This is a common PCT stop as it is only a mile off the trail.
We stopped by while touring the area. The lake is pretty and quite large. There are sailboats, powerboats. We rented a kayak on the lake and it was very pretty!!
Many people paddle boarding, swimming, kayaking. Parking was limited and we are at the restaurant. We sat at the bar since outdoor seating was full. The bar server was abrupt at first but seemed to warm up a bit as time went on in our visit. As we looked around and listened to the patrons (mainly locals, seemed like yuppies)we thought their attitudes were somewhat elitist.
There is only 1 shower for the entire campground so it is very difficult to figure out when you are going to get clean and they CHARGE YOU $5 TO SHOWER!!!!! Never heard of a campground doing that. We didn't like it, wouldn't go back!
Campground Review: Elk Lake Resort was one of our resupply stops on our Oregon PCT journey. It also turned into an unplanned rest day. The resort is awesome. The restaurant is a bit on the pricey side but the food is good. They also have super yummy ice cream. For facilities, they have showers available for $5 (primarily hikers are most interested in these) and the shower is very nice. The bathroom itself was in need of a good clean, but it had hot water, solid pressure, and no time limit. There is a lot of day use areas that are a short walk from the campground (5 minutes or so).
When we were there, we got one of the hiker campsites. It was inexpensive and not great compared to the other camping options available. The campsite has larger, more equipped spots and cabins available. The hiker sites are narrow and basically fill in the gaps for the larger sites. They don’t have fire pits or picnic tables and the tent sites are close to the road. However, you can fit two smaller tents in one spot, which was great when my friend joined us and took some of our not needed equipment home and brought us the supply box for the stop that we were going to skip. Overall, I would love to return to Elk Lake and get a different site because the lake and surrounding area are amazing and enjoyable.
Gear Review: Trail Supply Co.
As a Dyrt Ranger, I get the opportunity to test and review gear. This review is a little different as it is not for gear per say but rather a service. I was honored to try out the hiker resupply services of Trail Supply Co. Just like the name implies, Trail Supply Co. helps hikers with planning and executing their resupply needs on major trails (think AT, PCT, CDT, John Muir Trail). Before the trip, I created an account and selected what I wanted in my box. Because this was a gear test, I was given an allocation and it supplied a box and a half. The first box, was shipped to us at Elk Lake and the second was sent to Timberline Lodge. The online catalog that Trail Supply Co. has is huge and if there are specific things you would like they can either get it for you or you can send it to them and they will get it in your box. This was definitely a benefit as we needed to include dog food in our shipments.
We were so excited for our box at Elk Lake. Not only because we got to test the service and we were getting a whole bunch of yummy food (majority of which we forgot what is was so opening the box was like Christmas) but mostly because that food box meant we weren’t going to have to do dishes for the next week as most of the food was freeze dried backpacker food or no-cook snacks and bars. My husband and I did a lot of our own food production so we were excited for something totally different.
As I mentioned, the online catalog is huge and covers most everything you would need while on an extended hike: food product (any type you can imagine), first aid, personal toiletries, socks, etc. The food options are amazing and cover almost any dietary need or cooking option. The only downside to getting all this designated backpacking food, is the amount of waste you create and have to pack out. While it does get smaller once you eat the food, the number of packages we had made our garbage bag much bigger than it had been. Since we were demo-ing the service, we tried a little bit of everything and grabbed products from the following companies:
Mountain House: They are freeze-dried meals that were, for the most part, really good. We got the pro-packs which really only means they vacuum seal so you don’t have any extra air which takes up pack space. The pro-packs are also slightly smaller servings (2 servings vs. 2.5). Because my husband and I were burning through the calories, one package was a meal for only one person. The meals are tasty and fairly safe for most palates. We ate primarily dinners and a lot of the Raspberry Crumble dessert (so good!).
Alpine Aire: We only got a couple of their options and they were just okay. We really liked the apple crisp dessert, especially for breakfast with added oatmeal packets.
Backpacker’s Pantry: Jeremy and I really enjoyed this companies meals. They are not vacuum packed but either were really flat packages and folded easily to take up less space. The servings were very generous and we could have gotten away with one package for the both of us then a smaller option for subsequent calories. This company is definitely more adventurous with its food and does not skimp on seasoning or spice. We tried one of the curries (a vegan meal) and it had a good kick of heat. We liked the spice in other meals, but it may not be for everyone.
Outdoor Herbivore: This company provides only vegetarian or vegan options and was really good. We wish we got more instant hummus and it was filling and very tasty. What we liked best is the packaging. It was small and just big enough for what you needed. They also ran out of one of the things we requested so they gave us a similar substitute and a bonus snack. Which was very nice of them as we would have been fine either way. This company is great for dietary needs and provides a lot of both cook and no-cook options for food.
Overall, this was an amazing service that needs to be considered for any long distance backpacker that needs resupply. Trail Supply Co. not only buys and ships all the food you select for your boxes to the spots you designate but they can also help you plan your resupply strategy and make changes as needed. My husband had already hiked the AT so he was familiar with resupplies and made our plan, but even that got changed due to changes is pace. Trail Supply Co. allows for easy changes which is great. I will definitely look to use the service on our next long backpacking trip!