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Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WASHINGTON

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Most Recent Gifford Pinchot National Forest Camping Reviews
Beautiful

We had a blast! So green and beautiful. Not far from downtown. Lots of space/areas for our kids to run to climb big rocks. We will 100% be back.

Ranger Review: Gregory Pack Amber 28 at Walupt Lake Campground

I strongly think that Washington State has the best places to camp and hike. The Pacific Northwest has a large array of amazing camp grounds and hikes, and I love it!! I recently wanted to hike within the Goat Rock area, and decided to stay at the Walupt Lake Campground so I could be closer to the trailhead. I left Friday evening after work and headed to the campground. There wasn't as many people as I expected, but the weather forecast was calling for some rain. I went in the beginning of September, so was bummed that I wasn't going to see the fall colors (usually the end of September-beginning of October is when this happens). The campground was great, and I was glad that I stayed here. Because we got here around 7:00pm, we really only pitched our tent and grabbed a quick bite to eat. I didn't tour the campground because it was already getting dark. We woke up early in the morning and headed to the Goat Rock Wilderness. We spent the entire day hiking (13 miles to be exact!). From the top of the hike we were able to see Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Rainier. It doesn't get any better than that!! I would highly recommend this campground if you are just looking to camp, but also if you have a hike you want to do in the area early in the morning. 

PRODUCT REVIEW: Amber 28 Gregory Pack

As a DYRT Ranger, I was able to test the Amber 28 Gregory Pack. I was pretty excited to get to test this pack, because I have a few other Gregory Packs and have been eyeing this pack for awhile. During my 13 mile hike I was able to test this pack. 

3 reasons why I love the Amber 28 Gregory Pack:

1. Comfortable- I love how comfortable and form fitting this pack is. I love packs that don't sit right on my shoulders. This pack gave a little room between by shoulder and the pack which is great! I like being able to carry the weight of the pack by my hips, and this pack allowed that.

2. The space and pockets- I appreciate a pack that allows me to pack multiple items (10 essentials!). The pack had plenty of room, and extra zipper pockets. I was able to utilize all the space in this pack, and it still didn't feel heavy.

3. Breath-ability- The back of this pack has a wire meshing and pads to help with the breath-ability. I do sweat a lot when I hike, so I like this component of the pack.

Overall, I would highly recommend this pack. It comes in a few colors as well which is always nice :) You can find the Amber 28 pack here:

https://www.gregorypacks.com/packs-bags/day-packs/amber-28-77831XXXX.html?dwvar_77831XXXX_color=778315590&cgidmaster=packs-day-packs#sz=18&start=37

Campground near Trout Lake/Guler Ice Caves

This campground boarders both sides of the Lost Creek (Dried up most of the time).  The sites are fairly large, but very open with little to no privacy.  I was in spot 10 and the entire spot was open up to the road, which is not my favorite.  Many of the other sites were open due to no small trees/brush.  There was also a very fine dust in the entire spot that can drive certain people nuts, especially ones with small dogs who turn into little clouds of dust!  

There were a couple deer that roamed the campground and wondered in and out of campsites.  I had to shoo away 1 so he wouldn't stomp on my little dog while walking through my site.  It was cool seeing them up close though.  Also it was the start of a very good huckleberry season and the entire campground was full of huckleberry bushes.  I was able to gather several cups just from my camp spot alone.

While this isn't my favorite campsite, it was overall a good campground and if you are in the area I would recommend it.

Beautiful and clean

Loved it here. The campground was well maintained and sites were super nice. Lake was amazing as well.

Beautiful

We stopped here for a night with our RV and it was really kid friendly with a small park. I loved how easy it was to check in and navigate. It’s a little crowded. We made our reservations 2 weeks in advance.

Love

I love this park for its location on the Gorge. Beautiful views and great site for an awesome weekend.

Ranger Review: Mountain House Meals at Golden Lakes Campground

Campground Review:

My partner and I were hiking the Wonderland Trail (93+ miles around the base of Mount Rainier) and this was our final site on our long trek. Since we got a walk-up permit, we didn't have much choice in what campsites we got, but really felt lucky to land the group site at Golden Lakes. It was sizeable, but not gigantic- could fit three medium sized tents comfortably. It overlooked the lake and had the best water access of the entire campground. There were logs to set things on as you cooked, a really nice outhouse, and lots of trees to give you some privacy from the other campsites. Unfortunately, there were some louder groups staying next to us, and there isn't much spacing between sites so it can get pretty noisy. Overall, we agreed it was one of our favorite sites on the trail (and we stayed at 8!). Pretty simple hike from Mowich Campground, too!

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Product Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I got an opportunity to try out MH Mac and Cheese! We saved this meal for last because we were SO. EXCITED. We literally couldn't stop talking about how excited we were to try it out- calorie rich, lightweight, and mac and cheese in the backcountry?! What's not to be excited about. Although it didn't FULLY live up to our expectations (I mean, we really talked it up in our mind), it was delicious and the perfect end to a long day of hiking- we definitely didn't go to bed hungry. The 3 servings is great after a 15+ mile day and was one of the few dinners that didn't leave us wanting. It was a little soupier than I expected, but tasted like homemade mac. Super easy to make, takes MUCH shorter time to cook than Backpackers Pantry meals, and is a perfect addition to any backpacking/camping trip. Will purchase again, just wish MH made more vegetarian options….

Thousand Trails Paradise Is Awesome

This was a very nice Thousand Trails. We stay two nights from September 13th through September 16, 2019, in campsite 187, the stay was free due to our Thousand Trails membership. Our site had electricity and water hook up. 

The site was level and backed up to a creek that was down below the site. The stay site was quiet, no one camping on our driver side did have a neighbor on the passenger side. The campground is at an elevation of 125 ft. Access to the campground was right off hwy 12, our 28 ft travel trailer easily fit with room to spare in our site. Once we entering the campground, the pavement turns to hard-packed gravel as we circled around a couple of times to find our campsite. 

The weather was high overcast in the mid 60's, the nights low 50s. It did rain hard on Sunday morning from 2am to 10am. This is a very quiet campground, activities we found at the campground to keep busy was shuffleboard which we enjoyed for the first time. The Billards table was in really good shape too. A musician name Dr A played music Saturday night in the lodge. The campground has clean free showers, plenty of hot water and not more than a 5 minute walk from our campsite. Since we arrived on a Friday school day, the campgrounds were not full, there was no waiting for showers. 

My wife and I enjoyed the campground, we will be back the next time we want to hike at Mt. St. Helens.

Suprised

When we pulled in with our 40' Coach I thought oboy I blew it. Getting into our site was a little tight but doable. We were in a pull through tucked in the forest with full hookups. A fire pit and picnic table too! If you go camping to stay inside our Verizon phones, Sprint hot spot and over the air TV all worked. You can hear the train in a distance and a little traffic. It is a great spot and we will come here again.

The water was excellent

This was my inaugural trip with my Roof Top Tent from Tepui.

A quick trip around the camp site and my son and I picked out spot 72 and after paying for the spot it only took a few tries to get the tent level.

Our neighbors were friendly and the white noise from the water helped hide the proximity of our fellow campers.

One of the locals stopped by to comment on my tent and said the salmon were biting - he even gave me a lure (Where am I and who are these friendly folks!?) that he caught a fish on earlier that day. My kid loved that.

He also warned of the chipmunks on the other end of the camp and how persistent they can be if you leave food anywhere they can get to.

The spot we stayed at would have been sweet for ground camping as well. Will be coming here again.

Oh, and the cell reception (AT&T) was good enough to tether and get some work done.

Well appointed and beautiful

We loved camping at Ohanapecosh! We got lots of helpful information at the visitor center. Even though it was a weekday off-season, the campground was totally full 30 minutes after check-in. Walk up only after Labor Day. You circle the campground looking for an open spot, then pay your fee at an electronic kiosk outside the visitor center.

An interpretive nature trail to hot springs leaves from directly behind the visitor center. Camp host sells firewood from a truck, $7 per bundle. Sites were all beautiful and private… sites closest to the creek seemed coveted. Marvelous night sky! 

We were glad this was our destination. Takes 45 minutes to drive to Paradise from here.

Labor day fun

Camp ground maintained by super nice camp hosts from hoodoo. Lost of trees and space between sites. Easy access to Rimrock lake. A littel road noise but worth the views and access to the lake. No power but several pit tiolets on site.

Views of All Kinds, Massive Quietude

Only four sites here - get in early or on a weeknight. Gorgeous drive through the town of Hood River a big bonus. Once you get in, you’ve got hikes right there with great views of Mt. Hood, the small, charming and swimmable Rainy Lake 2 minutes by walking, and just tons of shade and peace. Even though 3 sites are scrunched together, we didn’t hear our neighbors. A fabulous place to get away.

Superb camp with awesome amenities

We were so glad we found this campsite, it looks really nice, located by the nice Trucker river, there are sites right next to the river too.

For the price you get showers, drinking water, normal toilets and a clean environment. You can pay with card too using their vending machine which was also super convenient.

Overall one of the best camps we stayed in yet

Ranger Review: Ice Mule coolers at Bumping River

campground: my family and i have been enjoying this area since i was a kid. this spot will always hold a very special place in my heart. camping along bumping river seriously has it all, wide open sites that allow shooting, biking, fishing, fires, you name it. a very short drive to the lake. please keep this area clean! this is a dispersed camping area, no toilets, no tables, no potable water. be prepared and do your part to keep our forest clean. 

Product: As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test products. At Bumping River CG, I tested two Icemule Jaunt 9-liter capacity cooler backpacks! Im giving this product a 4 star rating! These backpacks are very small and compact which I love. Its rated to hold a 6 pack but I would say you can comfortably fit 7! Its comfortable, light and stylish to wear. They kept our drinks cold, my only complaint was that I noticed on day 3 it was starting to sweat. We were camping in very warm weather so I think that played a part. I would not recommend using this bag as your main source of cooler. Certainly perfect for a day out on the boat, kayak, bike ride or even a short day hike.

A gem in the Columbia River Gorge

Stumbled upon this place a few summers ago and have returned many times since. This is a perfect spot to post up for a few days with a book. It’s very quiet and the hosts are great! Super friendly and never any issues getting fire wood. Family/four-legged friendly.

Pretty big campground with 80+ sites. I usually try and snag oak site b/c it’s big and really private. Neighboring sites are also wonderful.

It’s first come first serve so I would get there early, especially in the heat of the summer. Open May-November I believe. Bring cash for payment.

Picnic tables, big fire pits with a little spot to cook if you don’t have a stove. RV hookups, water, garbage dump. Should have everything you need.

It’s close to Lost Lake if you’re looking for a day trip. Less than 20 minutes to downtown Hood River. About an hour or so from Portland.

If you like beer, check out Pfriem on your way out.

Great place to exhale.

Nice campground. I went mid-week in Sept. Only gave 4 stars because of the toilets. Highly recommend yellow jacket traps this late in summer. Aggressive is an understatement.

Love this place

Our go to spot, love walking the dogs around the lake and along the gravel road. It’s very quiet and peaceful. The part is clean and the camp hosts are very friendly and helpful. They have vaulted toilets, they are clean but towards the end of the season they can sometimes get stinky so we always bring air fresheners to leave in the bathrooms..

Very kid friendly

We went the busiest weekend of the year. We went on Labor Day and they were packed, but there was so much for the kids to do. There are 2 pools, playground, bikes to ride, hayrides, scavenger hunt. I’m sure I forgot something.. almost all the sites had power and water, and about 60ish sites also has sewer. The parks is on the older side but the restrooms were clean. They also had work campers the were consistently cleaning and emptying the trash. Also if you were able there are lots for sale. My kids are grown but if I had kids that is ere I would go all the time. Because I can’t tell you how many time I heard I’m bored there is nothing to do.. well at cascade peaks there is always something for them to do… we will be going back..

Decent but not a destination

First off, if you have an RV and can avoid taking the Hood River Bridge, that is highly advisable. With two 9’ lanes, it’s a nightmare to get across. Having said that, the park is a nicely maintained small park with really nice facilities. It really has no view of the nearby river and is very close to an active railroad track. Yeah. I should have done my homework. The wife was not happy. But let me stress… the facilities are nice, clean, and it’s a good stop over. If you are in town, head down the road to Dickys Fruit Stand/Store and get herself a pie. Oh my my!

A nice place to camp but not always private

A mostly pleasant national park campground in a beautiful setting. Be advised that not every site has a lot of privacy and I would definitely not recommend site C012. This site has a trail right next to it connecting to loop B that numerous people use to get to the bathroom in loop C. Normally I would not mind people walking past nearby, but this trail was a mere 5 feet away from our site, so the entire time we were sitting at our fire pit, people continuously walked past us. The worst of it was at night when people had lanterns and headlamps and we kept getting their lights shined in our eyes as they walked past. Other than this inconvenience, I enjoyed camping here and would return again. I would just be more careful about which site I choose.

Greats location

4 camp sites surrounding a small lake. 1 and 2 are private While 3 and 4 are right next to each other. Campsite 2 is on the way to 3 and 4 so not to private.

The camp is a close walk to many trails and other sites.

The best campsites are those that are not crowded and you can enjoy the stillness during the day or night. This camp had just that no one around.!

Standard campground close to city

Nothing really special about this place, other than the river. Standard campground that's always crowded because it's close to the city. Lucia falls is close, but not as impressive as those further up the river.

Lots of space & fairly private

I’ve spent a couple of nights up here this year and I LOVE this campground. It is large, but there is plenty of separation and the sites seem to offer fairly good privacy and have a good amount of space. 

I camp in a hammock and there are a lot of sites that offer enough well spaced trees to set up hammocks.  There are nice fire rings at each of the sites, nice tables and firewood is available at the camp site.  I didn't know before I went, but dogs are allowed as long as they are on leashes, BUT they aren't allowed on most trails around the mountain.

The campground is well situated to get you close to Paradise as well as a ton of hikes nearby. 

There aren’t any showers, but the bathrooms are clean and have flush toilets.

Small, windy, public

This campground was small but well kept. There is not a lot of privacy and the campsites are really close together. Our site and the one next to it were basically in the parking lot.

It was well kept and overlooking a beautiful field and hills. The unrelenting Gorge wind is something to be prepared for! The lake was closed due to an algae bloom so we weren't able to swim or kayak. I knew what were getting into when we booked the campsite so I was happy with staying there.

Awesome Campground!

A super clean in the trees. Great level rv spots. Cute little store that delivers your firewood to your site for you!

Beautiful campground and area

I really loved this campground! The Columbia River Gorge is a crazy awesome area with a ton to do. The campground had plenty of amenities like showers, hiking trails, a playground, and clean bathrooms. There was also firewood for sale and hook ups for RVs. The sites were all pretty nice, flat, and it wasn't overly crowded. We did go kind of early in the summer, so this might be why there wasn't as many people. 

The best part of this trip was that there's a whole bunch of stuff to do in the area. The gorge has wind surfing, kite boarding, white water rafting. The town itself had some pretty cute shopping areas. If you want some scenery that's super easy to get to, check out Multnomah Falls.  By far the best part of this stop was when we went white water rafting. I would definitely recommend checking out the Wet Planet rafting company on the white salmon river. You have to cross back into Washington to get to it, but it was well worth it. Amazing experience!

Awesome area

My family and I stayed here when we were visiting the mount Hood area. This was a great little campground with lots of trees and not too many people. There were a ton of amenities at this campground, like wifi, bike rentals, a play ground for the kids. We didn't spend a ton of time here, because we were always out hiking and exploring, but the time we spent was super nice and relaxing. There was a pool and lots of activities set up by the camp. 

So many great hikes in the area too. Definitely check out Tom, Dick, and Harry Trail. It had great views of the mountain. There's also a ton of great waterfall hikes in the area, like Ramona falls and Tamanawas Falls. 

We had a great time at the campground and in the area in general. Hood mountain was a beautiful place!

Lovely spot for tent camping

My husband and I took our first camping trip together here this summer. We had a great time. We brought our labrador with us and she enjoyed it as well. It was very quiet and a lovely setting. The camp host has firewood available for purchase as well. The hike to the falls was very short, on a well kept paved path. We will definitely be back.

Noisy rest area with camping

Well, that was an adventure. The campground(site A39) is more like an overnight rest stop. It sits on the site of the old Viento railroad station with the railroad on one side and the highway on the other. That configuration works well for loading and unloading of trains but not so good for the city dweller who's trying to get away for a few days. 

The site was level and nice enough, but it sits approximately 25 feet from Interstate 84 where the sustained decibel level is 71db. That's not enough to cause permanent damage but it will prevent normal conversation. More like a constant running vacuum cleaner. 

The amenities on site were fine but the weekend we were there, there was a problem with both the water pressure and drainage in the bathrooms. The showers didn’t seem to experience the same issues. 

The water was beautiful and a short walk from the camp to the day use on the river. We also explored the backwater referred to as Viento Lake. It's more of a stagnant pond but a nice walk none the less. We had some difficulty finding the improved path due to the only entrances being through occupied campsites(and those are unmarked). I think 17 and 39? 

On Saturday we took the 11-minute drive into Hood River and the Western Antique Aero/Auto Museum (WAAAM). They have the largest collection of still operating antique airplanes in the US. I highly recommend visiting them on a Second Saturday when they select some cars and planes for'exercising'. 

On Sunday by midday, we packed up, leaving Viento State Park knowing that we would likely never visit again.