: Russ Roca / pathlesspedaled.com

Bike Camping in Oregon: Be a Two-Wheeled Vagabond!

August 25, 2017

There’s a time and a place for loading up the car with portable grills, camping chairs and netted pop-up shelters. But sometimes, we adventurers want a purer form of camping — just ourselves and what we can carry. That’s why Oregon has campsites dedicated to hikers and cyclists at more than 20 state parks in several regions throughout the state.

Imagine it: You’re rolling along the Oregon Coast when you decide it’s time to think about where to stay that night. You whip out your handy map of Oregon’s hiker-biker campsites, find the nearest one and ride to it. There’s a “Campground Full” sign deterring cars and RVs, but you glide right by, because hiker-biker sites are always open. You pitch your tent in a sylvan spot, crack open a cold beverage, meet some fellow two-wheel travelers and tell some stories from the road.

These hiker-biker sites are built for hassle-free, carry-it-in camping, giving you a truer back-to-nature experience. Several state parks include miles of trails to explore, and every park has unique features and places to check out — so even though the ride to the site is an event in itself, there’s plenty to do once you arrive.

Here’s a sampling of state parks that include hiker-biker campsites:

At Fort Stevens State Park, explore nature and history together. This 4,200-acre park on Oregon’s North Coast features diverse natural environments, from dunes to wetlands — but staying here can also include a visit to a military museum, along with military truck and underground gun battery tours.

Tumalo State Park in Central Oregon is located along the Deschutes River, where you can fish, raft, go boating, or just dip your toes in the water. It’s secluded, but close enough to Bend that a trip into town is convenient.

Wallowa Lake is the primary attraction for visitors to Wallowa Lake State Park in Eastern Oregon. But even if you get tired of boats, fishing and swimming, this park will keep you busy with trails, mini golf, a mountain tramway and, nearby, awesome views of Hells Canyon.

If you prefer something a little more off the beaten path, Cape Lookout State Park on the North Coast is your best bet. Its hiker-biker campsites are close to the beach and far away from vehicle and RV sites.

As you plan your trip, keep in mind these helpful notes:

  • Hiker-biker site fees vary, but most are from $5 to $6 per person, per night.  Check with your campground to be sure.
  • Hiker-biker sites don’t take reservations — they’re first come, first served.
  • “Campground full” signs don’t apply to hiker-biker sites; go ahead and go in to look for an open site.
  • Hiker-biker sites don’t accommodate motorized vehicles, so groups riding with a support truck should reserve a regular camping site. Make sure to reserve your spot for regular sites, especially during the summer.

Want to find out more?

Most of these state parks have a wide variety of bike trails and several access points. Check out the full list of hiker-biker campsites here. Then,  by location for ride inspiration to, from, in and around your state park of choice.

About The

Trip Ideas

Ask Oregon

Where is the best place to camp, hike and bike on the North Oregon Coast?

My top choice would be Cape Lookout State Park southwest of Tillamook for the best camping experience. The campground is right next to the beach and there are several miles of hiking trails including one to the end of the cape through old-growth Sitka Spruce rainforest. Bikes are not allowed on State Park trails, so…