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It’s lovely enough and if you are looking for an RV park with allll of the amenities while being very close to your neighbor, then this is it.
Seriously though, a lot of people are looking for traditional RV parks. It’s a great one. Has a store, pool, laundry, enclosed pet area. It’s very nice. Personally, I was hoping for more of a campground with hookups but that’s my bad. We are new to this and I didn’t do my homework.
Spent several days camping at Lower Canyon Creek and it was peaceful and full of wonder. No running water but that’s ok because there was also no CELL COVERAGE 🤙👍 either. One (very clean) vault toilet available. Put the devices and social media away and soak in the beauty. Seriously, put them away (airplane mode and pictures only).
We were tent camping in site 2. This is the best site in my opinion. You’re right on the point of the camp ground. Your tent door will open up to an aqua pool where Lower Canyon Creek meets the Matolius River. The Matolius is 100% spring fed maintaining a consistent 40 degree temperature so swimming is not advised. But a quick dip will rejuvenate and energize your soul. You fall asleep to the sound of the river as the stress of 2020 melts away. The nights were cool and the days warm. Fished a lot and hiked the surrounding trails. It was hard to leave and return to life (and cellular coverage)…..booo! If you have a small RV (r-pod, tent trailer) site 1 and 4 will accommodate you. Visit this place, you won’t regret it.
We parked at Badger Pass and hiked to Upper Twin Lake. So peaceful, only one or two other tents around the lake. Well defined sites with rock fire rings. Call the ranger station to verify if fires are allowed at the time.
Rangers told us Upper Twin Lake is typically less crowded than Lower Twin Lake.
Trail is well maintained, PCT is nearby.
The Good: This is an absolutely beautiful park surrounded by a lake with lots of nearby opportunities for short hikes with amazing views of the mountains and water. The lake is great for canoeing or paddle boarding. The campsite hosts were welcoming and provided local firewood for a small fee. (There were no fire bans in effect at the time we camped.) It felt very safe.
I typically prefer roughing-it on a dispersed camping site. This is definitely not that. For camping at a site with bathrooms, this is the way to do it! The facilities were some of the best I've seen - super clean with running water and flushing toilets. There were even indoor and outdoor showers and 2 single occupant bathrooms which is great for privacy, and for folks who may not feel comfortable using a gender-specific bathroom.
The Bad: The site had said it was good for an RV or 2 tents. It is basically a large parking spot on gravel and our tent space was sandwiched in between 2 RVs in a long line of RVs. The camp area is also on the most open and least scenic part of the site. So - not really good for a tent. We actually drove past our site twice because we were convinced it couldn't possibly be the correct camp site. Really- it is like camping in a parking lot at a rest stop or maybe like a tailgate party at a college football game.
The RV campers told us they were also super disappointed in the site as there is no privacy whatsoever. I don't usually chat with other campers, but it was a bit like a big family as we were practically sharing one campsite. And happily, we had good neighbors.
We moved our tent slightly off our spot next to a bush so we could have a bit more privacy. There appeared to be a few tent only sites that were on the grass - I would only stay here again if I could reserve one of those sites. I found the site arrangement strange as the park area is huge and there is ample opportunity to have the sites distanced apart and bordering the lake rather than a dusty open field.
OTHER THINGS TO KNOW: It is windy! I love the wind so I found it invigorating - but it was even a bit too much for me at times. Winds hit 29 MPH at some points of our stay. Make sure you plan accordingly and have a tent that can withstand winds and look for heavy rocks to weigh down your ground stakes. I'd recommend loading up your tent with packs etc to keep it from blowing away. If you have a canvas tent, that would probably fair better in the wind and dust. There are not trees near the camp sites so there is no shelter from the wind.
Bonus - with all that wind, I didn't hear, see, or feel one mosquito or no-see-um!
There is a train nearby and you can hear the horn. Personally, I found it haunting and a bit romantic - I enjoyed hearing the train as it went by. If you're sensitive to noise or a light sleeper, it may be something to consider.
At night it is incredibly dark. This was the best part! You can almost forget that there is an RV 5' away. Open sky and the stars are beautiful!
Final Thoughts: I like to visit the gorge and might consider staying here again only if the tent site at the far end of the campsite is available. I would definitely come here for a day trip.
This is a nice spot that is close to PDX if you're looking for a quick overnight to get out of the city. Close to Lolo Pass. Pretty basic sites with no water available. Pit toilets are available. Great view of Mt. Hood from the entrance of the campground and even better views from Lolo Pass.
If you don’t have a RV or Trailer and want the illusion of a hike in campsite, this is your spot. Great spot on Timothy lake to hang out, drink a beer, and not have to deal with the crowds at a day use area.
The walk-in sites are a little close together, but that’s expected at most campgrounds. Nice to be away from the road going through the campground.
Camped in the river loop for 1 night with two small kids. The camp host was great, very friendly. This campground is perfect for young families… the bathrooms were nice, paved "roads," short trails, easy river access, and lots to do. The playground was closed due to covid, but it looked like a nice playground.
We were in spot R9. It had a lot of privacy. No neighbors on 2 sides, and couldn't see our neighbors on the 3rd side. Even though we weren't on the river, we could still hear it. We liked having electricity at our campsite, and we were right next to a water source. I'm glad we didn't have a riverfront site; with our small kids, it would have been a little dangerous for them and too much of a temptation.
We wanted to stay longer, but, well, we have small kids and even camping 1 night is a victory. Hoping to return next year! Love that you can book 1 year in advance. Also loved that they allowed campfires when a lot of other campgrounds banned them this late in the season.