Avalanche Campground is our favorite Glacier National Park west side campground in the main area of the park….but it is large with 87 sites and because it is first come first serve which we love, you might have to stalk a campsite that you see packing up to score a site. It fills up early so do not delay (we have learned this lesson on a trip before). On our most recent visit we arrived on a Friday morning in July at 8:30 am and found a site but the campground filled up within the hour! Our site on this visit was a nice pull through site which gave us room to drop the camper and drive around the park. This location in the park is a great basecamp for a drive over the Going to the Sun Road and the trailhead to Avalanche Lake is right at the campground and is a lovely hike! The hike is an easy 4.5 miles roundtrip to a beautiful lake. Leave early as either outing gets really busy! My pictures are from 2 different visits.
On our 4th day exploring Yellowstone, we made a little traveler error. We played and explored a little too long and when it was time to settle in for the night, even though it was a midweek day we found all of the park campgrounds full. So we made our way out the West Yellowstone entrance to look for something and lucked out and found this campground! 27 sites that sit along Hebgen Lake. Sites were clean and level, but not tons of privacy. The lake was peaceful for a single night stay and because we did not get to explore very much it just made us want to come back again someday!
Bridge Bay is a monster of a campground- over 400 sites! That is more people than my neighborhood has! Honestly I can't believe we picked to stay here, as it is not our typical style, but it was all about location and convenience for this stay. The campground sits on the shores of Yellowstone Lake and is conveniently located for seeing many of the attractions of the park. Not much in terms of privacy but the sites are clean and level and the campground offers wildlife viewing right from your site! It is a reservation campground but we lucked out and got a site for 2 nights by just pulling in on a Thursday.
We stayed one night here and truly just used it for a quick sleep. The location is great- located near many of great things to see in Yellowstone. The campground itself is just your basic one, vault toilets, picnic tables, level place to park- no privacy, no views, no waterfront….. just no Awe Factor. Not a place I would spend an afternoon sitting in my camp chair. So use it for what it is, a place to spend the night and get up early to see the sights again the next day.
One of our luckiest experiences on scoring a walk up site. We just planned to take a peek at the campground and then move along as we never though we would get a spot in a popular reservation campground on a weekend in July! But as we were pulling up to the entrance of the campground the host was at the sign flipping it from Full to Vacancy…. say what??? A last minute cancellation, sad for someone, but good luck for us….. we scored a prime lakefront site! Our site was site#5 and I do not think it could have been much better. Solar charging was great in these lightly forested sites. Minimal bugs, which is a positive in my book. Water access to the shoreline was a little steep, but worth it for the private lakeside spot. No cell service! There was construction going on, and by 2019-2020 there will be several more sites at this campground, could make the shoreline and lake a little too busy in years to come? Glad we experienced it when we did!
This is a Forest Service first come first serve campground with only 6 sites, so snagging one could prove challenging. We had been in the area a couple days before, and we checked out the tags at sites and saw when people were planning to leave and several looked like they were coming open about the time we would return. We scored site#6 which we thought was the best one for us- with plenty of room and a nice trail down to the lakeside! At an elevation of 6537 ft., it can be a cooler escape during the heat of the summer. The water was close to the sites and provided an amazing place to kayak with the majestic mountains towering above. I can not wait to return here someday!
Pebble Creek was our favorite campground in Yellowstone National Park. A less crowded area of the park, probably why we loved it! 27 sites and all are available first come first serve- no reservations! The location and lack of reservations make this a quiet, peaceful campground. It sits at 6900 feet elevation. All sites have a table, fire ring, and food storage locker- it is bear country! There are vault toilets and seasonally there is potable drinking water. Our first night there we stayed in one of the"pull out sites" on the west side of the campground. It was ok, however they are not true pull outs, you just park on the side of the park road…. not bad considering the low use of this campground. On our second night we scored a spot on the east side right across from Pebble Creek…. it was perfect! We enjoyed drinks in our chairs at the creekside and a beautiful night listening to the peaceful sounds of the creek. It appears they have changed the site numbers since we visited to add some tent sites, so do not pay attention to the site markers in our old nostalgic photos!
La Pine State Park is a beauty in the desert! Combine the heat and lack of rain of the eastern desert with sme lush scenic views along the Deschutes River. It is not our first choice style of camping, we like more remote isolated stuff, but every now and then we need a reservation site and this one fit the bill for a couple nights while on a longer road trip. And it is open year round! We made a late reservation and got site 136 when someone made a cancellation. This site backs up to the main road and sits right at the park entrance but it was surprisingly private for the less than ideal location. We especially loved being able to ride our bikes on trails right from camp!
This small lakeside campground captured our hearts. Who could resist it, with wide open lakefront views like these? A easy launch for kayaks by day, and a sunset view from the campfire by night. It was 4th of July weekend, so we did make a reservation, but there are a couple sites that are first come first serve. No hookups so it tended to be a quiet campground for smaller rigs and tent campers. The only noise?…….. Cows! You could hear them in the early morning from the farm all the way across the lake, a country alarm clock. One of the things I really liked about this site, and a rare find in lakeside camping- No Bugs! A couple negatives, nice sized sites that are spread out but a little open so not a ton of privacy. And, the beach was a little lacking in that it was a drop off at most of the campsite edges, so finding a spot to get into the water was not as easy as in others. Cellular signal here was suprisingly good for Verizon. The town of Donnelly, was a 10 min drive away and had a small grocery store for ice and other supplies.
This is an easy to access, near to attractions, dispersed site with a view! No more than a big parking lot next to the river really, but for free…. it can not be beat! Primitive camping with no amenities other than a vault toilet= no frills, but no fees(as of Feb 2018)! It could be windy and it could get very busy so keep those negatives in mind, however check out the positives! A nice waterfront view with lots of solar potential!
Turkey Hole is actually an angler's water access site on the Klickitat River but we used it for a dispersed campsite in winter while enjoying the wine areas of the gorge & post skiing at Mt Hood. Since it is free (as of 2018 for up to 14 nights) I would guess it can become quite busy at certain times of the year. We visited in Feb on a cold snowy weekend and there was only one other camper. There is a bathroom there also, but no running water.
Maryhill State Park sits alongside the Columbia River making it a popular summer destination. We visit the most in February though when we do a Gorge winery tour for Valentines Day. The park is open year-round and we enjoy visiting in winter when we have the park nearly to ourselves. We have stayed in many sites, most often site#33. A word of caution- The railroad tracks are close to the campsites and trains go by throughout the night. If you are a light sleeper you may wish to bring earplugs!
I am surprised to find how often we camp in the snowy winter months, empty campgrounds are a plus this time of year! Come summer you won't be able to get a reservation in this park, but in January it was wide open! We have stayed here for many years to enjoy the Chelan WinterFest Festival in January. The park is within walking distance of town and is perfect for the festival weekend. You may notice the pictures are of different trucks and campers as we have visited this park throughout the years! We have only stayed in this park once in the summer months, and that was for a skydiving visit. Good basic RV park style camping.
We arrived here on a Sunday night in May and the place was empty…… only one other camper and it was really far away. It is very remote, no services around and a little odd to get to, in that you have to wind past a lakeside"resort" with a little store and campsites that didn't look really very nice, yet there were people everywhere, it looked totally booked. Then you cross over the line into the campground where a$30 annual pass is required, yet the per night cost is$0 as of 2017, and there was nobody around! The campground is like a big open parking area with a boat launch and toilets and then there is also a little more dispersed sites where random fire pits have been built. We had our choice of sites so we picked one that sat away from others and was right above the water making the launch of the kayaks pretty easy.
It is not the easiest to get to, and the road is a test for your engine and brakes, but once you arrive it is a quiet peaceful park with great water access. We originally had a reservation for a view site with no hook ups, but upon arrival they had a hookup site(#104) available, and the temps were nearly 100 degrees, so we took it! The park is large and thus the areas seem nicely spaced apart, never felt crowded, even though there are over 100 sites. There is lots of shoreline and plenty of water for everyone. We launched the kayaks and enjoyed the water ourselves- paddled to the opposite shore and found a remote unoccupied camp.
Just off I90 in Eastern WA at Vantage. This is primarily a rock climbers base camp, but also serves well for a great overnight stop where you can camp right on the edge of the canyon, get in some nice vista views,& a short hike to a"falls". You will share this spot with other campers, busy even in winter. One note about access, the entrance to this camping area has some pitch to it. Better suited for high clearance vehicles, and brave souls in truck campers……
Memaloose is a popular busy Oregon State Park with a compact layout and close together, less than private sites. Not our ideal campground. What it does offer to offset the negatives though are beautiful views of the Columbia River and easy access to Hood River and all of its attractions. We had no reservations on a Sunday in July and lucked out and a pretty decent spot was available, B35, with views of the river.*** I think B33, might be the best spot in the park. For a crowded park, with close together sites, it was surprisingly quiet and we had a great night sleep.