The Rose Creek Retreat is located about 2 hours northwest of Portland in Washington across from Astoria. This private campground resides on the rocky shores of the mouth of the mighty Columbia River. Nestled into the lush hillside between 2 river ghost towns, Altoona and Cottardi Station, the campground features 3 separate campsites that each offer privacy with their own unique features.
The owner, Sol, and his wife have been rehabilitating the forest on the property for several years. They have have worked tirelessly to repair the impact of logging and dumping. The couple is on a mission to create the premier boutique-style camping experience in a wilderness sanctuary and agro-forestry project. The property features lush greenery, native edible vegetation, and beautiful rose gardens all designed with permaculture in mind.
I arrived prior to the guests staying in the Rose Garden campsite and was able to get a full tour of the property. On the edge of the Columbia River, the Rose Garden site has a large mowed grassy area tucked into the hillside bordered by beautiful flower gardens with roses, fuchsias, and hellebore. The Rose Garden also features a beautiful small rustic cabin that sits next to the small babbling creek. The cabin has a phone charger, binoculars, identification books for bird watching, a full size memory foam mattress on frame, and is decorated with amazing photographs taken by Sol. As the only site that allows wood campfires, sit around the fire pit overlooking the Columbia and watch eagles dive for fish,ships sail inland, and the sun set over the mouth of the mighty river. This site also includes a picnic table and THE CLEANEST porta potty I have ever seen!
After touring the Rose Garden, we head up the road to the parking area for the Creekside Gardens and the Orchid Garden. A second very clean porta potty can be found here as well. From the parking area, head down into an enchanting forest soaking up the ambiance of sun rays peeking through the trees, the soothing chatter of the creek, and fragrance of the berry bushes and roses. Set your tent up on a bed of moss next to the creek or head up a small hill to a grassy area and picnic table that overlook the Columbia. When in season you’ll find no shortage of wild berries to forage for in the Creekside Gardens.
From the Creekside Gardens, keep heading up the hillside for a moderately steep 5-minute climb to access the most secluded campsite -- the Orchid Garden. This campsite is hidden in a forest of alders, maples, and massive ferns. Here you will find a hand-built wickiup tucked in the hillside. The wickiup even has solar lights to add to the enchanting ambiance of the forest.
The Orchid Garden is a true forest sanctuary. I enjoyed the solitude and the silence other than the leaves rustling in the light breeze. I loved being able to sit and just soak up Mother Nature’s good tidings.
In the morning, I took a short walk down the hill to sit and journal on the shores of the mouth of the Columbia River. It was the perfect nature retreat that I was looking for.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I am fortunate enough to try out new gear from time to time. On this trip, I tried out a pair of Midland X-Talker T61VP3 walkie talkies. Although I was heading out on a solo camping trip, I thought the NOAA weather alert feature would come in handy.
I was planning on sleeping in the wickiup but the mosquitoes in the lush forest in June were insane and very hungry! I quickly realized I would not be able to sleep in the wickiup without being eaten alive. Thankfully I had brought my tent and set it up as a makeshift mosquito net. Since the wickiup is tucked into the hillside there wasn’t a spot for my tent except partially shoved in the wickiup which in turn prevented me from putting my rainfly on. This is when my Midland radio came in handy.
I used the NOAA weather feature to check the forecast. I was relieved to hear there was a clear night without rain in the forecast. I was able to avoid being feasted on by skeeters and slept without my rainfly and without worry inclement weather.
I was very impressed with the ease of use of the radio. The weather broadcast came in crisp and clear even in the dense forest. I have used these radios on every camping and backpacking trip since. I love having access to NOAA weather broadcasts while in the backcountry. These radios also came in handy when backpacking with friends and trying to find a campsite around a crowded alpine lake. I will never go into the wilderness without these radios - whether I’m by myself or with a group these radios come in handy.
These small but mighty walkie talkies are packed with powerful features. Check out their website for all the specs and features - they have lots of radios to choose from. I know you’ll find one that fits your needs and you’ll love having these walkie talkies in your gear kit as I love mine!