Columbia Hills State Park RV & Campground Guide


Columbia Hills State Park encompasses 3,637 acres of land in southern Washington about 90 miles east of Portland, Oregon with about 7,500 feet of shoreline on the Columbia River. Horsethief Lake and Horsethief Butte cater to water lovers and climbers, and there are numerous RV and primitive campsites scattered throughout the park as well. Some of the most popular activities visitors to Columbia Hills State Park enjoy include hiking, biking, camping, climbing, swimming, fishing, paddling, windsurfing, and more. With the park's proximity to Portland and other smaller towns, you can find shopping, restaurants, and hotel accommodations close by. If you are interested in Native American history, Columbia Hills State Park is home to a group of pictographs and petroglyphs from the Native American people who once called the area home.

Nearby Cities:

  • Portland, OR

  • The Dalles, OR

  • Mt. Hood, OR

  • Umatilla, OR

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Spring 41-66 F
Summer 57-86 F
Fall 43-70 F
Winter 30-45 F
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Columbia Hills State Park

Campground Accommodations

Columbia Hills Historical State Park Campground

  • Water hookup: Yes

  • Electrical hookup: Yes

  • Sewer hookup: Yes

  • Wi-Fi: No

  • Pet-friendly: Yes

  • Max RV length: 60 feet

  • Other amenities: Toilets, showers, potable water, firewood available, ADA access, dump site

Columbia Hills RV

One of the closest RV campgrounds is Columbia Hills RV. It's only seven minutes away from the state park, so you can't beat it for convenience. It can accommodate large campers, so this is a solid option if you need a place to park your big trailer.

  • Water hookup: No

  • Electrical hookup: Yes

  • Sewer hookup: No

  • Wi-Fi: No

  • Pet-friendly: No

  • Other amenities: Laundromats, sizable lots, multi-vehicle spaces

Bridge RV Park and Campground

If you want to camp closer to the Hood River area of the Gorge, then Bridge RV Park and Campground may be right for you. The campground is only half an hour's drive from Columbia Hills State Park.

  • Water hookup: Yes

  • Electrical hookup: Yes

  • Sewer hookup: Yes

  • Wi-Fi: No

  • Pet-friendly: Yes

  • Other amenities: HD cable, pull-through, back-in and multiple-slider sites available

Peach Beach Campground & RV Park

If you head 30 minutes along the river the other way, you'll reach Peach Beach Campground & RV Park, which is close to Maryhill State Park. It's right on the Columbia River, and it's near an orchard and a winery.

  • Water hookup: Yes

  • Electrical hookup: Yes

  • Sewer hookup: Yes

  • Wi-Fi: Yes

  • Pet-friendly: Yes

  • Other amenities: Dump station, beach, private swimming cove, restrooms, showers

Stargazers RV Resort

Those in search of a dark night sky for stargazing may want to stay at the aptly named Stargazers RV Resort. It's only 30 minutes from Columbia Hills State Park, and it's practically right outside the gates of Goldendale Observatory State Park.

  • Water hookup: Yes

  • Electrical hookup: Yes

  • Sewer hookup: Yes

  • Wi-Fi: N/A

  • Pet-friendly: N/A

  • Other amenities: Pool, showers, exercise center, full kitchen

RV Rentals Near Columbia Hills State Park

Nearby RV Rentals


What to Do at
Columbia Hills State Park

Some of the most popular water activities at the park include boating, swimming, fishing, and paddling. Both the Columbia River and Horsethief Lake provide ample opportunities to enjoy time on the water when the weather allows. Horsethief Butte is a popular destination for climbers, and there are campsites, hiking trails, and picnic areas throughout the park where people can savor being outdoors. No matter which of the destinations visitors come for, sightseeing and nature viewing are two things every person who enters the park can enjoy.

There are multiple adventures for people of all ages, fitness levels, and experience levels. Whether you enjoy spending time on the water or hiking on the more than 12 miles of nature trails inside Columbia Hills State Park, there are adventures awaiting everyone who enters the park.

Inside Columbia Hills State Park

Horsethief Lake is a great place for popular water sports like swimming, sailboarding and boating. Two boat ramps provide convenient access to the lake, and you can engage in some freshwater fishing from your boat.

There are more than 12 miles of trails that go throughout Columbia Hills State Park. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for various types of wildlife on your hike.

When you're ready to eat after a hard day of rock climbing and adventuring, you'll be able to relax at one of 35 picnic tables spread throughout the park.

Fishing Fishing

Horsethief Lake, which is connected to the Columbia River, is the primary fishing spot in Columbia Hills State Park. You can fish from the shore, paddle out on a kayak or canoe, or take a boat out on the water for fishing. Some of the fish you can expect to catch include crappie, bluegill, walleye, largemouth bass, yellow perch, and of course rainbow trout.

Geocaching Geocaching

There are trinkets and treasures hidden throughout the park that can be found with a GPS-enabled receiver. Geocaches can be almost anything often related to the campground and equipment, and they are fun to seek and find when you are spending time at a place like Columbia Hills State Park.

Nature Watching Nature Watching

Some of the most popular nature viewing destinations include Horsethief Lake, Horsethief Butte, and the Columbia River. Here you can view various forms of wildlife. There are mountain lions, black bears, mule deer, porcupines, coyotes, and different snake and lizard species.

Stargazing Stargazing

If you are visiting Columbia Hills State Park and the skies are clear, you can find incredible views of the stars above.

Hiking Hiking

There are more than 12 miles of hiking trails within Columbia Hills State Park. The Horsethief Butte Trail is one of the most scenic and is the one used by climbers in the area. Some of the other popular trails include Vista Loop and Dalles Mountain Trail. The trails range from rugged to easy with trails for hikers of any skill level.


Columbia Hills State Park is the only state park in Washington that allows motorized boats on a lake entirely within the borders of the park. Because it is only a 90-acre lake, the speed limit is 5 mph, and skiing and wakeboarding are not allowed. It is important to note that conditions in the area can often be very windy which can make boating dangerous if not done correctly.

Swimming Swimming

There are designated swimming areas at Horsethief Lake when the weather is warm enough, but it is recommended to only swim in the designated areas.


Columbia Hills State Park features about 10 miles of mountain biking trails that cover mostly grassy flat terrain. The biking trails are not overly difficult and feature some scenic passes close to Mount Hood and the Columbia River.

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How to Get to
Columbia Hills State Park

From Vancouver, take SR 14 East through Lyle to US Highway 197. Continue east on SR 14 for approximately 2.8 miles to the trailhead parking that is marked with a sign.

From The Dalles, take exit 87 off I-84 onto US 197. Drive across the Columbia River going north for approximately 3.3 miles to the junction with SR 14. Then follow the instructions above.

Entering Columbia Hills State Park

The entry fee for Columbia Hills State Park is $10 per vehicle for a Discover Pass. There is parking available in multiple spots throughout the park. Vehicles of any type, including RVs, can park in these areas for no additional fee.

Columbia Hills State Park Per Car (Daily) : $10.0

Columbia Hills State Park Per Car (Annual) : $30.0

Frequently Asked Questions About Columbia Hills State Park

What is the best time of year to visit Columbia Hills State Park?

The best time of the year to visit is late spring to early fall. The wind is not as strong during those months, and the weather is mild. You can enjoy water activities as well as everything else the park has to offer.

What kind of wildlife can be found in Columbia Hills State Park?

Some of the wildlife that has been spotted in Columbia Hills State Park include mountain lions, black bears, mule deer, Douglas tree squirrels, coyotes, and various snake and lizard species. There are numerous fish species in both the Columbia River and Horsethief Lake as well.

Are there designated RV camping spots in Columbia Hills State Park?

There are four standard campsites, eight partial hookup sites, four walk-in sites, two primitive hiker sites, and two rustic cabins that can be rented. The RV sites can accommodate RVs up to 60 feet and include full hookup and partial hookup sites.

Do you have to reserve a camping spot at Columbia Hills State Park and what is the cost?

It is recommended that RV campsite reservations are made before coming to Columbia Hills State Park. The nightly rate is around $40 per night.

Are pets allowed at Columbia Hills State Park?

Pets are allowed at the park as long as they are kept on a leash and under observation at all times. The Tsaglalal ("She Who Watches") trail does not allow pets.