Government Island State Recreation Area encompasses three islands in the Columbia River, north of Portland, that are accessible only by boat. The largest and most developed is 1,760-acre Government Island. The area also includes Lemon and McGuire Islands.
Government Island has 15 miles of shoreline with two docks and a floating tie-up on the north side. Camping is permitted below the vegetation line around the perimeter; there are no designated campsites. Pit toilets and picnic tables with BBQ grills are located throughout the perimeter. The interior of the island is accessible only by permit and contains protected natural areas.
The islands feature freshwater wetlands that support a variety of threatened and endangered wildlife species, including several species of salmon, salamanders, bats, turtles, and birds.
Lemon Island is the westernmost island of the complex. McGuire Island is southeast of the main island.
Toilets are located on all three islands, at: West Lemon Island, SE Lemon Island, Commodore Cove (near I-205 north), Government Island Landing (west dock), Bartlett Landing (east dock), SE McGuire, and about two miles east of south I-205 (South Beach).
Please call 503-695-2261 for park specific rules.
No metal detecting is allowed in West Gorge Oregon State parks.
Yes, but your pet must be on a 6-foot leash and under your control at all times.
This park requires a Special Use Permit for special events or activities. Please open the Special Use Permit application to see examples of events that need a permit. If you have questions about whether you need a special use permit for your activity and to receive instructions on how to submit the application, please call 503-695-2261.
Government Island was one of fourteen landing sites in the Vancouver-Portland area used by Lewis and Clark: the thirty-two members of the expedition camped on the north side in 1805. Lt. Clark named it “Dimond” Island, and it also was known at one point as Goose Grass Island. Its current name comes from the fact that it was appropriated by the U.S. military in 1850 to grow hay. The interior was privately owned and settled by a small number of families; previously, it had been used by farmers, fur traders, and Native Americans to hunt, fish, and pasture animals. In 1969, the Port of Portland purchased the island, as well as Lemon Island to the west and McGuire Island to the southeast, as a possible expansion site for Portland International Airport. In 1999, the Port sold 224 acres to Metro, the regional government agency, and leased the remaining acreage to OPRD at $10 per year for ninety-nine years.