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
Unlike some of the more popular lakes in the area, Black Canyon Lake offers more serenity. Don't expect a great fishing experience, however, as the lake is rarely stocked any more. Nonetheless, even with its low levels, it's a beautiful sight. Take a walk around the lake until you reach the dam. Walk back to your dispersed site, lay in the hammock or sit around the campfire and wait for the wild horses to stop by. Great place for seclusion except for the occasional firearm echos and the one time there was an exceptionally rowdy bunch. There are restrooms by the lake but that could be quite a distance for a potty break depending on where you set up camp so bring a shovel in case. Please be prepared to CARRY OUT your trash. Do not leave it. Do not burn it. Thank you! Enjoy!
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.
One of the few places to car camp with a lake in Tucson! Wife and I had a wonderful weekend here in October. The lots are huge, have big food boxes/bear boxes and the hosts are super kind. I could have done without the annoying drunk late night yellers, but a lovely place nonetheless.
Many Ponderosa Pines cover this campground located a couple miles from Black Canyon Lake. No hookups, but clean, well-being maintained sites with bear proof dumpsters. Clean vault toilets and drinking water for jugs are available. Host sells firewood. Deer, elk and many wild horses roam the area along with the black bears. General store, gas and restaurants just a few miles away.
Sinkhole campground is located in the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest close to Willow Springs and Woods Canyon Lakes. The campground is small, paved and heavily covered in Ponderosa Pines. There are no hookups, but water for filling jugs, is available. Dumosters on site. Clean vault toilets are available. Firewood is for sale from the host. $18 a night. Cell service is 4G 2 to 3 bars on Verizon only. Many hiking trails nearby. Groceries and restaurants are six miles away.
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!
We read one review on this campground and it stated the campground was dirt. We pulled up and were taken away by the beauty. So many trees and beautiful campsites. With only 16 campsites, you have your own piece of camping paradise. There is 2 vaulted toilets, very well maintain, and new. There is an easy trail that runs along the campground, maybe a mile and half, easy walk. You can use wood from the forrest or buy some from the host. We did tent camp and I wish we would of brought a rake to remove rocks from our tent site. Our tent is 11ft and fit wonderfully! Plenty of space to put up tent,bbq grill, stove, and have your vehicle along side of you. There are Rv sites there as well. In our spot you could of easily placed a pop up and move it in. There is water at the host area, no cost. Before you get to the campsite there is a general store that has many items if you forgot something. We did wonder down to go find the graces of Scott Stott and Wilson, but we were not able to. We followed the GPS and reviews and people stated it was close to the campground. We walked a good 30 minutes and found nothing. We believe it is in a canyon which we did not feel comfortable hiking down. We road out a crazy storm, and the canyons made the thunder sound like a really mad Greek God. If you enjoy some antiques and thrift stores Heber-Overgaard offer some unique and great stores. Black Canyon Lake is just a shirt trip down the road. beautiful to walk around and lots of room to fish. Lake was low when we went. This campground has made it to the list of favorites!
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.
Located in the scenic Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in north central Arizona near the town of Heber.
Beautiful campground. Very well taken care of. Sites are large and spread out. Very quiet. Great tall pines for nice shade in Arizona summer.
No organized activities. Not much to do for children if they are looking for activities.
Showers and bathrooms are very clean but showers only open at 8:00am.
Fires rarely allowed and the wind can make camping here a bit chilly. Nothing can take away the view though! Some of this area is literally at the edge of the Mog Rim! I wouldn’t bring tiny kids here for fear of them tumbling down the cliff, but adults looking for a quiet getaway would love it here.
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.
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!
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.
Canyon Point is located in a beautiful Pine and Aspen wooded area just above the Mogollon Rim. The area has plenty of hiking trails, streams, and lakes. The closest lake is Willow Springs which is about 5 miles West of Canyon Point and allows fishing. There are 2 trails that start from within Canyon Point campground. One goes to the edge of the Mogollon Rim and the other is the Sinkhole Trail. We decided to brave the Sinkhole Trail while we were there. It was very easy and only about ¾ of a mile each way with great tree coverage.
I have been to plenty of campgrounds within 20 miles of this area but I was impressed with Canyon Point from the moment we arrived. They have a designated Contact Station at the entrance that was staffed with multiple camp hosts to assist with check in and check out. As part of the check in process the campground host assisting us, Linda, explained some of the campground highlights, provided a campground map, a trail map, a printout of the rules and regulations, and a comment card with directions on where to submit it. Linda also told us that the hosts would be around camp on golf carts and if we needed anything, we could just flag them down. At one point one of the hosts, Fritz, stopped by to see how things were going and if we needed anything. He made instant friends with my son and even had a dog treat for our four-legged friend.
Canyon Point boasts 113 sites between 2 loops with both back in and pull through sites. We stayed in site 75, which is at the very back of Loop B, and we were amazed at how well the sites were laid out near us. We heard the other groups when the kids were playing or they would laugh in unison at something but beyond that, it was spaced out enough that the day to day conversation couldn’t be heard. Our site had a plastic coated picnic table and a ground level fire pit that had a rotating grill and a low grate. Unfortunately, we were in Stage II fire restrictions so we were not able to use it but it looked to be very well maintained and in working condition. Generally, when we go camping we make it a routine part of our trips to pick up trash around our site and any areas nearby. This campground was so well maintained the only trash we found was a bread bag plastic tab.
Loop B had 6 bathroom buildings that all featured a Men’s and Women’s side. The bathrooms were immaculate! They were clean and fully stocked with paper products, a trash receptacle, and air freshener. The campground also has a shower building near the entrance that is available 8a-8p (with the exception of 1p-2p for extra cleaning). Canyon Point also had a dump station available and an outdoor amphitheater the Forestry Service Rangers often use to host educational programs. The roads throughout the campground and the driveways were all paved so there was very little dust being kicked up. The campground also had more than enough dumpsters to accommodate the trash and they keep them locked at night to deter the animals.
When we went the Day Use fee was $5 per vehicle and an additional vehicle costed $12.50/night.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time – on this trip I tested the KoolSkinz Pet Vest. The vest is designed to be worn under your dog’s harness or collar and includes 3 reusable Kool packs that can be chilled to help your dog stay cool or heated to help them stay warm. The Kool packs are filled with S9 Kooling agent that is clear when hot or room temperature and then turns semi-solid and white when cold. All 3 packs are the same size so you don’t have to worry if you are putting them in the right pockets on the Pet Vest.
At first, I was really worried that the dog wouldn’t be able to move properly or he would destroy the Pet Vest because he loves to rub on the ground, the trees, the bushes, and really anything else his height. He was able to move freely without issues and didn’t mind continuing to rub on everything. The Pet Vest is a stretchy material and I did notice slight catches in the material after he had worn it a few times but it doesn’t seem to effect the functionality. The only other thing that I disliked about it was that the trim around the neck/chest was stitched with a single thread and as the dog wore it and stretched it the seems popped in multiple places. Again, it doesn’t affect the functionality but it looks silly having broken black threads on the bright material so I’m going to just pull the rest of the pieces out. I was also very impressed with the strength of the Kool packs. Our dog loves to roll on the ground and run into things. I kept expecting to see one of the Kool packs burst open but they have held up to his abuse.
When we arrived at the campground it was just over 80 degrees. We put the Kool packs into the cooler for 20 minutes and they turned white and semi-hard. I tested the temperature on the inside of my wrist to be sure it wasn’t too cold then placed it in the Pet Vest and put the Pet Vest on my dog. The Kool packs in their cold form aren’t “burning” cold like ice cubes. They work in two ways, one is releasing cool temperatures in the vest surrounding the dog but the other is to pull heat away from the dog’s body which is why they don’t need to be freezing cold. I was shocked that 20 minutes of chill time could stay cold for 2 hours but sure enough after 2 hours of wear the Kool packs were still chilled and definitely helping to cool the dog.
Our dog is a fairly big dog (he’s a black lab) but he doesn’t like to be cold. When we go camping and the sun goes down the temperatures can drop quickly especially when we have fire restrictions and no fire for warmth. The Kool packs can be boiled for around 2 minutes then put into the Pet Vest to help keep the dog warm for up to half an hour. We brought an extra pot of water for our propane stove and boiled the Kool packs to put in the Pet Vest to help keep him warm. Our dog stopped shivering almost immediately and seemed to greatly enjoy the extra time he could spend outside with us. Really great side note with the Pet Vest is that it will also hold hand warmers so if you are backpacking or don’t have access to a microwave or boiling water you can use those to help keep your dog warm! (they also last a lot longer than the Kool packs do when heated)
The vest is machine washable which is a major perk for us. The dog LOVES to roll in the dirt and after every camping trip we get a steady stream of mud off the dog. After a weekend in the vest it was pretty filthy also. I threw the vest in the washer (with all of the buckles snapped together per the directions) and let it air dry. The vest cleaned very well and after washing the colors were bright and vivid and the material lacked any evidence of previously holding about a pound of dirt!
All around the concept of this product is really neat. In Arizona they close down the trails to dogs after temperatures reach 100 degrees. I definitely wouldn’t want to be out (nor take my dog out) hiking in temperatures that warm but even at 80 degrees it can get very hot and having something as simple as this KoolSkinz Pet Vest can make a big difference. We have definitely been using the packs more for heat than cold because of how much the dog dislikes being cold but it is such a great option because really how else do you blanket wrap an active dog to keep him warm.
HZ Wash had 1 defined parking area and another dirt road that could take you to some campsites. There is a bathroom building in the parking lot as well as shoreline access but it is posted 4 wheel drive vehicles only. HZ Wash has a good view of the Diversion Dam and is directly across the River from the Diversion Dam camping area. If you do take the dirt road to a campsite it gains in elevation and you will have to find a path and hike down the canyon side to get to the water.
Eucalyptus has 3 parking areas and multiple bathroom buildings. When we visited there was a motorhome set up in the farthest loop and they were obviously camping in it. Beyond setting up a motorhome in the parking lot (which I honestly didn't look at the signs to see if this was allowed) there is only 1 pull in campsite and it's immediately off of the first parking lot. There is a dirt road off to the left as you enter the area that you can use to get to campsites but it is for high clearance vehicles and 4 wheel drive only (just my 2 cents). Most of the area on the dirt road has powdered dirt and it was easy to get stuck. If you don't mind parking and carrying your gear in there are plenty of campsites located within a few hundred feet of the parking areas and very close to the river.