Saturday, August 13, 2016

Armstrong Campground in Mt Hood National Forest (review)

Last weekend we went camping at Armstrong Campground which is a more rustic site in the forest. It is next to Clackamas River (which is true of nearly every campground in this area). I think there are only a dozen sites and we were in site 8. All the sites at Armstrong are relatively large, which is nice, makes for a lot of privacy from the neighbor. Site 8 also is cool because it has 2 private access points to the river (not that the beach is private, just that the campsite itself has a trailhead). One of the trails was too steep and rocky for our kids, but the other one worked out great.

The down side to site 8 is that it is directly across the road from the pit potty, and when the wind was blowing the wrong way, it was stinky.

The same can be said of site 6. Definitely a bit stinky at site 6. And I know this because at the top of site 6 is the only water pump, and the campers there were kind enough to let me shortcut through their site to let me get water to wash dishes with.

Site 7 is also next to the river. A big down side to site 7 is that from the beach, the most clearly marked trail to the camp, leads up to site 7. So that's really supposed to be a private trail but one would not know that coming up from the beach, until oops, you're in someone else's bedroom.

Sites 7 and 8 are the sunniest, so if you need relief from the sun, bring your own canopy. The other sites are further from the river and are shadier.

Site 4 is the best one. It is HUGE, very private, and next to the river. But furthest from the pit potty.

There are no sinks at the bathroom, no running water anywhere. You have to haul your own water from the pump. Also there is no firewood for sale so make sure to bring your own. There is no cell phone service. The camp host has a radio for 911 purposes but she's not even at Armstrong.

I loved the beach that was immediately next to site 8. It leads down to an area where the river forks. On the far side of the river is the white water, and you can watch rafters go by every few minutes. The other fork that is closest to you is shallow water. It leads to a dropoff, so watch your kids, but it's plenty wide to wade in, and I was really delighted to find a man-made tub built in to the river. It's circular, looks like a hot tub, but of course it's freezing. I sat on the edge and put my feet in. I imagined it was 50 years old and had been built back when Armstrong was a government camp. Imagine my disappointment when the camper next door to us told us that his brother had just built that last week. It ruined my story, but I was super-impressed with the engineering. I could have sat in that tub all day.

I only had my cell phone camera and I didn't take it to the river, so I'm sorry no photos. But here's some photos of the water pump and my kids washing dishes.

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