We were the only ones at this campground the first weekend in December. Got to the location about 9:45pm Friday night in the pitch dark so we were especially glad it wasn’t busy. We took spot 1, which in our opinion is the best location right on the river. During the high season some of the other spots might be better, though, since spot 1 is close to the entrance and the pit toilet. There are 6 spots, one of which is pretty big and would accommodate a group.
The road getting to the campground is really nice. It is paved, which surprised us based on other reviews. Some sections narrow to one lane, but there are plenty of shoulders and turnouts so if you had to reverse to allow someone to pass you wouldn’t have to reverse very far. In a few spots the road is gravel with some potholes but not bad at all.
There is a pit toilet at the campground we did not use but we did look inside and it was clean. Right across from the pit toilet is a trailhead. It looks like there used to be two trails, one leading down to the river and another that goes up to a creek that feeds into the river, but parts of both trails are washed out and blocked by tree fall. We hiked as far as we could along them, though, and it was a nice walk.
When we left on Sunday, we decided to drive to Yahoo Lake Campground just to check it out. About 1/4 mile (or less) beyond Upper Clearwater, the road splits. Take the right fork for Yahoo. We took the left fork and went about 3.5 miles before realizing it wasn’t going to take us where we wanted to go. It was a beautiful detour and we saw some nice views but it’s just logging roads. Trust that Yahoo Lake Campground exists because there are no signs but if you go about 6 miles from that split in the road, it is there. You’ll arrive at a well-market trailhead where you can park and take a short hike to the lake and campsites. The main road continues on but, during the off season, it is closed for elk preservation. We walked to the lake and checked out a couple of primitive sites that would be great for tent camping. Super remote, beautiful little lake.
Overall, Upper Clearwater is a really nice campground and a great place to stay.