Shafter is a tranquil campground next to lush meadows containing wildflowers found early in the season. The S.P. railroad tracks go right past the campground, occasionally campers can enjoy the trains as they go by. Butte Creek is regularly stocked with rainbow and brown trout and offers good fishing early in the season.
I’ve stayed here a couple times, each time there has only be one or two other campers. Outhouses are kept very clean. We even had a forest service person stop by and provide us with a bucket to put out our campfire. The campground sits on the outside of an open meadow with a creek that runs through. We fished the creek, but was unsuccessful. In late spring you can appreciate the wild irises that bloom. There is a train track that runs though twice a day on the others side of the meadow, but it’s just a low rumble. There are some great places the to check out not far from the campground if you want to explore.
Off season visit, Sept 13: After a long bike ride through the National Forest, I arrived after dark. The campground was empty when I arrived, but one truck pulled in just after me, which was a little freaky. Another truck pulled in a few minutes later, and they both headed to the other side of the campground, and everything was fine.
There seemed to be two sizes of camp sites, but it wasn't clear in the dark how they differed. I may have ended up in the double, but I only paid for a single, $15, I think. The vault toilets were decent, the water from the spigot was good. There weren't any bear boxes, but the trash was a bearproof unit.
The trains could be heard much of the night, but they were far enough away to be a low rumbling rather than a heart-stopping clatter. Occasionally they would blow their horns, but it didn't seem like they did every time. Much quieter than the previous night at McArthur-Burney at a site next to the highway. I would choose Shafter for noise every time.