Just got back from another trip to Council Lake, WA. Arrived on a Tuesday and left on Thursday in the middle of November, and had the entire campground to ourselves. We didn't even have day use visitors or motorcycle riders pass through the whole time we were there.
The place was reasonably clean, with just a little trash left around some of the sites. Roads were still easy going, but it snowed maybe an inch the night before I arrived. And if my memory serves correct, I think they close the main access forest road NF 23 as soon as snow starts to accumulate.
Nothing really special about this place, other than the river. Standard campground that's always crowded because it's close to the city. Lucia falls is close, but not as impressive as those further up the river.
Usually the coast is off limits for me, due to the overcrowding. Westport, WA is a nice exception. Great seafood, and plenty of water based activities. Try visiting the nearby Westport Winery for good food, great wine and a beautiful garden.
I spent a night at the guard station in Aug 2019, and it was great. The guard station itself is nothing too special, but the view is incredible. I'm not a huge fan of the Umatilla area, but I like the isolation of staying at the forest service stations. This place would be better if it had a locking outhouse. Even though the guard station and outhouse are off the main road, several people stopped to look at the guard station and use the outhouse. Apparently it's a popular area for atvs, cuz some jagoff on a quad or dirt bike was using the outhouse every hour. FYI, if you want to view a forest service cabin or lookout and it's occupied, don't disturb the people, take a quick photo and be on your way. And definitely don't use their outhouse.
Only stopped here for a little bit. It was basic, but no crowd.
Drove through here in Aug 2019, and it sure was crowded. Looked pretty standard with rv setups and people walking around everywhere. I think it was like $50/night which is crazy.
Only spent 1 night here in Aug 2019, but it was amazing. The cabin itself is a nicely restored 2 story with kitchen (including gas refrigerator and range) and sleeping space for 6, with folding futon downstairs and 1 full size upstairs across from 2 singles. Nicely fenced in yard gives an extra feeling of security when you hear the bears or wolves at night. There's a nice sized fire ring and plenty of wood in the garage. There was even a bike in the garage. Although unrestored, there are 2 cabins out back, within the yard. One was the original mess hall, and the other was the bunkhouse. Behind those, there's a well made horseshoe tossing area. Gas lights provide plenty of light in the ranger station. Bring your own water and bedding. There's a well kept outhouse, just outside the gated area. Can't wait to return.
I've been here several times, most recently in December 2018. It's nice that it's still accessible when other roads are starting to close for the winter. The falls still had some flow. Picnic tables and fire rings are provided. There's also potable water and vault toilets. I think they take reservations during the open season, around April-October, and the cost is $24/night
With Summit Creek closed now, I'm sure this place is going to be a lot more crowded in peak seasons. We made it here in May 2018, and it wasn't crowded at all. There was still a little snow around. The campground is basic with around 10 spots. Each is a little spot with a picnic table and little fire ring. There's no running water, but there is a little vault toilet.
Wife and I drove the Juan de Fuca highway to Cape Disappointment in April 2019, and it was great. As a fan of Twilight, my wife was at least aware of the area. We parked at the lot, and did the easy hike out to the cape. I was surprised at the upkeep of the boardwalk along the path. Anyway, it's a nice little setup with a few picture taking decks. The views out on the tip are incredible.
Spent some time at the day use areas of Timothy Lake, both the main cove and upper arm. It was pretty crowded in both areas, but less at the northern arm. We launched our little dinghy, and cruised the lake. Not as crowded on the water, and lots of birds fishing. After rowing a good piece of the lake, I can tell you it's bigger than it looks. Parking is $5/day, and is good to park at any day use area around the lake. We ended up dispersed camping in a big clearing about a mile from the lake. No crowds, no pay, and a lot of bear sounds at night.
Stayed at Little Bitterroot Lake last year(Aug 2018) for 3 nights and had a great time.
After seeing the crowds closer to Kalispell, we enjoyed the slower pace of Little Bitterroot lake. Got a great site, where the tent literally opened to a beautiful view of the lake.
Nice clear lake for swimming or fishing for trout. All types of boating is allowed.
We saw many eagles fishing for dinner, and even a snake swimming in the lake.
Spent 3 nights at Hogan Cabin, MT last summer (Aug 2018). I loved the isolation of the location. Up at 7200ft you get a little winded hiking around, but the incredible scenery is worth it. Found a primitive A-frame structure in the woods about a mile from the cabin. Saw several deer and elk feeding in the field near the cabin, as well as a moose in the marsh along the creek.
The cabin itself is nothing to jump up and down about. With only 2 sets of bunk beds, my wife and I put the bedding on the floor and made a full sized bed. There's no running water so be sure to bring plenty.
There's an vault toilet in the outhouse.
There is also a HUGE fire pit with swinging grill for cooking.
The White River BLM Campground is north of Maupin along the Deschuted River BLM access road. I think there's about 5 sites. These sites are all located along the Deschutes, between Maupin and the 216 highway. I think the sites were $16/night.
The sites are pretty basic, with vault toilets and no running water. There is a picnic table and fire ring at each site. The highlight is the amazing river access and views. Fishing and rafting are the main activities here.
I loved the sound of the Deschutes as you fall asleep.
Wife and I stayed here in June 2019, and loved it. The building is quaint with gaslights, and gas fireplace. The fold out bed is old and worn out. I recommend putting an air mattress or at least sleeping pads on it.
There's a big refrigerator and gas stove in the kitchen, along with some pots and pans for cooking. But NO running water for drinking or cooking. so bring plenty of water.
There's a nice vault toilet outside the guard station. The outhouse is much newer than the guard station and kinda looks like a public toilet in the woods. But it's within the fenced boundary of the guard station.
Right in the middle of the Malheur Forest, this would be a great place to stay for deer/elk hunting season.
Fishing is good if you go over to the John Day river.
We saw Pronghorn in the Silvies Valley heading to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. I had to see the place that the standoff with the Feds took place.
Wife and I stayed here in April 2019, during our tour of the Olympic peninsula. We stayed in many places from Sequim to Westport, and had a great time. The Dungeness area was great for bird watching, but I wasn't really a fan of the campground. Nothing wrong with it, just too big and busy for me.
They do take reservations, I guess it's necessary with 60+ sites, and group camping. At $26/night for non-Clallam county residents, and a $10 reservation fee, this place is no bargain. One nice thing is they do have running water, which is a rarity in the places I usually go, and coin-operated showers. A nice shower sure does beat the adult bath wipes. Firewood is available here, for $5/bundle of 6 sticks. Looks like one round split in to six pieces.
For the price, I'd almost recommend staying at a VRBO or AirBNB in the area.
Pets must be allowed, because there were plenty.
I was at Twin Falls Campground for the day (fishing) in July 2019, and stayed here back in June 2018. It's another of the smaller campgrounds with only 5 walk in sites. I usually stay in smaller places or go dispersed style when possible.
It's a bumpy windy road down to the campground. I just drove through here (Aug 7th, 2019) and I wouldn't take a car down to the campground without high clearance. Didn't need 4WD to get around but the ruts are deep in certain spots. Please don't try to drag a trailer down.
The sites are FREE, which is alway nice, and 1st come 1st serve. The sites are limited in number, but each site is pretty large. The river access is great. The sound is a little loud when sleeping, if you're here when the river is really flowing.
Decent fly fishing in the bend of the Lewis River.
The falls itself is pretty. While not exactly twins, there are 2 waterfalls.
There is a clean vault toilet, but no running water.
Kinda awkward that when parking for day use of the river, you still have to walk through a couple sites to get to the water.
Council Lake, WA is one of my favorite organized campgrounds to stay in. It's a bit of a bumpy road in, most cars should be fine, but no rv's or long trailers. There's only 7 sites with 1 being the premium, on top of the hill, with a bit of a lake view. Again it's kinda hilly driving in to the sites, a Toyota Corolla made it through while I was there, but he bottomed out a few times. The flies and mosquitos are kinda bad by the water, but at least bearable in the sites.
The sites are FREE and 1st come 1st serve. The sites are large and have metal fire rings with flip grills.
The trout fishing is good here. Boats are allowed, but electric or hand operated only.
It's a beautiful clear water lake. I saw a river otter basking in the shallows, and several eagles diving for fish while I was here, in July 2019.
I've been to Ollalie Lake Campground several times in the last few years. Most recently in Aug 2019. I like that it's quiet and small, with only 5 spots, and limited day use parking. The cost is $12 a space $6 for additional car, and I think it's 1st come, 1st served, but it seems like the forest service is offering reservations via their website lately. I didn't reserve ahead of time, even mid summer I had a choice of a couple spots. There's a clean vault toilet, but no running water, so be sure to bring enough.
There's trout in the lake for fishing, but I had no luck this time. Boats are allowed, but only hand powered or electric. The lake itself is kinda small, but offers great views of Mt Adams reflecting off the water in the evening.
The campground was clean, but flies and mosquitos can be overwhelming at times.
Fresh squeezed tip:
There's a couple free sites just south of the campground entrance that still offer lake access.