Alexa S.

Duluth, MN

Joined June 2016

California transplant living in Minnesota, currently hiking my way through CA, OR, and WA via the Pacific Crest Trail!

Not a relaxing stay

I stayed at the KOA during my PCT thru hike, entirely with the intention of having a nice relaxing place to stay.

the KOA itself is nice. There's a pool, a clean bathroom and shower and a nice laundry room. The tent set up is affordable, $35 if you have a vehicle and $15 if you're a hiker. There's a big grass field where you can set up your tent right next to water and all of the amenities, and the KOA has free wifi which is always a plus.

The catch is, the KOA is stationed between a busy road and a railroad… so all. Isn't you end up hearing the train blasting it's horn and come morning, you're woken up by the constant influx of cars.

If you're an RVer, than you can probably avoid the noise. However, as a tent camper, it wasn't the most relaxing place to stay.

Huge campground

This is another favorite of my Big Sur stops. If you're with a big group, this campground has lots of tent sites and plenty of room to host multiple campers. I think each site has a limit of 3 tents (that could be wrong, but I remember the number being lower), but even coming up in the middle of Spring Break we didn't struggle too hard to get a campsite.

The campsite is close to some trails and is across from the iconic Big Sur waterfall. If you get the chance to camp here, I highly suggest walking across the street to check out the waterfall. There's a lso a nearby trail right at the head of the campground. The trail weaves up into the mountains and has a beautiful view of the ocean from higher up. There's still a lot of fire damage along the trail, but it's cool to see how the forest has re grown since.

Amazing place to stay

I stayed here a couple times over the past couple of years and every time I absolutely love it. Big Sur is one of my favorite CA stops and this campsite is a perfect place to pitch your tent and enjoy the scenery.

It's a little bit of a walk to the campsite, but there's lots of wind open space and a neighboring trail that leads to the beach. You feel a little more secluded at this campground because it's further from the road as less crowded than others.

I don't remember there being a lot of tree coverage to protect from the sun, but there's some nice spaces to pitch your tent under shade if its hot out.

Currently closed (2017)

We stayed at Messenger Flats while hiking the PCT, only because you can camp anywhere within 20 ft and we wound up arriving at camp well past dark. We were surprised to find that the campground was closed but had clearly been used by hikers for the past season. We met a ranger the following day at a water cache not too far from the campground, and he told us that the entire national forest (except for the trail) was closed to camping due to fire damage from previous years.

The campground was a nice place to stop. When in full service, it has pit toilets, and each site has a picnic table. There's beautiful views of the ocean on clear days, we could even see the Channel Islands and the LA lights once the sun set hiking in.

I highly recommend staying here once it reopens. It's a great, pretty secluded campsite.

Loud but cool campsite

When I was here just a couple of days ago, the campground wasn't closed (May 2017). There were lots of people in the campground.

The campground itself is a little loud during the day time. Being right of Hwy 2, you can hear cars all day long which doesn't create much separation to enjoy nature. However, they have a really beautiful trail called the Burkhart trail that weaves through a river valley and large (redwood?) trees, a great trail for a short hike.

Each campsite had a picnic table and fire pit, and although the campground said the water spigots were broken they worked just fine.

Crowded and not well maintained

When we got into the campsite, it was extremely crowded. There were about fifty or so Boy Scouts in the area for the weekend so finding a spot was really difficult. 

Overcrowding aside, the campsite looked like it hadn't been maintained in a while. The pit toilets were some of the worse we've ever used and the door was slightly busted from one of the Boy Scouts. 

On the positive side, this campsite is in a really great location if you're planning a one day trip up to Baden Powell. There's numerous hiking trails that run nearby the campsite, and at Little Jimmy there's a spring where you can collect fresh

Great family campsite

I stayed here during my PCT hike and was glad to find the campsite. It had flush toilets, water spigots, picnic tables, and fire pits as well as large campsites seemingly fitting for big groups.

When we got there there were a lot of families. It seemed like a safe place for kids to run around and play. The trail runs right alongside the campground, and there's lot of beautiful views of nearby mountains.

Beautiful campground above the clouds

This campground is awesome! We stopped here on the way into Wrightwood via the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail runs right by and there looks to be a lot of other nearby trails too.

Every campground has a picnic table and fire pit. There's a pit toilet and a stream nearby where you can filter water. The campground has a cliff that looks out over lower elevation mountains and we got to watch the clouds drifting over the mountains just below us. So beautiful!

I highly recommend staying here if you have the chance. If you come during the hiking season, late April to late May, you'll probably see a lot of other hikers but otherwise it seems relatively remote and quiet.

Sweet campsite

Barrel springs campground is a super sweet place. There's plenty of tree and shade coverage, nice spread out spots to set up camp, and good nearby hikes.

We stayed here during our PCT thru hike after crossing mile 100. There's a lot of nearby trails to walk, and at night lots of wildlife to listen to.

Amazing campground

Lake Morena is an awesome place to stay. This was our first campsite during our PCT thru hike, approximately 20 miles from the Mexico border via the trail. They have a number of campsites and it didn't seem like they filled up too quickly. Other than thru hikers, there were only a handful of campers around.

The campsites are a bit of a walk from the lake, but there's a lot of great resources nearby. There's a campstore a short distance from the campgrounds, and a full bathroom with showers.

There's lot of great hiking nearby, particularly on the PCT, but it's also a great spot to just relax and unwind. There's a lot of turkeys that were wandering around in the morning.

There's a number of signs about the water not being potable. The ranger told us he drinks the water, and we drank it without filtering and we're fine.

Peaceful place to stay

We stayed here last week during our thru hike of the PCT. The campground is less than a mile from the trail and away from the ridge where there tends to be a lot of wind.

We had a group of 12, so we got two campsites (8 per site for $24 total). The campsite was walking distance to pit toilets and a lot of water spigots. There were picnic tables and fire pits too, but you're not able to have fires right now. The campsite overlooked a big open field with a big Boulder and a small lake. Really pretty spot to sit and watch the sunset.

We were able to get a site just fine but we did notice that all the sites were reserved for the weekend. If you're planning on going here, you might want to shoot for a weekday when it's less crowded or make a reservation well in advance.

Wonderfully quiet campground

My partner and I stayed here for a night on our way out to California and absolutely loved it.

The campground is $15/night, and comes with a reasonable amount of space per campsite with a fire pit and picnic table. There's seven sites so you are close by other campers, but everyone was quiet and respectful. There's also a trash can and bathroom on site but no water.

For climbers, this is a perfect place to stay. It's a short drive or bike ride from Wall Street, a popular area to climb. It's also a short drive from Arches NP. If you plan to stay here, I highly recommend getting in early. It's all first come first serve, and the sites fill up pretty fast.

Great place for lake views

Daisy Farm is such a fantastic place to stay. My boyfriend and I stayed at Daisy Farm while backpacking to Rock Harbor. The campground has a number of shelters and we had no problems finding an available one. There are a few bathrooms a short distance from the shelters but they are a little hard to find the further east you get. The campsite also has a dock with a great view of the lake. We ate dinner out at the beach and spent the afternoon relaxing on the dock, talking to other backpackers. It was such a great and wonderful place to spend time and we loved our stay. Highly recommend staying here if you're on this side of the island, and waking up early to watch the sunrise!

Quite stay at West Chickenbone Lake

After getting off the ferry at McCargoe Cove, I hiked a short distance to W Chickenbone Lake. The views along the lake were incredible and you have an awesome view along the lake front campsites. There aren't shelters at this campsite but there is a privy, and the tent sites are really nice with lots of space to set up away from your neighbors. This wasn't my favorite campsite of the ones I stayed at on Isle Royale. The group sites were a little overgrown and there were only a few sites closer to the lake. However, it was a great place to stay, very quiet despite the large crowd, and a short hike away from McCargoe Cove if you're wanting a slow start to your day after the ferry ride over from Grand Portage.

Quiet place to camp

The Three Mile campground is three miles from Rock Harbor, and a great place to stay if you're looking for a short day after getting off the ferry. The privy and shelters are just a ways up trails off the main path, creating a little isolation and extra quiet from foot traffic passing through. We saw a fox and a moose while staying here! The trail that connects on either side of the campground is made up of huge rock slabs that are just feet away from Lake Superior, and there's old mining grounds just West of the Three Mile campground that are fun to walk around, just be aware of bees!

Great escape from Vegas

I went to Red Rock on a whim to get out of Vegas while visiting my boyfriend, who was working in Death Valley National Park. We both weren't super into Vegas and Red Rock was close enough to walk/hitch hike so we figured we'd go. What an amazing experience! We were both completely in awe by the natural beauty of the area and loved rock scrambling our way up the canyon walls. We found a sweet spot to set up our hammock in between the wall of a canyon and another rock and spent the day listening to all of the animals in the canyon and exploring the natural bridges and structures around us. At night, you could still see the light from Vegas but we had a pretty awesome view of the sky regardless. This entire area is so amazing, I highly recommend camping up here.

Beautiful space

This park is such a beautiful place and escape the Arizona heat. You can't go in the water but they rent kayaks at the park and there's plenty of places you can stand with your feet in the water. The park has large boulders you can scramble/boulder up for climbers, and there's a few big empty fields perfect for playing sports or having a picnic. This park is a great place to spend time even just for a day.

Winter camping

This is a great place for winter camping! The campsites are large enough (despite the snow) to set up suitable winter tents, and each site has a picnic table and fire pit. In the park, there's a lot of ice climbing and cross country skiing. If you take a short walk from the main parking area towards the bathroom, and follow the trail alongside the bluff, you'll find awesome spots to climb and likely a lot of dedicated adventurers. Nearby the campsite you have a great water source, and a lot of peace and quiet at night despite being close to a residential area and town.

Beautiful location along the Ozark Trail

The Sutton Bluff Recreation area is really beautiful, surrounded by bluffs and in a really great location. We showed up on a busy weekend while hiking the Ozark Trail and decided we would hike a mile down the road to a dispersed campsite. Once you pass the road, the trail turns to the left and you'll find a campsite with a picnic table, bench, and a couple of fire pits. This was a really awesome location to camp with lots of trees for rain coverage and access to a rocky beach alongside the water source. The area is surrounded by bluffs and if you walk up the road a little and cross, you'll find a big rocky beach with beautiful bluffs and wide open sky. It rained all night and into the morning and we stayed really dry thanks to the tree coverage in the area. There was a lot of trash when we got here, so remember to pack in/pack out and try to clean up whatever is previously left there. This is a really special spot!

Wonderful people and beautiful scenery

A group of us stayed at the Onodaga State Park campground the night before we left to thru hike the Ozark Trail. We got into the campsite pretty late in the afternoon on a Sunday, but the campground hosts were extremely helpful as they set us up in one of their last sites. The site was $20 which, for the amenities they have, seemed reasonable to us.

The campground is primarily RV campers, but with three hammocks and a tent we were equally capable of setting up camp. There's running water at each site, a fire pit, and a picnic table, and bathroom/shower amenities in the campground.

Everyone was extremely friendly. We must have looked really out of place because all of our neighbors came by to talk with us and ask us about our trip. The campground hosts were really friendly also and even took our information so she could ensure our car was safe in the parking lot while we were backpacking.

All around a really awesome experience and for us a great way to start our trip. I highly recommend this campsite if you're in the area.