This forested campground, along Early Winters Creek, is located near the confluence of Early Winters Creek and the Methow River. There are two trails nearby, within 4 miles of this campground: Cedar Creek Trail 476 and Driveway Butte Trail 481.
I traveled the Cascade Loop and along the way found many campgrounds which I absolutely loved. Amongst those I found amenities varied as did price points.
Early Winters Campground appealed to my budget saving desires when I wanted to find something which was not completely removed and offered some basic amenities. Camping here was only $12 per night which was very budget friendly.
The sites were decently sized but seemed a but less secluded than some locations I had visited along the way. Mostly tent campers were here when I visited, I feel this is in large part due to the smaller pull in areas.
Fees can be paid at a honor box located at the entrance of the campground near the restrooms. Additionally, something to note is those who have the Senior Access pass are eligible for a 50% discount when their pass is displayed clearly on their dash. There is no water at this campground so keep that in mind when planning a visit.
The basic campsites are equipped with picnic tables and fire rings. They are surrounded by trees and many low laying shrubs which makes for great windbreak on a blustery day.
The biggest benefit I could see to staying at this location was the proximity to the trails which run through the area. Just a short walk from your campsite you can find the Methow Trails which is known primarily for its cross country ski access points but is also great for hiking during the warmer months. In some areas you can also do mountain biking on the trails, however there are signs posted as to where this is or is not approved.
- If you are wanting to stay here there is no reservation system, keep this in mind during peak season and arrive early to secure your camping location.
- If you are a person who travels with your horses you will not be able to stay at this location. Horses are prohibited.
- Bring everything you will need to this campground as there are not any services at the site. This includes firewood, come prepared!!
Would not be my first choice if other campgrounds aren't full. This side of the pass gets less rain and snow so it is more popular with hunters. At the time we visited it was full of hunting campers. Right off of hwy 20 with very little tree cover or privacy, some road noise. Campground is on both sides of the hwy.
We were with friends trying to camp at Diablo Lake, but by the time we arrived there was nothing available . So we kept driving and found this campsite the actual site area was fine, there just want much to recommend it. We took chairs down to the river which was pretty fun, but shallow and cold (not for swimming). There's a trail off the campsite, the first part is paved, the rest is dirt with a LOT of trees down on the path
As the other review stated, this isn't anything special but it is a nice spot if you find yourself in the Mazama area. Well maintained (although vault toilets can get a bit overwhelmed in the summer) with nice tall trees that provide great shade, a nice reprieve from the desert feel the east side of the Cascades can have in the summer. There is potable water available during the summer but no showers. But dear not, the Methow River is right there and it's super COLD thanks to all the snow melt. If you need a refreshing dip, this river will provide just that.
There's decent climbing close by at Goat Wall (5.2 miles from the campground). For more information on the crag check out Mountain Projects website: https://www.mountainproject.com/v/goat-wall/107192115
There are also several hiking trails in the vicinity that provide 360 degree views.
If you're hungry, or need a few odds and ends, check out the Mazama Store. This is a great family run store that has amazing baked goods and coffee. http://www.themazamastore.com
Be advised: this area has been prone to several wild fires the last several years (this summer being no exception). Please be sure to check current advisories and restrictions regarding open flames. If you are able to have a fire, please be sure to manage it with extra caution.
For $8 a night, you can't beat this spot!
Don't expect much out of this site but if all you need is some flat ground near the highway, this will do you just fine.