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Washington State, Scenic & camping in out of the way places


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#1 Al Florida

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 12:06 PM

We are planning on traveling in Washington State, July thru the end of October 2012.

We are looking for places you have visited or know about, which are out of the way, but scenic. National Forests, State Parks, County Parks, etc. is where we prefer to camp. Travel on National Forest & BLM Land backcounty roads is preferred. We will dry camp or boondock most of the time.

We will be in a 26' Born Free, (a Class C RV) with 4 wheel drive.

While we will visit the National Parks and other high visitation areas, we will spend most of our time in less visited areas.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have.

Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado Toad
San Antonio, TX


#2 Barbaraok

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 12:38 PM

Not much in the way of BLM land in the PNW. Lots of National forests. Make sure you travel over the North Cascade Highway (Highway 20). Absolutely one of the best drives you will find. Nice city park in Sedro-Woolley before starting up the mountains, or after coming down.
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#3 Kirk

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 12:39 PM

I like several parks on the Olympic Peninsula. Near Port Angeles is the Salt Creek Park, which is county. At Sequim is Dungeness Park, and at Port Townsend is Ft., Worden State Park.

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#4 LindaH

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:10 AM

I assume you've already downloaded a copy of the Day's End. If not, do so and join the Day's End Yahoo Group so that you can report on new places you find, or give updates on places already listed.

I agree with Barb about driving WA-20 across the northern part of the state. Another scenic drive is US-12, particularly that section between Yakima and I-5. Also, drive WA-14, on the north side of the Columbia River.

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#5 LindaH

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:31 AM

Another thought: During the summer, Sno-Parks in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho are open without a permit. Some are more suitable than others for a stay; i.e., larger, farther from the road.

We've stayed at the following Sno-Parks:

* North & South Summit Sno-Parks at Loup Loup Pass on WA-20
* Gold Lake Sno-Park at Willamette Pass on OR-58
* The Sno-Park between New Meadows and McCall (almost directly across the street from Bear Creek Lodge) on ID-55
* Baker Creek Sno-Park on ID-75 north of Ketchum
* Kings Lake Sno-Park on Kings Lake Road north of Usk, WA
* Deer Creek Sno-Park on FR-61 (Deer Creek-Boulder Creek Road) between US-395 and WA-21

There are lots more that we've checked out, but didn't stay at.

I highly recommend picking up a copy of the Benchmark State Atlases for both Oregon and Washington (and Idaho, if you'll be traveling in that state, too). IMO, they are far superior to the DeLorme state atlases. Benchmark has state atlases for all the Western States. All these Sno-Parks as well as most campgrounds are shown on these atlases.

Edited by LindaH, 12 June 2012 - 10:34 AM.

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#6 Al Florida

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 05:18 PM

LindaH,

Thanks for the info and suggestions.

One additional resource I highly recommend:
http://www.forestcamping.com/
free detailed descriptions of ALL NF campgrounds which are useable by at least smaller class C or class B RV's. Detailed info to help determine if you can get 40 footers in the CG's as well. Many nearby dump stations are noted as well.
Or you can download a even more informative book in PDF format from their site for about $12 for each area of the country.


I have the Benchmark maps for WA & OR and have used Days End for about 6 years. Both are great resources. I also use Delorme S&T & Topo computer maps.

One thing I don't use is Delorme paper atlases. I find their maps don't distinguish very well between very poor dirt or 4x4 roads and high clearance gravel or dirt roads.

Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado Toad
San Antonio, TX


#7 Vladimir

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 05:54 PM

Stay in western Washington and the mountains through August and then shift over to eastern Washington. That way you will hit the best weather on both sides of the Cascades.

Here is the link to my blog covering Washington state:http://usbackroads.b...stinations.html

There is BLM land in eastern Washington and some of it is pretty cool. Check out their web site for specific recreation sites:BLM-Washington Recreation Sites

Get a fishing license or a Discover Pass and explore some of the State Wildlife lands. They allow camping in most cases. Here is the list of state wildlife areas: State Wildlife Areas

Also the Fish and Wildlife Department has water access sites that allow camping. Fish and Wildlife Access Sites

I will leave National Forests, National Parks, and State Parks to someone else. Oh, don't forget the COE lands along the Snake River!!

If you have any further questions about eastern Washington just ask!
Vladimr Steblina
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#8 OU812

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 08:23 PM

Hi All replys are very good to find a out of the way spot. I suggest also, a map... GPE... Map Quest... but not all places are you going to get a Net. signal. You may want to spend $20 for a state map, Wallmart, Cabela's, with all the countys. If the power goes out/off... whitch way do we go. One more thing, Washington, is NOT ATV frendly. You can't just go riding anywhere. Good luck :rolleyes OU812

#9 LindaH

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:14 AM

You don't say whether or not you'll be traveling in Idaho, but if you do, be sure to pick up a copy of their brochure, "RVing Idaho." Besides campground, it lists almost every single dump station in the state (it's too bad other states don't publish similar information, but, so far, we haven't found one that does). You'll find that almost every little town has a dump station with fresh water available. Idaho is one of the most RV-friendly states we've ever traveled in.

LindaH
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#10 bobsallyh

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:43 AM

LindaH, your above post says it all! If you ever are on US 95 north of I-90 at Coeur d'Alene, check out the dump station at the county complex. A huge area, four 18 wheelers could be dumping at the same time and you would still have room to enter or exit. They are even tilted the correct way.

#11 mockturtle

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:22 PM

My favorite route in WA is the North Cascades Highway. I think it is currently open. With your rig you can easily stay at Colonial Creek Campground [part of North Cascades National Park] on Diablo Lake. You will love it. Other than that, Olympic NP is nice with plenty of campgrounds for a smaller MH and you can take in Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier from a central location or check with the NP campgrounds for availability.

Highway 12 is nice, too--very scenic with several nice NFS campgrounds. Welcome to WA! Hope you enjoy your visit.

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#12 mockturtle

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 01:00 PM

BTW, Al & Sharon, where did you get your BF converted? I'd love to get 4WD in mine.

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#13 Rick & Karen

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 01:46 PM

Al, be sure and visit the Olympic Peninsula. Lots of beautiful campgrounds tucked into the woods. Most of them are State Parks, some are county. They are well suited to RV's of your size. Lots of them overlook the Sound and are so peaceful. Have a great time. Washington is one of our favorite places to see and camp in.

Safe travels,
Karen
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#14 D and J

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:42 PM

One more thing, Washington, is NOT ATV frendly. You can't just go riding anywhere. Good luck :rolleyes OU812


Huh??

since when??

I have only been living in Washinton for about a year, but have put in about 36-40 hours of trail riding. Haven't been on the same trail twice!

You do need to purchase the proper ORV permits though.
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#15 mockturtle

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 06:01 PM

Huh??

since when??

I have only been living in Washinton for about a year, but have put in about 36-40 hours of trail riding. Haven't been on the same trail twice!

You do need to purchase the proper ORV permits though.


We used to live in NE Washington and there were plenty of ATV trails in the NFS lands. Look into the Colville National Forest.

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#16 LindaH

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:41 AM

Be aware that access to many recreation areas in Washington State require the purchase of a Discover Pass.

Edited by LindaH, 14 June 2012 - 09:42 AM.

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#17 Joe Spiker

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:56 PM

Be aware that access to many recreation areas in Washington State require the purchase of a Discover Pass.


Not if your paying for a Camp Site. Just visiting, be prepared to shell out some money. They just love to write $200.00 tickets for non compliance.

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#18 jilm

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 08:42 PM

We also stay at fairgrounds.....and we love the Palouse area of Washington...just spent about 10 days there.....

we also enjoyed the walla walla area....

Edited by jilm, 14 June 2012 - 08:47 PM.


#19 Al Florida

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 05:20 AM

Stay in western Washington and the mountains through August and then shift over to eastern Washington. That way you will hit the best weather on both sides of the Cascades.

Here is the link to my blog covering Washington state:http://usbackroads.b...stinations.html

There is BLM land in eastern Washington and some of it is pretty cool. Check out their web site for specific recreation sites:BLM-Washington Recreation Sites

Get a fishing license or a Discover Pass and explore some of the State Wildlife lands. They allow camping in most cases. Here is the list of state wildlife areas: State Wildlife Areas

Also the Fish and Wildlife Department has water access sites that allow camping. Fish and Wildlife Access Sites

I will leave National Forests, National Parks, and State Parks to someone else. Oh, don't forget the COE lands along the Snake River!!

If you have any further questions about eastern Washington just ask!

Great website & blog. I was hoping to get some replies that included blogs of OR & WA travels.

Thanks

Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado Toad
San Antonio, TX


#20 Al Florida

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 05:39 AM

BTW, Al & Sharon, where did you get your BF converted? I'd love to get 4WD in mine.


I had the conversion done at http://www.advanced4x4vans.com/. I drove my BF from San Antonio to SLC, flew home then back to SLC about 2 weeks later and drove it back. I highly recommend their work. Their main business is converting vans to 4x4 for the winter transport business in SLC taking people from the city to the winter ski area around SLC.

The conversion wasn't cheap. You can find their prices on their website. In addition to the 4x4, I had them add a locking differential to the rear axle and upgraded shocks.

Here is a http://www.thundersgarage.com/4x4vc.html to other 4x4 conversion companies.

This is not a simple conversion. A number of the parts have to be custom made to fit your vehicle. If they do it wrong you can really have problems with your RV.

One advantage of the conversion is they lift the chassis at least 4" or to a max of 6". Helps with the clearance on the rear overhang. I opted for the 6" lift.

Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado Toad
San Antonio, TX