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Ahtanum, WASHINGTON
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Great option by mount rainier

This was a stellar campground that was cheap ($14) and super close to mount rainier NP. I camped on a weekday and was literally the only person in the entire campground

Quiet, clean and Shady

For a state park this was a little pricy. We found out it was about $15 more if you made a reservation. There are pull through and back in sites with ample room. Tables and fire rings at each site. It is a nice campground.

We love this place!

I’ll start with my favorite part, NO CELL SERVICE 👍 This place is totally free. There are 2 bathrooms. One ☝️ in the lower campground ⛺️ & one ☝️ in the upper. There are many trails which are fantastic for hiking 🥾 biking 🚵‍♀️ dirt bike 🏍 riding & quad riding. You’ll love 💕 the views from the old upper logging roads. Mt. Adams is in view from many trails and roads and simply gorgeous at sun set. If you fill your gas ⛽️ tank before you head to camp take the time to explore and you will find beautiful lakes, other campgrounds & cabin structures. There are many pieces of wood debris that are great to clean out of your camp area. We burned them in our campfire 🔥 and left our spot much nicer than when we came. You can google directions.

Epicenter for Summer River Floaters

Eastern Washington near the water is my favorite type of landscape.  It's a hot, windy, and a true desert climate.  When you get near a body of water like you do along the Yakima River, the diversity of life expands and makes for great wildlife watching.

Umtanum Recreation Site is part of several BLM campgrounds lumped together along the Yakima River known as the Yakima River Canyon Campgrounds.  All can be reserved ahead of time via the reservation.gov website:  https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/250985.  Standard for most BLM camping in Washington, sites are very basic.  Gravel parking, pit toilets, and a picnic table.  This place does have a dumpster for trash, not all do.  There are no hook ups, no drinking water, and in our case, very little shade.  Neighbors are close and there is not a lot of privacy.  The day use area is right there too, close to camping and can be loud.  It is heavily patrolled by the wonderful BLM folks to keep everything clean and the people orderly.  They also give out tickets if you don't mind the warnings for correct passes or day use fees.

The campground itself is one little loop with six sites.  The loop is an offshoot of a very large gravel parking area for day use.  Mostly boat launching and hiking access to Umtanum Creek and Umtaum Ridge trails.   You can check the Information Board for rules on day use and camping fees, passes, and how to check to see if a site is reserved. 

We arrived on July 3rd in the afternoon.  The campground was very quiet and all the sites were reserved.  The morning of July 4th, the recreation site turned into a total madhouse.  BLM Rangers, Law Enforcement, making constant rounds to patrol the never ending hoards of people coming to park and float the river. There was a lot of noise, dust, drunk and rowdy folks.  Friday was calm again until afternoon, Saturday was not as bad as the 4th but still pretty crazy.  It was also hot!  No shade to be had in our site.  After hiking in the morning, we spent a lot of time across the bridge, in it's shadow, in the river.  

If you are using this spot as a base to do some hiking, fishing, or floating it's very convenient.  I am sure in Spring and Fall when river floating is not at it's peak, it's gorgeous and peaceful.  The raptors and songbirds are splendid.  We saw Bighorn sheep on the hill, big rock squirrels, wild turkeys with babies, and fish.  No rattlesnakes or ticks, but this is prime territory.  Hiking down the Umtanum Creek trail, over the suspension bridge, is one of my favorite hikes ever.

Great campground for smaller RV's

Great remote campground for smaller RV's. No hookups or water. We went in the beginning of the week and were alone most of the time.

Awsome cabin

No water, just electricity. Outhouse needed cleaned out. And the entrance getting into the driveway is a little scary, big hole in the middle stay to the side. Other than that had a great time

Highway noise but a good overnighter

Stayed here a couple of nights. Our site was a tenting site, but we were in our mini Meerkat camper and we fit (our choice). Almost abandoned, probably because of huge hail storm. Friendly host “Dutch” and a few walk about simple hiking paths. Bathrooms and showers very nice (coin op on the showers). Road noise was pretty loud, especially for the campsites further into the campground. But, tall pines all around us, and very uncrowded. Wouldn’t want to come here if it were full, the sites are very close together. We were at the end of a very long trip, and we were happy to find any easy place to stay just inside WA. There are no stores nearby, so get your groceries in Goldendale!

Beautiful Dust

Dusty. Minimal to no shade. Walk in sites are really tight. Heavy winds at night.  No running water bathrooms. Noise from highway at night is very noticeable. No recycling option. Fire pits but there was a burn ban for wood (charcoal and propane are ok).

Bathrooms are much cleaner than most typical public bathrooms with good supply of purell and toilet paper. The car sites seem really new with fresh pavements. Lots and lots of rocks, helpful for holding things down in the strong winds Easy access to River activities (swimming, boating, fishing, rinsing dust off) with short, maintained pathways. Many ADA features: multiple sites are set up for wheelchair access, even some paths are wheelchair accessible.

Great Spot for a Night Passing Through

We stayed here one night while passing through. It is in a great location near Mt Rainier for a fraction of the price of closer campgrounds. It was very small, but very lush between sites which made it extremely private. Some spots are right on the river, but don't expect to lounge by it in your chair. There is only a short narrow opening and the riverbank is lush and rocky. We picked the spot at the very end on the roundabout (can't remember the number) and it was extremely private. Was very nice to hear the river throughout the night! Recommend for a night or two, but a bit cramped for anything more. Halfway-roughing it camping. There is a pit toilet, main shared water spigot, and dumpsters.

Disappointing

Moon travel guide said this was scenic rating of 8 out of 10. Yeah right!! This is mostly full time RVers. It’s right by a highway so there’s highway noise all night. The other side stares into an RV sales lot - ugly. Site 32’s hookups we’re broken - electricity wired wrong on both 30 & 50 amp(glad we caught it before plugging in!), water hookup wouldn’t flow. Will never stay here again, definitely not worth $57/night.

Ranger Review: Grubstick Master Kit at Upper Bumping Lake Campground

Campground Review:

Bumping Lake is a beautiful area of the Cascade Mountains and the campground itself is pretty large.  There are two sections, Upper and Lower.  When I was looking online researching which part of the campground I wanted to reserve, I could not figure out what was on the water or what was closest.  I got so lucky with site 43!!!  Site 43, 44, and 45 are in a separate little loop in the Upper Campground right on the lake.  From the number of reserved signs after ours, I would say the secret is out.  3,5,7,8,9, and 10 are also technically on the lake, but they are quite a bit above the shore.  You can get a peek of the lake, but you have a little walk through the woods to get down to the water.   The Upper Campground has no hook ups, vault toilets, water spigots throughout.  The sites were nicely spaced and wooded.  The Lower Campground is not on Bumping Lake and seems to be set a bit more for RV camping with pull through sites, mostly paved pads, and a bit closer together than the Upper.  Same as Upper, no hook ups and vault toilets.

The campground is clean and well maintained by the folks at Hoodoo Recreation.  They checked the vault toilets several times per day and also have fire wood for sale at their host site.  The campground also has a really nice Day Use / Picnic area and Boat Launch. It was still chilly in mid June and there were plenty of open sites.  I would imagine this is a very popular campground in the summer.  We reserved through recreation.gov but hoodoorecreation.com will do the job as well.

Bumping Lake Marina is not part of the campground but is on the other side of the lake just down the road.  There is a little store with firewood, snacks, non alcoholic drinks, and fishing tackle.  You can also rent a little boat from them if you would like fish the lake.

Product Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, occasionally I get to test products.  This trip I got to play with The Master Kit from Grubstick: https://grubstick.com/products/master-kit .  It arrived in a nice nylon storage bag.  My immediate thought was this would be a really nice gift!  Maybe a wedding present for a couple who loves to camp!  I took everything out, washed it, and planned my meals.  We made bacon cups with cheesy scrambled eggs and pico, burgers and veggies in the cages, hotdogs (of course!) and crescent roll tubes as buns.  We did not make s'mores even though we brought the ingredients.  However, we did make the S'Maffle that I found on their website under recipes.  Oh man!  What a treat!  For the most part, everything worked really well, cleaned nicely, and was well built.

I had an issue with one of my Gubsticks.  As soon as we telescoped it, right out of the package, it fell apart.  After we got home from camping I sent Grubstick and email.  I let them know what happened and I also gave them suggestion for the Master Kit.  A huge reason I bought the big kit was so my husband and I could make meals at the same time and eat together.  This kit only came with one bacon clip.  As we made breakfast, it took forever with one clip to make four cups.  As a suggestion, I felt like the big kit should come with 2 clips.  Randy emailed me back right away.  He not only sent me a replacement stick, but 2 more clips and another Grubpocket!  Now we can have bacon together for breakfast and beyond!  

This is such a fun product.  I am looking forward to trying the other recipes they have on their blog and thinking of creative new things to make.  I am hoping this lasts years to come.  Their customer service is top notch, beyond expectations.  My outdoorsy friends will most likely be getting Grubstick kits in the future!

Quite campground

Great quite campground. We were there Monday thru Thursday and we were the only ones there for half the time. Close to the river. The river noise will lull you to sleep. Only reason I didn't give a 5 star is the fire pits are totally not useable for grilling. The grills are 2.5 feet off the ground. y You would need to have a raging fire to reach. We always bring our grill of our home bbq. So we used wire to hang our grill under so it was closer to the fire. Lots of chipmunks and birds. So secure your food even in your trailer. We had an unwanted guest destory a loaf of bread in our popup over night. While the river was too shallow for fishing there are places close by that have plenty of trout. Close to Boulder Cave.

Great for orv camping

Direct access to Manastash trail head bring your jeeps dirtbikes quads and utvs best riding in the state

Ranger Review of Firebiner at Palisades Campground

Campground Review

There is not an actual Palisades Campground, as the area around is actually the viewpoint.  However, you are able to get a camping permit, which is required and available at the White River Guard Station. They are free of charge. You do need to have a National Parks pass to park along the corridor. The Palisades viewpoint is amazing with lots of trails and captivating views of andesite along the walls (very similar to Devils Postpile). The Palisades is located about 10 miles northeast of Packwood along the 12 and the trailhead to Palisades trail is located at Sunrise Point. There is a vault toilet there that you can use if you camp near enough. Wildlife is pretty rife in the area so make sure that you have the proper containers for food and gear. You must also bring in your own water. There are sites near Palisades Lake but it is super marshy and has a ridiculous amount of mosquitos. 

Product Review

I was given the opportunity to test and review the Firebiner from Outdoor Element. Fortunately, there was not a burn ban yet and we were able to test it out.  The Firebiners come in an array of different colors, some bearing the names of popular sites. Being from CA, I had to get the Yosemite biner. The packaging is small and nondescript but you need to make sure that you keep it as it is where the extra Ferro Rods are kept. It took me a few tries at home to feel comfortable with lighting tinder, so I suggest you practice before you take it out into the wild. The features of the Firebiner were pretty awesome: Screwdriver, bottle opener, utility blade, and is rated to hold up to 100 pounds of gear (did not test this part yet).  This tool helps create fire and while it took me a few tries to get it right, a child could easily ignite something using it. 

https://www.outdoorelement.com/product/firebiner/

Ranger Review of GCI chairs at La Wis Wis Campground

Campground Review

This campground is at the base of Mt Rainier National Park in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.  To get to the campsite, you have to drive down into the ravine of where the Cowlitz River cuts through the campsite. There are many sites on the river, with the rest in the trees covering the expanse of the grounds. Large RV/ trailers can only be in the upper Loop H.

The road is a one way and for the most part, campers respect the speed limit, though there are some idiots who drive fast through. 

There are no hookups, so you will be dry camping if you bring an RV. This is very close to Packwood and a great place to stay during Memorial Weekend for their annual Flea Market.  There is no cell service at this site. Site claims to have flushing toilets, but those were removed a few years ago, there are only vault toilets and no showers. Depending on how the snow melt is during the spring, will dictate fishing and camping opening. 

Product Review

I had the opportunity to review a GCI Outdoor Backpack Event Chair.  This product is amazing for lugging around from campground to fishing and back. The chair has four different positions for reclining and hard arm supports for getting up and down. There is a large pocket on the back allowing for easy toting of items from car to wherever. The backpack straps make toting a breeze and the clip to close keeps the chair in place. It is very light and easy to transport and has a weight limit of 250, but my very large cousin (300+) was able to sit with no problem. 

https://www.gcioutdoor.com/camping-chairs/backpack-event-chair/

Great camping area!

I have stayed here many times. It is an ohv area so weekends, especially holiday weekends, can get loud and crowded. During the week it is very quiet and peaceful. Beautiful views of the saddleback mountains. Store and gas station about 2 miles down the road. Columbia river about 2 miles down the road.

Great climbing in any weather

Tons of campsites. Tons of rock climbing. Limited bathrooms.

Nice, small, quiet

It is like you'd expect from a national Forest campground. Has 2 pit toilets. One was closed. The other had plenty of tp and was fairly clean. The handle was broken though so it didn't lock properly. There was a note on the door to knock. It is next to the river and a short drive to Rimrock lake. Great fishing and boating at the lake. The river was muddy when I was there but I heard that is not normal and was caused by flash rains or snow melt (different people had different theories.) There is no running water, but there is a water well pump (manual pump) that gives clean drinking water. You can buy firewood up the road a little ways when there is no fire ban. You aren't allowed to bring your own firewood because they want to prevent the transfer of invasive species. Buy it where you burn it.

Super remote, Gorgeous

Super remote site. It’s a long road down to the campground and it is really nice but there’s only one area you can go with an RV that’s over 25 foot. There’s no Cell service so we decided not to stay.

Peaceful Riverfront Camping

Stayed in a group site in Loop E. Lovely grounds along the river. Clean campsite, clean (though dark) vault toilets, easily accessible water spigots and trash deposits throughout camp. Easy hikes to the Blue Hole swimming area and falls. Flush toilets appeared to be in the process of decommissioning. Primary drawback is parking and the overall narrowness. Roads into and around camp loops are narrow, larger RVs will struggle. Parking spaces at most campsites seemed to be designed for a time when everyone drove sedans and compact cars. The average family SUV will feel a bit cramped. Even the pull through sites were pretty slim. We were able to squish 2 SUVs, a wagon and 2 small trailers in, because parking partly in the brush was not permitted. Luckily the camp hosts were lenient with us. All in all a beautiful campsite. Gotta remember to keep it compact next time.

One of the nicest around

Campsites were big and clean with lots of privacy. Mostly new vault toilets as well. Only downside is parking is a bit of a challenge. Most of the sites look like they will barely fit one car. We got a multi site (e1) and it had space for 3 vehicles with no overflow parking. We were there in beginning of June 2019, the campground already changed all toilets to vault toilets, they are kept clean. We took a short walk to Blue hole trail, the river is freezing cold but still beautiful. This is one the best campground around. It became our favorite.

FAVORITE TRIP

We actually love this campground so much we went here for not just one but two senior trips. The big trees, fresh mountain air and awesome river make this one of the best campgrounds we have ever stayed at. We will be back, again and again. Plenty of sites for tents or RV’s. Rope swings and places to jump off just down the road. White pass hiking and sledding if there’s still snow. Always a great time.

Perfect!

Amazing views and just right off the freeway. The best part is you can just drive right up to the ridge and pick your own campsite. Very wooded so you don’t notice other campers. Sunsets and sunrises are the best here. 10/10 would recommend.

Hike in camping

This place is the best because the only way to get to the camping spots at Packwood Lake is to hike in or the use of ATV’s. The views are AMAZING, and it’s right next to the lake, however the water may be very cold. Fires are sometimes allowed dependent if there’s a burn ban or not. Horses are also permitted on this trail. And if you’d like to continue hiking there are several trails that lead to various locations. We make this a must do every year. During certain weekends and holidays it can get very busy however there are spots all around the lake.

Ok for the night

This campground is located on the south side of Dog Lake. The campground is extremely small with about 10 sites.  The area is large enough for Rv's and campers but only has dry camping available.  There are no showers and there is one bathroom with vault toilets. The campsites are on a first come first serve basis and are relatively cheap, and Golden Age passes are accepted.  There are a few extra spots for additional cars if you want to pay an extra fee for them. Beware: you are right on the highway so will constantly hear vehicles and semis heading through the pass.

Dog lake is pretty awesome for fishing out of. There are a few banks that are easy to access and you can walk around the lake to find better spots.

The campground is very near Clear Creek Falls which offers a nice area to walk along and view the many falls and the creek winding through the mountains.  

There is no phone reception up here.

Great place

Stayed Memorial Day weekend. Good place

Lakefront spots are awesome

We were able to reserve a lakefront spot. We were able to beach our boat right in front of our spot. Our spot was very quiet, some of the upper level spots seem close to highway.

A great area to spend a weekend

There are so many options for campsites here. The description says 15 but I would guess there are hundreds of sites throughout this entire area, you just have to know where to find them. Granted, not all of them are as close to the bathrooms as one may hope. 

Definitely bring some jugs of water with you. Most of the sites don't have quick access to water, however the Naches River makes for a good source. I believe recently they started charging per car for people staying at the sites, but it's worth it as they do have forest managers who devote their time to taking care of the area. Dirt bikers of the area tend to take over some sites, so if you are just going there to camp be prepared for the sound of dirt bikes throughout the day

Beautiful area

Windy Point Campground offers sites that accommodate both tent and RV camping. Drinking water, picnic tables, and vault toilets and firepits are also available in the campground.

Activities that campers can enjoy at this campground are hiking fishing, hunting, horseback riding and mountain biking 

There is also white water paddling on the Tieton River Summer camping season is open May 10 through Sept 9 2019.

During the winter months Windy Point offers excellent skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling during the winter months. Hikers and backpackers are especially fortunate to have access to a variety of spectacular trails near the campground

Tent use

Clean public house, power and water access on all sites