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Hiker/biker sites nearest Portland?

Old 03-10-18, 07:09 PM
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Hiker/biker sites nearest Portland?

Aa the title says, Iím wondering where the nearest hiker/biker sites to downtown Portland are. If thereís a spot for a friend to park their car nearby(meeting up with Portland friend while in the area), that would be a plus.
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Old 03-10-18, 07:22 PM
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Just a side note: There are a lot of homeless people in the Portland area, so if you find a hiker biker site, it will likely be crowded with the kinds of people you would probably wish to avoid.
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Old 03-10-18, 07:48 PM
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More recent locals might know of better/closer places, but:

1) If I were camping and wanted a more formal hiker/biker site in a State Park, I'd consider Champoeg State park about 30 miles south. This was my closest camping getaway I would ride to when I lived in Portland.

2) If I weren't camping, I'd pick a (somewhat) inexpensive hotel/hostel close to the light rail lines (Max) and just take bus/rail to wherever was convenient to meet this friend. Several hostels are listed, though I don't have experience with them. (More expensive but with good reviews from my parents when they visited me close to downtown Portland was Portland International Guest House; downtown is nice both because it is downtown and because it is a hub from which a lot of transit is available).

Some of this is going to depend on where your friend is at...but my perspective comes from living in downtown Portland between 2009-2012 and having gone back to visit several times since then. I don't own a car and transit is relatively good compared to many U.S. cities. On my visits back I'd pick a hotel close to the Max line (not always downtown). When I went to meet friends and particularly if they didn't want to drive/park to where I was at - we'd just arrange a rendezvous at a Max station. I'd take light rail to that station and they'd drive in to meet. I didn't know of much more formal camping near center of Portland which is why I suggest a hostel/hotel instead.

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Old 03-10-18, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
Aa the title says, Iím wondering where the nearest hiker/biker sites to downtown Portland are. If thereís a spot for a friend to park their car nearby(meeting up with Portland friend while in the area), that would be a plus.

I wouldn't be camping anywhere near any major city. If you have a friend in the area then why not stay with the friend?

There are lots and lots of warmshowers hosts in Portland. What is wrong with warmshowers?


Hostels have been mentioned. You need to be careful in hostels in large cities. I checked into a hostel in Santa Barbara then checked right out. Full of drunks and that was in the afternoon. But Portland has a HI hostel. I have never stayed in the one in Portland but I have stayed in a number of other HI hostels. They are usually very well run and they don't put up with any nonsense. If you go for a hostel I would opt for the HI hostel.
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Old 03-10-18, 09:08 PM
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As mentioned Champoug State Park has mixed H/B and car camping. I enjoy staying at Willamette Mission State Park a little further south of Champoug but it is restricted to bikes and horses, no cars allowed. A relatively new state park is LL Stub west of Portland. I donít think it has designated H/B sites. Beacon Rock SP on the Washington side of the Columbia River has designated H/B sites and car camping. The camping area is quite beautiful, nestled in among tall Doug Fir trees.
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Old 03-10-18, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Western Flyer View Post
As mentioned Champoug State Park has mixed H/B and car camping. I enjoy staying at Willamette Mission State Park a little further south of Champoug but it is restricted to bikes and horses, no cars allowed. A relatively new state park is LL Stub west of Portland. I don’t think it has designated H/B sites. Beacon Rock SP on the Washington side of the Columbia River has designated H/B sites and car camping. The camping area is quite beautiful, nestled in among tall Doug Fir trees.
Stub Stewart does have a hiker/biker area. It's behind the visitors center. The rates are $11 per site. It's not very far to walk in from the parking area.

Here's a link to an article about places to camp near Portland.

Last edited by mtnbud; 03-10-18 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 03-13-18, 10:41 AM
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There is a Hostel in Portland, they should have a bike shed, for your bike.. hostels cost less than hotel rooms..
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Old 03-13-18, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
Stub Stewart does have a hiker/biker area. It's behind the visitors center. The rates are $11 per site. It's not very far to walk in from the parking area.
Technically, Stub doesn't have hiker/biker sites, they have walk-in sites. They sound the same but are different. Walk-in means one can still drive to the park, park in the parking lot, and borrow a wheelbarrow to haul their stuff to the campsite. A hiker/biker site means exclusive use for those traveling to the campsite by their own power.

I hope at some point Stub Stewart gets hiker/biker sites.
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Old 03-13-18, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
Aa the title says, Iím wondering where the nearest hiker/biker sites to downtown Portland are. If thereís a spot for a friend to park their car nearby(meeting up with Portland friend while in the area), that would be a plus.
Which direction are you heading out of Portland?

If going south, Champoeg SP is an option.

If you just need absolute closest to Portland, Milo McIver is about 25 miles by bike southeast from downtown Portland (shorter if you hop on the MAX light rail for a bit):
https://oregonstateparks.org/index.c...age&parkId=102

If you were heading east through the Gorge, Ainsworth is about 30 miles east and has a hiker biker site, though travel in the Gorge is difficult right now due to last fall's fire: https://oregonstateparks.org/index.c...age&parkId=105

If you are just looking for the closest campground, Oxbow is about 20 miles ride east of downtown. It's a nice park, but no hiker/biker. https://www.oregonmetro.gov/parks/oxbow-regional-park
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Old 03-13-18, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Just a side note: There are a lot of homeless people in the Portland area, so if you find a hiker biker site, it will likely be crowded with the kinds of people you would probably wish to avoid.
Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
I wouldn't be camping anywhere near any major city. If you have a friend in the area then why not stay with the friend?
The closest campgrounds to Portland are all at least 20 miles from downtown, and definitely divorced from the urban area. I haven't had issues camping in any of them.
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Old 03-14-18, 01:39 AM
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Iíve stayed at Champoeg. What a crap place that is for anyone looking to actually camp. If you want to sleep 10 feet from your neighbors in an RV park with 100 cement pads in the middle of a field where nature used to be, itís perfect! On the plus side, the bathrooms meet the upper/upper middle class white sunurban theme of the RV park, so everything is very clean and the showers are great. But personally, Iíd rather have more nature and not hear my neighbors snore all night. I also canít believe their fire wood costs ~$1 per piece. Wow. Thatís one expensive camp fire if you want to sit around it for a couple hours after the sun goes down. ...sorry to get off topic. I was just really disappointed when I stayed there. I wish they advertized it as an RV park and I could have gone somewhere else and enjoyed it.

Thanks for all of the great suggestions everyone.
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Old 03-14-18, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by adventurepdx View Post
The closest campgrounds to Portland are all at least 20 miles from downtown, and definitely divorced from the urban area. I haven't had issues camping in any of them.

20 miles isn't exactly "close". But I guess that depends on your perspective.
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Old 03-14-18, 09:55 PM
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hobo camps would be closer in, but you may not like them.
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