We were looking for a place to camp near Spokane, Wash., and heard that a local favorite, Dragoon Creek Campground, had recently reopened after being closed for most of four years because of funding issues and lack of camp hosts.
Operated by the State of Washington Department of Natural Resources, this low-frills no-hookups campground features 22 mostly-level tent/RV sites with fire pits and picnic tables … and this year … two amazing campground hosts: full-time RVers Susan and Larry Dach.
The Dachs, who grew up in eastern Washington, have been “on the road” since 2008, touring America and volunteering at public campground as hosts in exchange for a campsite plus utilities.
A couple of their favorite gigs include Zion National Park in Utah and El Capitan State Beach near Santa Barbara, Calif.
“With fuel more expensive and campsites fees going up – $40-45 a night with hookups in California state parks and $28 in Oregon – the costs add up fast,” said Larry in an extensive article written by Rich Launders in the Spokesman-Review. Read more by clicking on: “Fifth-wheel living: Making the country a better place, one campground at a time.”
As for Dragoon Creek Campground —
Situated just 14 miles north of Spokane, near Deer Park. Take U.S. 395, (this is a very busy highway and is only two lanes at turnoff for campground) watch for signs near mile marker 175 and turn west (left) to the campground.
When we were there, we found very clean pit restrooms, central drinking water, and grassy meadows near the creek.
Caution: While there is no fee for camping (limit of 3 days a month), all vehicles must have a current Washington Discover Pass. Passes are $10 a day or $30 a season and must be purchased prior to camping. No passes are sold at the campground; however they are available at stores such as REI or online. For those who are traveling through the area, passes can be purchased by calling (866) 320-9933 or on smart phones from this website. Campers then can write the confirmation code on paper and place it on the vehicle dashboard.
Other rules to be aware of during your visit: No pets are allowed. The campground gate is closed and locked at 8 p.m. and reopened at 7 a.m. to keep vehicles from going in or out during the night. A safety precaution that I very much appreciate.
Photos: (Top) RVer Jimmy Smith stands by Department of Natural Resources Dragoon Creek campground sign. Our camper can be seen in upper right of photo. (Middle) Full-time RVers Susan and Larry Dach are camp hosting this summer at Dragoon Creek Campground. (Bottom) Our Northern Lite camper parked in site #3. (Julianne G. Crane)