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The views were amazing and it was far enough removed from everything that only nature sounds are heard at night. The way to get to the WMA seems like you’re going through people’s back yards, but it’s the right way. Your navigation might stop randomly, but keep going and you’ll find plenty of pull offs to set up camp. I would recommend triple checking the temperatures because it is a bit high in elevation and can cause some pretty drastic fluctuations if you’re not ready. I would also recommend not going after it has rained or snowed, or if you do, leave your vehicle on the trail and unpack from there. I may or may not have gotten stuck and needed a hand to push my car out. Basically be prepared, because even though you might have a cell signal, you can wind up pretty far back in the woods. At this place.
As I was hiking Panther Creek to the base of the waterfall I saw 10-15 camp sites where you can camp for free, primitive style!
Great park. Many hiking opportunities in the park and surrounding areas. It is 1099 stairs to the bottom of canyon!Campground was nice. Sites are open and unlevel but most were a good size. Sites are gravel with table, grill, water, and electric. Campground is very hilly. It was great to be able to access trails from the campground. You can also walk to the day use area from campground which has a trail and beach picnic area. 2 bathhouses were good. Laundry facilities available. There was little cell reception and no tv reception here. Went to Helen for a bit-IMO it's overrated. Branch out from the park because there are some great hiking trails in the area. They were not issuing any gorge floor permits the time we went. There is a fabulous museum/welcome center here with some history and facts about the park. Park is pretty busy. It was spring break when we went but it was not overwhelming. It was nice to see kids riding bikes and running outside.
I camped here with a friend and the dogs. The road is a steep grade up to the campground. There are several overlooks on the way. The campsites have a firepit, picnic bench - and table, and a lantern pole. Some of the sites were not very private and more open without shade. We were in number 15 and it was in our opinion the best one. Trees and bushes on 3 sides. The bathroom was very clean and well maintained. The campground has a little trading post at the entrance. Unfortunately it was closed on the weekend. You could still pick up firewood. It was walking distance to several hiking trails. Due to a lot of rain, we spent our Saturday downtown Clayton, which is just about 10 minutes from the campground and definitely worth a visit. We would camp here anytime again.
My family of four stayed here for 3 nights and loved it, even though it rained a little. There is the Stumphouse tunnel and a waterfall nearby that are a lot of fun too. My daughter enjoyed paddleboats and mini golf. The prices were great for activities. We would love to come here again.
Have waited six months into our RV life to start reviews for fair comparisons. Spent 5 nights. This was our introduction to ACE campgrounds and we were sold right away. Huge site right on the lake. So peaceful. Not a whole lot to do in the park (fine by me, happy to stare at a lake) but nice long walk to the dam, some reasonable mountain biking quick drive away.
Shaded area with very nice enclosed fire pits. So close to the trails, as well as the river/creek. Would likely be fun for young kids. It was a decent price but could stack up if you stayed while. The outdoor showers were neat but really cold. Depends on how bad you need one that you might take one.
We stayed in Primitive #9. It was a short walk from the parking lot and the park provides wheelbarrows to help you move your stuff! This campsite and #8 were basically one site, so you'll get to know those neighbors, which for us was fine…a lovely family who went to bed early. The site is set in the trees and it was quiet at night, with owls and peepers singing a night chorus. Water, trash cans and a clean modern bathroon were at the parking lot. It was too cold yet to go swimming, but in the summer it would be a short walk to the beach.
We've stayed here a couple of times in 2021. Lots of construction going on right now as some of the loops get upgraded RV parking. The tent loop is great for those who want more privacy and are willing to trek their gear a short distance, but the park needs to address parking for the tent area. The best feature of the park are it's access to excellent hiking for all skill levels.