Have been to this place a couple of times and love it! There is a campground you can reserve sites at which are large and we'll spaced. You can also stay for free on the BLM land surrounding the lake. (If you do this please leave no trace!)
Hiking around the Clear Lake takes longer than in looks because of all the fingers so allow a couple of leisurely hours.
Its a hauntingly beautiful, chill place. A must visit for fans of mountain lakes!
Nice clean campground. Make sure to say hi to the hosts Floyd and Opal in their big RV. Very friendly. This was Summer 2017.
Sites are pretty close together but very clean, with nice access to the river.
Be sure to head up to Opal Creek for a great hike.
Great campground in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Smallish campground with about half the spots right on the river. Nice day use area slightly separated from the camping. Picnic tables and fire rings. Mostly tents when we were there, but there's also pull-through driveway type spots that could fit a trailer. At just $12 per night, price can't be beat.
Plenty of trees and grass. Most spots are slightly exposed to the turn-around road, but still feels private since there's space and trees between the spots.
Not too far from Mouton Falls, which are amazing, plus other hiking and swimming areas nearby.
When we are in the area we normally stay near Maryhill State Park. This campground was a delightful change to our routine. The site is small but it offers quite a few different ways to camp: tents, RV, cabins even a teepee!! This site is on Horsethief Lake and offers some great summer fun.
One of the best aspects was the petroglyphs that were along trails near the campground. This was a great spot and I highly recommend it!
This was so peaceful. We tent camped for a week in the summer. Took nice long hike around the lake twice with the kids. The spots are huge, the toilets smell so bad though. Make sure to bring sanitizer definitely. The views in the morning make it worth it though.
Affordable forested campsites with many that are steps from the Clackamas River. River is gorgeous and you can hear the sounds of the creek from many of the campsites. While some spots in the middle lack privacy, the river side spots are great with lots of space and separated by large trees. Toilets, picnic tables and fire rings on site. Great in the summer if you wan to wade in the river. We were there on a Sunday night in August and almost had the whole place to ourselves. Fun hiking nearby. One of our favorite campsites in the Mt. Hood natural area. The river access is really cool and it's also a short drive to other swimming holes and hiking.
This is where I first picked blackberries 😜. Being from the desert it was definitely awesome to pick them fresh. I loved this state park because of the view and the blackberries of course. We had a great spot with a good amount of space and privacy. The location can’t be beat for watching the kite surfing nearby and we took a tour of session beer that was awesome!
Nottingham is so so beautiful especially for the hiking. You e got Mt. Hood nearby and a river. The tent camping is pretty secluded. We had a spot next to the river and it was so peaceful. The rangers directed us to our campsite and gave us hiking recommendations, which was so helpful.
The toilets were clean, and well stocked. It is easy to find but still far enough away not to hear traffic. This place is pretty perfect. Definitely go on this recommended hikes because the falls were spectacular.
This campground, Nottingham, is definitely high on my list of favorite campgrounds. It has everything you could want in a campground. Hiking nearby, beautiful Mt. Hood, and a river you can hear rushing at night while you sleep. I also really love how private and secluded each campsite is. Nothing bugs me more than being in our campsite and we can see what everyone else around us is doing and saying. We had a spot next to the river, and it was so peaceful at night listening to the river. The campground rangers are super friendly, and very helpful. They directed us to our campsite, and gave us hiking recommendations to do in the morning. The vaulted toilets were clean, and stocked with toilet paper when we stayed. The campground is easy to find, right off highway 35. It is far enough away from the highway, though, so you cant hear the cars and trucks rushing by. The hiking was really great. I would recommend Tamanawas Falls which was nearby. We did a few others hikes that were really great as well. The wildflowers were out in full bloom (see pictures attached-I took so many flower pictures!!) There are no water spigots in the campground so definitely make sure to bring enough water, or a water filtration system…especially if you plan to do a lot of hiking. Overall, we enjoyed our stay and would definitely come back.
Very nice campground. The river at night is so peaceful. We camped in the tent only spot at the end and was surrounded by water. The toliets were clean and there are fire pits. I will definitely be camping here again!
A campground whose design they took some time with. Fantastic privacy between sites, a happy river crossed over in several places by large logs, low car noise due to it stretching away from the highway and rewarding nearby hikes (hello, Alder Flat) makes this a favorite in a string of nearby campgrounds. Some bigger scenic views and campsites further off the campground road would be nice, though site 14 is a short walk-in gem that sits up a bit, platform style.
Dispersal camping all year. You are immediately ensconced in quiet and shade, an impossibly green and detailed large pond right off the bat, with a huge walkable log going right to the middle, and lots of interesting critters and a popurrí of different foliage up and down the trail. Ends at the popular Clackamas River after a too-short 1.4 miles. Lots of little side routes to find your perfect spot.
There is plenty of running water all around. I imagine some, if not all of the clear, cold, running water is potable, but i don't remember ever trying. There's a decent number of camp sites, and as i recall, you're allowed to reserve in advance. They each have a picnic table and fire pit. I recall this being a paid campground, but i don't recall the price -- I assume between 7 & $15. Multiple tents can be set up at one campsite.
It's a good walk to Bagby Hot Springs, through the forest, and over a beautiful wooden bridge overlooking gushing water. And if you wake up before anybody else, it's a lovely place to simply wander around aimlessly. The ferns, evergreens, and waters are nice to gawk at. Even the slugs are worth watching sometimes.
Don’t be alarmed, this campground sits along HWY 22 AND along the Santiam River in the Willamette National Forest. Despite the road noise, if you can grab a campsite along the water you will feel at peace with the whispering waters and tucked away in the old growth forest that surrounds you. This site has a feature that many others do not, which is a little roundabout at the end of the site. The pathways are paved which makes this site great for families with kids who may want to ride their bikes or scooters while not in the water fishing/playing/swimming. Potable water is available as well as vault toilets. (Bring soap!) There are no showers at this location. Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a leash.
This site is both walk-up and reservable through Linn County Parks & Rec. See more info here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/willamette/recarea/?recid=4224
Just 45 minutes outside of Portland, and near the town of Estacada, is Milo McIver State Park, which I consider to be a quintessential Oregon State Park: lots of huge evergreen trees, large campsites, plenty of hiking areas and places to explore including a river.
There are two main loops in the main campground. The larger has 44 or so RV campsites, which can also be used for tents, plus a bathroom with flush toilets and hot showers. Nearby is a smaller loop of 9 or so tent-only sites that seem a bit more private.
We went during a vintage trailer rally, which was a ton of fun, since you could walk around and see everyone's trailers. There's also a Frisbee golf course and some fields to explore as well.
Overall, a nice, fun campground near Portland with larger sites and just enough to keep you busy.
This is a narrow campground with limited sites. Some have full parking pads for two vehicles, but mostly parking is dirt next to the drive lane. Spacious sites for the size of the campground.
Sites on the side near the road are very noisy, so make sure to check the map before you reserve.
Dog friendly, tent sites, bathroom, river access, no showers.
Camp above the Santiam riverbank and enjoy a night of peace and rest listening to the water flow. This site has access to vault toilets, potable water. The sites are large enough for rv or tent sites with vehicle pull through. The sites have enough old forest growth to provide privacy for the family. If you camp near the river you cannot hear the road, even though you are only a skip away. I do not recommend camping in the sites near the road if you have kids/pets with you or if you are a light sleeper. The roads are paved which can be great for family cars or for little ones wanting to ride their bike or scooter around camp. The site that we stopped at would have been great for fishing trout or salmon. Don’t forget your fishing license!
You can reserve this site through Linn County Parks & Rec: 1-877-444-6777 - And like most sites in the Willamette National Forest dogs are allowed as long as they are on leashes and check out time is 1pm.
Tis a narrow campsite between blowout road and Detroit lake. There are several large pads for vehicles, but mainly tent sites, some of which you park near the road and make a short walk in. Not being able to camp near your car may not be a bonus for you, but this helps with the road noise and the sound of your neighbors pulling up in the middle of the night.
Dog friendly, bathrooms, portable water pump. Mainly reserve sites.
The only thing missing from this amazing camping spot is electricity and running water. Otherwise, it’s perfect! Absolutely gorgeous view of Mt. Hood, tons of hiking, a beautiful lake and camping spots for everyone. They have walk-in spots, yurts, a-frames, RV spots, a horse camp and even a few rooms at the lodge. Make sure to spend at least 3-4 days!
Molalla River State Park is located near Canby, Oregon about 2 miles from the Canby Grove Camp that I stayed at for the EEAO conference in Sept18. This park sets on the Molalla River and was once a spot for the Molalla Tribes. This site has bathrooms and reservable picnic areas with a view of the river and boat ramp. Yes, there is a boat ramp but you must be careful because there are ferry lines near the location and the water line runs low mid-summer. There is a nice pet exercise area and trails, but I do not think this lives up to its title as a state park when compared to Silver Falls, Willamette Mission, or Champoeg State Parks within 1-2hrs drive. This appears to be more of a neighborhood park tucked away near residential areas. I advise to travel 20 mins away to Champoeg State Park that has camping and cabins open year round. There was no obvious designated camping at this site.
This camp ground has has spacious sites and room enough at most for an RV pad with a couple of tents. Portable water stations, fire rings, benches/tables and restrooms. Great shower facilities and a beautifully taken care of campground! Dogs welcome.
These sites are reservable, but many are first come first serve.
This is my go-to campground when visiting the Gorge area. Located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, just north of the town of Carson. Its about a 20 minute drive to the Columbia river, and 10 minutes to the small town of Carson. Its tucked away down a beautiful Forest road. You are nestled amongst towering old growth trees, wild ferns and thimbleberries, with Panther Creek running alongside the camp. The 2018 season had excellent campground hosts, I hope they return next year! They were very friendly and had helpful tips for trails in the area.
The pit toilets were clean, though heavy smell of ammonia which is not unusual at campgrounds like this. Each site has a fire pit and picnic table. There are potable water pumps, as well as garbage and recycling. Frequented mainly by families, and some PCT hikers, as it is located just of the PCT trail. They have first come first serve as well as reservable sites. It fills up quickly on the weekends, so if you dont have a site reserved I highly recommend getting there early. Each regular site is $18 a night. Enjoy!
This small state park is tucked alongside the Columbia River and Horsethief Lake. The campground is not large with only 4 regular campsites, 4 walk in sites, 8 partial hookups, a Teepee and 2 platform tents. The grounds surrounding the campground and alongside the lake are large, green grass areas with picnic tables everywhere. There are also archaeological sites with artifacts and pictographs within walking distance of the campground. There was a small kayak/canoe rental place that is run by the super friendly camp host.
I reserved the Teepee. I arrived a dusk during what would be a very strong wind storm that would last all night and all the next day. When I first went into the Teepee I noticed the canvas at the bottom was so rotten and the inside flap was secured to nothing so every time the wind blew the inside flap would fill up over half the inside and dirt would swirl everywhere. The front door flap was also very rotten and would not secure, so every time the wind blew, the door would fly open and let in more dirt. Needless to say my dog and I lasted about 5 minutes.
After talking to camp host I was able to get into one of the platform "tents". I later learned from the Park Ranger that stopped by that the canvas on the tents had rotted out in May so he had built what I would call plywood cabins with canvas roofs. There were 2 cabins, each one had 2 windows, 2 sets of bunk beds, a weak light, and a latch secured door. The cabin let in not one bit of wind which was nice, but also got very hot even though it was a cool evening and I had the window open all night. The next day the wind continued, not a big fan of strong sustained wind, but I figured out that when the door was open it created an arc of no wind right in front of the cabin which was nice to sit, watch, and relax. Please note, the cabin is not sealed to the creatures, on the second morning my dog woke me up to a bat that got stuck inside the cabin and was trying to get out, I was able to get the door open and it flew out.
The downside to the platform cabin is the lack of air flow, which in the summer could be rough. Also the only bathroom was a bit of a walk, but was kept clean and had showers. Also the parking was far away, so again a lot of walking. I was also informed by the Park Ranger that the Teepee would be taken down at the end of the 2018 season with no plans to bring it back.
Overall it as a good state park if you don't mind the wind and just want to relax. I'm not sure if I would go back but would recommend it to others.
This is a small campground on the shores of Rock Creek Reservoir, however when you go in the late summer there is no water remaining near half of the campground. The remaining water in the reservoir was small and near the dam, with lots of people fishing the remaining fish. Even though the water levels were super low, there is evidence the water is much higher in the spring/early summer which means most of the spots in the campground would be right on the water.
I was in spot 28, on the edge of the reservoir, but couldn't see any water. The spot was huge with plenty of room for multiple tents. The campground host was quick to greet me, and remind me "No Fires due to extreme fire danger" but overall was very nice. I even spoke to her the next morning due to my neighbors blaring bad music loudly until about 0200 and she talked to them, and the next night no loud music.
The cons to the spot, the bathroom was kind of far away unless you cut through other peoples sites. Also people walked through my site to get to the reservoir, which was very annoying.
I would definitely go back to this campground, it was a great campground. But I would go back in early summer so I could enjoy a lake front campsite.
Campground Review: Indian Henry Campground -- 4/5 Stars
Have you ever wanted to sleep in a fun, wooded, semi-abandoned campground? Well come on over to the Indian Henry Campground in the Mount Hood forest on the Clackamas River. Originally host to nearly 100 campsites, an amphitheater, and a dozen toilets, much of the campground has been closed since about 2015 due to root rot. Now it’s down to about one loop and one bathroom. We arrived on a Sunday night and found a nice spot right near the river. Our site had the usual wooden table, a fire pit, and a medium amount of privacy, where people could see their neighbors but also were surrounded by huge trees everywhere.
The Clackamas river as it ran through here is perfect for splashing, wading and finding beautiful rocks. It gets a little deeper and faster in the middle, but it’s also very very cold, so we stayed mostly at the edges.
My absolute favorite part of Indian Henry was exploring all the semi-closed areas. Dozens of campsites were starting to be reclaimed by the wilderness but still semi hike-able if you like looking around. There’s also a smaller creek, tons of huge trees toppled over to climb on, and an old amphitheater. So many places for kiddos and their curious parents to wander around.
Product Review: GoBites Uno, Duo and Trio Utensils -- 4/5 Stars
As a ranger for thedyrt.com our family were able to try a sample of humangear products including three of their utensil sets: the Uno, Duo and Trio, which are their fork, knife, spoon and toothpick combinations. In general, all are solidly built, pleasant to use, and hold up to the extensive abuse our family has put them through. Each set also has their own best use.
Uno: The Uno is a cute little spoon/fork combo and the simplest of the bunch. It also has the most colors. At a price of just a few dollars each and super-portable, it’s easy to picture picking up a set of ten or a dozen of the unos in different sizes to stock a trailer kitchen or camping kit.
Duo: The Duo is probably our family favorite, and the one we use most often. With a fork/spoon combo that slides in one direction for storage and another to extend into two utensils, I’ve packed this one up at least 100 times into lunches and it shows virtually no signs of wear and tear at all.
Trio: The Trio is the only set that comes in its own box and is thus by far the largest for transport. This is not a set you’d buy a dozen of to stack up for a trip, but rather a combo of fork, spoon, knife (with bottle opener) and toothpick that becomes your one special set to wash and use over and over and then store back in your multi-day camping backpack. The ability to eat messy chili or cream cheese on the trail for lunch, pack it up, and then wash everything later when back at camp is where I think this set shines. The toothpick is not something I personally use, nor is the bottle opener, but I did tend to use the knife a decent amount for spreading things like peanut butter. That said, when it was something I needed cut up for eating such as an apple, I most often used my incredibly sharp leatherman knife instead. So while the case and knife are a nice addition, in general the Trio has been more novel than practical in comparison to the Uno and Duo.
Campground Review Lazy Bend -- 3/5 Stars
Lazy Bend is a small, nice, basic National Forest campground on the Estacata River. Just off Highway 224, there’s maybe 20 spots or so with a couple of bathrooms (with flush toilets). Each site has a picnic table and fire pit, plus a couple water spigots near the bathrooms.
The sites have a medium amount of privacy, where all of them are pretty much visible from the main campground road, but there’s also trees between most spots. Almost all sites also have river views or easy access down to the river.
Spots are $23 each for up to one vehicle, which seems reasonable for the nice waterfront location and facilities.
Overall, a fun little spot to hang out and play in the river for a day or two that’s an easy drive from Portland with some lovely views.
Not a ton to do at the actual campground if you’re looking to entertain kids since it doesn't have organized activities such as ranger programs, playgrounds etc., though fishing might be a good option if you’re interested.
Product Review: humangear GoBites Duo -- 5/5 Stars
Several years ago we received a set of GoBites from humangear. This is basically a plastic nylon fork/spoon set that slides together for portability. The faces of the spoon and fork are fairly wide and rounded, so they function almost interchangeably as sporks if needed. For the past three years we’ve used these on an almost daily basis in kids' lunchboxes to eat whatever random food happens to be in the thermos, and they’ve held up incredibly well and functioned pretty much perfectly. We’ve sent these through the dishwasher on the bottom rack, occasionally used them as mini spatulas in frying pans, and generally used them frequently and well.
Recently we received another set of the same GoBites to try out as thedyrt Rangers, and I thought it would be fun to compare how our well-used set held up. Turns out, despite such heavy use, the old and new set are almost indistinguishable. The only difference, and only if you know exactly what you’re looking for, is there’s the tiniest little “scratches” if you hold the GoBites in just the right angle—and the scratches are really more just very fine lines practically indiscernible to the naked eye.
In addition to holding up so well, the GoBites have been practical. They fit well in your mouth and are well designed. The spoon is perfect for cereal and other liquids, while the fork has sharp edges on the sides for cutting and well-formed tines for stabbing. There’s been no gross spots where old food hides and the locking mechanism between the two parts is still in perfect shape.
Overall, I would love a dozen of these in different colors for all our picnics, lunch boxes and camping needs. They even look cute! There’s really nothing I’d change.
Lazy Bend is one of the best of the bunch of similar campsites in the area. You can find some seclusion with thick vegetation or seclusion and shade with tall trees…most sites with good river access. It’s more of a social area overall. But a huge variety of camping spaces, with most right off the campground road. Traffic is both a blessing and curse - this is about an hour from Portland, but right along a small freeway. Just enough away from civilization, but popular. There aren’t any good trails off the campground or within walking distance, but a lot of good ones a short drive away. Boating is the thing here - tubbing, kayaking especially - and fly fishing.