Date of Stay: Sept. 22-23, 2011
Weather During Stay: Highs in the upper 80’s, cool nighttime lows.
Site Description: Just 32 sites, mostly pullouts parallel to the loop road on both sides (only three back-ins). Fifteen sites have 30 amp water and electric; the remaining 17 sites are 30 amp FHU. Half the sites can be reserved, the remainder are first-come, first served.
The campground loop is paved, as are the level sites. Each site has a substantial picnic table and a campfire ring on gravel surrounded by grass. Plenty of shade trees. Voltage (even on a hot day) was good, as was the water pressure.
Without a reservation, we chose site 15, facing east with afternoon shade and an opening through the shade trees for our TV satellite dish. We liked it and the park so well that we decided to stay an extra day.
One bathhouse serves the park. Nice playground. Large dump station. A day use area of the park is down the road about a mile, with a swimming area and boat ramp. This campground appears to be popular with fisher folk.
Rate: $24/night for FHU; $22/night for 30 amp E and water. Since this is a COE (federal) facility, we paid just half of that with our Golden Age pass: $12/night FHU. Stay limit unknown.
Phone/radio/TV: Good Verizon signal here for both phones and aircard. Our site had no obstacles for our roof-mounted satellite TV dish, but many did so pick carefully. No reception on the air antenna. NPR on 90.9.
Elevation/landscape/terrain: This park is adjacent to the mighty Columbia River at 260’ elevation. Irrigation in the park keeps the grassy sites green, a welcome contrast to the surrounding brown scrub this time of year. Near views are of grass, trees and neighbors; distant views are of dry scrub and hills.
Favorite Sites: Except for exposure and hookups, the sites are pretty much the same. Given the warm weather, we wanted to face east, and were looking for afternoon shade. Sites 1-16 face east; sites 17-32 face west.
Hiking/Walking: We did a few loops of the park, but the good walking is at McNary Dam, about 15 minutes away (by car) on the Oregon side of the Columbia River, 2-3 miles of pleasant nature trails and parks along the big river.
Comments: We planned this as a one night stop, on our way south. It was so restful, pleasant, and inexpensive with our GA pass that we decided to stay another day. I dithered about whether this should be rated “recommend” or “rave”, but considering we changed our plans to stay another day, it deserves a rave. We would return whenever in the area.