Hand’s down, Oregon has some of the best state parks in the country. How can it not? There’s such a diverse variety of sites to choose from – from beach side, to mountainous, lush forests, and the desert. We’ve located some of the very best for you to visit, depending on your interests outdoors and whether you’re looking to get totally lost or just want to take a quick drive.
14) Clyde Holliday State Recreation Site
This campsite in the John Day Valley gives visitors a taste of the Old West. Set up camp or rent a tepee and then take in a local rodeo, a Fourth of July festivity, or just soak in that desert sun.
13) Deschutes River State Recreation Area
This place is a hiker's delight, with a robust trail network and views of those amazing river rapids.
12) Ecola state park
Just north of Cannon Beach, this stretch gives you a prime view of the coast's rocky formations, including Haystack Rock.
11) Fort Stevens State Park
Just west of Astoria, this park has three lakes for fishing, swimming, and canoeing. Learn about the fort's history and check out war memorabilia in the interpretive center. Or, go hiking on the six-mile trail.
10) Goose Lake State Recreation Area
Looking to escape the crowds? This site at the base of the Warner Mountains in southern Oregon has your seclusion covered. Your neighbors will include a variety of birds and the occasional deer.
9) Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park
This site is just south of Florence and is situated within the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area, making this place a go-to for off-road fans. For fishing, go to Woahink Lake and for swimming go to Cleawox Lake. Both are accessible from the site.
8) Minam State Recreation Area
Love rafting, but easily intimidated by big rapids? Go to this area between late spring and midsummer for a tamer, but still fun water-water rafting experience on the Wallowa River. There's also plenty of hiking opportunity along riverside trails and ample campgrounds.
7) Nehalem Bay State Park
Just south of Manzanita, this is another park that provides excellent dunes access and is a short distance from the ocean. Fishing and kayaking is idyllic at Nehalem Bay. The campsite is also horse and even airplane accessible - with six fly-in sites by a tiny airstrip.
6) Saddle Mountain State natural area
Hikers, add this spot to your bucket list. Steep, yet loaded with beautiful views of both the ocean and mountain.
5) Silver Falls State Park
Soak in the Trail of 10 Falls, which includes a series of hikes that take you rigth up against the falls.
4) Smith Rock state park
This site, near Terrebonne, is a desert paradise for rock climbers. In fact, the sport as we know it was popularized at this very place. There are a number of challenging, bolted routes to follow.
3) Ukiah-Dale Forest State Scenic Corridor
This barely-touched site takes you to mountain trails in the North Fork John Day Wilderness nearby, a primitive campground along Camas Creek and plenty of wildlife.
2) Valley of the Rogue River state park
If you haven't witnessed the rugged greatness of the Rogue River yet, this needs to become a priority. Famous for its white water rapids, salmon runs, and gorgeous scenery, this spot is worth the trip to southwest Oregon near Grants Pass.
1) Wallowa Lake State Park
Just south of Joseph, this site in the Wallowa Mountains is perfect if you just want some quiet, away from some of the other, more crowded campgrounds. Hike, swim, ride horses, fish, and ride a tramway 4,000 feet up Mount Howard.
Now that you’ve got your itinerary in hand, go ahead, make some calls to book your campsite and get packing. Which are your favorite state parks to visit in Oregon? Tell us in the comments below!