Leave the urban expanse of Portland and escape to the forest for an unforgettable camping and music experience. RV campers and tent campers alike flock to Pickathon at Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley, Oregon.
This annual summer event, which has grown and evolved since its 1999 creation, is both as much an opportunity for enjoying nature as it is a chance to hear incredible musical artists in a beautiful outdoor setting. Park your RV and settle in for several days of music performances that span across multiple genres including bluegrass, indie, rock, and rap.
Pickathon is an eco-focused festival, so expect sustainable practices, solar-powered energy, farm-to-table inspired culinary offerings, and thousands of friendly, earth-loving people together in one place. You’ll undoubtedly get your fill of soul-nourishing wilderness and good times if you stay on the festival grounds for your entire trip to Oregon.
If you have time to spare, you might also consider using your trip to Pickathon as an opportunity to experience the quirky City of Portland or nearby state parks like Champoeg State Heritage Area and Silver Falls State Park. Portland RV campgrounds are a great jumping-off point for adventures in both Oregon and Washington.
Whether you end up parking your RV at Pendarvis Falls for the whole festival or just stopping by for a day of foot-stomping music and good vibes, this nature-powered event just might make you fall in love with camping in Oregon.
Tickets for Pickathon come with plenty of choices for budgets and timeframe. Choose from single-day tickets, which do not include parking or camping, or get a pass for the duration of the festival that allows you to camp.
There are also upgraded passes for those who want enhanced camping experiences or VIP access that lets you party alongside the artists after they hit the stage. Expect to pay as little as $130 for a single-day ticket without parking or as much as $1250 for an all-out VIP experience. The standard RV camping experience is priced at around $300.
Pickathon is located at Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley, Oregon. If you’re traveling by RV from the Portland area, plan on an approximately 16-mile drive to the festival. Road closures and traffic may make this a surprisingly long (40 minutes to an hour) drive for a relatively short distance, so give yourself time to get there.
If you are only able to check out Pickathon for a single day, you will have to pay a separate fee for parking in addition to purchase a day pass (about $45). Staying for the whole festival? Park your RV in your dry campsite of choice. RVs must not be wider than 15 feet or longer than 30 feet. Car parking is available for weekend pass holders in a separate lot.
In addition to driving your RV to Pickathon, there are a number of other ways to find your way to the festival. Use the shuttle provided by the festival organizers, opt for local public transit, find a ride via the festival’s online carpool program, or go the eco-friendly route and bike to Pendarvis Farm via the official bike route.
Camping at Pickathon is first-come, first-serve, and is included with the cost of a weekend pass. RV campsites are primitive and can accommodate RVs up to 30 feet in length. There are toilets, showers (extra fee), dishwashing stations, compost stations, and recycling bins throughout the campground, plus special areas for those who want to stay up late and those who prefer to keep it quiet. The campsites are wooded, wilderness sites, so expect uneven ground when parking your RV.
Camping on-site really is a big part of the Pickathon experience, but if you’re only stopping by for the day, you’ll have to camp elsewhere. Fortunately, Oregon is a camper’s paradise. Check out Cascade Locks/Portland East KOA, or look for other campgrounds near Portland or in the surrounding wilderness in Washington or Oregon.
Pickathon takes place in a wooded area on a farm. You can get around on foot or ride your bike. There is a map of the area on the festival website that makes for a handy reference once you’re at the event. Festival-goers who need ADA access should contact the event organizers prior to Pickathon to ensure that they receive the correct parking permit, a specially-placed campsite, and information about ADA compliant restrooms.
Bring clothing that’s suited for both wilderness camping and a festival party experience. You’ll want plenty of layers, as daytime temperatures will be warm and nighttime temperatures will be considerably cooler. Have both sandals and hiking boots, a hat, warm socks, and cozy pajamas for primitive camping with no heat.
Pack for a weekend of RV camping with dry camping in mind. You’ll want a warm sleeping bag or blankets, flashlights, and all other items for a comfortable campsite. Skip the firewood, as campfires are not allowed. Bring a picnic blanket or chair for relaxing at live performances. Umbrellas are not allowed. No need to bring cash; most vendors accept credit cards, and there will be ATMs at the event.
Sunscreen and bug spray are both a great idea. Also, bring toiletries, prescriptions, and apparel that will protect you from the elements (the festival is held rain or shine). Pack a reusable water bottle and take advantage of free water filling stations. While plenty of tasty food options will be available, you are also welcome to bring snacks to keep you fueled while you’re dancing and enjoying the music.
Camp stoves are permitted at Pickathon, but fires are not allowed. While most festival-goers prefer to enjoy on-site food offerings, outside food is also welcome at your campsite. You will find a few grocery stores in Happy Valley in addition to a large number of grocery stores in Portland, but it may be best to load up before you arrive so you do not have to leave during the festival. Outside alcohol is not allowed.
You’ll find a small selection of restaurants in Happy Valley, including local cafes, food trucks, and more. If you’re able to experience Portland during your RV trip to Pickathon, you’re in for a treat. The city and surrounding area are a foodie’s paradise complete with quirky donut shops, legendary coffee roasters, local wineries, and scratch-made street food.
Pickathon is all about sustainability, so expect food vendors who share in this ethos. Options may include plant-based bites, local ingredients, and creative culinary selections that go way beyond the usual festival fare. Beer, wine, and cocktails are available to those who are of age. Carry your ID with you if you wish to partake. Most vendors accept credit cards.
Pickathon is intended as an inclusive, harmonious experience, so leave your bad vibes—and your firearms, fireworks, weapons, animals, and outside alcohol—at home. All vehicles will be screened upon entry, and prohibited items will be confiscated. Wear your festival wristband, carry your ID, and display your parking pass. Security will be on-site to ensure that everyone has a safe and fun time.
Summer is the driest season in Happy Valley, with sunny days and temperatures in the 70s and 80s. At night, it gets much cooler. While July and August aren’t technically the rainy season in Oregon, precipitation can occur, so it’s best to be prepared with a rain jacket and extra clothes.
There will be a wide range of medical services at Pickathon, representing both traditional western medicine practices and holistic treatment. The medical tent is staffed with nurses, doctors, mental health professionals, physical therapists and practitioners offering naturopathic care. You will also find hospitals and clinics in Happy Valley and the surrounding communities near Pendarvis Farm.