I highly recommend this campground as a place to get out and camp out on the water. You can hike in by foot but if you have camp gear and tent equipment my recommendation is to canoe your belongings in! There’s usually a couple of campfires at each site and you’ll book with the rangers when you drive in or by phone to get your permit. The sunsets here are incredible and I’ve camped in Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota!
We went to Round Valley Resevoir on 6/21-6/22/19. When hit the water around Noon and after paddling for about 15 minutes the wind really kicked up and the water got pretty rough. We originally were supposed to camp at site 83, but the water was too rough to continue that far. The strobe lights were activated and we pulled off of the water. After about 30 minutes I called the ranger station and requested a new camp site because the water was too rough, and the strobe system was activated. The person I spoke to said that the strobes didnt mean to get off the water, but just to stay close to the coast and continue paddling. I told the person that it was not safe to paddle and we got reassigned to another site. (It should be noted that in the ranger station as well as on the literature they give you when checking in says to get off of the water if the stobes are turnd on). We ended up at site 40. The site itself was ok, but not really level. We were a little over a mile to the nearest water point. It was nice to see bathrooms along the trail with trash cans. However the bathrooms were really dirty and unmaintained. I understand it is a wilderness camping spot, but the one bathroom actually had feces covering the floor. The trash cans were nice though.
The wind died down early on 6/22 and we hit the water, paddling back to the boat launch in about an hour in calm water. Over all the site was not too bad, with a great view of the water. The staff was not very friendly , saftey concious or helpful. I felt the advice to just keep paddling close to coast while th strobe alert system was activated was not very wise. We will probably visit again, but will hike in so we do not have to deal with the unpredictable wind ans water conditions. Also his is an active Bear area , so bring bear spray. Also , there was no cell servce by the ranger station , but our phones worked well when out on the water and at the camp site.
I absolutely love this place and has become my go to for quick spur of the moment trips in Jersey. It’s about a 3mi hike to campsites #1 & #2 and 6mi to the last sites #84 & #85. The hike is not terrible in my opinion just lots of ups and downs for the first 3mi. Once you get to the campground trail it’s pretty easy going on asphalt surface. You also have the option to boat into a lot of the sites but will warn you that the winds pick up out of nowhere on the reservoir and can make paddling a bit taxing at points…. so check the forecast and be prepared. Only reason for a 1 star loss is, like others have mentioned, these sites are hit or miss. I’ve gotten beautiful sites with ample space and great lake access to pads that can barely hold a tent, have way too many sharp rocks to put a tent on or covered in 6 inches of mud. Would just do your research before reserving and if possible scout out a few of your favorites beforehand. Also make sure to take a look at the water situation. Was out there this weekend (6/22/19) and because they are installing a new filtration system only two water pumps are working and depending on which site you get you can be up to 1.5mi away from the nearest one.
Great campground and hike. Has become a yearly hike with our Scout Troop.
Came here for a day trip. Very pretty and it was a gorgeous day. Was able to take some beautiful pictures.
Hike in or boat across the reservoir, thats the only way to access these primitive sites. Beautiful sites right on the lake, or up higher if wanted. If possible I suggest scouting out the perfect site prior to booking because some are gems while others are difficult to get into. We boated/canoed kayaked in for a huge group one year and single sites every other year. Earlier in the year is better to prevent lots and lots of bugs, August is hot and buggy!! Rangers always come by sites to check on campers and are nice.
This is a great campground that is super private and quiet - great for getting out to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. It's a pretty strenuous hike, but you'll be rewarded for the effort! If you get a site on the water, you can take a boat across to to your site (check the site for regulations/restrictions) - in-season rentals should be available on-site.
There is a pump for potable water and vault/pit toilets. Trails are well-kept. Definitely a great place to start with getting into backpacking and enjoying nature.
Some of the sites are at least 3 miles to get to unless you take a boat across. Beautiful peaceful and primitive. The reservoir can turn into the Bermuda Triangle at any moment-- be careful
Well maintained campsites. Fire pit had a medal grate to cook on. Beautiful area. we paddled in, the water is very clean and crystal clear