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Old 09-20-2014, 02:19 PM   #1
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Best campgrounds in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington

We are camped at wonderful Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta right now, and are deciding our route for getting home to Vancouver Island.

We would appreciate suggestions on exceptional campgrounds along the way from the Canadian Rockies to the Oregon coast, and back up through the Olympic Peninsula in Washington to Port Angeles.

Our preference is for natural beauty, privacy, quiet, and proximity to natural attractions over commercial ones.

Please post any suggestions you have, or links to relevant previous discussions. Much appreciated!

In return, may we mention three campgrounds we have liked on our trip across southern BC and into AB?
1. Waterton Lakes--with three Parks Canada campgrounds, one on a grassy site by Upper Waterton Lake and surrounded by mountains, right in the charming little town of Waterton, and two with nicely private forested sites. We feel Waterton is the most beautiful, peaceful, and wildlife-rich of the Rocky Mountain parks on the Canadian side.
2. Fernie Mountain--is run by BC parks and has private, forested sites on a creek just 3 km. outside of the charming, historic, picturesque town of Fernie.
3. Lightning Lake--in Manning Park in the Canadian part of the North Cascades, offering peaceful forested campsites with an attractive string of lakes nearby.

Brent and Cheryl.
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Old 09-20-2014, 04:31 PM   #2
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Thank you for the info. Hope to get to those places some time. Sounds wonderful.

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Old 09-20-2014, 04:54 PM   #3
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Catchlight, there is great county park just outside of Port Angeles called Salt Creek that is great for overnighting in before catching the ferry over to Victoria. Here's the link:

Salt Creek Recreation Area

Some neat hiking and a nice beach nearby. We really enjoyed it. You might want to check it out.

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Old 09-20-2014, 06:43 PM   #4
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I've always enjoyed Lakeshore State Park by Flathead Lake near Kalispell. Actually, any of the state parks there would be fine. Glacier NP is close.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:04 PM   #5
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I can't give any recommendations to a campground but on our recent trip to Chilliwack, we were taking note of a lot of the campgrounds that we saw. In one of my first posts I was concerned as to where a person can park for the night when on the road. Out west I don't think there is any thing to be concerned about. There are more RV parks, campgrounds, and state parks than I could have imagined. Slipped into one just east of Yellowstone Park and saw a big sign warning about grizzly bears. What is the situation east of the Mississippi? That is campgrounds, not bears. Loren
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:11 PM   #6
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If you like camping lakeside, try Big Arm State Park on Flathead lake in Montana. Most campsites are right along the lake. We really enjoy a campfire on the shore.
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Old 09-21-2014, 02:06 PM   #7
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Oregon campsites that we have been to many times and enjoy:
1. Champoeg State Park just south of Portland - the surrounding area is beautiful. Photos from our last trip here:
2. Tumalo State Park near Bend - lovely location in the high desert with lots of volcanic mountains and lava fields nearby. Recent photos:
3. Nehalem Bay State Park - on the cost near Manzanita - good location for exploring the coast. Recent photos:

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Old 09-21-2014, 02:34 PM   #8
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While not isolated, my favorite Glacier National Park campground is 2 Medicine - first come, so you need to get there early, at least when in season. I didn't manage to make it this year so stayed in St Marys which was OK...

While maybe too far out of your way, I enjoyed Palouse Falls State Park in WA. I was lucky & had full hookups at the host site; everything else is dry camping.

I agree with Brian's choice of Oregon State Parks. Actually, I haven't found a bad state park in Oregon, although I wasn't all that happy with Jessie M. Honeyman on the coast.

If you enjoy waterfalls, Susan Creek BLM campground is a good place to stay while exploring the waterfalls along OR 138. Dry camping, but restrooms with hot showers.
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:52 PM   #9
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Great campground tips, folks, which are helping us define our route. Many thanks!
Brent and Cheryl.
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:08 PM   #10
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We saw many, many exceptional sights this summer in BC/WA/OR/MT and stayed in nice campgrounds, but most campgrounds weren't exceptional:

St Mary's in Glacier NP
Oxbow Regional near Columbia River gorge -- no train noise or dump station
Silver Falls SP
Cape Lookout SP -- walk to beach
Eel Creek in Oregon Dunes -- no dump station, but no ATV noise
Cape Disappointment SP
Seaquest SP
Cougar Rock at Mt Rainier NP
Kalaloch in Olympic NP-- walk to beach
Mora in Olympic NP
Fairholme in Olympic NP -- lakefront site
Salt Creek County near Olympic NP -- waterfront but foggy
Goldstream PP
Green Point at Pacific Rim NP -- walk to beach
Wya Point near Ucluelet BC -- ocean visible, walk to beach, no dump station

Oregon has many beautiful oceanfront state parks that we missed. has the trip, but focuses more on the sights than the campsites.

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