The Mt Hood National Forest is a nice place to be during the summer season and there are many good camping options to be found. The campgrounds in the high elevations tend to be the busiest and making campsite reservations will be necessary. On the flip-side, the low elevation campgrounds located on the outskirts of the volcanic peak usually offer more breathing room, even on busy weekends. Taken for granted, the low elevation temperatures will be much warmer than way up on the mountainside, but there will still be plenty of shade trees that will enhance rest and relaxation.
One of the coziest of the low elevation camping areas in the Mt Hood National Forest is located on the southeast side of the mountain on the border of the Warm Springs Reservation. The Bear Springs Campground is the one to look for and this destination is located on Oregon 216 just a few miles east of Highway 26, which is a main thoroughfare to both Mt Hood and Portland. Heading uphill to Mt Hood is easy from Bear Springs, so this is a nice spot fore setting up a basecamp.
The Bear Springs Campground is also a good destination of its own, simply because this little campground spells out family oriented fun and adventure. There are hiking and biking trails in this area, while the Bear Shelter is located in a vast meadow right next door. This rustic hand crafted timber shelter is huge by standards and it has a big stone fireplace for chilly nights. The meadow by the shelter is a good wildlife viewing and birding area, so be sure to bring a camera when doing a hike. Another foot trail goes to the nearby Indian Creek, which is a top notch fly fishing destination, so landing some fresh fish for dinner can be done.
The Oregon logging industry is active in this area, which ensures that free firewood will be stocked in the Bear Springs Campground. Basic facilities and drinking water are also available, while the campsites are equipped with picnic tables and fire rings. Severe drought has caused the wildfire season to become out of control in the entire west, so it is best to check the fire restrictions before striking a match. Bear safe food storage is also required in these woods for safety's sake. One look is all it takes to see that the Bear Springs Campground is the perfect spot for family fun and adventure, while the tall shade trees ensure some quality rest and relaxation!
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