Campground Review: No matter where you find yourself on Shasta Lake you will be surrounded in houseboats and the beauty of the lake. On the way in (heading south on I-5 you will see Mt. Shasta in all of its glory standing in a blanket of hills and trees. There are plenty of cool places to drive for a better view if you can stomach some hilly land and loose sand, and the spider webbed lake won’t disappoint any way you approach it. When you’re camping in a roof top tent (Kukeman 3 by Tepui) any place with semi flat ground is a good place to camp! Though the drive from Seattle is quite long, it’s worth it once you get a load of the view of the lake and the bridge you’ll soon forget the hours you spent in the car. I highly recommend coming here and tent camping, car camping, cabin camping, or houseboat camping.
Product Review: As a Ranger for The Dyrt I get to review some great and often very practical products. This trip I was lucky enough to review RŌM Pack, a blanket, poncho, and tent in one.
This little combo is heavy duty and ready to take a beating. It may start out as a backpack, but as soon as you need a place to sit the soft inside and waterproof outside is ready for the job. I went straight to the RŌM Pack when I spilled water on the mattress of my Roof Top Tent and it kept us dry all night. The poncho feature is very warm, and it was very warm at Shasta Lake (about 80 degrees) so I didn’t get to test out that feature too much, but the pack is very comfortable on your back, as a blanket. And as a way to keep you warm once it cools off. There are plenty of places to stash things (like a snack or a drink)! I’d recommend this to anyone who wants a tough blanket for outdoor activities, but also a durable bag and poncho. It’s very nice looking, stylish, and durable.
If you’ve ever been to Big Crater Lake (as in the actual Crater Lake deep in southern Oregon) you might have some expectations when you head over to this little beauty for a night of camping. Let me reset your expectations if you were expecting a giant lake created by a volcano years ago… Little Crater lake is just that - little. Tiny might even be a better word for it. But let me tell you, it is 100% worth your journey, and the water is some of the bluest I’ve seen! The road to this campground is a bit treacherous, as in one of the potholes even gave my decked out Jeep Wrangler a rattle, so be careful on your way in. This campsite is out there a bit, but you will enjoy striking views of Mt. Hood on your way in, and if you’ve never seen it up close you should definitely make it point to drive those roads. This campground features huge campsites that leave plenty of room for recreation vehicles for overland camping like my Jeep! We weren’t able to enjoy a campfire due to the season, but the morning and evening views at little crater lake are something else entirely. You really have to see it for yourself, and as an added bonus the Little Crater Lake trail connects to the Pacific Crest Trail so you can get a little dose of Wild if you care for a day hike. Nothing gives you a spirit of adventure like running into hikers that are tackling that amazing trail. While this site isn’t luxury by any means, it includes a minimalist bathroom and some of the most beautiful hikes! Highly recommend.
The drive to Fish Creek Campground on the 224 (Clackamas hwy) is beautiful. You’ll be surprised by sudden breathtaking views of the river along the way while delving deeper into a sea of beautiful green trees. We chose this campsite because it is reasonably close to a few of Oregon’s most interesting hot springs and we ended up visiting Bagby during our trip. The campsite itself has everything you would expect from a somewhat remote campground including a horrifying bathroom scene (not to mention the mouse that surprised me when I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night). There are a few sites with river access but ours (spot 8) was blocked from the river with a small fence. There are also a couple of yurts you can rent that include bunk beds and some advanced shelter as compared to tent camping if you have kids with you. I’d give this campsite a 3 out of 5 stars, and can promise you there are many better sites along the way if you book early. This has everything you need for minimalist camping, but be aware that you probably won’t be able to start a campfire if you visit in August/early September.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt I get to review some great and often very practical products. This trip I was lucky enough to upgrade my Tepui Kukenam 3 rooftop tent with Luxury sheets.
I chose the blue sheets to compliment my Haze Grey tent (the other option is green). I have to admit I was a little hesitant to admit that sheets could be a necessary part of camping. It is after all referred to as “roughing it” but I have to say that adding these sheets to my rooftop tent has made a huge difference. I put the bottom sheet on the first night and left it on when I folded the tent down for the night. It stayed in place perfectly, and these sheets are so much softer than the green, rough, water resistant cover that sits on the mattress by default. Now that I have these sheets I can’t imagine sleeping up there without them. I still used my sleeping bag along with the sheets and an extra blanket because it was pretty chilly at night, but the added comfort the sheets provided took my comfort to the next level. I highly recommend them to anyone sleeping in a rooftop tent!
Camping in Tolt McDonald park for Timberfest in the roof top tent was better than any previous camping I’ve done there.
I would highly recommend getting a premium site if you can, we set up two ground tents, a roof top tent, and had three cars parked in our spot. We also had a picnic table and a fire pit with room left over.
The music is always the best part of timberfest but there’s something to be said about wandering around the park at night with 100’s of other music lovers.
The food trucks and merch were great as always, but per usual the toilets were not emptied enough for the number of people. The normal park bathrooms are shut down during this festival.
An RV resort is not my typical go to place for camping, but a friend and I were heading back from the Oregon coast and wanted a place to park my Jeep so we could sleep in the roof top tent! This place was great for it, and really had all of the amenities.
First of all the place is HUGE, not exaggerating. pretty sure you could get lost in there if you ventured too far. they also don’t really monitor you much once you check in. We paid, then they let us drive around until we found a spot to our liking. They have RV hookups and everything, but they also have primitive camping sites for tents with river access.
The bathrooms were super clean, and they also have a pool, some sort of family recreation center, basketball courts, etc.
Everyone we met was super nice, and the spot we chose had plenty of tree coverage for privacy. If youre looking for a place with plenty to do for the kids and comfy accommodations for you, this Is your spot!
Penrose Point State Park is a great place close to Seattle to go camping in a small or large group. It's tent or camper friendly with plenty of spots for busier seasons.
The park is very kid friendly with a slow road between camp sites where you'll often find kids riding their bikes during the day. Bay lake is a short drive away with open access for boats, SUPs, and order water fun.
The campgrounds are right on Mayo Bay so you have great access to the Sound, and if you're willing to sit in the car for less than 10 minutes you can drive down to Lakebay Marina and Resort where you can see plenty of clams, crabs, and more plus enjoy some Fish and Chips on the dock.
Don't forget to stop by the shell station on Key Peninsula Highway. They have fire wood, snacks, drinks, and any other last minute needs you might have.
The camp site is also dog friendly. All in all a great place for everyone!
There are a ton of amazing places to camp around Mt. Rainier and Cora Lake did not disappoint. Though it was raining on the day that we headed up we were mostly covered by a shelter of trees on the short hike in. Once you get to the lake you can walk around until you find a spot, though there are some fire pits throughout, it was a pretty fire-filled summer so there were no fires on our trip. We stayed at one of the first spots we came to because after taking a look at the other nearby spots this had the best trees for hanging our hammocks. We didn't have a ton of daylight left by the time we got there, but we also never saw another person during our trip (except a couple of forest fire fighters). Waking up the next morning directly in front of the lake in a hammock is amazing and breathtaking, I highly recommend it! If you have good hiking weather there's also a fire lookout nearby with great views.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt I get to review some great and often very practical products. This trip I was lucky enough to review two products from COLDPRUF.
Women's premium performance crew and Women's premium performance pant in cranberry. Camping in the late summer months is always an adventure with the threat of cold weather and rain. These base layers from Coldpruf definitely did their job of keeping me warm. I wore the top and bottoms to bed under my sweats snuggled into my sleeping bag and they were perfect. They are super breathable and soft so you never feel itchy or too warm. I left the top on the next morning for my hike back to the car, paired with my puffy vest it was just enough to keep me warm, and breathable enough that I wasn't covered in sweat when I got back to my car. The base layer is also a snug fit, so it's easy to add more layers on top in colder nights. I'd definitely recommend Coldpruf if you're looking for new, very affordable layering. They look great too and the color is perfect!
One of my favorite things about this campsite is that I had zero cellphone reception! I got to spend the day/night truly unplugged there are a variety of sites to choose from here including some with water access. The South Fork Ogden River runs right through the campground and is a great place to float, stick your feet in, or take a shallow dip. Warning: the water is freezing! Each site comes with a sizeable fire pit and picnic table. They all seem to be surrounded with trees and plenty of green! The spots also vary in privacy,and we unfortunately ended up in a spot with neighbors with a bright light on all night. Bright enough to obstruct our star view quite a bit. Otherwise, the view of the stars is breathtaking and you will wake up in a lovely canopy of trees.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt I get to review a lot of great products. On this trip I tried out two of Klymit’s high quality items. I already have a Static V2 sleeping pad that I love so I tested the Luxe Pillow and Quilted V Sheet. First of all, I cannot say enough good about the Luxe pillow! It is the most amazing camping pillow I've ever slept on. I even used it at my friend's house because it was more comfortable than her actual pillows. I am pretty picky with pillows because I have some neck issues and this pillow hits the spot. This pillow will be with me on every trip from now on, and it gets very compact for packing. The inflatable inside combined with the plush pillow case is a winning combination. Add the Quilted sheet to your Klymit sleeping pad and you will feel like you are sleeping in the lap of luxury. The combination of the pillow and sheet with my usual bag and mat made my slumber outside better than some I've spent in hotels. I can't say enough good things about these products!
This campground is about a 2 hour drive from Seattle and the sites are a short walk to the lake, which is nice. It appears that this campground is aiming for a family vibe, as they offer a large playground and barriers in the shallow area of the water to help parents keep an eye on their little ones. Our campsite was one of the “primitive” sites just outside the group camping area and offered a fire pit, a couple of trees for hanging hammocks, and a picnic table. The sites are nice and room if you'd like to pitch more than one tent, and the water is extremely calm. This is the ideal place for paddle sports such as SUP and Kayaking. I probably wouldn’t go hear again because I prefer less of a family vibe and more of a hiking, deep in the woods vibe… but if you have kids this place would be great for you!
As a Ranger for The Dyrt I get to review some awesome products that make my camping adventures even better! This trip I was lucky enough to review two products from Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT)
This hatchet is great. Not only does it look nice and seem well put together, but it came nice and sharp so I didn't have to worry about sharpening it. I typically use a hatchet on camping trips to break up firewood into kindling to start my fire, or just making smaller pieces. It worked perfectly for that, and I really like the length of the handle. You can choke up on it a bit to give yourself a good hatchet for creating kindling, or comfortably fit both hands on it to get yourself a stronger swing. I will definitely buy the leather case that CRKT makes to cover the blade as well. If you need a hatchet for camping that's not over the top on pricing, but still allows function and style grab yourself this one.
First of all, and this may seem like a very obvious statement, this knife is very sharp. It is sharper than any knife I have purchased in the past for camping and hiking. That being said, I love the knife! It is very comfortable to hold and use, and it was sharp enough to cut through anything I needed to cut during my camping trip. Anything from opening things up to cutting very thick wood or plastic, this is the knife for the job. The blade is a great length for everything I need to do when I'm camping/hiking, and less important but also nice, the handle has a really slick design to it. This knife is perfect for camping and hiking, but would also make a great everyday carry.
This park is big, beautiful, and very family friendly. I've been camping in this park a few times and the only complaint I have during a high traffic weekend (like a music festival - TimberFest happens here yearly) is that there are not enough rest rooms! There are plenty of huge camping spots that include fire pits, picnic tables, and room for your car. There are also spots with RV hookups if you roll like that. If you venture across the Shakey bridge there are hiking trails, access to the water, and plenty of trees to hang your hammock in. There are also additional more remote camping spots on the other side of the bridge. You can access the water from both sides of the bridge so don't fret! This park is super close to downtown Redmond so if you are looking for an easy trip, or something a little more remote on the other side of the bridge, this is the spot for you.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt I get the opportunity to test awesome products! At Told MacDonald Park I tested out my Belmont Blanket. I've had the opportunity to use my Belmont Blanket Hella Good blanket a couple of times now and it has been a great addition to my trips. The soft side is super soft (and baby friendly) and the waterproof side is great to put down on the grass (or facing up in your hammock) to keep any condensation off of you. The blanket also has a great rustic look to it that all my friends loved. I leave it in the back seat of my car all the time in case I want to go hang out in the sand or grass, or need some emergency warmth. I've owned a couple of other adventure blankets and now that I have this one it has become my go-to blanket. Sleeping in my hammock with it was awesome for an extra layer of warmth - underquilt on the bottom, Belmont Blanket on top! Overall I would highly recommend this blanket to adventurers, campers, and casual picnickers alike. You don't have to be a nomad to enjoy a nice cuddle in this blanket.
One of the things I love about living in Seattle is the number of camping spots that feel off the grid, but are less than 2 hours away. Lake Kachess is one of those places. There are a variety of sites, my friend and I walked around most of the park and checked out all of the spots. Some are very private, and somewhat more remote, while others are closer to the water and you can see your neighbors. We drove up hoping for a first come first serve spot and were lucky enough to get one! Though after camping there I would highly recommend reserving spot 20 if you plan on going. There was an older man camping there this weekend who says he has been coming for 24 years, this is by far the best spot. Lots of room, trees for hanging hammocks, and a view of the water. You can also hear the waterfall so you’d get to fall asleep to the true sound of relaxation. You can put your boat in the water from the loop at the front of the campground (plenty of people were jet skiing and boating even in the less than great weather this weekend brought). This place is beautiful whether you prefer just hanging out at your site, sitting in front of the water, low key hiking, or spending the day on the lake. I will definitely go back with a bigger group some time.
Jarrell Cove has a few spots you can reserve for camping that are up above the water, and a number of sites of different sizes that are first come first serve. Many of the FCFS sites have a water view, and all of them have plenty of trees for hanging hammocks. My friends and I slept in our hammocks the whole weekend and all of us had a view of the water and all of the sail boats. Something we discovered on our last day was a FCFS spot at the very end of the path that was huge, had a view of the water from everywhere, and was the most private spot there. The only downside to that one was a standing grill vs. a fire pit. The sound is a short walk from any of the sites, as is parking and water crafts of all kinds are welcome on the water. I spent the weekend paddle boarding and lounging on the water, and plenty of our neighbors brought boats. There is a boat launch and a dock, but beware, the tide goes out far enough to ground a boat if you dock too close to shore. Great camping spot, I'll definitely go again! Reserve a spot at Jarrell Cover here.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I occasionally get products to test! During my trip to Jarrell Cove I tested Lily Trotters Four Kisses Compression Socks, and they do not disappoint! First I will say I was not a believer in the power of compression socks until I put these on. They feel very tight when you first put them on, but after just a couple minutes they felt like the perfect fit. I went on a hike in them, climbed a few trees, and jumped around to get a real feel for them. After all of my activity my calves, shins, and feet felt so great I didn't want to take them off. As a side note it was a very hot day and they didn't stink at all when I took them off (I checked). I would recommend them to anyone who is active or travels (I plan to wear them on my next flight). I don’t typically suffer with shin splints, but my friend does and she said they made her shins feel great!
A two hour drive from Seattle will land you at the Anacortes Ferry Terminal where you'll be just a boat ride away from beautiful Orcas Island. The Doe Bay Resort & Retreat has several options for camping including cabins, yurts, space for campers and tents. You can camp out in the woods and see the local wildlife (lots of deer and otters!) and there are plenty of trees to hang your hammock. There's also a restaurant, and a concert hall on site. If you're lucky enough to be there during a show it is life changing. Don't forget you are in Wa. and it rains more often than not, so come prepared with tarps and rain gear. All in all this is an amazing spot to camp and I highly recommend checking it out.
During my camping trip at Doe Bay I used the Eno DoubleNest® Hammock and Atlas™ Straps for my relaxation in the woods. The Eno Hammock is super easy to set up (goes up in a matter of seconds), comfortable to nap, lounge, or sleep all night in, and doesn't swing too much if you tend to get sea sick! It comes in a variety of colors and there's a single nest option as well on Eno's website. The material is durable and comfortable to lay in by itself, or cozy up with a blanket! Give one a go if you're looking for a lightweight and comfortable way to lounge.
We made the trek from Crater lake to this camp site without a reservation on a holiday weekend… I am not saying it was a smart move - but it was a move. We arrived after dark and simply drove into the campsite and looked around until we found a spot. (There are little reservation tags on the spots that are taken like any other campsite in Oregon) We found an open space and rejoiced because we had been driving ALL DAY! This campsite is primarily a place where people stay who are riding the dunes, so if you are looking for a cool place to stay and take your dune buggy out -- you've found it! There were all sorts of cool adventure vehicles everywhere on site, and everything was pretty well put together so you were close to your neighbors, but not too close. In our campsite we were able to park our Jeep right outside the site, pitch 2 tents, have a fire pit and a picnic table with room to spare. There was plenty of dead wood (fallen down branches around for us to make a warm fire no problem without any additional wood. This campsite had bathrooms in walking distance (a very short walk), garbages on site, and was close to the water so you could hear it. Another benefit of this campsite is that it was a short drive to the Oregon coast the next morning which was where we were really aiming for. I will include a couple of oregon coast pictures in my review as well as it is just a short jaunt away!
You get to name your campsite so we named ours "Betty Lou Frankfurter Memorial Site" it was very fitting…
Saturday night I pulled up to Crater Lake… It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and even looking at the pictures I took during my time there I can’t believe it was real! The amazing thing about Crater Lake is that if you sit in front of it for any amount of time the entire thing changes. The colors, the way the clouds reflect on the lake, parts start to look like glass while other parts look frozen. It was unlike anything I have ever seen. The first night we pulled up the water was a deep navy with areas of purple and even darker blue. The next morning we pulled up and the blue was so bright and intense I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. When visiting Crater Lake you have to take the drive around the Rim and see the lake from every angle, it is so worth it, and you have to take the hike down to the lake. Remember that you are at a much higher altitude than you are probably used to, so bring water, and pace yourself if you don’t hike much (especially on the way back up!) Make sure you at least touch the water, put your feet in it, your hands, your face! The water is so clear, so refreshing, and everyone wants to say that they put their hands in a body of water so majestic.
The campsite is about 7 miles from Crater Lake, a short drive, and honestly a great campsite! People complain about the dust, but I got much dustier on my hike down to Crater Lake than I did at the campsite. We paid for one of the small sites and had two 3 man tents and a hammock set up in it. We also had room for our jeep, had a picnic table, and a great little fire pit that even had a rack that we used to make popcorn and and corn on the cob. Once we set up camp we spent the evening eating and drinking warm drinks around the campfire (firewood can be purchased from the same area where you check in, and you must get firewood on site and not bring your own) , gazing at the amazing sky full of stars and the Milky Way, and as bundled up as possible! It was about 32 degrees by midnight and extra layers of down were much appreciated.
The freezing cold weather is where my Rumpl Iron Puffy became much appreciated! (http://www.gorumpl.com/collections/puffy-rumpls/products/iron-puffy) I was able to cuddle up in this blanket by the campfire and all of my friends were jealous! I got this blanket from my Cairn Obsidian box, which I got with my giftcard from the July Dyrt contest! I’ve cuddled in this blanket on every camping trip I’ve taken since, but especially appreciated it in the very cold Crater Lake National Park.
All in all I would highly recommend Crater Lake, and the Mazama Village Campground. Its pretty quiet, has bathrooms on site, and everyone is so in awe from Crater Lake that they can’t possibly be in a bad mood!
This is a wonderful town for staying near the lake. The good news about camping here is you will be near everything you care about when heading out for a weekend of fun! My favorite activity in Chelan is to head over to Lakerider sports and rent a paddle board. You can rent them all day, or for multiple days, and if you have a local with you they give you a great discount. A little warning - don’t try to leave your car at Lakerider sports for too long. Pay attention to the signs! Once you get your paddle board you can put it in the lake and paddle around all day on the smooth water! The best part is you can paddle right over to Campbell's restaurant, pull your board out of the water, and head up for food and a drink. (you can leave your board on the beach with no worries in my experience).
In my experience it's always warmer on the east side of the mountains so be prepared with plenty of cold drinks and sunscreen. Because it's a small town you can pretty much walk, or take a short drive anywhere you’d want to go.
Things you must do in town:
Paddle Board Eat pizza at Local Myth Go Wine tasting at any of the local wineries and enjoy a beautiful view of the lake Laze about on the lake for hours.
I would recommend camping in Chelan to anyone who loves sun, fun, and a relaxation.
“Where is Shi Shi Beach?” was the most common question I got when telling people where I was off to for my long weekend away. If you live in Seattle like me you’ll drive, you may take a ferry, and then you will drive some more before making the 4+ mile hike in to your camping spot. Something to note about camping at Shi Shi Beach is that you will need two permits, you’ll want to bring cash to pay for parking, and you’ll need a bear canister. You can pick up the bear cannister and your first permit in Port Angeles at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center. The little Visitor Center is worth the stop, there are friendly Olympic National Park employees that will tell you everything you need to know, get you your bear canister and your permit, and send you happily on your way. They’ll also tell you at the visitors center that you’ll have to pick up another pass from the Makah Indian reservation (this can be purchased at a gas station in town) you’ll see the gas station once you enter the reservation and start driving through town. After all that you’ll finish the short remainder of the drive to Shi Shi beach, the best place to park is on one of the two private properties that offer parking on their land for cash. The benefit of this is that no one will mess with your car, and you are a short walk from the trailhead. Remember you are backpacking over 4 miles to your camping spot, so pack appropriately, and you are in Washington -- so it might rain! Rain gear is lightweight so I would say just bring it in case. You will also need to make sure your food items will fit in a bear cannister (so don’t bring a whole chicken ;) and you will need to pump your own water from one of two water sources on the beach. Make sure you bring a pump and not the little tablets that you drop into your water, that does not work on this water according to the rangers. They recommend that you filter it before you boil it too. Once you get through all the packing, permits, preparation, and driving you are in for a treat! You’ll take a short walk down to the trailhead from the parking lot and then you slip into the woods. Once you enter the woods you will be completely encased in a canopy of trees, and it is beautiful. There are several little bridges and walkways you will pass by on your way, and a section with benches for a rest. Once you get past the easy part of the trail you will come upon the part that is usually wet. Chances are you will be hiking at least a mile on the wet, muddy part of the trail. At the end of the wooded part of the trail there are two sections where you told onto ropes to help you down because it is very steep! Be careful at this part as that would be a very lame start to your trip to twist your ankle. Shortly after the ropes you will be down on the beach. Walking on the beach is the most comfortable part of the trip, but if you want to camp close to the water source you’ll have to hike quite a ways more once you get to the beach. You can camp in the woods so you will be somewhat protected by the trees, or you can set up your tent right on the beach. Either way you will wake up each morning to glorious views and the wonderful smell of saltwater in the air. Hopefully you will be there at a time where you will catch a sunset or two. My favorite part about camping is always exploring, and drinking that camp coffee. These are two things that are amazing at Shi Shi beach because of the view and the ocean air. You can also hike the beach, or the woods, and explore the awesome tidepools. The views are amazing no matter which way you look, and you will not be disappointed by this amazing spot. This is a place that anyone who fancies him/herself an outdoor person should make at least once in their life!