Antony V.


Twentynine Palms, CA

Joined September 2020

Nice place but not safe during pandemic

Pulled in here after a long and beautiful mountain drive from the coast over Highway 299 from the coast.  It's just off 299 but road noise was minimal at night. 

Our spot was near the office and the wifi was excellent. Also 2 bars Verizon, 1 bar AT&T.   We used the laundromat, it was very good, modern.  All the sites are back-in but it was pretty easy. Can fit any size rig. Full hookups,$45/night.  50-amp service only but the host will lend you a dog-bone if you need one. 

Friendly host but no mask. No-one at the campground office was wearing a mask at the height of the pandemic, and one of the host's un-masked drunk friends tried to engage me in conversation as I backed away. Fox News on all the time in the office. If you have pets, keep them away from small but aggressive dog. 

Minus two stars for the casual willingness to infect us with a deadly disease.

Friendly, super convenient, full-featured

Monticello is the ideal place to explore eastern Utah from.  Everything is about an hour away.  National Parks and monuments: Moab, Arches, Canyonlands, Hovenweep, Monument Valley, Canyons of the Ancients, even Mesa Verde is close.  Moab is an hour away.  Cortez, CO is an hour away if you need recreational, um, tobacco.  It's also a lot less crowded than other places in the high season.

Old West RV Park, plunked down right in the middle of Monticello, is owned and run by "Big Jim," an avuncular trick shooter who regularly gives a show to the occupants of the 15 or so rigs that fit in his park. 

Good Verizon coverage; the campground has wifi but it doesn't stretch out to the end.  We were in space 12; Big Jim seemed to think it was not the best spot (no wifi), but we liked it because our door opened onto a view across the street instead of the side of another trailer.

The park will fit any size trailer if you can get one of the few pull-through spots.  Other spaces, like ours, will fit pretty big trailers (ours is 25-ft) but you will have to unhitch and park next to your rig.  There are full hookups and everything is in good order.

NOTE: the water pressure is quite high.  They will lend you a pressure regulator for free or they will sell you one for $15.

We really enjoyed our four days here and would definitely visit again.

Out of this world stunning spots, cheap

The goosenecks of the San Juan River are a series of river switchbacks, called goosenecks, 1200 feet below the flat surface of the mesa above, where the state of Utah has established Goosenecks State Park.   The views are very grand, unforgettable.

Camping is$10/night and there are semi-developed spots with picnic tables or you can drive out the bumpy but easily negotiated dirt road and camp as close as you want to the edge of the precipice.  Any size rig can fit; there are numerous large turn-around areas. 

I got between one and two bars of Verizon. 

Tents *not* advised.  It can (and did) get intermittently very very windy.

Beautiful pine forest, plentiful sites, fits bigger rvs, decent cell covera

About 20 minutes outside Flagstaff, past the "luxury resort" gated communities, up the mountain, is a well-maintained though narrow hard gravel road with many dispersed campsites right off of it.   Many of the sites are suitable for even large rigs, with space to turn around. 

Earlier reviews complained about the dust.  There is dust, lots of it, right off the road in the turnoffs.  But we found it quite simple to drive in a little further where the ground is a carpet of pine needles, soft, fragrant, and no dust at all.

We are here in late October three days before the temperature is scheduled to plummet and the place will be covered in snow, but it's in the 70s now. 

Very usable two bars of Verizon, one bar AT&T.  This probably varies depending where you set up. 

The only downside to the place are the gunshots in the distance.  Lots of shots, so probably not hunters, or else really bad ones.  Not sure if that's a common occurrence.

Many scenic overnight pullouts along Route 15

We were hoping to stay at the Gila Hot Springs campground, but it was full. Although the hot springs were oh so tempting, we're glad it turned out that way. First, FREE!  Second, fabulous views, stars, and amazing quiet.  

All along Route 15 in the mountains to the south of Gila Hot Springs are numerous pull-offs, pull-outs, and pull-throughs where you can camp overnight.  I wouldn't recommend a long stay, but we found a little road off up a gentle embankment with a killer view. There were many others we would have gladly stayed at too.  We are pulling a 17-ft travel trailer but some of the spots are wide and broad and would fit a much larger rig.

No-one but a masochist would drive along Route 15 at night (slow, steep, winding) and so there was zero car noise all night.  This would be true for any of the pullouts, so even though you're close to the road, there aren't any cars so it doesn't matter much.  No cell service, but there isn't cell service anywhere in the area, even in Gila Hot Springs.

We drove to the cliff dwellings in the morning, took a leisurely 20-30 minutes.

Pretty but close quarters

Stayed for one night; we arrived at 3 pm and there was only one site open, which we backed into (no pull-throughs).  Water at each site, trash cans and bear-proof containers.  There are also pit toilets, very clean.  Cost is $20, we paid $10 with our parks pass.  There are 10-15 sites, paved, in a small circle, so pretty cramped.  Overall, quite pleasant, lots cooler than the plains below.  Not all the sites are level and some looked difficult to back into, while others were easy.

Great boondocking with cell coverage

This area has five to ten campsites suitable for small rigs (we pull a 17-ft trailer, wouldn't go much past 20ft).   From the almost-ghost town of Bowie, AZ, take the Apache Pass Rd until you reach the Happy Camp Rd.  This is a good gravel/dirt road that goes up to a public picnic area (no camping).  Here take the turn-off to the right to continue on Happy Camp Road.  Soon you will see turn-offs and side roads.  We didn't explore the side roads but we did see a couple of small rigs a hundred yards or more from the road, so it is possible to find sites there.  As you continue along the road it gets worse and you'll need decent clearance (there are also sites before the road gets a little dicey, closer to the picnic area.  About a mile from the picnic area we backed into a site right below the rocks with a grand view of the plains below.  We camped for two nights, saw no-one.  In late September, 90s during the day and 60s at night.

This site is on the *other* side of the hills from the Chiricahua Monument.  To get to the monument, you can either go back to Bowie, and then to Willcox, and back to the Chiricahuas, or you can take the Apache Pass Road (the one you turned off from to get to the campsite) over the hills, past the ruins of Fort Bowie (you will have to hike 1.5 miles to the actual ruins).   Total time is probably the same either way.

We drove past the campgrounds near Portal AZ as we were exploring.  In late September, they were all full and there were lots of ATVs buzzing around.  Compare and contrast to our empty, quiet campground with neat-looking rocks and a fine view. 

We had two bars of Verizon coverage and it was fast.