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North Cascades National Park, WASHINGTON

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Camping Washington North Cascades National Park
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Hike into

My first ever solo trip and of course, I chose as far away from home in the US I could. This campground was the first I visited, I loved the fact I could reserve it only months in advance through recreation.gov, which eased my anxiety of traveling alone. No worries about getting there and not having a site to stay on. I chose the hike to site because I wanted a challenge and I’d never stayed at a campground that offered hike to sites before. It was a pleasantly short walk to my site. Upon arrival I noticed the platform for my tent, a picnic table and a fire pit. The site was divided from he nearby sites with trees and bushes which was really nice. The trails around the campground were amazing, some went into the forest and some went into the small “vintage” town of Newhalem which I thought was very quaint and neat. Another path from the hike to sites was to the river which I could fairly hear from my tent. This campground was super nice and clean and if I ever go back to North Cascades again, I’ll more than like stay here again.

Spacious Getaway

We just spent two nights cold weather camping here. It’s a beautiful quiet park with very spacious lots. There is not a lot to do besides hiking, but if you are looking for peace and quiet in the woods, this might be the ticket.

Roland Point Camp

Accessible via hiking or (rented) boat.  This campground has beautiful locations for reading, hiking, and canyoning.  Bear boxes provided and a well-maintained pit toilet.

Even in the rain - this place is great!

My first time camping at Ross Lake was at Colonial Creek - which actually has access to Diablo Lake.  It was pouring down rain - typical for the Pacific Northwest, but we still had a blast.  Clean bathrooms, plenty of space for cooking, cleaning, playing card games.

One of my favorite annual hiking trips!

We do an annual hiking trip at Ross Lake.  Amazing hikes, glacier-fed lake - which is icy cold if you decide to hike all the way up to Desolation Outlook and need to cool down your body after the evaluation climb.  You can rent motorized boats to access even more campgrounds.  Canoe or stand up paddleboard.  There are always rangers refilling toilet paper and checking on the conditions of the pit toilets which I always appreciate and bear boxes to keep your food safe.

Way out there, loud river, bring bug spray!

This campground is easy to find but a long drive into the woods on a bumpy gravel road. I made it in a Camery but it was a bumpy ride. Closest store is 45 minutes away so make sure you bring everything you need including firewood. It gets pretty chilly as the campground is well shaded. The river is very loud so you really don't hear your neighbors. The bugs are terrible, I've never seen mosquitos that aggressive. Each site had a tent pad, picnic table, and fire ring. There are some spots closer together but plenty that are set apart enough that you have privacy. Beautiful campground. No cell reception. One group had kids who were older but we didn't see any other kids. Well taken care of vault toilets though there was no host when we were there. Four stars only because the bugs were so bad, everything else about it was perfect for what we were looking for.

Park Creek Campground

This campground is located on Baker Lake Road. It is on the opposite side of the road as the lake, across from Swift Creek campground. 

Park Creek campground takes reservations. We tried our luck with no reservations- on the Thursday before Labor Day Weekend- and we were able to score a spot for one night. There were several sites available when we stayed there, but it was full for the weekend. 

We chose a spot that seemed a little more secluded than others, and it turned out to be a sweet little spot.. There was a place to park our car, a picnic area, a spot for two tents(sort of…we got pretty close to each other) and river access.

 The campground has toilets and dumpsters, but no showers. There were two separate toilets close to us. 

We were able to gather lots of firewood in the surrounding woods, so had a nice fire. 

The great thing about this campground is its location. It’s right across the street from Baker Lake, and near some amazing hikes.

Marble Creek Campground

This campground is off Cascade River Road near-ish Marblemount. 

Marble Creek campground takes reservations. We tried our luck with no reservations and we were able to score a spot for three nights. There were several sites available when we stayed there, but it was during the week. 

We stayed in site 3, which was great because it was along the river and the camp host told us it was the only spot with direct river access. There was a place to park our car, a picnic area, a slightly elevated platform for our tent, river access down an embankment, and trees where we set up our hammock. It was a fantastic site. 

The campground has toilets and dumpsters, but no showers. There were two separate toilets close to us. The closest looked more run down but I found it to be clean and not smelly. 

There is also public river access, so we went for a cold dip both at our site and in the public area. 

We were able to gather lots of firewood in the surrounding woods, so had a nice fire. 

There are a couple of hikes nearby. We did Hidden Lake, which is a short drive to the 4 mile gravel road to the trailhead. The hike is incredible and you can actually see the whole mountainside you hike from the public access beach in the campground, which was pretty cool. 

I really liked the campground. The camp host was super nice and the spot was one of my favorites. I will definitely be returning.

Klipchuck

This campground is located about a mile off Highway 20 and it is one of the larger campgrounds I have stayed in. 

Klipchuck campground does not take reservations, which was great for us, though we did see several people come by in the evening when it was full. 

We stayed in the last site, which was great because we didn’t have anyone on one side of us. The site itself was fairly standard. There was a place to park our car, then a few steps up to the picnic and tent area. 

The campground has toilets and dumpsters, but no showers. Given that this is a larger campground, both the toilets and dumpsters got a lot of use. The toilets were standard, but the amount of use meant that there was a significant smell. The dumpsters have are the type that are for the protection of bears. But there was garbage overflowing on one side. I was easily able to open the other side, which was half empty. An encouragement– read the instructions and safely dispose of your garbage. 

We were able to gather lots of firewood in the surrounding woods, so we had a nice fire. 

There is a hike right off the campground, which we did. It was strenuous and a little sketchy(steep hillside slopes with a narrow, slippery path to follow) but the views were pretty amazing. 

This campground is close(driving) to Mazama, and some beautiful hikes– Goat Peak Lookout, hikes in Winthrop, and more.

Lone Fir Campground

 This campground is located directly off Highway 20. As in, close enough that you will hear road noise anytime a car goes by. But aside from that one downside, this campground is pretty great. Lone Fir campground does not take reservations, and as a last minute adventurer, I really appreciate that. There were a few sites open when we came on a Thursday and we chose the last site on the loop. But by Friday night, it was full. I was very pleased with the size of each site. There was a place dedicated to parking our car, a space for fires/ picnic table and a separate space down a little hill, surrounded by trees, for our tent and our hammock. For an off the highway site, we also had a fair amount of distance between sites. Our site had the water spigot for a few sites, so we had visitors on the edge of our site. The campground has toilets and dumpsters, but no showers. There is an interpretive trail right off the campground, and while advertised as wheelchair accessible, the trail had been washed out, bridges were down and many logs were on the trail. It was still very pretty. We were able to gather lots of firewood in the surrounding woods, so had a nice fire. This campground is close(driving) to Mazama, and several beautiful hikes– Blue Lake, Maple Pass, Cutthroat Pass, and Cutthroat Lake– and more. We also got beautiful sunsets. All in all, a good campground. I would definitely stay there again.

Location is great!

Located directly in front of the North Cascades Visitor Center. The campground is as described. We tent camped in loop A near the hike-in sites. Of course it was rainy but we were still very happy with this campground. The bathrooms were clean and had one electric outlet. The water spigot was in front of the restrooms. The bear box was excellent and there were plenty of trees for privacy. There is one general store nearby but no restaurants so I’d recommend coming prepared. The NP Rangers are lovely and pointed us in the right direction for hikes. We drove into Newhalem to hike the Ladder Creek Falls Trail behind the Gorge Powerhouse. It is beautiful! Then we drove up Lake Diablo - Gorgeous!

Awesome ADA accessibility

Great ADA camping. Trails are smooth enough for an electric wheelchair and the path to the river is paved. Not many spots so book early.

Where's the host?

Stayed there Thursday thru the labor day weekend and never saw the host. I was here the year before and the host were always driving around on the golf cart checking on everyone. I left briefly on Friday morning to pick up my friends and when I came back my hammock had been stolen. Apparently while I was gone the "host" stopped by and left me a note to tell me I hadn't paid even though I did. Even worse they just had a coffee can with an honor system for the firewood. If your gonna be a host you should actually be there to I don't know host. I was afraid to leave my campsite after my stuff got stolen so but other then not having an actual host it was ok

Ranger Review: Stream2Sea at Big Twin Lake Campground

Winthrop is an interesting place for campgrounds.  I did a bit of driving around and exploring my options, of which there were a few, before settling on this site.

Campground Review:

Big Twin Lake Campground is located 3 miles south of Winthrop, which makes it feel a little out of the way, in a good way.  They have both tent and RV sites.  The camp host made a variety of helpful suggestions for spots to camp, both in the traditional tent spots and further out in the 90 acres they have. 

The tent and RV campsites are mostly close together, under a spread out stand of trees, all with lake views.  There are 'orchard' spots available as well, which have more space between them. We settled on a spot at the end of the tent sites, before it turns into the orchard.  So one side of us did not have other campers, which was nice.  There is little to no privacy between the tent sites, but it ended up not being an issue the night we stayed.  The spot had a nice fire pit (but there was a burn ban, so no fire for us) and a picnic table set up.

The campground offered paddle boats, fishing, and I understood there was swimming available, though we did not utilize these items.  I did buy ice from the campground at a decent price.  They have toilets for use at both ends of the campground and a pay shower at the larger bathrooms. All in all, it was a decent stay.

Product Review: As a Ranger for the Dyrt, from time to time I get to test products. At Big Twin Lake Campground, I tested a variety of the Stream2Sea Products.

Prior to staying at Big Twin Lake, I had been camping and hiking in the summer sun, so I had plenty of time to test their products.  I tried their Standard Sunscreen, Tinted, Chap-stick with sunscreen, Shampoo/Body wash, and Leave in Conditioner and the Body Lotion.

Here is what I have discovered: 

1) These products seriously work.  I was using the Stream2Sea sunscreen while my hiking/camping buddy was using a different sunscreen. I was surprised that the Stream2Sea worked better - he got burned, but I did not. 

2) The sunscreen kept me cooler while in the blazing sun. 

3) The Shampoo/body wash works great as a way to clean dirt off yourself if no showers are nearby.

4) The sunscreen/chap-stick does not taste like sunscreen. 

5) The non-tinted sunscreen goes on white and, honestly, tends to stay that way.  I was completely fine with that as I'd rather be pasty and my skin healthy.  

6) I love the way the body lotion feels, it does seems to be very hydrating. 

7) Stream2Sea is coral safe, which I didn't get to test but love about them and they are biodegradable.  A company that cares about the environment and makes products that seriously work - that makes them all-stars in my book.

Beautiful area far removed from Cities

Its a rough road to get here. Must travel about 12-15 miles on dirt road that has sections that are all potholes. Though I did see a few others with regular sedan cars, I would recommend using a truck, at the very least make sure the car as good clearance. 

Outside of that the area is wonderful. 

Many trail heads around for hiking, nice creeks and a river near by. You know you're on the mountain and away from the cities. 

This particular site has no potable water available, got to pack your own in. 

We lucked out on weather, remained dry. But was mostly overcast, not a problem either. Kept it cool around low/mid 70's 

Oh and no cell service that I could get up there. Other providers may have better luck. Not a big deal if your going up there to disconnect.

single camp site is 18 and 36 for a double site. There were quite a few folks around, but still it was quiet. I'm sure the rushing sound of the creek may have covered the sounds of other humans.

Grandby lake

The site is convenient. Only 15 minutes away from town but you feel secluded. Close to a lot of great trails. Campsites are very close together with the exception of a few. Bathrooms are clean.

Great Campsite

Stayed at Klipchuck Campsite on 8/23. Very quiet and clean. Early Winters and Driveway Butte hiking trails are at or near the Campsite. There is also a path to the creek, which is clear and clean,, and peaceful to listen to from your Campsite. On a clear night, which we had, The stars were AMAZING. Will stay again when in the North Cascades

Fav campground

Beautiful views anywhere you look. Not a short drive by any means to get there but worth the trouble. Family camped in spot number 1 which is a walk-in. Def recommend this one. It’s conveniently close to a pit toilet and has a view of the water. Situated far enough from other sites to feel like seclusion.

Scenic but crowded

The views here definitely make this primitive campground worth the drive but the neighbors definitely dictate your level of enjoyment. Located right on Baker Lake, this is a great spot to camp at for your water activities. The sites have the typical fire Ring and table but they are so crowded you may as well just use your neighbors.

1 right now but 5 soon

I have to give this a one star for now since alit if trees have been cut because of a fire. The grounds are charred but within a few years it should be better. The undergrowth is taking over for now. The campground does sit next to a stream and it will be really relaxing once the tree cover comes back.

Favorite off the path campground

This campground is primitive with only water and pit toilets but an absolute delight. The river is amazing and on a clear day you have amazing views of Mt Baker. You can go either direction to play on the water of Baker Lake or just relax. The spacing is good between campgrounds and each comes with a table and fire ring. I personally observed all bear precautions as rumors of bears around were plenty.

Favorite off the path campground

This campground is primitive with only water and pit toilets but an absolute delight. The river is amazing and on a clear day you have amazing views of Mt Baker. You can go either direction to play on the water of Baker Lake or just relax. The spacing is good between campgrounds and each comes with a table and fire ring. I personally observed all bear precautions as rumors of bears around were plenty.

Cozy, quiet, primitive

This is a nice campground away from the large mass of people up the road toward diablo lake. It’s right off the hi-way and next to a river and easily accessible. They have put toilets and a nice set up with decent to large spacing between spots. It was actually astounding for this type of campground how spaced out you are. The big draw for me were the massive old growth trees here. I would definitely stay here again.

Fire recently

A forest fire has recently made its way through this campground. The forest service is cleaning it up as of June 2019. The sites were level and quiet. This campground would be a nice spot away from the crowds. It is close to baker lake.

Fantastic

We were surprisingly pleased with this campground. Our site was was a tent site only. The sites are spread out and do offer a little privacy. The sites have a picnic table, fire pit and a bear box. The restrooms a bit dated and you could defiantly tell they need to be updated. Diablo lake is beautiful and plenty of hiking trails to keep you busy. We will be back.

Gorgeous camping in the Mt Baker National Forest

The Clear Creek campground is off the Mountain loop Rd in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Clear Creek is only ten minutes or so from Darrington WA. Only 13 campsites with tent pads, picnic tables, and fire rings. Vault toilets were also available. Firewood is not available on site, but local residents have firewood for sale at the roadside. The creek and the Sauk river are absolutely beautiful. There is so much wildlife in the area, keep an eye out, I think I saw a wolverine by the creek, couldn't get my camera ready in time,

Shaded campground on Mountain Loop Road

The Bedal Campground is off the mountain loop highway in the Mount Baker- Snoqualmie National Forest. Settled in some old Growth forest it provides a good amount of shade to most sites. There are around 20 sites and some are reservable, the sites run about $15 a night, All campsites include tent pads, picnic tables and fire rings. There are Bear proof trash cans, recycling, and spigots near by each site, The sign said there was a boat launch, but it was next to a trail that led to the river. I expect a canoe is the largest boat you would be able to launch. I have to mention the crazy amount of small waterfalls/cascades on the way in. this place is surrounded by some of the nicest forest I have seen.

Waaaay out there

It’s a ways from anywhere unless you happen to live in the middle of nowhere. It’s a great place for big groups. Get a few sites together and bring your bikes. Many sites are in full sun which is not awesome, but there are some really cool lakeside sites. It’s cool for tow behind tubing, a little morning fishing, daytime swimming in the swim area. If you need a day trip there’s plenty of hiking and the town of Winthrop is pretty cool even though it’s pretty touristy, once we took a day trip horseback riding, too. It’s awesome, totally relaxing and gorgeous. Be advised that it is like all high altitude areas really hot in the day and reallly cold at night. Bring shorts and sweats.

Absolutely amazing

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this campground. The maps made it look tight and the park didn’t make much sense to me but I was in for the biggest surprise of our trip. This campground is astounding. The spacing was great especially for a national park campground, the walk ins weren’t to far away but not to close either, the bathrooms were placed appropriately and the attractions are right at your site. There had to have been a dozen old growth giant trees in our site and the views to really help you relax. The bathrooms didn’t have a shower and you could tell the plumbing was old but it didn’t matter. The sites all have a normal fire ring and table. Our site was for tents only and it is recommended to check each site before you book a reservation. Reservations are a must here as well.

Great sites

Camped here for two days and have to say it was a great experience. I’m a solo hiker so I didn’t stay at my actual site for super long but it was nice coming back each night to a site that was good sized and beautifully lush. Also, having the river so close is a definite plus