For many, it’s not camping without a tent (2010)


That’s the way they like to enjoy a night outdoors. Do you?

If so, Oregon state parks have nearly 1,800 campsites designed for your tent. Most include parking spaces for vehicles and have drinking water on site or nearby.  You can park your vehicle and take a short walk into a few campgrounds. Or, you can leave it all behind at a hike-in campground.

Tents sites in 24 parks resemble RV sites without electrical plug-ins or sewer hookups. You find the same amenities, including showers.

Another 10 parks have primitive campgrounds. Although most accommodate self-contained RVs, they cater to tent camping. Like the swankier tent sites, they have picnic tables, fire rings and places to park. Some even have water at each site, but usually, you have to share a water faucet with your neighbors.

You can leave your motor vehicle out of sight in a common parking area and escape to a walk-in site at Ainsworth State Park, Stub Stewart State Park, Champoeg State Heritage Area, Carl Washburne State Park, North Santiam State Recreation Area and Red Bridge State Wayside. Stub Stewart also has a hike-in camp—a camp where you can escape into the woods on a quarter-mile trail leading from the park’s welcome center. It has 23  sites and two community areas with fire rings.

Many bicyclists, and hikers, too, have discovered hiker-biker camps. Every coastal park with a campground has a hiker-biker camp, an open community area set aside for bicyclists and  hikers on the Oregon Coast Trail. A typical area, which can comfortably accommodate 10 campers, has a communal fire ring, picnic table and drinking water nearby. A hot shower is within walking distance.

Several inland parks have hiker-biker camps too, and one, Smith Rock State Park, has a bivouac area. Similar to a hiker-biker camp, it’s an open space set aside for overnight use with a couple of differences. Open fires are strictly prohibited. (The park has a designated place for cooking with propane and white gas stoves.) For a small fee, you can take a hot shower in the restroom/shower complex by the parking area 200 yards away.

Search for parks with tent campsites.

Oregon Coast Trail

Posted on May 12, 2010, in state parks and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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