Cycle Wild Sunset Falls Camping!

A bunch of people and their bicycles, huddled under a roof to wait out a downpour…

heisson store(the bitty Heisson Store, last supply stop before our campground)

Must be a Cycle Wild trip in April! :)

This weekend’s camping trip with Cycle Wild, a group dedicated to helping people get out camping on their bicycles, left from Portland in the sunshine on Saturday morning and became increasingly gloomy and wet as we made our way to Sunset Falls in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. But whatever, right? Who actually expects nice weather in April? Despite the wet, it was a rockin’ good time.

Cycle Wild is a good deal, especially if you’re curious about bike camping but not totally sure where to start. They plan the route and the campground and give you a cue sheet to get there and back; you provide your own bike, gear, and food; everyone has a chance to chat with other awesome people and you make your way out to the campground together.

It’s a really nice, supportive way to try bike camping if you’re curious about it but perhaps still a little intimidated. And even if you’re a bike camping pro, it’s a really nice way to meet other cool people and get outside for a weekend. I’m into it.

You can find a whole list of routes and maps for nearby camping on the Cycle Wild website, although it looks like this route to the Sunset Falls Campground isn’t on there. Regardless, it’s sort of like going to Battleground Lake, but then adding on a whole bunch of awesome biking along the Lewis River.

lewis river(ye old Lewis River. We took an unpaved biking/hiking path along this that was absolutely spectacular)

lucia falls(breaktime to check out Lucia Falls. Super awesome to have all these loaded bikes in one spot!:)

We got to our campsite around 6pm, plenty of time to set up our various tents/bivys/hammocks/whatever, change into dry clothes, check out Sunset Falls, try to build a fire with wet wood, make dinner, and otherwise hang out. Though we all biked out together, people left at different times in the morning according to how early they woke up and how long they wanted to hang out. I’ll admit that basically everything I owned was pretty darn wet by the time I got home on Sunday, but, again, that’s basically what I expect from a camping trip in April in the Northwest. I’m super psyched to have been out this weekend to inaugurate the camping season.

My camera stopped working partway through the trip, but I do have more pretty mediocre pictures here.

Awesome work, Cycle Wild! :)

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