Ainsworth State Park near Portland, Oregon, is a gorgeous riverside state park that offers views of the Columbia River Gorge, waterfalls, and a wonderful campground.
Located just 35 minutes from the metropolis that is Portland, Ainsworth State Park is just off Highway 84, near the often-visited Horsetail Falls. Visitors can hike the trail to the falls, camp at one of the 46 sites, and enjoy many other hiking trails in the area.
The state park is also very close to other well-known Portland waterfall hikes, including the hike to and above Multnomah Falls and the Latourell Falls Loop Trail.
Know Before You Go
Parking Pass: None
Pets: Yes, pets are allowed.
Camping: Yes, you can camp at the park between March 18th and October 31st.
Bikes: Bikes are allowed.
Other: the campground is located near Highway 84 and the railroad. It's not the quietest camping area in the gorge, but it's in a very convenient location.
Facilities at Ainsworth State Park
Ainsworth State Park is well-loved for its maintained facilities. There are flush toilets, firewood for sale, RV hookups, and plenty of parking. But, the park facilities are for registered campers only. You can't go into the park to use the same facilities that campers are using.
Directions to Ainsworth State Park
Use the map below to get directions to Ainsworth State Park:
Ainsworth State Park Parking
There is plenty of parking within Ainsworth State Park. There are parking spots near every campsite (which can only be used if you are camping overnight).
Ainsworth State Park Weather
Ainsworth State Park is in the middle of the Columbia River Gorge. This means that throughout much of the year, you'll find yourself deep in a rainstorm if you venture into the park.
In the summer, the high can reach the mid-80s. In the winter, highs are in the high-40s.
Best Time to Visit Ainsworth State Park
The best time to visit Ainsworth State Park is summer or fall. Generally, spring is far too rainy in the Columbia River Gorge to truly enjoy its beauty.
Usually, by the end of May, the rain has mostly stopped, and you'll find yourself a few beautiful blue-sky days to camp at Ainsworth State Park and visit the surrounding waterfalls.
What to Do at Ainsworth State Park
There are incredible trails and waterfalls near Ainsworth State Park. Below, you can explore a few of the best trails in this area of the Columbia River Gorge.
Horsetail and Ponytail Falls Trail
Distance from Ainsworth State Park: Less than 5 minutes
The Horsetail Falls Trail, also known as Horsetail Falls Trail #438, is a short, steep trail near Ainsworth State Park. It's visible from Highway 84 as one travels to or from Portland, Oregon.
The trail is 0.9 miles and takes around 35 minutes to complete. During the climb to the top of Horsetail and Ponytail falls, you'll gain around 330 feet of elevation. The hike isn't too difficult and should be suitable for most hikers. It's an easy outing from a nearby campsite at Ainsworth State Park.
The falls itself is thin and plunges 176 feet to a basin of water near a parking lot. It flows from horsetail Creek which, before the falls that most commonly seen, forms Ponytail Falls above it.
Distance from Ainsworth State Park: 10 minutes
The very popular Latourell Falls Loop Trail is 40 minutes from Portland. It takes hikers up to the top of Latourell Falls and then back into the woods, where they can see the upper falls. The hike is family-friendly and is often quite busy.
The Latourell Falls Loop Trail is 3 miles long and gains almost 800 feet of elevation. It should take about 2 hours to complete.
Bridal Veil Falls
Distance from Ainsworth State Park: 16 minutes
The hike to the gorgeous Bridal Veil Falls is an out-and-back trek of only 1.4 miles. It gains around 200 feet on the way and is considered to be family-friendly.
The trail starts from highway 84 and descends to Bridal Veil Creek. It ends at a viewpoint of the falls.
Other waterfalls you might want to visit include Whakeena Falls and Multnomah Falls.
Ainsworth State Park boasts a medium-sized, shaded campground that is ideal for those hoping to hit one or more of the waterfall trails around the "Waterfall Corridor."
The campground is open from March 18th-October 31st. It closes during the winter season due to conditions.
Where is Ainsworth State Park?
Ainsworth State park is 35 minutes from Portland within the Columbia River Gorge. It's near Cascade Locks.
What can I do at Ainsworth State Park?
You can use Ainsworth State Park as a jumping-off point to explore the Waterfall Corridor in the Columbia River Gorge. If you're a fan of waterfalls, this is the place for you. The campground is within 20 minutes of some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Oregon.
Are dogs allowed at Ainsworth State Park?
Yes, dogs are allowed at Ainsworth State Park! But, make sure to keep them on a leash at all times.
What county is Ainsworth State Park in?
Ainsworth State Park is in Multnomah County, Oregon. It is close to the following cities: Cascade Locks, Portland, Dodson, Warrendale, Bridal Veil, and Bonneville.