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From lush rainforest to Oregon's high desert, twao our highest mountain peaks, our state has a lot to show off. And Oregon State Parks as you can imagine are some of our finest places to visit.

Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. It has some of the most beautiful scenery, nature, and landscapes of any US state.

These are 13 Top state parks you might not have known were there and will want to add to your bucket list. Many of the parks on this list are small and tucked away, but all have an abundance of beauty.

state parks oregon

Oregon State Parks With An Abundance Of Beauty

1. Jackson F. Kimball State Park

The headwaters of the Wood river bubble up from underground in this park. This is pristine clear glacier melt and you can see all the way through to the bottom of the river. It's too cold for swimming, though baptisms occasionally take place here. These serene waters are the perfect place to kayak.

Oregon State Park
Jackson F. Kimball State Park in Klamath County south of Crater Lake. Photo by Michael McCullough via Flickr CC2.

It's thought that the water that feeds the Wood River may come from Crater Lake, which isn't far North. The Wood River winds its way south and into Agency Lake and eventually into Klamath Lake. Fort Klamath is also nearby and worth checking out.

  • Fees: Parking and camping cost $7.
  • Camping: 10 primitive sites without water. Vault toilets are available.
  • Take Note: Bring your sunscreen and bug spray! Mosquitos are bad near shore.

Location : Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site, Chiloquin, OR 97624

2. Champoeg State Heritage Area

Here's your chance to explore the birthplace of Oregon's first provisional government in 1843, surrounded by lush forests, fields, and wetlands. Don't miss the visitor center and pioneer mother's log cabin museum, where you can delve into the Willamette Valley's rich past.

A town used to stand where the park sits on the banks of the Willamette River until the river rose over 55 feet on December 2, 1861 and flooded the town with over 7 feet of water. 

But today, you can stroll or cycle along the paved trail, soaking up the shady ambiance and serene views. The park is only 10 minutes south of Newberg and it's lovely wineries and eateries.

  • Fees: Day use parking is $5. Click here for camping fees.
  • Camping: Eight full hookup sites, 67 electric sites with water, six walk-in tent sites, six yurts, 6 cabins, and three group tent camping areas. This park has flush toilets and hot showers as well as an RV dump station.

Location : Champoeg State Heritage Area, St Paul, OR 97137

3. L.L. Stub Stewart State Park

This new state park is only 34 miles west of Portland, which makes it the ideal weekend getaway for those that don't want to travel far but still want to get out of the city. There are over 1,800 acres of rolling hills, forests, streams, and wildflowers, not to mention 25 miles of trails.

There are multi-use trails for hiking and horse back riding, as well as 6 miles of cross country and free-ride mountain bike trails. An 18 hole disc golf course is also a fun way to spend an afternoon at this state park.

  • Fees: Day use parking is $5. See here for camping fees.
  • Camping: 3 Campgrounds, one hike in camp, and a cabin village. Many full hookup sites, and walk-in tent sites. Flush toilets and hot showers are available. For picnic tables, you need to make a reservation.

Location : L.L. Stub Stewart State Park, Buxton, OR 97109

4. Munson Creek Falls State Natural Site

Munson Creek Falls
The trail to Munson Creek Falls. Photo by Rick Obst via Flickr, CC2

Take a stroll through a forest filled with old-growth sitka spruce and western red cedar. You will enjoy hiking along Munson Creek and to Munson Creek Falls, which at 319 feet in height is the highest waterfall in the Oregon Coast range.

Come in the summer for a lush green hike and come in the fall for colorful foliage and to try to catch a glimpse of spawning salmon.

Munson Creek Falls
Munson Creek Falls. Photo by Rick Obst via Flickr CC2.

Fees: See here for fees.

Camping: There is no camping available.

Munson Creek Oregon
Munson Creek near the trailhead to the falls. Photo by Rick Obst via Flickr CC2.

Location : Near Tillamook County, Oregon

5. Cascadia State Park

This tranquil park is large and the perfect place to get away from city life for the day or for a weekend. There are two hiking trails, one of which leads to the beautiful Soda Creek Falls. 

The second trail takes you through the forest and along the South Santiam River. Within the park you can see ruts from the historic Santiam Wagon Road, which was used by the military in the 1800's.

Location: 48241 Cascadia Dr, Cascadia, OR 97329

6. Milo McIver State Park

Only 45 minutes from Portland, and sitting on the Clackamas River, this park boasts a number of recreational activities options. Explore the river with rafts, canoes, or kayaks.

Try your hand at fishing, or take a hike and enjoy the scenery. You might want to bring your horse along for a ride, or play disc golf on the 27 hole course.

  • Fees: Day use parking is $5. See here for camping rates.
  • Camping: 44 electrical sites with water, 9 tent sites with water nearby, hot showers and flush toilets.

Location : Milo McIver State Park, Estacada, OR 97023

7. Guy W. Talbot State Park

This park used to be a private summer estate for the Talbot family until it was donated to Oregon in 1929. This is the perfect place for a picnic, and it's seclusion means it's rarely crowded. 

There's a short trail under the Historic Columbia River Highway bridge which leads to Latourelle Falls, which is 250 feet tall.

  • Fees: See here for fees.
  • Camping: There is no camping available.
  • Please Note: The small town of Latourell borders the north side of the park. Park visitors need to be cautious about staying off of private property and respecting local homeowners property and privacy.

Location : Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR 97019

8. Bridal Veil Falls State Park

Sitting in beautiful timber stands, this park is a great place to have a family picnic. If you'd like to take a walk, there's an interpretive trail which takes visitors around the precipice of gorge cliffs.

The famous edifice known as the Pillars of Hercules (a 120 foot basalt tower) can be seen from the interpretive trail. The Pillars of Hercules were once used as a training site for mountain climbing. A lower hiking trail takes visitors to Bridal Veil Falls, which is 120 feet tall and beautiful.

  • Fees: See here for fees.
  • Camping: There is no camping available.
  • Take Note: Stay on the path. There is poison oak in this area, including on some parts of the lower trail to the falls. The trail to the falls is narrow and can be steep in places, so use caution.

Location : 46701 Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR 97019

9. Starvation Creek State Park

This tiny park is a can't miss. Trails spread out from the day use park to National Forest Service land and connect with the Starvation Ridge and Mt. Defiance trails.

You can walk on the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail to Viento State Park and a campground. You won't want to miss Starvation Creek Falls, which is beautiful as it cascades down over the rocks.

Location : Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, Cascade Locks, OR 97014

10. Fort Rock State Park

Fort Rock is unlike many of Oregon's other state parks and shows off some of the geology of Oregon's high desert. Once a gigantic ice age lake bed and home to early Native American's, a volcanic eruption brought the earth up out of the lake and formed what is now known as Fort Rock.

The waters of the ancient lake eroded one side of the rock away leaving what we see today. This is a historical site where many remnants of early Native American life have been found, including what has been dubbed, 'The world's oldest shoes'.

  • Fees: See here for fees.
  • Camping: There is no camping available.
  • Take Note: This park is in the high desert. Weather can change quickly from a bright sunny day to a thunderstorm without much notice. Prepare for bad weather even if you don't think you need to. Also be sure to bring extra water for every person in your group, and make sure everyone is wearing sturdy hiking boots or tennis shoes.
  • Flip flops and sandals should not be worn here. There is no shade, so bring sunscreen or an umbrella, or both. Don't forget to bring food and make sure you have enough gas to get to Fort Rock and to get to your next destination. It's 40 miles to La Pine, which is your best bet for close food and gas, or 69 miles to Bend.

Location : Fort Rock Rd, Fort Rock, OR 97735


READ MORE: Fort Rock, Oregon: Your Adventure Guide


11. Wallowa Lake State Park

wall

Fishing and boating are popular at this site, and so is hiking and horseback riding on the many wilderness trails. Nearby there's mini-golf, go-karts, glass bottom kayaks, and a tramway that will take you to the top of Mount Howard, where you can hike and take in the stunning vistas.

  • Fees: Click here for camping fees.
  • Camping: 121 full hookup sites (36 pull-through), 88 tent sites with water nearby, and two yurts (both ADA).

Location : Wallowa Lake State Park, Joseph, OR 97846

12. Succor Creek State Park

Succor Creek is in a deep rocky canyon and is a great place to go wildlife watching or rock collecting. Take note that only limited souvenir collecting by rock hounds is permitted in the park. 

If you're looking for a remote camping adventure and a place to experience the desert, this is the state park for you.

  • Fees: See here for camping fees. Primitive sites may be free.
  • Camping: 4 primitive camp sites on the west side of the creek and 14 primitive campsites on the east side of the creek. Vault toilets. No water is available.
  • Take Note: Clean water is not available at this site. It's an hour drive through the desert and mountains to Homedale Idaho, which is your best bet for gas, food, and water, or an hour and ten minutes to Nyssa Oregon.
  • Be sure to take everything that you need with you, including food, water, clothing and camping gear for inclement and cold weather, sunscreen, bug spray, and enough gas to get you to the park and to your next destination. There is no cell service at this park. There is no park staff on site.

Location: 220 Succor Creek Rd, Jordan Valley, OR 97910

13. Harris Beach State Park

Make your way to Harris Beach State Park, the perfect base camp for exploring Southern Oregon wild coast. Take in breathtaking views of Bird Island (also known as Goat Island) on one side and numerous sea stacks off shore on the other.

As well, there are miles upon miles of hiking trails, picnic areas & sandy beaches just waiting for you! And if wildlife watching is more your speed then don't fret - you might be able to witness migrating gray whales, California sea lions & harbor seals from offshore waters!

  • Fees : See here for fees.
  • Camping: This campground has 65 RV sites with full hookups, 25 sites with electricity and water, and 59 tent sites close to water. They also have a playground for the kids and flush toilets and hot showers.

Others Popular Oregon parks

The beautiful and varied landscapes in this area make it a great place for all kinds of outdoor activities, from hiking and mountain biking to rock climbing and rafting.

Check out more stunning parks in Oregon with this exciting list of must-visit destinations!

-Hells Canyon National Recreation Area

-Smith Rock State Park lies in Central Oregon

-Fort Stevens State Park is in Oregon's far northwest corner, where the Pacific Ocean and Columbia River meet.

-Lewis and Clark National Historical Park

Have you been to any of these Oregon state parks? Which one is your favorite from the list? Tag the friends and family you want to get off the beaten path with and let them know which State parks you want to go to!


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Written By Jessica Tomlinson

Jessica Tomlinson is a native Oregonian currently living in Southern Oregon. She has been blogging since 2006. She loves nature, photography, hiking, camping, and exploring Oregon's wilds.

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