camping on the yakima

Are there places to camp along the yakima river? I know their are rv parks/campgrounds, but I'd rather just find a place where I can set my tent up and crash for the night. Paying for camping kind of exceeds my college student buget if you know what I mean. Is it legal to camp at the put ins/take outs along the river? What about having a small campfire....I kind of doubt you can do that, but thought i'd ask anyways. What about over at Rocky Ford creek?



AKA: Gregory Mine
Years ago, you could camp just about anywhere you wanted. That was before all the barracades, guard railings, and signs. I think(in my simple mind) this was caused by all the vagrants that used to "camp" there all summer long and take up residence in the out of the way areas. Old school busses, trash, out of luck guys, migrants, and on and on. I once ran into a camp where a sign spray painted on it said "trespassers and thieves will be shot without question". They claimed posession of the area and wanted you to know it. Won't forget that one.

There is camping allowed at Umtanum, and a few other places, but I'm not sure if I would reccomend them. This day and age where leaving your things on the Yakima explosed and unlocked is not like it used to be, and I don't think I would be able to fish without it being in my sight. At least at Umtanum you would have neighbors that would give some security, also the slab I would think there would be not much trouble. But trying to be off by yourself might cause you to come back to missing some things that was borrowed by someone who felt needed it more. Paranoid, maybe, yet if it was me, I'd at least camp where others are, for the simple fact that at least someone might just see something, or make the person with a wandering hand think twice about showing up for an unannounced visit. Not sure about the campfires, I would think that if there was not a burn ban on you would be okay unless a sign says otherwise. Not a Rocky Ford fan, so I couldn't tell you about there. Me, I'd vote for Umtanum, its centerally located and has bathroom facilities.

I may be overreacting, but I like my stuff just way too much.

Once my buddy and I came in late so decided we would just crash at Ringer. Had a few beers and once we got all settled into the trucks for some shut eye the polica rolled up and clearly pointed out overnight camping was not allowed due to vandalism, etc. Driving out with more than a couple beers and them following left for an interesting drive to Umtanum.

That was a few years back but just like Yakima has stated Slab and Umtanum you can camp for free maybe someday as well as Bighorn, but this weekend I'll either spend the off season $5 at Red's (where your stuff is always pretty secure)or free at Umtanum.
Fires :thumb