Tucked into the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, Beacon Rock State Park has great places camp and kick back after a day of traveling in the gorge or hiking Hamilton Mountain and Beacon Rock.
In the forest up the road from Hamilton Mountain Trailhead, you’ll find the park’s main campground spread around a single loop. A mossy ledge of basalt rises over one side of the campground. On the other side, the terrain eases down to Little Creek. Hardley Trailhead sits at the back of the campground with a small area for day use parking.
The main campground has 26 first-come first-served sites (reservations are not accepted). The first site on the campground loop is for backpackers and bikers. Sites 2 through 26 are available to motorized or non-motorized campers. The hiker/biker campsite is $12 per night and the standard campsites are $25 per night. This fee includes parking for one vehicle. Second vehicles can be added to campsites for $10 per night. Two is the maximum number of vehicles per site. Vehicles registered at the campground can also use the other parking areas around Beacon Rock State Park or use the boat launch, functioning in place of the Washington State Parks Discover Pass required for day use visitors. Firewood can be purchase for $8 (all prices as of 2017).
When you arrive at the campground, find an open site, self register, and post the permit on the dash of your vehicle. Checkout is at 1 p.m. and quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The campground has water spigots and a bathroom with flush toilets, electricity, and running water. Coin operated showers are also available. Each site has a picnic table and a metal fire ring. Wood gathering is not permitted. The main campground closes during the winter season. For more information, call the park headquarters at 509-427-8265.
The main campground only has a few sites with vehicle space over twenty feet long (and the twisting road to the campground will also be difficult for RVs). For those with RVs, Beacon Rock State Park does have five “utility sites” that provide electricity and accommodate vehicles up to 40 feet long. These year-round campsites are located within Woodard Creek Campground.
Those with horses can use two equestrian campsites by the equestrian trailhead that are big enough to accommodate horse trailers. These sites do not have potable water or electricity, but do have a hi-line for horses, livestock water, and a CXT vault toilet.
Larger parties of up to 200 people can use a group camp with room for tents and RVs. The campsite has a kitchen shelter with electricity, a picnic shelter, two sleeping shelters, and two vault toilets.
To get to the main campground: From Portland, follow Interstate 205 north into the state of Washington. Take exit 27 toward Camas, merge onto Route 14, and travel east for 28 miles (34.5 miles up Route 14 from Interstate 5 in Vancouver).
After Beacon Rock comes into view, drive up a hill past the park headquarters for Beacon Rock State Park on the left. Roadside parking for Beacon Rock Trail begins on the right. Make the next left up a road toward Hamilton Mountain Trailhead and the campground. Drive half a mile up the road to the campground loop at road’s end.
Campground address: Washington 14, Stevenson, WA 98648
Campground coordinates: 45.6358, -122.0238 (44° 38′ 08.9″N 122° 01′ 25.7″W)
Use the map below to create your own directions:
|Beacon Rock Trail|
This 1.6-mile hike follows an impressively engineered trail packed with switchbacks that scale a monolith along the Columbia River.
The beautiful 7.75-mile lollipop loop visits bombastic waterfalls and panoramic cliffs on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge in Beacon Rock State Park.
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