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Old 04-06-2013, 10:08 AM   #1
Boondox OP
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Ferries and campgrounds in July???

In planning our trip to the Salem rally I had originally planned to enter WA on 12 from Lolo, then angle up from Walla Walla to Rainier, down the east side of St Helens, and cross into Oregon. But that means I'd miss a lot of the PNW, so I'm thinking instead of turning north at Lewiston ID go past Grand Coulee to 20, then head west thru the Northern Cascades to Whidbey Island, ferry to Port Townsend, then around the Olympic Peninsula dropping just far enough south to avoid urban sprawl before cutting inland to Rainier and St Helens (Spirit Lake side).

What is the likelihood of finding available tent sites at the state and private campgrounds along that route in the middle of summer? Are they generally receptive to well-behaved dogs traveling by sidecar?

And I've heard rumors of LONG lines waiting to get on the ferry that time of year. True?
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boondox View Post
In planning our trip to the Salem rally I had originally planned to enter WA on 12 from Lolo, then angle up from Walla Walla to Rainier, down the east side of St Helens, and cross into Oregon. But that means I'd miss a lot of the PNW, so I'm thinking instead of turning north at Lewiston ID go past Grand Coulee to 20, then head west thru the Northern Cascades to Whidbey Island, ferry to Port Townsend, then around the Olympic Peninsula dropping just far enough south to avoid urban sprawl before cutting inland to Rainier and St Helens (Spirit Lake side).

What is the likelihood of finding available tent sites at the state and private campgrounds along that route in the middle of summer? Are they generally receptive to well-behaved dogs traveling by sidecar?

And I've heard rumors of LONG lines waiting to get on the ferry that time of year. True?
The ferry is an easy one, if you are on the bike you will always make it on the first available ferry. You are loaded first if you get there before the ferry starts loading or last if they have already started the loading.

Campgrounds if you are tenting it is going to be hit and miss. Several of the private campgrounds will have big open fields that you can pitch a tent but if you get into the St run campgrounds my guess is most of those will be booked up Friday-Sunday but could have tent space available during the week.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:14 AM   #3
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Thanks. So it sounds like I shouldn't wait till 6pm to start looking for a place to hunker down.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:22 AM   #4
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Book in July

I would advise you book camp sites at any (Washington) State or National Park during that time, especially during the weekend and when the schools are out. You could chance it, or even book and then cancel if necessary.

BTW You won't be disappointed with SR20 over the North Cascades, camp at Colonial Creek or Newhalem if schedule permits.

Ride safe.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:04 PM   #5
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Early Winters Campground

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boondox View Post
Thanks. So it sounds like I shouldn't wait till 6pm to start looking for a place to hunker down.
If I were to do that, there's a campground just west of Mazama that I use when I want to camp for campings sake. It has pit toilets and potable water. Close to the road but not too noisy as there isn't a lot of traffic that goes over 20 at night, and little chance of being wakened by jake brakes. I've never had a problem rolling into Early Winters campground. YMMV.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:01 AM   #6
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A lot of the national forest have remote camping basically anywhere you can throw a tent (first come first serve) within 150 feet of a forest service road. You get close to St. Helens and you will need reservations.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:01 PM   #7
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puckinet -- I was just reading that on an online map of the FS roads in Olympic NP. So maybe the thing to do would be to hole up in a Burlington WA motel (it would be the first hot shower in 5 days at that point), then set out early in the morning for the ferry to Port Townsend. With all sorts of side trips (Hurricane Ridge, Neah Bay, maybe even Cape Flattery if an unpaved road continues past Neah Bay) what might make the most sense is to just have a blast then head up the FS road toward Hoh Rain Forest and find a spot to pitch the tent.

And since it's a rain forest I probably wouldn't have to worry much about finding a shower...
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Boondox screwed with this post 04-07-2013 at 12:02 PM Reason: Fixed a typo before klay noticed
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:52 PM   #8
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No further information shall be given until we get a pic of the dog and sidecar combo!
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:12 PM   #9
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If Lewiston is a stopping point, Hells Gate State park is on the edge of town with tent or cabin camping and with taxi service, pizza, etc delivery. Lewis & Clark Campground in Kamiah is very popular also. Near lolo pass on 12 is Lochsa Lodge

If you are heading north from Lewiston in July , I suggest Hwy 3 to St Maries then west.
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:23 PM   #10
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No further information shall be given until we get a pic of the dog and sidecar combo!
For Mister Vern - here we are setting out for one of our adventures. Judging from the sidecase toppers (which contain Barley's toys) I think this one was our circumnavigation of the Great Lakes.




Idarider - I was eyeing Lolo Hot Springs as a campsite, then the following day riding 12 to Lewiston before turning north and camping somewhere on 20 near the east side of the Northern Cascades. Would Lochsa have better camp sites, or is it just a lodge with soft beds and hot showers and all the other things I'm trying unsuccessfully to work up a level of disdain for?

Edit: I just looked at their webpage and it looks like we could get a rustic cabin for less than a campsite cost us up in Ontario. That would be nice, especially if it's raining (which doesn't seem very likely). Thanks for the heads up!

Pete
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Boondox screwed with this post 04-07-2013 at 06:51 PM
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:39 PM   #11
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Thanks! My dogs and I live about 30 miles from the rally, so if you need to do any maintenance and/or if you guys need a break you are welcome here.
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:48 PM   #12
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Hobuck Beach Campground

I haven't been to Hobuck for a few years, but it was a great location the last time I was there, close to Cape Flattery. It's on the Makah res., just past Neah Bay. Stop at the grocery store to get a "visitors permit" for a few bucks. It's a slice of life a lot of people don't get to see.

+1 on seeing the dog in the sidecar.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:04 PM   #13
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I would hang a left leaving Lewiston and take WA 129 up Rattlesnake Grade to Enterprise. Log House campground will squeeze you in.
From there, west to Salem is plenty of USFS camping.
Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:58 PM   #14
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From my experience, the bigger State Park campgrounds with amenities like showers fill up on summer weekends while the little campgrounds usually don't. For example, near Port Angeles the Salt Creek campground is usually full on weekends but the little Lyre River camp (with 11 spots) is rarely full.
And you don't have to camp to use the showers at State Park campgrounds (you will need a discovery pass tho..$30/year or $5/day)
I don't like the big crowded campgrounds so that has worked for me.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boondox View Post
For Mister Vern - here we are setting out for one of our adventures. Judging from the sidecase toppers (which contain Barley's toys) I think this one was our circumnavigation of the Great Lakes.




Idarider - I was eyeing Lolo Hot Springs as a campsite, then the following day riding 12 to Lewiston before turning north and camping somewhere on 20 near the east side of the Northern Cascades. Would Lochsa have better camp sites, or is it just a lodge with soft beds and hot showers and all the other things I'm trying unsuccessfully to work up a level of disdain for?

Edit: I just looked at their webpage and it looks like we could get a rustic cabin for less than a campsite cost us up in Ontario. That would be nice, especially if it's raining (which doesn't seem very likely). Thanks for the heads up!

Pete
Lolo hot springs is a big place, with room and camp sites, I don't have an opinion on it either way. The Lochsa Lodge is in a very beautiful setting, either would work well. I have been told the Lochsa lodge has good food. If you were starting from there and having Lewiston for a destination that day, the Lolo motorway, Rd 500 starts near the lodge. Well worth doing if you like rustic roads, people take their cars on it, not any of mine.
Sounds like you want to get up North in that day so the Hwy 12 route is best , but include the "spiral hwy" old hwy 95 in Lewiston, if you like really twisty roads.
If the day is getting close to an end and you are near Steptoe Butte, there is a camp area at the base of it. Steptoe is worthy of a ride to the top too.
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