Danielle S.
Bellingham, WA
Joined June 2016
Marble Creek Campground

This campground is off Cascade River Road near-ish Marblemount. 

Marble Creek campground takes reservations. We tried our luck with no reservations and we were able to score a spot for three nights. There were several sites available when we stayed there, but it was during the week. 

We stayed in site 3, which was great because it was along the river and the camp host told us it was the only spot with direct river access. There was a place to park our car, a picnic area, a slightly elevated platform for our tent, river access down an embankment, and trees where we set up our hammock. It was a fantastic site. 

The campground has toilets and dumpsters, but no showers. There were two separate toilets close to us. The closest looked more run down but I found it to be clean and not smelly. 

There is also public river access, so we went for a cold dip both at our site and in the public area. 

We were able to gather lots of firewood in the surrounding woods, so had a nice fire. 

There are a couple of hikes nearby. We did Hidden Lake, which is a short drive to the 4 mile gravel road to the trailhead. The hike is incredible and you can actually see the whole mountainside you hike from the public access beach in the campground, which was pretty cool. 

I really liked the campground. The camp host was super nice and the spot was one of my favorites. I will definitely be returning.

Klipchuck

This campground is located about a mile off Highway 20 and it is one of the larger campgrounds I have stayed in. 

Klipchuck campground does not take reservations, which was great for us, though we did see several people come by in the evening when it was full. 

We stayed in the last site, which was great because we didn’t have anyone on one side of us. The site itself was fairly standard. There was a place to park our car, then a few steps up to the picnic and tent area. 

The campground has toilets and dumpsters, but no showers. Given that this is a larger campground, both the toilets and dumpsters got a lot of use. The toilets were standard, but the amount of use meant that there was a significant smell. The dumpsters have are the type that are for the protection of bears. But there was garbage overflowing on one side. I was easily able to open the other side, which was half empty. An encouragement– read the instructions and safely dispose of your garbage. 

We were able to gather lots of firewood in the surrounding woods, so we had a nice fire. 

There is a hike right off the campground, which we did. It was strenuous and a little sketchy(steep hillside slopes with a narrow, slippery path to follow) but the views were pretty amazing. 

This campground is close(driving) to Mazama, and some beautiful hikes– Goat Peak Lookout, hikes in Winthrop, and more.

Lone Fir Campground

 This campground is located directly off Highway 20. As in, close enough that you will hear road noise anytime a car goes by. But aside from that one downside, this campground is pretty great. Lone Fir campground does not take reservations, and as a last minute adventurer, I really appreciate that. There were a few sites open when we came on a Thursday and we chose the last site on the loop. But by Friday night, it was full. I was very pleased with the size of each site. There was a place dedicated to parking our car, a space for fires/ picnic table and a separate space down a little hill, surrounded by trees, for our tent and our hammock. For an off the highway site, we also had a fair amount of distance between sites. Our site had the water spigot for a few sites, so we had visitors on the edge of our site. The campground has toilets and dumpsters, but no showers. There is an interpretive trail right off the campground, and while advertised as wheelchair accessible, the trail had been washed out, bridges were down and many logs were on the trail. It was still very pretty. We were able to gather lots of firewood in the surrounding woods, so had a nice fire. This campground is close(driving) to Mazama, and several beautiful hikes– Blue Lake, Maple Pass, Cutthroat Pass, and Cutthroat Lake– and more. We also got beautiful sunsets. All in all, a good campground. I would definitely stay there again.

Ranger Review: Stream2Sea at Big Twin Lake Campground

Winthrop is an interesting place for campgrounds.  I did a bit of driving around and exploring my options, of which there were a few, before settling on this site.

Campground Review:

Big Twin Lake Campground is located 3 miles south of Winthrop, which makes it feel a little out of the way, in a good way.  They have both tent and RV sites.  The camp host made a variety of helpful suggestions for spots to camp, both in the traditional tent spots and further out in the 90 acres they have. 

The tent and RV campsites are mostly close together, under a spread out stand of trees, all with lake views.  There are 'orchard' spots available as well, which have more space between them. We settled on a spot at the end of the tent sites, before it turns into the orchard.  So one side of us did not have other campers, which was nice.  There is little to no privacy between the tent sites, but it ended up not being an issue the night we stayed.  The spot had a nice fire pit (but there was a burn ban, so no fire for us) and a picnic table set up.

The campground offered paddle boats, fishing, and I understood there was swimming available, though we did not utilize these items.  I did buy ice from the campground at a decent price.  They have toilets for use at both ends of the campground and a pay shower at the larger bathrooms. All in all, it was a decent stay.

Product Review: As a Ranger for the Dyrt, from time to time I get to test products. At Big Twin Lake Campground, I tested a variety of the Stream2Sea Products.

Prior to staying at Big Twin Lake, I had been camping and hiking in the summer sun, so I had plenty of time to test their products.  I tried their Standard Sunscreen, Tinted, Chap-stick with sunscreen, Shampoo/Body wash, and Leave in Conditioner and the Body Lotion.

Here is what I have discovered: 

1) These products seriously work.  I was using the Stream2Sea sunscreen while my hiking/camping buddy was using a different sunscreen. I was surprised that the Stream2Sea worked better - he got burned, but I did not. 

2) The sunscreen kept me cooler while in the blazing sun. 

3) The Shampoo/body wash works great as a way to clean dirt off yourself if no showers are nearby.

4) The sunscreen/chap-stick does not taste like sunscreen. 

5) The non-tinted sunscreen goes on white and, honestly, tends to stay that way.  I was completely fine with that as I'd rather be pasty and my skin healthy.  

6) I love the way the body lotion feels, it does seems to be very hydrating. 

7) Stream2Sea is coral safe, which I didn't get to test but love about them and they are biodegradable.  A company that cares about the environment and makes products that seriously work - that makes them all-stars in my book.

Ranger Review: Eclipse Sun Products at Hidden Meadow Retreat Campground

Whatcom County has a lot of campgrounds, but it seems to me they are booked up all summer long.  I booked this site a few days before camping.  Sometimes you just need to look for those 'Hidden' spots.

Campground review: 

Hidden Meadow Retreat is located in Sumas, Washington, just a few miles from the Canadian border. The campsite is on a working farm, but the sites are in a private meadow in the back, so I didn’t hear any farm noises. 

There was no cell phone service for me, so I recommend printing directions. I trusted my GPS and it got me there, but I wasn’t 100% sure I had arrived. The camp host, James, came out to say hi and direct me back to the campsite, which was great.

James gave me a tour of the property. In addition to 3 current sites located in the meadow, it looks like they are working on more. The farm boasts chickens, goats, rabbits, and someday soon, bees. 

The campsites themselves are spread out from each other. You have to drive down a dirt road straight back through the property and over a quaint bridge to the meadow. At James’s suggestion, I chose the site directly to the right after the bridge. The spot had a nice fire pit with stumps to sit on, a grill, a picnic table and a garbage can. I was able to set up my sent under the tree, so I was nicely shaded. 

The other two sites are across the meadow, but still far enough away for it to have the feeling of being private. They have a compost toilet for use in the meadow, hidden behind a row of trees, where, after using the toilet, you dump sawdust in to make it fresh. There is fresh water at the log cabin by the main house, so it is a bit of a walk.

James had mentioned checking out Vedder Mountain(which is different than Mt. Vedder in Canada) and gave us directions. It was only a few miles away and ended up being a great place to explore. On our hike, we ended up on a ridge overlooking both the US and Canada. As well, Silver Lake is only about a 20 minute drive away, so we went for a nice refreshing dip. 

I was very pleased with my stay. I recommend checking Hidden Meadow Retreat  out! 

Product Review: 

As a Ranger for the Dyrt, from time to time I get to test products. At Hidden Meadow Retreat, I tested the Eclipse Sun Clothing

What I loved about camping with my Eclipse clothes. I have the gloves, the sleeves, and the shawl. I have been wearing the gear over the last few weeks. The gloves when I drive, the shawl as a beach cover and going out, and the sleeves for working out, running, hiking, etc. 

Here is what I have discovered: 

1) They are comfortable. The clothing stays put(which is super important in wearing arm sleeves).

2) They work. I am outside in the sun a LOT and I have some sun damage to my skin. I have been so impressed with the clothing. T this clothing has UPF 50+ and the sun protection will not wash out. 

3) They keep you cool. The website explains that the particles in the clothing increase the area by up to 800%. I cannot speak enough to this. I struggle with hot summer days and wanting to be active, and this technology makes it possible for me. 

4) They have a variety of products at excellent prices. Since the time I got my products and when I went back onto their site, I see more options: more colors, and different types of products. They even have products for kids and they sell a Hijab. 

I really like Eclipse’s products and would highly recommend checking out Eclipse and all their gear.

Ranger Review: Red Ledge Rebel Rain Pant at Coriander Creek Farm

Campground review: 

Coriander Creek Farm is located on a working farm, in a valley with beautiful mountainous hills surrounding. It is located in Skagit County, and is only about 4 miles away from Whatcom County. 

The camp host, Mike, gave me a tour of the property when I arrived. There is an old(1910) barn that they are hoping to restore, lots of herbs his wife, Amy grows and sells, a swimming hole(it was too cold for me to try!) and lots of fields to explore. As well, they had chickens, dogs and goats. 

The campsites themselves are spread out from each other. I had booked the Northside Campsite which was located at the end of one field. To note, I had to park at the barn and walk to my spot, which took a couple of minutes. The spot had a nice fire pit and a picnic table set up. I understand they move the picnic table to different campsites as they are booked. I was by the creek, though I couldn’t see it for the tall grass, but the grass was a welcome addition as it whispered in the breeze. My spot had a clear line of site to the farmhouse and the road, so there was some road noise. But when I consider the value(an amazingly affordable spot!), it was great. 

The other two sites are more secluded. They are both closer to the farmhouse but out of view, one behind the grasses and near the swimming hole, the other behind a stand of trees. Both are larger and good for group camping. You will need to be able to walk to each site. They have a compost toilet for use up by the farmhouse, where, after using the toilet, you dump sawdust in to make it fresh.

When Mike was giving me the tour of the property, he explained about things they hope to develop on the farm like adding more campsites in the adjoining fields, getting the old bard on the Historic registry and even one day adding a salt bath. I’m hoping to go back and see what new things they have added! 

I was very pleased with my stay. Mike and Amy are great hosts and I recommend checking Coriander Creek Farm out! 

Product Review: As a Ranger for the Dyrt, from time to time I get to test products. At Coriander Creek Farm, I tested the Red Ledge Rebel Rain Pant. As you will see in my video review, I love these pants. 

I want to start by saying the customer service with this company was above and beyond anything I had ever experienced before. Due to my own fault, I had chosen the wrong size pants. Red Ledge was incredibly quick to respond, to suggest ideas, and to get me the right pair of pants– and even followed up to make sure they worked. For that alone, I will be buying from them in the future. But there is more to why I love this company.

What I loved about camping with my Rebel Rain Pant. I have been wearing these rain pants over the last few weeks, in all sorts of conditions. Running, interval workouts. Biking, and even walking to work in the pouring rain. When I camped with these pants, it was a sunny day. But the next morning it was cloudy and there was condensation everywhere. They kept me nice and dry. 

Here is what I have discovered: 

1) They are comfortable. They work both over other pants(in my video I mention I am wearing them over jeans. I also pulled them on over my workout pants while wearing shoes and over my work pants) and remain comfortable even if you aren’t wearing pants underneath them. 

2) They have a button at the bottom so that once you get them over your shoes you can adjust them. 

3) They breathe. One of my runs it threatened rain but didn’t. I ran in these pants and I didn’t overheat or stick to them. 

4) They are flexible. I have had no issues doing any physical exercise in these pants. 

5) They keep me dry successfully. And– the outside dries super quickly. When I came into work when it was pouring rain, my pants were free of rain droplets much faster than my non Red-Ledge rain jacket. Looks like I know where I will be getting my next rain jacket.

Some details on the one I have: It is made of 4x4 stretch polyester, waterproof(including the rear pocket), snap adjust cuffs and elastic waist. 

I really like these pants and would highly recommend checking out Red Ledge and all their gear.

Ranger Review: Ice Mule cooler at Oostema Farmstead Inn

Campground review: 5 out of 5 stars

As a Ranger on the Dyrt, I sometimes receive compensation for reviews like this one.

The Oostema Farmstead Inn is a pretty unique campground.  It is located on a working farm. There were chickens, cows, calves, a heron (I think it was nesting near the driveway), a raspberry field, a garden and even a cat wandering around.  If you are looking for a fun farm-style getaway, this is it.

I spoke with the camp host, Lisa, who told me I could explore the Raspberry Fields and the Barn where the calves were.  I did see signs that you needed permission, so bear that in mind when you go.

The campsites themselves are essentially located behind the Farm house, and we were able to set up wherever we wanted.  I chose a spot by two trees and Lisa brought over a picnic table for me.  Since the sites are in the backyard, and you can choose where to set up, you do see other campers.  They also allow RVs.

They also have a cabin you can rent, and they were kind enough to let me poke around and take a few pictures.  They have a port-a-potty, which was very clean, and a sink with soap and drinking water.  No showers, though they did mention the idea of setting up a cold shower.  There is a hot tub on premises, but it is not for campers to use.  They have a fire pit with wood available, which was perfect for us.

The Oostema Farmstead Inn Campground is located close to Lynden, just a 5 minute drive from downtown.  Because it is situated off the main road, while you could see cars in the distance (Lynden is a bit flat), they were not disturbing the quiet of the farm.  There is not hiking within walking distance, but there are some parks and a river nearby you can drive to.

When I booked the Campground, Lisa was very responsive to the questions I had about bringing extra vehicles and very accommodating.  She gave good directions to get to the campground, as GPS doesn’t quite get you there.  They put a sign up on the road where GPS directs you, and it is a little small but visible, at least during the day.  When you get to the end of the driveway, there is a sign for the “tiny house”, I chose to ignore those directions, and continue around the house – which it turned out, was the right decision.

All in all, this was a delightful stay and I would recommend checking it out!

Product Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

As a Ranger for the Dyrt, from time to time I get to test products. At the Oostema Farmstead Inn, I tested the Ice Mule Cooler Pro.

What I loved about camping with my Ice Mule Cooler.

The Ice Mule Cooler Pro is a backpack cooler.  Which meant, when I was walking from my car to my campsite, and over to the fire pit, instead of lugging a bulky cooler around, I just swung this one on to my shoulders, and off I went.

 I also decided to put this cooler to the test.  Several hours before camping, I filled the cooler with ice and all things that needed to be kept cool.  Then I left it in the car, parked in the hot sun.  When I arrived at the campground, I opened the cooler to see that the ice hadn’t even really begun to melt.  By the next day, leaving it out, there was still a lot of ice.  This cooler really works.

I also like the fact that you can roll it down, so you can compact it and it has an air valve to vent out the air.

Some details on the one I have: It can carry 23 liters, the site says it can hold up to 18 cans plus ice, and it weighs 3.2 pounds.  It is insulated and they have MuleskinET for the exterior fabric and MuleSkinEV for in the interior layer.

Now that I have an Ice Mule Cooler, I won’t be going back to those bulky standard coolers.

A good, quiet campground

You have to hike-in to get to this campground. When we were there, the river access was washed out, so you have to hike down to get to it. Our knees were killing us by the time we got there.

You have to cross a log bridge to access this site, which I have pictured. I love that kind of log bridge, but it can be a little intimidating.

If you are coming from one direction (there were two, and if the river access is not washed out, three) ways to get to the campsite, you cross a really awesome suspension bridge. We crossed it the next day, but if you didn't cross it on your way, go take a look, it's one of the best suspension bridges I have been on.

The sites are separated from each other, so much so that while I knew there were others there, I never heard or saw them. The group site is first, and the rest are past a fallen tree and up the hill. We had the spot way up the hill (just keep climbing!), and really, it was two spots if you have two tents. We chose the lower of the two for our tent and the ground was nice, hard and flat. We had a good night's rest.

The toilet, if I recall was back down our site's trail and up the main campground trail a bit.

There is no potable water, we filtered our water at the stream with the log bridge.

You are surrounded by hiking at this spot… pick a direction on the trail and enjoy.

A favorite hike-in

The is one of my favorite spots to camp.

It's a short hike from Mowich Lake, which has it's own campground, but there are only a few spots here, which makes it quiet.

On the way, you get stunning views of Mount Rainier. Shortly after the campsite is where we got our water - an incredible waterfall. Also great for a bracing dip.

The bear pole was located in a central location to the sites. The toilet, on the other hand, was down a pretty steep hill.

The sites are spaced out nicely from each other and there is a real feeling of privacy.

Either direction you go when you leave this spot you have hiking - up towards Rainier or back to Mowich Lake, for more cold swimming with beautiful views.

Decent Campground

Ipsut Creek can be approached from a few different ways. The way we approached was via a multi-day backpacking trip. We had gotten used to only a couple of sites per spot so we were not prepared for a larger campsite with facilities.

The pluses: There are around 20ish sites? We got a nice spot along the river. The sites were identified via fallen and chopped logs. The sites are decently far away from each other but no trees to block me from my neighbors.

There are picnic tables - it was nice to be able to sit on something other than the ground or a rock.

The trees were close enough together to string up a clothesline, or if we had brought it, a hammock.

There are bear boxes to store you stuff.

There are toilets, but be prepared, there were lines for the toilets and they were pretty gross.

There was what looked to be a community center place for picnics or the like.

We pumped our water from the creek.

Yellowstone Cliffs Back-country site

This was my favorite site on this entire trip. It is stunning.

Yellowstone Cliffs is located 12.4 miles from the trailhead and it is a difficult 12.4 miles. From Fire Creek, you go down, down, down, cross a river and then immediately go up, up, up. Once you reach the top, you know you are close, but you end up going down, down, down before you reach your campground.

The campground it located on the side of a seriously steep hill. But the views of the cliffs are incredible. There are only two single campsites and one group site at this campground. We got what I think is the best site, with an open view of the cliffs.

The open-air toilet is up the hill in the campground, closer to the other individual site.

On the other side of the campsite, if you are willing to try to find a trail (others have clearly gone before), there is a creek that is great for getting water, taking a quick dip, rinsing clothes (no soap please).

The sites are some what close together: we were right beside the group site but there was no group, so we lucked out. The other individual site is more separate.

There were trees but not many near us, which made it great for admiring the cliffs. Which, trust me, you will want to.

Fire Creek Back-country Camp

Fire Creek Campground is 5.3 miles from the trail-head. The trail has incredible views so I highly recommend taking your time. We stayed at Berkeley Park Campground to have a short day on day 2 to get to Fire Creek so that we could really enjoy our time. I do not regret it.

The hike from Berkeley to Fire Creek is up, flat, and then down. I thought I would go back up to the flat spot to enjoy the evening, but it was far enough down I decided not to.

The campsite is about .5 miles off the main trail and when you come into the campground, you descend steeply. The first site is the group site, then the toilet trail, then the three individual sites, each lower down. We got site #1 and did not look at the other sites, though I did hear one was closed and someone had some trouble with wasps.

We had a great site. They leveled it off and the site had some planks to sit on, trees close enough together to set up a clothing line, and a stream running right along side it, so we were able to dunk our clothes (no soap in the creeks please), as well as take a very cold dip.

The spot is surrounded by trees, so we had a nice canopy and a good night's sleep. We felt nicely separated from the other sites.

The only reason I gave 4 out of 5 stars was the wasp issue another group had, they ended up leaving their site and camping out with others in the group site.

Berkeley Park Back-country site

This campsite is located 4 miles from Sunrise Visitor center. The trail-head starts 1.5 miles from this campsite. The hike in is spectacular. You leave the day-hikers behind when you hit the trail-head. You descend down a beautiful valley to the site.

The site has three spots on one side of the trail and one down the trail a little on the other (near the toilet). The sites are decently away from each other, so it feels private.

The sites (at least the three of them) are on the river, which was so nice to put our feet in.

The toilet is down the trail and up a hill (It's an open air toilet, as most back-country sites that provide them are. Bring your own TP).

There is a bear pole to store food and other smelly items, so be sure to bring an appropriate back, and if you have not used one before, know they are tricky. Due to swinging our stuff around way above our heads to get onto a tiny pole - it is a challenge.

The site we had was nice and flat. A decent amount of open space, with a log that we used to hold our coffee-making stuff. All-around, a great spot.

Sunrise Walk-In Camp

This was the first campground on a multi-day backpacking trip. It's really close to the Sunrise Visitor Center, which I wasn't too happy about. But It made for a very short first day, which is when the packs are the heaviest, so that was in our favor.

The campground has multiple sites. We arrived late so got one at the far outskirts. We had to walk down a trail to get to the bear box and to use the toilet.

Thank goodness for the bear box. I bear camp by our sit in the evening, we think since we were the first site on its path. It wasn't too interested in us because we practiced proper bear safety in putting all potentially smelly things (including toothpaste) in the bear box and did as the rangers had suggested, and made some noise. He ran off pretty quick. Made for an exciting first night.

The sites are nicely placed far apart so you feel like you are all alone in the wilderness. We were there the night of the meteoroid shower and I woke up several times just to watch it. Our spot had trees but we were up on a hill and the trees opened up so we got quite the show.

All around, it is a great campground.

Dispersed Camping - s. Mount St. Helens

This is a dispersed campsite near the south side of Mount St. Helens. It's free, which is always great. The drive in is just off the highway and up a little hill, but my car had no problems with it. There's a lot of space here. From our spot, we saw at least a half a dozen fire pits, but we were the only ones there. It has some nice trees and a trail. Up the road is Lava Canyon, where there are toilets if you need. There are some decently flat spots for a tent and I felt was all around a good site.

Dispersed Camping Near Great Hikes - Mount St. Helens

Found this campsite when driving up to the south side of Mount St. Helens Hikes - it is situated between Ape Caves (farther away) and pretty close to Lava Canyon and Ape Canyon.

It is pretty close to the road, so we could hear road noise. However, there's nothing past the campsite really besides a couple more campsite spots and the hikes, so there really wasn't any road traffic at night.

It's easy enough for a car to pull in to - my honda fit had no problem. This spot on a circle pull-out that has a couple more sites, but this is the only one you drive right up to. The circle pull out looks like a spot for RVs. My hiking buddy said the middle of the pull-out had a fire ring, but I didn't go investigate.

Our spot had a fire ring, a nice flat spot for the tent and trees close enough together that we set up the hammock.

There is a little trail that I didn't use too much, except to find a place to use the bathroom. If you do this method, remember to bring a trowel and dig. Please practice this method and keep it nice for the next people. I did see a fair bit of TP on the trail :( There is also a toilet up the road at Lava Canyon, but despite a sign in the bathroom proclaiming it a smell-free toilet, it was frankly the worst smelling toilet I have ever experienced, so I preferred the outdoors.

The site is sheltered by large trees which gave it a nice feel of privacy.

Ranger Review: Nature's Coffee Kettle at Cougar Campground

Ranger Review: Nature’s Coffee Kettle at Cougar Campground.

Campground review:

This was my first time at Cougar campground. The fee is $21/night. We got site #36 site with some trees, no real noise of the road, felt fairly private. The sites are somewhat far apart though I could see into my neighbor's campground.

Amenities: fire pit, wooden picnic tables, dish washing water, garbage, hot showers, toilets, potable water, boat launch, swim area. The campground is in good repair and they do have quiet time rules.

Nearby there is the south side of Mount Saint Helens, with all the hiking: Lava Canyon, Ape Canyon, Ape Caves…and much, much more. The campground had a trail but I didn't get time to explore it. The campground is right on a lake, which means I went for a swim at dusk - it was spectacular.

Product Review:

As a Ranger for the Dyrt, from time to time I get to test products. At Cougar Campground, I tested Nature’s Coffee Kettle

What I liked about camping with Nature’s Coffee Kettle:

It’s incredibly lightweight. I used this for car camping but given how lightweight it is, I could see it being popular for backpacking.

It's better than instant coffee and yet almost as quick to make.

They have a variety of coffees. Over the course of this vacation I have had the Sumatra, Columbian, Brazilian Hazelnut, Brazilian Blueberry Guatemalan and French Roast. They also have tea, hot chocolate and hot apple cider.

It’s really easy to use. The directions are right on the ‘kettle’. In addition, if like me, you struggle with paper explanations, there is a handle YouTube tutorial right on their Website.

It is re-sealable, which is great if you are in a rush and want to bring your coffee with you.

Ranger Review: Oofos Shoes at Deschutes National Forest Dispersed camping

To start, I want to note that my rating of the campground (two stars) in no way reflects my rating of the Oofos shoes (5 stars. More on them below).

Campground review: (2 of 5 stars)

The Deschutes Campground is very close to Bend, and is situated nicely along the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway. It is very easy to get to, directly across from the golf course. I followed directions to coordinates where someone else had camped and found it with no problem.

This is dispersed camping, so first come-first serve. There are many sites both just off the byway and further down the dirt road. My Honda Fit had no troubles with the road.

There are no amenities, just pull outs. There was a fire through there at some point, so the trees are all scorched, and there really is not much in the way of privacy. No matter how far you go from the road, you can always hear it. Plus, people who do go there pretty much all have to drive past your site, unless you go far to the back, so it can be noisy. It's definitely not the nicest campground I've been to. Dust, dust and more dust.

But, it is free, the ground was flat enough for our tent, there were open spots every night I was there and you can stay up to 14 days. And you are located in a great spot with driving closeness to Bend and great hikes out on the Cascade Lakes Scenic Highway (looking at you Spark Lake, Todd Lake, Three Sisters Wilderness - and on, and on). Plus we could hear what we thought were coyotes howling each night and the night sky was pretty incredible.

Product Review:

As a Ranger for the Dyrt, from time to time I get to test products. At this Dispersed campground, I tested the OOMG OOFOS Shoes. I have to say, I cannot say enough about these shoes. 5 out of 5 stars.

What I loved about camping with my OOFOS.

The OOMG OOFOS are recovery shoes. They are tight to put on but my feet feel instant relief. After a long day of hiking (of which I have done plenty of) my feet feel SO. Much. Better.

The first time I put them on was after an 11 mile hike and my feet were killing me. I felt instant relief and ended up telling a random stranger about how good my feet felt.

The arch support is amazing. I tend to get arch pain no matter what shoes I use. These support my feet so well that I have no pain.

Here's some of the technical info for those who like that: The ‘oofoam’ absorbs the shock (37% more than traditional shoes) rather than rebounding it, and I can really feel what a difference that makes. They advertise that it reduced stress on sore feet, knees and back and they really do. I usually have to sleep with a pack under my knees after hiking due to how much they ache, but I haven’t at all since getting these shoes and I am several days into my hiking/camping adventure.

They are also incredibly light. When I first got them in the mail, I wasn’t sure my shoes had actually arrived! After wearing heavy hiking shoes all day, nothing feels better than slipping on a pair of shoes that are lighter than even the sandals I brought on this trip.

I will definitely be wearing my OOMG OOFOS after every hike run and workout, my feet have never been happier!

Quiet and close to the lake

Shannon Creek Campground is off the main road that takes you to the trails at Baker Lake. Even though we chose the closest campground to the road, we didn't hear any traffic. Our campsite felt incredibly secluded, surrounded by trees and we couldn't hear any other campers. When we left our spot to explore, however, we could see that not all sites were as good and quickly we could hear a group partying further into the campground. In our explorations, we found that the campground has outhouses and a boat launch, with campsites right at the launch. The views from the launch of Baker lake were stunning. Our site had a picnic table, a fire pit and space to (tightly) fit in three tents, a hammock and two cars. It's the closest regular campground to the Baker Lake Trail, though there are dispersed campsites along the way as well. The Baker Lake Trail is beautiful and we spent an afternoon exploring it. It is also a semi-popular backpacking trail.

Watson Lake Campground

To get to this camp, you have to be ready to hike-in. Before that you have to drive 10 miles up a pot-hole strewn road, and before that, you have a lengthy drive just to get to the dirt road. But the trip is worth it. The hike is beautiful - be prepared, there is a lot more up and down than I was anticipating on this trip. The best campsites are at the Upper Watson Lake and it is first come, first serve. You camp right at the lake and going for a dip is definitely an option! I just put my feet in because it was cold, but my hiking buddy went all the way in. We did have to find our way across a small log jam to get to the campsites, but it was all worth it.