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Beautiful location. Definitely off the beaten path. There was another group of campers but they camped on the trail. Grave Road getting there was a bit rough for my Ram Promaster. Hill down to trail head could get slick if wet weather. Was alittle nervous getting out after it had rained. But luckily it wasn't to much rain. Definitely coming back when warmer.
Basic car camping campsites with a picnic table, fire ring and a food pole at each site. The sites were clean the night I was there but the water seems to have been already turned off for the season (late October). There are vault style outhouses and an honor system check in box $15/night. The best part of this campsite is it’s a 5-10 minute walk to main trail/recreation area as well as the various other trails in the area.
Was able to find the camping right away. There was one other group set up. Nice roomy sites with fire rings. After setting up I took a great hike on the nearby trails connected to Jackson falls. Some wonderful hiking and an abundance of climbing! I did some free climbing on small boulders and managed to climb my way back to the top of the gorge. Upon returning i noticed the other camp had left the grounds to myself. Rain came over night and eventually forced my hand to leave the next day and dry out. Definitely going back. Careful with the rain, the camp is right on the stream so I woke to being surrounded by streams. The path out is also very steep. I was able to handle it with a small car but any more mud or rain I would have been stuck. good luck!
This place really is "Of the Gods". The Geological formations are very majestic. It is so different from the rest of the state of IL. AMAZING place to visit.
Please be careful if you bring children or those that like to wander. It is can be dangerous if one goes without caution. I'm pretty sure this is the kind of place where the phrase "slipped through the cracks" was coined. There are many cracks and various rocks that someone can slip on or through or fall off of, so be careful.
Some of the most incredible scenery ever and the trails allow access to everything. I am ready to go back, it is so beautiful.
Beautiful fall foliage. No falls since it hasn't rained in a while. Great hike around. Campsites were plentiful, alot of cars driving in late at night. Toliet was clean and open. Bring everything you need, there is no water source and bring lots of wood. We scavenged wood from the hills around but ultimately had to leave and purchase wood.
So first of all- I think it’s fair to state before I leave a review that my husband and I prefer primitive and private camping. The fewer people we see while we’re out, the better. We live in a city so when we camp, we want the opposite. If you enjoy RV camping or don’t mind not so Private spots, this is a decent spot to spend the night. If you like primitive/private camping- il fill you in below!
We do tent camping and Saw there were walk-in sites and hike in sites at this campground. Usually walk-in sites are pretty private and dispersed well - atleast where we’ve been before. The 14 “primitive” camping sites were right next to eachothwr with little to no privacy at all. Good tree cover for shade but otherwise you’re basically setting up your tent and area in an open field. That was a little disappointing to us because it wasn’t what we thought we would find. The RV spots also seem super close together but again- we like things spread out so maybe it would be an OK place for some.
The vault toilets near the tent sites were…as clean as vault toilets get! And we did not use tje shower facilities so can’t speak on that.
If we had been just the 2 of us, we would’ve hiked in to do our camping along one of the hiking paths but we were meeting two other friends and were unsure if they would want to hike miles to a spot so we opted for the tent spots just after the RV campground. If you want more privacy for an evening of camping, you’ll need to come with your gear packed up decently enough to hike it out atleast a mile onto the trails. There is camping allowed along the trails as long as you are 100 ft from the trail so that was an option, but in certain spots along the trail it’s challenging to find a clearing (hammocks would be great along the trail). There is also an official primitive camping site halfway through the 12 mile loop of the Red Ceder Trail. We day hiked almost the whole loop but made a Weird little detour so we didn’t get to check these spots out.
We were hoping to find a campsite that- as get as difficulty of accessibility level- was in between a 6 mile hike and the tent spots in the field but there isn’t any official spot like that even tho there’s tons of space and potential for it. Rant over about the campground. Let’s talk about the hiking! The hiking was truly awesome and felt like it balanced out my disappointment with the campground. Doing the whole 12 mile loop of tje Red Cedar Trail was a challenge for us! We really enjoyed it. In some spots, the trail markers are a little confusing, but overall it’s decently marked and the map is somewhat helpful just to kindve know vaguely where you are. The 2nd day, we went back and did about half rhe loop and also checked out the more popular section of the trails back there that include Giant City Nature Trail, Devils Stand Table, and a few others. Very cool rock formations. Pretty busy in the weekend over there but the test of the trails away from that area with those big landmarks was completely deserted and there are some super cool rock formations not on the map at all.
Over all, this was a fun 4 days. We would return and plan on hiking out into the trails to camp for our evenings. If you like privacy around your campfire at night, I can’t recommend the campground.
This was our first stop on a trip out west. It was a great spot to pull into for the night, pretty sunset over the little lake on site. Sites were kinda close together but that is more of a preference thing I think. Picnic table, hook ups, level, host was friendly.
There were several hiking trails that looked pretty, but we didn't get a chance to walk them. Overall, this is a nice and quiet campground. We would definitely stay again. We camped at Ferne Clyffe State Park in a Motorhome.
I feel like the Garden of the Gods Campground website is deceitful. Their pictures do not accurately reflect the campground experience. If you are ok with living like a sardine during your stay, this is a great base location for site seeing.