Boondocking in Oregon

Last updated on May 25th, 2021 at 08:50 am. Originally published on May 3rd, 2021

Oregon is a prime area for boondocking. The state boasts mild temperatures, beautiful scenery, and a wide variety of environments depending on which area you visit. On the western side of the state, you are greeted with thick forests and mountainous areas. The eastern side of the state is more remote with lots of high mountain desert and sparser vegetation. In northern Oregon, it rains a lot, and there is a higher population. Southern Oregon has plenty of wilderness rich in forested areas. There are tons of lakes and rivers where you can fish and hike. You could go into populated areas like Portland or Eugene to see the fun and interesting attractions and then travel a short way into the forest to camp. Explore the mountains to discover waterfalls, hot springs, and mountain lakes where the fishing is splendid. 

A two-lane road curves to follow a shoreline; rocks sit high in the water under a clear sky.

Boondocking Sites in Oregon

Miami Bar Boating Site

The Miami Bar Boating Site is on the beautiful Illinois River outside the tiny town of Selma in southern Oregon. This is a great place to camp on your way to the coast. The area is forested with Douglas fir and pine trees. This spot is located on the rugged and crystal green Illinois River, a favorite spot for local families to swim or fish. This location is not too far from the Oregon Caves National Monument, a great place to visit while you are there.

Huckleberry City

Huckleberry City is an area located in the high mountains of southern Oregon near Prospect. This site has a nice woodsy feel with plenty of Douglas fir, pine, and cedar trees. There is excellent trout fishing nearby on the Rogue River, and if you go during berry season, you can enjoy picking the namesake huckleberries. There is also mushroom hunting available in the area. This location is close to Crater Lake National Park as well as the Natural Bridge in Prospect. Be sure to check Union Creek Resort while you are in the area. 

Mayfield Pond Recreation Area

Mayfield Pond is a beautiful area in the high desert near Bend. This is a popular area for horseback riding and bicycling. Keep your eyes open for pronghorn sheep, mule deer, osprey, and red-tailed hawks. Enjoy the old-growth juniper woodlands and grasslands around the lake in this peaceful area. This area is famous for trout fishing. Bend is also the home of the best skiing in the state. It is the biggest city in eastern Oregon.

Hult Pond

Hult Pond is located northwest of Eugene near the little town of Blachly. This little pond is sometimes called Horton Lake or Hult Marsh. It was developed in the early 1900s to be used by loggers for moving and storing logs. Today it is surrounded by wetlands and is a wonderful area for camping, fishing, hiking, and relaxing. 

Edward Creek Learner’s Loop

Edward Creek Learner’s Loop is a camping area northwest of Portland. This is a great area to visit if you’re staying either in Portland or along the Oregon coast. This spot is close to water, has cell phone access, and allows pets. It has plenty of space for RVs at each site. 

Where to Boondock in Oregon

Since Oregon has a lot of areas that are sparsely populated, there are plenty of areas to boondock. In northern Oregon, you can follow the Columbia River and find spots along the way. There is also plenty of spots between Interstate 5 and the Oregon coast. The area is heavily forested with an abundance of lakes and rivers. In eastern Oregon, you can enjoy a variety of areas, especially near Bend. Oregon has plenty of wilderness to explore with boondocking opportunities in all directions.

Free Camping in Oregon

When preparing for your boondocking trip in Oregon, it is important to be prepared for anything. Be sure to plan your route ahead of time and to take into consideration what time of year you are traveling. If there is inclement weather, beware of little-used back roads along your route. You do not want to get stuck out in the wilderness. Just in case, make sure you have fully charged batteries and a full supply of water and food for everyone. Do not forget a first aid kit as well, so you are ready for anything. Map out the distances between gas stations, and carry an extra container. 

The weather can vary greatly in Oregon, so plan to be dressed in layers and to have warm clothing available. If you are traveling near the coast, you may experience chilly temperatures and plenty of wind. In eastern Oregon, it may start off extremely hot during the day and turn cold when the sun goes down. One of the best times to visit the state is in the spring when the flowers are blooming, and farms along your route have baby animals in the fields. March through June has the best weather in Oregon. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about boondocking.

Boondocking in Oregon is an adventure worth experiencing. You will be free to explore forests, mountainous areas, high deserts, and the coastal region. There are so many lakes and rivers where you can go fishing or boating. The national forests are full of wildlife. Boondocking through the state will allow you to see areas “off the grid” that even residents have not seen. An easy way to start your trip is to fly into the state and rent an RV through From there, grab supplies and a good map, and you are on your way to an adventure of a lifetime.

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