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Alliance, NEBRASKA

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Most Recent Alliance Camping Reviews
Wenzel Protico 6 Tent review at Chadron State Park, Nebraska Panhandle.

Located in the Northwest corner of the Nebraska panhandle this 98 year old state park has it all for a great family get-away of road tripping stop.  Chadron State park offers 70 electric and 18 primitive camping sites.  The bulk of the primitive sites are walk up so be sure to get there early for the sites that have the best shade trees.  There are a few non-reservable electric sites but to be safe I’d book online well in advance or call ahead.  You can also book cabins at this park and during my stay the cabins looked to be entirely in use.  Enjoy miles of hiking and mountain biking trails that range from level to steep inclines through rouged terrain. Activities such as swimming in the well maintained pool, horse back riding have extra fees which are reasonable.  There is a great fishing pond and several playgrounds scattered throughout the park.   If you plan on horseback riding, and you should it was the highlight of our trip, tours begin at 9am and leave every hour except noon until 3pm.  I recommend the 9am or 10am ride to avoid the heat.  You register at the visitor center located at the front of the park for this 45 min guided ride.  Other features of this park include an archery range, paddle boats, tennis, horseshoe pits, sand volleyballs and outdoor events (check the Nebraska state parks calendar).  

On this multi family campout we had 8 kids with us and 6 adults.  We camped in sites 16 and 14 which are electric sites.  We chose these sites for the plentiful shade trees and proximity to the water pump and the shower building.  The sites are deep and mostly flat.  We had a little tent city going with large tents and we all found level, shaded ground.  

Observations: the grounds are well kept with regular rounds from camp hosts and park staff to check trash and make sure the guests are happy.  If you are hoping for some downed wood for fire you’ll be out of luck at this park.  You can bring in local wood and find wood for purchase on site and in nearby Chadron just a 12 minute drive North of the park.  You may want to bring your bike to the park.  Most of the attractions are a quick although hilly ride from the campsite.  I would like to see walking and riding paths separate from the roads at this park.  When driving be on the look out for pedestrians and bike riders on the road.  This was a quite campground with many short stay visitors during our stay.  Quite hours start at 10pm and end at 8am.  I have to say were were easily the loudest group a bit in violation of the 10pm quite time as we played games around the campfire but we were not visited by any neighbors or the camp host.  If you are a fan of view spectacular night skies this a a great park.  You can see brilliant stars, planets and the Milky Way.  On hikes you’ll see sandstone buttes and valleys.  We also saw many bird species and more woodpeckers than I’ve seen in any other location.  You’ll also see white tail and mule deer around the park.  The camp host told us that in the fall you can observe big horn sheep in the area.  On your hike bring binoculars and enjoy a peak at the black hills of South Dakota.  

The visitor center offers camping essentials you may have lost of forgotten, souvenirs, ice, wood and a vending machine.  You can also visit the trading post on site and order from a small menu of breakfast and lunch/dinner items.  

Nearby Chadron State park you can visit the Nebraska state forest and grasslands, Agate fossil beds, fur trading museum, Box Butte state recreation area/lake, Black Hills of South Dakota, and Fort Robinson state park.  All in all this is a must see state park for a short or long stay with family, friends, or a solo trip.  5 stars in my book.

Ranger Review, Wenzel Portico 6 tent:

As a ranger for The Dyrt I have the opportunity from time to time to review camping products.  I was fortunate to be able to review the Wenzel Portico 6 tent on this multifamily 3 night, 2 day campout.  

The Portico 6 is a 74” heigh dome style tent using 3 lightweight shock corded poles.  The footprint is 10’x9’ and advertised as a 6 person tent.  I’d cut that in half for occupancy in reality.  I’m 6’2” and my sons are 6’ and 5’6”.  I’d say with sleeping bags and a couple of back packs we would consume the entire floor space.  We tested this tent with 2 cots and two 12 year old boys for 3 nights. The tent was intuitive and easy to set up from the box without looking at directions.  Total set up time was roughly 17 minutes from initial unboxing to completion.  This is definitely a two person job in order to get the poles upright but not difficult.  The Portico has some great highlights including a dry entry awning although a bit short, plastic pole holders at the corners, and a large D shape entry.  The door zipper worked very well with no snagging which was a very pleasant thing as tents go.  The Portico also has 3 very useful storage pockets on the outside of the tent.  The boys used the pockets to hang their wet swim trunks.  I can see these pockets being useful for storage of bug spray, sun screen and other like items.  It is curious why the storage pockets aren’t located on the inside of the ten however where I can see them being more useful.  There is ample head room in the tent and with the rain fly off the tent if very breathable while offering a view of the sky.  There is good privacy with the mesh starting a bit higher on the tent which I think is a great feature.  You’ll also enjoy the pre-attached guy lines on the rainfly.  Speaking of the rainfly, this may be the tent’s best feature.  We did see a good amount of rain during this campout with a long lasting low wind thunderstorm.  The rainfly held up great and keep the boys dry the hole time.  

Before I go in to the concerns it should be noted that this is not a tent designed for outback and rouged camping.  This is a tent for the back yard or well established camp sites.  If that is where you keep this tent then I think you’ll really enjoy the tent for a long time.  Potential concerns come from the light weight fiberglass poles, thin floor, plastic pole holder corners and plastic tent stakes.  We layed down a second tarp in the tent and used cot foot prints to help protect the floor.  I’d defiantly never use this tent without a good think tarp under the tent to protect from puncture.  I’d upgrade the tent stakes if you plan on camping on hard ground or ground with any rocks.  These yellow low end stakes will not last long.  Much care is also needed when pounding in the stakes to the plastic tent pole holders.  One missed swing could potentially break the corners or the stake.  The awning did do it’s job keeping some small camp chairs dry but I’d like to see a bit deeper awning.  The only complaint the boys had about the tent was that it didn’t move air very well with the rainfly on.  The tent didn’t have any condensation in it however.  All in all this is a nice backyard camping tent for a maximum of 2 people with cots or 3 people in sleeping backs with a couple of packs.  It is light weight and easy to store.  Set up with two people and tear down with one will take around 15 minutes both ways. Check out more here: https://wenzelco.com/portico-6/

Amazing place with something for everyone!

This was our first time here and we are already planning our next trip. The park is nestled inside the Nebraska National Forest and provides breathtaking views all around. We stayed in a small cabin for this trip, but next trip will be bringing our camper. There are so many activities here including archery, horseback riding, hiking, and fishing just to name a few. The scenic drive or hike to see the large buttes is really something. I highly recommend this state park for anyone!

Great view of Carhenge

This private campground directly overlooks Carhenge and is not too far from (small) downtown Alliance. Although tent prices were listed, I’m not sure it would appeal to tenters. Prices range from $17 for tents to $27 for water to $35 for full hookups. 50% off after the third day. Weekly and monthly rates listed and it appears that credit cards are accepted. I believe there were four full hookup sites. The day we were there, there were only two RVs there and I didn’t see anyone to talk to. (There was a phone number prominently displayed to call but I did not). Pit toilet. No shade at all. If you are passing through, it might be good for an overnight stay but other than Carhenge, not much to do in this area. Was suggested that it might be a good stop on the way to Sturgis (tent camping?)

City camping?

We had some difficulty locating this park and eventually asked a local where it was (Google maps will not direct you to the right place; the “campground” is located on East 11th Street and First Avenue). It is located uphill from the downtown area so don’t confuse it with another city park closer to downtown. Now, to review the campground. Western Nebraska campgrounds are unlike other places we are used to – perhaps it is because of summer heat (and biting flies) but most seem to be geared toward RVs. This one has three "sites", although they are not separated in any way save for the electrical and water hook-ups. Just room for three rigs on a gravel area. No tents for sure. Across the street from these “sites” is a nice lawn area with lots of trees and a covered picnic pavilion, which could make your stay more pleasant, as long as a group isn’t using it. There was a persistent barking dog nearby while I was checking it out. About the only redeeming thing I can think of for this place is the price: free for the first two nights but you would need to pay$10 per night after (I guess to discourage people from living there). Close to Chimney Rock and about 25 miles from Scotts Bluff but otherwise not much in the area.

Close to Scottsbluff

Open May 1– October 1. Got the second to last site on a Wednesday in July(you can reserve sites after the campground opens on May 1). We chose this campground for its proximity to Scottsbluff. Although there is a tent site area, the campground was filled mostly with large RVs. The hosts were very friendly and welcoming and even though it was not a large campground, the host escorted us to our site. He offered several times to deliver firewood to us if we wanted. Reasonable cost for sites($10 tent camping,$20 water and electric,$25 for full hook-up). Best sites are the ones at the end of the rows as they have a nice patch of lawn. Alcoholic beverages are permitted but must be consumed inside your rig/tent. WiFi is available but not a strong signal; using our own data worked much better. Restrooms were reasonably clean(accessed via a code) and there are showers. This campground is located within a city park and there are other facilities(fitness trail, dog park, and supposedly a zoo). I did a little exploring but rain was imminent so I didn’t wander far, however, the facilities outside the campground looked like they could have used a little TLC. Of course, there is a nearby train!

Not a great place to stay

We arrived to find that the site we had reserved was not only occupied by another RV, but the people had essentially taken off for days.  We were given a different, worse site, and had no options, since the campground was full.  The person in charge of the campground was less than helpful.  We had chosen that site MONTHS in advance so we could accommodate a screen tent.  The bugs are horrendous (mosquitoes primarily, with flies coming in  a close second).  We were unable to put up the screen tent due to how small the site was, and how close to the water we were…like a few feet from stagnant, buggy water.  To say it was NOT a  good experience is an understatement.  We left after one unpleasant night.  We will not go back, and instead re-route to go to a better rated campground next time.

Ranger Review Wildcat Hills SRA campground and INNO INH 330 Aero Light

Ranger review of Wildcat Hills SRA. If you love to hike and want to truly feel like you are away from it all check out Wildcat Hills. This beautiful recreation area just South of Gering Nebraska is just minutes away from geological wonders such as Chimney Rock, Jailhouse Rock and Scott’s Bluff National Memorial Park. Wildcat offers Archery, gun range, biking, hiking, picnicking, a playground, nature center and hunting. I’d add that if you are a bird watcher you need to get to Wildcat hills. There are also big horn sheep, wildcats, rattle snakes, elk, and deer in the area although we didn’t see any in our two days and nights at the park. There is a huge nature center that will provide a great place to cool off, stay dry or just for learning for the sake of learning. 4 main trail heads interconnect through rough, minimally maintained hiking trails that climb up to 5,000 feet. Backpack a lunch to the bottom of the canyon and try to find the Game of Thrones shelter (my pet name for it). I’ve given this park 4 stars because we were fortunate enough to camp at the group site that an area boy-scout troop updated. There are two other camp sites along the dirt road leading to the group site. Those 12 total sites are very close together and I wouldn’t recommend anything more than a pop up camper in those spots which are right on the road. If you have to camp in one of those 12 sites I’d rate the camping at 2 or 3 stars. this park hits it out of the ball park with the hiking and nature center.

Ranger review INNO INH 330 Aero Light Bike Rack

I had the opportunity to review the INNO INH 330 Aerolight QM bike rack. I have put hundreds of miles on this 2 bike rack from state parks to urban use. INNO has created a rack that is worthy of consideration among high end bike racks. The INNO arrived in a large clean and well packaged box and was nearly fully assembled. There are a number of pros and cons to be considered with this rack as with any product. I’ve listed those below.

Pros: Well made light metal and plastic construction that I believe will hold up for a very long time. Innovative locking cable for piece of mind. Fits both 1.5” and 2” receiver. Quiet ride. Exceptionally study bike securement if you don’t have attachment and you have a triangular bike frame. Protects your bike from banging into other bike like on hanging style racks.

Cons: awkward fit on height bar strap if you have a water bottle or bike tire pump attachment. If you are mounting different bikes often there a few adjustment steps that will take some time before you can secure your bike. The pins that secure the arms in the lower and upper positions can stick and require some force to pull out and place. I think some WD40 would probably resolve that issue. Bikes without the traditional triangle frame do not strap well to the veritable bar.

In the end, I’d give this rack 3.5 stars I would give it 4 if it fit my son’s non-triangle frame bike. I recommend that you consider the INNO and determine if it will fit your bikes and your needs. This rack has become my go to if I only need to take my bike or one other. Find your local retailer and try it out with your bikes.

Sorry about the oddly formatted photos. They flipped during upload.

First time at Box Butte

Water access late in the year from campsites is few and far between. Layout is pretty easy to get around. Looked clean and well maintained.

Slightly creeped out

Own personal experience… we stayed next to the fort cemetery. Personally, I found that to be disrespectful and wished that they didn't provide camping near it.

Chadron State Park-Beautiful Area

Chadron State Park is such a beautiful area. The scenic drives are amazing. The campground is a nice campground. The sites are a little close together and it was challenging to back our 38' camper into our site, but once we were in we had a great time. Everyone was friendly and campground and restrooms and showers were clean. The sites were Electric only. Each site had a fire ring and picnic table. We were able to get cell service most of the time.

The park had tennis courts, a pond for fishing and paddle boats, a swimming pool, horse riding, and hiking trails. We stayed here a night than moved on to Fort Robinson and will definitely come again.

Perfect, safe and accomodating.

Wonderful campsite! I camped solo here a couple of weeks ago and there was plenty of space with trees, a fire pit, and picnic table. I had neighbors but there was plenty of space that I didn’t feel like they were encroaching on my site. The trees were perfect for hammocking and there was a little creek right next to it. The grass was well trimmed and the campsite was very clean. Bathrooms were a short walk away and a shower house was a within a 5 min walk. Highly recommend.

Very primitive

Very primitive fishing lake

Rocky not sandy beach

Great fishing and boat lake, but imo i prefer sandy beach for swimming. Needs more electrical sites.

Clean water, spots next to water.. serenity

Very nice, yet smaller body of water. Sandy lake great for jet skis.

Nice place for overnight or a longer stay. Close to the Scottsbluff Monumen

The 3 days we stayed there were a number of rvs with people from the Scottsbluff area. Was there during Gering days and had no issues getting a site. Gravel but with full hookups if needed.

Great camping.

Clean restrooms with showers and laundry. Little noise from the highway. Some sites have tree cover. Close to city and within 2 hours of Rushmore and Crazy Horse. .

Quiet and primitive

great little primitive campground for people who like to do it on their own! where we stayed there was no hook ups or anything like that but it was beautiful! Fishing close by and lots of blue sky’s and fields to look out at

Peaceful, fun, and loaded with activities close by!

This campground is a great place to come to enjoy a family get away! There are loads of activities close by to do and see including historic sites, museum, swimming pool, fishing, Jeep rides, it’s seriously endless! There is a restaurant at the state park as well so cooking is optional😉

Nice & clean little campground!

This is a beautiful area in Northwest Nebraska. The bathrooms are clean and well maintained. There's a couple good hikes and a swimming pool. We were there in September 2017 and pretty much had the place to ourselves! The view is great if you stay in the even # sites 38-48.

Location and Staff are Redeeming Qualities Here

We stayed at this campground in late fall. There are very few campgrounds available in this area after the summer ends, so selection was limited. Reservations are made via phone or submitted online form. Although the staff was very attentive, from the confirmation phone call to the registration, we were a bit put off that the sites were very open and close together. In addition, when the employee called to ask about what we needed for our reservation, she implied full hook up, including cable in our mind. When we arrived we discovered there were very few sites that had cable available, and so our sons were disappointed that they would not be spoiled for the weekend (they don't get cable TV at home!). This RV park appears to be owned by the city of Gering, NE.

The view of Scotts Bluff National Monument from the campground is beautiful, especially in the evening. I enjoyed watching the sun go down and hit the bluffs with that perfect golden glow (so much better than cable TV, right?), but was also put off that there were no fire rings, so we could not have a campfire at our site either. They do have raised grills for charcoal (or maybe small wood) and each site has a picnic table.

On the plus side, there is a playground attached to the property that has updated equipment that our sons enjoyed.

Surprising beauty

The views from here include cliffs, prairie/grassland, rolling hills, waterways and little lakes, and amazing sunrises & sunsets. Close to historic Ft. Robinson and other national forests and grasslands. Campground includes a swimming pool and sand volleyball. The sites were all pretty close together, most not very shady, and no tent-only area. As a campground this was just ok for my personal style, but it was all very clean and well tended so I can’t complain. The park itself is a lovely find.

Surprising beauty

The views from here include cliffs, prairie/grassland, rolling hills, waterways and little lakes, and amazing sunrises & sunsets. Close to historic Ft. Robinson and other national forests and grasslands. Campground includes a swimming pool and sand volleyball. The sites were all pretty close together, most not very shady, and no tent-only area. As a campground this was just ok for my personal style, but it was all very clean and well tended so I can’t complain. The park itself is a lovely find.

Beautiful

We stopped here after a long day in the car. This campground is nice and well maintained with beautiful view. The sites were level for tents and the facilities were well maintained and clean. We only stayed one night but the campground was quiet and peaceful.

breath taking

beautiful for as far as can see

A quiet place to spend the night

Stayed a night here on a road trip. Not much to say, it was quiet and not crowded. Most of the people were locals and there to fish only a few people were camping overnight. I would stay here again if driving through the area!

Cabins meh, but nice campground

Stayed here for an event in Chadron at the cabins and they served their purpose, but they were fairly outdated. Really pretty campground though and I would like to go back tent camping. Typical nice and clean amentities, some small wildlife sightings, overall a really enjoyable experience.

Lake Minatare SRA

At Lake Minatare there are primative and normal campsites. The primative spots are where ever you feel is fit. You can build your own campfire, which I found fun, and build your very own campsite the way you like it. You can camp right on the beach or tucked away if you want. A lot of locals come and fish by the campsites but they are very respectful of your space and will either keep to themselves or turn right around and leave. The fishing is great there, just depends on the time of the year.

Wildcat Hills Canping

There are only about 4 campsites in Wildcat Hills but there are various campsites around the area. The campsite is right off a well traveled road in the park. They are also at the trailhead of a very nice trail that splits into various trails along the way. The campsites are very close together but camping there is not very popular.

First to Review
Red Cloud Campground, NE

After the party crowd left from the farthest campsite from the entrance, it was quiet. The vault toilets were clean enough. The campground is quite close to the road so the lights and noise from vehicles is frustrating in the middle of the night. It's also at the bottom of a hill, so you have to be careful where you place your tent if it's raining. We were fine, but most of the sites looked dangerous if you're trying to avoid low spots where water pools.

Perfect place for a picnic or spending the night

Chadron State park is located just a few miles south of Chadron, NE. There are many nice picnic areas throughout the park, some big enough to host large groups. They also offer cabins to rent if you plan on staying the night. Drive through the park and you can enter in to Nebraska national forest which has amazing views out to the prairies and farm land below. One of the best places to watch the sunset!