Danielle A.

Madison, WI

Joined September 2016

Tiny Camp with Big Adventure

I love it here. The campsites are fairly small and there's not much room for tents, but you don't go to the Stronghold to spend much time at camp anyway. The climbing here is rugged and relatively undeveloped and the views are pretty amazing. The rock that's formed here is unlike anything else in the area and just spending time here far from civilization makes you feel like an Apache warrior hiding out in the mountains.

Basic, Easy, and Free Campsite with Bouldering Nearby

Oak Flat is a Forest Service campground in the Tonto National Forest and is about 90 minutes from Phoenix. It's a short distance off a windy mountain highway which means it's easy to get to but traffic can be heard from camp. (Luckily it's not a busy interstate and traffic is pretty infrequent at night.) It's not spectacular location but there are decent views of the oak scrub desert surrounding the camp.

There are a handful of campsites with picnic tables and firepits, plus several flat and open areas for RVs or tent cities. Some sites are open and others have a few shady tree for hammocks, slacklines, and more. There is a bathroom which was clean and well-stocked with toilet paper, despite the campground being quite full when I stayed here for a few nights in April. There is no water, however, so be prepared with as much as you'll need. The elevation is just shy of 4,000' which means nights are typically a few degrees cooler than in the Phoenix area.

There are no hiking trails from the campground but there is a network of dirt roads which take you back into the desert scrub oak forest and through hundreds of bouldering problems of all levels. Just a few miles away, however, the Arizona Trail crosses the highway and heads north into the Superstition Wilderness.

This campsite is pretty basic but is a good place to kill some time, especially given that it's free! It's also a great place to set up your base camp if you want to do some bouldering.

Great spot on a nice lake

My family has been camping in Razorback lake at the end of every summer since I was a kid. It's a campground my dad's family visited annually when he was young, too, and we've continued the tradition. Razorback Lake can't boast swimming as nice as nearby Star Lake, but the swimming is quite nice anyway and the crowds are usually fewer. Each campsite is pretty nice, surrounded by enough trees to give you some privacy from the neighbors, although on occasion you can hear some of the loud ones. There are a few sites for larger groups/multiple cars. One part of the campground has a parking area with a handful of walk-in sites, but the walk is no more than 2/10 of a mile, most of them closer. One benefit of the walk-in sites is that most of them are on a small peninsula on the lake. Razorback Lake is a nice spot for kayaking, canoeing, or fishing, and there is a small island in the middle of it to paddle out to and explore.

Nice sites and lovely fall color

The campground in Blue Mound State Park has well-maintained bathrooms, water faucets nearby, car camping, plus a few hike/bike-in sites. There are good views from a fire tower which sits atop the mound, and a few miles of hiking trails in the parks. Campsites are all pretty large with seclusion from the neighbors.

Nice park with family friendly activities

I spent a few nights camped in the very large and spacious group site while doing trail maintenance on the Ice Age Trail. There are lots of hiking trails in the park, plus a lake with swimming, fishing, grills, and lots of campsites nearby.

Lovely Falls

Bond Falls is a very short walk from the car, with longer hiking opportunities nearby. I visited the falls in the wintertime when some of it was frozen, and the ground covered in snow. Very pretty that time of the year.

Wonderful, secluded sites on Lake Superior

Of the three places I pitched my tent on Isle Royale, Lane Cove was my favorite. It is about four miles one way to get here, and because it's not part of any loop there are usually fewer people down here. You have lovely views of Lake Superior. The campground is quite large and tent sites are all pretty far from one another. Some tent sites are flatter than others. Water comes from Lake Superior, and I believe most if not all tent sites have direct access to the lake. We heard a family of moose tromp through the forest in the night, and saw them browsing on our hike back to the ferry the next morning. The view of the sunset from our camp was gorgeous, and I would highly recommend spending a night at Lane Cove.

Many private sites near the lake

I stayed here one night of a four day trip through Isle Royale NP. There are many tent sites, including a few group sites, and a couple of privys. Not all of the sites are on the lake but all have plenty of tree cover. My partner and I each found a nice spot on either side of our tent site which was pretty close to the water and up a short slope, nestled right in the trees.

Campsites, shelter, and a short walk to Lake Superior

This campground was very nice -- lots of trees for protection and privacy from the neighbors, plus a shelter for rainy nights (or lazy nights when you don't want to set up your tent!). Tent sites have picnic tables. The water source is just a short walk away to Lake Superior, where there is a long L-shaped pier, a great place to watch the ducks, look for moose, and watch the sun rise and set.

Camping Close to Town

This campground will do if you need to spend a few days sleeping outside, but its proximity to the interstate won't give you the same feeling of solitude and escape many of us find in the wilderness. There are picnic areas with covered shelters, a field for playing ball games, showers, a few bathrooms with electric outlets, and just a few miles of hiking trails through meadow, marsh, and forest.

Small area with lovely prairie trails

New Glarus Woods is a small State Park tucked away in the Southern Wisconsin countryside. Drive-in sites come with nice amenities. Walk-in sites offer a bit more solitude from the neighbors but nearby highway traffic is audible. One of these highways bisects the park so the occasional truck will drive by, but drivers are usually respectful of campers and day hikers.

Lovely, covered backcountry sites

A lovely area with a good balance of open space and tree cover. Nearby Clark Lake is very pretty, good for swimming, and serves as the primary water source. The area is covered in soft pine duff but finding a truly flat spot free of any small mounds of moss or decayed nurse logs can be a challenge.