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Went snowshoe backpacking up to McNeil Point this weekend and camped and showshoe-d around the area for a few days. This area is extremely popular in summer and is along the Timberline Trail, but during our Late May excursion there was still tons of snow and only saw a few people in the 3 days we were up there.
Views of Hood, Rainier, and and Adams with plenty of nearby meadows and ridges to explore. What else could you ask for?
I don't know about everything the site says it has but here is my experience.
Great spots on the river. Kinda limited shade. A hand pump potable water source. It's dry camping so no dump on site, no electricity so bring a generator if you're rv camping. We went in June and it was in the high 90s.
Only stayed one night ..The drive was intense in a Honda but I made it…followed someone in…otherwise not sure if I could find it with no service. The spot was peaceful , cleanish toilets and there was a fire ban at the time so we had to bring our own fire pit which was tricky and also called for a lot more bugs . Oh yeah bugs- MOSQUITOES and all the other goodies you find high up in the tops of mountain lakes. But a great find none the less would go again and stay longer since it’s such a drive up.
I used the get directions button. Followed the map.
First off the reviews said phone service there. How? Cell reception drops before even getting to the Forest Road.
To say the road is a little rough is a HUGE understatement. The closer I got to this lake the worse the road got. It went from a decent graveled two lane road to a one lane road, then a dirt road with potholes, to a very narrow dirt track. There was winter storm damage everywhere. Many trees had fallen across the road but the road had been cleared. Still some of the tree branches would rub the side of my car. I would have turned around but there was simply no place to do that. I moved forward hoping to find some way to turn around. Then the road had a large area that was just mud. On the right the land rapidly rose and on the left the land sloped rapidly down into a ravine. Going as slow as possible through the mud I felt the car start to slide towards the ravine. My years of driving prevented the slide down into the ravine. Push on looking for any turn place to turn around. The road became worse and the fallen trees become more abundant. Branches brushing the car almost constant. One of the fallen trees must have been precariously balanced because I heard the scrape on the side of the car and suddenly there was a tree trunk smashing through my windshield. Had there been a passenger in my car they would have died. I did manage to find enough room to turn around a bit farther down the road. After what was a very painful 20 point turn around I made my way out of the nightmare experience and limped back to civilization.
Do not fall prey to a river view spot! There are no trees to provide shade or protection from the wind! There are burn marks on my tent from the polls rubbing together. It is also a little weird only being able to access the campground from one side of the 84.
This dispersed camping is free, huge bonus in my book. While searching for our perfect spot we did come across a few large parties, making us apprehensive that we would experience our ideal peaceful experience, but we were wrong to be. There were dozens of open sites that we had our pick of. A handful of cars drove by throughout the evening and night, but not an outrageous amount. Pretty dang good for very accessible NF camping spots. There are a good deal of trailheads near by, meaning you're never too far from a pit toilet or a bulletin board with information.
We visited in early September and found the weather to be very pleasant. Our view of Mt. St Helen's was obscured by the tall trees that offered our site seclusion and privacy, but we relished the view of the active volcano while driving to and from our site.
Right on the water, and hiking and beautiful greenery. My pup and I came up last June before the holiday rush. We had the best time I've ever had on a trip! The lovely couple that host were so great and attentive. Will be returning!!
This is a great hidden gem right off the bank of the Deschutes River. It’s in Lockit area, if I remember correctly. After a full day of rafting, we floated right up to this spot with a biiig group of people. The few designated riverside campsites were already taken, so we opted to walk up into the open field (maybe 150 yards from the water) and make camp. Besides the glorious surroundings, the best part of this campsite is definitely the NICE composting toilet. It’s the only amenity available but we were all thankful to have it and impressed by how clean and new it felt. A train will pass by at least a couple times over the course of a night, but it’s kind of a fun sight as long as it doesn’t come by in the middle of the night. Overall it’s a very solid option for Deschutes rafters and I would happily stay there again.