far away: http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_142.php.
 

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I may be too late to give some advice but I love camping at both the Smith river and Squaw lake, both way south in OR- Though. We love swimming in our family, so both site have gorgeous clear water and amazing swimming.
hmmm... I'm dreaming of camping now! Don't know how that would go with and infant though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So what do you guys like about Champoeg? We live nearby and have been hiking there, but the campsite always looks so crowded and the hiking dry and flat. But it seems like people love it, so... why?
 

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Have lost track...has LL Stub Stewart been mentioned? We have been there for the day and love it! Would definitely be cold at night right now though...but is off the beaten path and has breathtaking views =)
http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_255.php
Champoeg, I haven't camped there but have done many day trips. We will camp and yurt there in July =)
 

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We like Fort Stevens on the Coast but we like even better is Cape Disappointment on the Washington side.

We went camping a few years ago at Mt. St. Helens I think it was called Silver Lake. It was the most miserable miserable time was have every had camping. I grew up camping. We are a camping family. We know how to camp. So to say it was miserable we mean it was miserable. The mosquitoes were so bad I mean horrendous. I have never seen mosquitoes so bad. It put the ones I seen in Alaska to shame. If you cooked they would attack you. If you sat they would swarm your head not one or two but dozens upon dozens. They were mean mean mean. I am not sure if it was a bad season or what. We have camped before by Ape Caves and had no problem. Anyway it was so bad I do not want to give it a second chance. We even left early.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Bumping this with updates! We just got back from Green Canyon, in ZigZag next to Mt. Hood. It was beautiful. The river was too rough for much playing in it, but the sound at night was sleep inducing and the sites were nice and private.

I think we're looking at a first come first serve campsite for mid week in a couple weeks, I might have to try the one in Oswald!
 
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