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Old 08-29-2009, 01:05 PM   #1
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Looking at a short mid October trip south from Vancouver thru Washington and into Oregon
Welcome suggestions of places to stay...
have lots of places to see already


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Old 08-29-2009, 10:04 PM   #2
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I am not sure how far south you want to come befiore you stop but here are some ideas in our area.

Whidbey Island has about 8 state parks. Not all have camping but Deception Pass, Fort Ebey and Fort Casey do. The camping at Fort Casey is sort of sparce but the other two are very nice.

There is also a county park with camping just South of Coupeville, no reservations, minimal utilities but in a nice forested area. Name is Rhododendrum.

A little closer to I-5 is Bayview SP It is North of highway 20 along Puget Soun. It is a nice park.

A little further south near the Tulalip Casino is Wenberg Park. This one is either a state park or a county park depending on whether it has changed hands yet. It is a nice park on a lake with good camping.

Camano Island is accessible form I-5. It is a little off the freeway but a nice rural area. There a two state parks there, both very nice.

All of these options are before you get to Everett. I will let someone else address opportunities further south.

Have fun

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Old 08-29-2009, 11:04 PM   #3
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If you go to the Fort Casey park, you can catch the ferry to Port Townsend, where fort Worden State park has two small RV campgrounds within the Fort property. The wooded one has water, power and a dump station, but no sewer hookup. The beach one apparently has full facilities, including sewer connection. Both are in great demand, so you need to make reservations well in advance, particularly during the summer. We will be staying in the beach CG in September, only because the day we called, they had just had a cancellation. That is the weekend of the wooden boat show. After school starts up it may be easier to get in, except for any local celebration that might come up.

You can follow the highway to Port Angeles, where there are several campgrounds in and around the National Park. Most, if not all are first come, first serve.

Keep following the highway around Olympic National Park and you will come to several parks, some inside and some outside the National park. There are a couple of RV parks inside the Park at Lake Quinault. There is also one campground at the end of the 17 mile Graves Creek road, but DO NOT GO THERE unless they have repaired the flood damage from a couple of years ago. There is no way to turn even a small trailer around if you go clear to the road block.

If you decide to stay on the east side of Olympic National Park, there are several campgrounds and RV parks along the highway, between Port Townsend and Shelton.

Good Luck!

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Old 08-31-2009, 09:15 AM   #4
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Best place we have stayed is at Fort Stevens State Park near Astoria, Ore. The campground is excellent and, while it's a fair piece away, the beach is incredible and includes an old, wrecked ship. Beware tho, Washington state parks seem to open late in the season and close early, so check into what's open before you make plans.

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Old 08-31-2009, 10:03 AM   #5
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A few years back, the Trailer Goddess an I spent the weekend of July 4th in this park. What an awsum fireworks display along the water....
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:13 PM   #6
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In Washington:
We have stayed at Birch Bay State Park twice over the years, used it as a base for going into Canada. Once on the way out of Canada, once before going into it. It is a 194-acre camping park with 8,255 feet of saltwater shoreline on Birch Bay and 14,923 feet of freshwater shoreline on Terrell Creek. The park is rich in archeological significance and offers panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains and Canadian Gulf Islands. Very nice park, neat views, neat seafood in the area.

We enjoyed a short stay at Sequim Bay State Park, a year-round, 92-acre marine camping park with 4,909 feet of saltwater coast in the Sequim "rainshadow," just inside Puget Sound on the Olympic Peninsula. The bay is calm, the air is dry and interpretive opportunities await visitors.

To get to Sequim from Birch Bay, we did take a ferry to Port Townsend. Can't remember route at this time. We also took a ferry from an island, which we drove to from Sequim, to Seattle. Bough some fresh pawns at a small country stop & shop and some smoked salmon from some guys selling it from their van along the way. Go some crab boil at a Super Market in Sequim. Oh, was it a feast!

We over nighted once at Saltwater State Park, an 88-acre marine camping park with 1,445 feet of saltwater shoreline on Puget Sound. The park is located halfway between the cities of Tacoma and Seattle. The cities jointly and literally buried a hatchet in the park as a symbol of an end to their mutual competition. The park offers beautiful views and wildlife-watching opportunities.
The campground and park store at Saltwater State Park are closed until further notice. The day-use area is open.
It was a nice place in a very urban setting.

Anyone of these at the following link must be neat, along the coast no less, what could be wrong?
After staying a few days at Sequim Bay, we spent a night at the Olympic National Park Campgroud at a Rain Forest site, can not remember the name, etc. instead of finding one along the coast. It seems the Rain Forest area by on the Pacific side of the Park.

After checking the coastal parks site, I want to go back someday & spend more time in that area. Stay at one or more those coastal campgrounds, yes!

But before leaving Washington, we stopped at Cape Disappointment State Park (formerly Fort Canby State Park) is a 1,882-acre camping park on the Long Beach Peninsula, fronted by the Pacific Ocean. The park offers 27 miles of ocean beach, two lighthouses, an interpretive center and hiking trails. Visitors enjoy beachcombing and exploring the area's rich natural and cultural history. The nearby coastal towns of Ilwaco and Long Beach feature special events and festivals spring through fall. It was very nice.

In Oregon
We found a nice campground around the Oregon Dunes NRA which extends for 40 miles along the Oregon Coast, but can't remember the name. The dunes were Very neat to hike into, but we found the campground was to far from the beach. This was in the lower part of the state. I believe it was a National Park campground, along the 101 with dune drifting down into it.

Like the Washington state parks, there are Oregon State Parks all along the coast.They are all good for both a short stay or longer. Good spots for a one-nighter while covering the miles and Good places to stay for several days and deeply relax in a quiet, beautiful, interesting spot. We stayed at 2, I believe. One was Beverly Beach State Park, very nice, near New Port.
Bullards Beach SP might be the other one, or one close to it might be it. We may have walked to this one along the beach from where we were. I do not remember the lighthouse?
List of Parks:

Fort Clatsop a Lewis and Clark National Historical Park was neat to see, our young kids liked it. It is near Astoria.

The bridge over the Columbia River is neat to cross at Astoria as well. We stayed a couple of nights at a state park located just outside Ilwaco at the very southwesternmost corner of Washington. Camping facilities include 190 standard campsites, 60 RV sites and 4 primitive campsites. It was called Fort Canby State Park when we were there, but is now: Cape Disappointment State Park (formerly Fort Canby State Park) is a 1,882-acre camping park on the Long Beach Peninsula, fronted by the Pacific Ocean. The park offers 27 miles of ocean beach, two lighthouses, an interpretive center and hiking trails. Visitors enjoy beachcombing and exploring the area's rich natural and cultural history. The nearby coastal towns of Ilwaco and Long Beach feature special events and festivals spring through fall.

The campground was Walking distance to Cape Disappointment Lighthouse began operating in 1856, and is now the oldest lighthouse still in use on the West Coast.

We also found there were No Self-serve gas in Oregon, all have attendents pumping the gas. Not sure if it is still like that or not.

We also stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Co, very interesting.

On another trip helping a friend & not camping, we stopped by Multomah Falls, it is neat but a long way from the coast.

We stopped at the site, Sea Lion Caves, located 11 miles North of Florence on the Oregon Coast. But did not go down to see them. In '86 it was Tooo costly we figured.

Again, all along the west coast is great to visit and camp, we stayed at a Nat'l Forest CG by the Oregon Sand Dune Nat'l Rec Area, very nice, but tooo long a walk to the Pacific. Neat walking out on them anyway. We also stayed at one of the State Parks along the coast hwy, we did walk to the beach. Very nice. We also stayed at a state park by New Port, closer to the beach, very nice, neat town to visit, docks. We did not have reservations, but it was years ago when we were there. The Free Willie Orca was living at New Port at that time. We did two trips along west coast hwy 1. one up to the north in '97 and one down from Canada in '86. Would love to go back, a must do again place for sure.

There are lots of sites along there, all would be neat in IMHO.
The Oregon State Parks were nice, we made two trip alone HWY 101, very nice drive, lots of camping along it. We just went, no reservations, no sweat.

We stayed at the Crater Lake Campgournd once, but it was early June. Still snow along the roads by the lake, some of them not opened yet.
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:22 PM   #7
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Uhhhhhhhhh Adrian, the Pacific Northwest C of C may have a little something for you in the mail. That's a fantastic review of an area a long way from your home. Remind me to pick your brain when I'm bound for the desert.
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Old 09-02-2009, 08:17 PM   #8
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thanks folks
some invaluable insights
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:40 PM   #9
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Don't know if you are still looking for ideas or have your plans already, but the most beautiful place to go in Washington in October is the Cascade Mountains - the fall color is spectacular and if the weather continues to be dry there won't be early snows to spoil it. We have gone to Mt. Rainier as late as the end of October and seen breath taking color at Paradise. Unfortunately the campgrounds in the park will be closed then (they close early Oct.) and most Forest Service campgrounds outside the park are already closed, but there are campgrounds nearby - check the Tacoma Power parks, Alder Lake is not far from Mt. Rainier main entrance at Longmire and open year round (except I think late December).

Any Cascade Area - Mt. Baker; highway 2 to Leavenworth; North Cascades (if still open) is gorgeous and if you camp nearby can take a day trip to see the color, don't have to necessary go over the passes.

Of course living on the Olympic Peninsula we are partial to thinking it is a wonderful place to go, our favorite State Park is Ft. Flagler (see home page - think we're still posted there), which has more camping options than Ft. Worden, longer beach walks and more trails, but of course Ft. Worden is nice too and closer to town if you want that option.

I agree that the state park near Astoria would be nice, lots to do in Astoria, especially the Maritime Museum. There are Oregon state parks closer to Portland, and a visit to the Oregon Garden in the fall would no doubt be beautiful also.


"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

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Old 09-24-2009, 05:00 PM   #10
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Diverting off the I-5 to WHIDBEY ISLAND sees you go over Deception Pass Bridge (gorgeous views of the San Juan Islands). First stop: DECEPTION PASS STATE PARK - lovely! Then head another 20 miles or so to FT CASEY STATE PARK, and grab one of the ferry-dock-side "first come/first serve" campsites and enjoy the comings and goings of the wee ferry, as well as maritime traffic on Juan de Fuca. Another few miles down island is SOUTH WHIDBEY STATE PARK, treed and lovely as well with West Side water views.

While on Whidbey be sure to stop for a look-see in LANGLEY. That's the charming seaside village that we live in... nice shops, restaurants, art galleries, and a small marina. We live on First St - the house with a big PEACE sign on front and a 97 Casita parked in back. By Oct 8th we'll be headed to "the NOG" - a twice-annual gathering of about 30-35 crampers in Northern OR... check it out on the rallies page.

Happy travels! You will be enjoying some very nice vistas.
Sharen Heath (are we related? LOL)

PIX below shows us cramping at Keystone Ferry (FT CASEY STATE PARK) - the first come/first serve campgrounds.
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Old 09-26-2009, 08:58 PM   #11
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Gas in Oregon: Self Service is illegal! I hate leaving the state and pumping my own gas. Seems like every pump is different and I feel like an idiot, having to ask how to use them. Prices aren't worse, attendants spill less, I never get back in the car smelling like gasoline, why would I want to pump it!

South coast is much less crowded, we've been having wonderful weather, 70's-80's on the beach the last week or so, hot inland though. Cape Blanco is a very nice campground, great beach, massive amount of driftwood, lots of nice agates to the south, towards the mouth of the Elk River. This is a nice mile long hike down the beach.

Humbug mountain CG is also quite a nice place, just south of Port Orford. Lots of artists live down here (me included), as it's really the most scenic area of the entire coast, in my opinion!

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