The Family Camper’s Guide to Oregon: Best Campgrounds and Kid-Friendly Activities

by Chad Hultz

Oregon's diverse landscapes make it a prime destination for family camping in Oregon, offering everything from the lush Portland region to the scenic Oregon Coast, the adventurous terrains of Central Oregon, and the pristine beauty of Eastern Oregon. The state’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty, coupled with family-friendly campsites, ensures every family camping trip is filled with memorable experiences. With options ranging from cushy drive-up campsites with RV access and hookups to rustic getaways, there’s a perfect spot for every family looking to explore the great outdoors, making it one of the best camping experiences in Oregon.

For those venturing into Oregon's outdoors, the range of activities is as varied as the landscapes, with family-friendly hikes, horseback riding, and engaging hiking trails. The state parks even offer cozy yurts as a unique camping experience, blending convenience with adventure. Whether it’s your first or 50th time camping, embracing the 'leave no trace' principles ensures these magnificent sites remain pristine for generations. This guide aims to uncover the best family camping trips and kid-friendly activities that make Oregon an unforgettable family camping destination.

Camp Dakota

Nestled in the Western Cascade foothills, Camp Dakota stands out as a prime destination for family camping, located roughly an hour’s drive from Portland or Salem, Oregon. This forested campground and adventure park is open year-round, offering a plethora of activities suitable for all ages, making it an ideal spot for family outings and securing its place among the best camping sites near Portland.

Accommodations and Facilities

Camp Dakota provides a variety of lodging options to suit any preference:

• Yurt Rentals: Experience a unique stay in one of the cozy yurts.

• RV Sites: Equipped with necessary hookups for a comfortable RV stay.

• Tent Sites: For those who prefer the traditional camping experience.

• Cabin Tents and Teepees: Add a unique twist to your stay with these distinctive accommodations.

• Group Camping Sites: Ideal for larger family gatherings or groups.


The campground is well-equipped to enhance your camping experience:

• Hot Showers and Restrooms: Essential comforts for a pleasant stay.

• Camp Store: Offers snacks, camping gear, and souvenirs.

• Food Services: Enjoy the convenience of pizza delivery and hot coffee & espresso available on-site.


Camp Dakota is not just about camping; it’s a full adventure park with activities that cater to thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike, offering an engaging experience for everyone.

• Zip Lines and High Ropes: Challenge yourself with aerial adventures.

• Rock Climbing and Paintball: Test your climbing skills or engage in exciting paintball battles.

• Gold Panning and Treasure Hunting: Perfect for those who love a good hunt.

• Disc Golf: Enjoy an 18-hole course amidst beautiful surroundings.

Special Features

• Adventure Wristband: For a flat rate, gain unlimited access to various activities, making it a cost-effective way to enjoy everything on offer at Camp Dakota.

• Educational Programs: High adventure and team building programs are available, perfect for developing skills and bonding.

• Special Rates and Events: The campground offers special rates for groups and hosts events that add extra excitement to your visit, enhancing the Camp Dakota experience.

Camp Dakota requires reservations, ensuring that every guest receives the best possible experience. Whether you're looking for a weekend getaway or a longer holiday, Camp Dakota promises a memorable family camping adventure with something for everyone to enjoy.

Loon Lake Resort

Nestled in the picturesque setting of Reedsport, Oregon, Loon Lake Resort offers a delightful escape for families from April 1st to October 31st each year. This family-friendly destination is conveniently located at 9011 Loon Lake Road and provides a variety of accommodation options to cater to all preferences, making it a cherished spot among Oregon camping sites.

Accommodations and Amenities

• Cabins and Yurts: Suitable for up to eight guests, these provide a cozy stay with all the comforts of home, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay at Loon Lake Resort.

• RV and Tent Sites: Well-equipped for those who prefer a more traditional camping experience.

• On-site Conveniences: A general store, deli, and gas station make it easy to grab necessities or a quick bite to eat. The resort also features an ice cream stand and a snack shack for treats, including a quaint cafe atmosphere for those leisurely afternoons.

Activities and Recreation

• Water Sports and Rentals: The resort boasts a marina where guests can enjoy a variety of water activities, including ski boats, fishing boats, Sea-Doos, pontoon boats, and paddleboards. For those interested in a leisurely day on the water, paddle boat rentals and houseboats are also available.

• Beach and Outdoor Fun: A sandy beach with a volleyball court provides the perfect setting for summer activities, including a designated swimming area. Guests can also enjoy

fishing and beach volleyball, making it an ideal spot for water enthusiasts.

Unique Features

• Full-Service Deli with Lake Views: Enjoy delicious meals on a deck overlooking the lake.

• Marina and Boat Docks: Offers comprehensive facilities for boating enthusiasts.

• Nearby Attractions: The location serves as a great base to explore local events like the Oregon Divisional Chainsaw Sculpting Championship, DuneFest, and various music jamborees. For those seeking visitor information, cultural and outdoor activities abound with museums, state parks, golf courses, and the scenic Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area nearby.

Loon Lake Resort not only provides a variety of lodging and recreational options but also ensures that every family's stay is comfortable, enjoyable, and filled with lasting memories. Whether it's relaxing by the lake or indulging in adventurous activities, this resort caters to all ages and interests, making it a prime destination for family-friendly camping.

Astoria / Warrenton / Seaside KOA Resort

Astoria / Warrenton / Seaside KOA Resort offers a plethora of kid-friendly amenities designed to make family camping a delightful experience. With two swimming pools, a mini-golf course, and campgrounds with playgrounds, families can enjoy plenty of fun right on the premises. Accommodation options are diverse, including Deluxe Cabins, RV sites, and tent camping, all with access to an indoor swimming pool, a hot tub, and an outdoor pool available from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Accommodations and Amenities

• Deluxe Cabins, RV Sites, Tent Camping: Options include modern conveniences like cable TV and free WiFi.

• Indoor and Outdoor Pools: Ensures swimming fun regardless of the weather.

• Pet-Friendly: Includes a KampK9® for pet owners.

Activities and Recreation

• Recreational Facilities: Features an activities building with movies, an arcade, and a game room. Outdoor activities include a basketball court and bike rentals, ensuring there's always something fun to do for everyone.

• Jumping Pillow and Playgrounds: Safe and engaging environments for children.

Nearby Attractions

• Fort Stevens State Park: Offers biking, kite flying, whale watching, and beachcombing.

• Ft. Clatsop: Educational site about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

This resort not only provides a comfortable stay but also ensures that there are ample activities to keep every member of the family entertained. Whether it's playing games, exploring nearby attractions, or simply relaxing by the pool, Astoria / Warrenton / Seaside KOA Resort caters to all your family camping needs, making it one of the best camping spots for families.

Pacific City RV & Camping Resort

Located at 30000 Sandlake Rd, Cloverdale, Oregon, Pacific City RV & Camping Resort is a haven for family camping, open year-round to provide a perfect blend of nature and comfort. This resort boasts 305 sites, accommodating a range of camping preferences from RVs to tents, all equipped with essential amenities to enhance your stay, making it one of the best camping sites in Oregon.

Accommodations and Facilities

• RV Sites: Suitable for RVs from 30 to 45 feet, offering both pull-through and back-in options. Each site features full hookups, a fire pit, and a picnic table, catering to those who seek both convenience and the charm of outdoor living.

• Van & Tent Sites: Include a fire pit and picnic table, ideal for those preferring a more rustic camping experience, offering a perfect setting for nights under the stars and cozy campfire conversations.

• Rental Accommodations: Check-in at 4 p.m. and check-out by 11 a.m., with a pet fee of $10 per pet per night for pet-friendly units.

Amenities and Recreation

• Clubhouse and Lounge: Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., providing a comfortable space for relaxation.

• Indoor and Outdoor Pools: Note that the outdoor pool is closed for winter, but the indoor pool and spa are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Play and Recreation Areas: Includes a playground, basketball court, pickleball, bocce ball, and a mini-golf course. A game room with billiards and planned activities ensures entertainment for all ages, making it a perfect spot for mini golf enthusiasts.

• Nature and Trails: Explore the surrounding beauty on horseback riding trails or hiking paths. The resort also features a fish/crab cleaning station for outdoor enthusiasts, with horse trails offering a unique way to experience the natural splendor.

Additional Services

• Laundry and Restroom Facilities: Accessible from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., ensuring convenience throughout your stay.

• WiFi and Pet-Friendly Options: Stay connected and bring your furry friends along for an additional fee.

• Beach Access: Easy access to the beach with available beach wheelchairs, enhancing the coastal experience for everyone.

This resort not only offers a comprehensive range of facilities and activities but also ensures a comfortable and enjoyable stay for families looking to explore the natural beauty of Oregon.

Bend/Sisters Garden RV Resort

Bend/Sisters Garden RV Resort is a paradise for family camping, offering a wealth of activities and amenities that cater to families seeking both relaxation and adventure. Located at 67667 Hwy 20, Bend, OR, the resort is nestled in a picturesque setting at an elevation of 3,200 ft, providing breathtaking views and a serene environment. It's one of the best places to camp in Oregon, offering an unforgettable experience.

Accommodations and Facilities

• RV and Cabin Rentals: The resort provides spacious RV sites with full hookups and charming cabin rentals, ensuring comfort for all types of campers.

• Accessibility and Security: Features include partial handicap access, a controlled access gate, and a 24/7 emergency phone for added security and convenience.


• Recreational Facilities: Includes a fishing pond, playground, miniature golf course, pool, and spa.

• Outdoor Activities: Nature trails, outdoor games, and horseshoe pits are available, perfect for family bonding.

• Luxury Amenities: A luxury bathhouse, laundry facilities, and eco-friendly features enhance the camping experience.

Additional Services

• Connectivity and Entertainment: The resort offers WiFi, cable TV, and movie rentals.

• Convenience Store and More:A store with delivery service, picnic tables, BBQ rental area, and propane fill are available for all camping needs.

This resort not only promises a memorable stay with its extensive facilities and activities but also offers a strategic location near Bend, Redmond, and Sisters, providing easy access to local attractions in the Cascade Mountains and Deschutes River. Whether it’s for a weekend getaway or a longer stay, Bend/Sisters Garden RV Resort is equipped to offer a top-notch family camping experience.

Emigrant Lake

Accommodations and Facilities at Emigrant Lake

Emigrant Lake, located just minutes from downtown Ashland, Oregon, is a versatile destination for family camping and day trips. The Point RV Park, with its 32 full-hookup sites, caters to larger RVs, including amenities like water, 50-amp electrical service, and sewer. For those preferring a more rustic experience, Oak Slope Campground offers 40 basic sites for

tents or small trailers, available from mid-April to mid-October.

Activities and Recreation

Emigrant Lake is a hub of recreational activities suitable for all ages. Families can enjoy boating, fishing, kayaking, swimming, and paddleboarding. Notably, the lake features two 280-foot twin flume water slides, a highlight for children and adults alike. Additional leisure options include picnicking, hiking, and wildlife viewing, with designated areas for each activity, making the water slide an unforgettable experience.

Group Facilities and Event Hosting

The park is equipped with four covered Group Picnic Areas, each capable of accommodating 125 to 300 people. These areas are equipped with electricity, tables, barbecues, and nearby restroom facilities, making them ideal for family reunions, business retreats, or larger social gatherings. While reservations are not required, they are recommended to secure a spot.

Additional Information

• Day Use Park Fees: $4.00 per vehicle.

• Season Passes: Available for $45, offering value for frequent visitors.

• Pet Policy: Dogs are not allowed in the day use area to maintain safety and cleanliness.

• Boating:Both the North and West ramps are open for boating during daylight hours, water levels permitting.

• Camping Fees: RV sites are $40 per night, and tent sites are $25 per night, with each including one vehicle.

• Maximum Stay: Limit of 14 days out of any 30-day period across all Jackson County Parks to ensure fair access for all visitors.

Wallowa Lake State Park

Nestled between the stunning peaks of the Wallowa Mountains and the southern shores of a glacial lake, Wallowa Lake State Park in Eastern Oregon is a favored destination for family camping. The park offers a variety of accommodations and activities to suit any outdoor enthusiast, including the unique option of yurt camping for those seeking a different kind of adventure.

Accommodations and Facilities

• Full Hookup Sites: Includes 121 sites with sewer, electricity, water, paved parking, picnic table, and fire ring.

• Tent Sites: Features 88 sites with water nearby, catering to those who prefer a more traditional camping setup.

• Yurts: Provides 2 yurts equipped with a futon couch, bunk beds, fire pits, a covered deck, and a picnic table. Cooking and smoking inside yurts are prohibited to maintain safety, offering a cozy and unique yurt camping experience.


• Universal Access: Sites A9 and A11, along with both yurts, are accessible according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, ensuring inclusivity for all visitors.

Amenities and Recreation

• Hot Showers and Flush Toilets: Essential amenities for a comfortable stay.

• RV Dump Station: Conveniently located near the registration booth.

• Reservable Picnic Areas: Three areas within a large day-use space, featuring several ADA accessible picnic tables.

Activities and Attractions

• Outdoor Activities: Offers a range of activities including fishing, boating, hiking, and wildlife viewing. The park serves as a gateway to the Eagle Cap Wilderness, enhancing the outdoor adventure experience.

• Community Attractions: The nearby community resembles a Swiss alpine village, complete with a tramway to the top of 8,200-foot Mt. Howard, perfect for breathtaking views and photo opportunities.

Additional Services

• Boat and Equipment Rentals: Available at the marina with options like boats, motors, and other equipment for a full lake experience.

• Seasonal Considerations: The park's operations and some facilities adjust seasonally, with summers being pleasant and a significant drop in temperatures starting in October.

Wallowa Lake State Park not only provides a serene and picturesque camping experience but also ensures that facilities and activities cater to a diverse range of preferences, making it one of the best family campsites for adventures in nature.

Embarking on a camping trip in Oregon unfolds a canvas of vibrant natural landscapes and an array of activities that promise to enrich your family's travel diary. From the lush, forested realms of Camp Dakota to the serene watersides of Loon Lake Resort, the guide has covered some of the best camping places in Oregon that cater to every family’s taste for adventure, rest, and unforgettable memories. These locales not only offer a reprieve from the digital world but also educate on the significance of preserving our natural wonders. Whether opting for a rustic tent site under the stars or a cozy yurt amidst towering trees, each destination is equipped to provide comfort, enjoyment, and a deeper connection with nature, making them some of the best Oregon camping experiences.

As we delve into the essence of family bonding through outdoor adventures, it’s evident the varied terrains of Oregon serve as the perfect backdrop for nurturing lifetime memories and instilling a love for the great outdoors in young hearts. The shared experiences of campfires, hikes, and laughter echo the core values of togetherness and adventure, making family camping in Oregon a cherished activity. It's time to break free from screens, routines, and the everyday hustle, ensuring these beautiful escapes remain part of our heritage for generations to cherish. Are you ready to embark on unforgettable adventures with your loved ones? Here’s how you can camp with kids and make the most of nature, fostering an indelible spirit of exploration and joy.