In a summer (or year) turned upside down by a novel bug for which there's currently no reprieve, the notion of traveling to some faraway paradise is more akin to a pipe dream than a plan of action. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for camping near Portland that provide you an opportunity to get away from it all without leaving the Pacific Northwest.
From state parks near the ocean to campsites nestled in the mountains, these are five of the best places near Portland to go camping — and social distance like a boss.
Sitting atop more than 9,000 square miles of pristine, water-splashed greenery, Silver Falls State Park has long been one of Portlanders' ideal weekend destinations. Complete with 25 miles of hiking trails and 10 waterfalls — nearly half of which allow you to walk behind the spray and catch a dose of cool, refreshing mist — this park is a personal favorite of yours truly. Family-friendly and just 53 miles south of Portland, this is one of Oregon's most unforgettable state parks.
Whether you're looking for a simple day-long excursion or a weekend getaway, L.L. Stub Stewart State Park has plenty of escapism on tap for you and yours. Boasting nearly 2,000 square miles of billowing hills, bike trails and rippling streams, L.L. Stub is one of our favorite spots to pitch a tent. The best part: It's a mere 34 miles west of downtown Portland.
Though the popular trail of the same name is currently closed as a result of the pandemic, that doesn't mean you can't spend a night or two in Beacon Rock State Park, a sterling, year-round campsite on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge.
A favorite among hikers, mountain bikers and intrepid families of all stripes, Beacon Rock is unique in that it offers campers more than 9,000 feet of freshwater shoreline. Need one more reason to visit? Less than an hour from downtown Portland, this veritable utopia is one of the most accessible parks in the region.
Perhaps the most intimate option on this list, Beaver Campground offers an undeniably peaceful experience for those looking to escape the bustle of the Portland Metro Area. Just 63 miles northeast of the Rose City, and offering two dozen campsites, toilets, picnic tables and RV hookups, Beaver Campground is an ideal spot to visit this summer, particularly if you're interested in exploring additional areas within Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
Just a quick jaunt from Mt. Hood, perhaps the most iconic geographical landmark in all of Oregon, Trillium Lake Campground is an extremely popular destination for folks throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Located 40 miles southeast of downtown Portland, Trillium Lake Campground offers boating, swimming and fishing options for those looking to cool off during the (increasingly) warm summer months. It's also situated within Mt. Hood National Forest, which spans more than a million miles (!) of green-dappled mountains, streams and hiking trails.
In the midst of so much uncertainty, it's essential to remember that the Pacific Northwest remains one of the most beautiful places on the planet, rich with exotic wildlife, natural resources and campgrounds galore. We're truly fortunate to live among such a plentiful bounty, and since none of us will be fleeing to Hawaii anytime soon, we may as well grab our tents and make plans for camping near Portland.