Review - Crow Butte State Park

Discussion in 'Washington' started by DarthMuffin, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. DarthMuffin

    DarthMuffin New Member

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    Crow Butte
    State: WA
    Nearest City: Patterson, WA
    GPS coordinates: 45.85468, -119.85148
    http://www.crowbutte.com/
    Run by: Port of Benton
    Reservations accepted: Yes
    Number of sites: 50 plus a primitive group area
    Water: Yes
    Facilities: Flush toilets, hot showers, camp store
    Hookups: Full

    Crow Butte campground is an established campground on a large island on the Columbia River. It was formerly privately owned and operated, but now it has been purchased by the state. This large, spacious campground is shaded with established (planted) trees and nice grass all around. The rest of the island is natural shrub-steppe (desert) habitat and is public land available for hiking excursions.

    The campground is popular, especially with RVs and boaters, so make reservations. There are boat launch facilities, docks, a swimming area, camp store/snack bar, and spacious park areas for games and activities. Hiking, fishing and watersports (especially sailboards) are popular.

    Sites are big and not packed too closely, but open with little privacy. There are a few sites right on the river’s edge. Popups there have two problems that the big RVs don’t’: It’s frequently windy there in the Columbia gorge, and there’s a train track less than a half-mile away. The sound carries over the water and easily penetrates a tent. Another complaint of mine is that most sites don’t have fire rings, but they do allow above-ground fires in pits you supply.

    Still, it’s a good campground and has some unique things to offer. It’s worth a visit. This is a good campground to visit in spring or fall as crowds are less and the weather there in the desert can still be very nice. We have camped there in May and Oct and been blessed with warm weather and no winds each time.
     
  2. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    I stayed there in a tent in 2003 en route to my job at Mount Rainier National Park. When I got there, I saw the sites had gravelled tent pads but the most luxurious grassy lawn around them. I set up my tent on the lawn as I knew it would be soft and comfortable. Around dark, the ranger drove through, smiled at me, and drove on.

    I went to bed and was fast asleep on comfy grass below my sleeping pad and sleeping bag, happy as if I had had any sense, when about 1 in the morning I heard this loud "click" and something jumped up under my feet. It was a popup water spigot, and it immediately began pumping high pressure water under the floor of the tent, soaking the tent, my sleeping bag, and everything inside within seconds.

    I jumped up and saw the whole campground was being irrigated with rotary spray guns pushing 25' circles of water. They were sited to cover everything except, of course, the tent pads and parking spots.

    I drug my wet self and soaked stuff out, got everything laid out on the gravel pad just in time for the irrigation to stop, and tried to sleep the rest of the night in my car. Fortunately, that area is high desert, so things dried out fairly quickly by morning, but I had learned a lesson about sticking to the tent pads. I also realized why the ranger just smiled at me rather than ordering me to move to the pad...
     
  3. DarthMuffin

    DarthMuffin New Member

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    LOL at your STT (silly tent trick), Travelhoveler. Glad everything dried out OK.

    But yeah, you don't get grass in the desert without frequent watering :) They do seem to try to keep the sprinklers in the sites off during the weekend (or maybe I just slept through it?).
     

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