How To Find My Favorite Hidden Campsite Near the Tri-Cities
There are only a few more great weekends for camping. Summer has ended and soon so will all the nice weather. If you're looking for the perfect place to close out camping for the year, I am going to tell you a secret. This spot is my favorite in all of Washington State. You can not drive there, probably can not walk there, and will need a boat or maybe a helicopter to find it. (*Crazy story about how I almost died trying to walk from there at the bottom of this article.)
So where is this super secret hidden campsite located?
Yes, that close hidden campsite is about a 2 hours drive only from Tri-Cities. I was lucky enough to grow up outside of Davenport Washington about a 5 minute drive from Lake Roosevelt. Most of my childhood we put the boat in at either Seven Bays or Porcupine Bay and then explored all that the beautiful lake has to offer. There are lots of amazing places to pitch a tent but one specifically is my favorite.
The campsite is called Detillian Campground, and here is the best way to find it. You can see on the map above that it's located in between Fort Spokane and Porcupine Bay. The closest place to put in your boat is at Porcupine Bay, and then go north along the shore for about 8 miles. When you see a large island, you are almost there. It is located in a bay on the left side of the lake before the river starts to turn to the west. Look for a dock and some hidden campsites.
WHY IS THIS PLACE SO AMAZING?
First of all, there is something to say for camping where people can't just get to you easily. Every time I have camped there, the families bond and become a mini community. You have your own dock, beach, bathrooms, and there are 12 unique spots to camp at. This spot is popular so the best tip is to get there on a Monday or Tuesday in the summer after people have left for the weekend. The best campsite there is to the far right of the dock. Walk around the corner of the bay and you will find the hidden 12th camp site.
Here is the description on their website. "Located on the Spokane River, you can reach the Fort Spokane Visitor Center and several trails with by a quick boat ride. Detillion Campground is across the river from the Spokane Indian Reservation, with great views of the surrounding mountains, and there is a boat dock here."
Also, Porcupine Bay has a grocery store just a short boat drive away if you need something. Gas is right across the lake, just look for the station on the native side. In case you do not know, you can not camp on the native side of Lake Roosevelt. Make sure you check maps or with someone that knows the area if your camping off site. There are also rattlesnakes and plenty of mosquitoes for you to watch out for so be alert.
One last thing, if your into wake boarding or water skiing, the best place I have ever found is just south of Porcupine Bay at a spot we call the narrows. Look on a map, it is about a 2 mile stretch of narrow lake that is unusually smooth and perfect for skiing. Try to go early in the morning as the sun is rising for some of the best skiing or wake boarding conditions in the state.
WHY CAN'T YOU WALK THERE?
Honestly, you can walk there. How do I know? In high school, my best friend and I decided to walk from Detillion to Porcupine Bay one summer night to go meet up with some girls. We thought it was about a mile or so, but we were wrong. We started around 4 in the afternoon but did not arrive at Porcupine Bay until 1am in the morning. Turns out it was way, way further then we thought, more then 8 miles according to the Ranger that we woke up. Half of the beach you could not walk along so we had to rock climb across cliffs to get there.
We arrived all beat up, tired, clothes tore up, and bleeding. After knocking on the Rangers cabin door, he yelled at us and said we were lucky to be alive. He told us that multiple people had died trying to do the same thing we did. Then he gave us a ride back in the dark with his boat after scolding us. The funny thing is, my friends parents never even realized we were gone so we never got in trouble.
So see...you can walk there but I would definitely not advise it. Just take a boat, it is way easier!