Family Camping & Riding within a Couple Hours of Portland?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Family Camping & Riding within a Couple Hours of Portland?

    After a several year hiatus from biking on dirt, I am eager to get back on some singletrack. I will have a wife and toddler in tow, and so am looking to combine family camping with some riding. Since the rest of the family is not riding, ideally these would be places with hiking, streams to play in and other stuff for people who don't ride mountain bikes (yet). Oh, and riding straight from camp. No driving to trails, since that defeats the purpose.

    Does anyone have suggestions as to good places to go within a couple hour drive of Portland? Probably not primitive camping though; it is really nice to have running water available when you are changing diapers.

    So far places on the list to check out are...
    LL Stub Stewart
    Waldo Lake
    Lewis River

    Any other suggestions? What about the coast range? Oakridge?

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Nat
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    Trillium Lake near Government Camp has always looked nice to me. I've never camped there since we stay in a cabin in Rhododendron, but I've seen lots of people camping.

  3. #3
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    Anywhere along FR 44 in the Mt. Hood NF.

    If you're going as far south as Waldo or Oakridge (more than a "couple of hours"), the possibilities are truly endless.

    Deschutes NF campgrounds are great (Cascade Lakes); as are Willamette NF campgrounds (McKenzie River Trail)

    Of course, this all depends on when you intend to travel.

  4. #4
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    Gales Creek Campground in the coast range off of Hwy 6. There are 30 miles or so of trail accessible out of the campground and the Wilson River Trail is a short drive away. I can't comment on the CG, but the ST is pretty good.

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    Paradise CG on the Wind River Hwy. Nice spot with great access to Falls Creek and Lewis River. The CG has always been in good shape. Nice hiking in the area as well.
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  6. #6
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    As far as an "outdoor experience" for the whole family, I'd say poppa's suggest is pretty solid.

    The coast range can get a little overrun with rednecks with ATV's and target shooters.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Trillium Lake near Government Camp has always looked nice to me. I've never camped there since we stay in a cabin in Rhododendron, but I've seen lots of people camping.
    Thanks Nat,

    Is there riding at Trillium Lake?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    Anywhere along FR 44 in the Mt. Hood NF.

    If you're going as far south as Waldo or Oakridge (more than a "couple of hours"), the possibilities are truly endless.

    Deschutes NF campgrounds are great (Cascade Lakes); as are Willamette NF campgrounds (McKenzie River Trail)

    Of course, this all depends on when you intend to travel.
    I will definitely check out what is available out off of FR 44.

    Yeah, I think I shot a little far when i was talking about Waldo and Oakridge. That is a long way with an active 2 year old strapped into a car seat.

    Camping season for us will start second weekend in June and go out to the end of September. Will get in as many three and four day weekends as possible, mostly toward the end of summer.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppa#1 View Post
    Paradise CG on the Wind River Hwy. Nice spot with great access to Falls Creek and Lewis River. The CG has always been in good shape. Nice hiking in the area as well.
    Fantastic, i will definitely check this out. Thank you.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    The coast range can get a little overrun with rednecks with ATV's and target shooters.
    I used to ride out of Gales Creek and Browns Camp and that was my impression as well. Fine for a day ride, but not loving the idea of bringing my little family for an extended stay.

  11. #11
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    I agree with Poppa and OHM. I love riding up on 44 but the camping is pretty average for a family. We love being beside a lake or nice river which is missing there. Gales Creek? Keep your head down and don't wear camo. Another great option that we do every year with lots of families is Lower Falls Campground on Lewis River. Beautiful Campground, really nice river and water falls, and nice biking/hiking. That and Waldo Lake tend to be our default spots.

    We've camped at Trillium too but the riding was really mediocre, and too many RV's for my taste. Nice road riding there though

  12. #12
    Nat
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    Whoa.. mediocre riding at Trillium? Did you explore outwards much? Across the highway is the climb up to Timberline Lodge followed by the ripping descent down to the old stage road. I thought it was awesome. You have to get the AdventureMap for that area and it shows a nice network of singletrack.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/oregon/tour-d...cs-232717.html

  13. #13
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    Nat,

    My bad. I was actually thinking about Timothy Lake a bit further around. Nothing but a little trail around the lake there. I happily stand corrected on Trillium. I've never camped there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Whoa.. mediocre riding at Trillium? Did you explore outwards much? Across the highway is the climb up to Timberline Lodge followed by the ripping descent down to the old stage road. I thought it was awesome. You have to get the AdventureMap for that area and it shows a nice network of singletrack.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/oregon/tour-d...cs-232717.html

  14. #14
    Nat
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    Cool.

  15. #15
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    We've camped with the family many times at 8 Mile Crossing off Road 44. Nice little campground beside the creek. Trails to ride from camp, creek to play in, hiking to be had and a trip to Dufur for ice cream if folks need an outing away from camp.

    We love Phil's Trail Complex in Central Oregon, not much in the way of organized campgrounds right there, but there is dispersed camping to be had or Tumalo State Park is not far if you don't mind having to drive to the trailhead. Fun family activity after staying up near Phil's for a few days: drive into Bend and hit the Juniper Aquatic Center for swimming/hot tub/showers.

    Peterson Ridge trails near Sisters is another family fave. Again dispersed camping options are available, or park at the city Park and let the family do town while you hit the trails. Many organized campgrounds near Camp Sherman on the Metolius, though the riding over there is a bit less. You can hit Green Ridge or Suttle Tie Trail or drive into Sisters for Peterson Ridge.
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