It's no secret that Oxbow Regional Park is a favorite camping destination in East Multnomah County. For 50 years, the 1,000-acre natural area park has been a recreational treasure, offering visitors an opportunity to walk in an old growth forest, view migrating salmon and sleep under the stars.
That's why the first-come first-served camping area fills up fast during the peak season – late summer to early fall.
Now, thanks to a new partnership between Metro and the State of Oregon, visitors can make a reservation in advance and head out to the scenic Sandy River Gorge, knowing a tent or RV site is waiting for them.
"We are excited to offer this new service at Oxbow," said Paul Slyman, director of Metro's Parks and Environmental Services department. "We want to make it easy for people visit our parks so they can focus on enjoying the experience of being at such unique, beautiful places."
Around the campfire, and into the woods and water.
On summer weekend nights, campers at Oxbow get a free, added bonus during their stay: live performances and nature presentations in the campground amphitheater. Folk tales, bear talks and even a yodeling bluesman are some of the past entertainment. Programs are at dusk, Friday and Saturday nights, from July 4 through Labor Day.
During the day, campers and day visitors can hike Oxbow’s 12 miles of trails through old growth forest and along the ever-changing shoreline of the glacier-fed Sandy River; the river’s banks make excellent tracking ground for mink, elk, beaver, fox and other year-round inhabitants. Visitors can swim, fish for steelhead, or put in a raft or kayak at the park’s boat ramp. Other park amenities are picnic shelters and equestrian trails.
The campground is open year-round, and reservations through the system can be made nine months in advance. Campers can stay up to 14 nights within any 17 night period (28 days maximum in any 6 month period). Visitors arriving at the park without a campsite reservation will still be able to camp for one night, if spaces are available.
Other changes for campers: the formerly coin-operated showers are now free, check-out time has been extended to noon, and two vehicles are now permitted per campsite.
Reservations can also be made by calling Reservations NW at 1-800-452-5687, using a MasterCard or Visa. Pets and alcohol are not allowed in Metro regional parks or natural areas.