Clive Watson’s Tips & Tricks: Finding the Best Secret Spots

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Finding good camp spots off the beaten track can be difficult, sometimes a crap shoot. More often than not,  people do not want to give up their secret spots and to be honest you can’t blame them. We all go away from traditional RV parks and campsites for a reason.

To prepare to find those magic “secret” spots, we plan the mileage to the area we want to explore and then navigate to water if possible. 

My wife and I love finding sweet hidden spots next to a river or lake. When traveling to new areas asking locals for their input once you get into town can be very helpful. I recall the time we asked the young greeter at Walmart where his favorite swim spot was and he directed us to this sweet cliff jumping spot of the beaten path that only locals knew about. It pays to tap into local knowledge when possible.

There are plenty of apps  and forums out there for help, or the adventure of spending time and getting out there and finding your own places is irreplaceable. That’s why you have your expedition vehicle. Go get lost. 

We are stewards of the land. Be respectful and mindful. Know the rules about open fires. Leave each spot even better than you found it – we bring an extra rubbish bag to collect any debris we find. Stay tuned for more from EarthCruiser on how we can support that cause further.


Favorite Apps & Resources

On X offroad – Join thousands of off-roaders in planning and discovering 550K+ miles of off-road trails. Keep all of your trails, Tracks, campsites, and markups in one App.

GaiaGPS – GaiaGPS provides offroad trail maps for your next 4×4 or overland adventure. You can plan overlanding expeditions and discover new dispersed camping spots with this popular navigation app

Trails Off Road – This solves the problem of finding off-road trails that satisfy your personal adventure threshold. Trails Off Road “wants you to know what you are getting into before you are either bored or scared to death. Whether you are into overlanding, beaches, rock crawling, backcountry roads or high mountain passes – we have that perfect off-road trail.”

Bureau of Land Management – You can’t go wrong checking into BLM resources, a go-to for traditional and dispersed camping sites. 

US Forest Service – This another standard resource for exploring camping sites and seasonal tips.


As a bonus, here are a few of the EarthCruiser crew’s favorite Oregon spring spots that we originally shared last year. Enjoy these beloved gems:

Crewmember/position: Connor – Chassis Fabrication Technician

Favorite destination: Christmas Valley Sand Dunes

Why? It’s great to go before it gets hot.  Also, there is no one there this time of year, you have the whole place to yourself.

Route: Southeast from LaPine, OR, past Fort Rock and Hole in the Ground.


Crewmember/position: Chad – General Manager

Favorite destination: The Owyhee Canyonlands

Why? The rock formations are incredible.  There seems to be no lack of privacy this time of year, and there are a number of hot springs within a reasonable distance. 

Route:  Burns to Rome, OR, then north into the unknown…  Or to Jordan Valley then north through the Succor Creek Natural Area.


Crewmember/position: Justin, Customer Service Manager

Favorite destination: Summer Lake Hot Springs

Why? The dispersed camping set up is great, and the outside soaking pools allow for nighttime stargazing.

Route: Old Millican Wagon Trial, then via Sheep Rock Road.  This desert route is usually clear of snow and has very limited traffic.


Crewmember/position: Karl, Technical Service Advisor

Favorite destination: Alvord Desert Hot Springs

Why? The drive is awesome, and the water is hot in the 2 open-air pools.  If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a fly-in (there were over 100 airplanes when I was there last).  

Route: Through the Hart Mountain National Refuge, enter Fields from the West then North to the Desert.

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