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How is camping on the BLM land near smith rock

Original Post
Louis Hunter · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2019 · Points: 0

Hi all. I have purchased a state park pass in hopes of keeping stays at smith rock less expensive. Instead of camping at the bivy, my plan is to camp for free on nearby BLM land in order to save money. I’m curious if anyone has had experience camping on BLM land and if so where would you recommend to stay. It would be awesome if you could drop in a google maps coordinate link! Thanks! 

Rick.Krause Krause · · Madras, OR · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 233

There is some free camp sites north of Skull Hollow campground. 

Louis Hunter · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2019 · Points: 0
Rick.Krause Krause wrote: There is some free camp sites north of Skull Hollow campground. 

Have you camped there before by any chance?

Dillon Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 366

It’s chill.  There are designated pull outs along the road.  Some sites get better morning sun than others.  You can walk to Skull Hollow to use the facilities if need be.  They did a overhaul of the road last year and it turned out nice.  

Adam Byrd · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 242

Cyrus Horse Camp is a little bit farther than Skull Hollow, but it's free and has a picnic tables and a drop toilet.

Carson McDonald · · Ellensburg · Joined Jan 2020 · Points: 0

If you are going down soon double check that the skull hollow camping area is open first. We went down last year in March and it was gated off. Not sure if it was a seasonal closure or because of the road construction. There was an excavator parked back there...

Louis Hunter · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2019 · Points: 0
Carson McDonald wrote: If you are going down soon double check that the skull hollow camping area is open first. We went down last year in March and it was gated off. Not sure if it was a seasonal closure or because of the road construction. There was an excavator parked back there...

Is skull hollow free? I have done some research and found mixed answers  

Carson McDonald · · Ellensburg · Joined Jan 2020 · Points: 0

Not sure. We didn't stay there because it was closed. If it is ran by the state there's probably be a fee 

Andrew Child · · Corvallis, Or · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 846

The skull hollow campground is not free, but as has been mentioned earlier there is BLM land litteraly right next to the camp ground and you can camp there for free.

cnadel · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 5

I've camped on the roads above Skull Hollow... it's fine. Minimal as to be expected and since you're basically set up in a pull out right off the dirt road you can expect infrequent noise from people driving past. Beyond that, it's free and ~15 min from the park. Drive as if you're heading to Skull Hollow and instead of taking a left across the cow-catcher into the campground, stay straight on the dirt road headed up into the hills. You can camp in any of the many pullouts along that dirt road (NF-1395).

Louis Hunter · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2019 · Points: 0

Thank you all! I’m looking forward to finding a campsite using all of your instructions!

Daniel Bookless · · Portland, OR · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 550
Dillon Smith wrote:  You can walk to Skull Hollow to use the facilities if need be.  

I've done this before and I hear that the camp hosts are beginning to crack down on people poaching the toilets

SeƱor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Daniel Bookless wrote:

I've done this before and I hear that the camp hosts are beginning to crack down on people poaching the toilets

This sounds WAY above the pay grade of the average campground host. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Pacific Northwest
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