Archive for the ‘Camping’ Category

Clearwater Falls, North Umpqua

Tucked along the North Umpqua Highway is Clearwater Falls and Campground. An easy hike takes you past the clear water stream up to the falls. This is a great place to stop and cool off. Surrounded by old growth Douglas firs and ferns, the micro-climate keeps it cool even in the heat of the summer. There is a campground just above the parking area with 9 campsites and vault toilet. There isn’t running water or garbage cans, but at $10 a night, it’s a pretty great bargain.

Fall River Campground, Central Oregon

This is a magical river located in Central Oregon along South Cascade Road. It’s a great place to fish, play in the water, or just enjoy the beauty and hiking in the area. I just stopped here a few days ago and even on the weekend mid summer, it wasn’t that busy.




Three Capes Loop – Oregon Coast

IMG_2131One of my favorite coastal loops – I headed up that direction over the Christmas Holiday. As I was driving north along 101, I was blasted with a winter storm. Trudging north of Lincoln City, I noticed the weather beginning to break up. I turned off of 101 towards the ocean via Brooten Road on my way to Pacific City and the sun came out. I’ve visited Pacific City numerous times throughout my life and I always remember it being sunny there – even in the middle of the winter. Sure enough, this trip promised the same.

My first stop was at the beach at Pacific City. As you walk down to the beach to your right is a large sandy cliff and tide pools. This is a great place to watch surfers and the launching of dory boats. The amazing Pelican Brewery is right next to the parking area. The menu is diverse and they have a pretty tasty Kiwanda Cream Ale. I did sample the Mother of All Storms – and that it was! A little to strong for my taste but still pretty good.

Pelican Brewery

There’s also a great hotel across the street and an excellent coffee shop.

Stimulus Espresso Cafe

There’s nothing like walking along the Oregon Coast with a hot cup of coffee. I did stay at the Inn at Cape Kiwanda. The views were great – and they are dog friendly! It was nice to stay in a well-appointed clean room and not feel like I was stuffed in the “dog” room. Watch for the little black bunnies.

Inn at Cape Kiwanda

Traveling north from the hotel, I found what I would consider a locals beach – as there are no markings on the road. There’s a little paved road that dips down into the trees, into a parking area with beach access. It’s about a mile north of Inn at Cape Kiwanda – just before the stop sign. It looks as if you can drive out onto the beach, but I didn’t have a current permit on hand. There was nobody there. It’s pretty exciting to find a quiet beach site along the very found Oregon Coast. With any situation like this, there’s always the dilemma of whether to share or not. I hate to see areas overused, but in today’s climate of closed down parks and campgrounds, I feel that our only defense is to try to publicize places enough to keep them open. So here is McPhillips Beach –


Continuing north along Sandlake Road, you will come across the turn off for Clay Myers Natural Area at Whalen Island. I can’t wait to return to canoe this area. You would definitely need to canoe or kayak during high tide, but I think it would be amazing. The campground and park area is really quaint. There is definitely a lot to explore here.

Clay Myers Natural Area

IMG_2120 IMG_2122 IMG_2123 IMG_2124 IMG_2126 IMG_2128Heading north, you will drive up to amazing scenic vistas and down along Netarts Bay. I would recommend taking time to stop or stay at Cape Lookout State Park. They offer cabins, yurts and a pretty nice campground. There’s a lot to explore in this area and during the winter months, there’s hardly anyone there.

Cape Lookout State Park

I’m going to stop here for now because an adventure is just that – an adventure. I hope you enjoy this area as much as I do!

Olallie Lake Washington

Located just down the road from Takhlakh Lake is another amazing lake. Beautiful view of Mt. Adams and next to nobody there. I would have to wonder how many people stop at Takhlakh instead of traveling a bit further to Olallie? Nice camping area, clear lake water and up front and personal views of Mt. Adams. Pretty nice place to stop.


Takhlakh Lake near Mt. Adams – Washington

According to Wikipedia, “The name Takhlakh comes from a Native American word “takh”, which means meadows. Takh Takh Meadows was also named after this word, since flowers are particularly abundant in and around the Takh Takh Lava Flow area.”

Talk about a majestic lake with amazing photographic appeal. It’s pretty easy to get a great shot of Mt. Adams reflecting in its calm waters. The lake is beautiful and I was pretty impressed by the campsites in the campground – may right on the lake. I was up there on a Sunday and it wasn’t very busy – though many people were probably headed out after the weekend. I was only able to stay for a short time, but look forward to returning when I have time to enjoy some of the local area hiking. The lake and campground reminded me a lot of Gold Lake in the Oregon Cascades, but with an even better mountain view. It’s definitely up there in my book.

There are a few different ways into the lake whether you are coming from Randle, Packwood or Trout Lake. I do have to say a little bit about Trout Lake. What a beautiful location! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it had a similar feel to Sunriver – outdoor beauty. That is a route that I definitely recommend. The mountain views from all directions are pretty impressive.



Free Campground – Council Lake Washington


Washington is quickly becoming one of my new favorite playgrounds. Recently I explored a few of the lakes around Mt. Adams – situated in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. These lakes are located on the western side of Mt. Adams. One of the lakes – Council Lake, appears to be a deep water lake with a small campground near its southwestern tip. There’s a fairly steep drop down to the lake, but that makes it easier to lower your canoe to its shore. The camp sites are nestled pretty close together, but still somewhat private amongst the older growth trees. And…it’s free! Those are becoming close to a Dodo bird phenomenon. The drive in was an easy gravel road. I didn’t have time to explore the lake on this trip, but based on the drive in, I think there is a large meadow towards the more northern in.

When I arrived, there were a few people pulling in their boats with a nice catch of fish from the day. The water is a deep blue and it’s what I would classify as a flat water lake. Overall, this is one lake that I will be returning to.
Lake Acreage: 43.7
Elevation: 4,225 feet

IMG_1848   IMG_1846A purple mushroom I found along the edge of the lake.

TIMPANOGAS LAKE, Oregon Cascades



Summit Lake Oregon Pictures

Check out the post about Summit Lake too –

Shelter Domes – Not a Yurt, Not a Tent – It’s a Dome!

If you are headed out to a multi-day camping festival – ie Burning Man etc., you might consider getting a Shelter Dome. I have owned my dome for over 4 years now and love it. It’s the perfect blend between a yurt and a large tent. If you have a small piece of land somewhere that you want to add a small inexpensive structure to, then this might be the solution. No, I’m not a paid spokesperson – just someone in love with their dome. Originally I was looking at Yurts, but they are pretty expensive. I figured out that I could buy a dome for under a $1000 and add a floor with a vapor barrier. It’s fantastic! I even have carpeting! It’s also portable – which makes moving it fairly easy – though not as easy as a tent. It’s a bit more permanent, but portable too. Made from PVC and a heavy tarp like material, it keeps the rain and moisture out. They even make linings for colder areas and some people use small wood stoves to heat them. Check out their website at:

I personally own an 18 foot dome. Feel free to contact me with any questions. I’ll post pictures soon.

Sisters on the Fly

I have recently started the process of restoring a 13 foot 1975 Winnebago Camp Trailer. I wanted to give the outdated interior and exterior an update. I came across this great organization that showcases numerous renovated camp trailers. I thought my readers might get a kick out of these outdoorsy creative fly fisherwoman.

Sisters on the Fly

Check out their Gallery – they have awesome ideas for restoring that old camp trailer out back.