Deborah C.
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.
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.

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.

Ranger Review Wenzel/Double Never Flat Fabric Air Pad at Paradise on Lake T

Campground review

Paradise on Lake Texoma is on the Big Mineral Arm of the lake, on the Texas side and only a short 90 minute drive from Dallas. This proximity makes it a great spot for a quick weekend getaway. Texas and Oklahoma’s border share the 89,000 surface area of Lake Texoma which just happens to be the 12th largest Corps of Engineers lake in the U.S. Lake Texoma is home to great fishing for Striper, Catfish, Black Bass and Crappie. Because of heavy rains in the Dallas area the boat ramp was closed. The area has cruise activities if you don’t have your own boat, and for those who prefer, kayaking is also available, or simply swimming. Believe it or not, Lake Texoma has sandy beaches!

The people at Paradise campground were amazing. We got a call the afternoon of our reservation to confirm that we would arrive before closing time and if not, they would give us after hours information. We did arrive in time and our hostess was pleasant and provided us with all the information we needed. We reserved a primitive campsite and were the only tent campers in the campground (it was a Monday night though). The primitive campsite is just a vacant lot on the waterfront across from a bathroom/shower area. Parking in the bathroom lot, you take a very short walk to the primitive site and pitch your tent in any spot you choose. The lot had been mowed and our only issue was mounds of fire ants which are rampant everywhere in Texas.

The bathrooms had not been cleaned and the recent users had left a bit of a mess. The bathrooms did have all the supplies we needed and we always welcome flush toilets and hot and cold running water. 

Being a primitive site, there was no picnic table so we drove over to an empty spot to prepare and eat our dinner. A staff member came by to check our credentials and while we weren’t really supposed to be using that area/spot, he let us since the campground had plenty of room/spots. He was so friendly, he gave us lots of information about the lake and the campground. The RV sites and also lakefront and very roomy. The campground also has the cutest glamping tiny cabins and other regular size cabins to rent. There is a nice hammock garden which we took advantage of. Cell service was strong, no issues and the only noise we dealt with was the sound of the lake and the birds and critters.

We want to encourage our family to come to Paradise on Lake Texoma for a fun family weekend, we will definitely return.

Product Review

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time, today I am testing Wenzel’s Double Never Flat Fabric Air Pad. My husband and I had individual sleeping air pads, but were looking for something that wasn’t so slippery and would allow us to cuddle, this Air pad fit the bill, it was exactly what we wanted. It was very comfortable and roomy. We were able to use an existing pump for inflation which was great as I wasn’t sure about the specs for the pump. Deflating the air pad was easy and great news it fit back in the carry bag easily!  

Www.wenzelco.com

Beautiful beaches

My husband and I tent camped at fort Pickens campground in February, 2019. We were able to use our senior national park pass to get in for free and a discount on our site. This is a busy park due to beaches and the actual old fort Pickens buildings, but the campsites were fairly peaceful. We were less than a 10 minute walk from the beach and walked about 30 minutes to the old fort. The showers were separate from the bathrooms and what you might expect for a beach, the water was nice and hot. There is supposed to be a store, but it was closed when we were there. There is a book store in the old fort. The beach and water were just beautiful.

Beautiful views/highest point in Alabama

My husband and I tent camped at Cheaha State Park in February,2019 as part of our quest to hike the highest point in every state. This park is probably much better for those not tent camping. First the store and staff are AWESOME! We had to change our stay to one night vs two due to the upcoming storm, no, problem. The hiking trails are great and the views are awesome. I think we were the only tent campers in the park. The actual site had no level ground to pitch our tent, we even tried a separate site since we were the only ones there, but no luck. The bathrooms had no shower, otherwise nice. The highest point is actually in the park, so it wasn’t much of a hike, but there is a nice tower and a museum that has much of the history of CCC. There are Pavillions and a restaurant on site. We couldn’t decide between 3 and 4 stars, but for tent campers we chose 3 due to reasons stated.