Viento State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Located in the Columbia River Gorge in northern Oregon, Viento State Park is a water lover’s dream destination. The windy river makes for some of the best windsurfing you’ll find in the region, as well as excellent fishing and boating.

There’s more than just the river at Viento State Park. Hikers will also find miles of scenic trails that lead them throughout the area surrounding the gorge. You’ll also be able to hike to the Historic Columbia River Highway. No longer an active highway, it makes for a scenic hike through the state’s history.

Bikers can also take to the trails throughout the park, and connect to Oregon’s network of Scenic Bikeways, which allow you to explore the state’s natural and historical heritage.

With 56 campsites within the park, RV campers have plenty of options to choose from, with amenities such as electrical and water hookups, restrooms, and showers. Whether planning to stay for a day or for a week, you’ll find plenty of natural wonder to keep you busy whenever you visit Viento State Park.

RV Rentals in Viento State Park

Transportation in Viento State Park

Driving

Located in northern Oregon on the border with Washington, Viento State Park is well within driving distance of multiple major cities in the region.

If you are driving from Portland, take I-84 out of the city and you will arrive at the park in a little over an hour. From Eugene, take I-84 and I-5 and you will reach the park in around two and a half hours. The park is also not too far from Seattle. Take I-5 south out of the city and you will get to the park in around 3 and a half hours.

Once at the park, there are no RV restrictions on any of the main roads of the parks.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Viento State Park

Campsites in Viento State Park

Reservations camping

Cascade Locks / Portland East KOA

Planted in the midst of the majestic Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is the award-winning Cascade Locks/Portland East KOA. From the grounds, head out to Hood River and ride the Mount Hood Railroad that links the foothills of Mount Hood to the Columbia Gorge, or hike up to 4,000 feet in elevation on the Larch Mountain trails. Cascade Locks/Portland East KOA is a comfortable place to stay, with amenities like a dog park, a seasonal pool, Wi-Fi, and cable TV. Firewood and propane are available for purchase, and pull-through sites can accommodate rigs up to 110 feet.

Viento State Park Campground

There are 56 sites at the campground found within the park, all of which have electrical hookups. There are also flush toilets and hot showers in the campground. Pets are allowed at all of the sites. All of the sites feature a picnic table and fire pit.

The park’s day use area is located just outside the campground, as well as a variety of picnic areas. You’ll also be able to easily reach the main hiking trail, and the Columbia River is within walking distance, so you’ll be able to get from your camper to the river in minutes.

The campground is located near a railroad, with trains that run all night. If you are sensitive to noise, you may want to bring ear plugs to ensure you get a sound night’s sleep.

Reservations must be made at least a day before you arrive, and can be made up to 9 months in advance. The campground is open from early April through the end of October. If you are visiting during the summer, consider booking well in advance, as the campground fills up quickly.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Viento State Park

In-Season

Fishing

The Columbia River is also an excellent destination for those who want to fish. Bass, walleye, trout, and catfish are all commonly found in the river near the park, as well as bluegill and crappie. There’s also a large number of steelhead that come up the river during the summer too.

You’ll need an Oregon state fishing license if you plan to fish in the park. And there may be seasonal restrictions on certain fish species, so check with the park office to ensure that you are not in violation of any fishing regulations.

Fishing is excellent just about any time of year, although at its best from April through September.

Boating

The river is also excellent to explore by boat. Enjoy the windswept gorge in a kayak or canoe. There is no boat launch, but getting out onto the water is easy from the main areas of the park. There are no rentals, so you’ll have to bring your own boat.

Although the current is usually gentle in the sections near the park, do take caution as you explore the area, and be sure to wear a lifevest.

Windsurfing

Located in the Columbia River Gorge, Viento State Park can get quite windy. This makes it a popular destination for windsurfers, who flock to the park to enjoy the river’s choppy waters.

Summer is the best time of year to head to the park in your campervan for windsurfing. Although the river is a popular destination, there’s plenty of space even on the busiest days.

If the wind is calm, you can also head out onto the river with a paddleboard. There are no rentals, so you’ll need to bring your own board with you in the rig.

Off-Season

Biking

The beautiful views of the gorge also make an excellent setting for bike riding. The trails leading through the park are open to bikes any time of the year, so consider bringing a bike with your motorhome.

You’ll be able to connect to Oregon’s network of Scenic Bikeways, which showcase some of the state’s best natural sites, as well as local historical landmarks. Use the park as a launching point for a longer ride through the surrounding areas

Hiking

Although primarily known for its water activities, you’ll find some excellent short hikes at Viento State Park that let you explore the area surrounding the Columbia River Gorge.

There’s also a mile long trail that takes you along a section of the Historic Columbia River Highway, which has been preserved over the past 50 years. You’ll get a slice of mid-century American life.

If you want to go on a longer hike, the park connects to a network of trails that will let you explore the areas surrounding the park.

Picnicking

If you want a more relaxed approach to your stay at the park, spend the day at one of the park’s picnic shelters. There is a picnic area located right next to a stream that runs into the Columbia River, making for a relaxed, scenic environment. And the picnic area is right by the banks of the river, so if you want to cool off in the waters, you’re just a short walk away.

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