Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    315

    Camping & Mtn Biking (w/ kids in tow or not)

    This thread Family biking passion (spring break content) got me excited for camping and biking again. Not too mention the nice weather we've had the last couple weeks.

    There's this link car camping from last year about car camping. I thought it'd be cool to get an actual list going of destinations that are good to go to and are within a somewhat reasonable drive from (or in!) the Puget Sound area.

    I'll start with the few I can think of. I've obviously left some obvious ones off. There are two in particular I'm interested in learning more about and that is the Dalles CG (which isn't it an old air field or something?) and the Capitol Forest Falls Creek CG. How would they be for kids riding or just playing around the campground?


    WHISTLER
    Car camping: commando?
    RV: Riverside RV Campground
    Kid friendly trails: Lost Lake
    Adult friendly trails: a few
    Drive time: ?

    STEVENS PASS
    Car camping: ?
    RV: summer? probably
    Kid friendly trails: NO
    Adult friendly trails: sure
    Drive time: +/- 2hrs

    FORT EBEY STATE PARK
    Car camping: Yes
    RV: Yes
    Kid friendly trails: Yes
    Adult friendly trails: Yes, XC
    Drive time: +/- 2hrs

    FARRAGUT STATE PARK (Athol, North Idaho)
    Car camping: Yes
    RV: Yes
    Kid friendly trails: Yes, in the park proper!
    Adult friendly trails: Yes, XC
    Drive time: 6-7hrs

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Agate's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    307
    The Dalles CG is by Ranger Creek airstrip, but it's a few miles down the road. It could be okay for kids, depending on the kids, because it's right between the White River and Highway 410. It is a nice campground if you get one of the sites away from the highway. Can ride to all the 410 trails easily form camp.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mfisher1971's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    422
    Middle Fork Snoqualmie?

    I've also been curious about Lake Sylvia over near Montesano...
    trust the tread

    '06 Cannondale Prophet 1000
    '07 Bianchi Roger

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    315
    Quote Originally Posted by Agate View Post
    The Dalles CG is by Ranger Creek airstrip, but it's a few miles down the road. It could be okay for kids, depending on the kids, because it's right between the White River and Highway 410. It is a nice campground if you get one of the sites away from the highway. Can ride to all the 410 trails easily form camp.
    Can you camp on the airstrip or thereabouts? I thought I remembered seeing a pic of a rv camper in a big clearing taken one of the ridge vantage points.

    Is the Dalles CG a Nat'l Forest or StCG?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Agate's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    307
    Can't camp on the airstrip; it still gets used, just not often. There's some area around it that I've seen people camping in, but it's definitely not an actual campground. Dalles is NF. Except for Rainier NP, pretty much everything in the area is NF.

    There's also a campsite up at Corral Pass, if you wanted a higher elevation spot.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Mr. Lynch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,451
    Ive camp and rode Lake Sylvia many times.
    Comments and Reviews

    The camping is fun and the area is nice, but the riding is hilly with lots of climbing and a lot of logging roads.not the most kid frieldy unless you stay on the lower road that runs along the river.

    For a great kid friendly camping trip I recommend Phil's Trail Complex. Its a 5 or so hour drive.

  7. #7
    Slothful dirt hippie
    Reputation: verslowrdr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,571
    My next family camping petition will be for Bumping Lake. Gotta drive a couple minutes to hit the big singletrack loops on moto trails up there, BUT.... the lake itself is really cool, I'd probably drag the kid around the dirt roads in the evenings on the TAB, can always get the kayak out, some interesting hiking right there as well.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5,151
    Quote Originally Posted by Agate View Post
    Can't camp on the airstrip; it still gets used, just not often. There's some area around it that I've seen people camping in, but it's definitely not an actual campground. Dalles is NF. Except for Rainier NP, pretty much everything in the area is NF.

    There's also a campsite up at Corral Pass, if you wanted a higher elevation spot.
    You can definately camp at the airstrip and there are "designated" camp spots. Great place for kids because it's relatively open and flat for them to ride around too and the occasional plane coming in is fun to watch. Just takes a FS pass that you can get in Greenwater and isn't nearly as crazy as Dalles and off the highway as well. I prefer the airstrip camp spots over Dalles. The South end of Skookum is preactically connected to it too at Buck Creek.

    ACFL has a decent campground nearby and there is Deception Pass as well.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Kyle509's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    826
    I'll add a couple Inland Northwest locations some may want to come over and check out. Both with riding from the campgrounds.

    Riverside State Park, Spokane, WA
    Car camping: Yes
    RV: Yes
    Kid friendly trails: Yes, double track and some beginner friendly single track.
    Adult friendly trails: Many miles of XC single track.
    Drive time: 5-6 Hours from Puget Sound, minutes from downtown Spokane.

    Giant White Pine, Potlatch, ID
    Car Camping: Yes
    RV: Yes
    Kid Friendly: Not a lot, but some double track and easier trails
    Adult: Many miles of XC single track and back roads.
    Drive: 5-6 hours Puget Sound. 1-2 hours South of Spokane. Half an hour from Pullman/Moscow.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    315
    thanks Borneo for the airstrip beta! That's pretty much what I though just wanted it confirmed. Will wait for the weather to heat up then go there in the summer.

    Here's another

    KETTLE CREST - SHERMAN PASS, WA
    Camping options are
    Car/RV no services: Jungle Creek TH (FS horse camp)
    RV: Lake Curlew St Park (reservations req for RV - tenting just show up). Close to Lightning Cr TH but will have to drive 30min to Sherman Pass summit.
    Kid Friendly: camping @ Lk Curlew yes, riding perhaps shuttle from summit to Jungle Cr TH
    Adult: lots of XC
    Drive: 5-6hrs from Puget Sound region. 2hrs? from Spokane

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Agate's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    307
    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    You can definately camp at the airstrip and there are "designated" camp spots. Great place for kids because it's relatively open and flat for them to ride around too and the occasional plane coming in is fun to watch. Just takes a FS pass that you can get in Greenwater and isn't nearly as crazy as Dalles and off the highway as well. I prefer the airstrip camp spots over Dalles. The South end of Skookum is preactically connected to it too at Buck Creek.

    ACFL has a decent campground nearby and there is Deception Pass as well.
    What I was saying is that it's not an official NF campsite, like Dalles, Corral Pass, or Silver Springs (just a bit closer to the NP), at least not according to the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie NF website. People definitely camp there, and there are established campsites, but I'm fairly certain there's no water or facilities. So basically, if you don't have an RV like Bob, but you do have an SO or kids that aren't going to be okay doing their business in the woods, you might want to try one of the other camps.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    315
    Another one that I've been to. Wish it was closer but just might use it for a loop thru Bend on a long trip with family. Where's Washington's Waldo Lake type area???

    WALDO LAKE, Oregon
    Camping: Willamette National Forest - Waldo Lake Area
    Kid Friendly: Oh yeah, lots to do. Trails around lake are roller coaster like. Perfect for out-n-back rides with kids.
    Adult: XC for miles out of your campsite. Plus if you do the full loop you get to ride your bike in Wilderness.
    Drive: I forget - 6hrs or so?

  13. #13
    FM
    FM is offline
    luxatio erecta
    Reputation: FM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    8,976
    Quote Originally Posted by Agate View Post
    There's also a campsite up at Corral Pass, if you wanted a higher elevation spot.
    Anybody know if there's an outhouse (minimum) or more in the way of facilities up at Corral pass?

    Thanks!

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Agate's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    307
    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    Anybody know if there's an outhouse (minimum) or more in the way of facilities up at Corral pass?

    Thanks!
    Looks like it.

    Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest - Corral Pass Campground

    EDIT: Actually, now that I think about it, yes, I've used it. Pretty standard FS concrete floor vault toilet.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    239
    1- The Dalles is a good place to start. However, the trail leads to Skookum Flats, not a place that would work for a trail-a-bike. It's a trail that requires intermediate skill to navigate, so older, experienced kids might be OK. My only hesitation about the Dalles is the river, ie, it's probably not a good place for young children who can't keep themselves out of danger.

    2- Falls Creek, Capitol Forest - another good place to start. However, there are only two real trails leading out of there, Green Line #6 towards the summit and Green Line #6 in a loop that loops in with other trails. The summit way is miserable to attempt to pull a trail-a-bike up. I've tried it and it didn't workout. The loop way is up and down, but it's 11 miles. It's do-able, but long. There are lots of raspberry bushes on the loop, which lean over the trail if they're wet. My then-3 year old didn't like the raspberry thorns scraping across his hands. Last time I was there, I was a little concerned about tweakers in the area. Perhaps it was only a temporary problem...

    3- Banner Forest- It has been my experience that Banner Forest is the best place to go for either new MTB riders or towing a trail-a-bike. The trails are relatively non-technical and it is mostly flat. There is enough interesting stuff to keep an experienced rider entertained. I have taken one of my sons on nearly every trail on a trail-a-bike at Banner Forest. We usually camp at Manchester State Park and then drive to Banner. If you don't mind driving a couple of miles to Banner Forest, this is the best place to start, IMHO. My kids really like this campground, the trails aren't too far away, and you can take the kids to the trails if needed (on their own or via trail-a-bike).

    4- Lake Sawyer/Black Diamond- Camping in the area at Kanasket Palmer State park, then a drive to Lake Sawyer. Trails range from easy to technical to impossible/freeride. I've taken one of my sons on several trail-a-bike rides there and we've gone on trails where we probably shouldn't have been. At least 35 miles of trails, even more when you consider you can get over to Henry's Ridge.

    5- Middle Fork Snoqualmie - a good place to ride, but towing a trail-a-bike is difficult. It's an intermediate trail, so I wouldn't have a kid riding his own bike there unless he had some experience. Last time I was there (a couple years ago) there was substantial storm damage that caused me to hike-a-bike. I rode with the trail-a-bike the year before (no storm damage) and it was OK. If I wanted to ride alone, this would be an excellent choice (campground is good for [my] kids).

    6- Fort Worden State Park has some trails, but definitely not trail-a-bike material. It's also not a MTB destination, but if you happen to be going there, bring your MTB so you can explore. It's an excellent park for kids, though: there is beach, walking trails to explore, and old war bunkers you can go inside. We (my family) went there a couple years ago and we all want to go back.

    7- Never been to FT Ebey, Lake Sylvia or Ranger Creek, but have wanted to go.

    8- We've also been camping at Dosewallips and Grayland Beach and I didn't find any MTB within a reasonable distance.

    9- Remember that all Weyerhaeuser land is open to MTB (~140,000 acres just outside of Enumclaw, for example). I've heard there are potentially hundreds of miles of established trails, mostly used by horses/riders. I'm not sure if camping is allowed on Weyerhaeuser property. Note: I've never been on any Weyerhaeuser land.
    Last edited by J_Hopper; 04-20-2012 at 11:53 PM.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5,151
    Second on Manchester SP. Nice park on the water and even some wide forest trails for the kids to ride on. One hilly section south of the main beach for the more adventurous.

    As for Waldo.... We don't really have one up here but ACFL would be close in terrain and the lakes.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bucknut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    29
    Any good car camping spots near sage hills or ancient lakes area? Planning a trip over there this month. I found some places in the NF near leavenworth, but would like to get closer.
    They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    315
    Borneo -

    do you drive around (south to Oly then up 101?) to get to Manchester? Or, just take the Edmonds - Kingston ferry? Sounds like a good spot once summer really kicks in.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5,151
    I just don't ever skid at all and follow the bermless routes....

    I've gone both ways there. It's really 6 of one to me. But, it is nice to get out of the car and take the ferry. What sounds good is piecing together a long weekend over there and doing Stottlemeyer/Green/Banner/Port Orchard, etc. Or, the other direction and finishing up with Cap Forest.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    20

    Priest Lake

    Since you mention Farragut, don't cross out Priest Lake. Camp at Beaver Creek (forrest service) on the far northwest side of the lake and there is a great kid friendly trail heading to upper priest lake. (first 3 miles are great for kids, after that, it's pretty rough). East side of the lake has camping as well - ID state park, showers, hookups, etc. - and trails heading towards the upper lake....and then there's the upper priest river trail if you want to drive and do something more epic.

  21. #21
    That Waters Guy
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    445
    Quote Originally Posted by soto View Post
    Since you mention Farragut, don't cross out Priest Lake. Camp at Beaver Creek (forrest service) on the far northwest side of the lake and there is a great kid friendly trail heading to upper priest lake. (first 3 miles are great for kids, after that, it's pretty rough). East side of the lake has camping as well - ID state park, showers, hookups, etc. - and trails heading towards the upper lake....and then there's the upper priest river trail if you want to drive and do something more epic.
    +1 There's the American Falls ride too a somewhat short drive from BCC as long as you're in that neck of the woods.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    33
    For capitol Forest I would recommend Margaret McKenny campground. There is a nice 8 mile lolipop out to mima falls for lunch. not much climbing and completely trailerbike friendly. I did it with my 5yr old last week. Unfortunately the campground has a tendancy to attract a few drunken yahoos

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •