the dyrt
Crystal C.
Sunset, TX
Joined July 2018
I’m a travel blogger with a focus on budget travel so I camp a lot!! Check out my ig and YouTube BunnyPlaysHere
RANGER REVIEW: Aftershokz Trekz Titanium At Eisenhower State Park

Campground Review:

For Full VIDEO Review: CLICK HERE

I decided to visit Eisenhower State Park during the last part of November, just before Thanksgiving when the leaves were putting on their final showcase of the season and casting their amber and red tones everywhere. It was absolutely breathtaking to pull into the park and start to see this area unfold around me.

Eisenhower is named for our former president, Dwight D Eisenhower, who was born in nearby Denison, Texas. Opened in 1958 to tourists as a Texas State Park, the area is divided amongst lake activities and wildlife preservation. In more recent years they have added ATV trails to accompany the bike and walking trails, the swimming beach and the outdoor amphitheater and pavilion.

Day use here is only $5 or for those camping you can easily find a perfect fit for your needs between $12 and $25. I noticed depending on the loop of camp you are enjoying amenities do vary as to site sizes. All sites except primitive and a single specialty reservation lot were equipped pretty standardly with a metal picnic table and fire ring with grill. The biggest differences were in that some had electricity and water while others had neither. (You can book your campsite online by clicking HERE )

I really enjoyed the spacing of the campsites, though the area I was visiting for the day had neighbors the spacing managed to mask any noise that might come from their camp. The tree coverage in the area was amazing and shady, I can only imagine this to be a necessary feature during the hot Texas summers.

Since I was only able to enjoy the park for a day, after enjoying one of the campsites for a lunch, I took to the hiking trails and explored the many areas there are to check out. I was most excited about the swimming beach, it reminded me of the beaches I had seen in Nevada nestled along the Colorado River in groves of mountainous rocky mountains. It felt secluded and while the beach area itself was a mix of rocks and sand, it could be a great retreat on a warm day for some fun with the family. The steps down to the beach captured my attention, I later noticed the same steps repeated by the marina and also by the amphitheater. They were unlike poured concrete and made for a more organic feel to the landscape. Created by bags of concrete hardened then used as pavers the surface provided a perfect step that was both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

A few things to remember about Eisenhower:

In this area throughout camp and other parts of the property you might see bats, armadillos, beavers, coyotes, deer, opossums, rabbits, bobcats, raccoons, foxes, squirrels and roadrunners. In addition, during warm months you can see a variety of snakes hiding on rocky surfaces so always be aware of your surroundings and remember to keep your food items secured inside your vehicle.

  • The Lake is a BIG draw. This is one of the more popular stops along the massive Lake Texoma. Because of this you can take advantage of fishing, utilize the boat ramp and boat houses or rent one of the many watercraft they have to offer. CLICK HERE for more information about the lake, requirements of fishing and boating, activities available and any current advisories.
  • There is an interpretive guide online which will completely give you a better perspective of the park and some of what it has to offer. CLICK HERE

Rating:

Overall I would give the State Park a 4 of 5 stars. I feel as though the park is large enough to accommodate large groups, essential during the busy lake season including holidays such as the 4th of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day. With the spacing it provides, not only can it accommodate crowds but it can make for a still enjoyable experience when visiting on these busy seasons.

Activities vary for those seeking non-lake related things to do, this is of great interest to me as a traveler who does not often hit the lake on one of my adventures. I like that there is an option for someone like myself to be able to if I choose however it isn’t the sole focus of the site.

PRODUCT REVIEW:

For Full VIDEO Review: CLICK HERE

As a part of a program I belong to in conjunction with the website The Dyrt, where I serve as a Ranger, sometimes I am sent items to test along my many travels. I recently received an exciting package from Aftershokz to test their Bone Conduction Technology provided in their Trekz Titanium. I was very excited to find a product that answered some of my most pressing questions when camping, hiking, working out and adventuring.

How can I hear what is around me if I have in an earbud?

How can I comfortably listen to music for extended lengths of time?

Can I have something which is reasonably fashionable to listen to my music?

The Backstory:

So why is it so important to have your ears free when you are performing activities outside? Well in my personal experience I have found that awareness of your surroundings can make all the difference.

SCENARIO 1:

When I travel with friends many times we have a speaker we travel with, and while we enjoy it, not everyone around us typically likes the same music we do. This poses a problem.

SCENARIO 2:

When I travel alone, it doesn’t matter if I am hiking or just exploring an area, I always need to know what is going on around me. From hearing the stops on the METRO clearly to hearing the leaves rustling around me to signal a potential animal in the area, there are so many reasons that knowing what is going on around you can come in handy. But from my vantage point hearing traffic and people is the most important because you never know what is going on when you completely block out the world.

I saw a study conducted over 7 years (2004-2011) which stated there were some 116 people who died as a result of wearing earphones of earbuds and not hearing what was going on around them. While 68% of those effected by this were men under the age of 30, I still was really disturbed to see that the number was so high considering it is something we don’t typically consider to be something dangerous. That got me really wondering if I could solve both my scenarios and the potential issues by simply trying a new style of listening device.

Information & Specs:

  • Name: Aftershokz Trekz Titanium
  • Retail Price: $99.95
  • Includes: Carrying Bag & Charger Cord (cube/plug port not included)
  • Color Options: Slate (Grey/Black), Pink, Ocean (Blue/Black), Ivy (Green/Black), Red

Shipping Information:

Shipping on this item was pretty rapid. From the initial order to delivery at the door was only 4 days. The package arrived via USPS and was in great condition. The box itself was well packaged to prevent denting or tearing of packaging. The product was secured well in the container with the remainder of the items which were included packaged behind the item’s plastic packaging.

First Impressions:

Packaging of this item was very well thought and attractive. I was pleased to open the box and discover the item inside. The see through boxing really made for an exciting reveal when I initially opened the packaging. The bold blue color I selected was much brighter than I had even expected and presented a very vibrant look which I really wanted to get right into using.

As I continued unboxing I did find it a bit odd that there was no charger port, only the cord was included. Still, I like most phone users, have more than a couple extras so I didn’t find this to be a deal breaker on my feeling of the product.

Field Testing:

I was ready to get these right out of the box and start using them, I was a bit disappointed that there was no charge to them whatsoever. Usually an item like this at least provides a bit of charge for you to start off using it straight out, however with these I had to wait. And not just a bit, I had to leave them charging for several hours before I could actually begin the process of utilizing them. This was a bit discouraging.

After the Trekz Titanium had fully charged I was able to finally initiate the connection process. As there are no cords on these headphones, they need only a device which can be connected via bluetooth, for me this meant my IPhone. I have connected devices previous, so for me this seemed to be a very simplistic process to set up. Simply holding down the “+” button on the headphones for 5 seconds activates the power. From this point you simply go into your phone settings, turn on Bluetooth and find the discoverable Trekz Titanium option.

Wearing the Trekz Titanium was pretty comfortable. Fitting just over the ear and in front of the drum itself, the phones kept that irritating feeling of pressure from building over time through use. I found the fit to be comfortable, though one size fits all did become a little looser feeling when I was running and bouncing in contrast to walking or hiking at an even pace. The back of the Trekz do not fit flush with my head personally, I do have a smaller head however so this might not be the case for all users.

The technology behind the Trekz Titanium and other Aftershokz products utilizes Bone Conduction Technology. This simply means, they sit on the outer ear to provide sound while also allowing the user to still hear what is going on around them. Unlike earbuds which fit inside the ear and create pain over time or earphones which are bulky these are designed to be streamlined and provide a more comfortable wear.

When I was wearing them I noticed that the sound was a little light in the bass when I turned it on and as I turned up the sound to get more of the bass it lowered the amount of sound from outside I could actually hear. The sound quality was very crisp and did not muddle the sounds of my music. Another negative about turning up the music was that others could then hear what I was listening to if I was standing near them. I don’t know if that is the best experience for others around me when wearing them if I really want to crank up my volume to get a good workout pump if out and about. Certainly it didn’t make me the most considerate person on the hiking trail when I encountered someone else, I felt like I needed to turn down my volume.

PROS:

  • Comfortable on ears
  • Able to hear outdoor sounds when volume is at moderate level
  • Variety in colors and styles
  • Simple Set Up
  • Compatible With Most Devices (I could not however connect to my MacBook)

CONS:

  • Fit a bit large on my head personally, although this did allow for plenty of space for a hat or headband
  • When listening at louder volumes less ability to hear outdoor sounds and also can be heard by those around you
  • Does not come charged

Rating:

Rating this item is a little difficult because the technology behind them is pretty genius and fits all my needs as a person who spends a lot of time in the outdoors. However the few small things which I could see as areas of possible improvement do bring them down a bit.

After really going back and forth on which of these things were really deal breakers and which were just things which obviously come with the territory of Bone Conduction Technology, I settled upon a rating of a 4 of 5.

While I do feel like fit was a factor for me personally, I do not feel it would be to every individual user. The main area which I feel should be improved upon would be the bass sound being more clear at lower levels. I feel like had it have been I would have never had to turn up the volume to cancel the sounds around me, nor would I have been “that hiker” who has their music up loud.

Overall the idea of the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium is something which meets a lot of my needs as a solo hiker and camper. It provides a great service which otherwise I was hesitant to explore due to safety while in remote areas with animals and other warning sounds of which you need to be fully aware.

Additional Reviews For This Product Featured On The Following:

BunnyPlaysHere.com

REI

Aftershokz

Ranger Review: Mountain House Beef Stew At Lake Arrowhead State Park

Campground Review:

To Check Out Lake Arrowhead State Park CLICK HERE

To See My Full VIDEO Review Of Lake Arrowhead State Park CLICK HERE

I have passed by the sign to Lake Arrowhead State Park probably hundreds of times and never stopped in. It was always intriguing, but like most places in your own backyard you tend to neglect sometimes the most obvious places to stop in for some rest and relaxation while trying to run off to the next big adventure up the road. But finally I had enough and just had to make a stop after seeing somethings online which swayed me to take the short exit off Highway 287 in North Texas.

Pulling into the park, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I have heard about this park mostly as a fishing destination, however what really brought me to the park were the Prairie Dogs. Yes, you heard me right… the Prairie Dogs. I am an animal lover, and anytime I get an opportunity to see so many cute free roaming animals, I simply cannot pass

I pulled in mid-day and was greeted by the Park Ranger who extended a map and trail map and gave me a brief understanding of the points of interest. Day use was only $4, something I felt would be totally worth the value for being able to have a day away. I mean, where else can you enjoy an entire day away for under $10?

The roads of the park are paved and wide enough for two lanes of traffic. I could easily see why boaters and RVers alike would enjoy coming out to the property based on how well maintained the roadways were. I first trolled through the campground itself to check out the three different options for camping.

I will say that of the camping options I would by far prefer the improved campsites at this campground. While primitive camping is great and I typically camp without amenities, I found that the primitive camping sites here had much higher grass and no fire rings or items which could be used for such. In this area of North Texas, the high grasses typically attract snakes, rattlesnakes specifically, so I couldn’t see myself trying to call this area home when other areas were just a few dollars more and were not only improved but also maintained at a higher standard. Price points varied from $10 for primitive camping to $22 with full hookups.

As I moved forward toward the lake a bit more the day use area was wide open with great lake views from all angles. The fishing pier and beach were along the same shoreline and because of recent rains the water levels were very high. This brought many of the critters right up to the grass including several breeds of waterfowl. And perhaps it was because of the recent rains, or perhaps it was because of the amount of in and out traffic leaving behind food, but this area was filled with Prairie Dog mounds and some very bold little furry friends.

I spent the better part of an hour grabbing some great photos of the infamous residents, the Black Tailed Prairie Dog, almost within petting distance. They were not fearful at all and instead were very curious and comical.

Leaving this area I moved on to the other side of the day use are which had a large boat ramp with plenty of parking for trailers, a basketball court, playground, picnic shelters and canoe and kayak rentals. This area seemed to be the busiest area in the park with several people out chatting after coming off the lake, some people having a late lunch under the shelters and even a family which looked like they had been swimming.

While this is not the most improved campground and facility I have seen at a Texas park and while I am sure they do have some room to work on modernizing, as a whole I would give the experience here five stars. The staff I encountered while at the park were all very friendly, the access to the lake was plentiful, the programs they offer were many and there were enough campsites to suit the needs of campers even on busy holiday weekends.

TIPS:

  • Check out the Disc Golf course which runs alongside both the Onion Creek Trail and Dragonfly Trails.
  • Get your supplies before you come out to the campground in neighboring communities Wichita Falls, Jolly or Henrietta. Though the entry station sells firewood there are no additional supplies sold on the grounds.
  • Bring your camera and go to the beach! This area is the most populated by the Prairie Dogs and will make for some of the most lasting memories of the park. This area is a MUST SEE!!

Product Review:

To Check Out Mountain House Products CLICK HERE

To See My Full VIDEO Review Of The Product Including A Recipe CLICK HERE

As a part of a program I belong to in conjunction with the website The Dyrt, where I serve as a Ranger, sometimes I am sent items to test along my many travels. I recently received an exciting package from Mountain House, an amazing company which provides food selections for hikers, preppers, travelers and even military usage in simplistic freeze dried form.

Information & Specs:

  • Name: Mountain House Beef Stew
  • Retail Price:
  • Servings: 2.5 Serving Pouch

Shipping Information:

From the time I corresponded with Mountain House and the Dyrt to the day I received the item there was less than a week’s wait. I have previously also received items from Mountain House through other companies which sell and distribute their items, again with little to no delay on receipt.

First Impressions:

The packaging for this product was slightly different than the item I had previously ordered, a Pro-Pack version of Mountain House which is designed and packed for higher altitudes and thus is sealed much more tightly. The directions on the packaging were clear and concise and it seemed as though it would be pretty simplistic to prepare.

Field Testing:

In previous experiences with freeze-dried meals I had been a little less than excited by their flavors, many seemed flat or chalky tasting. Being that I am a texture eater as well I don't like the off putting feel of something being soggy when I eat, so I was very eager to see how Mountain House held up to the challenge, especially when it came to stew, something which typically can go pretty soggy when preparing.

At my location I wanted to test how easy the pouch would be to prepare, how far it would stretch and also how I could potentially easily incorporate it into my camping in a variety of ways. The meal itself was very easy to prepare with very little requirements for doing so. Basically I only needed a small bit of water and something to heat it to make it work, this I found to be key when I do more minimalist camping or backpacking. I prepared the meal in this way first to get an overall feel of the meal and gauge if I would respond well to the taste and texture. It was a success! After a total of less than 20 minutes to fully prepare the meal from start to finish, I was very pleased by the flavors, the perfect texture of the meat and potatoes and how the carrots and peas seemed to just melt in my mouth.

Though I often travel alone, making 2.5 servings more than enough to send me to bed in a food coma for the evening, upon occasion I do have additional people traveling with me. This made me think, what if I needed to stretch this meal a bit further because there were two people starving after a busy day? How would I do that? I put a lot of thought into options and concluded that there would be several ways you could do so.

If continuing to be on a minimalist prep you could simply take tortillas and with the added starch find a way to make the contents stretch. But what about having my full camp set up at my disposal, how then could I stretch my meal to accommodate another person? My conclusion was to prepare a delicious meat pie by adding just two ingredients (puff pastry and mushrooms). With this idea, you could of course add any items you want and make your pies as large or as small as you would like. I would also suggest peppers or onions if you really want to expand the contents without taking away from the flavors. These are all items which compliment the flavors of the pouch well.

I prepared with a single puff pastry 4 small pies and still had enough left over in the pouch that I could have made a solo meal out of that alone. By far Mountain House is one of the most diverse and flavorful providers of freeze-dried meals. No wonder around 70% of all freeze-dried meals sold in the US are Mountain House.

Rating:

If I were rating this item I would have no questions in giving it a 5 of 5. I feel like the content of this items package standing alone is enough to speak for itself as the robust flavors bring you that little sense of home while in the wilderness. It is designed for the every day camper to have something which is easy to prepare but has the ability to transform into much more than a pre-packaged meal. This item is perfect well beyond the bounds of camping however, I am most excited about adding this item to my supplies for emergencies as well in case of power outages during cold winter months of bad weather which can often leave me without power living in the country.

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Make Sure To Check Out My Reviews On:

VIVOBarefoot

Philips Visa Pure

Midland USA

Pull Thru And Unwind

I don't drive an RV but I have moved around a larger rig before so I know that sometimes being able to get into a site is half the battle. With this park they keep that in mind and have all pull thru sites to make the journey into camp easier and your unwinding begin a bit more quickly.

I checked this site out when in Vegas and compared it to many other RV sites. While living there I often had friends who would ask about where they could come to town when vacationing in RVs but then be able to get out and do things. My best suggestion to them was find a park then take an Uber or Lyft to the strip or Fremont for the action. Keeping your home on wheels at a peaceful location allows you to rest better at night so finding a place like this is key to a great trip to Vegas within staying in a hotel or casino.

The staff here is very friendly. Since I was only going to check out the facility they offered to take me around and show me the location and told me plenty about the park and amenities. There is a special interest put on security of campers and the property is gated. They offer high speed internet and cable at each of the sites and they focus on your experience by having both a pool and fitness facility.

But they also are friendly to your pets. I think that was one of the most interesting things to me, the lady mentioned that a lot of people travel with their furry family so they wanted to accommodate them not just with their own dog run facility but also with a wash station so if it happens to be muddy they can be washed with warm water. That was pretty cool to me. All in all I really liked this place and ended up recommending it several times.

TIPS:

  • If you are going to be at this location you can get both nightly and weekly rates. There are many snowbirds which choose this location as their home away from home. Prices are nightly starting at $35.

  • If you are an avid golfer they have not only a putting green for you to practice but also a driving range at this location.

Level Of Decency Depends On Your Location

Let me just start off by saying, this casino itself has mixed reviews. Never has it been one of the most popular or known for the highest level of security, but on the flip side it isn't poorly patrolled and there isn't a lot of violence or homelessness that floats through the parking lot regularly. But again there are a lot of mixed reviews, maybe it is just a casino thing.

With that being said, depending on where you are located at this spot you might have a peaceful night or you might be irritated by the sound of cars and the parking garage. The placement of this parking area is not terrible for getting in and out, though the spaces seem a bit narrow and I can't imagine people with a lot of slide outs being comfortable moving around their rig.

When I stayed in Vegas I came to check it out and it just seemed like of all the locations in Vegas this one was better than some but less great than others. You do have access to all the amenities of the casino itself when staying here, that is a nice addition to your stay, however some of those amenities are outdated.

I see this more as a place where retirees go to enjoy things than younger people so if you are wanting something a bit more lively in way of an updated pool or booming bar experience it isn't here. If you are wanting something more to focus on relaxing in the casino itself and playing games then it might work better.

The Place You Need To Live During Fall & Winter

I stayed in Vegas for several months and found this to be one of my homes away from home. Sure I was close but I also wanted to get out of the house and camp where the weather was nice. During fall and winter this place is great, even into early spring (although rain can get you from time to time then). I visited with my friends constantly and hiked many of the trails.

I loved the camping spaces out here because they opened right up into the park itself and you could literally hike from there to an adventure or drive into the main entrance and find something deeper into the park.

While those are the pros, with that also come a few cons. Coyotes are very predominant in this area so you will want to make sure if you travel with pets they are not left unattended and you will also want to make sure you put food away.

Snakes, during fall and winter these are not bad because they are not out and about, but come spring they start to resurface. These aren't your nice little garden snakes either these are the really scary bad ones.

Spiders! yep they have all the scary things out here and they are the spiders which create webs that look more like they are taking over a tree. Again this begins in late spring so that is when my hiking always stopped.

During the right time of year this place is a goldmine of opportunity!!!

love it!

I will say that when I was looking into this camp I was really impressed with its great peace that came over me when I was there. Unlike many of the sites it does not seem to be as crowded and it seemed a bit more relaxed. For this reason I found it to be a great place for a day use area or perhaps you can camp as well.

I personally was in the area for the day, but I did manage to check out the camping options which offered both flush toilets and drinking water. There were no connections at the camp but no one seemed to mind. There were more than enough hammocks relaxing in the area.

My favorite thing about this are was the access it had to numerous trails which were just moments away from where you would lay your head for the evening making it a great place, that until this trip I didn't know was here!!

Midsized Camp with Great Amenities

I wanted to visit MaryVille Kentucky because they have what was known to be the Largest Elmtree. I was very excited to see this. However there is no camping directly in Maryville so I doubled back and went to Poland Creek campgrounds which came highly recommended by someone in town.

This is a medium size campground which offers both RV and tent camping. There is a recreational facility which can be used for day use as well. Overall everything is grassy green and beautiful.

Sites are well shaded and even. There is a playground as well as a water area where you can launch a boat. I really enjoyed the campground as a whole because even if it was highly occupied it didn’t seem as though you were right on top of your neighbor.

The location wasn't far from Louisville which made it a great escape from the city yet close enough to get back easily. I can see this being a perfect spot for a day cation as well with a swimming area perfect for families.

My site was not located right on the water, those sites are reserved for those wanting electricity. Instead I was a short distance from, still very doable. I paid $18 for the site and it was great. I had full access to all the amenities at a fraction of the $30 charged for electricity.

TIPS:

  • The camping season here is April through October so if you are trying to stay during off season you will need to contact the City of Louisville to make arrangements.

*If you would like to bring a boat, it must have inspection and tags for the state of Kentucky.

Not Camping!!

This site is a manufactured housing site and is not available to short or long term rv campers or tent campers. It appears on all major listings as a campground however it is not!! Don't make the mistake of driving here like I did :(

closed

I was trying to go to Birmingham to see the Sloss Furnaces and wanted to stay the night before making it into town but this was closed!!

close to Birmingham attractions

I was very excited to visit Birmingham for my first trip. I didn’t know what to expect out of the city although I have heard several things about it’s long standing history.

One of the most attractive things about this location was that it was close to the Botanical Gardens which I had seen raved about and a lot of top magazines. Southern Living had featured them as one of their southern living gardens and I was very interested in seeing exactly just what that had in store.

Since I am a tent camper finding a location close to a city is sometimes somewhat difficult. However Birmingham location and proximity to this park are very close and that made for the best of both worlds.

While I was at the campground I enjoyed a wonderful tent site that was primitive. They have both primitive and improve sides at the campground and you can pick and choose from either. I enjoy the primitive sites simply because it does save a little bit of money while on one of my budget blog trips this stretches my dollars further and helps me go a little bit farther to the next location. I noticed that the RV sites were plenty long and could accommodate almost any size rig and still have space. There were both pull through and back and sides for both tent campers and RV campers.

The shower house although it was not the most improved our house I have been to was nice and the water pressure was strong. I enjoyed several hiking trails while out at the park during the day and then made my way into Birmingham for the evening.

The community of Birmingham it’s a wonderful place and I truly enjoyed this stop I only hope that I can explore it more on my next trip there. So many things to do while here it was hard to not have a bit more time here.

Great camping for all ages

Much like the name says there are horses but this campground is much more than horses. I noticed that whenever I pulled in the campsites are large and spacious. Great for RVs or tent campers alike. I was very excited to stay in this area based on the location it’s self. This location is close to the Bourbon Trail and very close to Lexington it self and all of the activities that await you while there. Their local he is a mail which mills their own flower with a water wheel that still runs from the early 1900s. My site was Both level and grassy it made for a great night and despite the fact that the camp was pretty full it didn’t seem overly crowded.

Smaller Mountain Campground With Hiking Nearby

This is one of the smaller sites alongside the main road you will find just a short distance outside of Aspen. I was passing through late in the season, technically during "closure" but was able to snag a site because it had not yet been closed due to unusually warmer fall. There had been some snowfall higher up but where I was there had not so the camp had not been closed. They had however turned off the potable water source but vault toilets and sites remained open.

I was located in site 5 which had a small back in area, a picnic table and fire ring. There were also bear boxes throughout camp, which you need to use if you are here because there is a population of bears that will raid camp. I made sure to keep any food in the car behind doors and cleaned up away from camp with my own water source so as to not attract anything to come near. Bears do scare me a bit!!

The site for my tent was lush and grassy, it had not yet frozen or died for the season so it felt very fluffy underneath my tent.

Temperatures dropped dramatically at night and I was happy there was no fire ban when I visited because I used my fire for a heat source in the evening and then hand warmers inside extra socks at night. It was pretty peaceful at the camp as a whole.

While there I enjoyed hiking on the Weller Trail which heads directly out from the parking area near the camp and treks a short distance with some amazing views. I was so happy to have found this site for only $21.

TIPS:

  • Typical season is May to the end of September if it is before or after this time check with the Forest Service to see if they have opened camp for season.

  • Bring a flashlight there is no external light at the campground so you will not be able to see anything without one.

Close To Manitou & All The Exciting Things Which Go With That

I wanted to stay in Manitou originally to hike Pikes Peak, unfortunate weather stopped that from happening so I had to make due and get in as many activities as I possibly could before heading out. I searched the area far and wide for great camping, and this place came up. I only at the time had the address but not much info and so as I was already in the area went ahead and made a stop in hoping to find a site to stay. Unfortunately I was told they only accept RVs, something very predominant in this area. It was a nice park so I went ahead and asked if I could check out some of their amenities before heading out, aka I asked if I could use their restroom and walk around. They let me but said since I wasn't staying I couldn't snag a bunch of photos and invade privacy, I think they told me this cause I had an entire convo about being a travel blogger..lol.

The location wasn't huge but it was quaint. It backed up to a creek which you could hear trickling trough and it made for a nice setting for a place to stay when in this area. Only a few moments away from Manitou only made it even more of a bonus.

Rates seemed pretty reasonable when I was visiting in fall a $45 a night but I did notice rates change seasonally so they could be a bit higher in summer months. They did also offer long term parking within guidelines of maintenance in an attempt to keep their campground looking nice. I really liked the location, I really just wish I had been able to stay, but like with most in Colorado, you have to search a bit harder if you are a tent camper.

TIPS:

  • Reserve in advance and hold your reservation or you will forfeit your deposit.

  • Check out Rainbow Falls, Garden of the Gods and downtown Manitou if you want to see some amazing different things. If you want a challenge try the Incline!!

Great Pricing Open Year Round

I was hoping to go here to see some people launching their white water rafting, however that was not the case when I was visiting. Despite being open year round there was not a lot of activity going on when I was there in late October during midweek. The surroundings were amazing, however I opted to not stay because a cold front was coming in to push through some snow, probably the reason why people where not rafting.

The sites for camping were nice, there were many campgrounds to choose from along the area and sites were large and spacious. Most importantly they were reasonably priced at only $18. Part of what makes these camps be able to not close their doors seasonally is their vault toilets, with no running water at camp they do not have to worry about pipes bursting or issues relating to this so camp can keep going.

Sites are equipped with traditional picnic table, fire ring and grill and there is a changing area at the campground too just to get out of the gusty winds and provide a bit of shelter for getting cleaned up each day.

The Salida campground does have a boat ramp and launch right beside camp and fully backs up to the river itself so you have amazing views from any campsite. You really can't lose with this place!!

TIPS:

  • Come prepared there is limited cell service here and no store on site so you will be needing to go to town if you forget anything.

  • Check weather conditions, though open year round you will want to prepare if cold fronts are passing through as this area is already a bit cooler being so close to the waters edge.

ideal For RVs or Tent Campers With Great Wildlife

A stay here is like a stay right in the mountains where you can see everything around you and truly appreciate the atmosphere. Up at this camp anyone can come and enjoy stretching out and enjoying a day or weekend away at a reasonable rate with good company all around you. There wasn't a single camper that I met here that wasn't pleasant, maybe it is that mountain air.

When I visited there were not any events going on here so it was a typical day in the middle of the week, there were still plenty of other campers here but it did not feel overwhelmingly full by any means. I opted for a site without water because there were plenty of spigots around so I didn't figure it was a must have at that moment. My site was pretty basic with a picnic table out of stone and a grill but it was nestled in the mountains and seemed like my own little piece of happiness. Only $17 for my site seemed more than reasonable and I felt like I had plenty of room to really spread out.

This campground has a little piece of history being a part of the jobs created during the Great Depression. At that time they put people to work etching out paths through the mountains, some of those are still in use today and as you hike along the many trails here you are hiking along the path with such an appreciation for the beauty that you tend to forget that this once was a place which reminded people of hope in the midst of tragedy through minimal wages.

While there I checked out the Aspen Peak trail which was awesome and I recommend it as a must see!!

TIPS:

  • Sites are first come first serve so get there early on busy weekends.

  • Check their site for special events, they often host off road events here because of the terrain in which case sites fill quickly.

Great Access To Colorado River To Launch Your Adventure

I had been staying in this area for a while searching for various campsites and had been to the Arizona Hot Springs a couple times, continually seeing people pulling in via boat and never knew where they were launching from, until I found this place. it seems like this place is where it all begins for those adventures.

With much of the area being desolate looking around, this was like an oasis just waiting to be discovered. It isn't that there is some magic lawn that spawns up out of the desert sands and makes it look like something it isn't, though there is grass that isn't what I am speaking on. Instead it is that this place is very commercial in comparison to almost every other campground in this area, much of which are barebones and basic. This site however has nice showers and bathrooms, a restaurant, gift shop, a marina, fishing dock, boat rentals and a laundry. Unlike so many campgrounds the sites here are also WIFI ready.

The tent site I checked out was $30 but included access to the ramp which is why a lot of people choose this site for their adventures. This is one of the best launch areas in way of well maintained sites you will find on this side of the Lake Mead Recreational Area.

I enjoyed a great shower here with amazing pressure, had awesome night sky views down by the water and finally was able to figure out just where all these people were getting their water fix. Not to mention there was some great access to rock scrambling along the shore line for some amazing peaceful places to relax and take in the clearness of the water.

TIPS:

  • Come early or call in advance, there are only 6 tent sites. Everything else is set up for an RV.

  • Check out their discounts available for veterans which is a great deal.

Small But Great Location

Let me just start by saying if you are trying to make it to this spot you might want to make sure you do so early, it is very small and with only 6 spots it gets packed quickly. If trying to get here on a weekend, GOOD LUCK! I recommend weekday excursions here since you cannot reserve and it is first come first serve.

So what makes this spot so appealing?? Well to start with it is FREE!! Yes, in all the camping which you have to pay for out by Zion this one is one of the few you will find that have limited amenities and is in fat free to visit. Of course with that being said it is popular.

Not all vehicles can make it out to this site and depending on what the weather has been a smaller lower car might struggle in some places if there is wash out in the region. I made it in my small Nissan on the day I visited only to find it was already occupied.

The sites here are pretty basic, no running water at the sites at all. Pit toilets were well maintained and stocked. Each campsite was large enough for comfort from your neighbors and had a picnic table and fire ring. The camp is at a high enough elevation that it gets pretty cool up there at night. I'd say at any given time it is probably 10-20 degrees cooler than the lower areas of Zion. I had on a light jacket exploring the camp and a wind nearly cut right through me mid day.

One of my favorite things about this camp was the access it has to the West Rim Trail, you can access it quickly from this area. Along this trail you can get some of the best overlooks in the park at some of the highest points. You can also use this trail to walk almost entirely around the park from big trail to big trail.

TIPS:

  • Bring everything!! Make sure that includes lots of water because you will not find a water spigot anywhere near you and if you plan on hiking from this camp you will need it.

  • Try a solar shower here, there are great sunny spots to set up a solar shower and let it heat up midday.

  • Check weather conditions. This area has signs posted about frequent lightening, you can avoid this by simply checking the weather to see if you are at risk.

Closest Camp To Oatman and the Infamous Burros

I wanted to find a site as close to Oatman as I could. It took me three trips that way to find this campground and finally I was happy I did. Located only about 8 miles away from Oatman, it allowed me to have a full day to explore Oatman and surrounding areas including the many mines which are closed but "open" to the person wanting to really explore.

This place is a smaller park and though mostly they do have RV campers they do accept tent campers. The owners are very friendly and you meet them when you check in, this is not a chain so they take pride in what they give in way of service to those passing through.

My space was clean and level for camping in a tent. I only paid $15 which was very reasonable and like I said location was key!! My site had a picnic table and was pretty basic but it was peaceful and I had a great night there as a result.

They do offer long term RV camping at a very reasonable rate, however when I was there it didn't look like they had a ton of that traffic at the time. I will say that unlike a lot of long term lots which appear to be a bit trashy this one was maintained.

TIPS:

  • Use this as a basecamp for going to Oatman where there are a lot of stores, a great cafe, mines to explore and of course pictures to take.

  • Bring what you need with you. The closest full grocer is in Kingman which is about 25 minutes away so if you don't want to have to drive into town then just pack it in your car.

Great Place For Events But Very Barebones

If you are looking for a good camping spot this is a spot with very limited amenities. Dry camping to say the least. I would regard this more for the events they host here which include impromptu concerts, biker events and gatherings.

I liked the location because it is the closest thing I could find at the time to Oatman, I have since found another site which is ok as well.

Port-a-potty is about as close as you will get to amenities although they do have vendors at the events. Some tables are around camp but mostly what you bring is what you get.

This is a place you go to be social. It’s only about 15 minutes from Kingman and 20 from Oatman (all the winding roads).

Tips:

  • Come with everything and be prepared to socially share.
  • Bikers, RVs and Tents all welcome
Seasonal Campground With Great Pricing

Something that sets this place apart from others in the area is long term tent camping!! Yes you read that right, LONG TERM TENT CAMPING! For most of those who travel you know they often offer long term services for those in RVs which provides a discount for staying more than a night or two, but at this campground you as a tent camper can find a location that suits your Kentucky home needs on the road for a day, a week or even a month!

But what does that entail exactly?

This site is really nice, with level sites for RVs or tents, padded grass which is well maintained, nice gravel roads around camp and a river frontage with views which will make you just want to stop and take in the scenery.

When I visited I noticed a lot of people staying here near the weekend were visiting to launch their boats and troll the river fishing for what looked like some pretty large fish. It was pretty cool to see some of the people setting up their campground fish fry, and they were even friendly enough to invite me to join, though I don't eat fish so it didn't really work out that way.

The tent sites were shaded and had several different options, you could choose primitive which is only $17 or for a few dollars more you could have electricity. All sites come with a picnic table and fire ring and a pull in to keep you and your things closely together.

There was a playground and volleyball, but I didn't see anyone using these when I was there. A small camp store has a lot of the essentials in case your forgot something or just needed to pick up a snack. There was also firewood available, a big plus!!

This place is a bit older looking in appearance but it is charming and the owner is very cool. I didn't meet a single person there that wasn't just enjoying life.

TIPS:

  • If you are trying to check in the office has kind of strange hours. They are only open until 2 Sunday through Tuesday, not sure why but call in advance if you are running later than this time and want to check in.
  • Check their online event schedule! This campground host tailgating for UK so you can find a good tailgate party if you plan in advance, right at your campground!!
  • This is nearby the Bourbon Trail as well as so many other places where you will find activities. I was here to check out the Castle (I have attached a few photos) Can't miss this stop!!!