Camping Spots That Book Up Fast

summer campers around a campfire Bobby Burch via Unsplash
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Camping season is almost here, and you don’t want to wait to reserve your favorite (or new) spots for the warm-weather season. If your family loves to spend late spring, summer and early fall in the great outdoors sleeping under a starry sky, scroll down and check out some of our picks for the most family-friendly places to pitch a tent. Then book your stay, before the openings are all snapped up. Read on to find out more. 


Champoeg Park

Visit a bit of Oregon’s history all while enjoying the Willamette River’s scenic landscape. Champing was the site of Oregon’s first provisional government formed in 1843. The park features a visitor center, Newell House, and the Pioneer Mothers Log Cabin museum to explore the Oregon pioneer life. The campsite features showers and flush toilets.

Camper’s Tip: Bring your bikes! A four-mile bicycle trail winds through meadows and along the river bank.

Location: Approximately 30 miles south of Portland via I-5
Address: 8239 Champoeg Rd. NE, St. Paul, Oregon


summer campers around a campfire

Eel Creek Campground

Located within a non-motorized section of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, this quiet campground has secluded sites and a peaceful vibe. Explore the nearby trails and the scenic dunes as you hike to the beach, or head out to nearby Eel Lake, or Umpqua Lighthouse State Park.

Location: Distance from Portland: 3 ½ hours
Lakeside, OR 

Stub Stewart State Park
via Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Stub Stewart State Park

Want to ease the family into tent camping in a safe and beautiful campground? Stub Stewart State Park features a variety of campgrounds that vary from rustic hike-in campsites to deluxe cabins with hot showers and flush toilets. Stub Stewart State Park features 1,800 acres of hills, forest, and streams along with 25 miles of trails. The trails are well-manicured and include signage that help pick the right trails for differing fitness levels. In addition to hiking trails this campground also features 6 miles of cross-country and free-ride mountain bike trails as well as equestrian trails.

Camper’s Tip: Mom of two, camping-enthusiast, and blogger, Catherine Ryan, shares her tip for Stub Stewart State Park, “On a clear day, the view from the Hilltop Day Use area is gorgeous, with a vista of forest-covered hills and a big sky. Take a family photo!”

Location: Approximately 34 miles west of Portland via US-26 W
Address: L.L. Stub Stewart State Park, Buxton, OR

KOA near Portland
via Urban Bliss Life

KOA Astoria/ Warrenton/ Seaside

KOA, or Kampgrounds of America, has nearly 500 campgrounds across the United States. It has been around since 1962 and has been a household name for many campers over its history. KOA campgrounds feature a variety of different amenities that make it fun for the outdoor enthusiast as well as your pickiest child. The Astoria/ Warrenton/ Seaside campground features a year-round pool, mini golf, hot tub, and more. Sites available include everything from non-electric tent sites to deluxe cabins with full kitchens and private bathrooms. One of the most desired features of a KOA campground is the ability to easily book your next camping trip via the KOA app, website, or by phone. Prices are higher than traditional camp sites but there are the amenities to match it.

Camper’s Tip: This location is a great option for the family that wants to get out in the outdoors, but doesn’t want to rough it. If you still want to get out into nature a bit more than the campground offers, then plan on plotting out area hikes and day-use parks such as The Fort Clasp National Memorial or the Fort Stevens Historic Area.

Location: Approximately 93 miles northwest of Portland via US-26
Address: 1100 Northwest Ridge Road, Hammond, OR 97121

via A Well Crafted Party

Fort Stevens State Park

The history-rich campground of Fort Steven State Park will please even the pickiest of campers with its wide-selection of available activities including freshwater lake swimming, fishing, canoeing, hiking trails, beach-combing, bicycle trails, and tours of the former military installation. Find a variety of camping options from rustic tent sites to deluxe cabins. The campsite also features flush toilets and hot showers.

Camper’s Tip: Want to make your trip out into the wilderness even more enriching? There is so much history at this park! Explore the history Fort Steven’s by taking a tour underground through a rare gun battery, ride in the back of a period military transport truck, or check out the old military jail. Finally, don’t forget to check out the old shipwreck on the beach!

Location: Approximately 94 miles northwest of Portland, off US Highway 101, Approximately 9 Miles West of Astoria
Address: 100 Peter Iredale Road, Hammond, OR

Beverly State Park - Rick Obst-
via Rick Obst

Beverly State Park

Can’t decide whether you want to retreat to the ocean or to the forest? Don’t decide! Beverly State Park’s forest-sheltered campground is just steps away from the ocean. In addition to a great location poised to please any sandcastle-loving kiddos, there is also a children’s playground and hot showers sure to make everyone is happy.

Camper’s Tip: This is an incredibly popular campsite and will fill up fast. Plan ahead and make your reservations for this site early.

Location: Approximately 118 miles southwest of Portland off US Hwy 101, 7 miles North of Newport
Address: 198 NE 123rd St, Newport, OR

Suttle Lake
via Mommy Travels

Suttle Lake

While the furthest from Portland on this list, Suttle Lake is reachable within a couple hours drive and is worth the trip! The Suttle Lake area features three campgrounds: Blue Bay, Link Creek, and South Shore. The beauty of the Deshutes National Forest can be enjoyed from any of the three campsites along with fishing, hiking, swimming, and more.

Camper’s Tip: The camping opportunities are fairly rustic with vault toilets available. However, if you are looking for something a bit more comfortable, consider getting a rustic or deluxe cabin The Suttle Lodge. Don’t forget to visit The Boathouse if you stay at the lodge for meal times or provisions.

Location: Approximately 140 miles southeast of Portland in the Deshutes National Forest
Address: Located off Hwy 20 about 10 miles southeast of the Santiam Summit of the Cascades Suttle Lake, Oregon




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