Memaloose State Park Camping

Memaloose State Park Camping

The Chinook Indian tribes of the Columbia Gorge used to lay the bones of their dead on open pyres on Memaloose Island in the middle of the Columbia River near The Dalles. A granite monument visible from Memaloose State Park campground marks the resting place where a local pioneer named Victor Trevitt wished to chart his eternal course buried among honorable men.

Today, Memaloose State Park is a virtual oasis of beauty in the hottest part of the Columbia River Gorge. Temperatures can top 110 F on a summer day, but Memaloose always manages to provide cool comfort, lush green grass and shade thanks to the tall maples and willows that loom large in the park. The sound of pulsating sprinklers provides a melodic nighttime rhythm to the counterpoint of chirping crickets and lonesome train whistles.

On summer nights, families select prime viewing spots on the cool grass and open meadows around the campground and observe the nightly celestial performances of shooting stars, wandering satellites and far away galaxies.

Please be aware that there is no safe or legal river access at Memaloose

Campground info

  • Approximately 40 full-hookup sites
  • More than 65 tent sites with water nearby
  • Reservable campsites
  • Playground
  • Amphitheater
  • Accessible Flush toilets/showers
  • RV dump station
Rates October 1 to April 30 May 1 to September 30
Extra vehicle $5 $7
Full Hookup $20 $28
Tent site $15 $19

Park History

The original park tract was 2.64 acres given to the state in 1925 by Roy D. and Bernice M. Chatfield. Situated on what was originally the old Columbia River Highway, the park was called Memaloose Island Overlook. With the reconstruction of the highway, additional private lands were purchased in 1952 and 1953. Land not needed for highway purposes was transferred to the Parks and Recreation Division. The park is named for a nearby island in the Columbia River which was a traditional Indian burial ground. In Chinook language, the word “memaloose” is associated with burial ritual. The most prominent feature on the island is a monument to Victor Trevitt, settler of The Dalles and friend of the Indians who died in 1883 and was buried on Memaloose Island in accordance with his wishes.

Oregon State Parks Memaloose State Park page
Ainsworth, Memaloose and Viento State Parks brochure (Adobe pdf)
Oregon State Parks Pets in Parks brochure
Oregon State Parks website
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Camping page
Mount Hood National Forest Camping page