Annie C.

The Dyrt Pro

St Charles , MO

Joined July 2016

I'm a hiker, explorer, road tripper, and camper with wanderlust in my veins.

Quirky but nice campground

Not far from Mt Adams is this quiet and nicely wooded campground. Sites are not huge, but the trees give some separation. County(or maybe state?) residents get a$5 reduction in camping fee. The campground has flush toilets and working cold water faucets, but no hookups for RVs. In fact, it's a little too tight for any RVs or camper rigs to get in. Most campers were tent campers. Each site had a fire ring and most looked level, but the only picnic tables were out in the open group area(although it looked like someone had carried a table to their site). Bring your own local firewood as there is none for sale in the campground. Someone had put out a“recycle” bin for bottles. There are some nice trails in the area, including some that head out from the campground, and the river runs along one border of the campground with trails alongside(watch for no trespassing signs as you will come close to private property). There is a large open area with swings for the kids and space to toss a ball. The coolest feature was the oddest- there was an old telephone booth in the campground. No phone, and in fact there is little cell reception here, but still a cool oddity in this pretty little campground.

Camp with the whales

On the western side of Olympic National Park, this campground was right on the top of the dunes/bluffs overlooking the water. It is a long narrow loop with very tight sites right on top of each other and no privacy whatsoever. First warning- there is NO water available here(ironic as you look out at the Pacific Ocean), not even in the bathroom(just flush toilets, no sinks). So bring all that you might need. Second warning- LOTS of RVs that will block your view if you end up on the uphill side of them. Most sites had picnic tables and some had fire rings. Tide charts are posted at the bathrooms, which would be very important if you want to spend any time along the narrow beach below the campground. All that being said, I loved being able to watch the sea otters and gray whales while I ate my dinner.

Wet but worth it.

This is a very wet campground(you are in the Hoh Rainforest afterall), so bring some extra tarps to stay dry. There are 3 loops, with a few riverside sites in Loops A and C. There were a lot of downed trees that were in various states of being cleared when I was there, which did close some sites to campers. Some sites had some privacy and others did not, but all were level. I was comfortable on my site, but preferred more privacy. None of the sites that I looked at had dedicated tent pads, but all had the usual picnic table and fire pit. It's a short walk to the visitors center and lots of hiking trails are nearby, including one that cuts through the campground. It was very quiet at night, and even though I was not on a site on the river, you could hear the river at night.

Close to the beach

This campground is just up the road from Rialto Beach and Hole in the Wall Rock, so there is plenty to do nearby, and you are about half an hour from the nearest“town” of Forks if you need supplies. On your way into the campground stop along 110 to buy your firewood as it is almost half the price outside the campground. Sites are first come first serve, but it was easy to get a private site since the campground is heavily wooded. It's really dark in here with all of the sitka spruce, douglas fir, and other trees. Be careful picking a site in Loop A as it backs directly to the road. Loop E backs to the Quillayute River, though most don’t have a visual on the actual river and none seemed to have direct access to the river. Also the bathrooms were out of order on Loops C and E while I was there. No showers in the campground at all, but at least there was water. All sites seemed to have the usual fire pit and picnic table.

Camp next to hot springs.

There are two loops, Loop A which is closer to the river and Loop B which has lots of downed trees that have been worked on as well as walk-in sites. This was a neat campground in that nature was front and center. Tons of moss, deer wandering around, and the slugs! They were HUGE!! No showers here(I don’t think any of the Olympic NP campgrounds have showers), but you can go to the Hot Springs resort and pay for the use of their locker room and showers(and of course the hot springs pools) if you need. There was a great trail to a waterfall as well as three other trailheads either right in the campground or very close. Most sites had picnic tables and firepits, but the sites that were closed due to downed trees did not have tables(maybe removed for tree removal?).

Close to amazing hiking

This is a popular, reservable campground at Mt Rainier. There are 5 loops with A loop and R(Road) loops not reservable. There is a fancy electronic iron ranger at the ranger station(something the rangers want you to use even when they are in their booth and clearly able to handle reservations). I had a nifty little bridge connecting my car and the picnic table to the the tent pad. I also had kids running through the trees and the middle of my campsite from the sites behind me. Most sites had good hammocking trees, and it looked like all had picnic tables. There is an amphitheater in the campground that had a nice draw of campers for the evening program. Bathrooms were clean and well maintained, but no showers. E loop was a no generator zone, which means it was fully booked while I was there. There is a good hike to Carter Falls along the Wonderland Trail, which cuts right through the campground. You are fairly close to Paradise which has more hiking trailheads and a visitor center.

Free river side camping.

Primitive camping on the Mississippi River. This is mostly a wide gravel bar that you can set up camp on with great views of the big river. But there are no amenities, and few sites. The road through the campground is nicely graded and there is obviously some work being done to restore the flora- trees being planted, areas marked off for restoration. You will be very close to active train tracks, so bring your earplugs. Be sure to be self contained as there is no vault toilet or porta potty currently. The best sites are at the opposite ends of the flat circle where there are large gravel areas ideal for parking RV’s. The boat ramp was a bit of a mess with logs and sandbars, but I suspect the US Army Corps of Engineers are still in the process of cleaning this access area up from flooding from previous years.

Affordable city park camping

This is just another small city park offering minimal services for$10-15 a night(depending on which sign you read), using the iron ranger system. It’s at the far end of a city park with a lumpy, root filled, grass covered hill in the middle with a few(6 I think) RV sites around the outside edge backing up to a public use biking/running trail. I think tents are supposed to be pitched on that hill, but I shared a site with a German cross country biker. The site we used was level, set against the trees(we could use my car to block the front and get some privacy, and clean. The grass was in need of cutting, and a brush hog would have done the place some good. The bathroom was filthy, and the sinks weren’t working. It was so bad that we walked down to the ballfields and used the bathrooms there(which were MUCH cleaner, and had working taps). There was a movie being shown on the other side of the city park that we could hear from our campsite, but we didn’t bother to walk down to see what it was. My German friend had walked down to the city pool where the local fire department was training and asked about showers. They were not accommodating, although they did say that during normal operating hours the pool had showers. Hope you bring ear plugs as you will hear the trains at night.

No frills

Free primitive campground near a lake in William Logan. No frills camping at about 8-10 sites near the main entrance off Route RA, with most being in an open circle configuration with the main road cutting through the middle. The only vault toilet was closed and a porta potty was set next to that. There is also a lollipop loop with some really primitive and obviously rarely used campsites in the woods behind the main camp area. There are a couple hiking trails nearby. Fair warning- there is an active shooting range in the middle of the conservation area and it was BUSY when I was there. There are some larger stocked lakes with another primitive camping area but the road was temporarily closed, so I wasn’t able to check those out.

It’s all here!

This new little (and fast expanding) campground has it all. A short 5 minute walk to “downtown” Defiance, the campground is right next to the Katy Trail. Forgot your bike? Walk 3 minutes away and rent one. Want to float the Missouri? They have a canoe outfitter on site.  Need a cold beer or hot coffee, it’s right next door at the local brew pub and coffee house. Want to hear live music? You’ve got two biker bars (with pretty good burgers and barbecue to pick from and the wineries are just a short drive or Uber away. Firewood for sale on site, really clean new shower house, and great night sky viewing. And for all the locals, you can get your Ted Drews frozen custard just up the street too. Tent sites back up to woods and the Katy Trail and the rv sites are out in the open meadow. Warning, this place will likely flood if it rains heavy. Which means the mosquitos might be plenty if they don’t spray for them.

Camp next to an active airstrip!

This is such a cool place to camp! You are literally right on an active airstrip. There are roughly 40 sites spread out along a long narrow loop, with some walk in sites. There are no services here- no water, no, wifi, no trash pick up, no campground host(there is a moderately clean vault toilet). But it’s also free, or a$5 donation at the iron ranger. It was a little confusing. AND IT'S ON AN ACTIVE AIRSTRIP!! Most sites have good trees for hammocks. I strongly suggest you have a way to secure your food and trash as there are lots of squirrels and raccoons. Did I mention it's on an active airstrip? While no planes came in while I was there, I walked across the airstrip to the“comfort station” for fliers and read the log book. Two planes had flown in earlier in the day and left nice messages. It looked like 3-5 planes used the airstip a week in the warm months. The White River is between the campground/airstrip and the highway and it drowns out most of the road noise. I didn’t check things out on the other side of the airstrip too much, but it looked like there were some dispersed sites there as well.

Kayak camping

This is a non-motorized water vehicle campground. You have to paddle in to camp here. There are two sides to the campground, separated by a marshy area. We camped in a couple of sites at Prevost Harbor(we were a large group of 12) after hauling our kayaks up into the grass in expectation of a high tide. The vault toilet was clean and there was a composting area close to that. The campsites were large; we were able to fit 8 tents in two sites, and took over a third site for cooking and eating. You need to store your food bins well due to aggressive racoons(we wedged ours under the picnic table benches). There are some nice hiking trails, as long as you don’t mind a steep start, that take you up top to the ridge. Great views from up here.

Pretty and busy

Nice campground on the lake with several loops, and most sites having some privacy. The rangers were super nice. This campground is reservable and VERY busy. The vault toilets were clean(seemed new!), and the potable water was very good. All of the sites had picnic tables and fire pits. There are a couple little creeks that cut through some of the loops. Lots of boaters camping here as well as lots of families. There is a nice trail here as well. If you cannot get a site here, there is dispersed camping up the road near Rachel Lake. No highway noise in the campground.

Right on the River

This is a free primitive campground on the Mississippi River. Most sites have some sort of fire ring and a gravel spot to pull a vehicle in. I only saw two picnic tables in the whole campground(maybe 10-12 sites total). The clean but basic vault toilet is at the far end of the campground loop near the boat ramp. Pretty much every site has great views of the Mighty Mississippi(depending on where your neighbors set up their site), which means you can watch boat traffic from your site and maybe feel a little like Huck Finn. A few notes of caution: this area WILL flood if the river floods; it WILL be buggy in the summer as the campground backs to a large wetlands area; on the other side of the wetlands is an active train track, so you may have train noise as well as barge noise on the river.

Convenient spot for a quick stop

Currently this is an RV only campground due to Covid restrictions, but there is ample space for tent camping when they return to allowing tents. So, RV sites include pull through and back in with water and electric hookups, and a dump station on site. There is a nice bathhouse and super clean laundry with a little lending library. Also on site is a community room(currently closed due to covid restrictions), an outdoor pavilion, and a miniature golf set up. The campground is wedged between the highway and a cow farm, so expect some noise, especially with few trees or landscaping to absorb the sound.

Good enough for an overnight

No frills camping on the edge of the fairgrounds, there are campsites mostly for RV’s (full hook ups- 50 amp and 30 amp, and sites with sewer), and space for tents on the margins (might be why tent “sites” are free). The bathhouse was locked when I passed through, and no one was camping here, but there is an emergency number to call, so I guess if I had wanted to camp here I could have had someone come out and unlock the bathhouse for me. The town is a short walk away with a convenience store and not much else, but still cute. Don’t expect any privacy or shade here as there are no trees.

Incredible campground!

All I can say of this fairly new campground is WOW! Tent sites in the trees with river views, water/electric at all of the RV pull thru sites, on site dump station, cute cabins in a variety of sizes, great hammocking trees, and a super clean bathhouse. If that is not enough, there is a coffee bar that serves light sandwiches, on site kayak outfitter, and summer concerts on the stage. About the only drawback I can see is that it will be so popular that it will be hard to get a site in the busy season without advance reservations. Even sitting next to the busy highway, there isn’t a lot of road noise thanks to the trees. If I was in a tent I would want to try and get sites 15 or 17 as they are large and have great views of the river.

Lots of camping options

This is a large Corps of Engineers run campground with over 100 sites. Some of the sites are by the water-ish and some are up in the woods. I liked the remoteness of the first seven sites- they are away from the water and up in the trees. All of the sites in the campground had water and electric hookups, concrete tables, fire pits and prep tables. Some sites are not level at all and are terrible sites for tents(stick to the first seven, very level and away from the hubbub, a short walk to the lake). Most sites seemed to have good trees for hammocks. In the large main area of the campground there are a couple playground areas, a beach, marina, boat launch, and several bathrooms with flush toilets. While you are here, head into town which is super cute and home to the Daisy AirGun Museum!

Great hiking as well as super cool springs

What I like about this campground is that the tent sites are separate from the RV area, and RV’s don’t have to go through the tents to get to their area. However, the RV’s have actual loops off the main road and the tent sites are right on that main road. The main road goes all the way through the park to the actual springs, a picnic area, and a nice arboretum. There are great hiking trails in wooded hills on either side of the campground. The RV area has dedicated parking spots for each RV with picnic tables and fire pits. The keypad coded bathhouse and laundry are also located in this area(keeps out the general public). The tent area is more or less a strip of mown grass with a few picnic tables and fire pits on either side of the road, with the creek and run off channels on either side. Obviously, you want to get a site on the creek side. Definitely hike back to Blowing Springs, LOTS of flowing water. The hiking trails up top are really pretty and surprising. I came across a cemetery up on a bluff, and found another small spring. It’s easy to get turned around and confused on the trails as they seem to overlap and some trail names seem to appear on several trails.

Camp along the river, but not much river access

All sites have nice tent pads, concrete picnic tables, fire rings, and lantern hooks. The sites are either on the river side of the long skinny loop or on the road side(sandwiched between the main road and the campground road). All sites have great hammock trees, and late at night and early in the morning you can hear the river from everywhere. However, you have to work really hard to get down to the river as the campground sits on high ground next to the river. You are better off going down the road a bit to get to one of the fishing access points instead. All of those have a nice parking area and a wide trail up and over a berm to get down to the river and skinny trails along the river for fishing.  They also have several horns scattered up and down the river to warn of sudden flooding/high water when the have to do a release from the dam upstream. It will startle you for sure!