Car camping ideas, please

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
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johnspeth
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Car camping ideas, please

Post by johnspeth » June 7th, 2019, 3:51 pm

I'm planning to do a simple car camping overnight so I can burn a pile of firewood that's been accumulating at my house. What I'm looking for is a place to drive to with my firewood, set up camp, find a nice established fire ring, burn wood, and socialize with my son. I'd prefer a place that is off the beaten path (for example, Gorge roadside "camps" are too busy) and not too crowded (looking for solitude). The option to hike nearby the camp is welcome. Does anybody have any ideas?

I confess that I've frequently seen such good car camping spots at or near many of the trailheads I've visited but I never noted them for future reference because I'm normally not a car camper nor a wood burner.

Additional preferences: Looking for free camping and no 4WD only access (I drive a VW Jetta).

Thanks.

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adamschneider
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Re: Car camping ideas, please

Post by adamschneider » June 7th, 2019, 5:15 pm

Don't go too far. They prefer that you "burn it where you buy it" (or is it "buy it where you burn it"?) so as to not spread wood-borne pathogens to new ecosystems.

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retired jerry
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Re: Car camping ideas, please

Post by retired jerry » June 7th, 2019, 7:40 pm

There are campsites on the road up the Clackamas River or east of Mt Hood, west of Dufur. I can't think of anything specific. There are a number of Forest Service campgrounds that charge but aren't too busy.

McNeil campground out of Zigzag is surprisingly not busy for being so close to Portland but there's a fee.

Webfoot
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Re: Car camping ideas, please

Post by Webfoot » June 7th, 2019, 10:06 pm

adamschneider wrote:
June 7th, 2019, 5:15 pm
Don't go too far. They prefer that you "burn it where you buy it" (or is it "buy it where you burn it"?) so as to not spread wood-borne pathogens to new ecosystems.
+1

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drm
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Re: Car camping ideas, please

Post by drm » June 8th, 2019, 6:26 am

The free/dispersed car camping sites tend to fill up on weekends but are easy to get on weekdays. But some folks set up shop for an extended stay, making those sites unavailable for weekend arrivals too.

There are a lot of such sites on the Wind River Road and Panther Creek Road (FR 65) north of Carson. If you want solitude stay miles away from Panther Creek campground.

If you're driving in on a Saturday when the good sites will already be taken, you might aim for more remote and not next to a creek. FR 60 between the Wind River Rd and FR 65 has some remote dry sites that probably don't fill up.

If you're planning on a big hot fire, you might consider some kind of fire pan at it's base. I also have a buildup of wood from my yards, but will probably wait till the fall to work on that.

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