Wild Goose Campground
This is a nice little campground on the way through the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest about 30 miles from Kooskia, Idaho. Situated on the southern shore of the Clearwater River, the fishing turned out to be just right. However, the river on one side of the campground is brisk, as is the highway on the other side, so this might not be the place for kids that wander off. The gang here—7 y.o. No. 1, 5 y.o. No. 2, and 3 y.o. No. 3—had a blast. They explored the shoreline of the river, (turns out hanging out at Ocean and Baker Beach in San Francisco was great practice), and then ran through the forest behind our campsite (#6) playing TreeKingdom. Using wooden poles they found on the shore that had been whittled down for holding fishing rods, the gang made bars for jumping over, played sword fights with the surrounding trees, and generally had fun. There’s a semi-abandoned site behind #6: #8, where the kids had fun exploring and pretending they had their own site. The mosquitoes were at a minimum. Even though there were 4 other groups at the campground, things were quiet, the roar of the wide river muffling most of the other noise. The river and the surrounding forested canyon are gorgeous! The middle of the river roars, but the water near the sandy beach lined shores was quiet enough for our 11 year-old shepherd/Labrador mix to get her belly wet. We slept soundly through the cool, but oh so much warmer night than we’d had in a few, (it didn’t freeze). A few big rigs cruised by on the highway during the night, but the noise wasn’t enough to wake anyone that wasn’t already up, namely me. The kids crashed out through the morning hours, so my partner and I were able to get up and enjoy some coffee all by ourselves. I got to wander down to the beach with a fishing rod, and about a half hour later pulled out a Kokanee. We cooked it up over our camp stove that had previously been put into service for Knorr Chicken Pasta, and the gang got to get a little extra protein and try something new!