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Good camping within a few hours of Seattle?

Discussion in 'Westside' started by Rocky1536, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. I am looking for some good camping some where semi close to Seattle. I have a few good places that I have gone in the past but they all seem to be packed these days...

    What I am looking for is forest roads that have lake/river access and are NOT pay camp grounds with toilets and fire rings.

    Just looking for a nice quiet spot without loud music and a bunch of other people within sight.

    Any suggestions?

    I should add, I want to be able to drive to the spot. If I was back backing this would be easy.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2008
  2. dude, you live right next to the cascade mtns which are filled with lakes. pic your place.

  3. I edited the original post, not sure if this changes your response, but just because there are tons of lakes doesn't mean I can just choose any little lake and drive right up to it and camp there...Do you have any specific spots that you have tried?

    Google maps would help..
  4. Get a Benchmark Atlas which shows every primitive camping area in the state.
  5. Go out the end of Beckler River Road, there are 3 USFS roads that shoot off in random directions.

    Each has its own set of "primitive campsites" along the with pullouts less than 10' from the water.

    Edit: IIRC NF 6530 was the one I used to go up.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  6. Haven't seen that one, but I always travel with my Destination Highways book. It also shows primitive sites across the state.
  7. I was going to say there are some great areas around Withrop which Is only a 3-4 hour drive. Also if you want something closer there are some great places up in and around Index Also if you go up to stevens pass there are a couple of great places right over the pass along the river that are really easy to get to, we made it up there in an old honda accord.
  8. I believe there are quite a few off of the North Cascades Highway as well. Quite a few options on the Olympic Peninsula too I'm sure. Sorry I can't help you with specifics without my book.
  9. Most of the camps "off" Mountain Highway (they are not much off the highway more like *on* the highway) you eat dust all weekend and they are crowded as can be--least they were when i went through there a couple weeks ago (11th).

    Free camps that at least have a outhouse & firerings are virtually all forest service and virtually always way out in the stix--and very small.

    There is hope--there is a guide you can buy for this state which is halfway decent that is called Ray's Guide to Free WA Campgrounds.

    There is more variety if you are willing to pay a small fee---up FS 70 outside Greenwater are some FS camps, you might try there. The FS also allows what they call "dispersed camping" in FS land which is basically pulling off the road and setting up camp in a likely (preferably previously used for the purpose) spot. You will see there types along FS70 on the way up into the mountains. The problem is no bathroom facilities--it's into the woods with you and your TP and shovel. But they are free--you generally get what you pay for these days...

    Benchmark guides are great, BTW--unlike DeLorme they differentiate between road surfaces (paved, gravel and jeep trails) and are accurate as can be even inside ZFS lands--and they sure beat the heck out of GPS and those puzzle palace FS maps!
  10. Barclay lake off Highway 2 is a nice easy hike 2.2 miles. May be good fishing.
    Lake Dorthy of I-90, check the roads to make sure they are clear.

    There are tons of cool places in the cascades. check out - awesome site.
  11. just drive up the mountain loop highway till you find somewhere you like...stop, set up camp...there you go :D
  12. Ellensburg.... nuff said

    Want more info, post up in the Ellensburg sub-forum.

    We got everything you could ever want here in Central WA and it's only 2 hours away.
  13. Packwood lake. But it is a 13 mile gravel road into the place. Costs too. Close to us in Spanaway. Usually do that lake once each year. There are other lakes up in that area too.

    I like Wenatchee. Make reservations and this year we ride the bikes up while the gals drive the cars and trailer.

    Then get up early and head out into the great unknown!!
  14. there are some great spots up behind salmon la sac on the cle elum river. i was there last weekend. there's a few people up there though so if you want to get away you can hike into one of the several alpine lakes. we hiked 5 miles in to a place called pete lake. had a blast.
  15. +1

    I went up there a couple years ago and camped. There is plenty out that way and services are not too far away.

    The Ellensburg area is another place I'd look if I were you.
  16. Forest road 74 outside of elbe has untold miles of roads. Lots of campsites near large creeks. Other spots are on top of large hills that give you miles and miles of views. Just look out during hunting season.
  17. Rippn

    Rippn Human Race Qualifier<br>FREE and clean

    25... I'll bet your Exacta tank leaks...
    many fond memories of fat tire 90's...
    Perfect for camping!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    FREE and clean, Ripp'n
  18. Salmon La Sac is a dope place. About 1.5 hrs from Seattle. Next to a river(forgot the name). From my experience, never overly crowded. You can usually have privacy and get loud but can find people no more than 100 yards away.
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