94 Campsites – Onion River to Horseshoe Ridge

Onion River Campsite
August 5, 2016 with Braveheart


We hike in just before sunset and race up Leveaux to catch fading rays to the west.

East Leveaux Pond Campsite
June 27, 2008


I never hiked so far from Otter Lake Road before and I feel like I am in the middle of nowhere. It is completely silent.

West Leveaux Pond Campsite
May 17, 2016


I have a couple days off to recover from a pile of weekend work. I set up at West Leveaux and sleep for three hours. Still go to bed at 9PM despite the nap.

Springdale Creek Campsite
May 6, 2018
June 2, 2019 with gistrailblazer


2018: On night one of a three-day loop, I awake with fever that rages through my head. By headlamp I plot my bailout plan. At daybreak I make my way back to the car via an odd combination of ski trails (still mostly frozen).

North Cross River Campsite
June 28, 2008


I am here, and I am happy.

South Cross River Campsite
June 19, 2017 with Elliott


We hike up from Skou, too loud to see any wildlife. No one is anywhere.

The Ledge Campsite
May 25, 2016


I bring whiskey and a book; despite the pouring rain I’m right at home.

The Falls Campsite
May 9, 2017

I surely can’t be the only camper who is amused that The Falls’ sign has fallen over. The trail is ice and snow all the way to The Ledge. I don’t venture further.

Fredenberg Creek Campsite
June 20, 2016


It’s a solstice of strawberries and good books. I don’t see another person since the moment I turn onto Cramer Road.

Dyer’s Creek Campsite
June 21, 2016


I can’t get enough of Cramer Road; I commute down to Two Harbors for the day and return to the trailhead that evening. I find a perfectly-enclosed tent pad and read Elliott’s cheery book about the end of the world.

Sugarloaf Pond Campsite
June 7, 2016

Calling this place a “pond” is pretty generous, but at least I make a friend across the field. At night a mouse chews a hole into my tent at 1AM. I can’t get back to sleep so I hike out in the dark, drive home, and nap before work.

Crystal Creek Campsite
July 29, 2008
October 5, 2011
April 7, 2017 with Elliott


2011: I am here to bid farewell to the SHT and Minnesota. I sit in the woods and read Wuthering Heights to distract myself from farewells.

East Caribou River
July 19, 2016


My best friend from college is getting married today and here I am. To prove I’m thinking of her, I carry our photo. We were just babies when this was taken.

West Caribou River
June 5, 2016


I am set up no more than two minutes before a gentle rain starts. I retreat into my tent, and bury myself in journals and books.

Horseshoe Ridge
May 8, 2017


I misread the guidebook and thought this campsite was close to the trailhead than it is. As a result, I pull up just before dark. It’s crowded. It’s a Friday.

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