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Old 08-14-2014, 09:45 AM   #1
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Badger Creek Wilderness

Towards the end of July we took a quick unplanned trip to Badger Creek Wilderness, just East of Mount Hood



I was looking over a map a couple days before we left, and this spot stood out because you can drive right into Badger Lake in the middle of the wilderness area. A quick google search turned up tons of blogs, pictures and videos of the area, so I should have expected it to be well used. Forest Service website states there are only 4 designated campsites at the Lake, and usage was low. So we got an early start on saturday morning, the last six miles into the lake are on an unimproved jeep trail according to the map, we took our time getting there.

Well when we pulled up to the Lake we grabbed one of the last spots, there were people (and dogs) everywhere. People even camping in day use areas.

Here is our spot



We have a two daughters (three years, and seven months) and since we have been camping make a habit of picking up any left over garbage. Probably got this from my grandpa, something about "doing your fair share" and "leaving a place in better condition, than you found it." It was pretty upsetting seeing all the garbage in the middle of this beautiful wilderness area. We filled up a 33 gallon garbage bag from the designated campsites, and dispersed camping around the lake. Everthing from chair cushions, mountain house containers, cigarette butts, and of course beer bottles. Thanks to all the extra space from the Aluminess bumper and newly installed roof rack, we where able to pick up alot more...







So despite all the people, and there filthy garbage, I am definitely going back to Badger Creek Wilderness


Edit: Obligatory Big Van on small bridge post.

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Old 08-14-2014, 10:05 AM   #2
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Re: Badger Creek Wilderness

A few notes on the accessibility of the road into Badger Lake. Starts out as paved road, then improved dirt road, and as you approach the wilderness boundary turns into a typical unimproved dirt track. We crossed paths with an assortment of vehicles on the road; Honda CRV, Ridgeline, Mazda Rogue, Subaru Outback (my buddies), and any number of different full size pick ups. We even pulled off the trail on the way out for a jam packed Toyota Camry.

My point being that this may doable for the 2WD Sportsmobile crowd, the only concern being maneuvering around large rocks, and ruts, and coming in/leaving Badger Lake is a fairly long and steep section.

On a side note, we have been dealing with a loud metal chatter coming from the driver side penthouse since our 4WD was installed. It was more pronounced on dirt roads and we was manageable with the tennis balls we wedged in between the closed cross members of the lifting mechanism. Well when we had John at Quadvan install our Aluminess roof rack, the tennis balls were not cutting it anymore.

After the Badger Lake trip, something had to change. My wife was prepared to spend the last part of her summer to take the rig into Sportsmobile West, and called them to schedule an appointment. Should have probably called sooner because they knew exactly what the problem was, the material linning the channel for the lifting mechanism had become dislodged. This allows the penthouse spring to "clang" inside the channel while driving.

Two days later we received these:



WOW! What a huge difference these make. At some point they had stopped linning the channel with material and instead utilize these inserts. Just another great example that if you have a question or concern about your rig, give these guys a call, we should have done that two years ago.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:15 AM   #3
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Re: Badger Creek Wilderness

Looks like a great area despite the garbage. Thanks for doing more than your fair share!

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Old 08-14-2014, 10:46 AM   #4
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Re: Badger Creek Wilderness

Thank you for hauling all that trash out. That drives me nuts! Having kids similar in age (4.5 and 1.5) they are already well versed in why we shouldn't litter and how not-beautiful it is.

I had to drive up through that area a few years back to look at a construction project and remember thinking that it would be a great place to come back and explore. Lots of hidden gems around that area!
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:16 PM   #5
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Re: Badger Creek Wilderness

Back in my four wheelin days in my Wrangler I made a habit to carry garbage bags with me and whenever I stopped I always picked up. It amazed me that it took all day to get somewhere, use 4WD, winch, pull straps, etc and I still found garbage. None the less, I made sure to always leave my "spot" better than when I got there. I never travel with anyone that shows that kind of disrespect to the trail.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:44 PM   #6
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Re: Badger Creek Wilderness

That is for the report. We camped at Bonnie Meadows several years ago, and I have had Badger Lake on my list since. Sounds like a mid fall trip might be better to avoid the crowds and maybe help clean up before winter. Any issues with overhead clearance on the road in?
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:50 AM   #7
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Re: Badger Creek Wilderness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldercrest
Any issues with overhead clearance on the road in?
There were a only few spots where the track narrowed, and tree branches were dangling over the road. The branches weren't big enough for me to worry about any kind of damage. With that being said I generally am not worried about minor scratches or dents, and do not have solar panels up top, yet.

Our next visit to the area will be on the eastern edge of the wilderness, somewhere around Little Badger. Looks like there are a lot more opportunities for boondocking, the type of forest here is more appealing to us, as well. More Ponderosa Pines, and the forest opens up as it transitions to the open rolling High Desert above the Tygh Valley.

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Old 08-17-2014, 02:04 PM   #8
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Re: Badger Creek Wilderness

Thanks for the report and hauling out what the jerks leave behind. I do want to get up that way one of these years...I've never been to Oregon. It looks beautiful.
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:08 AM   #9
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Re: Badger Creek Wilderness

Little Badger, if I recall, is a horse camp and it's sort of down in a canyon. Bonney Crossing is more open and bigger. Another cool spot is Pebble Ford, which is further east towards Dufur.
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