I am reluctant to write this review, because I KNOW that if you go to Nature Camp near Amboy Washington (less than an hour from Portland) you too will have an amazing time and will write a great review on hipcamp… and before you know it this place will be booked! Which is exactly what the hosts, Valisha and Michael, want! So to honor these kind, beautiful spirted people who whole heartedly want to share Nature Camp, I will set aside my selfish desires to not tell anyone about this gem of a camp ground and write an honest review.
First the facts: Nature Camp is magical! The hosts met us at as the road entrance into the camp ground, which is located next to their residence. We drove a short way through beautiful forest to a clearing for Camp #2. (Camp #2 has room for 2 or 3 tents, Camp #1 is smaller with room for only 1 tent). The camp spot is level, has a picnic table, an in-ground fire pit and an above -ground fire bowl with spark arrester. Fire wood is provided if there isn't a burn ban. The campsite is dry, but the hosts supplied us with a jug of spring water with availability to as much drinking water as we wanted. They also provided two 5 gallon buckets of water to put out the fire in the fire pit. They took us on a walking tour of the forest where they had created spaces to experience the land and the forest. The most special spot for us was the Meditation space, a small trail to a small clearing at the edge of the forest; here we did yoga, meditation, and used that as a quiet space, void of words to just listen. We also loved the Adirondack chairs perched at the edge of a babbling brook. But it was the creek that passes through the edge of the property where we spent MOST of our time. This little creek is PERFECT for kids to play in and adults to lay back and cool off. We had TWO bald eagle nests that were our entertainment, we watched them feed and listened to the eaglets call out for more food. My dog LOVED the creek. There is a very clean (and cute!) composting outhouse. But best of all: no bugs! Not one single mosquito or biting fly. We decided NOT to put up the tent and slept out under the stars.
I backpack a lot. But recently I’ve noticed that I pack in miles and miles only to be surrounded by others who are doing the same… I find it harder and harder to alone in the middle of the forest. At Nature Camp, you are alone… OK…. True, you are still near humans, can occasionally hear a car in the distance, miles and miles away, and you have cell service…. but the hosts leave you to explore and love the land as much as they do. You FEEL alone in the forest.
WHO would love Nature Camp?
1. Families with children (potty is easy to use and not a pit toilet), babbling creek to play in, camp fire, feels safe.
2. Single women who want to camp but don’t like to camp next to the weirdos at the state park.
3. Small group (2-4 tents) Retreat.
4. Folks new to camping.
I will be back, and THIS time I will make time to hang out in the hammock at Camp #2!
Thank you Valisha and Michael! You were wonderful hosts.