Great backcountry spot, long hike in.

This would be a five star review if it wasn't for the fact that Humes Ranch is now about a 9 mile hike from the Madison Falls trailhead, taking much longer to reach than it used to before the floods washed out the road into the Elwha. With that being said the lack of access has mean't wildlife and solitude are much easier to come by in the area. I stayed out at Humes for 3 days and was able to bike all the way to the Whiskey Bend trailhead (although its mostly uphill). Hiking in the 2.3 miles from the trailhead is fairly flat and can be done in less than an hour.

As far as camping goes you have 3-4 spots in an open meadow below the Humes Ranch cabin as well as spots out on the gravel bars past the bear wires and some hidden back in the forest south of the meadow. Bear wires are in good shape, no pit toilet on site so bring a trowel and some TP and although fires are allowed check for fire bans because it was dry when I was there.

Around Humes Ranch are the historic Gold Rush era cabins of Humes and Michael's Cabins, also upriver in the Grand Canyon of the Elwha and downriver is the cool natural whirlpools at Goblins Gate. Wildlife are more present here than before so keep an eye out for Roosevelt Elk as well as Black Bear (hang your food up)

Day use only!

The former Altair campground was damaged by flooding in the winter of 2017 and is now only open to day use in the area. With that being said its a great place to spend the day or wait out a rain storm. As of September 2018 there is still a pit toilet, garbage and recycling cans and picnic tables as well as a shelter on site. With the removal of the bridges currently up this may change how often Altair is serviced by the National Parks Department so check with the Wilderness Information Center in Port Angeles for current info. Altair is about 2.5 miles from the current trailhead at Madison Falls and is open to foot and bike traffic. If you're looking to camp overnight the closest camp sites within Olympic National Park are Humes Ranch up Whiskey Bend road or Boulder Creek up Hot Springs Road.

Day use only!

The former Altair campground was damaged by flooding in the winter of 2017 and is now only open to day use in the area. With that being said its a great place to spend the day or wait out a rain storm. As of September 2018 there is still a pit toilet, garbage and recycling cans and picnic tables as well as a shelter on site. With the removal of the bridges currently up this may change how often Altair is serviced by the National Parks Department so check with the Wilderness Information Center in Port Angeles for current info. Altair is about 2.5 miles from the current trailhead at Madison Falls and is open to foot and bike traffic. If you're looking to camp overnight the closest camp sites within Olympic National Park are Humes Ranch up Whiskey Bend road or Boulder Creek up Hot Springs Road.

Campground no longer exists!

Elwha Campground was destroyed by flooding in the winter of 2017. The National Park Service is in the process if dismantling the campground and letting it return to natural forest land. If you are heading into the Elwha either for the day, a quick overnight or as part of the Pacific Northwest Trail the two closest campgrounds are in the backcountry; either Humes Ranch up Whiskey Bend Road or Boulder Creek up Hot Springs Road. Access to these areas is fairly difficult as no future plans for permanent bridges are in place where washouts have occurred. While the Elwha River valley is absolutely gorgeous, it is a mission to get to the upper reaches such as Glines Canyon and further upriver.

Campground no longer exists!

Elwha Campground was destroyed by flooding in the winter of 2017. The National Park Service is in the process if dismantling the campground and letting it return to natural forest land. If you are heading into the Elwha either for the day, a quick overnight or as part of the Pacific Northwest Trail the two closest campgrounds are in the backcountry; either Humes Ranch up Whiskey Bend Road or Boulder Creek up Hot Springs Road. Access to these areas is fairly difficult as no future plans for permanent bridges are in place where washouts have occurred. While the Elwha River valley is absolutely gorgeous, it is a mission to get to the upper reaches such as Glines Canyon and further upriver.

Great for ORV or a quick night stay

Sadie Creek Campground west of Joyce on Highway 112 is perfect for a certain group of people, and not so amazing for another group of people.

If you enjoy Off-Roading or motorized anything this is the spot for you! With six spaces and plenty of parking for your trailer or RV, Sadie Creek has everything you could ask for. Also an extensive system of trails both on the northern and southern end of the highway will give days of riding through heavily wooded (and probably difficult) terrain. Also a great place for equestrians although if your horse spooks easily perhaps not.

If you are a tent camper or enjoy solitude as apposed to the social aspects to the great outdoors I would heavily advise against this campground. It's ok for a quick night's stay if a spot is open but the sites are practically right next to each other and expect to share the space with others that may not be so quiet. I would suggest Lyre River campground 6 miles to the east if that's what you're after.

Although there's no hook-ups there is a pit toilet on site. With a yearly Discovery Pass ($30) the campground is free. You have Murdock Beach down the road which gives great views of the Salish Sea. Closest town would be Joyce 10 miles to the east, with a great general store and through street to Lake Crescent. Multi-use trails run out from the north or south of the campground so great jump-off point for hiking or trail running in the Olympic National Forest.

Quiet, Serene and Great Fishing

Lyre River is a bit of a hidden gem for car campers on a crowded and often expensive Olympic Peninsula. Tucked away from Highway 101 west of Joyce; it's a great place to settle down for a night or two, enjoy some fishing and visit some often overlooked locations on the OP.

As Washington Department of Natural Resources land the campground is free with a Discover Pass (purchased at any outdoor oriented location) and allows for a maximum stay of 7 days at the site. Because it is free and operates on a first come, first serve basis it's pretty full every night in the summertime. I would suggest arriving early (around 9 AM) and trying to swipe a spot when someone leaves, you may have to wait a bit but it's totally worth it. All spots are usually occupied around 11 AM and people are constantly driving through looking for openings.

As far as things to do in the area the main draw is fishing. There's a fishing platform at the southern end of the campground and a number of beaches with deeper pools that trout and salmon like to hang around in. One crusty old-timer said that during runs the river is overflowing with fish, including the highly coveted Steelhead. Around the area places like Murdock Beach gives great views of Canada and the Salish Sea. Joyce has a great museum and general store with a bit of everything. South lies Lake Crescent which has untold number of hiking trails, beaches and amazing views of the Olympic Mountains. The area serves as a great jump-off point for heading west on Highway 101 towards the rainforest or west on Highway 112 to Sekiu and Neah Bay.

Other points to note: Bathrooms (privies) are on site and there's a smaller privy in the southern end of the campground. There's a covered area to gather and a handicapped accessible campsite there as well. Although there are no showers you have the option of taking a bath in the beautiful Lyre River or driving to Salt Creek State Park to use their coin-operated showers.

This is my go-to spot while working out in the area and is great for families, friends or just weary travelers passing through.

Ranger Review: Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel at Hobuck Beach Resort

What is the most Northwestern campground in the lower 48 you ask? Hobuck Beach Resort just west of Neah Bay, Washington is located "where the Earth began" according to the local Makah Tribe. This campground/RV camp/ cabin resort has a little bit of everything for anyone at any price point. Spread over two sites about 3/4 of a mile from each other this is my go-to surf spot to really get away from it all. Found one of the few sunny weekends out on the Washington coast to try out my new Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel.

Campground Review:

For the luxury-minded who enjoy an actual bed and roof over your head 10 cabins are available at the north site in the park and 16 cabins at the south site. Cabins have their own bathrooms and can sleep up to six people, prices change throughout the year so check the website link at the bottom of this review.

For those who's camping experience includes 4-6 wheels there are 8 sites with full hookups at the south site. I have included photos of the campground map to give people a better idea of the layout of the sites.

For the full-on dirtbags and for those who don't require water/electricity there is a beautiful open field to set up shop wherever your heart desires or you can find room. The tent area has no designated sites and operates as a kind of "organized chaos" with people pulling cars over dunes into pits and getting sandwiched in when others arrive, so be aware of where you set camp.

Handy cans are located in various areas around the resort and there is one fully operational bathroom in either area. With that being said there is also only one fully operational shower in either area and it can get crowded/gross depending on the amount of people staying there. Expect to either take an ocean shower or do it at strange hours of the day.

Try to be flexible when making the journey out to Hobuck. Cabins can be reserved (and should be in the summer) but all other sites are on a first come, first serve basis. A use permit is required to camp on tribal land and you can get that at either the store in town or the resort check-in station.

The real draw here is the surf, Hobuck has one of the more consistent sets in Washington and surfers come from all over the state to check out the waves. In the summer and possibly other times of the year there is a rental shack set up by North by Northwest surf that can rent you anything you heart desires. If they are not there check out the main shop in Port Angeles on your way out if you want to rent/buy anything. The surf is pretty safe with really mellow currents most of the year so a great place to learn to surf!

Other things to do include hiking to either Shi Shi beach to the south or Cape Flattery to the north, both are fairly easy and Cape Flattery is mostly a boardwalk to the point. Shi Shi beach allows for camping but a permit is necessary as it is Olympic National Park land. Other than that Neah Bay has a great museum explaining Makah history and the Ozette village site originally located further south. There is also killer seafood you can get either directly from people in their homes or from Washburn's in town as well as day tours and kayak rentals to do some exploring on your own! 4/5 stars, it looks like their setting up to build more facilities in the north site (maybe more showers). If so I would give 5 stars here!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Makah nation is drug and alcohol free, I'm not sure if that carries over into Hobuck Beach Resort but PLEASE respect their wishes as you are guests on their land.

Check out Hobuck yourself: http://www.hobuckbeachresort.com/

Product Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt I occasionally get products to test in the field, since I spend time outdoors for both work and play this is great for me! This trip I decided to test out the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel.

I was really worried about bringing a solar panel out to one of the grayest and wettest parts of the US but the weather gods had pity upon my soul and gave me clear skies for 3 straight days out at Hobuck Beach.

The Goal Zero Nomad 7 was great! It gave me enough power to keep my tablet, phone and portable batteries powered through the weekend. I was able to set it up on top of my car and tent and keep things charged while I went out to my morning and evening surf sessions. I really liked the kickstand and "solar intensity" indicator on the junction box showing you how much juice you have running to your devices so you can dial in maximum performance.

The construction itself is super rugged, I wasn't worried at all about the constant sea breeze and dew that was ever present out there. It was ready to go right out of the box and is super simple to use, just plug your USB charging device directly in and your good to go! Bonus points for having 2 carabiners included so you can hang the panel off a backpack and charge on the go. I'm definitely bringing this product out in the field for work this summer and any sunny day. 5/5 stars

Check out the product here: https://www.goalzero.com/shop/solar-panels/nomad-7-plus-solar-panel/

First to Review
Easy choice for last minute camping

It's an easy walk from the trailhead at National Forest road 6750 to this charming and pretty underutilized lake. The path up is only about 3/4 of a mile and my friend did it with a healing knee, so definitely an easy walk in. The camping area is on the north side of the lake as the south side is pretty hilly. There's a cool cascade on the southwest portion of the lake and a pretty big boulder garden on the west side. A trail system goes all the way around and I saw a handful of fish here so bring your rod. No facilites and nearest store is at Cole's Corner.

First to Review
Quiet Lake, easy hike in

This lake is a fairly easy hike in from the end of Forest Service Road 4312, my hiking guidebook says to park at the Thorp Lake trailhead but the path is pretty overgrown and if you want to just camp park where the road terminates and walk uphill for about a mile and a half before reaching the far side of the lake. The campground is on the other side where Thorp Creek dumps into the lake. Look for fire rings and bring your trowel as there's no outhouse that I could see. Enjoy views of Thorp Mountain and if you get a wild hair climb up to reach the lookout tower on top!

Amazing Lake. One insane hike

First of all I’ll say Lake Constance is absolutely beautiful and if fully prepared and willing to make the climb up it’s worth it! There’s a handful of sites on the far side of the lake with views of Mount Constance and access to the lake. There’s also a composting toilet on that side that’s fully operational and has great views in its own right.

Now getting to the lake is an insane hike/climb/scramble over fallen trees and up almost vertical chutes towards the end. Even though it’s only two miles from the Dosewallips those two miles can take up to 4 hours. I cannot overemphasize how difficult this hike is and should not be attempted by children or anyone with a fear of heights.

Amazing lake. Insane hike

First of all I’ll say Lake Constance is absolutely beautiful and if fully prepared and willing to make the climb up it’s worth it! There’s a handful of sites on the far side of the lake with views of Mount Constance and access to the lake. There’s also a composting toilet on that side that’s fully operational and has great views in its own right.

Now getting to the lake is an insane hike/climb/scramble over fallen trees and up almost vertical chutes towards the end. Even though it’s only two miles from the Dosewallips those two miles can take up to 4 hours. I cannot overemphasize how difficult this hike is and should not be attempted by children or anyone with a fear of heights.

Camp Tony, 3 miles down

This backcountry Forest Service camp is 3 miles down the slab creek trail where it intersects with the Gray Wolf River. It’s a great camp with a handful of spaces with established fire pits. This camp is dog friendly, no permit necessary and absolutely free! Right on the confluence so you may need to yell at your camp buddies to be heard but it’s gorgeous and absolutely deserted. Nobody at the camp the weekend after 4th of July and in one of the most deserted river valleys in the Olympics.

Space and beach access

Great choice for camping/surfing/hiking out on the coast if your looking for a little more than the dispersed camping on Forest Service land or NP camps. There’s tons of space here and clean facilities. Try to stay in the west campground as it’s an easy walk to the beach where you don’t have to cross the highway. Best of all in Bog Water brewery and pizza across the street is an easy walk and crawl back to your tent!

lots of space, not much for privacy

Came here as a last minute decision heading south to Mount St. Helens. Although there was plenty of spaces here, the campground seems very popular and only a few last minute spots available. Got a tent spot (#205) next to the restrooms, facilities were clean and there is a camp sink at each restroom. With that being said there isn’t much for privacy and we had pretty noisy neighbors who had a cat!!! that wandered into our campsite and tent. The lake was beautiful for being a reservoir but if your looking for solitude look further south into the woods for it.

backcountry getaway

Graywolf camp and Three Forks camp are right next to one another. Both have plenty of space and sit at the confluence of the Gray Wolf River, Cameron Creek and Grand Creek. Permits are required here as it resides in Olympic National Park land (look to Camp Tony in USFS land of you forgot a permit) but I was there right after 4th of July and didn’t see anyone at either camp. Privy is there although bring your own TP and strong stomach. Three Forks also has a shelter for bad weather days and general chilling. Hike in is about 8.5 miles from Gray Wolf trailhead.

Lots of spots, lake front access

Came here without reservations and was able to find a spot easily. Although it rained much of the time had a chance to explore the park and area. Each spot has a bear vault for curious visitors. Swimming access down by Lke Tahoe is great. Clean facilities, showers are coin operated and you need to get tokens from the check in.

Secret hot springs

Went here attempting to outrun the smoke from forest fires. Hart Mountain is a gorgeous location and although didn’t see any antelope I was treated to solitude and scenery. Hot springs were great and met some wonderful people who were very welcoming and had been coming to the same area for years. 100% free and plenty of spaces to pull up and choose from across the preserve. No cell signal so plan accordingly.

Beautiful spot, bad fires

Went here at the peak of fire season this last Summer. Stayed at Paulina Lake campground ($25/night cash only) to get a bit of elevation and out of the reach of the smoke. Campground was very nice and found a spot right on the lake. Took a scenic walk to the north side of the lake where some dig-your-own hot springs can be found and a few pits that occur naturally. To see a bit more of local geomorphology check out the Obsidian flow nearby and don’t forget about Paulina Falls on your way out

Great Sunsets. Expect wind

Great last minute spot out on Antelope Island. Multiple sites in a number of locations across the island so plenty of places to choose from. Went in September at the tail end of summer camping season. Was attempting to outrun a storm and it caught up to me, woke up in the middle of the night with the side of my tent hitting me in the face from the wind. On the plus side bison have free reign of the entire island so you may wake up to one walking through your site.