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We enjoyed one night at this national campground. Nice spacious private sites. Clean fire rings and adequate bathrooms. There was wild roosters running around which was difficult for our retrievers who are pheasant hunting dogs. The mossy cliff was beautiful and fun foot bridge. We were warned there’s a lot of rattlesnakes in summer,but we camped in February.
Crossing through the dry and rugged terrain of the eastern most portion of Washington, the pleasant surprise of the forest campground of Swauk could not have come at a better time. Just after the rolling hills met the forested tree line this quaint campground welcomed me to the Washington I had wished to find on my adventures. It was a first taste of the glory of the Pacific Northwest and a perfect way to find the solitude and beauty of the land during late fall.
Pulling into Swauk you first will find a recreation area where cross country skiing is permitted during the winter months and during summer months families can enjoy horse shoe pits, picnic and barbecue areas. Parking here is plentiful and invites you to enjoy the land in its entirety.
I noticed a small trail behind a shelter area and followed it to the gentle moving stream which passed throughout the back of not only the recreation area but also the camp. Here you could truly get a glimpse of the beauty and wonder of the trees opening up and increasing in size, the ferns growing wild and abundantly and the pine needles lining the forest floor creating a barrier which seems to trap sound and create a hush over the entire area.
The shelter when I had passed housed a large fire place and additional picnic tables making this a perfect location for those chilly nights you find in the forest.
Just beyond the recreation area the campground welcomes campers with large sites and plenty of room to spread out and enjoy a day, a weekend or a week. A self service pay station is located at the entrance to this portion. Single sites are $18 while doubles are $36, envelops are available alongside other rules and regulations for the campground.
Once you have secured your campsite at this location you will place your tag on the site itself in a small plastic placard located at the entrance of each site to signify it is taken. this allows you to navigate away from the campground to explore the forest and the many areas of interest near the Cascade Loop or the Gingko Forest.
Vault toilets can be found in two locations, one at the mid point of camp and the other at the entrance and provide facilities, however no running water is available at these sites. Running water can be found in the recreation area however if it is needed. You will want to make sure you are able to sustain without power however because that is not available at any portion of the campground.
This site overall is a great way to enjoy Washington and I found that visiting was an unexpected treat. To visit the facilities make sure you understand that this is not a State facility thus the Discover Pass is not accepted. Instead you will want to make sure you display a National Park Pass, as this is a site maintained by the Forest Service, though I will say no one was there to check it and there was no clear signage to mark this.
* Bring your own firewood. There are signs posted throughout camp mentioning that you cannot cut trees in the area for any reason. There is no firewood station at this campground either so if you are planning on having a fire make sure you come prepared.
* Because this site is a part of the Forest Service there are also signs posted about saving the vegetation. This means you will want to park only in the areas that are marked clearly. If you have a rig which does not fit within the bounds, consider another site at the campground.
* If you need supplies you will want to find them in the larger cities or towns along the way. When I was here I noticed there are very few stops which provide basic essentials for many miles.
Just off I90 in Eastern WA at Vantage. This is primarily a rock climbers base camp, but also serves well for a great overnight stop where you can camp right on the edge of the canyon, get in some nice vista views,& a short hike to a"falls". You will share this spot with other campers, busy even in winter. One note about access, the entrance to this camping area has some pitch to it. Better suited for high clearance vehicles, and brave souls in truck campers……
Stayed in this campground on the last part of my first solo trip. I was a little anxious due to not having this site reserved ahead of time but I made it to the campground early and picked a suitable enough site for one night. The Rangers in the visitor center at the campground were super great. The site I ended up choosing was okay, but the site next to it kind of over run into my site, and the couple next to me too full advantage of that, so it left me slightly uncomfortable. Otherwise, the campground itself was clean and well maintained. The trails that lead out of the campground were great and branched off in every direct so I hiked in the area for an entire afternoon. I would potentially try to fins another campground in this area if I'm ever out that way again, but if nothing presented itself I would stay here again. The river being just down the bank from the campsite provided fantastic ambiance and white noise when bedtime rolled around, especially considering the other people in the sites next to mine were in very close proximity.
We made reservations here 9/3-9/5. We had a dry camping, asphalt parking site next to the restrooms at the end of the loop (near the camp hosts). It was very quiet here and the area is just beautiful.
The roads through this campground are a bit tight and have a few low-hanging trees, so be aware if you have a larger rig. Our 32’ fifth wheel was fine but I wouldn’t want to go much longer than that.
There are plenty of hiking, fishing, and sight-seeing available in the area. This campground was a great jumping-off point for visiting nearby Mount Rainier National Park.
The campground has both dry camping and water/electric hookups, but no dump station. Flush toilets and pit toilets were located in the campground; the flush toilets we were next to were clean. There are several water spigots scattered throughout the dry camping loop, although they weren’t threaded so we couldn’t run a hose to them. Washing dishes at the spigots and in the restrooms was discouraged.
Nearby Enumclaw had everything we needed. The drive through the forest to get there was nice and we spotted several moose in the trees.
Verizon signal was spotty.
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: