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Old 06-05-2018, 10:27 AM   #1
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Newbie Boondocking In Washington State

Hello and thank you for taking the time to help a newbie out! I am the proud Airstreamer now and can't wait to be in the boondocks. Can anyone guide me to places in Washington for some good boon docking. I have a 19' FC and am new to towing so i would like some suggestions that have really good turning around spots and semi decent dirt/gravel roads. I am an avid backpacker and mountaineer so i know how to be in the backcountry just ned some guidance for places. I was told to look at the BLM website but i am kinda confused soooooo.... any suggestions for actual places would be great. I live in Seattle FYI. Also looking for places that are not full of people in off road bikes and quads ect. More nature settings. Quite places.
Thank you!
Brad
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:44 PM   #2
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Take a look at the Mt. Baker area. There are a lot of places to to check out.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:02 PM   #3
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Load the Campendium App and filter results for free campsites. Then it all depends on where you want to go and what you want to do. There are some fishing lakes near Ephrata/Soap Lake with parking. Not much to look at but you could kayak or otherwise enjoy the lakes. Then up toward Grand Coulee there are some spots along the Columbia. Or head to the Snake south of Pullman and west of Clarkston (Wawawai Rd I think).
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:08 PM   #4
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You got some bogus advice. Unlike Oregon, Washington has relatively little BLM land. Get familiar with the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie and Gifford Pinchot National Forests. Their websites are pretty decent with regard to road conditions and campground info, despite the agency's chronic understaffing/underfunding. In addition to their websites, both still produce worthwhile forest visitor maps. Stay away from WA DNR recreation sites- that's where the motorcycle riders are concentrated. Wa State Park campgrounds are excellent, but get pretty popular as the weather warms up.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:38 AM   #5
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I like using the "Allstays" app to find places to stay. I use the "all public lands" filter and frequently stay at the National Forest Campgrounds. Some of these campgrounds are free, many of them in the $10 range, most with no hookups. These campgrounds are one step above "boondocking" but as you can see on the linked map, National Forest Campgrounds are plentiful in Washington. You could use these campgrounds as a basecamp to explore other real "boondocking" opportunities.

https://www.allstays.com/Campgrounds...rounds-map.htm
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:06 AM   #6
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Brad... You are 'Dorthy' in the "Wizard of Oz".

You are ALREADY an experienced as a Boondocker. Just with a tent. These locations where you have already been... are the FIRST places you would know best are return.

From there, you expand and push further into the back country.

Anyone who considers Boondocking with Hook Ups, is Glamping Docking.

There are many Threads on How to... already on the AirForums. Few people are going to give up their great Boondocking campsites. If you had room for a tent... you probably have plenty of room for your 19 foot Flying Cloud... if not more than you need.

Most important fact of Boondocking. Know how to back up your trailer. When you can back up and out of situations... you are on the way of being independent. The Airstream is an apartment on wheels. After the first trip... you will be on your way to posting on the Airforums how easy the transition from Tent to Trailer was.
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:55 AM   #7
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Some typo grammar errors in post #6, just fill in the blank. I came back to add a few details.

Your trailer is wider than your tow vehicle. It is also taller.

Washington has brush and trees along NFS roads. Branches can remove a roof AC in seconds, as well as roof vents. Get comfortable to judging clearances... today, not after the fact.

Also bring along long handled brush clippers. Good ones, not cheap. Willows and other brush grow INTO the road as there is lots of sunlight. Clipping them before they scratch the sides, most likely the right side, of your Airstream.

Clearances of boulders and dips in the road. Your trailer length is very good in these situations. Those with longer trailers can damage their black/gray dump valves and your bumper will catch and could be pulled out of shape. Even with the two skid extensions below the bumper... they are more plows, than help.

There is a lot to learn when towing on gravel. You have left and right, as well as up and down to consider. You will get your first soft leaf or dry branch scratch sooner than later. It is of no harm to anything but to your wanting to keep your Airstream... perfect.

After a few trips, you will get gravel dings, brush swipes and maybe even dust being drawn into the interior, due to fender wells and the refrigerator drawing it into the interior. You seal what you can and this is the best you can do.
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Old 06-06-2018, 10:18 PM   #8
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Download Ultimate Campground app and Campendium. Both allow sorts. Then look at in Google maps. USFS Ranger stations can provide road info. Mt Adams area has some lovely small undeveloped campsites in the Mt Adams wilderness area - no hookups; lightly developed but road accessibility changes each season. If you can go Sun-Fr many will be empty
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Old 06-06-2018, 10:48 PM   #9
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Folks tend to talk about their best boondocking sites at the same rate anglers give up their best fishing water. You gotta explore. That said, contact the Forest Service Ranger Station nearest to your area of interest... preferably in person. As someone else mentioned, BLM lands are more spacious elsewhere in the U.S. West. Don't overlook BC or Alberta. Happy travels!
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Old 06-07-2018, 09:27 PM   #10
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We just got back today from Lincoln City - love the Oregon coast. Back to your question -- since new - why not try Denny creek campground off of I-90 which has actual sites (but little of anything else); Its an actual campground but with no electricity/etc; and its close to home if something doesn't work out. Congrats on getting the AS
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:48 PM   #11
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These threads are not so much boondocking, but some places you might find interesting.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ns-170452.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ns-170453.html

And if you get your wings flapping, the Columbia is a nice area to visit.

Good luck. Hope to see your smile some day. Pat
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Old 06-08-2018, 10:16 AM   #12
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You'd have to cross the border, but this spot is definitely on my short-term list to visit: https://www.campendium.com/behind-th...-on-howe-sound
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:53 PM   #13
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If you are 65 you can purchase an off season pass for the state parks. Free camping if you don't use utilities (electrical).
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