Nicole C.

Portland, OR

Joined October 2018

For Fisher-folks only

The main draw here is that there's a boat ramp into the Columbia. If you've got a fishing/camping rig and like to tell fish stories, this is a great spot for you.

If you're looking for a private, secluded or picturesque spot, this isn't for you.

This place does require a Discover Pass, but it's otherwise free. There were portapotties available, but I wouldn't count on them always being available.

Right on the river... And the highway

This campground seems almost brand new. There are no hookups and no water on site, though there are several vault toilets.

Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, tent pad, and path down to a rocky beach on the Columbia. The sites are definitely not large enough for most RVs, so I'd consider this tent or van camping only.

There's not much shade at the sites, but you can get out of the sun near the river.

The biggest drawback to this spot is that it's just of the highway. You can and will hear air brakes all night. For me, staying on the Columbia was worth it.

Tucked away on a creek

This is one of those great USFS campgrounds in the Gifford Pinchot. It's small, maybe a dozen sites, and about half of those sites are on a delightful little creek.

While there's plenty of space between most sites, there's not a ton of vegetation between them, so you're definitely going to see your neighbors. Though, on a Saturday in July, this campground was only about half full. That half was, of course, the creekside half.

Cozy, with a caveat

As far as developed campgrounds go, this one is pretty nice. The sites are fairly private, with lots of salal and other coastal plants. I don't think any of the sites offer power, which cuts down on the mega RVs. There are flush toilets, a pleasant convenience. There's a 1.5 mile trail to the beach, which we had completely to ourselves on a Monday in August.

The only drawback is that you're within earshot of the OHV camp and all the engine sounds that come with that. It's certainly not overpowering, but it's not just the sound of nature here.

Cozy at the coast

The sites here aren't quite as private as neighboring Waxmyrtle, but it's still a cozy little spot. Not a ton of mega RVs, and it was fairly free of campground noise, even in August.

That said, the sounds from the OHV area definitely carry. You'll hear engine noise and it's not quite as peaceful as other coastal campgrounds.

Yikes, only appropriate for OHV use

This spot is literally a parking lot with spaces marked on it. It's only good for folks using OHVs in the dunes.

It's just ok

I've spent a few shoulder season nights at Barview, usually in the early-mid spring. At that time of year, you have a good chance of not having immediate neighbors. I stayed one night in the RV section, and don't think I'd enjoy it on a packed summer weekend. The RV hookup sites are really close, with no trees or other screen between trailers. The good news is that everyone has been super friendly whenever I'm there. 

The tent sites are much more private with trees, though there are still a lot of sites. I think we paid about 50 bucks to camp in our van with our dog, though. At that price, the value just isn't there for me.

The smoke of 200 campfires

I should start with a few prefaces. I was at a state park on a holiday weekend. I don't rv camp. I usually camp during shoulder seasons.

Wallowa Lake is gorgeous. I regularly forgot that I was in Oregon. The snow capped peaks around the lake made me feel like I was in the Rockies.

The park was well equipped with showers, floral toilets, and dish washing sinks. The sites were reasonably well spaced.

The day use area was very crowded, but to be expected on a holiday weekend. The cottonwoods were snowing and it was magical.

This campground has about 200 sites. When each one of those sites is having a campfire, it creates a mini inversion and the smoke just hangs close to the ground, making it extremely difficult to breathe. I also noted that every night, at least one fire was left unattended, which was concerning.

The Chief Joseph trailhead is just at the edge of the park with an extremely steep first mile or so, but easing out into a lovely walk through the Eagle Cap Wilderness. Even on the holiday, I didn't see a single other person.

Birds galore, watch out for cows

This was a welcome sight on a cross country road trip. We rolled up around sunset to find plentiful open spots, a lovely lake, and four very confused cows.

Many sites offered a sheltered picnic table, which makes me think it might get very hot or very windy.

It looked like fishing and hunting might be possible, but no one was doing either on our trip.

A bargain at twice the price

We spent two nights at this campground in early October. We had it nearly to ourselves.

A couple things to note:

October can be cold! It got down below freezing in the first week of October.

It gets windy. There's a site in the B loop that offers a good amount of protection from wind from most directions.

The Maah Daah Hey and Long X trails start at this campground. We did a great 11ish mile mountain bike loop by heading up Maah Daah Hey and down Long X.

There's a well here, but the water looked pretty brown. We boiled it.

Watch for bears

This campground had bear warnings everywhere - tables, signs, all over. We didn't see any bears.

This spot is on the Blackfoot River, but perched above it. The banks are quite reedy and overgrown. This makes water gathering a bit challenging.

You go past some stunning ranches to get here. There's a gun range just up the road, and you'll definitely hear shooting throughout the day.

Peaceful with small spaces

I could hear the leaves falling as I walked the 20 yards past the campsite to a little clearing. This National Forest campground is easily accessible by a decent gravel road.

Sites are a little close together, but it was the shoulder season, so there were only a handful of other campers, all of whom were in RVs.

There was an additional larger section of campground that was closed off for the winter. That section looked like it had running water in the past, but a sign said there was some issue with it being undrinkable and that rangers were working on it.

Definite bear presence in this area. We saw a bunch of scat and turned around on the Burnt Cabin hike (trailhead about a half mile up the road) because we distinctly smelled bear.

Finally, this spot is at elevation and near a ski hill, so it seems safe to assume it can get dumped on with snow.

Quiet, rarely full

After spending many weekends in this campground, I've definitely fallen in love with it.

The only time I've seen it anywhere near full was Labor Day Weekend when there's a community swap meet about a third of a mile away. Even then, there were plenty of sites to snag.

There are flush toilets and pay showers through mid September. After that, they bring in porta potties.

Sites have a 5 vehicle max, so they're good for groups. Each site has a water spigot. The campground is dog friendly.

No views of Adams from here, but a quick walk or bike ride away will provide some stunning views on a clear day.