When we first moved to Portland we were a little dismayed that all of the campgrounds near Portland were always crowded. We wanted to head up into the mountains to get away from people, but we wanted some place that we could get to in a reasonable time leaving after work on a Friday afternoon. One day, I stumbled upon the Salmon River Trail outside of Welches up towards Mt. Hood. While not exactly deserted, it wasn't very crowded and being in the big trees, it was easy to hide from people. Plus with the river and the ferns, it was really a quite idyllic spot. We ended up camping there quite a bit, but while we lived there, we never mentioned it to anyone.