Three Car Camping Destinations Near Corvallis
Car camping is the perfect getaway for an unplanned opening in your schedule. It’s also a great option for those seeking a less physically demanding outing while still capturing the benefits of getting outdoors and escaping the bustle of day-to-day life. With quick access, nearby amenities, and plenty of space to spread out for a weekend of fun, look no further than these three car camping destinations near Corvallis.
Marys Peak Campground
Just a 45-minute drive from downtown Corvallis, Marys Peak Campground is a fantastic destination for those looking for a quick getaway. Make your way toward the campground along a scenic, winding road that leads you up the highest peak in the Oregon Coast Range, showcasing several gorgeous vistas and miniature waterfalls along the way. The campground, just off Marys Peak Road which heads toward the parking lot at the peak, features several spacious drive-in campsites with picnic tables, fire rings, and plenty of space to spread out. Vault toilets are available, but water and trash services are not, so plan on bringing plenty to drink and trash bags to take your campsite waste back home.
Open May through October, sites cost $10 a night and are offered on a first-come-first-served basis. Dispersed camping is not allowed within the Marys Peak Scenic Botanical Special Interest Area, so be sure to plan a backup camping location should all the sites be occupied.
For recreation, plan on either driving or hiking your way to the top of Marys Peak to soak in an expansive view of the Willamette Valley, the Oregon Coast Range, and even–on a clear day–the Pacific Ocean.
Directions, recreation ideas, and more are available on the Forest Service website.
Alsea Falls Campground
Located about 45 minutes south of Corvallis, just 13 miles west of Monroe, Alsea Falls Campground features 16 reservable sites a stone's throw from Alsea River. Surrounded by new- and old-growth forests, the campground offers access to a wealth of recreation possibilities, including fishing, nearby hikes to multiple falls, as well as access to Alsea Falls’ popular mountain biking trails. The nearby river offers a cool reprieve for hotter summer days, and towering trees offer plenty of shade to keep temps down for campsite lounging. Spacious, relatively secluded sites offer plenty of peace and quiet for relaxing after putting a day’s work exploring nearby trails.
The campground is open for camping May through September, and sites are reservable through the recreation.gov website. Campsites are all technically reservation-only, but un-reserved sites can be rented on a nightly basis until a reservation holder arrives. The campground has vault toilets, drinking water, and trash cans, making this a terrific choice if you’re new to car camping or simply prefer access to multiple, convenient amenities.
For more information and site reservations, visit recreation.gov.
Big Elk Campground
Big Elk Campground is a great destination for car campers seeking out a simple destination close to home. Just under an hour west of Corvallis in the Siuslaw National Forest, Big Elk Campground features eight pull-in sites for car campers. A popular location for hikers and cyclists making their way along the Corvallis-to-the-sea (C2C) trail, the campground offers potable water, vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings. Located adjacent to Big Elk Creek, you’ll have a wealth of hiking and biking options and even an area for an evening game of horseshoes. Fall asleep to the murmur of the nearby creek and the whisper of air through the trees towering above you.
Sites are available on a first-come-first-served basis and cost $10 a night ($5 for extra vehicles). Open year-round, Big Elk makes for a terrific last-minute getaway destination or a fun spot to test out your latest outdoor gear.
For current conditions and restrictions, visit the Forest Service website.
Interested in other options?
Stop by the Peak Sports Outdoor Store and chat with one of our friendly sales guides for additional destination ideas, gear advice, and more. We’ll ensure you’re set up with exactly what you need to make your next unexpected free weekend an outing to remember. With plenty of long summer days ahead, we’d love to help you hit the road with expert advice and the perfect equipment to help you have a blast!