It has been 2 months since we picked up our new trailer “Tin Tin”. We decided before our first big trip (which we are doing over Spring Break) we should do a smaller trip that was a little closer to home. Our original “first trip” planned to Detroit Lake to attempt to figure out how everything works a few weeks ago was cancelled because I caught the plague that has been making the rounds in the PNW (it was a bad one!). My husband has been away on business a lot lately and we have been busy but with Spring Break looming we need to spend at least one night in the trailer. The thought of sleeping in the trailer in the driveway passed quickly through our minds, but it seemed so much less appealing than getting out and having a little trip.
When we bought our Airstream we learned about the Wally Byam Caravan Club and decided we would join for the first year to see what we thought. If we decided it wasn’t for us, we would not join in subsequent years. Our region is very active and have loads of different “Rallies” on the calendar year round. We got an email last week saying there was still room for the St Patrick’s Day Rally at Timberlake Campground & RV park. RV parks are not our favorite venues, but I took a look at the campground’s website and decided to talk to the husband about it. He was returning from Japan the day the Rally started but thought he would be able to manage the jetlag well enough to still have fun. And we did have fun!
Timberlake Campground & RV Park is located in Stevenson, WA which is about 50 miles east of the Portland/Vancouver area set in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. In the past when we have camped in the Gorge one issue we had were with the trains running through the area all day and all night. It is hard to escape them because there are tracks on both sides of the river. The trains very noisy and makes sleeping quite difficult for folks like me who sleep very lightly. Timberlake campground is 3 miles north of Hwy 14 and you don’t really hear the trains or the traffic on the highways. I heard a distant train horn blow one night, but I was already awake. The campground while we were there was very quiet.
There are a total of 43 spots for trailers/RVs and all sites are roughly 60′ long. Site #s 3-25 are full service spots, 26-43 are water and electric only and prices vary depending on time of year you are visiting and which amenities you need (see all rates here). There are 22 designated tent-only spots for those who prefer that mode of camping. The campground has a bath house with coin-op showers (each shower costs $0.25/1.5 minutes) and toilets. There is a meeting hall with a big, amazing fire place and kitchen. Outside of the meeting hall is a nice playground for kids 10.
Most of the sites are wooded which gave this campground less of an “RV park feel” and more of a “State Park feel”. You feel like you are in nature and not on a giant paved slab. When we go back next time I will try to reserve sites #30 or #31 (here is a link to their site map). They felt the most private – there are varying levels of privacy among the sites. We stayed in site #12 and it was fine but felt rather narrow. If we put our awning out we hung into the neighboring spot. This site will be just fine for smaller trailers like teardrops or if you don’t have an awning you are using. Many other sites were nice and wide and you don’t need to worry about that.
The campground has decent cell service (we use AT&T) and they say they have Wi-Fi, but we were not able to connect from our site. Friends said it was hit and miss for those who were able to connect – BUT, we are camping so let’s go outside and connect with nature instead! Pets are allowed at the campground and must always be leashed when they are outside. There is a designated “Canine Walking Area” and we also took walks around the campground.
There is so much to do in the area and you are only 10 minutes from downtown Stevenson. If you need groceries there is a wonderful grocery store right on the main road called A&J Select Market. Several businesses in town were closed since we were visiting during the quiet season (we were visiting in March and ice cream was really hard to find), but the wineries are open year round and we also visited the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center which was very good (review coming soon!). Skamania Lodge is near by which offers golf, food, and zip lining. There is so much to do outside of just enjoying being away from the city. The campground hosts can help with ideas and have lots of options listed on their website if you are like me and like to plan ahead! The area is the gateway to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and you have amazing access to the Mt. Hood National Forest as well.
We really enjoyed this campground and recommend it to anyone who is looking to head to the Gorge and is looking for a quite place to camp. I don’t think you will be disappointed!
Here is a video the campground has made: