Oregon has more state parks than almost any other state, as well as a natural environment suited to all manner of recreational activities.
Camping in State Parks
Toward the end of 2009, the Oregon state park system began a public process to investigate raising campground fees, which had remained the same since 1996. Fees for RV sites increased from $20 to $24, tent sites from $16 to $20, yurts from $27 to $36, and rustic cabins from $35 to $39. The fee for reserving a site would increase from $6 to $8. During the winter, fees drop slightly.
Most state park campgrounds have at least a couple of yurts—-canvas-walled, wood-floored shelters equipped with fold-up beds, heaters, and lamps; they sleep five.
Many state park campgrounds accept campsite reservations, and reservations are accepted for all special facilities such as cabins, yurts, and tepees. The state park system has a central information hotline (800/551-6949) and a website (www.oregonstateparks.org) where you can get park maps, campground layouts, rates, and other information.
Reservations for state parks can be made by phone via Reservations Northwest (503/731-3411 in Portland metro area, 800/452-5687 elsewhere, 8 a.m.–7 p.m. Mon.–Fri.). Online reservations, with a Visa or MasterCard, are handled by a private vendor, ReserveAmerica (www.reserveamerica.com). Reservations may be made from two days up to nine months in advance. In addition to the campsite fee, a processing fee is charged.
If you need to cancel your reservation three days or more before your scheduled arrival, call Reservations Northwest at the numbers above. Two or fewer days before your trip, call the park directly to cancel your reservation. Phone numbers for all parks are found on each individual park’s Web page (www.oregonstateparks.org). Cancellation service fees and requirements for special facilities, such as yurts and cabins, may vary. Your reservation fee is nonrefundable, and a small cancellation fee will be charged if you cancel in the last two days.
Camping in National Forests
The U.S. Forest Service maintains hundreds of campsites, trails, and day-use areas. Refer to the Forest Service website (www.fs.fed.us/r6/) or the specific destination chapters in this guide for listings.
National forest campsites are usually much less developed than those at state parks; electric hookups are not available, although most campgrounds have water and vault or flush toilets. Most overnight sites charge a user fee. Fees are generally $10–15 for campsites, $5–7 for an extra vehicle. Campsites can be reserved online with a Visa or MasterCard through www.recreation.gov).
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel