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Good news in WA - Corps and other Federal campgrounds will be opening by Memorial Day, and by reservation ONLY.


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There are a bunch of very cool Corps of Engineers CGs in eastern WA, they have been mostly shut down completely or very limited in the number of available sites... The Lake Roosevelt National Recreational Area ones are going to be full reservation, and you be able to reserve the same day you arrive - as long as you have  a cell signal! - which is a big change. These are nicely maintained and very cheap with the 1/2 off Geezer Pass, I just stayed at Kettle Falls CG four nights (pre-season) and it cost a total of $28. A whole lot of them used to be first come first served, which can be a huge problem in summer, because they are quite remote and it was risky in terms of finding a spot other than during mid-week. A 100% reservation policy means you can check availability at Recreation.gov and nail down a spot before you hit the road.

https://www.nps.gov/laro/learn/news/update-on-camping-access.htm

https://www.lrf.org/recreation/lake-guide

I haven’t heard about Bureau of Reclamation or other Federal agencies, but I went by one BOR location near Othello several weeks ago and there was a landscaping crew hard at work cleaning up debris and cutting the grass, so I am very hopeful that they will reopen too..

All these are maintained with toilets and maybe showers, and dump stations, but no hookups. HIGHLY recommended, they are my favorites in Washington. The ones with boat launches are busiest. The ones without, and those in the upper reaches near Canada, are normally lightly used, especially when the lake level is low and the shores turn into sand banks. Kettle River COE (not yet open for camping) last week:

B32A17E3-1FB4-4F6D-BC9E-C7920FCE68A9.thumb.jpeg.af3dab1098e512aa585847980f0baeb9.jpeg

83BF1EB8-CC19-4D3B-BCFB-6846D727AAC7.thumb.jpeg.608c3ff6ee1b17df81c478d0f5a9086b.jpeg

 View from across the river showing the typical Spring low water level, it should be near full pool height by July:

BE465EC2-2941-4E89-A091-5496DEB7A5A5.thumb.jpeg.21524b9d83e07896e677b500f7e782be.jpeg

Here is Kettle Falls CG:

29C0ECCE-680C-402F-B62E-1435BF06D1E5.thumb.jpeg.1d9ea9fb765cff5b4c31f06234011539.jpeg.

These CGs are typically sparsely treed and cleared of undergrowth (unlike Wet Side campgrounds (Puget Sound) which tend to be lush, dark and buggy) and they can have decent solar exposure for at least a few hours, if you pick a spot carefully with a south or west exposure. Google Earth is your friend! A portable panel is helpful, and a generator. It can be very hot in the summer.

John Davies

Spokane Wa

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

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  • The title was changed to Good news in WA - Corps and other Federal campgrounds will be opening by Memorial Day, and by reservation ONLY.

EDIT, I was able to reserve my prime spot at a former FCFS campground today at Recreation.gov for three nights in early July. Even with a significant rate increase it was just $34.50 total (with the geezer pass) plus NO Online Reservation Fee, State Sales Tax, Discovery Pass (visitor pass) requirement or Just Because We Can Fee,.  So the system is now up and running properly. Cool.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Some USFS campgrounds in Oregon are currently open . . . . . most are expected to be open by the Thursday prior to Memorial Day weekend.  The exceptions are those located in burn areas from the Labor Day 2020 wildfires - Clackamas River and McKenzie River Highways, and the Santiam Hwy, around Detroit Lake.  It's going to be a while before those areas will be made safe from hazardous trees.

I haven't heard if Oregon Public Campgrounds are all going to be by reservation.  That might be their way to maintain safe numbers, for Covid restrictions.  Nonetheless, it will be nice to have more camping options and get away from the coastal tourist crowds.

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; delivered December 7, 2020

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I have found COE campgrounds on average to be some of the best. The closings must be affected by area - we stayed at several last summer, this spring, and have one lined  up  in the next trip west. 

As for reservations - it is an interesting phenom - as last years overwhelming new crop of RVer's inundated the forests, campgrounds, and any place they could stuff their RV - many places have - in response - closed to the public, restricted access, changes from FCFS - to rez, and raised rates.  It really tic's me off - as a good many of these usurper's who left trash, human waste, and destruction in their wake - will most likely not return years down the line - yet will have ruined the situation for those that follow.  

Our plan for this summer - use the Ollie boondocking features to go where we can - Covid shutdowns/restrictions  and new campers be damned. It worked last year - and we are better armed for this year.

Yea Haw.

RB

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1 hour ago, BackofBeyond said:

I have found COE campgrounds on average to be some of the best. The closings must be affected by area - we stayed at several last summer, this spring, and have one lined  up  in the next trip west. 

We stayed at a COE campground in KY last week.  We’re at a TN state park this next week.  We find COE campgrounds are our first choice when in the area we are visiting.  Mike

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5 hours ago, BackofBeyond said:

as a good many of these usurper's who left trash, human waste, and destruction in their wake - will most likely not return years down the line

This is true, around the world. And, it's really sad.

I've found, and cleaned up crap, in free or cheap campsites in Australia,  USA, Canada,  Iceland, etc .

You'd think people would appreciate and respect what they are given,  but, noooo.

The lower the fee, or free,  the more work I usually expect to do on arrival. 

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