Gorge Amphitheater Camping

 

By: Adrianna Cavazos

In the summer of 2014, I got invited to go to Paradiso, I have been back every summer since. Nothing beats that first sunset at the campgrounds and the first time you set sight on the mainstage and that gorgeous backdrop of the Columbia River. I have the best summers of my life at the Gorge, it’s magical. This guide is to give you tips and tricks to make your Gorge experience amazing. 

I live about 6 hours away from the Gorge, we pack up early and arrive at the campgrounds around 2 (which is normally when they open up) If you can have that day off when the grounds open, I highly suggest to do so! It gives you more time to enjoy the grounds and set up camp in the daylight. The venue is in the middle of nowhere, driving in you pass the venue entrance. If you are staying in a hotel, that is where you be able to park. The venue parking in day use only, so after the show, you must move your car. The only way for your car to stay overnight is to purchase a camping pass. I believe there is a farm across the street that will charge to park your car overnight. This can be useful if you are meeting your camping group on the grounds and were not able to caravan. 

Festival camping

You will notice a line of cars, by this time your friends should be in the car in front or behind you, this will ensure you can camp next to each other. There will be staff pointing you in the right direction. Everyone who is camping uses the same lane to check-in. This is a long wait, you are in your car in line for hours sometimes. I highly recommend filling up your tank at the last gas station you see, which should be a Shell station right before you go over a bridge, about 30 minutes away from the venue. Some cars get ushered to go into a different line to get searched if that car is in your group. Do not worry, after they check your camping ticket, you can pull over to the side and wait for your friend. The car searchers are random. If you are concerned about something that can get taken away, then hide it. Don’t be yelling out the window to cause attention to yourself. You are not here to get arrested unless you are caught trying to distribute or harm. When you get closer to the tellers, there is about 4/5 of them. If your friends get into a different line, remember after you pass the tellers you can wait for them. The tellers check your camping ticket, give you a sticker and usher you into the correct camping. GA stays in that large field and higher tiers will almost backtrack to be closer to the venue. Here is where you can wait for your friends, you want them in front or behind your car because as soon as you head to line up to be placed into your spot, the cars around you are your neighbors! I highly recommend setting up camp as soon as you park! That way it is done and you can have the rest of the evening to explore and hang out!

                         

Gorge camping set up                   

What to expect; the different tiers of camping are different in the sense of how close people are near you. GA, very close, premier you have more space and it is quieter, then so on and so forth. I have personally camped GA all 7 years I have been to the Gorge. My group and I enjoy being in the middle of the scene. Some people don’t like GA, but it is the cheapest and you can find all the parties. So many people will bring setups to play in the grounds and have “parties”. I highly recommend walking around and checking things out. 

 

Walking through the grounds you can make friends, find parties but also see how other people set their camp up. I have seen some sweet setups, that give me ideas for the next years coming! Some people will already be dressed in their rave gear others just dressed normally. So don’t feel like you are out of place. Near GA will also be the pivot, a place where they sell food and have different shops. Always go check out what they have to offer, you can find the GA showers and a MED tent at the pivot. About a 10-minute walk from the Pivot is a general store(technically by the entrance of the campgrounds) It is basically like a corner store market, snacks, drinks, ice, cigarettes, etc. This is great for is you have forgotten something. From GA, the walk to the venue itself is about a mile, you can walk it in 25 minutes or longer depending on how slow your friends are. Entering the venue, you have GA, VIP, ADA, and fast lane. YOU CAN BRING ANYTHING THAT IS FACTORY SEALED INTO THE VENUE. This means water, snacks, gum, chapstick, and cigarettes. We put all of our snacks into a large zip lock bag so they can see everything and don’t have to rummage through. You can bring your vape in, empty, I believe your juice has to be new to bring it in.

Upon entering the venue, walk around, see all the cool shops or art. Most importantly have fun, dance, smile and be welcoming. It can be hot during the day and extremely cold at night. Also, very dark at night so bring lights. Look for camp flags so you can easily remember where your camp is. So many people get lost, especially at night so nowhere you are camped! It is very dusty walking around, I highly recommend face masks, you will get dust boogers no matter what. 

I have had the time of my life at the Gorge, and I hope you do as well. 

What to bring:



  • Tickets/Camping pass
  • ID
  • Tent
  • Canopy (there is zero shade)
  • Tapestries 
  • Table
  • Chairs
  • Cooking stove
  • Propane
  • Jumper cables 
  • Trash bags!!!
  • Paper towels
  • Utensils
  • Cups/Plates
  • Bedding/Padding
  • Ear Plugs
  • Sunscreen/Aloe
  • Chapstick
  • Towels
  • Lights/Lanterns
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Portable chargers
  • Pain Reliever/Melatonin
  • Zip Lock bags
  • Wet wipes
  • More water than you think
  • FOOD!! Snacks!
  • Clothes for warm and hot weather
  • Camelbak or Hydration Pack. 










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