This campsite is along the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route between the Cashmere and Chelan sections along NF-8410. Obviously, this is a 4X4 road but if you approach from the Chelan side you could maybe get away with a high clearance AWD vehicle. Incredible sunset views of the valley overlooking Lake Chelan to one side and a vast forested mountain range to the other. This particular spot photographed is on the south side of the road to the north of the Baldy Mountain crest. This area seemed to have a good number of sites in the immediate vicinity, not that we saw anything in them. This particular site was clearly well used as it was flat, had log stump seats, and a stone fire pit (even if you aren't supposed to have fires most of the year in this forest). Someone even built a rustic camp toilet in the woods just away from the campsite.
Within the almost 4 million acres of the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest, lie countless locations for dispersed camping. This area of the southeast corner of the NF has very little traffic compared to others, we saw only one ATV for the whole time we were there. This area lies along the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route between the Cashmere and Chelan sections along NF-7400. Obviously, this is a 4X4 road and I wouldn't suggest it in anything less. Incredible sunset views of the valley in front of Chumstick Mountain, it gets pretty windy at night but there are treelines you can position against. This particular spot photographed is just up the hill off the roadside in a nice grassy clearing. More spots were just up the hill around the bend as well.
Day 1-2: GORGEOUS!!! Perfect sunny & breezy weather, insane views from the campsite. Very quiet and only a handful of first come first serve sites. Simple toilet facilities. Fire rings. All the makings of perfect car camping.
Day 3: The wind dies down and OUT COME THE MOSQUITOS. I camp a lot, I have done backpacking/car camping/overlanding in all seasons and encountered bugs-a-plenty. The mosquito swarms in mid-June are ABSOLUTELY unbearable. No amount of bug spray seemed to matter, they were flying into ears/eyes/mouths and into the flame from the cookstove by the hundreds. Not that many bites for the number of them, but I you will be COVERED in them. We ended up bailing and getting a hotel in Leavenworth for our last night because they were so bad.
What can I say that others haven't!? Some of the best car camping in the Cascades. The lake is shockingly blue and COLD, but after a sweaty day of hiking is the ultimate in refreshment! Camp sites are close but feel secluded enough. If you walk into the tent sites on the north side of the campground you have some better options if you want to lug all of your gear with you.
This campground has nice facilities and is well maintained but it's definitely more toward the "campground culture" crowd versus people looking for a quiet, peaceful escape. Lots of large groups playing music, rowdy kids having fun, generators running, etc. It was a decent spot for placement along the Cascade Loop trip but I felt like we were in the middle of someone else's family reunion with kids running through our campsite and lots of loud groups.
Great little campground, yes it's crowded but it's so close to the city that you can't expect much else. You are still under the canopy of the forest so its like camping lite. Clean facilities, a great spot for short day hikes. We hit this up on stop one of our Cascade Loop camping trip and it wasn't the best or the worst place we stayed. The hike to Franklin Falls is nice, even if it's wicked crowded.
Halfway up the somewhat technical 4X4 road passing over the Piute Mountains, there are a handful of dispersed campsites nestled in and around the wash area. Including this stunner of a site we scored with a fire pit. Incredible views and only a few passing vehicles overnight. We explored the wash and while there were a few amazing spots in there, in the spring it was FILLED with bees. So explore cautiously and feel out the area a bit before unpacking and setting up camp. Just above the wash on the downhill was the best site we found but WOW does the wind come ripping through at night.
This designated dispersed camping area is at 17 Mile Point, the approximate halfway point on the Mojave Rd between Soda Springs and Marl Springs. Just west of the point is a dry camp where pioneers and freighters would stop for the night. This route was particularly brutal for travelers heading east toward the Colorado River with most of the track being sand and little, if any, grass for livestock on the climb to Marl Springs. The camping area is peppered with fire rings and the cliffs provide some much welcome shade. We had cell signal here which was a nice change and in the far off distance you could see ant-sized semis on the highway. You definitely need 4X4 to get here, but it's well worth it to enjoy the solitude and desert vistas.
Just south of Ashford Mill Ruins where Badwater Rd meets Jubilee Pass Rd, you can continue down the unpaved portion of Badwater Rd/Harry Wade Rd to find a long sandy stretch that leads out of the park to the south. I'd recommend AWD with high clearance at a minimum as the road can be a little washboardy and sandy. There are ample dispersed camping sites along this portion of the road (use previously disturbed spaces within the 50 ft wilderness boundary). The sites are a little rocky/sandy but most looked fairly level and all offered remote, stunning views of the park with little traffic. We had one visible camper sharing the entire valley with us, couldn't ask for more.
This campground is accessible from the north pass which is a pretty long rough ride, or by 4X4 trails to the south over Lippencott or Owens Valley. While I prefer the solitude of the incredible dispersed camping options available in Death Valley, the warm springs pools are the star here. Surrounded by palms, this weird collection of man-made pools feed from a hot springs source and are scattered around a clothing-optional hippie paradise of communal fire pits, book libraries and sitting areas decorated with crystals, art and all manner of oddities. The campground is fine if you don't mind neighbors.
Being accessible by long stretches of rough roads to the north or rugged 4X4 trails to the south, really cuts back on the crowds. Saline Valley is a gorgeous, empty expanse with stellar sunrise/set views. In late March we had the entire valley to ourselves with the exception of a handful of cars passing by. There are rocky pull-in areas along the road, some more level than others, all with incredible views. A short drive to Lippencott Pass and Warm Springs from here.
Most campgrounds close over the winter in Tahoe but we were delighted to stumble across Sugar Pine Point in mid March when there is still a good bit of snow around. Only a handful of sites are open, but the bathrooms are open and there is running water at the sites. We were in a rootfop tent so it didn't impact us, but the sites themselves are generally covered in snow. Only a handful of campers were braving the cold/snow. There was a good bit of snow overnight, but they were really on the ball plowing first thing in the morning.
Did one night here on a long road trip where a quick stop in Crater Lake was on the sightseeing list. There were a few RV's with generators running and a large group that gathered in and spent the night inside the warming station, so with COVID we never went inside, despite a friendly invite to join them. The main lot is level with plenty of space to spread out from others. Enjoying having fire rings and pit toilets, which was a nice bonus for a free (with pass) Sno-Park.