Huge areas of vacant sites. Just gotta look for little turn outs on the side of the road
Great spot for free car camping! On the way to the Kiwanis campground, lots of spots right off the road. Right by the creek so you can’t hear campsite neighbors even if they’re close by. Zig zag falls and hidden lake trailheads are walkable.
Off Kiwanis Road in Mt. Hood National Forest there are roughly 8-10 free pullouts. On the south side of the road, the pullouts are alongside a peaceful little creek. By the time we got there (around 5pm on the 4th of July), there was only one site left on the north side of the road, but it was lovely. The fire ring was set about 100 feet back, so we carted our camp chairs from the van to the fire pit.
There seems to be an old fire road that goes through this campsite, so hiking (or trail running) is completely doable from camp. We stayed here for about 14 hours (midweek trip!), and it was literally the perfect escape. The Zig Zag river flows behind the campsite as well, which our pup Nala was pleased about.
If you're pitching a tent in this particular site, there's not much for even ground, but where there's a will, there's a way. Plenty of trees to hang hammocks from, and minimal traffic.
- Great midweek escape from Portland
- Plenty of trees, and a nearby river
- First come-first serve
- Uneven walk to the firepit
RANGER REVIEW: humangear GoToob+, Flexibowl, GoBites (Uno & Trio) (5 Stars!)
A few years ago I purchased a few original GoToobs from humangear at REI and absolutely love them. I used them for shampoo and conditioner while traveling and camping and they work like a charm. No spills, easily refillable, and super easy to clean. The GoToob+ ups the ante. It continues to shine in the ways the original GoToob did, but now has an additional (patent pending) LoopLock that ensures no spills no matter what. With a wider mouth, the GoToob+ is even easier to fill, and the added contour on the bottom keeps it steady while adding contents. We made our Pad Thai sauce ahead of time and stored it in the 3oz Toob and were able to squeeze out the very last drops for a tasty dinner.
According to humangear, "FlexiBowl is the packable, stuffable, foldable bowl for eating on the go." The FDA food safe silicone bowl is sturdy enough to hold dinner, and smooth enough to clean out residue with the sweep of a paper towel. At the crease, you can fold the bowl down to make a wider opening. With the crease up, you can prevent spills if the bowl tips. I loved how compact the bowl is. I threw it in my backpack and didn't have to worry about it taking up a lot of space or breaking when I dropped my pack mid-hike.
humangear is reinventing the spork with their three GoBites options: uno, duo, and trio. For backpacking trips, I'd recommend the Uno. On one end of the Uno is a spoon and the other, a fork. The fork had a nice bowl-like curvature to it to easily grab and hold your food. If you're less concerned about ounces, the Duo is a great option for backpacking as well–the spoon and fork can be used as one unit or two. Simply snap the two together to make a longer, telescoping-like contraption. Perfect for eating Mountain House meals!
Lastly, I'd recommend the Trio for car camping, or taking in your lunch to work. The trio comes with it's own case and provides a spoon, fork, knife, bottle opener, and toothpick. They're all super sturdy, and I loved how all the pieces fit together perfectly in the carrying case.
We were sent the 14cc GoTubb which we used to storing spices. You can open the tubs by squeezing the sides, so they're super easy to open with one hand. Since they require a squeeze to open, they won't accidentally lose their lids while you're traveling from point a to point b. We fit the perfect amount of minced garlic and ginger in the two GoTubbs.
Overall, the humangear we tested was top notch. I love that they're made from silicone which is good for the environment, easy to clean, and not chemically harmful! I think they're the best silicone travel bottles on the market.