About an hour east of Portland, Oregon, lies the Mt. Hood National Forest, close enough to the Big City to provide easily-accessed year-round outdoor activities including (just to name a few) hiking, camping, fishing, boating, climbing, and white-water rafting in the summer, and skiing, snowboarding, sledding/tubing and snowshoeing in the winter. There’s a lot to do and see in the Mt. Hood area – I recently camped along the Clackamas River southwest of Mt. Hood itself for a few days, enjoying some peace and quiet, waving at the rafters and kayakers, reading, picking a few berries, and catching up on my down-time.
Getting to the Clackamas River Wild and Scenic Area is easy: from Portland, take Highway 84 East to Interstate 205 South to Highway 224 East and then pick a campground, river access, fishing area, boat ramp, or picnic area to stop at. Easy peasy.
I stayed at Carter Bridge Campground, about 14 miles east of Estacada. There are 15 campsites, several of them right on the river where you can wave at the rafters from your picnic table. The cost is $18 per night ($9 if you have a Senior Pass); the campground provides tables, fire rings, and vault toilets. Water may be obtained at the adjacent Lockaby Campground. Carter Bridge is one of four campgrounds in the Mt. Hood NF that does not take reservations – it’s first come first served.
Not too bad for nine bucks a night! Think I’ll go back one more time before I head south for the winter (I hear the geese already heading out so that must mean it’s just about time for me, too!)
See you out there with a handful of berries – we can make cobbler over the campfire!
CLICK HERE for more photos from my Clackamas River Camping Trip
Mt. Hood NF links: