Post by tmgallagher on May 11, 2009 16:15:59 GMT -8
This is my first time out to the Gorge and I've heard a lot of rumors about different unofficial (and free) places to camp.
The first is camping right along the Columbia just across from Vantage. The way I hear it, you go south off 90 after crossing the river and pull into a dirt lot on the side of Rte 26. Then walk in and pick a spot. Supposedly you can't normally park there, but during Gorge events, they allow it.
The second is camping up by a bunch of lakes at the end of Rd U NW.
Can anyone confirm either of these and provide any more details? I know either would mean a bit of a commute to/from the shows, and I'm okay with that. If you have other suggestions, I'm open to those as well.
Sasquatch regular. Can confirm both options. The lakes you refer to can get real crowded as they are a very popular fishing area and its memorial day weekend. Lots of RVs and families who often like their neighbors to be quiet if you know what I mean. Free spot but you are supposed to have a Washington State Recreational parking pass - you can get one wherever fishing licenses are sold. About 20 bucks, good for all year. If you don't have one and the game warden comes its a pretty big fine. Most people skip this, but I have seen folks getting ticketed.
The area just off the Vantage Bridge is pretty nice. If you are willing to pack it in you can get a nice spot along the river. Real good to take a swim in the Columbia before the show in the AM.
Getting in and out of the Gorge can take a while. If you camp offsite, I'd suggest you pay for premier parking, that way you can get in and out a bit faster. I think these are about 20 bucks a day.
If its your first time at Sasquatch I would definitely spend at least the first night at the Gorge proper to get the whole experience.
What are your reasons for wanting to camp off site? If it's just to save money, I urge you to reconsider. The amount of time you'll spend in your car waiting in line to get in/out of the parking lot alone isn't worth it, let alone the drive between locations and the gas you'll be using to do so. It's so much easier to just camp on site, and I agree with dutchy that it's part of the whole experience. To offset costs you could always make/bring something to sell in the campground. Someone on another thread will be walking around selling burritos to fellow campers!
If, as well as the money, you're not into the party scene and just want a quiet place to sleep that's something else to consider. Off site might be your best bet. Premier camping is much quieter, but it is considerably more expensive. The regular camping field is simply massive, and if you set up on far side of it there are fewer people around and it's generally quieter. That's relative, though.