We headed out the next day after a leisurely morning enjoying the quiet of the woods and rippling sounds coming from the river nearby. We headed for North Fork Campground in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest of Washington. We were so excited because we were joining our dear friends the BlaNics for a tour of the Olympic Peninsula. We had been planning the trip for over a year and it was finally here.
We carefully plotted our itinerary on our laptop with Street Atlas and headed out. (If you have a pc laptop, this is a must have software program plus the GlobalSat BU-353-S4 USB GPS Receiver to have for planning your trips) The gps said it was only 95 miles so it was a short day of driving.
On the way we stopped at Packer Orchards and Bakery to pick up some of those donut peaches that we had purchased there before. Unfortunately, they were sold out, but we did get other peaches and of course their famous cookies. The oatmeal-raisin giant cookies that they sell are to die for. We resisted the temptation of their ice cream and continued on our way.
Our next stop was at the FREE dumpsite in Hood River Waste Water Treatment Facility and then we headed across the Columbia River and north on SR 141 out of White Salmon.
Highway 141 was an easy drive with beautiful views of the countryside and glimpses of Mt Adams in the distance.
At Trout Lake we left SR 141 and headed north on National Forest Developed Road 23. The first 20 miles this was a paved road through the forest with several beautiful boondocking spots easily available along the highway. One of them offered a stunning view of Mt. Adams.
However, after 20 miles, National Forest Road 23 becomes a wash board gravel road for the next 14 miles. Our average speed during this part of the road was 5 to7 miles per hours as we tried to find the smoothest part of the road and avoid the frequent potholes.
We finally reached paved road again, but for another 4 miles still had to go slowly because of the poor condition of the pavement and the number of potholes.
The last 4 miles of the trip was smooth sailing through beautiful woods along the Cispus River.We arrived at the campground and found it to be in a lovely forest of trees along the banks of the North Fork of the Cispus River.
You can see salmon spawning if you stand on the bridge at the entrance of the campground.
Two trails are accessible directly from the campground. River Trail # 131 is a relatively flat .6 mile trail that goes behind the group sites.
We hiked the The North Fork Trail #122 which is a 1.6 mile trail that starts behind the old Guard Station and climbs quickly to the bluff above the campground. Several vistas provide good views of the Cispus River and mountains.
I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
North Fork Campground is located on the banks of the North Fork of the Cispus River and includes three group sites and the main campground. The sites are well maintained and spacious. There are a total of 40 sites, but half of them are closed due to a disease in the roots which leads to instability of the trees. Because of this they could fall at any time.
The campground is open May 8th through Sept. 28 and is lightly used according to the website information. The maximum RV length is 32 feet. There is potable water available and the vault toilets are clean.