Well, that was an adventure. The campground(site A39) is more like an overnight rest stop. It sits on the site of the old Viento railroad station with the railroad on one side and the highway on the other. That configuration works well for loading and unloading of trains but not so good for the city dweller who's trying to get away for a few days.
The site was level and nice enough, but it sits approximately 25 feet from Interstate 84 where the sustained decibel level is 71db. That's not enough to cause permanent damage but it will prevent normal conversation. More like a constant running vacuum cleaner.
The amenities on site were fine but the weekend we were there, there was a problem with both the water pressure and drainage in the bathrooms. The showers didn’t seem to experience the same issues.
The water was beautiful and a short walk from the camp to the day use on the river. We also explored the backwater referred to as Viento Lake. It's more of a stagnant pond but a nice walk none the less. We had some difficulty finding the improved path due to the only entrances being through occupied campsites(and those are unmarked). I think 17 and 39?
On Saturday we took the 11-minute drive into Hood River and the Western Antique Aero/Auto Museum (WAAAM). They have the largest collection of still operating antique airplanes in the US. I highly recommend visiting them on a Second Saturday when they select some cars and planes for'exercising'.
On Sunday by midday, we packed up, leaving Viento State Park knowing that we would likely never visit again.
We stayed here for one night on July 26, 2018.
The park is tight with very narrow spaces but well maintained. We were only stopping for one night on the way home and having a level, nice pull-through site, with hookups was nice. We never even unhooked the trailer but was spot on level. The park is pretty packed with many long-term residents visible through more permanent porches, 100 gallon propane hook up, and lots of potted plants. Since we were traveling and the park was so clean, it didn't bother me at all but others have made note of that.
There is both dumpsters onsite but also site pickup of garbage by the park. That’s a nice unexpected service. The pool and laundry closes at 8pm but the showers are open 24 hours. The greeter was very nice and helpful, couldn't ask for any more.
We stayed here for one night on July 25, 2018.
This is one huge park. I wanted to stay here as my father went through Naval basic training here in 1942. Since then the base has been turned into a college and then into a state park. A nice museum is located here with the history of the naval training base.
Every site is immaculately maintained with even the gravel being raked between visitors. There are hot showers (in private rooms), visitor center, swimming, boating, fishing, and a host of other activities. There are several disc golf courses and the visitor center sells Frisbee/discs for that purpose.
The sites have water and electric hookups and the park has multiple dump stations throughout.
We stayed at this park on July 22, 2018 for 3 days.
This park sits right on the river on the outskirts of Kalispell, MT. Of the eight parks we stayed at during this trip, it was everyone's least favorite. As we arrived after 5pm, the office was closed and we picked up our packet from the office door. There were 3 pages of rules and regulations on everything you can imagine from restrooms to hammocks. There is free wifi but passwords are required for each device and it's very slow, even for simple tasks as email.
There are two types of sites, ones with full hookups (water/electric/sewer) and those they claim are full hookup with only water/electric. They charge the same price for either one.
The bathrooms require passcodes and only cleaned every other day. This is a problem with over 100 RVs with many more total people using them. The women's bathroom toilet/shower had a sewage issue and the bathroom was closed for over 12 hours.
Several of the large RVs have been in the park for months (I'm told they arrive in April and stay until fall). When they stay that long, the areas around the RVs tend to be cluttered with 'stuff'.
The store is large but has almost nothing. You're better off going 1.7miles down the road to the 24 hour market which is great.
The river flowed right past our campsite but is not accessible due to the berm/embankment which is designed to keep the camp from flooding when water levels rise. The only close way to the water is about 1/4 mile towards the highway bridge where there is a boat launch.
We stayed at this campground for one night on July 22, 2018.
There are two levels, the lower one is for non-reserved and sits along the sometimes dusty road, and the upper is reserved and very green. The upper is much nicer with some of the cleanest best smelling pit toilets we've ever seen. We considered additional nights as it was so nice. Our neighbors were planning on one night as well but had remained for 6 nights.
We had a very nice pull through site #6, with a level graveled area for the large picnic table and separate stove stand. The fire pit was also located in this area but safely away from the table. The green meadows, surrounding trees, and excellent maintenance made this a beautiful campground.
As a note both AAA and Google routed us to exit 180 and we drove for 4 miles on sometimes paved, sometimes gravel road to arrive. When we got within a quarter mile of the campground, we came to exit 184 which was right at the campground (no gravel travel required)
We stayed here one night on July 20, 2018.
This KOA was a welcome stop after the long hot time we had in the Arches area. After going over an 8500 foot pass and stopping in the close by town of Rangely, UT (visiting the town museum), we arrived. The park was pretty full but the atmosphere was welcoming and calm. The folks who run the KOA are both friendly and attentive. They helped spot us into our back-in trailer site and our kids visited with their dog while we got the rundown on their facilities. We visited at the height of the season and there were 20 plus kids in the play areas at all times, but the sound did not carry which was nice. The pool is expertly maintained and located right next to the laundry room (handy). The showers were excellent and again, clean and well maintained like the rest of the facilities. The small store has just about anything and everything you could need including RV/trailer repair parts.
This is the first time we stayed at a KOA but will use them again after this great experience on the road.
We spent one night on July 19th, 2018.
This campground is located within Dinosaur National Monument right on the Green River. The sites were open and average but it was all dry camping. This would normally be fine but the temperatures were >100 degrees and it was too hot to really enjoy. The rest rooms were functional but had no showers or towels/dryers. They have wood for sale if you want a campfire. The water was comfortably cool with a small rocked in area for little people to play in the water.
It sits at the bottom of the hill right on the river so once the sun drops, the campground is in shade which dropped our temperature by a good 20 degrees. There were nice clean pads for tents, fire rings and wood picnic tables.
I recommend this park for cooler temperatures.
Friday, July 27, 2018
We Stayed at this park for one night on July 15th, 2018
It was a hot long day of driving and Site 67 in the lower area close to the river was cool, quiet and beautiful. The spaces were large and level without neighbors being on top of you. The grounds, showers and rest rooms were well maintained. We enjoyed the hookup with water and power and dumped the tanks at their dump station prior to hitting the road. The only thing the family noted was the mass quantity of gnats, with the consideration that we arrived at dusk in mid-July and they might be seasonal. They didn't bite but they were plentiful and we had hundreds dead in the AM everywhere in and out of the trailer. We would definitely use this great campground again.
You get there by passing through a historic town which was nice and a bit touristy. We came after most places were closed and left prior to them opening but it had a great little town feel to it and are planning on spending time there on the next trip through.
We arrived in the dark at 10:30pm on July 16th, 2018.
We had a 3 day stay planned and were arriving very late. Some road construction prior to the 22 mile entrance road slowed us a bit adding an additional 30 minutes to our drive. You'll climb ~1600 feet over the 22 miles making the climb into the park an easy one. The park sits at 6200 feet and with that altitude you'll need to both hydrate well and be aware that you might feel some fatigue after a day or two. Summer is when all the construction is happening so plan accordingly (we ran into this several times). At the new Wingate Campground we stayed in, the place was all new for this season - we might have been the first ever to stay in that site.
There are both flush toilets and pit toilets. As water is non-existent there, no water hookups are available. You must come with your own drinking water. There are sinks in the facilities but only for hand washing and no water filling of anything. Each site has a nice concrete covered area for the aluminum picnic table which is really needed for the harsh sun, which hits hard in the afternoon during the summer. Fires were not allowed due to high fire danger at the time (our fire pit has never been used). Firewood is available when fires are permitted but they bring it in from afar as there are no real trees either.
There are natural cactus everywhere which help protect the very delicate soil. Unlike campgrounds everywhere else, always stay to the paths.
The views, sunrise, and sunset are amazing from the site or from just down the road at the overlook. On the first morning I was greeted with the bright glow of red when I stepped from our trailer, it was breathtaking.
The visitor center is just a few hundred yards back down the road and worth spending an hour or so, reading about the area, preservation work, and history. As with all the national parks, they have a gift shop where you can get all types of things for your adventure including walking sticks, bandanas, water bottles, hats, patches, maps, books, and National Park Passports to name a few. There's also a coffee/food vendor located in the parking lot which is a nice treat.
I highly recommend spending time at this location but would suggest either Springtime or better yet, Fall for your outing when the temperatures remain under 90.