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Spontaneous Camping – Easy when it’s less than an hour away.

September 6, 2010

Last week we ended up on a spontaneous 5 day camping trip “up river” in the foothills of the Cascades. You might wonder how one can get into a 5 day camping trip without planning. It started Tuesday evening. A friend was camping with her three kids and invited Reaghan and I to join them Wednesday and stay the night with them in their tent. We always have a great time with them so we quickly accepted the invitation.

When Reaghan and I arrived at Rasar State Park on Wednesday, Lora and the kids were contemplating moving to another campsite so they could stay all weekend. Most campgrounds here book up months in advance during the winter. However, usually one campsite is “non-reservable” so someone could drive up and get a spot. Matt had thought about taking the coming Friday off so we could try to find a campsite so I said, “Let’s do it! Matt can bring our camper up Thursday night and then Rob (Lora’s husband) could come up after work on Friday!” The kids were so excited. We quickly loaded up the cars to move the campsite. Then, everyone just picked up a corner of the tent and carried it around to the other spot. I bet we looked pretty funny!

Moving the tent!

Wednesday afternoon was nice and warm, so the kids spent the afternoon playing in the river. Reaghan has so much fun with the kids.


In the winter, you can see lots of bald eagles catching salmon from this area.

Fun in the river.

Reaghan, Ali and Morgan dig in the sand.

Rasar State Park is one of Washington’s newest state parks. It’s very nice with paved roads, hiking/bike trails, clean bathrooms, and a cute little amphitheater. Everything is surrounded by tall, beautiful trees.

Our campsite with the Billow's tent and our camper.

Hiking trails ran all through this 169 acre campground.

Camp Drive

Awesome hollowed out tree on the trail to the river.

Saturday morning, we all headed to Sauk Mountain. The hike was tough enough that we all felt like we did something, yet easy enough for the kids and puppies to hike. I wore my Garmin watch on the hike. I’m not sure how accurate it is, but it looks like all the switchbacks were recorded. :)

I was glad I decided to carry my camera on the hike. The mountain provided a great view of the river valley below. Here are many shots I took along the trail. Be prepared… many pictures ahead!

View of the valley from Sauk Mountain

The view of the valley was gorgeous just from the parking lot.

Getting ready to hike!

Our group at the trailhead.

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Up, up, up we go!

Shelby loved to lead the pack.

Shelby loved to be in the lead, but seemed to worry about everyone & would stop occasionally to make sure everyone was ok.

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Reaghan makes her way up the switchbacks.


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Almost to the top!

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There was pretty little lake at the base of the two mountains. Not sure which lake.

Summit Photo!

We made it!

I love this view of everyone at the summit.

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Enjoying the view.

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We've got some strong girls!

Strong girls on the mountain top!

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Beautiful view of the valley from the summit.

It was fun to spend our last full week of vacation camping. We all had a really great weekend!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristin September 6, 2010 at 7:43 am

Such stunning views! Add that to the list of things I want to do when we visit again!

2 Dad September 6, 2010 at 1:30 pm

What fun! Great photos!

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