Sinkhole Campground is relatively small compared to most of the campgrounds in this area. There are a total of 26 sites, and 13 of them can be reserved online in advance. These sites are spread over 2 loops, and each loop has 1 bathroom building with a men’s and women’s side. There is a campground host at the entrance, as well as an above ground water source (it does not claim to be drinking water but the info on Recreation.gov says it is drinking water). There are also dumpsters, but they have a sign saying it costs $3 per bag of trash to use them.
The bathrooms are nothing fancy, but they were clean, had toilet paper, working locks, air freshener, and they were regularly maintained. The vault toilets have the smallest seats I’ve ever seen, but again… they were clean. There was a “sewage” smell for about 10 feet around the bathroom building, but absolutely no smell inside other than the air freshener.
The campground was laid out in a different way than I’ve seen in any other campground, but it seems to work. Each site from 1-13 (as far as I noticed) was designed to be passenger side facing in a circular design that means you are not walking out to face your neighbor doing the same. We stayed in site 5, which is considered a group site with site 4. Thankfully, we were there with 2 other families, and we had both site 4 and site 5. Honestly, if we had been in either site without being there with the other family it would have been awkward. I’ve posted pictures because it will be very hard to explain. Basically, it’s 2 parking spaces that are extra-long, and one has an extra 10 feet at the back so the idea is that both RVs will open about 5 feet apart.
The campground is roughly a half-mile walk from the Willow Springs Lake. We ventured to the lake a few times and I swear each attempt to get to or from the lake resulted in a different path taken. It was odd to think, but I do not believe that these are highly traveled paths since there are multiple places you can drive right up to the lake and many of the trails looked overgrown. If you stay at Sinkhole, I strongly suggest you check out the lake. It was very pretty even with the water being roughly 5 or 6 feet low. We went fishing a few times and caught a few small trout, hiked about a quarter way around the lake, found a geocache, and just enjoyed the scenery.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time. On this trip, I tested the Women’s OOriginal Sandal. The OOFOS sandals (or flip flops as I can’t help but call them) are kind of amazing. They claim to be recovery shoes. I had NO idea what that meant until I had them. Basically, these are meant to be worn after any type of high impact activity such as running, hiking or anything else that keeps you on your feet for an extended period of time. I’ve been wearing them daily for the last week. I’ve worn other shoes to work and then come home to my OOFOS… amazing. I’ve worn my OOFOS to work.,.,. amazing. I’ve gone hiking for a few miles then come back to camp and put on my OOFOS… amazing.
These sandals claim to float and be washing machine safe. I did actually put them in the lake, and, thankfully, they do float. They aren’t so buoyant that you can’t walk in the water with them but they aren’t like trying to step on a boogey board. Bottom line is if they end up in the water they will float. I think this adds to the “perfect” checklist for any boater because who loves being out in the lake and losing their stuff!? I’ve also put them through my washing machine and they have come out the other side much better than when they went in. I have a High Efficiency set which often means “really” dirty stuff like these shoes won’t come out clean on the first wash but these look pretty good! Also, there is no degradation of the material or the structural integrity of the sandal.
I can’t truly tell you what the sandals are made of… but it’s a high density foam of some sort. They are soft enough that you would want to believe they are memory foam, but they don’t hold your shape when you take them off. The shoes are very supportive and when you take them off they instantly retain their original shape. They have arch support, which for me is often a bad thing. I generally have flat feet but the arch support on these is comforting and actually worth wearing. There is a pattern on the inside of the sandal which gives you grip when your feet are wet or slippery. They also have tread on the bottom of the sandal that will prevent you from slipping in slick conditions. I wore them around camp for a few days and had no issues with the dirt, asphalt, pine needles, etc.
Overall, I have fallen in love with my OOFOS. They are great for day-to-day wear and amazing for recovery wear. The wide range of color choices means you can easily find a pair that will fit in with your style. The foam is supportive and easily beats out any general flip flop for comfort in daily wear. I’ve used them after 8 hours of standing on hard wood… I’ve used them after 8 hours at the office… I’ve used them after 4 hours of hiking… and I’ve used them just because… and all of these are amazing.
There are 2 Bally Creek sites…this is the NORTH one. Just off the Superior Hiking Trail and about 1/4 mile from a parking area.
When you get to the site, you ascend up a little hill to an area that has plenty of trees for hammocks. Not to mention, a great big pine that's perfect for hanging your food, because it's a decent bit away from the tent pad area and fire ring. Up another little path, you get to the tent pads (1 bigger and potentially 2 smaller) and more trees for hammocks. The fire ring has a nice little bench around it, and there seems to be a resident chipmunk that thoroughly enjoys sharing your meals. The privy is just down the hill and is very clean and private.
The only complaint I have (and it's not really a big deal) is that the trail is so close to the site, that if it's a busy weekend, you can see them coming down the hill behind the fire ring, and they all want to stop and see if it's available. But beyond that (and I'm just glad people love to hike and camp!), it's not really a bother so much as a minor thing.
Oh…and it's super easy to get to! About a 1/4 mile from a parking area, so just far enough off the road, but close enough if you need something. Great for a family with little ones! Water is just down the path in a little stream.
Of the eight National Parks I visited on my month long roadtrip, Grand Teton was my favorite. Gros Ventre is a great location to explore the park, particularly the southern half (Moose and Jackson, WY).
There is next to no privacy - the campground is in the middle of a few cottonwood trees and lots of scrub brush. Bathrooms were clean, staff was incredibly friendly.
Mormon Row is less than five minutes away by car if you want a great place to watch the sunrise! Craft beer could be found in Moose where there's a roof top bar.
For my five-year-old son's first backpacking experience, we hiked about 3 miles on the Ice Age Trail, into Pike Lake campground (in the Kettle Moraine North State Park). We camping on one of the backpacking sites right off the trail.
Our campsite was very large, fully shaded, and included a picnic table and a fire ring. There was also a port-a-potty nearby, central to the three backpacking sites. The site was really nice, and the fireflies were very active at dusk.
Within Pike Lake there are many hiking trails of varying lengths, and all are very well maintained. They are even updating the path of the trails to help stop erosion on the hills, which is impressive if you are interested in conservation and natural resource management. There is also a lookout tower that offers stunning views of the surrounding area.
The lake was beautiful and the beach area is very nice and clean. There are many picnic tables and a playground. We would have loved to swim on our last day, but it was a bit cool (not even 70 degrees F) and very breezy. My son determined that we should hike back, but he did get to play in the sand a little bit.
Before testing OOFOS, I was not really a sandals person. Now I wear them more than I ever had before. OOFOS are made of a single molded piece of high density closed-cell foam. The shape of them offer excellent arch support, very cushioned overall foot support, and forces the wearer to take most of the pressure off of the heels. They are waterproof and very durable.
After our hike into our campsite, I wore my OOFOS and even hiked in them a little bit. They are excellent after hikes and runs, or after a long day on your feet.
My wife is very much a "sandals person" and she appreciated the cushion and the support she got while she was pregnant. OOFOS helped ease some of the pressure on her back. Now that we have our newborn, she still wears them daily. OOFOS has been her primary shoe for the last couple months and she loves them.
I whole-heartedly recommend them to anyone. Friends and family who know that I wasn't a sandals person before noticed the OOFOS and I share my love of these sandals. 100% Ranger-worthy and 100% recommended. The extra cost over cheap sandals is totally worth it.