Get your tents and coolers ready: Camping is back on at a handful of Oregon state parks, with more locations scheduled to accept reservations in the coming weeks.
Oregon State Parks and Recreation has announced campgrounds in Eastern Oregon are back open on a first-come, first-served basis starting today. The closest one to Portland is Cottonwood Canyon, an 8,000-acre property hugging the John Day River about an hour southeast of The Dalles.
If that drive sounds a bit too ambitious, more than a dozen other parks are set to welcome back visitors starting Tuesday, June 9, including some popular spots along the northern coast: Fort Stevens, near Astoria; Nehalem Bay, just south of Cannon Beach; and Cape Lookout in Tillamook County. All will offer overnight stays as will a few spots in the Willamette Valley, like Silver Falls, Champoeg and Detroit Lake.
The only state park reopening for camping in the Gorge is Memaloose, about 20 minutes east of Hood River.
Campers should expect limited services at most if not all state parks. Since the agency is largely funded by user fee revenues, which plummeted following the COVID-19-related closure of the entire network more than two months ago, there are fewer staff and resources available to maintain facilities.
Get used to sleeping in a tent, though: Yurts and cabins are not accessible to the public for the time being, except in rare cases.
Online reservations will reopen next week at a date to be announced, and you can only book a site up to two weeks in advance. There is no walk-in service at parks along the coast until further notice.