Camping in Oregon

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Camping in Oregon with 4.5 y.o. & baby

April 2008

We are looking to do a two-week camping trip in Oregon in early-mid August and are thinking about renting a Vanagon so we can be more mobile. We would like to visit Crater Lake and the Oregon coast for sure. We'll have a 4 1/2 year old and a 2 m.o. baby (mom and baby sleep in the Vanagon and dad and 4 1/2 y.o. sleep in the tent) with us. Is this crazy? We usually go car camping several times a year with our son but because of my due date in early June, won't have any camping trips in before baby arrives. If not, what are some good camp sites you would recommend or cities that we should definitely stop at? Any cities/places/sites we should make a point of visiting in Oregon or on the way to even if they are not listed on the itinerary? Fun things for a 4 1/2 y.o.? Any thoughts on the Vanagon rental? Any tips otherwise? Thanks for your advice! Looking for Some Camping Fun

Our family of 2 adults and kids then 11 and 14 rented a VW camper 2 summers ago and drove to Yellowstone, Glacier and Waterton. We rented from California Campers in Redwood City which seemed to be the only local source, and they only rent Westfalias. The campers are a wonder of efficient space use--lots of storage for sleeping bags, functioning refrig/stove/sink, surprisingly comfortable sleeping for 4 people. Moving all your bags to make room for the double bed in the cargo area is a bit of a pain, and one kid did manage to fall out of the top bed one night.

Aside from cabin fever, the only real problem was the underpowered engine that's lucky to do 40 uphill--allow extra time for driving. When our kids were a lot younger we took the train to Portland, rented an SUV and camped our way back across Oregon. We liked the Oregon Dunes, Bandon, Portland, the Columbia Gorge and Mt Hood (snow in August), although this is more ground than you'd probably cover with an infant. The popular coastal state park campgrounds seemed more dense and crowded than what we're used to in Calif, and you have to have reservations. tsujis

If you're camping in Oregon, I recommend looking into yurts. A lot of the Oregon campsites have them, and they're quite inexpensive. When we went a couple of years ago they were about $25 a night. If I remember correctly, they come with four comfortable cots, electricity, a fan and lighting. Outside is the typical campsite set up with picnic tables and bbq. It's easier and more comfortable than camping... and no tent to set up. We stayed in one campsite in Grant's Pass, which was great, and another one outside Bandon, which was a bit overcrowded. Jean

Camping trip north to Oregon

May 2004

We are contemplating taking a family camping trip northward, ending up in Salem Oregon, this summer. Anyone out there have some recommendations of where we ought to camp en route, and esp. what campgrounds in Lassen Nat'l Park we ought to stay in? We'd like to avoid too many RVs, but at the same time, I do want running water and am not averse to plumbing (although I can live with composting toilets and the like). Thanks! Wendy


  • Lassen National Park
    We went to Oregon last summer. A great place to camp in California is Lake Siskiyou near Mt Shasta-it's a nice private campground and the lake is wonderful. In Oregon, Silver Falls State Park is beautiful-all these different waterfalls, nice camping, really lovely. Hope this helps. Me
    We have also camped at Patrick's Point State Park, way up in Humboldt County. It's on the ocean, really gorgeous too, can be cold and foggy, but the campground is really nice and low key. Lots of hiking, walking onthe beach, seals, etc. Then there is Humboldt Redwoods State Park, slightly more inland. Fabulous campground (I think there are several). Very peaceful. I thnk there is an RV area and a tent/tent trailer area. We tent camp and I don't remember ever being bothered by lots of RV's wherever we've gone so, though I don't remember, most places have either had RV's separate from tents or there just weren't a lot around. Good luck and have fun. happy camper