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Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WASHINGTON
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Nice park, just noisy

A typical KOA, with a store, cabins, deluxe cabins, tent sites and RV sites. What they don’t tell you is the freight train runs about every 30 minutes including overnight. The first time was a big surprise, but we got used to it.

The facilities were stocked and mostly clean. Unfortunately, campfires were not allowed when we stayed, but it wasn’t their fault. There were also a ton of yellow-jacket bees, but they worked hard to control them with effective traps.

Beautiful Campsites

Beautiful campsites, very clean and quiet at night. Very close to activities in the area. The camp hosts are super friendly and we look forward to our return trip in a couple weeks.

Tranquility by the River

We spent two nights at one of the river sites with easy access to the river. The campsite was scattered with smooth rocks perfect for tanning and nice sandy beaches along the river for your fur companions to cool off. The only reason we’re not giving this a five star is because of the lack of tent space and privacy between campsites.

P.s make sure to get there early, river sites go quick!

This place was amazing

We camped here in July 2018. It was hot but thankfully the Cispus River was a short hike away and we cooled off in that. It is close to the Ape Caves at Mount St. Helens. The sites are pretty secluded. My only complaint would be the bathrooms. We don’t use the bathroom in our tent trailer so we had to use the bathrooms at the campground. They had a pretty strong ammonia smell and people didn’t put the toilet lids back down so there were flies. Great place for kids.

Tent use

Clean public house, power and water access on all sites

We love Taidnapam

Taidnapam is a great place to bring your kids. There are some great spots to camp on both sides. The bathrooms are kept clean and super warm in the winter. The camp hosts are always very kind and drive by to offer firewood. My kids think it is the best place. They can ride their bikes, play at the park, and see lots of wildlife. Our only complaint would be the water levels being low. The swimming area is non existent.

Ranger Review: Wenzel Oversized Quad Chairs at Beacon Rock State Park

Campground Review: Beacon Rock State Park

Beacon Rock State Campground is a very nice, small, looped campground located across the freeway and about a mile or two away from the amazing hike up Beacon Rock. There's trees galore and there's also several very nice hikes of various lengths that leave right from the campground. Camp sites vary greatly, and every time I've gone it's first-come, first-served, so it helps to come early to grab a spot, though even in summer we've had luck on an off-night (like Sunday or Wednesday) grabbing a decent site. This most recent trip was early in the season, so even though the weather was lovely, we had practically the entire campground to ourselves.

In addition to the 28-site campground, there's also two day-use areas that you'll pass on the way to the campground which are very nice and include basic kitchen set-ups built back in the 1930s by the CCC, bathrooms, and picnic tables. The first day use area on the right as you enter also has a playground, while the second area on the left has great views of Beacon Rock.

Pros: Great spot for heading out on hikes. Showers and decently clean bathrooms. Trees.

Cons: Definitely some spots better than others.

Overall, a great spot as a base camp for hikes in the area, but not a ton to do at the actual campground.

Campground video: https://thedyrt.com/member/corinna-b/reviews/44685/media/141684

Ranger Review: Wenzel Oversized Quad Chair

Stats: 22x22x36 inches, about 7.5 pounds. Supports up to 350 lbs.

The Wenzel Oversized Quad Chair is a well made, sturdy chair that works equally well for car camping or outdoor events. As a Dyrt Ranger, I was given a gift certificate to Wenzel in order to choose an item to review. We used it two purchase two of these Quad chairs, and they've quickly become the chairs everyone fights to sit in anytime we're at a kids' soccer game or camping. While they'd definitely be too heavy for walk-in campsites or hiking (about 7.5 pounds on a bathroom scale), the built-in strap makes them perfect for carrying a couple blocks. After almost two months of weekly use, the construction is holding up very well, unlike other chairs we've purchased from other companies in the past.

Pros:

  • Well made, including arm rests and cup holder
  • Very easy to set up and put away
  • Good looking, with blue stripes and pattern
  • Good price

Cons/Improvements:

  • Somewhat heavy. Not made for carrying more than 5-10 blocks.
  • While everyone else in my family loves the comfort of the chair, for me when I'm sitting forward, my thighs hit the hard plastic squares on either side of the seat.

Overall, the Wenzel Oversized Quad Chair is a very solid option at a good price. I've been impressed with how well they've held up so far. These have become a must-have addition to our car camping trips.

Wenzel chair video: https://thedyrt.com/camping/washington/washington-beacon-rock-state-park/review/44685/media/141685

Non-profit for groups only, no individual camping

Peaceful setting, room to hike and roam. Across street from east fork of the Lewis River. Cabins, tipis, lodge, and RV park - all for groups such as churches, organizations, schools, etc. No individual camping. Large commercial kitchen and dining hall, Classrooms, nursery, multipurpose building, several fields. Labyrinth. Fire pits. Improvements happening continually.

Nice spots with lots to do nearby

We went over there after we went Easter egg hunting with the grandkids because camping season came early this year. Beacon Rock was as pretty as it always is and lots of people at the day-use area, but there were only a couple of other people at the campground.

Spring flowers and everything is pretty and blooming and it was a nice stay. Also what’s fun about the campground is that it's the starting point of a bunch of hikes that are anywhere from a quarter mile to several miles. One particular hike we like is the one to small Beacon Rock where you hike up and have a great view of the larger Beacon Rock.

One thing is that later in the season as far as hiking goes you do have to watch out for poison oak. And about the campground, while it’s not large (about thirty spots) you can get to the restrooms easy but you do have a certain amount of privacy, depending on which spot you get.

This campground is a good place to go in that it’s a place you can get close enough to other things when you can camp there and do quite a bit of exploring in the Gorge. So I guess the bottom line is I would recommend this campground at at least 4 stars and probably 5. It would only get 4 because some other campgrounds have a little more privacy.

Very nice campground

Had a great (very cold) time at this campground! Went in May and it was very quiet here. Had the campground almost to ourselves. The spots were big and mostly spread out. It is close to hiking spots and the cute little town of Troutdale.

Great National park location

We got a campsite near the back of the campground right next to a trailhead. The spots seemed to be well spread out so we had plenty of privacy. The restrooms were clean and the park rangers were very helpful. Only downfall of being near the trailhead was having backpackers walking through late at night coming back from hikes up the mountain.

Family friendly camping

Well maintained campground in the national park. It is pretty large and the spots are not super private. Some of them are next to the river which is nice. I thought it was a little loud because there were so many people and it’s relatively open in the forest. Had decent bathrooms and good access to easy trails and small swimming spot on the river.

First to Review
Great Place for Small Groups

We really loved this place and had a great spot for four tents and a few dogs. There are a few camp sites, some pretty small so check before hand if you have more than one tent. The falls are really close by for some great swiming.

Sweet Little Campgroud Near Beautiful Waterfall

I love this little campground. There's ten spots on the right that are all pull-throughs (for tents or small trailers). The sites don't have a ton of privacy, but they have tables and such, enough room (some are much larger than others), and half of them are right overlooking the Lewis River. On the left side there's another eight walk-in campsites, most of which have lots of privacy. The walk-in sites are a very short walk from the parking lot, so unless you need your car or trailer, they're a pretty great way to go.

And finally there's a day-use area just a short walk away with absolutely amazing views of a sweet waterfall.

There's pit toilets, but bring your own water.

I've read horrible reviews about the "camp host" on other sites, but we didn't have any interaction with her, so I can't say anything for sure about it and our time there was lovely.

Tips: Bring exact change in cash. When we were there it was $12 for a campsite.

More Church Camp than Campground.

While yes, this spot is technically open to the public, the Lewis River Campground Community of Christ (unsurprisingly) feels much more like a summer or church camp that the same groups go to over and over again each year. Slightly run down cabins but with some nicer, newer buildings as well. Available to rent for events such as family reunions, I tend to prefer spots you can swing by and grab a spot last-minute among other campers, and this is not that at all.

Just off the road and not far from the Lewis River, if you're looking for more-campground/less summer camp, try any number of other state and forested campgrounds in the area.

Waterfalls

Nuff said

Quiet escape from crowded Rainier

This is a great little campground to head To when Ohanepecosh in Mt Rainier NP is full and you still want to be in the area for local hikes. There is a great watering hole to swim in in the frigid but refreshing river that runs alongside most campsites, accessible from the upper (closed) loop. Some brave souls jump from the rock outcropping though we were not so intrepid. Friendly camp hosts, mostly families in camp made for a nice atmosphere in a lovely setting. Good access to Mt. Rainier hiking trails.

Great Location, Spots and Price

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.

Petroglyphs Galore!!!

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!

Surprisingly Nice

Initially I was put off by the older RV’s when we first entered mainly because it looked like a mobile home area. As you move past them there are some very nice spots for camping. The price is right for what you’re getting and I would definitely stay here again.

Blackberries!

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!

Camping in Mount Rainier

Very nice area. Bathrooms are available, which helps immensely for folks with children, and camping spots are plentiful. There is also a man who drives around with firewood since you can't bring your own from the outside, and it's very inexpensive.

Water issues

This site was great because of the stocked ponds for fishing and the pools but there was some sort of water issue and the restrooms had to be closed, forcing the use of very few port-a-potties. Pool area there was a deteriorating ledge under one of the pool filter caps that I feel needs to be replaced. I fell hard through it as I walked around the narrow walkway surrounding the pool. My leg is still knitted, bruised and slightly swollen and that was in August.

Pretty campground but a bit tight

We met some friends at Cougar Rock Campground on Mt Rainier at the end of September thinking we would have no problem getting a site. We ended up getting the very last site in the entire campground. So even if you're going a little later in the season, I would recommend getting a reservation. (And the campground closes in October for the season.) Of course, we ended up at a site right next to the bathroom, which is not my favorite. But once again, lucky to even get a site. The site (C-22) was actually kind of interesting because there is a big rock right behind the fire pit so you can sit on the rock and be a little higher over the campfire. The bathrooms were clean and fine. You really can't go wrong looking at the stars on a clear, September evening on Mt. Rainier.

On Sunday before heading back to Portland, we took the short drive up to Jackson Visitors Center at the top of Rainier where we took some easy walks (can't even call the hikes) around the absolutely gorgeous area. The colors were stunning! Then had some awesome chili at Paradise Inn right next to the visitors center before heading home. Perfect fall weekend.

Quiet, rarely full

After spending many weekends in this campground, I've definitely fallen in love with it.

The only time I've seen it anywhere near full was Labor Day Weekend when there's a community swap meet about a third of a mile away. Even then, there were plenty of sites to snag.

There are flush toilets and pay showers through mid September. After that, they bring in porta potties.

Sites have a 5 vehicle max, so they're good for groups. Each site has a water spigot. The campground is dog friendly.

No views of Adams from here, but a quick walk or bike ride away will provide some stunning views on a clear day.

Gorgeous!! Bring hiking shoes & a headlamp.

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!

Beautiful and Peaceful!

This was our favorite campground over the course of 40 days on the road. Our site was right next to the river – the sound of the water was super peaceful! We were early in the season, so it was very quiet. Lots of tree coverage!

Hidden Gem in Gifford Pinchot

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!

Stunning!

It's very hard to get a reservation anywhere near Mount Rainier. We got one Thursday night in August! The campgound is very nice. Visitor center, restrooms, nature trail. The river behind our site was beautiful! Lots of logs and boulders. Close to hiking. Our neighbors were close, but the site was very deep so it gave the illusion of more privacy that there really was.

Quiet spot on the Columbia River

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.