Columbia River Gorge

Aug 7th, 2019, 09:37 AM
  #1  
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Columbia River Gorge

Hi, I have been to the Columbia River Gorge several times over the years. I want to take some friends on a camping trip up through the Willamette Valley and the Gorge are next year. I was wondering if anyone can comment on how the area looks since the big fires. We would like to stay at Silver Falls and then somewhere along the gorge. Any updated info would be great before we start making reservations. Thanks!!
michele_d is offline  
Aug 7th, 2019, 10:03 AM
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Getting better. https://www.columbian.com/news/2019/...l-to-recovery/

When would this take place?
Gardyloo is offline  
Aug 7th, 2019, 11:44 AM
  #3  
mms
 
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I have been there many times since the fire. Many trails are still closed on the OR side. While time is healing, the damage is still very visible. The gorge is still worth it as it is a huge area so plenty of places to go. What are you looking for, quick drive by stops or hiking?
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Aug 7th, 2019, 03:06 PM
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We will be going next August. Just checking if we should stay more in the Silver Falls area or on the gorge.
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Aug 7th, 2019, 03:38 PM
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mms
 
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Silver Falls is really nice, but easily done in a day. The trail of 10 falls there is 7 miles and really a pretty hike. Another thing you could do in the area is the Oregon Garden in Silverton. There are a few wineries in this area as well if that interests you.

The gorge is way more spread out, and encompasses both OR and WA, so I would spend more time there. You mentioned camping, but what sort? Tent, RV, rustic or with services? We only tent camp when we are not backpacking, so take my advice for what it is Lost Lake is a fantastic campground that has both tent and rv sites as well as cabins. We like the walk in sites for the tents as it is further from the rv's etc. It is a beautiful lake and you can rent boats there, and a fantastic view of Mt Hood. Nice trail around the lake too. Do not even consider camping at Columbia Hills State Park. There are about a dozen or so rv spots, and 4 tent spots, with no privacy etc. Basically a square area on gravel right next to each other. It is a great place to explore (petroglyphs etc), but we have camped there and never again. There are more areas to camp on the WA side around Goose Lake/Trout Lake, but know that at a number of these there is no water and it is a pit toilet. We have camped there and it is nice, but not for everyone. Most visitors only go as far as Hood River, but I urge you do venture beyond that. There is so much to see. Go at least as far as Biggs Junction which is a perfect place to cross the river and explore the WA areas. Highway 14 runs along the river and there are several bridges you can cross to get back to the OR side, so you don't have to backtrack. I could write a book about this area as we have backpacked/hiked/camped in this area for many years, but I will wait to hear more of what you are looking for, lol.
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Aug 7th, 2019, 05:15 PM
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We will be towing our 18' trailer and our friends have a 35' trailer. They have never been to this area but we have. We want to pick a couple spots to stay in order to explore the areas, including wineries, antiquing, wandering through the cute little towns, waterfalls and farmers markets etc. I do want to camp with electricity if possible since it might be warm. Sewer is not necessary. I am thinking of looking at state parks, trees and not 'parking lot' camping at all. Want to enjoy the beauty up there. Planning on maybe two locations for three nights each. Then on to Washington for a few days before heading down the coast to home.
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Aug 7th, 2019, 05:30 PM
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mms
 
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Take a look at Ainsworth State Park. It has everything camping and is a great location. Lost Lake Resort that I mentioned earlier is good too.
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Aug 7th, 2019, 05:33 PM
  #8  
mms
 
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Ugh, on my phone and autocorrect 🙄 Ainsworth has rv camping.

Further east across from Biggs Junction is a campground at Maryhill. We have camped there too. Itís nice, but like many in the gorge is near train tracks so that is an issue for some people. Itís a good location though
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Aug 7th, 2019, 06:42 PM
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Thanks mms...I will check these out!
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Aug 12th, 2019, 07:23 PM
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MMS gave you good options. Two more options, you could do one on the way from Silver Falls to the Gorge (not both).

I would recommend with all of them that you look on an RV forum as to how easy they are to get in and out of. Because they are sort of Portland Metro-area, I have visited for day-use only and can't really speak to how easy/hard it is to camp in them.

Oxbow Park--

This has old-growth forest and is gorgeous. It's been a while since I was there but my recollection is the road is a little steep, hence the need to doublecheck me. You can't bring dogs to Metro parks

https://www.oregonmetro.gov/parks/ox.../camping-oxbow

Milo McIver State Park
This would be a good one to stop at after a day at Silver Falls. You could opt to take the side roads, I think 211 or 213?, which might be more scenic that Portland area freeways. I remember there being both a lot of trees, and an area with a big field as well.

https://oregonstateparks.org/index.c...age&parkId=102

I'd warn against Viento State Park in the Gorge--I think it's right by where the train horns go off.

There's also a KOA in Cascade Locks. I have never been there, but suspect it's probably not rustic enough.
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Aug 14th, 2019, 06:46 PM
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Thank you 5alive...I will add these to our options!
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Aug 15th, 2019, 05:33 AM
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mms
 
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I haven't camped at Oxbow, but we have been there many time to just hang out along the river on a hot day. It is very popular, so expect crowds on a warm day, but is a nice place.
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Aug 15th, 2019, 03:22 PM
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5alive...these both look really nice. Thank you!! Oxbow has hookups but Milo McIver is located a little closer to the Gorge for day trips. We are fine without hookups but I need to check with our friends. Thanks again!!
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Aug 18th, 2019, 07:48 PM
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Glad to be of help. I hope you enjoy your trip!
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