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asdf
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PostWed Nov 04, 2020 8:01 am 
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Hey just wondering if people do dispersed camping in winter in the Cascades.  Seems like something I would be interested in but most of the FS roads I usually camp on are snowed in.  Got any tips or advice.
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Schenk
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PostWed Nov 04, 2020 9:44 am 
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It can be done, but unless you want to poach a plowed parking lot somewhere then car camping in the Cascades is probably not happening in the winter. You want to head towards more lowland and arid Public Lands. You can also invest in a snowmobile, gear up, and head into the woods that way.

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KascadeFlat
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PostWed Nov 04, 2020 9:48 am 
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Totally doable! Although, in my experience you will be pretty limited to low elevation roads and those will lack many of the attractions folks seek - summits, lakes, etc etc.

I have had good luck pouring over topo maps and satellite images. There are a few areas designated as ORV recreation parks that are good jumping off points for research.

Once I find a road I like the look of, I will follow it on the satellite to see if it has a gate or any visible wide spots. Then I check it against land ownership to make sure it's legal camping. This time of year, you might run into hunters so keep that in mind too.

Over the years this has served up excellent camping with plenty of solitude. Happy hunting!

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asdf
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PostWed Nov 04, 2020 10:51 am 
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Thanks for the advice yeah it would be mostly about solitude and getting outdoors and ideally proximity to some areas I might like to spend a few days hiking or snowshoeing in.

What do you use for land ownership?  The county's GIS site or something else?

Btw I am kind of scared to dial the phone number in your sig lol (EDIT: oh wait I get it.  No they are NOT a good time.)
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Randito
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PostWed Nov 04, 2020 11:41 am 
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Many sno-parks do allow overnight parking.  Some have large contingents of motorhomes towing sled trailers or pickup trucks towing "toy hauler" camping trailers.   Specific sno-parks have no -overnight rules -- the Hyak sno-park is one of those with no overnight parking after it was getting used by many ski bums to live in RVs and vans during ski season.
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KascadeFlat
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PostWed Nov 04, 2020 12:13 pm 
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Quote:
What do you use for land ownership?  The county's GIS site or something else?

Nothing high tech. I favor national forests so I usually just check to make sure the spot I'm eyeing is actually on NF land. If something isn't on NF land, or I can't easily determine, I might skip it or save it for an afternoon of exploring when I am in the area.

Quote:
Btw I am kind of scared to dial the phone number in your sig lol (EDIT: oh wait I get it.  No they are NOT a good time.)

hockeygrin.gif

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Slugman
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PostWed Nov 04, 2020 1:27 pm 
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Baker lake.

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pula58
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PostWed Nov 04, 2020 2:31 pm 
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Help me out here: What is "dispersed camping?"
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Randito
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PostWed Nov 04, 2020 3:24 pm 
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pula58 wrote:
Help me out here: What is "dispersed camping?"

Car camping somewhere that isn't a developed campground.    Developed campgrounds have things like toilets,  picnic tables and steel fire rings, perhaps potable water and other improvements.

Dispersed camping is allowed in some areas without any of those sorts of improvements.    In the summer there are numerous such sites for example along the NF Teanaway River road, small pull outs along the road where one may camp and maybe there is a rock fire ring.    Campers have to manage things like tables, drinking water supply, human waste, garbage disposal,  etc on their own.
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treeswarper
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PostWed Nov 04, 2020 3:48 pm 
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Randito wrote:
Many sno-parks do allow overnight parking.  Some have large contingents of motorhomes towing sled trailers or pickup trucks towing "toy hauler" camping trailers.   Specific sno-parks have no -overnight rules -- the Hyak sno-park is one of those with no overnight parking after it was getting used by many ski bums to live in RVs and vans during ski season.

There are camping snoparks in the Randle/Packwood area.  You will need a snopark pass.  They are definitely places where motorhomes towing snowmobiles go to, and it might not be so quiet.  They do have toilets that are frequently cleaned and a couple have shelters with firepits inside.

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MackAttack
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PostThu Nov 05, 2020 7:48 pm 
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asdf wrote:
What do you use for land ownership?  The county's GIS site or something else?

Caltopo (a free online mapping tool) has a public land layer that's helpful for that.
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Pyrites
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PostThu Nov 05, 2020 8:10 pm 
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Down off Hwy 12, Woods Creek. Over large paved parking lot, Sanikans.

Not allowed in summer. I wonder if as long as you didn’t add campfire or spread out too much? New District Ranger, new mood in district?

Treeswarper, what do you think?

Best.
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blendergasket
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PostThu Nov 05, 2020 9:56 pm 
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There are a lot of places in the Olympics you can go that are low enough for winter dispersed camping if that isn't too far

Also, for land ownership, you caltopocom has a "public lands" overlay that shows what is public and which org runs it.

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treeswarper
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PostFri Nov 06, 2020 6:47 am 
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Pyrites wrote:
Down off Hwy 12, Woods Creek. Over large paved parking lot, Sanikans.

Not allowed in summer. I wonder if as long as you didn’t add campfire or spread out too much? New District Ranger, new mood in district?

Treeswarper, what do you think?

Best.

There are many dispersed camping spots in the area of Woods Creek.  There was a large elk camp sized spot very close by.  I totally didn't think about it.  There are dispersed sites all over the place--the Cispus area is good for that also.   Snow can fall, and even downtown Randle can get heavy dumps of snow.  When that happens, trees break and fall and there is the whomp of death so be aware of the weather forecast. 

I'd phone the Cowlitz Valley RD and ask.  I do know that they always kept the Blue Lake Creek Campground open all year.  It is maybe a bit higher than Woods Cr. and on the paved part of the 23 road.  It's generally empty in the winter.  The Blue Lake trail is nearby, but goes up into snow country, and there is the Cispus Valley Trail to wander on.  Krouse Ridge trail can be accessed from either the north or the south and is a good one for winter.  Note that all these trails are "motorized" but I have seldom run into anybody during the week and in the winter weekends ought to be pretty sparse of humans.  Krause Ridge is closed to motorized in the winter but folks tend to ignore that or are confused about it.  Woods Cr. has a loopy trail that is not motorized.  Karen was going to do a write up on it and then she passed away. 

It's an area that is overlooked and you will find solitude out in the woods.   Oh, and if you want a view, hike up past the Layser Cave to the end of the road.  You'll see St. Helens and Adams if it is a clear day. 

The 23 and 25 roads are plowed up to snopark areas.

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