Bonney Meadows – Camping Review

Not everyone can be a slave to the Oregon campground reservation system and plan 9 months ahead. Some of us find a rare, free weekend, and spontaneously decide to head to the hills. We foolishly thought that by leaving on a Thursday evening, we could find a campsite for the weekend on Mt. Hood. But, no. We tried Lost Lake, Trillium Lake , Frog Lake, Joe Graham Horse Camp, Little Crater Lake, and Clackamas Lake. Lost Lake (a no reservations campground with 110 spots) filled up an hour before we got there. In all of the others, we found practically empty campgrounds with reservation tags for the weekend. So frustrating. We found one site at the Horse Camp (definitely a next-to-last resort) but were told to move along, because we didn’t have a horse. Serious? Guess hitching up my Schnauzer doesn’t count.

So, as the sun fades and we get desperate, we decide to brave the rough road to Bonney Meadows Campground. This was not the plan. This is not a road you take a canoe and utility trailer on. 45 very tense minutes later, we arrive to a small, lovely and completely deserted campground!!! Some of the eggs cracked and multiple soda cans exploded on the journey, but we made it and IT WAS WONDERFUL. Total privacy. Real camping, but with the benefit of a vault toilet, toilet paper, fire pits and picnic tables. We only saw a few folks passing through with horses, and one couple stayed a few nights on the other end. Couldn’t even tell you what they looked like. We played in the creek, caught lots of frogs, mountain biked the rough trails, used the slingshots, played drums on tree stumps, let the dog go wherever the heck he wanted to, hiked to the gorgeous Bonney Butte and hiked to another great view point above Boulder Lake. And the wildflowers? So, so, so pretty.

I know we’ll go back again. The kids LOVED it. We will pack a lot lighter next time. That road is wicked rough. No trailer and no canoe…but maybe bikes. We’ll also pack a lot of bug repellant. The high octane stuff. Serious squitos there.

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This entry was posted on Monday, July 26th, 2010 at 3:35 pm and is filed under Fun Photos - Nature, Fun Things to Do. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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