I’ve come from a family with a long history of camping memories. And after all these years I can’t say any of them have been bad. Each a solid story with either a learning lesson or a good laugh. From tent camping, to RVs, to our little old cabin — this favorite pastime with friends and family helps me unwind, recharge and count the many blessings this earth has to offer.
It’s looking like we’re finally getting into a long stream of nice days here in the Columbia River Gorge – even the Memorial Day weekend forecast (https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/USWA0434:1:US ) looks awesome! <Insert weather forecast>
Embarrassingly, I say this while I am still sitting here wrapped up in my blanket (I know, I’m a finicky old lady!).
Anyways, whether it is cold or warm, wet or dry, camping connects us to nature in ways most things can’t. And the lovely thing about it, you can make it as complicated or as simple as you want. There is something for everyone around here, no matter what your camping style.
The technical term, “dispersed camping,” is for the extra adventurous type who doesn’t need a groomed designated place to settle. This type of camping gives you the opportunity to be truly one with the forest, with no camper neighbors, and hardly any traffic. Look for places to land here and the rules here.
Forest Service Campgrounds
The Gifford Pinchot National Forest has so many campgrounds giving locals and visitors the opportunity to explore the vast forest that surrounds us. Although none of them have electricity, the unique character of each location truly makes each one worth the visit.
My personal favorite is Takhlakh Lake. The small campground sits on the edge of the lake with a 1.1 mile flat hike around it. Mt. Adams towers above, giving you exceptionally breathtaking views.
For a complete list of campgrounds and information, visit the Gifford Pinchot National Forest recreation camping page and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest camping brochure.
Camping with a large party? They’ve got you covered. Look for a list of group-friendly sites here.
Wind Mountain Ranch is minutes away from Trapper Creek Wilderness, a 6,050-acre playground for both humans and wildlife alike. Old-growth trees tower the forest-service owned Government Mineral Springs Cabin. With a kitchen, beds and propane gas, this little cabin gives you some comforts of home with that sense of wilderness camping. Be prepared, though, there is a vault toilet (aka an outhouse) and no water. What’s more rustic than that!?
And as if it is hard to believe, our favorite way to camp is out on our ranch – in a warm, cozy cabin with a fluffy mattress and a coffee maker! Minutes away from outdoor activities to small town shopping and eateries, we have a hard time deciding: Wind Mountain Cabin, Dog Mountain Cabin or Wind River Cabin. Decisions, decisions.
Before you head out, be sure to check the snow levels and open campgrounds. Yes, you read that correctly. Just a few days ago the mountains received a new blanket of snow on top of an already impressively cold, hard snow pack.
Dress warm! Happy Camping!
Tell us. What’s your camping style?