the dyrt
Brian C.
Portland, OR
Joined September 2016
Great Location, Spots and Price

Great campground in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Smallish campground with about half the spots right on the river. Nice day use area slightly separated from the camping. Picnic tables and fire rings. Mostly tents when we were there, but there's also pull-through driveway type spots that could fit a trailer. At just $12 per night, price can't be beat.

Plenty of trees and grass. Most spots are slightly exposed to the turn-around road, but still feels private since there's space and trees between the spots.

Not too far from Mouton Falls, which are amazing, plus other hiking and swimming areas nearby.

Super Clean and Basic

Probably a 2.5-star spot. Super clean, but in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do. Lots of pull-through spots with full hook-ups. Just off the I-5 freeway. Shares a wall with the freeway, so can be loud with traffic noise.

Spots are just driveways with very little space in-between. Many did not have picnic tables and only a few on the ends were near any grass. There is some grass on the ends of the rows and at the sides of the park. There's also a small strip-mall basically in the same parking lot, for better or worse.

If you're driving through and need a place to stay, this one is safe, clean, newer, and basic.

Nice State Park. Staty Away from Freeway.

Great state park with all the usual amenities: fire pits, trees, ranger station. It's basically two different types of campgrounds in one: there's the sites more out in the open that are closer to the freeway. Then there's a bunch further away in both a meadow and the woods. Obviously if possible, stay away from the freeway. Down at the day use area (which has a nice small beach) the sound was so loud it was hard to hear people talking just a few feet away.

Lots of hiking including a nice trail between the campground and the day use area. Firewood available. Spots for both camps and trailers including electric and water hookups. Nice staff/rangers available for questions. Walk-in spots are cheapest and many are further away from the freeway. Very clean overall.

Kid-Friendly with lots to do near Mt. St. Helens

Well situated. Just off I-5, about 10 miles from the Mt. St. Helens Visitor Center and about an hour north of Portland, Oregon. Lots to do, especially for kids. There's a swimming pool, basketball court, huge playground, volleyball, disc golf course, picnic table areas and woods to run in.

Everything is fairly well maintained, but like HBO's Westwood's park, it gets stranger the further you get from the center of the park. Off on the edges the spots get more weedy, there's a railroad track on one side and the freeway on the other. But stay to the middle and everything is very well maintained and fun.

A bit more expensive than other more run down spots in the area ($43 or so), but in general worth it for its nice location and amenities.

Tips: not all spots have fire pits, so if that's important to you, be sure to ask for one.

Friendly, Basic, But Mostly Long-Timers

On maps this is sometimes called Paradise Resort & RV Park, but if it's an RV Park with "paradise" in the name and you're in Castle Rock, Washington, you're in the right place.

Just off the freeway. Mostly full-timers. There's a store there with the basics, plus laundry machines, showers etc. No frills. Friendly enough staff and people who live there. Full hook-ups. Sites are nothing to write home about. They take overnight bookings for about $32 a night.

If you have kids and/or want more facilities, head across the freeway to Toutle River RV Park. Otherwise this place is fine.

Come for the Sunstones

Free spots, totally barren with Mars-like landscape and no trees. You're completely exposed to the elements, though there are covered picnic tables and fire pits. Beware of the pit toilets since they are often home to black widows (not the Marvel superhero…sadly). Sunstones galore. Easy to pick up right at your camp site. Not far from some of the best sunstone mines in the world. No water. Be sure to bring all your supplies with you as the nearest stores is miles away. No hookups for trailers, though properly supplied and with decent clearance and spare tires for the gravel road, there is space to park them.

Favorite Campsite in the Area

Affordable forested campsites with many that are steps from the Clackamas River. River is gorgeous and you can hear the sounds of the creek from many of the campsites. While some spots in the middle lack privacy, the river side spots are great with lots of space and separated by large trees. Toilets, picnic tables and fire rings on site. Great in the summer if you wan to wade in the river. We were there on a Sunday night in August and almost had the whole place to ourselves. Fun hiking nearby. One of our favorite campsites in the Mt. Hood natural area. The river access is really cool and it's also a short drive to other swimming holes and hiking.

Great Camp in Lassen National Park

Very large camp near the western entrance of the Lassen Volcanic National Park. Situated on the banks of Manzanita Lake. There are numerous tent, RV, and a few cabin sites available that you can get with little advance notice, unlike many other national parks.

Manzanita has a small camp store with supplies with supplies, hook-ups, and dumpstations availability for RVs, and there is a boat launch for kayaks and canoes on the lake. You can also rent kayaks and canoes and fishing is also widely popular with licenses available in the store.

The camp is also a short drive from the very cool and historic museum that has information about the volcanic history of the park as well as early photographs of the 1915 eruption. It is well worth a visit and has a junior ranger program available for kids, plus general park information. Manzanita is probably the largest camp location within the park and is busy, but there is plenty of opportunities to escape into Lassen.

Fine But Not Amazing

There are several RV Parks in the Oceanside area, or that are nearby beaches. We've had a great time across the street at Paradise Pier. The Oceanside RV Park, however, leaves quite a bit to be desired. There are quite a few areas that seem to be under constant renovation, as well as many long-time visitors, which isn't really our scene. And while it is close to the beach, it also borders an active train track. There are other better options.

That said, there are two reasosn why you'd want to stay at Oceanside if other places were not available. First, their, dog run is quite a bit larger that other places and second, they have a strange fake grass tent area where you can stay without at RV, which is one of the only "resort" type places where I've seen that in the area.

Nice Country Park Near Legoland

Nice, clean, county park. Big spots for RVs with water and electric hookups. Dump station on site.

Spots are not huge, but big enough, and if you have an RV it can feel plenty private.

The park is very popular amongst locals and has a huge, awesome, covered playground for children.

Flush toilets available and a nice nature walk around a lake. The park was a great/affordable base camp for nearby Legoland amusement park. Also easy (drive) access to Target, Grocery Stores and the Beach.

Campground in the Redwoods

Nice state park near the amazing Redwoods National Park. Oftentimes if the national park is full you can find spots here. Camp itself is nice and overlooks the ocean.

Beautiful forest, dramatic coastline. What's not to like? You can take showers with quarters (often cold). Last time we we the bathrooms were extra filthy, but that's the exception rather than the norm.

Junior ranger programs, hikes, and activities are all throughout the area as well.

Historic First African American Town in California

Historic and cool.

Want Yellowstone Without the Crowds? Start Here

Unlike the impressive but always incredible Yosemite, Lassen is a gem of a national park rivaling Yellowstone, but without the crowds. There are mud pots, alpine meadows, and lakes to swim and fish in. This particular campsite near the southern entrance is a walk-in, but by walk-in, we mean 20 feet from the paved parking lot.

Sites overlook a forested valley of the park. Bathrooms with flush toilets and sinks are nearby and could be had without reservations, on a first-come, first-served basis, a rarity for many national parks.

Across the parking lot (75 yards) is the Lassen Lodge, which has a great museum, ranger station, junior ranger program, information center, gift shop, and cafe. It’s a great base-camp from which to explore the whole of Lassen as it only takes about an hour to drive from one end of Lassen to the other, with numerous spots to explore along the way.

Nice KOA with Pool Next to Lassen

Well-appointed, forested RV and camp/KOA spot near the entry to Lassen National Volcanic Park. The KOA has a wonderful swimming pool, a great outdoor game area, dirt-bike trails for the kids, rope swings, and a fort. Camp sites are nice if not a little small, though many have water and.or electricity available. RV spots are gravel pads but with full hookups available. There are also cabins available.

The main office has a small shop for food and other necessities, laundry facilities and showers available. My one critique is that while is says it has wi-fi, it is incredibly sporty and slow.

The real advantage to this location is it puts you at the doorstep of amazing Lassen, as it’s only 20 minutes away.

It's a Fairground

If you need to go to the Antelope Valley Fairground for any reason what-so-ever. Let's say you're coming for a concert or to see a car show or something, sure, come spend the night at the RV lop. It has nice clean bathrooms and showers, very nice hook-ups, and good prices. And while the big black fences are a little, well, big, that definitely bring the feeling of safety.

That said, if you're just passing through the through California/Mojave area and thought it might be fun to go sleep in a fairground for no reason, don't do it. It's another one where it's just a big plain old parking lot. It's a clean nice parking lot, but it's a parking lot.

Great National Park Campground in Lassen

Like its sister site to the north, this camp site is next to Lassen’s Summit Lake at approximately 7000 feet. The lake is gorgeous and the camp sites are nice, with flush toilets and sinks available.

However, we prefer the northern campground location given that the camp sites are closer to the lake and the southern campground had more marsh/grass along the shoreline.

Still beautiful, and still next to plenty of places to explore inside the awesome Lassen National park.

Great National Park Campground

Another great campsite within the gorgeous (and uncrowded) Lassen Volcanic National Park, this one is on the northern shore of a Summit Lake, a blue, pristine lake near 7000 feet. There are two camping loops with tent sites and small RV trailer sports available. No hook-ups, but flush toilets and sinks nearby.

Sites can be further inland near the forest with a parking lot that separates you from the lakeshore. In the summer, the lake is great for swimming.

There is another campsite on the southern side of the lake that is very similar, but we prefer the north campground in that the sites are closer to the lake itself. Numerous hikes are available within the area.

Just a Parking Lot

Cheap, no-frills full hook-up RV park near the mojave airfield and space port. You are literally parking in a parking lot with hook-ups. It’s bare bones.

Riverfront Tent Spots Perfect for Boating Trips

Primarily a day use area with a boat launch on the Columbia River and part of Beacon Rock state park, this site also has a handful of campsites that are perfect if you are looking to get on your boat and fish. The sites themselves are nothing special, though you are very close to the river shore.

Nice bathrooms and full showers on site. Picnic spaces available as well. A handful of RV spots are also available further away from the water.

Well Loved State Park

Battleground is a nice and well loved state park not far from Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. The part itself centers around a clear caldera lake with tent camping, RV camping, cabins, trails, group sites, and the like. The lake is also frequently stocked, and fishing is popular. Not motorized boats, but plenty of kayaks and rafts. There is a small camp store with snacks and fishing supplies on-site. Campground is well appointment with showers, water, etc.

Hiking around the lake is fun. And well a crowded park, it is easy to sneak away to a quiet spot. Some cabins and campsites have nice views overlooking the lake. The town of battleground is nearby with restaurants, grocery stores, and any you might have forgotten.