Flickr album link: Iron Creek Campground
Three day holiday weekends during the summer season actually are the best time to avoid the famous national parks. Overcrowding and resulting restrictions placed upon admission are the reasons why. When a great outdoors destination turns into a human zoo with a push and shove atmosphere, it is best to avoid the situation altogether and wait for a more peaceful time for a planned visit. On the flip-side, when the sheep flock to the most famous destinations, the lesser known places become more inviting. Off the beaten path there will be more elbow room along with peaceful surroundings that spell out rest and relaxation. During stressful times this is what most folks seek anyway and by doing a little research ahead of time, plenty of lesser know options will be found.
When traveling through the western wilderness areas, a few hours can be spent each day searching for a suitable place to camp. Plotting various national forest or BLM campgrounds along the charted travel route will save time, but this has to be done where a cel phone data signal or ISP can be found. While perusing the options, the photos and descriptions will provide clues as to whether a campground will be satisfactory or best avoided. A key to the equation is the activities in the local area, which is usually listed at government campground websites. Since the price of fuel is so high, if there is enough fun in the sun to be found nearby, then hunkering down at a lesser known campground may be the best option of all during a holiday weekend.
Mount St Helens certainly is a major tourism destination, but most visitors only experience the destinations along Highway 504, which is the main tourism corridor to the crest of the volcanic peak. Very few tourists take the time to explore what lies in store on the other side of the mountain. On the east side of the volcano, National Forest Road 25 is an all day touring affair and for some this scenic drive will be a disappointment because the deep woods are so thick that there are very few clear views of Mount St Helens. Others will be thrilled with the thought of experiencing the deep fir, hemlock and cedar rain forest, since it is unlike any other place on earth.
The Gifford Pinchot National Forest Iron Creek Campground is located on the northwest side of Mount St Helens within the deep mossy rain forest. This is a large campground, but one would not guess upon a first look, because there is plenty of space between campsites and thick forest hides all. This remote campground is equipped with basic facilities, picnic tables, chargrill pits and water is available. The sights and sounds of the rain forest are all around, so it does not take long to fall into a dreamy state of mind. The Cispus River and Cowlitz River present fly fishing ventures nearby, while Riffe Lake offers a full venue of aquatic activities. Mt Rainier National Park is within easy reach too and the Mount St Helens back country beckons to be explored. The Iron Creek Campground certainly is a great spot for making the great escape happen, especially during a busy holiday weekend!
Leave no trace!
Donations help the Destinaton West project continue into the future!
Go Fund Me!
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies