Kevin L.
Pro
Portland , OR
Joined December 2014
I'm the Co-founder of The Dyrt. Ending the pain of looking for campgrounds online.
Bike-packing Trip on Lower Deschutes River

Bike-packing Campground Review:

The lower Deschutes River from Pelton Dam to the Columbia River, goes about 100 river miles along the water and was designated an Oregon Scenic Waterway in 1970. We parked our car and loaded up our bikes at the Deschutes River State Rec area - where designated tent and RV camp sites are located. We then biked in about 20 miles to dispersed camping along the Deschutes River.

The bike trip was on a dirt/gravel road. I used my Surly cycle-cross while two of my friends used their mountain bikes. After about 6 flat tire, I realized I maybe should have used my mountain bike for this trip… As you bike in, there are areas about every 5 miles where you camp near the water. Camping areas have brick outhouses (no drinking water or trash), but they are not groomed/flat classic campgrounds - more of just a free for all amongst the brush and river side.

The biking was amazing and the camping with true freedom. Clear skies and twenty miles of golden wheat blowing in the wind The entire dirt road hugged the winding river. We would bike by people every hour or so but side from that we had this epic place to ourselves.

No fires? No problem! Very dry area covered in dry wheat and dry brush so most of the Spring/Summer/Fall campfires are not allowed. This was the first time in years I camped without a fire. Thought I was going to miss it but ended up really enjoying the extra relaxation time. No dealing with wood, no distracting fire to keep up - just more time to hang out with nothing to do and chat with my friends - awesome.

Product Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I test products when I go camping. On this trip I tested the biking shorts from ElevenPine. I met the ElevenPine team a couple years ago at a trade-show and immediately liked them because of their "Keep America Spandex-Free!" tag line. I noticed they came out with a new pair of shorts - the Men's Crank It Up with Liberator Liner so I decided to buy a pair for this bike-packing trip.

As a bike commuter who has never used biking shorts - I could not have been happier. Made a huge difference to have the butt padding on the bumpy gravel path and was great to have comfortable shorts that did not feel like dorky spandex shorts while hanging out at the campground.

The left and right side of the shorts have vertical zippers so I could zip the shorts tight for biking and they unzip them when hanging out at the campground. The shorts also have high quality front pocket zippers and are made from a durable, stretch woven material and subtle waist adjustment system for a snug fit.

Two thumbs up from me for the new ElevenPine Crank It Up biker shorts. I may never bike without them again.

Ranger Review: ElevenPine Bike Shorts on Lower Deschutes Bike-packing Trip

Bike-packing Campground Review:

The lower Deschutes River from Pelton Dam to the Columbia River, goes about 100 river miles along the water and was designated an Oregon Scenic Waterway in 1970. We parked our car and loaded up our bikes at the Deschutes River State Rec area - where designated tent and RV campsites are located. We then biked in about 20 miles to dispersed camping along the Deschutes River.

The bike trip was on a dirt/gravel road. I used my Surly cycle-cross while two of my friends used their mountain bikes. After about 6 flat tire, I realized I maybe should have used my mountain bike for this trip… As you bike in, there are areas about every 5 miles where you camp near the water. Camping areas have brick outhouses (no drinking water or trash), but they are not groomed/flat classic campgrounds - more of just free-for-all spots amongst the brush and river side.

The biking was amazing and the camping was true freedom. Clear skies and twenty miles of golden wheat blowing in the wind. The entire dirt road hugged the winding river. We would bike by people every hour or so but side from that we had this epic place to ourselves.

No fires? No problem! Very dry area covered in dry wheat and dry brush so most of the Spring/Summer/Fall campfires are not allowed. This was the first time in years I camped without a fire. Thought I was going to miss it but ended up really enjoying the extra relaxation time. No dealing with wood, no distracting fire to keep up - just more time to hang out with nothing to do and chat with my friends - awesome.

Strava route and pics here

Product Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I test products when I go camping. On this trip I tested the biking shorts from ElevenPine. I met the ElevenPine team a couple years ago at a trade-show and immediately liked them because of their "Keep America Spandex-Free!" tag line.

I noticed ElevenPine came out with a new pair of shorts - the Men's Crank It Up with Liberator Liner so I decided to buy a pair for this bike-packing trip.

As a bike commuter who has never used biking shorts - I could not have been happier. Made a huge difference to have the butt padding on the bumpy gravel path and was great to have comfortable shorts that did not feel like dorky spandex shorts while hanging out at the campground.

The left and right side of the shorts have vertical zippers so I could zip the shorts tight for biking and they unzip them when hanging out at the campground. The shorts also have high quality front pocket zippers and are made from a durable, stretch woven material - with subtle waist adjustment system for a snug fit.

Two thumbs up from me for the new ElevenPine Crank It Up biker shorts. I may never bike again without my ElevenPine shorts on.

tent, rv or hike/bike in

easy water side access for tents and RVs. Bonus: 24 mile gravel path from the campground with dispersed camping through out the trail of you are willing to make the hike in

Ranger Review: Marmot Limelight Tent at Bear Springs Campground

Campground Review:

About 20 miles from Government Camp, this is a pretty cool campground as you are hopping over Mt Hood. With its location south east of the mountain and about 3000 foot elevation, good place to camp in the early spring if you want to then drive up Hood to get to snow.

The government website shows it as "4 groups sites" but it has about 15 individual campsites from what I saw.

You can hear cars drive by on Highway 216 but loved the open sites, big pine and fir trees and huge group-sized firepits. It also sits on the edge of Mt Hood National Forest so the background to most sites give you a good feel of the national forest.

……………………….

Product Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test products. At this campground, I tested the Three Person Limelight Tent from Marmot. I actually upgraded from my 10 year old tent and - wow - could not be happier.

Top reasons I loved the Limelight Marmot tent:

  1. Easy of use: What used to be 4 separate poles with my old tent is now one pre-connected pole for the Limelight that hooks into the four corners making it super easy to use. Got to the campground late Friday night and with no directions I easily set this up in a couple minutes.
  2. Footprint included! Don't you hate it when you invest in a tent AND THEN have to buy the ground water blocking footprint? Not with the Limelight cause it comes included.
  3. Size and view: The poles at the corners are rounded to give you bonus space and the entire inner top ceiling is a net so on clear (warm) night this tent is going to be great for viewing the stars.
Wooded sites but cramped

This campgrond is in a nice wooded growth but feel really camped. As you drive in there is an open field area with some picnic area (nice) but the sites are small and cramped (not so nice). Trees seperate each campground but I wish they were bigger and spaced out. On the bright side it is a short drive to Trapper Creek wilderness area -beautiful hiking.

Camp by a pure sand bottom river

A fun fact about the Blackwater River is that it is one of the purest sand bottom rivers in the nation.

Oregon Coast

Hundreds of sites. Kind of crappy place but you can always get a place to pitch at tent (without a reservation) as they have hundreds of campsites. BIG bonus - you can want to you beach!

First to Review
Get the Morning View

If you want to wake up to an awesome sunrise, this is the campground for you.

Awesome Oysters, Basic Camping

Want to be near the ocean? Love seafood? Don't care about where camp? Then this place is for you.

Just outside Yosemite Park

More room than the Yosemite campsites

First to Review
Good site when you get the sun

This is a good spot on a bluff where you can see the water. Seems that the trees across the water block the sun in the afternoon which makes it not so sunny.

First to Review
Good Average Oregon Camping

This place was fine it you get the right site

Hike from campsite to campsite

This is a cool campground that is an easy drive from Portland. We hiked from Rainbow to another campground, walking mostly next to the water. Good times.

First to Review
Camp between a creek and a hill

Great camp area. Hear and see the water from half the sites.

Open desert camping in awesome National Park

Cool national park. Worth a day trip for sure. Not my style of camping but would enjoy a weekend there just to have more time to check out the park.

Lots of spots close to ocean

Hundreds (literally hundreds) of spots in this private campground on the coast. Camped there 5 times and never needed a reservation. Sites are close together and not a lot of trees but who cares when you a camping at the ocean and can easily pick up some fresh oysters to throw on the fire - Yum!