Viento State Park Camping

Viento State Park Camping

Appropriately enough for a park in the blustery Columbia River Gorge, the park’s name, pronounced vee-EN-toe, is Spanish for wind. Just an odd coincidence, actually. In this case, the Viento comes from the first letters of three railroad tycoons – Villard, Endicott, and Tollman -who put the first railroad in the area.

Where a railroad station once stood is now the home of one of the Gorge’s best kept secrets: Viento is a great place to camp! With modern campsites, Viento almost always has a spot available when other campgrounds in the area are full.

Viento is next to a working railroad line and crossing. Visitors and campers can expect to hear train horns throughout the day and night. Interstate 84 also borders the park. Please call the park office at (541) 374-8811, for more information.

Viento has a day-use area with easy access to the Columbia River and some of the best windsurfing in the Gorge. There’s a great picnic area right next to a wonderful, babbling creek – just right for skimming stones and soaking sore feet.

A one-mile, fully handicapped accessible trail from Viento to the Starvation Creek waterfall takes you along a section of the Historic Columbia River Highway. Now a hiking trail, there hasn’t been auto traffic here in more than 50 years. If you get a chance to visit, imagine an old Ford Model T twisting around the corners!

Campground info

  • Approximately 55 electrical sites with water
  • More than 15 tent sites with water nearby
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Windsurfing
  • Playground
  • Accessible Flush toilets/showers
  • Interpretive programs
  • Universal Access (One campsite accessible to campers with disabilities).
Rates October 1 to April 30 May 1 to September 30
Daily day-use $5 $5
12 month day-use pass $30 $30
24 month day-use pass $50 $50
Electrical $16 $22
Extra vehicle $5 $7
Tent site $13 $17

Park History

The land was acquired between 1925 and 1967 by purchase from private owners. The purchase of the first tract was financed by Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company to compensate for damage to trees when the company cleared its line rights-of-way in Oregon park areas. The park was established to provide a shaded picnic and rest area for travelers on the old Columbia River Highway. Initial development was carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Overnight camping facilities were added in the 1950s. Although viento is the Spanish word for wind, and trees in the area show the shaping effects of strong winds in the Columbia Gorge, the park name was taken from a nearby station on the railroad — the title of which supposedly was composed of the first letters of surnames of the railroad builder Henry Villard, capitalist William Endicott, and a contractor named Tolman. These men were active in railroad building along the Columbia River in the 1870s and 1880s. Viento was a station on the Oregon-Washington Railway and Navigation Company line (now Union Pacific).

Oregon State Parks Viento 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