Changes Coming to Vernita Camping
Larger Changes For 2026

Vernita is a popular option for accessing the Columbia River, particularly during the fall chinook recreational fishery. While the site is designated day-use only, dozens of people camp at the site during the fishing season, many for weeks at a time. The level of use has not only become unsustainable but is causing damage to the natural landscape.

The long-term objective is to find an alternative camping site, but in the meantime the WDFW has worked with the Department of Energy to develop an interim management plan. Limited camping will continue at Vernita for the 2024 and 2025 fall salmon seasons, but it will look different than in the past.

  • Camping and day use users will have designated areas.
  • Camping will be limited to 14 days per user.
  • When fall salmon seasons are not underway, camping is prohibited and vehicle access limited to a smaller day use area.

The area will be patrolled by WDFW Enforcement Officers for compliance with the new requirements.

All overnight use of the Vernita Water Access Area will be phased out in 2026, with the WDFW working in the meantime to find an alternative camping site. Opportunities for public input on both the future of Vernita and an alternate camping site will be available as this process moves forward. For more information on future plans for the Vernita sites, alternative camping sites for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, and reasons behind making these changes, follow the WDFW's new blog, Vernita Bridge: Changes on the Horizon.

Need More Information?

Questions should be directed to the WDFW.