We love this place! We dry camp in our 32ft class A motorhome with no issues whatsoever. There is no cell service, so you’re truly out in nature. The sound of the Howson Creek will lull you to sleep at night. Close enough to town to grab last minute essentials, too!
There wasn’t a lot of shade, so definitely bring a canopy if you have one. We camped along the river, and had absolutely no cell phone service while we were there. There was a dog fight, people partying loudly all night, and people trying to peek into our tents. The campsites were not as “dispersed” as I thought they’d be. Overall, it was just a bad experience. The view was nice though
Ranger Review: GCI Waterside Pod Rocker with Sunshade at French Cabin Creek Dispersed Camping
Camping Review: 5 stars
We have nothing but love for French Cabin Creek (F.C.C.) dispersed camping zone!
From our home (Seattle area) to the camp zone typically takes less than 2 hours to arrive, horrific I-90 weekend traffic not included.
The F.C.C. dispersed camping zone can be found by crossing the first bridge off the Salmon la Sac Road, located between the Cle Elum River and Red Mountain Campgrounds.
Once you arrive in the zone most of the camps are located along either Howson Creek, Little Salmon la Sac River or the backside of Lake Cle Elum. They are available for camping from May to mid-November. Each camp we’ve stayed in offers waterfront camping, at least 2 parking spots, 2+ cleared spots for tents, trees for hammocks, usually 1 fire ring or more, and a honey-bucket somewhere nearby.
We really enjoy camping here because it’s off the main road so it’s much quieter than the campgrounds right off Salmon la Sac Road, plus the river drowns out most of the noise from any loud camp neighbors.
The F.C.C. dispersed camping zone is located nearby the local Salmon la Sac swimming hole and Lake Cle Elum, so you have plenty of water activity options close at hand. We typically see folks’ kayak, raft, even SUP-board by our camp on their way down to the lake. Kayak and SUP rentals are available in the towns of Cle Elum and Roslyn for $50 daily.
Did I mention there are several hiking trails located close to the F.C.C. camp zone as well; Pete Lake trail, Salmon la Sac trail, Domerie Peak trail, French Cabin Creek trail and Thorp Creek/Little Joe Lake trail, just to name a few.
No forest passes are needed to stay in the F.C.C. dispersed camping zone so camping is truly free (unless you find yourself at a trailhead, then you will need a Northwest Forest Pass for the Wenatchee-Okanogan National Forest, be warned)!
Now just a few last-minute gentle reminders (since this is a dispersed camping zone) that there will be NO: running water, RV hookups or dump stations, no trash bins (pack it in/pack it out), picnic tables, fire pit grills, and on occasion a few more campfire restrictions than in the local campgrounds.
Gear Review: 4.5 stars
As a Ranger for the Dyrt, I occasionally get to test out products to review – I recently tested the GCI Pod Rocker with Sunshade and boy am I in love with this chair!
The chair is as described, a beachside rocking chair with a positional SPF sun blocking shade but GCI did a really great job designing this chair!
The chair has a large comfortable seat holding up to a 250 lb. adult. The rocking mechanism is fantastic, rocking smoothly and quietly all weekend long on my first trip out. I was even able to set the chair up on uneven ground and continue rocking away while watching the river and kayakers float past our camp.
I am super fair skinned and tend to burn through clothing and sunscreen, so having an extra layer of protection from the sun in the form of the SPF UV blocking sunshade is a real-life saver for me! My husband laughed all weekend at me, as I happily readjusted my sunshade time and again to stay safe and sunburn-free.
Another little plus I love about the GCI Pod Rocker with Sunshade is the cool side pouch made to hold your phone and a beverage, which is super convenient for all-day lounging.
When you are done using your Pod Rocker for the day, the chair easily folds up and fits into a travel bag with shoulder strap for opportune travel capability.
Now the only complaint I have with the chair is the color. After a weekend camping, leaving it out overnight, I awoke to the seat covered in sticky pine needles that left slight stains on the light aqua colored fabric. Then there was the wild incident when our ketchup bottle lid flew off and sprayed me and the chair in ketchup, that also left its mark on the light-colored chair fabric.
My husband’s complaint with the chair is that he feels too hunched over when sitting in it for long periods of time. He said he feels like the chair won’t allow him to sit up straight. Now I don’t know if that is because he is so tall, at 6’4” or just how he fit in the chair but I am 5’6” and didn’t experience this problem. So, I’m guessing it’s more him and his height or long skinny frame?