Awesome scenery. But the camp ground can get very busy. The site are ok in size but some sites are very close together. There are showers and flush toilets if you are into that. To get to the lake from the tent sites you have to climb down a pretty steep rocky hill or drive to the day use area. We fish for catfish and have caught a few here but also got skunked a few times. I've stayed here June July and October. Dont really recommend fall really windy cold and rainy. But not not many campers that time of the year.
Campgrounds have clean bathrooms with showers. Most spaces are not too close to your neighbors. If you reserve early enough (up to 6 months in advance) you can get some very premium sites. I recommend the “Ruddy Duck” or “Red Head” loop sites. Kayaks are also available for rent. Most sites are full hookups
Fool Hollow is right on the outskirts if Show Low. You literally drive through neighborhood streets to get to the entrance. The first ¼ mile of roads within the park, you also drive along a fence that backs up to private properties. Do not let that “fool” you though… when we got to the Osprey loop within the campground you would have had no idea town was so close! The scenery is a mix between forest and high desert. There were plenty of pine trees but still the occasional cactus. All of the roads through Fool hollow are paved. There are plenty of dumpsters and trashcans available.
The spaces in the Osprey loop were fairly close together. We had loud neighbors and heard them all night long. This surprised us because the Quiet Hours are 8 pm to 7 am and we were right across from the host but they never said anything. That being said we saw the host drive by once or twice in the entire 3 days we were there. In fact, when our not so friendly neighbors left on day 2 they left the site trashed. The host did not come to clean it up until day 3 after another camper had stayed in the site and complained about it being dirty. Another notable item for Osprey is that while the spaces appear to be waterfront on their website there is a 20-foot drop off between the sites and the lake. I think this is worth mentioning in case you have small children or actually plan to go to the lake.
I know our pictures show us in a pop up trailer but this summer Fool Hollow updated their policy and pop up trailers are now considered “RVs” and cannot be in the tent only sites. We were grandfathered in to the space because we already had reservations but if you plan to visit with a pop-up be sure to book in an RV space.
Fool Hollow boasts some of the most modern bathrooms I have seen at a campground. There was a coke vending machine and an outside sink. Our building had three women’s and three men’s bathrooms. For each gender, two also contained showers. I did not use them because it was really cold and there is no electrical to run a blow dryer so I didn’t want to be stuck with wet hair. However, I did see campers use them and after talking with them, they said they are always hot. Unfortunately, if hot is not your thing there is no temperature dial on the shower so you are stuck with the water at whatever temperature it comes out at. The bathrooms were well lit all night. So much so that if light pollution bothers you I would not suggest getting a space near the bathroom.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time – on this trip I tested the RoM Women’s Altitude Hydration Jacket. This jacket in particular is one of the prototypes that RoM had. From what I was told the sizing on them will be a little off from the final product so I do suggest reaching out to customer service if you have questions on sizing. With the prototype I chose a Women’s Extra Large. I’m around 5 ft 8 in tall and wear an 8 or 10 in women’s jeans. This jacket was an excellent fit on me in the torso, arm length, and overall sizing. I had just a little free space around the hips and was able to move freely without it being too big.
The jacket’s unique feature is that it has a built in hydration pack holder that routes through the jacket. I thought this was going to be one of my favorite features but it ended up being the thing I disliked the most about it. The hydration bladder sites on the inside of the down layer so if you have cold water in it you then have a cold hydration bladder only a thin layer of material away from your back. This seemed a bit counterproductive because the jacket is WARM and if you need a jacket that warm you likely do not want something cold pressed against your body. When the hydration bladder was full it also pulled down on the back of the jacket and kept making the front ride up. The drinking tube routes through the left side of the jacket and cannot be routed through the other side. Generally speaking you shouldn’t put warm liquid in those bladders but you could use the pocket for a hot water bottle instead. Again, you will be battling the weight but it may keep you that much warmer.
The jacket was extremely warm. When we arrived, it was in the upper 60’s and the winds were around 25 mph. My clothing was warm enough but the wind was cutting through so I decided to put the jacket on. I ended up in a tank top under the jacket and it would still get warm enough that I’d need to take the jacket off periodically to cool down. It got down into the low 30’s and I was comfortable wearing this jacket with a long sleeve shirt underneath. As far as wind resistance, this was probably the jackets best feature! The sleeves and hood can zip off and I was worried that the wind would still come through the zippers. They have put this awesome rubber cover over the zippers and no wind got through at all!
The inside of the jacket has four small pockets. Three of these pockets have no closure at all (no Velcro, snaps, or flaps). They are also not very large. I’d imagine they’d work great for a chapstick, small wallet, etc. The fourth pocket has a material flap closure but nothing to secure it with. It was large enough to fold up the hood when disconnected but then there was a lot of bulk in the chest of the jacket so I did not use it like that for long. The sleeves have Velcro around the wrists to tighten them as needed. The Velcro seems to be of a good quality and should not get fuzzy after repeated use. One thing I would have liked to see on this jacket was something to tighten down the hood around the face. With all the wind I had the hood blown off quite a few times because there was no drawstring or bungee around the face.
RoM’s website does not specifically state the jacket as being waterproof but makes mention to wearing it in the rain so I figured I’d test it out. I made it about 10-15 minutes in the sleet/snow before I started feeling the moisture seeping through on my shoulders. The shell is Polyester and seems a little water resistant but I would definitely not call this jacket waterproof.
There were a few loose strings around the jacket where it looks they had finished seams and did not tuck the tail in so I cut them off and had no issues. The only seam that seemed to “fail” was the one on the bottom of the right exterior pocket. When I was unzipping it the zipper it went through the stitching at the bottom and came off the track. It is an easy fix and with a few stitches at home it won’t be a problem again.
The jacket doesn’t have written washing directions but does have the symbols for Machine Wash Cold and Lay Flat to Dry. I ran it through my washer on a cold cycle and laid it out to dry. It took about 24 hours to dry out completely. All of the down filling seemed to stay well in place and there was very little “balling” or “bunching” in the sections.
Overall, I am happy with this jacket as a cold weather jacket (especially if there is going to be wind). It was very lightweight and easily kept me warm into the 30’s. If you are looking for a waterproof outer layer I would suggest passing on this jacket because it really did not hold up to extended water exposure. Also, while the hydration pack was a great feature in theory it isn’t set up in a way that made wearing the jacket while the bladder was in very comfortable (because of it pulling the jacket backwards) or warm (because of the cold water being near your body). I may just end up using the hydration bladder pocket for a few light snacks or my wallet when I am out.
I wouldn't say this is an awe inspiring getaway, but it is a refreshing place to escape the heat of the Valley of the Sun in Phoenix. It is a very large campground near Woods Canyon Lake. Some spots are very shady, in the pines, and some spots are not so shady, near the meadow. The campground hosts are very friendly and host Movies in the Meadow and "Ranger" classes for the kids on the weekends. It is very, very common, to have Elk wander through your campsite daily. Good for either tents or trailers.
Every year my wife and I attend the Luna New Mexico Rodeo. This is one of our favorite places to visit, it always rains when we are there but this could not dampen our fun! the camping is dispersed and first come first serve. We suggest you pick a high spot! Although we camp during the rodeo weekend, there is no reason you cant camp other times of the year. Surrounded by towering pine and waking up to the fresh smell of wet camp fires mixed with the pine is an unforgettable memory.
Trees are too far apart for Hammocks
There are plenty of hiking and UTV trails nearby
No fire rings or BBQ pits.
Restrooms are available and running water near the Rodeo arena.
When all the other campgrounds in surrounding areas are packed, Benny Creek is it!
came here on a recent holiday weekend, when everything around show low and pinetop were packed. Greer is right off the 260, but a hidden gem for sure.
Campground was nearly empty. we saw two other groups/families. Camping sites are large, but not as dispersed, so might be noisy if this place gets busy. There are areas for RVs, as well as vault toilets.
There is a Creek that runs along good amount of campground, and a little lake/reservoir 10-15 minute hike away. Lake area was empty and serene as can be (check pics)
Town of Greer is about 10 minute drive from camp ground. There are some services and restaurants. campground does have fire rings and picnic tables in most sites!
This spot is a true hidden gem!
Staying at these campgrounds was great. $12 per night, walking distance to Bunch Reservoir, decent spacing between each campsite. Easy access to the town that's only a short drive away. No camp host to help answer questions or address any issues if there was any.
This is by far my favorite lake campground and one of my top 3 overall campgrounds. The camping spots are large and clean. The bathrooms are always clean and the showers are hot. There is a biking/hiking trail around the lake that we love to spend time on. You can fish too. Plenty of bird and wildlife watching. We love to take our canoe and hang out on the lake. It has a remote feel, but is close enough to a Walmart in case you need supplies and an urgent care in case of emergency. It's definitely worth the cost of camping here.
I remember camping at Hawley Lake all the time as a kid and it was one of my favorite places to be. After this trip back as an adult I noticed things have changed quite a bit. Do not get me wrong… it’s a beautiful lake with plenty of camping in a pine tree forest. However, there were some areas for improvement.
For starters, the roads are not marked very well. For example, you do not know how to get to the general store until you are almost to the general store. Generally, this does not bother me because I just turn on Google Maps and find whatever I need but there is intermittent cell service at best (with Verizon). Once in a while I’d catch a bar of 4G but most of the time was on “analog” or had no service at all. Along these lines, the campsites are not designated at all. Basically, you can just park and setup wherever you want. I felt like we were a bit encroached upon because of this.
There are bathroom buildings but all the ones I saw were closed. They then would have a few port-a-pottys sitting out in front of the building. The port-a-pottys weren’t well kept and were rarely stocked with toilet paper. There was trash everywhere! We walked to the ramadas by the lake and the fire pits were full of plastics and other garbage. There were constantly beer bottles left next to the port-a-pottys and randomly around camp and the lake. There was a bunch of stray garbage (including a very sharp sheared off tent pole) left in our campsite before we arrived.
The icing on the cake was the attitude of the fellow campers. There were generators running almost all night, loud music, and like I said earlier there was some weird lack of boundaries between sites.
So now that I have told you what I didn’t like about Hawley Lake let me tell you what I did like. The lake is very large and very beautiful. Most of the shoreline is easily accessible for fishing or lounging lakeside. Words for the wise you can not swim in this lake. There is a little boathouse that offers boat rentals if you would like to venture out into the water.
The weather is a wonderful escape from the valley. There is rain almost every day (varying between light afternoon showers and heavy storms). The camping fees are paid by the car and are very affordable ($9/night/car). If you plan to purchase your camping permits at the lake be sure to bring cash. The General Store does offer some essential items and has a small café with hotdog/hamburger type foods. There are cabins available for rent lakeside as well.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time. On this trip, I tested The ICEMULE Pro X-Large. The ICEMULE Pro X-Large was bigger than I had expected. It makes total sense once you think about it because it holds 24 cans and ice but it still surprised me. When I was filling the cooler or trying to get those last few precious cans out of the bottom I have to stick my entire arm in all the way in up to my armpit.
The cooler is made of a very thick and durable flexible plastic type material (kind of like an above ground pool siding). It has been super rugged and did not get scratched or torn up when we have used it on a pool deck, thrown it in the truck bed (with the scratchy spray in liner), or when being toted around camp and to the lake. The cooler has an adjustable bungee cord on the front. At first, I was not sure what we were going to use that for and the more we take out the cooler I find the possibilities are endless. We have been using it to carry our silicone cups, extra sunscreen, a spare hat, etc.
The cooler has a fold top design with a buckle. I do not have any other bags that close this way so it was a bit odd to get used to and is a bit harder to do when it was full. When properly closed the cooler will float. I was shocked to find that even full of cold beverages and ice the cooler floated when I pushed it into the lake. This is a great feature if you want to use it for boating, kayaking, or tubing.
We have been using the cooler quite a bit and in a few varied conditions. One of the examples I will share is that we used it for a poolside BBQ in Arizona. We filled it with 30 cans and bottles and about a bag of ice (which is far more stuff and less ice than suggested). Our beverages stayed perfectly chilled in 100+ degree weather even though we were in and out of it constantly and after 8 hours, there was still ice in the bottom.
We have also used it without ice. We put in 12 cold drinks to start with and even without ice they were cool 3-4 hours later.
The last example I will share is that we put 3 bags of ice and 6 cans in to it. After 48 hours there was about 75% of the ice still left in the cooler!
If you do use it to its full capacity, I suggest that you fill it on an elevated surface. With 24 cans and 3 bags of ice, you will be looking at around 40 lbs of weight and when I tried to pick ours up from the ground it threw me off balance a little. After that, I would fill it on a picnic table or counter top and it was so much easier to just turn around and pick it up from carrying height. The straps on the bag are very padded and very comfortable even when it is full. There is a chest strap but no hip strap. If I could offer a suggestion to ICEMULE for improvement, it would be to add a hip strap to help carry the weight.
Apache trout campground is a family friendly campground with excellent amenities for both tent campers and RV/trailer campers. Our family has been coming here for years, we've used both the large group site and the smaller individual campsite. Most recently we had a family reunion at one of the larger group loops - trout loop. We loved having the large group Ramada available for group meals and activities. The restrooms and showers were great especially for the kids and "non-campers" in our family. The close proximity to the lake and Marina meant we had quick and easy access to fishing and boating among all the other fun activities. We also loved the fact that the campsite is dog friendly.
The only negative - the campground is very popular and therefore always full. The sites are fairly close together so you sometimes get a bit more from your neighbors than you would like (i.e. One year our camp neighbors had a giant disco ball and dance music, and they enjoyed themselves long into the night.
Our family has the Apach Trout Campground in our list of favorites.
We stayed in Spot 5. You have to hike your stuff up a small hill from the car. Views are spectacular and great shade. All of the lower spots 3-8 good lake access. Spot 19 is really the best. Great views, shade, close to bathroom (pit toilets) and car accessible.
We stayed here in March 2017. It was a good price for hookups, plus your only feet away from the water. The spot we stayed at had Ramada’s. The sites were very close together. Weather was nice, but super windy. Ranger store on site with gas. Ranger was very nice. Bathrooms were clean wIth nice showers and flush toilets. Fishing was pretty bad, not one bite in 3 days. Scenery was mostly desert, which I’m not a big fan of. We went with some friends who got a spot right next to us. It wasn’t busy at all, we reserved spots online but it wasn’t necessary. We live in Phoenix, so it’s about 4 hours away. Not worth the drive, but we were dying to go camping and our forest spots weren’t open for the season yet. Most likely won’t be back.
As far as AZ camping goes, it doesn’t get any better than Greer! In my opinion, it’s the most beautiful lil town in AZ. We stayed here over 4th of July weekend. The days were slightly warm, but you have plenty of shade under all the pine trees. It gets into the 40s-50s at night. We use a generator, but quiet time is 10 pm, so bring warm clothes and blankets. There is a few lakes to choose from that are stocked with trout year round. There is one store that is just a few minutes drive, it’s small and a lil pricey, but has what you need. The camp host sells firewood and ice. There is flush toilets and showers free to use, as well as vault toilets sInce they lock the bathrooms at night. I can’t even explain how gorgeous this place is, anywhere in Greer is a good spot. I think we paid $20 per night. We can’t wait to go back!
We stayed 3 nights in the "no hookups" area. Clean sites, pretty views, close to the river's edge, very quiet, and cell phone service. However, none of the water spigots were turned on! We inquired at the office, and they stated it was due to "abuse." They suggested we fill our containers for 25¢ per gallon, near their laundromat. Noo thanks!! For $17 per night, they should at least provide plain old city tap water. We filled our containers at a vacant "hookup" site, but it was annoying and inconvenient! The park is quite large, so bring bicycles for exploring. Overall, a good camping experience…
Rainbow has lots of ecosystems, fun to hike and lots of boating fishing to enjoy too. The campground is very large and it’s quite wooded which is appreciated in AZ. Not much to say about the campground, it’s fairly basic but very pretty and there are hosts during most of the year to give you insider tips. The hosts told us that it’s an area known to have a lot of hummingbirds but unfortunately we didn’t see any (July visit). The trails aren’t too long but they are also pretty and lots of wildlife, and most of the people here were locals or RVs. This is kind of in the middle of nowhere but we were on our way and it was a very pleasant stopover.
If you didn't know it was here you wouldn't ever guess there was a campground. The only signage is a "dead out" fire sign. There are very few fire rings established so plan to build your own. It looks like they've done some logging or clearing in the area and there was plenty of down wood on the ground to use. There are no bathrooms so plan accordingly. Plenty of trees and shade. Very secluded but the roads on the way in from both Show Low and McNary were in decent shape. This is a hunting area so we did see quite a few people hunting. Biggest thing with this is don't wear a brown fur coat and try to look like an elk. We went on a moonless night and it PITCH BLACK. I know it was overcast but I have to imagine with the amount of tree coverage even a clear night wouldn't be very well lit on the ground. I wouldn't call this ideal for larger groups or units. There were only a few spots where I think you could have parked more than 2 tents or anything larger than a pop up camper.
Spent 4 days of solo camping at Brookchar. Located next to Big Lake, the campsite was in a great location. Firepit, picnic table and restroom facilities close by. The camp host Bob was very nice and had plenty of firewood for purchase. Elk, deer and plenty of skunks (who waddled thru the campsite but never raised their tails). Rained a couple of hours each night but it lulls you right to sleep. Definitely a return trip in the spring….
The name is a bit deceiving. The campground is designed for groups (there is a wide open group space and a loop with 12 spots that can be reserved for groups) BUT when the loop isn't reserved for a group you can stay in a single spot. Plus a day use area. Biggest downside it is RIGHT off the highway so expect road noise.
About the loop (single spaces called Brundrett 1): There are 12 spaces with co-ed bathrooms (toilet only). There are 2 large BBQs at the end of the loop, covered ramadas with picnic tables, and an oversized metal fire pit. Plenty of people were there in 5th wheels. Downside… The spaces are pretty close together.
About the group site (Brundrett 2): It's a large open space (there are some tree around the outer edges and on one side). There is a private bathroom and it's close to one of the loop bathrooms and it's close to the day use bathroom. Covered ramadas, picnic tables, BBQs, and an oversized metal fire pit. There is also a few scattered picnic tables, standing BBQs, and fire pits.
This is a very small campground with only half a dozen or so spaces. There was a corral near one of the sites for horses. On the way in we passed an entire heard of cattle right next to the road. There is also 2 historic buildings from the ranger station. Each site has a picnic table and a metal fire pit with grill. There were plenty of 5th wheels in the area and the road wasn't bad (no hook ups though). One side of the campground opens to a beautiful clearing (pictured below) and the other side is a dense wood. This is also the location of the Los Burros trailhead. By far the cleanest vault bathroom I've been in.