Sarah S.

The Dyrt Pro

Portland, OR

Joined September 2014

Live in Portland with my husband, Kevin & the original DyrtDog, Brandy. My favorite camping spots are along the Clackamas River in Oregon.

Had everything we needed plus a beautiful lake

We stayed here for a week while we were both working. It was our first time using our Thousand Trails membership and it was pretty fun! I don't think I've ever stayed at an RV resort like this where you have a lot of people who have pretty permanent type places. It seemed like people view their RVs here like their weekend cabin and they just leave them here and come and go. 

The lake was beautiful and every morning we would take our chairs down by the lake to have our morning coffee and watch the mist and the fish. There was a little shop where we could get supplies, food, coffee, etc. We pretty much had the showers and bathrooms to ourselves since everyone has them in their RVs. Was also nice to do a load of laundry. 

It was a lot of fun to walk around the campground and look at people's set ups (also a little eerie since very few people were there since the season was winding down) and a full loop of the campground was about 2/12 miles…not a bad walk!

Fine for an overnight stop

Perfectly fine KOA. Nicely decorated for Halloween and seemed like it had lots of nice amenities for kids. We did a quick overnight here so we could have some electricity and a shower. Lots of highway noise. We had one of the back in sites which was nice because there was nothing but woods behind us.

Great sites right on the water

We just randomly chose this campground since it was not a big detour off the highway during our road trip across the country. We arrived at night so did not fully understand how beautiful of a spot we were in until the next morning. Our site was right on the water and it was so beautiful and peaceful. It was a quick overnight stay so can't say much more about it than that…

Wilson State Park has a bunch of campgrounds. I feel like they would normally be considered loops of one campground but here, each loop is it's own campground.

Nice quiet spot and easy to get to

We stayed here one night on our road trip across the country. It wasn't much of a detour off of Highway 64 which made it nice and convenient since we were in a time crunch. There are actually 3 campgrounds here. One is Shady Rest (where we stayed) which has electric hookups. The other 2 campgrounds don't have hookups - Lonely Oaks and Little Bears. We were only there for a quick night so didn't see a lot but seemed like a nice enough campgrounds.

Note: no cards accepted. We had to run back to the town of Nashville to get some cash from the ATM.

Stayed in the dispersed area - No frills camping

We stayed one night out in the dispersed camping area and pretty much had the huge area all to ourselves. I wouldn't say it was the greatest site in the world but the sunrise in the morning was pretty spectacular. And it was nice to have a clean bathroom and shower to use if we wanted to.

There are makeshift fire rings out in the dispersed area and it's really just a free for all - just park anywhere!

I took a few pictures of the campers you can stay in but never saw the inside of one.

Only about a 10-15 minute drive into Taos. There is also a brewery literally right next to the campground but it was closed the day we were there.

Nice campground with lots of amenities

This was my first time staying at a more RV focused campground and I really liked it. Since we've started working full time from our van I wanted to make sure we had internet and electricity and camping here really gave me peace of mind as we worked for the week. We really have everything we need here. There are definitely some sites that I would not be very thrilled to get but I really liked the site we got- site 43. It felt a little more private than some and had a few trees and bushes around it making it feel nice and cozy. Not sure I would want to tent camp here…those sites didn't look as good. I also think the sites that you back into as opposed to the drive through seem nicer and a bit more private. The sites for the big rigs were more like a parking lot style. 

I've never stayed at a campground with so many amenities…pool, mini golf, laundry, store. It was really a fun change to stay somewhere with such a community feel. 

This campground is about a 15 minute drive to downtown Durango.

Easy to access, beautiful dispersed camping

To get to this BLM dispersed camping area you just take the "Rest Area" exit from Highway 6 onto Horse Canyon Road. The area we found to camp was about a mile or so down the road on the right side. It's a huge area so plenty of space to dispersed camp and a few fire rings around to use when there are no fire bans. There was no one anywhere near us. Beautiful views for as far as you can see and we had a perfectly clear night. We were lucky enough to be there during the beginning of a meteor shower and saw a few fly across the sky.

Our "go-to" spot for dispersed camping

Love this dispersed camping area just south of Sisters, OR. We've camped here a few times over the years and there are never many campers around. We just camped here over Memorial Day Weekend and there was no one camping within at least a mile or two of where we were. There are lots of different areas to choose from so drive around the area until you find something you like. We were driving our Subaru with our Cricket camper attached and there's no issues with the roads. 

Because this is right in a mountain biking area there are tons of trails to go explore - either hiking or biking. Some really pretty views! You will have bikers biking by your campsite from time to time but I actually like that - fun to have activity around.

This area is also just a few miles from Sisters which is my favorite little town in Oregon. Lots of restaurants, bars and shops to explore!

Be sure to check on a fire ban before having a fire.

Cool Place but not the Greatest Camping

Crystal Crane Hot Springs has a lot to offer but I'm not sure camping is one them. They have hot springs (which we didn't actually try because it was during the middle of the pandemic) which looked great and I will definitely try if I'm back. They have cabins, glamping, RV sites, tent camping, a small shop, firewood for sale, showers…a little bit of everything.

We stayed twice in December, once in site 5 and once in the overflow area. The camping area feels more like an open field than an actual campground, especially in the overflow area, which I think is just kind of an open area. At site 5 there was picnic tables and a fire ring. Site 5 was good because it was a pull in, at the end of area so it was quiet, and it overlooked the hot springs.

On the plus side, the staff were super nice and the hot springs seemed great and I think that's the main appeal.

Great Campground Near Vegas

Great Campground in the Red Rock National Conservation Area. There really isn't much privacy between the campsites but the view and the feel of it makes it worth it. We stayed at site 50 just by chance and I think it's one of the best sites of the campground because it backs up on a hill. 

Make sure to make a reservation before coming to the campground.

The campground was really clean and had fire pits, tent pads, picnic tables, and several toilets. 

There is a ton of great hiking nearby in the Red Rock National Conservation Area. Even though you are only 20 minutes from the Vegas strip, it didn't feel like it. All in all, great campground that I would return to if I'm ever in the area again.

Quiet, Pretty Campground

 We stayed here in December and it was completely empty which made it a little eerie. There was snow on the ground so we stayed at a site closest to the entrance/exit in case it snowed more and we had trouble getting the Cricket out.(It didn't snow and we were fine.) 

It is a pretty campground in a little valley. Super easy to get to from the main road and from what I could tell, lots of sites along a little creek. There were 2 or 3 toilets throughout the campground. 

Because we were there in December and the campground is in a valley, it did get dark super early. Because of that, we went up to the main road coming into the campground to go for a walk so we could get some of the last sun of the day. As others have noted, the stars at night were absolutely amazing.

A great stop when you are on the road

We were looking for a dispersed area to camp after going to Valley of Fire State Park and finding it full. This area was just off to the right on highway 169 a mile or two north of Logandale. We turned right onto Waterline Road and then right again- drove for about 30 second and then set up right underneath a small bluff. There were plenty of areas that would have been fine to set up camp. The stars at night were beautiful and even though this area is just minutes from a highway it felt very peaceful and private. 

One thing to be aware of is that this is an area where people come to shoot guns and ride 4-wheelers. That doesn't make it sound super peaceful and private but it was such a large area, everything was spread out. This was a great spot for us as we were on the road, needing to get from point A to point B. Maybe not destination type camping but convenient when you are on the road.

Beautiful Views, Busy Campground - Loved our Off Season Stay

Loved going here in the off season. 

We camped here one night in November(Monday before Thanksgiving) and there is no way we would have ever snagged the waterfront site we ended up with any other time of the year! We were in site D-31 which I think is probably the best site in the whole campground. It was perfect for us to park our Cricket on the little pull out off the campground road and face our site and then the ocean beyond. 

I would imagine I would like this campground a lot less during the busy summer season but it was perfect in November. Still quite a few campers there but not full by any means. 

The path down to the beach was just a few steps from our site. From there you can take long walks on the beach.

Beautiful, Peaceful Campground

Wow! What a find this was. We had planned to go to Willaby Campground down the road but discovered it was closed. We saw that Graves Creek was at the end of the road (about 20 miles down) so decided to go for it even though it might be closed. 

The road getting there is a bit narrow and bumpy which was made even more exciting by the fact that it was dark and rainy. We got there and it was totally empty and wide open. 

We took site 2 which is right on the river and beautiful. Sites 1-5 are on the river and there is a whole section of the campground we didn't even notice until the next day and there, sites 17-20 are on the river. 

Really beautiful, very plush place to camp. During the off season, the whole campground becomes first come first serve which is pretty great for those of us who don't like to plan ahead very much. 

There is a trailhead about.5 mile down the road with some great hikes through the rainforest.

Our Go To Campground on the Oregon Coast

I have mixed emotions about this campground. It can be busy and it's not exactly off the beaten path, but we have never had a reservation and we always get a spot, even on a Friday night. That is pretty impressive for the Oregon coast, right on the 101. The sites are mixed. There are some parking lot-like RV spots but there are also some good spots that are surrounded by bushes and fairly private. It is a 10 minute walk to the beach where you can walk for miles which can't be beat.

We were at site D1. Not a bad site except that the lights from the nearby bathroom and a streetlight both lit up our site a bit.

There are bathrooms with hot water and showers (showers are closed currently because of COVID).  A good portion of the campground is currently closed because of COVID so I would probably recommend trying to make a reservation just in case, even though there are hundreds of sites.

The real draw of this campground for me is that it is open year round, it's fairly easy to get a site, some which are pretty good, and you are minutes from the ocean. There's nothing better than falling asleep to the sound of the ocean waves.

What a gem!

We were so glad we kept driving down this road until the very end. Along this road (Lower Deschutes Access Road- which is pretty bumpy but we did fine with our camper) you will pass several other campgrounds- Twin Springs, Jones Canyon, Beavertail Recreation Site, Rattlesnake Canyon- and then at the very end of the road, you will find Macks Canyon Recreation Site. 

It was fairly empty when we arrived and we got an awesome site along the river, site 11. The view of the river was amazing and we watched lots of fishing boats and rafting boats go by. There is also a railroad track across the river and it was fun to watch the trains go by. No AT&T phone service here. 

The only negative is that it can get super windy. At one point we were frantically trying to get our awning down from the Cricket and things were flying everywhere. The wind lasted about an hour and then things calmed down again. 

From the end of the Lower Deschutes Access Road just above the campground, you can hike along the old railway line. Again, amazing views of the Deschutes and the canyon. We did about 5 miles road trip but you could go further.

One of my new favorite places to camp in Oregon!

OK in a pinch but would not seek it out

We ended up here after the campground we intended to go to (Cottonwood Canyon State Park) was full and we realized we needed to go back near civilization to get gas. Since it was then 9pm at night we decided to just find the closest available place and this was it. 

I am actually surprised that this campground gets such good reviews. It was a handy place to stay in our circumstance but I don't think I would seek it out. The entrance is at the far end of a rest area and it kind of felt like an extension of the rest area. You are right off of highway 84 and no matter which site you are at, you can clearly hear the highway noise. From our site you could also see all the headlights from the highway. The sites down by the river did have beautiful views of the Columbia which is nice. There is a railway track between the campground and the river and occasionally trains go by, which I like. The sites are pretty open so you're not getting a ton of privacy. 

All and all, fine place if you have no other options but I personally prefer to be a little more off that beaten track.

Beautiful Spot, OK Campground

This is a beautiful spot but it's fairly open without a lot of privacy. It can be pretty windy, too. We weren't lucky enough to get a spot right on the water, which was OK because it was less windy away from the water. The campground is basically one long strip with sites on the left (as you drive in) being on the water and campsites on the right being up against a hill. You can still see the water from the sites on the right and you have the added benefit of a bit of privacy because of the hill behind the sites. Our site, site 30, was right next to the toilet which is not my favorite thing in the world but other than that it was a fine site. The camphosts were extremely nice and helpful. 

There is a lot to do in this area. We did the 8 mile hike around the lake which was absolutely stunning. We passed the hot springs but didn't go in…kind of looked like sad mud puddles when we saw them. We rented a canoe from the lodge and canoed across the lake- found a great, private little beach to swim at. 

All in all, maybe not my favorite campground in the world, but the sheer beauty and things to do make up for it.

A Nice Surprise

We just happened to stop at this campground and I'm so glad we discovered it! Because we arrived on a Sunday we had almost the entire campground to choose from. I believe sites 24-30, 33, 35-39 are all on the river side which are great. 

We ended up at site 26 which I think may have technically been a walk in site. We were able to get the Cricket parked at a good angle and then could just walk the 10 feet into the site which was totally private. Lots of space, with bushes all around and an area that is clearly made for a tent. The best part is that beyond the fence is a short private walk from the site down to the river. Absolutely beautiful spot to park our chairs and drink some wine. 

The campground seemed pretty big but I think the sites near the river are the best, not only because of the river views but because you can't hear the road noise, which you can hear from other parts of the campground. 

Another thing about the campground…there is a train track directly across from the river. The train went by around 4 or 5 times in the 24 hours that we were there, at least once in the middle of the night. I personally LOVED that. I love the sound of trains and I loved sitting at the river watching them go by.

Private Dispersed Camping in Siuslaw National Forest

We found this dispersed site by driving on Mt. Hebo Road about 20 minutes past Hebo Lake Campground. We noticed what looked like a logging road off to the right and followed it down for about 2 minutes. The road comes to an end and it was a perfect place to park our Cricket camper with plenty of room to turn around. 

This site sits kind of high up in the forest with super tall trees all around. We didn’t realize it at first but we were about 100 yards up from a hiking trail, The Pioneer-Indian Tr#1300. We only realized it when we saw hikers go by, some of whom didn’t even notice we were up above them. 

Going up the hike about 30 minutes will bring you to the top of Mt. Hebo with beautiful open views all the way to the coast. The hike goes all the way to South Lake. We gave up before we got there but as it was, that was a 10 mile round trip hike. Hiking the other way takes you to Hebo Lake Campground which we didn’t do. This was perfect spot to sit and relax and watch the forest and the sunset. Super peaceful and quiet. 

The only negative is that there is no way to know if someone is in this spot from the road so we had a few people drive down to check it out and then turn around. Also, there were a ton of flies both at the site and on the hike. 

To leave this site you have to drive up a pretty steep, pebbly road. We made it in our Subaru towing the Cricket but it was slightly nerve-racking and I would not try that in the snow or rain. Don’t think I would want to bring an RV down there either. 

Overall, this was such a great spot to get away from crowds and get some R&R.