Jill T.
Beaverton, OR
Joined July 2018
Making memories and taking NW happy snaps. Camp on!!!
Island camping

Top reasons I love this campground: 

- It’s an ISLAND! How cool is it to camp on an island! 
- Beautiful views from the middle of the northern end of Detroit Lake. 
- Great for swimming, boating, exploring, hiking, and fishing. 
- I bet it’s amazing to stay there over the 4th of July. 
- The firework display from the other side of the lake should be spectacular! 
- Cheap-$10. 
- Only 22 sites. 
- I had cell service with AT&T. 

Things to note: 

- This should be obvious but, you’ll need a boat to get to and from the island. It’s a quick canoe from either side. 

- The vault toilets are maxed out. Hopefully, they will be serviced SOON! 

- No drinking water, no shower, and no guarantee for the serviced toilets. 

- Bring water and TP. 

- Fires are allowed and there are several picnic tables.

An Oregon MUST VISIT!

No matter the time of year, Silver Falls State Park is an Oregon must visit! 

Top reasons I love this campground: 

  • SOOOO much to see and do! 
  • Amazing waterfalls (keep in mind they won't be rushing in the heat of the summer).
  • Great programming 
  • Beautiful lodge 
  • Vast parks and play areas 
  • Swimming
Ranger Review: Liquid I.V. at L.L. “Stubb” Stewart

Campground Review: Something for everyone! 

Top reasons I love this campground:

  • So easy to get to from anywhere in northwestern Oregon; especially the Portland area 
  • Open year-round 
  • 18-hole disc golf course 
  • Great hiking and biking trails 
  • Full hook-ups, cabins, equestrian sites, and walk-in tent sites

Product Review: As a Ranger for The Dyrt, occasionally I get to test products. At this campground, I tested Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier and the Liquid I.V. Sleep night time drink mix. I really liked both products. They are portable, have natural ingredients, taste good and I found them to be effective! Additionally, Liquid I.V. has an incredible social justice cause donating millions of their products to people around the world who are in need of proper hydration. I love that this is a company AND products I feel good about! 

Pros: 

  • Portable 
  • Natural ingredients (vitamins, electrolytes, potassium, sodium, glucose) 
  • Rapid absorption 
  • IT WORKS!! 
  • Amazing cause 

Cons: 

  • It’s pricey 
  • I wish the Sleep night time drink mix came in another flavor without lavender
  • Contains more sugar than I would like 

Overall, I give the product 4.5 stars

Ranger Review: Banner & Oak at Whispering Falls

Campground Review: Spacious spots! 

Top reasons I love this campground: 

  • The incredible sound of the river 

  • Spacious spots Crystal clear water 

We really enjoyed this campground. The spaces are really big and there the greenery in between the spots makes it feel secluded. Aside from the amazing sound of the rushing river, it was extremely quiet and peaceful. The restrooms were clean and the park hosts were friendly. There is a nice little trail along the river and a few spots to fish. There is a great swimming hole beyond camp spot number 11. For those people with trailers, many spots have large and flat pull-throughs.

Product Review: As a Ranger for The Dyrt, occasionally I get to test products. At this campground, I tested Banner & Oak outdoor apparel. From super soft and creative t-shirts and hats to awesome firebiner and locking carabiners - these products ROCK! The firebiner is a camping must-have and the locking carabiners are the best carabiners I’ve owned. My husband loves his hat and t-shirt. I was really sad that the women’s t-shirts run very small and fitted; not great for larger ladies but, smaller women will love the fit. The steel mug is lightweight and cute but take note that It’s small- great for backpacking. Pros: Super soft t-shirts Great designs and lots of options Awesome firebiner and locking carabiners- hiking/camping must-haves! Great prices Cons: Women’s shirts run small Steel mug is smaller than I imagined Overall, I give the product 4.5 stars

Nice family centric campground on Dorena Lake

The Baker Bay Campground and Marina is a county park outside of Cottage Grove, Oregon. It has a boat launch and boat rentals. There are several huge inflatable water structures in the bay which kids can play on for a fee. The concession stand is currently under construction however there is plenty of green space for picnics. There is a large play structure, horseshoes, and a sand volleyball pit.

Great site for families with kids.

Decent main restroom and showers however, the vault toilet near the main camping spots was the WORST I have ever been near. I can't imagine how people near the toilet could stand being there - especially in the heat of the summer.

Great but beware of Goatheads

Ranger Review: Stream2Sea Sunscreen Products at LePage Park

Campground Review: 

Gorgeous but beware of goat-heads!! 

This is a gorgeous camping spot along the confluence of the Columbia River and the John Day River. It is perfect for fishing, boating, and general family fun. The winds can be high (22MPR during our stay) but still a family favorite! There are 22 sites with electrical hookups(on the pavement without shade) and a couple of dozen grass tent sites. The restrooms are okay and there are showers and a dump station. The edge of the pull-through RV spots follows the river and most spots have easy access to the 10-foot rock access to the water. We visited during the last weekend of July and it was HOT! It was great to be able to jump in the river to cool down but make sure to bring thick water shoes as the goat-heads have taken over!!! 

Top reasons I love this campground: 

  • Right on the John Day River 
  • High desert beauty 
  • Sun and water

Product Review: As a Ranger for The Dyrt, occasionally I get to test products. At this campground, I tested Stream2Sea sunscreen products. This is a new family favorite product!! As an avid camper, swimmer, fisher, and scuba diver, we are thrilled to use ocean and coral reef safe products that are eco-conscious! Their products are packaged in mini 

Pros: 

  • Eco-conscious!! 
  • High-performance products Water-resistant for 80 minutes 
  • Biodegradable 
  • No toxins Eco-friendly packaging(sugar cane resin tubes) 

Cons: 

  • Not cheap - but well worth it!

Overall, I give the product five stars

Oregon Trail Outdoor Education Classroom

We've stayed at the Deschutes River State Recreation Area twice now. It's the perfect spot if you are traveling across Oregon and need a nice place to stop before continuing to another state, or eastern Oregon. 

The campground is relatively small. The bathrooms and showers are clean and the spots are flat. It has an accessible path along the river and is great for family fishing. 

Due to it's proximity to the gorge, it can be very windy but, it is quaint and the sunsets are amazing.

The best part of this spot is the incredible outdoor Oregon Trail Interpretive display! I highly recommend this park for families with small children.

Ultimate Oregon camping

Ranger Review: Midland Radios at Anthony Lakes Campground Review: 

This is my favorite place in Oregon. It’s vast and quaint- everything that you would imagine from a 7,000 elevation retreat! We arrived a couple of days prior to when the site was officially supposed to open (July 1- depending on snow) so, we ended up staying in the Anthony Lakes Ski Area parking lot. A combination of snow and mud prevented anyone from using the official campsites but that didn’t stop a handful of people from camping and fishing nearby. During our three-day stay, we had snow, rain, and sunshine. It was wonderful! 

Top reasons I love this campground: 

  • The Wallowa-Whitman stunning views; including Gunsight Mountian and the Elkhorn Range. 
  • Clean, clear lakes (Lilypad Lake is great for flyfishing) 
  • Secluded Amazing hiking

Product Review: As a Ranger for The Dyrt, occasionally I get to test products. At this campground, I tested the Midland Radios X-Talker Extreme Dual Pack T77VP5. Being in a vast wooded area, I was thrilled to have radios that worked well and could be easily charged with a USB cord and a power block. Lightweight and easy to attach to a backpack or belt. 

Pros: 

  • Good value(price for product); two radios, soft-shell carrying case, earpieces, charging station, USB car charger, USB wall plug-in charger, rapid rechargeable batteries, 36-channels. 
  • Range of up to 38 miles! 
  • Sounds great and keeps a charge.
  • Cons: The charging station is plastic and feels inexpensive Overall, I give the Midland Radio X-Talker Extreme Dual Pack T77VP5 five stars. It delivers exactly what it says it does. It’s a great value and a product worth having to keep you in communication with others during your outdoor adventures!
Family Fun and Fishing!

Ranger Review: GrubStick  at Promontory Park and Marina 

Campground Review: I hadn’t heard of Portland General Electric“PGE” Parks prior to a few weeks ago when friends invited us to camp with them. The campground and Marina were quite nice but one of the main reasons our friend booked this campground was to teach their daughters to fish in the stocked“kids only” pond. Unfortunately, the website doesn’t say the fish can’t survive in the pond during the hot summer months. The campground did, however, have awesome park staff (Matthew was AWESOME) who put on two great activities for kids every day. We stayed in a“Yome,” which is a cross between a yurt and a dome. Between our families, we had three young girls who got to attend two hosted activities per day. The campground has 50 campsites, a handful of yomes and small cabins, too. The restrooms and showers were a bit of a trek down a hill from our yome and weren’t clean as well or as often as I would have liked but, it was nice to have running water all the same. The campground has electric cooking stations and picnic areas spread throughout. Additionally, there is a large picnic shelter, with cooking facilities that you can rent. One of the biggest attractions to this park is the stocked pond called Small Fry Lake. It was developed for kids and is stocked from October to April(the fish can’t survive once the water temperature rises too high). Youth up the 17 can catch a limit of two fish per day. NOTE: the pathway to the“lake” is surprisingly steep!! They have a handrail however, it is steep! The store offers pre-packaged items as well as a handful of items such as corn dogs and hotdogs. There are a picnic and seating area and it appeared to have a small stage for live music. You can rent boats, kayaks, and canoes but, they are more expensive than most places(in my opinion). The marina is on gives easy access to the 350-acre North Fork Reservoir where you can fish and boat.

Top reasons I love this campground: 

  • Kids programming (give Ranger Matthew a raise!) 
  • Kids only fishing pond Location(only an hour outside of Portland) 
  • Yomes (fun for the family) 
  • On the North Fork

Things I didn’t like about this campground: 

  • The stocked kid's pond doesn’t have much fish throughout the summer because they can’t survive the heat BUT, this information isn’t on their website. 
  • A bit of a trek to the restrooms Restrooms weren’t very clean No alcohol(just keepin it real)…………….

Product Review: As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I occasionally get to test products. At this campground, I tested the Grubstick Deluxe Kit. This collection of camping cooking utensils and accessories is fun and functional for the entire family. I love the compact 30” collapsible, stainless steel, telescope stick, with the rubber handle. It’s sturdy, easy to clean, and comfortable to hold. The Grubfork is awesome. It is strong enough to hold two hotdogs or marshmallows. The Grubcage is good for toasted s’mores (your graham cracker will get toasted or burned if you aren’t careful). It’s square and can hold wider items than the round Grubcage which is meant for burgers and patties. Both can hold items such as veggies, fruit, and bread or English muffins. The release tool takes a bit of getting used to operating while holding your Grubstick I would buy a ton of the handles and sticks to give as gifts but having to buy everything by the package is way too expensive. The good news is that I’ve heard that Grubstick is going to start selling individual pieces- hopefully, this is true. The Grubpocket is the size and shape of a marshmallow. We used this to create bacon pockets and it worked pretty well (can’t go wrong with bacon!). The bacon clip is tough to operate. It needs to be tight to hold the bacon in-place but, that also means that it is hard to squeeze open wide enough to go around tick cut bacon. The Grubtube is a steel cylinder that you can wrap the pastry around. I forgot the pastry but can’t wait to try out a few recipes and start to create our own! All in all, I love that the Grubstick products have given me a spark to rethink my camping meals!

Pros: 

  • Rubber handle 
  • Telescopic and collapsible to 30” Stainless steel and easy to clean 
  • Makes me want to cook more creatively

Cons: 

  • The bacon clip is really hard to open. 
  • The grabber is good in theory and useless in reality. Falls off your fingers unless your fingers are tilted upward. 
  • The packages are pricey 

Overall, I give the Grub Stick and Grubfork 5 stars and the accessories 3.5 stars.

Coastal beauty

Ranger Review: Eclipse Sun Protection at Tillicum Beach Campground

Campground Review:

The Tillicum Beach Campground in Yachats, Oregon is a part of the Siuslaw National Forest. It has amazing spots overlooking the ocean and unbeatable beach access. Some of the spots closest to the ocean even have cool tree canopy covered picnic and tent areas with openings like windows (see photo). Rates are between $23-$30 per night. The campsites along the waterfront go quickly so, I recommend booking when spots are released (rolling 6mos).

None of the waterfront sites have hookups and only a handful of the inland sites have hookups. There are restrooms and water but no showers. Each site has a fire ring and most have picnic tables. The vast beach makes it perfect for walking/running, building sand castles, fishing, and whale watching.

Top reasons I love this campground:

  1. Awesome tree covered nooks overlooking the ocean.
  2. Easy access to the beach.
  3. Great for whale watching.
  4. Fishing.
  5. Nice size campground - not too large.

…………….

Product Review:

As a Ranger for the Dyrt, I get to test products. At this campground, I tested the Eclipse Equinox Hoodie Cover Up. I love the idea of having a portable and compact piece of UPF 50+ clothing that I can put in my backpack or purse instead of a having to lather up with sunscreen. The sides open for ventilation and the front pocket becomes a self-storage pouch. It’s lightweight, quick drying, soft, and the special fabric doesn’t have chemicals!!  There’s even a hidden pocket designed for your phone or keys. It features a finger loop so even the top of your hands stay protected.

The stowage carry pouch is great for traveling! It's small, lightweight, and portable. The carabiner makes it easily attach it to anything! Clip it to your backpack or put it in your purse.

My 6-year-old daughter liked wearing the kids sun poncho and I enjoyed knowing that she was protected from the sun without having to slather her body in sunscreen!

Pros:

  • Unbeatable sun protection (blocks 98% of UVA and UVB rays wet or dry).
  • Lightweight
  • No chemicals
  • Quick drying
  • Soft
  • Portable

Cons:

  • I found both the adult and youth hoods a bit short. The kids sun poncho (for kids 4-7) was too short for my 6-year-old.
  • Could be a bit more stylish.

Overall, I give the sun protective clothing 4 stars and think its a fabulous alternative to chemical filled sunscreen

Central Oregon Gem

Ranger Review: OOFOS Recovery Shoes at Crooked River Campground

Campground Review:

The Crooked River Campground is one of two campgrounds in the Cove Palisades State Park. Located in Culver, Oregon, this high desert gem is just above Lake Billy Chinook which lies at the confluence of the Crooked, Deschutes, and Metolius rivers. It is open, airy, and has amazing views of Mount Jefferson, Mount Hood, Mount Bachelor, Broken Top, Three-Fingered Jack, and the Three Sisters. Super clean restrooms and friendly camp hosts, this family-friendly spot is sure to please. There is a swing-set, a couple of nice horseshoe pits, an animal exercise area, and a volleyball pit.

Top reasons I love this campground:

  1. Views!! On a clear day, you can easily see the majestic mountains of Oregon.
  2. Open year-round! It’s sister campground, the Deschutes Campground, is only open from May - September.
  3. A short hike up the Crooked River Rim trail offers a spectacular view of the entire area.
  4. Tons of wildlife including, owls, deer, hawks, and lizards to name a few.
  5. Awesome fishing on Lake Billy Chinook. Brown trout, rainbow trout, bull trout, salmon and Kokanee.
  6. Cool geology such as rimrock basalt and lava flows.
  7. The Erickson Air museum is a quick trip into Madras.
  8. Thunderegg digging!!! Dig for your very own Thundereggs at the Richardson Ranch. If your lucky, you will see hundreds to sheep grazing on your way out to the claim.
  9. You can rent a houseboat, kayak, canoe, or fishing boat from the Cove Palisades Marina.
  10. National Natural Landmark - The Island.

Note: VERY busy in the summer. We prefer to go during the off-season when we have the campground, hiking trails, and lake all to ourselves.

…………….

Product Review:

As a Ranger for the Dyrt, I get to test products. At this campground, I tested the OOFOS Recovery Shoes. I had previously heard of OOFOS from friends who run and spoke highly of how great they are. Well, after a long day of hiking, my tired feet fell in LOVE, love, love, with these shoes! They are insanely comfortable and like walking on two-inches of shock-absorbing heaven! Their revolutionary OOfoam technology absorbs 37% more impact than traditional footwear foam and it’s awesome for aiding achy feet and joints. And that’s not enough, these bad boys are machine washable and bacteria resistant!

I tried two different shoes; the Women’s OOahh Luxe Slide Sandal in Latte ($59.99), and the Women’s OOlala Luxe Sandal in Rose Gold ($64.95

The OOlala Luxe Sandal is my favorite for during the day. It is easy to slip on and off and look cute. I prefer the OOahh Luxe Slide Sandal for the evening when I get super Klassy and wear them with socks.

I give these shoes 5 stars and will be purchasing another pair to keep at work when I kick-off my heels.

Gorgeous!! Bring hiking shoes & a headlamp.

The only thing missing from this amazing camping spot is electricity and running water. Otherwise, it’s perfect! Absolutely gorgeous view of Mt. Hood, tons of hiking, a beautiful lake and camping spots for everyone. They have walk-in spots, yurts, a-frames, RV spots, a horse camp and even a few rooms at the lodge. Make sure to spend at least 3-4 days!

Ideal camping spot

This campground has a spot for everyone - large RV’s, yurts, tents, and even bikes. It’s close to the water and has a great Ranger program. Float the river, visit the volcanos, and hike to the top of Pilot Butte in nearby, Bend to see all of the gorgeous mountains.

Ranger Steve led a great orienteering class and a fun owl pellet dissection class.

Outside of Cottage Grove

This is a nice enough campground. Our camping spot had a direct path to the water but unfortunately, due to algae levels, we couldn’t go in. There is a small play structure for kids and tons of bats to watch at night. No alcohol as the campground is run by the Army Corp of Engineers.

Tiny, rustic, and absolutely beautiful!!!

Small and first come, first served. A popular site for visitors so, expect plenty during ALL hours. This is a fantastic spot for photography! Bring water and TP. This is the camping spot that has access to the Arch Rock Trail.

Very close quarters

My good friends loves Nehalem Bay State Park. I found it way too crowded and almost claustrophobic. I’m sure it’s great for group camping but but even the small roads throughout the campground were packed. On a brighter note, the beach is lovely and there are tons of things to do in the area.

Great for group camping

This is a great spot for group camping! The upper area encircles a large open are perfect for games and running around. There is a nice disk golf course and a lot of large paths for waking and biking. Tons of hiking trails and close to Vernonia. The restrooms are clean. There are several ADA sites, cabins, tent soots and even horse sites.

Pool AND Tipis!!!

We stayed in the Wildhorse Resort Casino RV Park & Tipi Village the day we purchased our trailer. The surroundings are sparse but what it lacks in scenery they make up for in amenities. There is a pool and a shuttle service to the casino. While we didn't go to the casino, we did spend a lot if time in the pool and envied those staying in the tipis. This is a great stop if you are traveling from Western Oregon to Eastern Oregon. The grounds and restrooms where clean and we enjoyed our stay!

A+ for educational activities

South Beach State Park is great for families. They have an excellent Junior Ranger program and 2-3 ranger lead activities per day each weekend throughout the summer. The Foghorn Amphitheater has a fire pit and screen for evening presentations. Big yurts and RV spots. Two play structures for big and little kids. Large paved paths to the beach make it great fir bikes, strollers, and wheechairs. The last bit of path to the accessible viewing area unfortunately was covered in sand and therefore not truly accessible. I recognize that it must be challenging to maintain however, it was really sad to see a once spectacular accessible viewing spot covered in four feet of sand. fair warning - lots of mosquitoes Otherwise this is a fantastic campground.

Great beach access

The Tillicum Beach Campground has great beach access and beautiful views of the ocean. Our spot had a private picnic area with a natural peephole looking over the beach. The spots overlooking the water great but if you have an RV, I highly recommend having reflective tape on your slide outs! The road is narrow and the corner spot we were on had a bit it’s blind spot.