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Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping
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goldtooth
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:28 am    Post subject: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

We are going to do a road trip this July up north a bit and was wondering if you Washington guys know the availability of dispersed camping around this route? We have a campsite on the first night at Cougar Rock near Paradise but after that, we want to just pull off on a gravel road and find a place for the night. Last time we tried along the Washington coast area, we were denied by locked gates and angry property owners. Would rather not camp in campgrounds if possible as I go a bit ballistic at generators and yappy dogs.

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Probably gonna be gone 5-6 days, depending on how long my dad can stay at my house with my dog.

Any suggestions are welcome!
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tschroeder0
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:37 am    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

I have camped without issue at the various trailheads just above Levenworth...and man! what a hidden gem that whole area is, such a beautiful place. have fun!
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goldtooth
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:51 am    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

Good to hear.

I have not spent a lot of time around Mt. Rainer as there has been so much to see in Oregon and we are super excited about the trip.

thanks
nate
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dsdunbar
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:45 am    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

Goldtooth,

I just joined the Facebook Group "Vanagon Ninja Camping" which is precisely the type of info you are looking for. If you have FB, request to join the "closed" group and maybe you can get some pointers for your trip (there is an interactive map with drop pins on locations people have used and recommend).

-Dana
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goldtooth
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:02 am    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

Thanks! I do not FB but I can have my wife check it out.

nate
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Microbusdeluxe
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:22 am    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

I see you have the letter D marked near Sedro Woolley on Highway 20, or as it's also know the North Cascades Highway. While there is an Arco with cheap gas just East of town, there's no real good camping there.

Where you want to camp on highway 20 is at trailheads in the Ross Lake Recreation area. Easy Pass and Lake Ann/Maple Pass are good sites well enough off the road. Further east of Washington Pass (good overlook) you'll find Cutthroat Lake trailhead on the left. Good stealth camping there.
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goldtooth
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:33 am    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

The A,B,C,D markers mean nothing, just points I put in there to make Google follow the roads I wanted. We have no plans after the first night and no mileage allowances per day. If we drive 20 miles one day, that is fine too!

thanks for the heads up on the camp spot!

nate
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newfisher
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:06 am    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

I have a sneaky spot with a swimming hole along Hwy 12 just North of Packwood if you decide to take the Southern Route. PM me if you go that direction and then North through the Park.
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Merian
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

no dispersed in any Nat'l Park in the PNW; easy to find dispersed camping in all Nat'l Forests

also on BLM land but it can be hard to find BLM land on maps or on roads
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

As a general rule - in USFS lands (National Forests) if there is no signage prohibiting an activity (parking, camping, hiking, etc) then it is allowed.

Common sense must be used but except for some designated wilderness areas, most of the National Forest is yours to enjoy. Even in wilderness areas the posted restrictions are often not very onerous - dogs, ATVs & (my favorite) no hang-gliders.
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williamM
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

I've googled "free camping" and found a few dedicated web sites to free or cheap spots- and you can add your discoveries too.
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climberjohn
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

That looks like a very nice route.

Suggestion: get the Benchmark road atlas for Washington. It is by far the best series of mass for the entire state. (and other states other than Washington, for that matter.)

And as mentioned above, you can almost always camp for free on national forest lands for BLM property.
Thew first few pages of the Benchmark books have pages that show land ownership, though it's very much zoomed out and small-scale.
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goldtooth
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

It is definitely the national park area (rainer) that i am worried about. We have boondocked in Oregon plenty and I am glad to hear most of Washington is available also.

nate
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Merian
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

you'll need to go into the adjacent Nat'l Forests or stay in a designated CG in Ranier Nat'l park
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chris_d
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

Check out french cabin creek, on the north point of Cle Elum lake.

Not too big a detour from your route. I was there this weekend and it was sweet: free riverside camp site with a firepit. Some people there but not too many. The lake has trout if you've got a rod! I saw people fly fishing from land.
Got in with my 2WD without much issue, just being thoughtful and scoped it out on foot before hand.
I'm new to the vanagon scene, but you drew a circle around where I plan to spend most of my summer trying to find the killer dispersed spots Smile
I've only been out once, so i only have that one recommendation.
But i did some research and national "forests" are fair game as long as you're 100ft from the road and it's not posted that you can't camp otherwise.

Fill me in on any cool spots you find too!

my spot:
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

goldtooth wrote:
It is definitely the national park area (rainer) that i am worried about. We have boondocked in Oregon plenty and I am glad to hear most of Washington is available also.


Generally dispersed camping, once near a National park is not good. The parks campgrounds get full, and the dispersed camping nearby gets overused as a result (& trashed) then the forest service has to block access.
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desertrefugee
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

This is the Arizona version of low desert dispersed camping. Trust me, I have a reason for being there. Dark skies, black as the inside of a tarball.

Note that I won't be out there anytime soon. This is high country time of year...

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87RedWesty
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

After you turn west from Yakima, there are tons of spots either along 410, which crosses Chinook Pass, or 12, which crosses White Pass. I'd recommend 410 as more scenic. Just turn off on side roads into the forest and keep going til you find your perfect spot.
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buildyourown
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

There is a bunch of good areas between Wintrop and Twisp. Was there a couple weeks ago and camped for 2 days and only saw occasional other users.
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Road trip plans, thoughts on dispersed camping Reply with quote

Desertrefugee,

Ah, that brings up fantastic memories of high desert camping in central California and Southern California. I love the austere desert. I'm a micro-observer and can contentedly lay in a lawn chair by an ant hill watching the stuff they bring in for hours. The desert is perfect for that. I should have been an entomologist. Perfect match for a guy who dreams of living in a van forever....
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