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Old 02-07-2012, 04:30 PM   #1
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Hidden Gems (campgrounds) From out West

Hello everyone, I'm beginning our family "West Coast" summer vacation planning. We're going to take 4-6 weeks this summer traveling out west. Our rough plan is to travel the west coast down Hwy 1 from Vancouver to as far south as we have time. We'll be venturing off the "coast" inland to hit as many of the attractions as time will allow, Yosemite, Tahoe, Crater lake, Redwoods and many more I'm failing to mention.

Last summer we went to Maine for 4 weeks and had a blast! My only regret was we hit a few too many "KOA type" campgrounds. I'd like for this trip to include many more State Parks and small secluded campgrounds.

So I'd love to hear from everyone, their little "gem".

Our family's favorite campground from our Maine trip was found here, as recommended by Frank Yensen, Cookscob State Park in NE Maine. It was the most beautiful place I had ever been, Thanks Frank.

Thanks in advanced for any hidden gems,

Cory
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:34 PM   #2
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Do you like wide open places or heavy wooded? Makes a difference on our suggestions....
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:54 PM   #3
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We prefer heavily wooded.
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:59 PM   #4
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Crater Lake in Oregon is a must....gorgeous and such unique scenery. We also LOVED Mt. Rainer National Park in Washington, another must see!...in the northwest, there are campgrounds everywhere and they're beautifully maintained...no need to stay in any KOA types. We live in Portland and take weekend trips all summer. A favorite state park of ours our Silver Creek State Park just a half an hour off the main freeway.

I have a little photo blog where I've been taking photos of local campgrounds and documenting the best sites in our part of Oregon...you can see the pics here: The small, small trailer

Happy travels..hope you enjoy our part of the world. It's pretty spectacular during the summer months! Sounds like it's going to be a wonderful trip for you!

-Kim
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:59 PM   #5
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Are you starting in Vancouver?

Or Missouri? paula
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:06 PM   #6
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Paula, We're beginning in Missouri. The reason I left this out, is we did the Black Hills, Big Horns, Tetons and Yellowstone Fall of 2010. We'll travel through this area again. We're also going to spend some time in Glacier and travel West from there through Canada.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:25 PM   #7
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Last summer we did Rte 20 across Nebraska

Rt 20 across Nebraska---I loved it and there is a town that has a free city park.....we missed it but it is O'Neil......you go through the sand dunes in northwestern Nebraska......it was a great ride with very few trucks.....


The campground at Storm Lake in Iowa was lovely....try to get the front row....barn quilts in Sac County Iowa were wonderful.

Another great road was route 12 (Lewis and Clark trail) from Missoula to Lewiston, Idaho (a nice public park in Lewiston).....then south out of Clarkson to Joseph, Oregon (129 to Oregon 9) to Lake Wallowa.....beautiful....or do it in the reverse...Hells Canyon Dam.....

Skipping on to CA and LA....if you come to LA, I recommend Malibu RV park.....not your woodsy spot but a very interesting spot with a great ocean view....lots of folks fly in and out of lax from around the world and rent those RV for rent MHs and make this their first or last stop.....lots of interesting folks stay here.....

By the way, I grew up in Oak Grove, MO....still have family there...paula
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteSpot View Post
Rt 20 across Nebraska---I loved it and there is a town that has a free city park.....we missed it but it is O'Neil......you go through the sand dunes in northwestern Nebraska......it was a great ride with very few trucks.....

(snip)
Another great road was route 12 (Lewis and Clark trail) from Missoula to Lewiston, Idaho (a nice public park in Lewiston).....then south out of Clarkson to Joseph, Oregon (129 to Oregon 9) to Lake Wallowa.....beautiful....or do it in the reverse...Hells Canyon Dam.....
(snip)
I very much agree with Highway 20 across Northern Nebraska, I loved it.

I live on Highway 12 Missoula to Lewiston, and virtually all the forest Service campgrounds on the route are shaded and wonderful. The one at Powell ID even has electric hookups, very rare in FS campgrounds. Go up the Selway river to Ohara Bar FS campground, wonderful.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:44 PM   #9
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Beverly Beach, just north of Newport, Oregon.
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:03 AM   #10
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Useful West Coast Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtrucksrul View Post
Hello everyone, I'm beginning our family "West Coast" summer vacation planning. We're going to take 4-6 weeks this summer traveling out west. Our rough plan is to travel the west coast down Hwy 1 from Vancouver to as far south as we have time. We'll be venturing off the "coast" inland to hit as many of the attractions as time will allow, Yosemite, Tahoe, Crater lake, Redwoods and many more I'm failing to mention.

Last summer we went to Maine for 4 weeks and had a blast! My only regret was we hit a few too many "KOA type" campgrounds. I'd like for this trip to include many more State Parks and small secluded campgrounds.

So I'd love to hear from everyone, their little "gem".

Our family's favorite campground from our Maine trip was found here, as recommended by Frank Yensen, Cookscob State Park in NE Maine. It was the most beautiful place I had ever been, Thanks Frank.

Thanks in advanced for any hidden gems,

Cory
Here's s thread that has loads of information you'll find useful for trip planning along the west coast. I know parts of the coastal route fairly well and can attest that there are a lot of good suggestions here.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...see-80556.html

Enjoy the journey.

A word of caution about CA Hwy 1. It's a SPECTACULAR drive, particularly southbound, because you're on the outside looking down--many times WAY down. However, it's subject to frequent closures due to landslides. I'd recommend that before you start down any stretch that you contact CalTrans (California's highway department) or the CHP ( CA Highway Patrol) to get current road conditions.

Finally, make sure your rig is in good condition; the road is unforgiving.
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:55 AM   #11
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Here's a good video to start planning:

http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2009/06/national-park-park-highway

I would add Bryce/Canyonlands/Arches (southern Utah) and/or Carlsbad Caverns (southern New Mexico) National Parks, depending on route chosen.

One important note: This western loop is huge. You may wish to break up this trip into smaller portions (for future vacations) and spend more time enjoying each park, instead of driving so much. Although, you could look at this as a scouting adventure, to select parks to revisit in the future.

Don't forget the National Parks annual pass ($80), a bargain that will pay for itself in park entrance fees. Also, the senior pass ($10) is a must, if you qualify. The senior pass includes a 50% discount on camping fees in most national park/national forest/BLM and other "national" campgrounds. See details, below:

http://www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm

Link to Big Sur blog that includes recent updates and photos on Highway 1:

http://thebigsurblog.com/
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Old 02-08-2012, 03:57 AM   #12
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Hey Truck, So glad you liked my pick in Maine. Pretty dramatic to go to sleep while the tide is out and wake to find it feet from your campsite. Pretty darn clean for a primitive campground too. Did you make it to the Sardine Can Museum too? I hope it is still there. My oldest still remembers it well.

So is this trip going through Arizona? I have a pick for you right in the middle of the State. Unfortunately there are ZERO trees. There is however 30,000 years of man writing on rocks. There is also a very wonderful homespun cowboy museum there. You will also get a little taste of RT66(not that that it means much anymore. RT 66 is more nostalgia than practicality these days)
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:19 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone, I'm going to look into all of your recommendations. I'm going to map out all of these locations and begin the planning process.
Thanks, Cory
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:17 PM   #14
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I'm really beginning to get excited about our trip!! Is it just me, or does everyone, not get too excited about their upcoming trips, until they begin the research? I'm totally getting into looking into all of the sites of the West. I have a feeling we won't make it nearly as far south as I had anticipated. So, I guess another trip next year will be in the works.
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