Jill R.

The Dyrt Pro

Florence , OR

Joined June 2017

Travel and camp with 4 dogs. Always looking for places that are dog friendly and that have great hiking.

A little disappointing

This is a tough review to write. Honestly, the location and campground are wonderful. It was the lack of signage and a miserable staff that made my stay there challenging. It was Halloween and the campground was empty. I have a serious health issue that makes moving a bit rough. Twice when we were parked briefly to unload heavy groceries and then to take a quick phone call (wifi spotty), the militarized rangers came screeching up threatening to ticket us. I almost missed the incredible interpretive center due to lack of signage, it wasn’t obvious on their map and no one mentioned it when we checked in. But don’t let this review stop you. It’s still a great park.

Premier Parks are the best

Yes, the spaces are a little tight. But not near as tight as most KOA’s! I came in late, desperate for a slot as my truck was having serious problems. They leave a notice up front for vacant sites. This was huge for me. I stayed a couple of days and the place was super clean, dog friendly, no homeless or meth addicts (like are crowding in the state parks now). Staff super friendly and on top of things. Big, big thumbs up.

Wonderful, versatile park

This county park has it all. Big sites for RV’s or tents, beautiful creek, swimming hole, suspension bridge and lots of options for kids. Super nice, clean restrooms.

Beautiful, but lots of road noise

Stayed one night in my tent camper. Nice big sites. No privacy though. Lots of trees, but no bushes between neighbors. Despite a park ranger on site, one camper had a loud, pounding stereo system on for hours when I got in. Street noise went on all night. Racing cars, loud engines. Had hoped to do some hiking, but deluging rain and then super muddy trails made me just pack up and leave early. When I pulled in Sunday night signs out front said “campground full”, but out of 43 sites maybe 10 were occupied?

Quiet sites right on the fabulous McKenzie River

If you blink, you'll miss the turnoff to Olallie on Hwy. 126. It's a tiny campground with 17 sites. Half right on the river and the others on a bluff overlooking the river. I spent 4 nights in a Sylvan Sport tent trailer. The sites are pretty small so better for smaller rigs. The McKenzie river is spectacular and runs through the Belknap lava flows which turn the water this amazing blue as well as crystal clear. There's so much to see and do in this area that you'll need to come back numerous times. The campground was super clean with a really nice host, but the "potable" water was very iffy. When I stayed there (May of 2021) the water was a gross yellow and the test results hadn't come back for it. Honestly I wouldn't have drank it no matter what the test results said!!! Not to mention it's a hand pump so if you're solo, bring a bucket. It's a workout and you need both arms to pump the thing. Definitely bring plenty of drinking water along. I used the well water for dish washing and I'm still alive……:) So with exception of the water, Olallie gets big, big thumbs up from me.

Great campground on Orcas

I kayaked in to this campground and though it's an awesome location it was a bit disappointing. WA State Parks did designate one of the campsites as a marine trails site (only for those coming in from the water), but the site wasn't clearly posted and was a tough hike from the beach with gear. I actually selected another site more accessible from the beach. All the other marine trails locations are clearly marked. The sites were also just filthy. Trash everywhere, fire pits full of trash and cigarette butts and I had to do significant cleaning of my entire site before I could even start to set up my tent. There were WA State employees there at the time so I mentioned it, but they said they didn't have the time to bother with trash pickup. Really? Isn't that sort of your job? On the plus side the composting toilet was great and the overall location couldn't have been better.

Cascade Marine Trail favorite

I've camped on Jones many times and particularly love the Cascade Marine Trails sites. Good launch/landing beach for kayaks and easy hikes up a short bluff. The view from those sites is to the west so you get the sunsets and they're private and away from the motor boat crowd. The composting toilet gives you a cardio workout as it's a significant uphill climb. There are great, long hiking trails around the island. Water is available during the summer and turned off after Sept. 15. Used to be lots of raccoons, but during this visit I didn't encounter any.

DNR site badly in need of care

For such a fabulous location, this campground is woefully behind the times. Compared to other Cascade Water Trails locations under the WA State Parks jurisdiction that are clean and now sport awesome composting toilets, Point Doughty under the Department of Natural Resources has a particularly horrible pit toilet that you have to scramble up a bluff to get to. I understand a storm took out the stairs a while back and it's obvious there's been some activity to get stairs rebuilt. However, it's impossible as of this writing to get any gear from the beach to the campsites on the bluff. I wound up camping on the beach as I was in my kayak and there were no other options nearby. Actually the beach was quite pleasant as 2 orca whales cavorted just 100' off and a stellar sea lion, harbor seals and many sea bird varieties provided fantastic entertainment.

Remote, underutilized gem

I recently did a solo kayak trip around Orcas Island, WA and Clark was my first stop. I've camped on this island before so was looking forward to visiting again. On September 18, I was the only person there and enjoyed an evening of humpback whales blowing in the channel to the east of me. Despite its location, Clark can be noisy as it is right on a major shipping channel and a nearby major railway hosts oil and coal trails 24/7. Still the short hikes, wildlife viewing options, etc. make it worth it. Some sites are right off the beach so land the kayak and just a short walk to the campsite.

Funky sites, but fabulous location

I often pull my pig of a trailer (25') so comment based on those experiences. I got into this campsite late and just needed a place to park the pig. Oregon State Parks have the best website, brochures and information so you can often drive in totally prepared. USFS has some major catching up to do. I talked with the campsite manager (who was just great) and looked at the campground map that was posted (a first) and still had to stop and walk into numerous sites before I found one that could safely accommodate the pig. I'll be honest, the campground layout was very weird. However, this campground is on the gorgeous McKenzie River so it gets major points for that. Many sites were right on the river and from any site you could hear it. As usual with USFS parks this one was super dark and quiet. Got the dogs out for a hike on a trail I'd spotted and it was awesome. Lots of huge trees and again this is where I feel USFS falls short. I have no idea where the trail went, does it loop, etc. No signage, maps, info available to help. No matter. I love USFS campgrounds!!!!!

Want to mention that Hwy 242 is one of the most amazing discoveries I made this trip. However, this is NOT a road for RV's of any kind. There is NO wiggle room as this extremely narrow "highway" was carved through lava fields and those lava walls are literally inches off the edge of the road. Not to mention the turns are many and super tight. It was white knuckle for 40 miles. Not to mention none of the campgrounds on that highway cater to RV's….fancy that!!!! So take your small cars and tents and enjoy!!!! Or if you have an RV, park on either side of Hwy 242 and drive your small vehicle in on day trips.

USFS Campgrounds are the BEST!!!!!

More and more I'm staying at USFS campgrounds and enjoying the experiences. Yes, they're dry, but they're cheap, dark, quiet and in exceptionally beautiful places. Ollokot is in the Hell's Canyon Recreation area and is seriously the best campground I've encounter on my latest 4 week fall trip. Located right on the Imnaha River, the scenery is breathtaking, the sites are big with lots of room. It's a short drive up to the Hell's Canyon Overlook which is spectacular. Only downside is the road out of Joseph to get there…..it's not for the faint of heart if you have a larger RV. Narrow, potholes and absolutely no wiggle room. It's six inches between you and the side of the canyon. So take it SLOW!!!

Wow, wow, wow!!!!!!

I had originally intended on staying at one of three closer campgrounds that I ultimately rejected and made the decision to drive on to Minam State Park. Was I ever happy I did. The only downside was the 2 mile, narrow, gravel road into the park. A little bit of a nail biter with a bigger rig. Once there it was a nice size, dry campground with lots of sites to choose from and right next to the gorgeous Minam River. Whitetail doe with 2 fawns frequented the campground. Lots of fishing, some small trails and wound up walking down the dirt road with dogs as there was literally no traffic and the views were so outstanding. Apple trees alongside the dirt road provided a wonderful, unexpected snack.

Excellent camping near Camas Creek

This is a small, dry campground that is as good as it gets. Only bummer for me (having dogs) is that there aren't any trails. I did read about a place called Potamus Point overlooking the John Day River and canyon that the State Parks Byways brochure said was only a 30 minute excursion off FR-53. Well, 16 miles on gravel roads and an hour and a half driving and I still wasn't there and it was getting dark. Never did see it…..:( Ukiah is nearby, but has very minimal supplies. If you head into these areas have water, a full tank of gas and all your supplies already on board.

Phenomenal Views of Mt. Hood

I love The Cove Palisades area and this is the second time I've stayed at the State Park. Normally I stay at the Deschutes Campground. This year I stayed for 7 days so I could take more time to check out the area. Crooked River looks like just another RV Park, but I went up there and spent some time checking it out. It's a great place and I would stay there in a heart beat!!!! Lots of trees and shade (this place gets super hot) and the best sites for views are on the West outside of the campground where you get stunning views of Mt. Hood. It also has a super easy to access Rim Trail and another nature trail that are super nice.

Great park and perfect for access to Eugene, OR

I've stayed here a number of times and each time it's a pleasure. Nice big sites, super clean park and facilities and nice staff. I personally stay in all sorts of locations, but usually stop here for a couple of nights to take advantage of the great stores in Eugene to stock up before heading off for more primitive camping. This park is pet friendly with 2 reasonable dog yards and there doesn't seem to be a quantity or breed problem (I'm parked next to a rig with 2 pitbulls, a small mixed breed and 2 cats). Everyone I've encountered in here is super respectful. They also have a small inexpensive laundry. While walking around with my 4 dogs, I noticed they have Tepees for rent also. I always feel safe and comfortable when I stay here. The only downside is that it's right off I-5 so lots of freeway noise.

Remote and gorgeous!!!!!

What a fantastic place!!!! We stayed overnight on a lark and it was packed. But the sites are spread apart with lots of natural foliage between as a screen. This is first and foremost a horse camp with corrals at each site. But there's lots of room for small RV's or tents. Nice hiking trails and took the dogs out for a couple of hours and was totally alone. But this is definitely a dry camp. There's no water so pack in your water. There is a nice toilet at the front of the campground. The campground is about 4 miles off Hwy 101 between Florence and the Sea Lion Caves.

A campground where the wifi actually works!!!!

This is the second time I've stayed at the Corvallis KOA. I almost didn't recognize it when I pulled in as the trees have grown up. It's been a lot of years. My last stay here was very pleasant and this time is no different. A bit of highway noise, but nice big pull through sites, tent sites along the back (really good), a nice small store and friendly staff. The best surprise is wifi that actually works. Enough bandwidth that I actually got connected and was able to download a couple of things and watch a YouTube video on using some new RV gear. Excellent!!!! This is the first time in 10+ years of RVing that I've had really good wifi at a park. The dog run is nice, big and well maintained. However, lots of holes and escape options under and through the fence for small dogs. :( Nice little nature trail though both the bridges on the small loop are closed and don't look like they're getting much attention.

Where is the fantastic John Dellenback Trail?

I'm finding more and more that USFS campgrounds are the best. No, they don't have major facilities. But what they do have is nature. I've been aware of the Eel Creek Campground since I started hiking the John Dellenback trail a few years ago. The trailhead is in Lakeside, OR, off Hwy 101 on the Oregon coast. The trail takes you across the dunes, through a gorgeous coastal forest ending on the most remote stretch of coast you could imagine. Eel Creek Campground is right next door. The sites seem small at first, but they open up as you walk back into them. Lots of natural vegetation makes all the sites very private. This has become my go to local campground when I have a few days off.

Fabulous new Oregon State Park

Wow!!!! That seemed to be a word I used constantly during my 3 day stay at this wonderful new park. I wasn't sure what to expect at this high desert park, but situated deep in a canyon on a once working cattle ranch, this park is poised to become one of Oregon's top state parks. Whoever has done the design and development of this location should be praised. They're working with the natural features and old ranch buildings to give campers a feeling of history while they enjoy the remote locations typical of Eastern Oregon. Loads of wonderful trails, free use of mountain bikes, an information center, wonderful, huge sites……all added up to an amazing stay. Yes, it's dry camping so plan ahead. There is potable water on site. The bathrooms are super clean. I stayed there during a full moon and the night lighting of the surrounding hills and rocks was outstanding….not to mention star gazing as there's no peripheral lighting.

This Oregon State Park is one of the best

This is my second time staying at Clyde Holliday and wound up in the same site I stayed in last year. The sites are huge and well spaced. Lots of trees and a nice trail system along the river. Close to John Day and the Sheep Rock Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds.