I first visited Monte Sano SP about a year ago, and it’s been one of my absolute favorite places in Alabama since. As a female I LOVE the staff and feel safe camping and hiking the trails throughout the park solo and with my dogs. Their are so many trails to choose from but the best part about the park, in my opinion is the fact the campsites in the primitive area are typically separated greatly by trees, so you get more a feeling of privacy. If I continue to type, it’ll turn into a book, but take my word for it, if you love nature, privacy and scenic views, Monte Sano is your place in Alabama.
Nice place to camp. Only stayed one night because storms were in the forecast but would definitely go back.
To get to this park, you drive right through Huntsville neighborhoods. We made our reservations earlier in the week but had a different site each night because the park was going to be full.
In my opinion, all the sites are nice because the campground is in the woods. And you can pitch a tent far from the road in the separate primitive area.
On Saturday night, I couldn't believe the number of TVs outside the RVs. I guess this is an inexpensive way to experience an Alabama football game outside. :) Sites were crowded with lots of people; one site had about 8 cars along the road during the game. Fortunately people were in a good mood because Alabama was never in danger of losing.
Alabama's Campground Taxes Are HIGH
Our sites with water and electricity were $26/night although a senior discount was applied for Thursday night. (No discounts on weekends.) We paid a one-time fee of $5 and the total cost was $93.55. Taxes are almost 20%.
There are only 2 restrooms/showerhouses which seems a bit on the low side for this campground. They're clean enough but the staff should check them more often on a full weekend in the fall. By Saturday evening, there were no paper towels and the toilet paper was gone from all except one stall. And it was still like that on Sunday morning at 9.
Standard amenities include a fire ring and picnic table at each site, dump station, and trash dumpsters out front.
Sites (except primitive sites in the tent area) have power and water. There are also some sites with sewer hookup.
The number of hiking trails is what made this park appeal to us. You can pick up an excellent map at the park office.
There's a disc golf course and a Japanese garden.
Primitive sites were full so we didn't ask if a teardrop trailer could be taken back there. The road to those sites is a bit bumpy but we could have easily fit on those sites. A call to the park would be worth it if you're interested.
When I called Saturday morning to check on availability for that evening, I was told only primitive sites were available which would have been ok for a one night stay but upon arrival, we were told you had to pitch a tent for the primitive sites (we don’t have a tent and sleep in our van). However, a number of improved sites had opened up so we were in luck. All sites are gravel and appear to be fairly level and ours was likely the most level we’ve been in for awhile. Picnic table and fire ring at each site. Many families with young children (fun to watch them ride their bikes around the loop). Bathhouse was clean and I appreciated the HOT water! Coin laundry. The North Alabama Japanese garden is a nice short walk and there are a variety of hiking trails (I would recommend the Stone Cut Trail for a moderately challenging hike).
My husband stayed here for a few months while we were trying to sell our house. Beautiful views, wildlife are fun to watch, hiking and biking trails, play areas for kids. Definitely recommend. It is a little pricey compared to some places.
Monte Sano State Park is located near Huntsville in northeast Alabama. In Spanish, Monte Sano means “Mountain of Health.” In the late 1800s, visitors from across the United States came for “the season” to experience and enjoy Monte Sano’s fresh air, spectacular views and mineral springs. Fourteen rustic cabins, 11 of which were built by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC), are perched on the side of the mountain and are equipped with kitchens, fireplaces, separate showers and baths, cable television, outdoor grills, picnic tables, and porches for taking in the amazing sunrises.
The park also features 89 improved campsites, a primitive campground and a camp store.
We chose a primitive site. They are well carved out back away from the road. There were plenty of spots available, both primitive and RV hookups. We didn't stay long enough to try out the bath houses, so I can't attest to those. The park looked like it is regularly visited and you can reserve sites online more than a day in advance.
We stayed at site #11 and it was a very nice site with sewer hookup. We made a second trip and stayed on site #28 without sewer hookup. It rained a lot while we were on 28 and a LOT of water flowed right through this site so I would stay away from #28 if you think there is a chance of rain. This park is easy to get to and it is so hard to believe all the aminities that are so close. You feel like you are way back off into the woods.
The park is often busy, which is a good thing. But, if you want quieter - opt for the primitive sites. They are a bit further to the bathhouse, but not near the traffic (pedestrian, bike, and vehicles).
We heard from other campers that if you go to Huntsville, Alabama that you have to stop at Monte Sano State Park. We took our Class C up the mountain and was able to reserve full hookups in a nicely wooded area. Sites were level gravel with picnic tables and grill. Great place to bring a trail bike or take hikes. Pet friendly.