Categories: CampingDestinations

Staff Favorites: Hipcamps Within 2 Hours of Portland, Oregon

Hipcamp Engineering Manager Becca Petrin shares Hipcamps she loves near her home of Portland, Oregon.

Back in February of 2020, I made a major life decision and bought a Taxa Cricket, a small, off-road-capable trailer. It was really expensive and I financed it, so I vowed to the sky that as long as I was paying for it every month, I would camp in it every month.

Then, of course—a pandemic immediately swept through the land and closed every state and national park in the U.S. Nooooo! Where would I camp?

I Googled furiously and found Hipcamp. They were still open! So through all of COVID, I camped with Hipcamp at least once a month, year-round. Eventually I realized, hey, maybe they have jobs, and I came to work here. Today, I still camp lots. As a weekend warrior, I tend to camp within 2 hours of home. That way I can drive out on a Friday and home on a Sunday, easy peasy. So, without further ado, here are my absolute favorite Hipcamps within 2 hours of Portland.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographers Tyler & Annabelle Sloan

For visiting Eugene

Hues Flower Farm (Junction City, OR)

This riverside spot with power and water is actually on a quaint little flower farm. It’s set right up against a river that you can go sit by to relax and watch the water pass. Then you can go into Eugene, poke around the bookstores, gorge yourself at Cornbread Cafe, and catch an Art House movie. When you leave the flower farm, your Host Dusty even lets you choose a few flowers to take home for the kitchen table.


Photo by Hipcamper Kim Chambers

For visiting Hood River

Rivers Ridge (White Salmon, WA)

In late summer or early fall, I love visiting Hood River to do the Fruit Loop. It basically means I load everyone into the car, drive around to a bunch of U-pick farms, and get a completely unjustifiable amount of apples, blueberries, and lavender. Nearby Rivers Ridge offers mind-blowing views of the Columbia River Gorge, and it’s directly across the bridge from Hood River, so I don’t even have to cook breakfast—instead, I grab some coffee and food at the local bakery in the morning.


Photo by Hipcamp Host Kevin E.

For visiting Mt. Hood

Action Sports Roamer Sites (Sandy, OR)

Usually below the snow line but only minutes from skiing, the Action Sports Roamer Sites are actually at Wy’East Mountain Academy. There’s a community campfire and future Olympic athletes train here, so expect to meet some of their families! If you ski, snowboard, or snowshoe, this is a great home base, but if you’re lacking for gear, just book some inner tubing! Note that you’ll need a Sno-Park pass if you plan to head up the mountain to play or to explore the mini ski town of Government Camp.


Photo uploaded by Host

For visiting Olympia

Larkin Place Treehouse (Olympia, WA)

The Larkin Place Treehouse is surreal. It is so beautiful, so private, and so perfectly maintained that it doesn’t feel like it can possibly be real. At night, the frogs at the pond outside will sing you to sleep—we even saw a tree frog while we were there. Probably because we were, well, in an actual tree.


Photo by Hipcamper Sherri G.

For visiting Port Townsend

Cardinal’s Camp (Chimacum, WA)

Cardinal’s Camp offers a covered area and easy access to romantic Port Townsend. Be sure to stop by the Lively Olive while you’re there for some of their truffle oil. You’ll instantly seem like an amazing cook even if you’re not—just put the truffle oil on popcorn or fries later.


Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Nathaniel Stewart

For visiting Salem

Titus Farms (Independence, OR)

Titus Farms has incredible large, sweeping, golden fields that constantly whisper in the breeze. The sites are very large and private, making for an extremely relaxing experience on a warm day.


Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Nathaniel Stewart

For visiting Tillamook or the coast

Powder Creek Campground (Beaver, OR)

The Beaver Pond site at Powder Creek Campground used to house an actual a beaver that swam around and practically waved at campers cheerily as it went about its day. These days, the beaver has moved on, so you’ll just have to settle for hand-feeding the docile, black-tailed deer and their soft, sweet fawns.


Photo by Hipcamper Michelle K.

For paddleboarding

RC Island (Cathlamet, WA)

It can be very windy at this Hipcamp, but if you camp in a way that’s protected from the wind (ideally in something hard-sided), RC Island offers unbelievable paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, and just general water access thanks to the beach you’ll usually have all to yourself. The Columbia River is slow here, and you can paddle so far out to explore this large, quiet section of the river that you’ll become a tiny blip in the distance.


Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Nora Phillips

For pony rides

Horse Lover’s Paradise (La Center, WA)

Horse Lover’s Paradise is a huge hit for those with young kids. Not only can the littles get an adorable ride from an elderly (if not slightly grumpy-looking) horse, but there’s also sometimes a huge black hairy pig named “Miss Piggy” wandering around. She typically just likes to look at you inquisitively.


Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Erinn Hale

For staying on a vineyard

Dauenhauer Family Campground (Dayton, OR)

The Dauenhauer Family Campground is a peaceful stretch of grass set right up against a beautiful, rolling vineyard that you can wander with curiosity. Tastings are available, and even better, the wines are delicious and moderately priced. Whether or not you sip, you can boast to your friends afterwards that you camped on a vineyard.


Well, that’s it! Portland is a wonderful jumping-off point for so many outdoor adventures. I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to have these experiences, and I hope that you and yours get to enjoy them as well. Now go get yourself outside!

Hi, I'm Becca. I'm a Software Engineering Manager at Hipcamp. My father is one of REI's first 100 members. The moment I fell in love with nature was when he surprise backpacked us kids to the most scenic toilet in the entire U.S. Why do I love camping? Because someday on my death bed, I'll remember my weekends spent outside, not my weekends spent playing Xbox. Nature gives us meaningful, magical, memorable experiences.

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