Deborah C.

Pro

Dallas, TX

Joined September 2018

My husband and I are tent campers and love to hike. We love being out in nature enjoying Gods glorious creation.

Caddo lake state park, July 2020

We totally lucked out getting a spot at Caddo lake on a holiday weekend during the pandemic. Normally we tent camp, but went with the kids and grandkids who have an RV. We were glad we were in the RV as it rained quite a bit. The campground is gorgeous with all the trees and Spanish moss and swamps. The bathrooms are really nice, great showers and spacious. The trails are well marked, the park roads make for good biking (no bike riding on the trails) and the fishing piers are nice. Even though the canoe rental was closed, there are rentals a short distance away. During the pandemic, we think every other site was blocked off, it was nice not to have a super crowded park, but will sure be glad when this is over!

Goose island state park June 2020

The park itself doesn’t have much to do as they are still recovering and renovating from Hurricane Harvey a couple of years ago(this was my rationale for a lower rating). Having said this,it’s a great park and I highly recommend it and we would surely return. The bathrooms are above average, clean with nice showers. Our campsite was nice and shady with a picnic table and water. We saw deer and one snake (too quick to identify it). We hiked the trail in the park which was nice and well maintained. The next town over is Rockport which has million dollar mansions on the water. We rented a kayak for half day and kayaked in and out of the canals gawking at the boats and houses. There is a bird sanctuary on the island in little bay where we kayaked and in addition to all the birds we saw two dolphins swimming around. We were close enough to port Aransas to drive over and took the ferry (had to stay in the vehicle due to corona virus). We ate seafood at our favorite seafood restaurant “Snoopys”.

Lake Corpus Christi state park June-2020

While the lake is beautiful,the park feels neglected. Our campsite #64 in the catfish cove campground was awful, not sure when they had last mowed, there were stickers/cockle burrs everywhere. We spent time pulling as many of those and high grass as we could,but still got them all in our shoes and socks. The shelter over the picnic table had many bird nests and the picnic table was nasty. The bathrooms were ok, the shower curtains had mold/mildew. We hiked the catfish point trail which had not been maintained. We went through the online process to rent a kayak, had some problems which were easily resolved.

Guadalupe River state park - June-2020

We were super excited to finally get out for the 2020 season and this was the first of a few parks for a two week trip. We stayed in the “primitive” tent campground Wagon Ford” walk in tent area. Our site was about 150 yards from the parking lot and about 300 yards to the flush toilets with sinks and running water. There was potable water at the bathrooms, but none at the campsites. Each site had a nice 16x16 tent pad, fire pit, picnic table and our site had plenty of shade and a trail down to the river. The shower sites at cedar sage campground were awesome, they look new,in fact they are building another shower area near the discovery center (which was still closed). The raccoons are bad, they got the site next to us, and even managed to get inside our big RTIC cooler and stole some of our food 😭. The River is great, but you need to bring your own tubes or floating devices as they don’t rent them. We hiked the Painted Bunting trail, the discovery loop and scenic overlook trails and the bald cypress trail. We saw axis deer and lots of birds. The trails were well maintained and marked.

Glacier basin campground in Rocky Mountain National Park , July 2019

Beautiful campground with great amenities. Nice flush toilets with running water, sinks, very clean. Water available throughout the campground and solar showers and a dishwashing station. We had spotty cell service which is fine. A short hike takes you to sprague lake or the park and ride shuttle to bear lake area. The shuttle does come into the camp, but due to construction it was easier to walk over to the park and ride. If possible take the drive up through the park to grand lakes via the alpine visitor center!

Piñon flats campground at great sand dunes, July, 2019

This campground was good, solid, the sites were roomy with picnic tables and bear boxes. There were plenty of toilets which had self flushing features and running water for sinks. Also there was a dish washing area, which we love! The mosquitos were awful, swarming like I have never seen, so be prepared. Storms are normal, while we were there we had severe thunderstorms and sat it out in our tent listening to our Midway weather radio, it was scary! There is a camp store, but they have very limited hours, we never got there when they were open. The park itself is unique, lots of fun. Cell service was limited for us, but I think Verizon has coverage. No showers, but this was a great find, the rec center in Alamosa charged 2.00 and 1.00 for each additional person. The showers and bathrooms were clean, lots of hot water with good pressure.

Morefield at Mesa Verde National Park is great! July, 2019

This was one of the few national parks that didn’t take reservations via recreation.gov and their prices were a bit higher, but we booked anyway. So, the campground has FREE WiFi, FREE showers, a campstore, plenty of flush toilets with nice sinks and running water. There is also a laundromat with great prices. The store, showers laundromat etc are a very short walk from the tent campsites. The WiFi reaches the campground, it was great for amenities. The park is amazing if you have never been, we highly recommend it.

Black Canyon north rim campground , July, 2019

This is a nice solid campground, no cell service, vault toilets and water is available. We had no problems. The amphitheater is across the street where they have nice ranger talks every night. There are lots of mule deer in the campgrounds, the fawns were nursing when we were there.

Dead horse point state park, July, 2019

Why anyone visiting arches and canyonland/Moab would choose to stay here is beyond me! I booked this campground based on raving reviews and recommendations. First this campground is double the price of campgrounds in town that have showers, pools, WiFi, all amenities, dead horse has no showers, as a tent camper you are not allowed to park next to your site, supposedly you get a 5.00 credit for this inconvenience. The site and park are nice and clean, with beautiful views. The sites have a two sided structure that houses the picnic table. Beware of the sand and mosquitoes. I included a picture of the yurts they rent, we didn’t stay in those, we tent camped. Some people said it was close to Moab, it’s about 45 minutes away from Moab and arches!

Fruita at capitol reef national park, July, 2019

We were lucky to get a reservation at this campground as it is in the National Park. While they have no showers or cell service, the campground was nice, toilets had running water and were clean. Our particular site had a downhill slope so we had no flat ground to set our tent on, but we made it work. Great hikes in this park that I dubbed the stepchild Utah Park, the rangers are awesome, lots of activities, we were there over the Fourth of July and they had patriotic sing-a-longs along with other ranger led activities. Highly recommend this park and campground.

Baker creek, June, 2019

We loved this park, Great Basin National Park and all the hikes were amazing. The campground was beautiful but our particular campsite #5 was not the best. The place to set up our tent was very small and sloping down. It was so windy that our tent would have blown away had we not tied it to the tree. No showers, no flush toilets, but clean. Picnic table and fire ring were good.

Duck Creek, June, 2019

We choose duck creek due to the proximity to Zion and Bryce Canyon and it was an hour or so from each. This was a nice quite spot, but at the end of June it was freezing! In the mornings it was around 37 degrees, I had to jump in the truck to warm up! No showers or cell service, the bathrooms had running water and were clean. We never found any showers or laundry in duck creek village as the site suggested and there was no one to ask. We found a nice RV park in hatch where we had showers for 5.00 each, laundry was also reasonable there. They had picnic tables and a fire pit which was nice.

Fort tuthill county park, may, 2019

We needed a quick place to tent camp close to flagstaff, AZ and we found this campsite on the Dyrt. We tent camped for one night at a cost of 23.00$. Our site was fine, cell service was good, they only have port-a-potty’s, it they were clean, and had auto lights for night time. The campground sold out while we were there, it seems they have a lot of groups attending this camp. There is an extreme course in the same park, lots of activities. No showers, water is extra, location was great, and the host was nice and accommodating.

The new Death Valley, May, 2019

My husband and I were at Death Valley 8 years ago (2011) staying in Furnace Creek hotel rooms. This year (2019) we returned with our tents as part of a California National Park tent trip and wow were we surprised! The park has had a major renovation with great shopping and options for your stay. With our senior park pass we get into the parks free and camping is 50% off, so our two night stay was a whopping $16.00. We drove up to the newly remodeled inn that has rooms for 350-600$ a night, and while we were there, someone was arriving via helicopter, truly a luxury resort. We learned that the owner of the LA kings hockey team has purchased the resort and has many improvements planned.

We were reminded how far everything is within the park, you may choose to hike a trail and it may be an hour or two drive away, there is gas in the park, but you may a nice price for it! The main gas station in furnace creek had gas for $5.46 per gallon, however gas at the stovepipe wells was only $4.21.

We choose the hike to zabrieski point for sunrise and sunset, the natural bridge (very rough road) and the 8.5 round trip hike to wild rose peak which was very challenging.

This year, Scotty’s castle is closed until 2020 due to flood damage, so we were happy we had seen it on our prior visit.

We camped at furnace creek campground which is one of the few open after Memorial Day and is first come, first serve, no advance reservations. We arrived around noon and most sites were available, however later that night, most were occupied. The campground has many toilets with running water and flush toilets, and there is a dishwashing station by most bathrooms. There are tent sites and full hookup sites. There are trash dumpsters with areas for recycling and empty propane containers. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring.

There is a golf course, swimming pool, horse riding (closes in May), many nice restaurants and a spa.

Here’s the best deal, for 10$ per person you get a pool and shower pass for all day! The pool is awesome, spring fed warm water. The showers have massive pressure with hot water.

Joshua Tree, Indian cove campground , May, 2019

We love the jumbo rocks at Joshua Tree and Indian cove campground is settled within a group of the giant rock formations. Our campsite was a bit small, but fine for the two of us and our tent. We had a picnic table, grill and fire pit. Vault toilets were spaced nicely along the campground road. No water in the actual campground, but is at the ranger station. No showers or running water, cell coverage was spotty.

Davis Mountains state park, May, 2019

My husband and I are on a three week camping trip from Dallas TX to various parts of California, and needed a stopping point so we choose Davis Mountains state park and it was perfect! The park is well maintained, bathrooms clean, nice hiking trails and beautiful fauna and flora. Bird watchers will love this place. We tent camped and three deer greeted us at our creek side campsite. If tent camping is not your thing, there are plenty of RV sites, and a great lodge. While in the area, we attended a star gazing party at McDonald Observatory, if you have never been, it’s a MUST SEE! They have parties on Tuesday and Saturday evenings, reservations needed, and remember, it gets chilly in the mountains at night. Caution, there is no cell service for miles around.

Pinnacles, May, 2019

This National Park is unlike many we have stayed at in that they do have showers, a swimming pool, a store, lots of amenities, getting there is the hard part as it is in a very remote part of California. The park is known for the California condors and our hike didn’t disappoint as we saw many. The hike to the high peak was crazy!

Gilbert Ray Campground , May, 2019

May, 2019 we visited Saguaro National Park near Tucson AZ. We had planned to hike into the park at one of their few campgrounds but the office informed us that there was a controlled burn and recommended we not stay in the park and suggested Gilbert Ray as a good option. Gilbert Ray Campground is a great location for visiting the National Park. We arrived to find the office closed for the summer, so self serve option was available, at 10.00 per night for tent camping you can’t beat the price. The bathrooms were clean and as an added plus they have a dishwashing station. We stayed in the A loop. There are no showers and the campsite it all gravel making it next to impossible to put a tent stake in. The sites are fairly close together, for example, I could hear our neighbor unzip his tent. All sites have picnic tables. Cell service is good.

Crossroads BLM California , May, 2019

First, you get what you pay for, this tent site was 5.00 per night! The location is great, right on the Colorado River. We made reservations ahead of time using reservation.gov. We knew there were no amenities but were ok with it.

I use a rating scale based on amenities, location, cell service, cleanliness and campsite.

There is no running water available at the site, only one vault toilet, obviously no showers.

The campsite itself was great, nice shady spot with a grill, picnic table and did I mention right on the water.

Cell service was spotty, usually one bar with AT&T.

There are wild burros that roam the area and we were quite surprised that they walked through our campsite down to the water.

We stayed on a Friday night and there were people riding motorcycles or ATVs through the park chasing the burros, making a lot of noise. Also people on the river all through the night making lots of noise.

We rented kayaks in Parker AZ, Parker watercraft and it was great, we loved every minute.

While there we also made the quick trip to Lake Havasu city to see the London Bridge.

Channel Islands, Santa Cruz, Scorpion, May, 2019

My husband and I are using our senior park pass to it’s fullest advantage. On our most recent trip, we decided to try Channel Islands and we were thrilled. First thing to know is that this trip requires some planning and flexibility. You must book your boat ride and camp site in advance and then check the day before to make sure weather permits the boat ride. Island packers provides the boat ride for both campers and day trips. We camped two nights. We departed at around 9 am and arrived at around 10:30. We had to check in by 8 in the parking lot at Ventura bay. You must not have water in your back pack, the propane must be out in a separate bin, and you are allowed only 60 lbs of “stuff” each. We took our Mountain House meals along with our jet boil, a few fruits, and a couple of sandwiches; our tent, sleeping bags, a Wenzel air mattress and were set. You take your stuff to the boat to load. On the day of our travel winds were gusting so severely that they cancelled the day trips, and it was rough! Lots of people got sick on the ride over. Upon arriving on the island, you form a bucket brigade to unload all the luggage/stuff, then a park ranger gives a brief overview of rules, mainly pack out all trash, no trash can be left on the island and to use the “Fox boxes” for all food stuff as the island foxes and ravens WILL take your stuff. You then take a short hike with all your stuff to your campsite - it’s about 1/4 mile or more, depending on your site. Each campground has multiple spigots on potable water, so no need to bring water with you. There are plenty of very clean vault toilets that are always filled with supplies including hand sanitizer. The hikes are spectacular and the trails are well maintained. Note, the hikes are challenging, when they say strenuous, they mean it! The park rangers are very helpful and accessible. The last day of our trip, we packed up our site and moved our stuff to a staging area so the next group could set up their tent. We watched the kayakers and snorkeling groups. The weather was very calm. The boat ride back was amazing, we saw schools of dolphins, the captain estimated over 2000 dolphins. He stopped so we could get lots of pictures. Note, there is no store on the island, we did have spotty cell coverage with AT&T.