Dancing Deer Meadow in Red River Sandbox Camping area offers a space for campers to catch a glimpse at the site's rehabilitation animals. You are invited to take photos of the animals. There are tents available for rent for $10/night. Bring cash to pay for the tents.
There are 2 sites, with up to 12 guests per site. In the nearby Red River, you'll have the opportunity to swim and fish. Or enjoy more terrestrial activities such as horseback riding, hiking or wildlife watching.
Staying at Red River Sandbox Camping: Dancing Deer Meadow - CLOSED
Shaded tent sites
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I always look for campground which have a unique location, interesting features or points of interest which appeal to me for exploring by day. When I was challenged to visit the Dancing Deer Meadow Campground by the Dyrt on a recent Bounty Mission I was more than a little excited by the location itself. Nestled on a stretch of land which borders the Red River, I knew the location would allow me to enjoy a unique set of activities all within a 2 hour drive of my home. However with recent rainfall I was a little unknowing of what exactly to expect since the River does often overstretch its bounds and create flooding onto low laying lands in the area.
I called into my camp hosts to assure that all would be ok with my what was going to be 2 nights of camping on their two separate campgrounds. What was going to be Riverfront beach camping on one night and meadow camping another was adjusted accordingly because of recent rains and they had already moved my reservation to the high ground meadow camping to ensure my optimum enjoyment.
When I arrived I could see why before even arriving to the campground, the Red River, which I am very familiar with and typically has large sand bar shores was flowing like a mighty river instead of a casual stroll and the sand bars were nowhere in sight.
Dancing Deer Meadow is a part of a multi campground privately owned facility which rests just inside the Oklahoma border in a small community referred to as Garvin. Once crossing the river from the Texas side immediately you will find a small gas station and gaming center which is very convenient for any last minute camping needs. Just beyond that less than a mile is a small double gate with a winding drive which carries you around to the property itself.
I recommend calling ahead for arrival because they really roll out the red carpet when you do by greeting you and telling you a bit more about the property, the amenities and also the mission they have to help rehabilitate animals. This is where the trip really started to get exciting actually as I pulled in and were greeted by my hosts which not only introduced themselves but also some of the furry friends they have on site including baby raccoons, skunks and foxes, such an amazing treat!! From there they escorted me to the campsite and let me know a bit more about the site itself before letting me get settled in for the evening.
During various points of the year they host nature hikes which allow you to learn more about the native plants. They not only rent sites both on the river and in the meadow for those coming fully prepared like myself, but they also have tents available for rent for those who might not yet own a tent but want to give camping a shot. I think this is a great way for people who do not know much about camping to get a taste before fully investing. These tents are available for only$10 a night.
When the rains have not hindered beach camping their other campsite offers over a mile of beach camping with vault toilets scattered along the beach front to offer you limited amenities. In he meadow fire rings, vault toilets, trash cans and picnic tables are offered under large shade trees. Those trees were a phenomenal retreat for me when visiting from the bright sunlight of first light and during summer provide a cooling shade for those camping at the site.
The site does not offer water or electricity but that wasn’t an issue for me of course because I come prepared for any electronics I could possibly need and always bring my own water anyway because you never know what the water is going to taste like at a location. I do recommend if you are planning on drinking wanter from the river to bring a filtration system which is tested against heavy clay concentrations.
As the night set in the fireflies came out to play and with that and the moisture some pretty large mosquitoes, but that can be expected camping pretty much anywhere in this area. I suggest bring repellant of your choice and also potentially a citronella source to further repel the pesky critters.
The nights here are filled with the echoes of crickets, you can potentially see deer grazing and the sky is filled with millions of tiny white beaming stars which make for the most wonderful of locations far removed from the masses of additional campers. When I was here I had the entire site to myself on a Wednesday evening and really loved the feeling the solitude offered for my experience. This would be a perfect location to bring a family wanting some time in nature and also to experience something a bit different.
I do know that when the river front camping is available those locations are very popular for those wanting to play, fish or even do some light ATVing, however this is not a mud-buggy campsite and they wish to preserve the beaches instead of offering this feature. I really respect that because, unlike a lot of properties which border the Red River where that seems to be everywhere, this offers a place for those who don’t want a party atmosphere and instead truly like to enjoy the natural spaces.
- You will be driving to your location through a semi uneven pasture land if you are in a car with low clearance I would not recommend this. I drive a Nissan Versa and am not far off the ground but managed just fine, anything lower I probably would not have felt comfortable navigating.
- Keep an open mind when you pull up and get to meet the furry family. You never know just what kind of experience you can have when you allow yourself to pet a new kind of animal and truly interact.
- Ask about horseback rides. While they do not offer this as of yet the camp host mentioned they would like to in the future so it could be available when you visit.
- Always close the gate. This is a working farm facility and property and they do have horses. You may come and go as you please but they do ask you latch the gate as you leave so as to not let any of the livestock out.
- Check out the neighboring communities for additional activities. Just outside of the camping area is a community which used to be the location for some pretty big names of Country music to come and play. A little beyond that is Idabell which offers amongst other things has the Museum of the Red River with some very impressive Native American art and also a scale model of one of the dinosaurs found in the area. If you really want a treat you can visit Hugo, nicknamed Circus City where there is an Elephant Sanctuary and some extremely unique Circus memories for Carson & Barnes and Kelly Miller Circus. And lastly, Broken Bow is the home of the Beavers Bend State Park and a unique Petting Zoo which actually has some very cute furry ties to the campground itself, the Hoochatown Petting Zoo.
On this very exciting Bounty Mission I was given the opportunity to test out the ROVR Cooler and share a little feedback about the features of the product. I was very excited because I haven’t had a larger style cooler to travel with in some time and really liked the option to be able to store larger food items as well as drinks when on a longer trip. I really wanted to see how long I could keep items cold for future reference and just how easy or difficult the coolers large style would be to do everything from load to maneuver in my campsite.
Upon first arrival I was shocked as to how large the cooler really was. 60 quarts is very large, large enough to place 2 1/2 24 packs of water and still have room for ice. The cooler was available in 4 color options orange, green, white and blue. I really liked the green so when I selected it I had a grand idea of naming my cooler the Bunny Hulk and taking it everywhere I would go because it would be rugged with its large rolling wheels, tough handle and massive storage bin designed for carrying anything that didn’t need to go inside the cooler. When it arrived I knew my selection was perfect!!
The box itself is massive and unboxing the cooler on my own was somewhat of a task in itself because they pack it for safe keeping from the warehouse to your home. It took me a few moments and a lot of wiggling but finally I was ready to rinse it out and load it up for the big adventure.
I packed my cooking supplies, my meals and camera equipment into the bin which in my small car took up one entire side of my back seat. The cooler itself rode in the other side of the back seat and that was pretty much all the room I had for items unless they would fit in the floorboard. This is one of those coolers I could take with myself and one other person when riding in the car but it does not fit in my compact car trunk and because of the handle cannot ride in the front seat either. If I were in a truck or SUV my space would not be as limited clearly but for a person who travels like I do this is definitely something to consider.
When I left town for the day I had packed one small bag of ice into the cooler with only bottles of water. I wanted to see how long things could literally sit in the cooler without going hot so I didn’t want to pack food in it for this first outing. Texas is so hot during summer so imagine a 97 degree day then imagine being locked in a car for about 3 hours on that day where temps creep up to almost 130 degrees inside. This was the life of my ROVR cooler on its first outing. I was really going to put that 2 inches of insulation to the test.
By the time I arrived to my campsite late in the afternoon after my day of travel and many stops the single bag of ice had been sitting for over 7 hours with me reaching in and out of the top and sealing it 3 or 4 times. Before dinner I opted to grab some water and check my ice and noticed that it had melted quite a bit. Now typically they do recommend more ice in the cooler than what I initially placed inside of it, but I wanted to see how the bare minimum of one bag could hold up. I was really quite impressed that with the beaming heat it still had large chunks of ice and though there was some melt it was freezing cold inside the cooler itself.
ROVR is pretty interesting because it does offer a variety of attachments for the cooler to customize your experience. There is a cutting board style prep board, umbrella holder, stash bag and even a cup holder which can attach to the cooler in a variety of ways to make it more user friendly. For this trip I went with the bare minimum but will be purchasing attachments in the future to trick out the“Bunny Hulk” because I feel after using the cooler it is worth the investment to upgrade further because I will be using it often.
I used the cooler for a table for cooking and additionally a seat for my campsite itself so I didn’t have to bring an additional chair. It serves many purposes well beyond just being a cooler.
By morning most of my ice had melted away, there were a few remaining chunks but they were few and far between so I opted to drain the cooler of the excess water and see how long the waters themselves would remain ice cold. I didn’t predict they would have much of a chance as temps heated up again to the high 90s but I was surprised to see that the water itself retained the chilling cold throughout the day and was refreshing as ever well into the evening when I arrived back home. I definitely had not expect that!! I left the cooler in the car overnight instead of unpacking it and in the morning when I went to move it around, the water was still chilled.
I was very pleased overall with the ROVR cooler’s ability to keep my items cold. The ice was a bit deceiving and new trip in addition to adding the recommended amount of ice I will probably refreeze a couple bottles of water to keep the temps of the lower levels and upper levels evenly cold. I think this will increase my length of overall cooling for longer trips. I can honestly say that I feel confident putting my fresh veggies and meats in this and safely and securely stowing them away for my trips and might even prepackage several meals for lengthy trips just to cut down on at campsite prep time.
The only downside for me was the amount of space it consumes within my personal vehicle. For solo trips this is not a problem but if I am traveling with friends and there is additional luggage this could really be something to consider in my car.