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Some of us still prefer to rustic camp in a tent with no amenities; listen to the sound of birds, wind, silence, to feel the night wrap around you when you sleep. Your mobile homes are too big for the rustic lake sites! You’re generators are ridiculous and loud. Take that to the RV site. This one camper was so big that it took up half the one way road, now people tear up the nice grass to get around a RV that was never meant to camp in these sites when the camp sites were built. Serious.
We stayed four weeknights and had a pretty good time. The sites were loose gravel and very unlevel. Not too crowded during the week. The vault toilet was close to our site but you had to really need to use it to go in there. (Think ‘fly-tornado’ when you open the door.) We ventured out to use the shower house and found that it was a single shower for both men and women, for the entire state park! We couldn’t believe it… but more surprising was that it was a pay-to-use shower… $1 for the first four minutes and a quarter for each additional minute thereafter. Not a huge cost, granted, but we paid around $40/night for a campsite. That’s double what we’re used to paying for a much nicer campsite in our part of the world. The views around the lake were awesome. We’ll go back just for this reason. There were many trails in the park but most were poorly marked and some were simply not able to be found due to overgrowth.
This was rated highly by others but we didn’t enjoy our stay. The State Park is spread out over a few miles around a lake formed by a dam. The entrance fee collector was not helpful in describing where to camp. Driving through it looks like you pay a fee to get in and then look for campfire rings for a dispersed camping site. Little loops are given different campground names.
It was hot and we needed some shade. We found one spot that was down a canyon and away from the water. We were the only ones in the loop so it was private but what a mess. Garbage was all over and I couldn’t even use the men’s vault toilet near us. Water pressure was amazing and garbage cans were easily found at the end of the canyon loop.
We did drive around to see the highlights and everything is out in the sun. They say they have miles of hiking trails but we didn’t go far because of the heat.
If you have a boat and get a spot by the water this might have been a different experience for us.
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.
We stumbled across City Slickers RV Park in Torrington and wanted to make sure it was an option for people coming to the area. It has 27 sites(RV) with full hook ups on a complete gravel area with not much shade. It’s right across the street from St. Joes Children’s Home. It is $20 a day and only excepts check or cash. It would work for the night or if you prefer to be in town.
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!