Tag Archives: camping

Photo Break: Kalaloch Beach, Olympic National Park

Beach 4, kalaloch

We spent a week this past summer visiting Olympic National Park.

Kalaloch Beach

We camped at Kalaloch Beach, very convenient to the Kalaloch Lodge which has a really tasty smoked  salmon. It’s a great place but next next time I would have booked a new site for each day in the park. It got to be pretty tiring driving back and forth  from Kalaloch to each new destination on the Peninsula.

Kalaloch Beach

Photo break: Late autumn at Silver Falls


Silver Falls Oregon

Silver Falls #oregon

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We hopped down to Silver Fall State Park near Salem, Oregon to take advantage of the free admission on Black Friday. This was our first camping trip in Oregon and it’s still amazing and beautiful. The waterfalls are great and the lighting is so beautiful there.


Lost Lake weekend

#lostlake #oregon

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I just came back from a relaxing weekend at Lost Lake, in the Mount Hood National Forest. It is aptly named because you will lose all cell phone and GPS reception to get there (on Lolo Pass from 26 or coming south from Hood River).  We didn’t plan on being disconnected from the internet but it was definitely nice to have a break from it all.

Lost Lake

This is the majestic view from the north day use area. Lost Lake is actually a privately run campground and you can rent boats. I was able to easily kayak from the boat launch/ general store area to the lakefront by the day use area. The lake is deceptively big, I tried to kayak from the northern part to the other side, close to Mount Hood. I would say Sparks Lake, Trillium Lake, and Waldo Lake are still my favorites but Lost Lake is definitely near the top of the list.

Lost Lake Oregon

There’s also a 3 mile roundtrip trail around the lake and a steep hike up to the butte where you can see 3 mountains.

Without having the internet to distract me, I had to amuse myself by other means. I did a set of plein air lake studies on watercolor paper:

Lost Lake plein air study 6 x 9" on watercolor paper


Lost Lake plein air study 6 x 9" on watercolor paper

Lost Lake plein air study 6 x 9" on watercolor paper


I normally don’t paint outside, you can’t really in Oregon except in the summer (at least I don’t know how other painters paint in the rain). I had to be much more economical and less fussy- using lake water in a plastic cup, not having a proper palette setup, painting much more directly on the paper. All while having bugs constantly try to distract me from painting.

Little Crater Lake

Tucked in the Mount Hood National Forest is Little Crater Lake.

When I first came across it on Google, I was intrigued. I had been to Crater Lake, which was of course amazing, and I wondered what was Little Crater Lake. I asked a few of my native Oregonian friends- they had never heard of it. It turns out Little Crater Lake is aptly named…it’s much, much smaller than Crater Lake in diameter, but also very deep  at around 45 feet deep. Yes that’s feet, not inches. And it is freezing cold. I think they said the water was 34 degrees…brrrr! I actually thought Little Crater Lake felt colder than the water at Crater Lake.

The depth gives Little Crater Lake this amazing turquoise blue color, none of my iphone photos really could do the color justice.

From most of the photos (including mine) that I’ve seen of it, Little Crater Lake looks like a small, ordinary lake. But up close, you see shallow water that immediately veers off into an abyss. There were a few fallen trees, but you really cannot see the bottom.

I am proud to say that I jumped into this freezing water. And one must jump in Little Crater Lake to experience it.  You can’t ease into it, your body just won’t let you.

Even a few seconds of dipping my feet into the water, when the weather was a horrid 100 degrees back in Portland and most of Oregon was scorching,  left me running back to shore.   The water was cold, but man it felt so clean.

The other cool thing about this campground?

There’s a trail, about 1/2 mile from Little Crater Lake that takes you to the head of Timothy Lake where it looks more like a river than a lake. The water there is also pretty cold.

And yes, I accidentally hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, in my bathing suit and wet shoes.

Accidentally hiked the #pacificcresttrail #wild

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Oregon Coast: Moolack Beach

Moolack Beach

Ok, so I already expressed my love for Beverly Beach. And I’m not sure where technically Moolack Beach starts and Beverly Beach ends. The Oregon coast is great like that…it’s so expansive.

Anyway when we went to Moolack Beach we had the bright idea to bring our tent. Having a tent on the Oregon Coast was a brilliant thing..shielding us from the sun and and the wind, and we got a nice private area to snooze in. Naps on the beach are a win!

#pnw #oregon tents are great for the beach #camping #adventure #bestoforegon

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Not sure if we’re technically allowed to have a fire on the beach, so shhhh don’t tell anyone. Food tastes soooo much better over a wood fire.

campfire Moolack Beach

Yes we enjoy long walks on the beach.

Heading off into the sunset…

Devil’s Lake

Devil’s Lake isn’t impressive when you’re rating it on an Oregon scale, because Oregon has freaking Crater Lake, and Waldo Lake, and Trillium Lake, and the list goes on and on. But on a regular lake scale, Devil’s Lake is pretty rad. So even though Devil’s Lake doesn’t make the top of my Oregon Lakes list, I would snatch any affordable lake house/tiny home/cabin/shanty you have to offer.

We camped at the state park there, and it kinda felt like the state park of last resort, where you would go when the other more popular camps get booked up. But it’s super convenient to Lincoln City and the best that the Coast has to offer.  Note to other travelers, if you are lucky enough to have a boat, they have boat moors accessible from the campground and extra boat parking lots that you can rent.

I have never needed to think about boat parking but I’d imagine that would be handy if one had a boat. Just like I never thought about where to put my horse when camping, but you can do that at other Oregon state parks like Nehalem Bay.

The lots were lined with these interesting leafy things called skunk cabbage.

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There were raccoons and random ducks cruising around for food. Given the convenience of the location, I think I will come back and I’d like to try their yurts.