Charles C.


Malcolm, NE

Joined September 2018

Wife & I are former tent campers, now older & using a pop-up. I look for impressive values, out of the way places, & adventurous destinations.

There is no Dam Camping Site Here

There is no Dam Site 18 Leibers Point.

It appears that the site is site 14 which is a popular party cove with drinnking, drugs, and skinny dipping.  It is often closed off and parking is even forbidden.  It is site 14.

Primitive Camping at $15 a Night

This is primitive camping on the peninsula of Branched Oak, so you get close access to Disc Golf, nice beach, and Showers just up the road.  On the east end there are sites right on the water.  Yet other than the regular old picnic table, burn pit and rather dirty vault toilet, there is nothing else here.  

For $15 you can do better in Nebraska

One of the premiere Campgrounds in Nebraska

Branched Oak is not the luxury park that Mahoney is but it is one of the premiere campgrounds at Branched Oak which is one of the premiere parks of Nebraska.

This Camp Area actually is two camping areas (east and west)  the West is high on a hill overlooking the water and has a shower/toilet within the camping area.  The East overlooks the play area and has a vault toilet.  There is a central shower/Toilet structure but it is a little jaunt from even the closest RV spot in either area.  As always they assume that the tent campers don't use toilets and don't need showers so they put those areas as far from the facilities as possible.

There is a beach, a play area, a dump station, and a nice trail going off the east tent camping area.

Glamping in Nebraska

Being more of a boondocker, and someone easily turned off by state park campgrounds because they are so crowded, I did not see the draw to this campground.  Yet peope camp here year round.

I went there to do a review, and I was nnot only impressed, I was a bit envious of the campers that were there!  Not only the clean flush toilets and showers that were expected.  Not only the pool and hot tub that I had heard about.  But games, and activities, and rides, and disc golf, and so much more.  This camp ground is almost a resort!

There is no Campground here anymore, The Fair is Gone

Dylan sat on the banks and watched the river flow.  Some of us stand on a mountain or overlook a canyon and feel the same way.  I like going to sites rich in history.  In the tranquility we can sense the ghosts of the past.  It is difficult to sit in meditation at Wounded Knee or Gettysburg or even one of the missions at  San Antonio without feeling the richness of the place itself.

State fairs give off the same feeling but they do it in the hectic pace of competition.  The chickens or Jam you are showing is being judged in a place where a hundred years ago your mother's mother's mother's mother probably did the same thing.  They are rich with history and the Ghosts of our lowly past.

My wife showed horses at the Nebraska State Fair and as a girl slept in the horse stall.  Many would camp at the fair campground and stay in the fairgrounds for the whole 2 weeks!  My kids showed 4H projects and grew up with the excitement of the fairgrounds.

But Nebraska has a reputation for tearing down anything historical.  In Nebraska you can visit the place where the ballpark where Satchel Paige and Babe Ruth had both played.  You can visit the site where President Ford's bithplace used to stand. Or the neighborhood where the structures from the 1898 Worlds Fair used to stand.

Nebraska State Government doesn't understand the whole richness of history thing.  The Iowa State Fair (truly the best State Fair in the nation- they get it) was so popular that Nebraska has moved the State Fair to some new modern corrugated steel buildings in Grand Island in an effort to make it better, nicer, cleaner, newer.  All the things you don't want in a fair.

The State Fair Campgrounds are gone with the fair and are now in Grand Island.

We loved it, we hiked it, some tanked it, others ATV'd it

We wanted to camp Nebraska's national forest for some time and we were not disappointed. The camp was full to the brim.  all sites with hookups were taken, but the overflow is an abandoned, overgrown baseball field.  It was great, spacious, close to the showers and flush toilets, and only $8 a night!

I think hookups were only $16, so this is a great deal no matter how you slice it.

Neighboring Thedford has Kayaks and Tanks you can rent.  Tanking has become a Nebraska Thing.  fitting a group of folks and possibly a keg in a horse tank and floating down river!  We hiked to the ranger tower and it was a great hike with a spring fed trough half way up.  Much to see in the surrounding area including art galleries, quilt shops, and more.  Nice camping supply store right in Halsey.

Camping below the dam, Close to McConaughy's beaches & old western town

Great rout fishing below the dam but the cool thing is that all of the lake and surrounding sites are available to you.  Nice facilities and possibly a bit quieter than some of the Lake McConaughy sites which can become party sites.

Sandy Sandy Beaches, great campsites

This is one of our favorite campsites in the country.  On a tall cliff, lake breeze blowing through the popup window, sandy beach that is as big as the panhandle itself (these are the sandhills of Nebraska). My 'Dyrt' profile picture is of our site at Cedar Vue.

Ogallala was a raunchy western town and has q boot hill full of cutthroats and cowboys.

The lake is huge. one of the few man-made lakes that are visible from outer space.  Nice wide open country side all around with much wildlife to see.  If you are a bird watcher, head north to crescent lake and see the burrowing owls, long billied curlew, or a vast amount of other  birds.  The fishing is renowned.

Warm showers, flush toilets, full hookups (though we prefer the scenery of our primitive site). Nice visitor center at the dam

First to Review
A place to park with full hookups for $10

Not much to say.  It is a great value with full hookups for a donation and the park is clean and the shady camping sites are easy to get to.  There is a vault toilet (locked for COVID) and a swimming pool for showers.

I give one star if the site is bad.  This is not bad, just no real reason to go to Utica, NE!

There is Camping and beauty and seclusion, but no ...N-Shopping to do

Twin Lakes Convenience is a camping area in Indiana, and Twin Lakes General Store is by Mammoth California.  Twin Lakes Nebraska is free camping in seclusion off of I-80 west of Lincoln Nebraska.  Like many Boondocking areas this one offers wonderful views and all the enjoyment you can create for yourself.  The Lake(s) are  riddled with Islands, making it an outstanding Kayak lake. A food plot of sunflowers attract a great variety of birds and other wildlife.  No marked trails so you are left to follow deer trails but the benefits are worth it.

Wide sections of road provide enough room for any size rig, and the road was in good shape when we visited.  There are no facilities here at all.  no fire rings, no picnic tables.  Yet I gave it two stars because if you want to get away and tough nature, if you want a hidden beautiful spot that is still unknown, even to the locals.  This is the place.

Free Camping in Oxford

Nice Camping area in Oxford and the first night is free.  So if you are out west and need a nice quiet night of camping you should check it out.

My wife grew up along HWY 136 so we were committed to travel to the end of the line and stopped to check out a possible future camp site.  Looked good. Just off the Republican River

Beautiful Camping along the river- $15 for hookup-Free w/o hookup

This was a nice site.  Right along the river.

We cooled off in the city pool and had a great time.  Rest rooms were nice.  We put the pop-up by the river and camped for free.

We took this opportunity to visit the John C Neidhardt Center in nearby Bancroft:

A Parking Lot with All the Comforts, Great Golfing, and Free

We went to Fremont for John C Fremont days and the camping was all taken.  We heard Hooper had camping and went there for a couple nights stay.

There is a City Park with a pool and ball-field and they let you park your camper just about wherever you can.  If you park by the picnic shelter you can plug in and they don't care.  The pool lets you shower for free and there are flush toilets available throughout the night.  The Golf course had a tournament that was very well attended so I assume the golfing is good.

There was no charge for camping.

Nice stop just off the Highway and close to !-80- All for a Donation

Hookups, clean modern rest room and the pool will let you use the shower.  Nice city park trail through the trees for a good morning walk.  We had a great stay and I was not bothered by the noise, but trains travel throughout this part of Nebraska and they always sound like they are right next door even if they are 10 miles away.

Quiet, secluded City Park by a Fishing Pond and a Lovely Memorial Garden

Nice Quiet camping in a secluded part of town by a stream and City fishing pond.

Very clean with hookups.  They were locked due to COVID, and the city pool was closed for the same reason. Yet when open the showers at the pool are available to campers and there are flush toilets in the modern Restroom.

The quiet sunken garden with lovely statues make this place a wonderful place to stay if you are looking to get away for a couple of days and want hookups.  I have not seen it at night but have been told it takes on a life of it's own.

First to Review
Cute shops, fireworks, and woodfired Pizza & FREE CAMPING W/ HOOKUPS!

No kidding, FREE CAMPING with HOOKUPS! Flush Toilet and the pool is a short walk away and I was told you could use the showers for free! (the pool looked inviting also)

Stromsburg has a Swedish festival (Cancelled this year-COVID) but also has this great First Friday thing with live music in the square, fireworks off the roof, fire baked Pizza and other very cool concessions, wine tasting, and more.

This is a way cool local thing, so the First Friday does not over crowd the camping area.

First to Review
Open when others campgrounds are closed, and the food is shockingly good

I rated this high, because of the activities, wilderness, and beauty around Crawford and the food and the availability of the campground when all else is closed, made it worth it.  Also, you can use the Dairy Sweety's rest room, WiFi and the close proximity to the highway, and a convenient store all must count for something.  But as a campsite itself, it has hookups and is affordable, otherwise it is a parking area behind a Cafe.

Crawford has so much going for it.  We went to camp and catch trout.  Unfortunately, due to COVID and wet weather, even grassland boondocking was forbidden.  A local pointed us to the dairy sweet.  Behind the Dairy sweet she has 4 hookups and room for about 6 campers.  We set up late and just got food there- WOW!

This is one of those places that aren't anything to look at but put amazing food on your plate!  The beef is locally raised.  The Ruben I had had thick slabs of corned beef they process themselves.  The BBQ I had on my last day could have fed a small village.

While their visit Fort Rob, but don't miss Sowbelly Canyon, Toadstool SP, and the Museum of the Fir Trader in Neighboring Chadron. AND if you can, enter Crawford from the South, you will be glad you did.

One of my favorite towns in Nebraska is Harrison.  It is the largest town in Sioux County which is itself larger than the state of Delaware.  Do you want to guess the second largest town in Sioux?  There is no other town in Sioux County!  That is how remote this area is…enjoy.

Showers not open, RR not open, Crowded with resident RVs, $45/night!

Due to COVID, the RR and Showers were not open which was not a problem for the multitude of permanently placed RVers.

We called for a reservation but they did not return our calls.  the camp host said not to worry, find a place and settle up in the morning.  We found a spot within walking distance to the porta-potty at the marina and set up the popup only to discover that there was no 30 amp plug, only 50 amp.

We understood all this, we needed a place for the night.  But in the morning the office insisted we pay $45, "the LEAST we could charge"  Again, we had what amounted to primitive camping and for a little more we could have gotten a motel.

The town is nice, touristy without being too much so.  Close to Canada and the falls at the Pigeon River (the boundary between US and Canada).  Great Hiking on the Historic Grand Portage Trail.

Very nice town, great location on the harbor, RVs packed in like sardines, dirty, old and overpriced, even if the showers were working.

Primitive Camping on the Beach, too costly

We needed a place to spend the night, and with COVID many areas were closed.  The ones that were full were packed.  This site had everything I wanted, which was simply a place to spend the night.  We parked in the grass, Vault toilet was close by.

People were camping with their rigs right on the beach which was nice. There were a few picnic tables and small pits or grills. There was a vault toilet. Yet$16 a night plus another$8 each day for the entry fee made for a very expensive overnight and Very Primitive camping experience. If you are a local or have an annual pass, you might get off on the fishing and camping your rig on the beach for a week or so, but to pricey for the rest of us.

Amazing, secluded, beautiful. Heated Shower stalls, flush toilets, $6!

This was a real gem.  Very close to the entrance to Teddy Roosevelt NP, it was perfect for our camper.  Big rigs would be fine there, but I did not see any drive through sites.

First we were amazed that it was open when nearly all state, local, and federal campgrounds were closed. Next we were impressed by the quality of the sites: clean, mowed, fire pits, nice picnic tables, paved road (and I think the slabs were paved?), but the OMG was the individual shower rooms with radiant heat that was motion activated.

There are no hookups, despite what other sites may claim.  But hydrants were plentiful and the clean flush toilets and hot free showers made this a perfect place for you if you don't need to be hooked up to water and power.  It was only $6 a night and that was not a discount, that was full price!!!

The interstate was just over the ridge, out of site but you knew it was there.  This is I-90 in Western ND, so traffic noise was not an issue at all.  The first night I was woke by a plane flying overhead, so you know that the Interstate was truly not an issue at all.

Actually, being close to the interstate meant being close to the park, which is fabulous.  We loved the Grand Canyon a few years ago, but meaning no disrespect, this was a far more enjoyable experience.  You have the color, the rugged creation, but you are going in it, and through it, and on top of it.  Buffalo, prairie dogs, Big Horn Sheep, 
wild horses, deer, eagles, warblers, jack rabbits, antelope, and that is just what we saw in a day and a half!