So I’m pretty new to organizing my own camping trips, but despite my inexperience I decided to plan a long road trip in June (lol hopefully it goes well). We’ll be staying near Mt. Shasta, Crater lake(near the entrance of the park), Mt. Hood(Timothy Lake), Mt. Rainier(Ashford, WA), Seattle, Cannon Beach, Del Norte Coast Redwoods, and Humboldt. I haven’t been to any of these locations before, so I’ve been researching everything from where to hike to where to buy groceries.
If anyone has any recommendations for must do hikes, what kind of gear I might want for WA and OR June weather, or just general newbie camper tips I would appreciate it.
That’s a pretty big question. First of all, those are all fantastic choices. Have you camped much? Will you be in tent camping or in a van/RV? How long do you plan to be on the road? How far do you want to drive between stops? How long do you want to stay in once place? All important considerations.
You will find that The Dyrt is a great resource for information about different places to camp. Read reviews and use the trip planner (if you have a PRO membership - well worth it, I think).
A lot of campgrounds require reservations, and you should make them as soon as possible, and may find the best places are already booked. But you can also find first come, first serve places. And dispersed camping on public lands also can be great, if you are OK with doing without facilities.
As for gear, the weather won’t be too cold or too hot, but bring something warm and some rain gear. Also bug repellant.
Have a great trip!
Oops, I should have clarified. I booked all the locations a few months ago and will be spending 1-3 rest days/no-driving days at each location. I have a minivan and tent that we’ll be using. We’ll mainly be at Mt. Shasta(near lake Siskiyou), Mt. Hood(Timothy Lake), and Mt. Rainier(Ashford, WA). The trip comes out to about 22 days.
To be honest, I haven’t really done much camping at all, but I love hiking and all things outside. My boyfriend has done a bit more camping than me, but he’s not much of an organizer so I’ve been handling the logistics of the trip. Also, I just got the PRO membership since I figured I should download the maps and have some backup campsites. Plus, the forums have been great for advice and tips.
My main worry is just knowing how to dress for the weather and what’s worth buying in advance.
Also, every location is completely new to me, which is great, but also a bit freaky since I have no idea what to expect. I’ve been looking into the areas and have found a few hikes/attractions in each area already, but I don’t wanna miss any major gems.
Take a look at the Alltrails app. They have all the information you will need on hiking trails.
Great, Juliana. I would pack for cooler nights since you’ll be at higher altitudes, and possibly some rain. And mosquitoes.
As for hiking, we enjoyed the Garfield Peak trail at Crater Lake, and if you can tear yourself away from that incredible location, we also enjoyed the Natural Bridge trail on the Rogue River about 10 miles NW of the lake. The river goes underground through a lava tube for a few hundred yards.
If you get down into the redwoods below Crescent City, we loved the James Irvine/Fern Canyon triangle hike. Really beautiful.
Have a great trip!
Thank you for the advice! I really appreciate it.
If you can make it to Fern Canyon south of Crescent City, try and stay at Gold Beach Campground, no trailers, but tents are good. Camp right on the beach. Book ahead, always busy. Have a great trip!
FIRST - set up your tent at home, a friend’s back yard, or nearby park and make sure you’ve got everything you need to be comfortable – even if it rains. You can test for rain by setting up your beds and then hosing down the tent. You’ll learn to set up the tent on high ground, preferably with good drainage, but some campgrounds won’t give you much choice.
If you’re new to camping you really really don’t want to find out that you need a different bed setup or more cooking gear once you’re on the road.
SECOND - learn how to download Google maps for offline use, as some locations will be completely without signal. Easy access to Forest Service maps is apparently a thing of the past, so consider buying some of the excellent National Geographic waterproof maps in advance.
I’ll only comment on places I’ve camped. Timothy Lake is lovely, but can be hard to find in a maze of logging roads, and is often quite windy in the afternoons. As recommended above, AllTrails can be a great resource for hiking trails.
Just got back from camping at Big Lagoon County Park in Humboldt, just north of Trinidad and Patrick’s Point. No reservations but it, like many other campgrounds, is FULL – every day of the week. Best to arrive in the morning and hang out until someone leaves == and it doesn’t hurt to stroll around and ask anyone who appears to be packing up. The campground beach is unbelievably slippery clay with a coating of algae, several people got hurt and one went off in an ambulance in the 5 days we were there. The ocean beach and sandbar are spectacular, but keep an eye out for sneaker waves anywhere along the Humboldt coast – they drown an average of one person a year.
In June Washington is warm. However, you will want to plan for rain. You never know with Washington. Although, I’ve camped in the rain here in Washington and it’s not that big of a deal. Rain here is like nowhere else I’ve experienced.
If you’re camping in a tent, make sure you create a small line with a camp shovel around your tent to allow water runoff to go under your tent and not in it. I’m an experienced tent camper and taking the time to do this can keep you dry and warm.
It’s also a good idea to clear a space around the fire ring. This is accomplished by removing pine needles or anything that is easily flammable.
Once that’s done and your tent site is set up, grab your chair and sit for a while as you admire your surroundings. Take time to enjoy your beautiful location.
After your break, finish setting up camp by getting your fire pit ready for dinner. This is really simple; grab four or five barbecue briquettes and form a triangle. Place each piece of kindling next to your briquette triangle, to form a square around the triangle. Then you can add a couple logs (that you buy at the front of the campground), make sure you don’t touch or use the logs in your surroundings. However, pinecones are perfect addition for kindling especially if it has sap on it. So once the logs are in place you can stick a couple more pieces of kindling on top of the briquettes and light the briquettes first when lighting your fire and the briquettes will flame up, catching the kindling on fire then it will transfer to the logs.
When cooking, I like to prep as much as I can when taking a planned camping trip. Plan your meals for each day; make sure you’ve got extra mantels and batteries for the lantern and flashlights; biodegradable soap as to not harm the wildlife; waterproof matches inside a plastic bag; toilet paper; and a camera.
Don’t forget to bring something to lay your sleeping bag on and if it’s cold outside sleep with a knit cap.
Other than that enjoy your time and explore to your heart’s content.
What fun! We’ve been living and working from the road for nearly 9 years now. You’ll love it! It’ll be life changing for you.
Finding campgrounds is a cinch with The Dyrt PPO. This link will get you 90 days for free. https://thedyrt.com/promo/canlife. The Offline maps and Map Layer functions are worth their weight in gold. We’ve reviewed them on our YouTube channel, showing how to use them. https://youtube.com/channel/UCP_JWdMY0fGboev28XCUSxw
Also, freecampsites.net (also an app) and the Overnight Parking Finder app is great to have in your back pocket.
For food, you’ll find grocery stores everywhere, so no need to plan that out. Just search “grocery stores near me” or use “search along route” on Google maps. This also works for laundromats, water filling stations, gas stations and more.
Prepare for cold and wet weather in June in the PNW. They call it Junuary for a reason. Good rain jacket, rain pants, a strong tarp, rainproof tent, and even muck boots will be helpful. Or, it could be bone dry as fire season is starting early. The west has been very dry this winter/spring.
Be sure to stop at John Day Fossil Beds east of Bend, OR. Gorgeous! And don’t miss North Cascades NP. Some of our favorites with NO crowds!
Happy travels! Reach out if you want/need more info.
Thanks for the tips. I would have never thought to pack a shovel, but that’s definitely a good idea. And I’ll have to try the briquette triangle method. I’ve always made campfires with just kindling and firewood.
I saw your YouTube video and used the link for the 90 day trial. Thanks
Don’t forget that there are plenty of stores between each spot so no real need to pack enough food etc. for the whole trip at one time. I did that on our first trip out and it was so crowded that I did not enjoy cooking at all for the first 3-4 days… And I like to cook. It is nice to have fresh foods and not something with a big ol’ question mark as to whether or not it is still safe… We learned that the hard way. We had to throw out a ton of stuff when the ice melted because someone (me) did not close the lid right.
Now we have 2 ice chests one for frozen stuff that plugs into the van and one old fashioned ice chest to keep the days cold stuff in. Both are on the small side and this works much better for us.
I like the Silver Creek falls park in Or. but it is hard to get a spot. I love the walk that takes you behind the waterfall. Also like Florence Or. area state campground. It has a section mostly used by folks that have very fancy sand dune vehicles I don’t want to do the dunes again, but they are fun machines to watch.