Where to Camp Near the Gorge Amphitheater, Washington
By Emily Butterfield
The Gorge Amphitheater in Washington state is one of the most picturesque places to see a concert. Perched on a hillside above the Columbia River Gorge, the scenery is a stunning backdrop for a show – especially as the sun sets. Much of the camping in the area is in the dry, arid desert environment – lack of shade and hot temps are common in the summer. One of the best ways to pass the time before a show is to spend a lazy day on the river. If you’re heading to the Gorge in your Escape campervan rental, be sure to book your camping in advance; here are five areas to camp near the amphitheater.
The Gorge Campground
20-minute walk to the amphitheater
Possibly the easiest place to get a campsite and also the closest. It’s located adjacent to the amphitheater so you can walk to the show. This is a true festival camping – you’ll get a tiny plot of land in front of your car to pitch a tent and cook your food. Don’t forget to note where you park/camp, it all looks the same when you return to the campground after dark!
Free shuttle to/from the amphitheater
Wildhorse Campground is a great option if you want to stay close to the amphitheater (they even provide a free shuttle). Similar to the Gorge Campground, you’ll get a small spot for your camp set up, but you won’t have as many neighbors. The place typically sells out for every concert – so book early. They have free hot showers and The Coral Cafe is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
45-minute drive to the amphitheater
Crescent Bar is a great place to camp and enjoy the river on a hot summer day. The small resort community has several restaurants, bars, and river-access areas. There are two main camping options in the area: the Crescent Bar campground (aka Grant PUD Crescent Bar Recreation Area) and a Thousand Trails RV park. While Thousand Trails properties are typically reserved for members, there are a few spots available for non-members.
25-minute drive to the amphitheater
The town of Vantage is located on the Columbia River so it’s a great place to stay if you’re wanting to boat or play on the river. Like most camping options near the Gorge, the campgrounds and RV parks fill fast for concert weekends. The Vantage Riverstone Resort offers campsites and hotel rooms and is just across the street from the boat launch. The Wanapum and the Rocky Coulee recreation areas both have campsites and great day-use areas; because they are located on the Columbia River, be prepared for high winds.
50-minute drive to the amphitheater
While it’s a little bit of a drive to the Gorge, the town of Ephrata has several RV parks to choose from. You’ll find several stores and restaurants (and a waterslide park) since it’s one of the bigger towns in the area. Several of the RV parks include golf courses or swimming pools, like Sunny Springs Resort and Campground and Oasis RV Park.
Because the amphitheater and many camping options are located near the Columbia River, winds can be strong and cool. Make sure to pack warm clothing for your evening at the concert and camp.