Ranger Review: Midland X-Talker Two-way Radios at Cottonwood Cove Lower Campground, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, NV
Cottonwood Cove Lower Campground is located 14 miles east of Searchlight, NV, on the shores of Lake Mohave. The decent into Cottonwood Cove is quite dramatic (about 2900 ft), for which the roadside cactus can attest, as the types of cacti change even with the slightest elevation change.
The "lower" in Cottonwood Cove Lower Campground's name characterizes it's lower elevation compared to the "upper" campground, which naturally has higher elevation.
Cottonwood Cove Lower Campground is included in Lake Mead National Recreation Area campgrounds, and keeping with their custom, all sites are first come first serve. The Cottonwood Cove area has low elevation, at about 650 feet above sea level, which means it gets very hot during the late spring, summer, and early fall months.
Only a few of the 45 sites have shady cottonwood trees, and there are only uncovered picnic tables, so come prepared with a shade canopy for much needed relief! There are beautiful views of Lake Mohave, three very clean restroom buildings (no showers), water on taps, and fire rings at every site. There is an RV dump station located near the entrance to the Upper Campground (although the Upper Campground is closed).
The Lower Campground is situated behind a hill, which obstructs cell service. Walking only a short distance to the marina area, you'll find a strong 4G signal. The park service provides fee-based internet at the campground, but we didn't try it.
Cottonwood Cove has a full service boat marina, gas, motel, RV resort (with full hook-ups), watercraft rentals/supplies, sandy beach, and shaded picnic tables with BBQs.
Here's a drive-along tour of Cottonwood Cove Lower Campground: https://youtu.be/s6AQ6KqtxPg
Overall, we enjoyed our stay at this campground. It was a peaceful place, with jackrabbits, a couple of hungry ducks, many songbirds, and the stars at night were bright & beautiful. 4 stars (not 5 stars due to lack of provided shade).
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time. While camping at Cottonwood Cove Lower Campground, we tested Midland X-Talker Two-way Radios (model T51).
Camping in an isolated area behind a large hill was the perfect place to review these radios. However, with the hill as an obstruction our range was limited. [Note: We also tried these radios at home, and our maximum range was 3 small neighborhood blocks. Perhaps to achieve the maximum range of "28 miles," you'd need to be on the open ocean on a calm day or out on a very flat prairie.]
Here's a video demonstration of the Midland X-Talker Two-way Radios:
As you can see in our review video, we compared the Midland radios with a very inexpensive set. Midland's quality is far superior.
The Midland's instruction booklet is easy to follow, buttons are easy to operate, radio is comfortable to hold, and the belt clip is very tight (exercise care unlatching to prevent breaking). And… the NOAA Weather Radio scan was our biggest surprise, as you'll see in this video:
The radios can be charged while positioned on the charging stand or via a charging cord plugged directly into the radio and to an electrical source (such as a portable power bank).
Overall, we are very impressed with the clear reception and convenience of the Midland X-Talker Two-way Radios. We are looking forward to using these radios during our future no-cell service camping, fishing, and hiking adventures. 5 stars