Lee D.
West Des Moines, IA
Joined September 2018
Retired in 2017 and my husband and I have been traveling in our camper van about 75% of the time ever since.
OK for a night

By the time we arrived here, I was feeling a bit like Goldilocks, but we had pretty much decided we would stay unless it was truly horrible, which it was not. There are two entrances to the park; if approaching from the south, go to the second entrance, which is the main entrance. Although it is close to the Snake River, I do not know what the appeal would be to stay more than one night which is what we were doing while en-route to Grand Teton NP. Primitive campground (no water) with 31 sites, no reservations but no problem on a Sunday night in July. Each driveway is gravel; site T27 could accommodate an RV much larger than our 17-foot van. Large metal picnic table situated on a concrete pad, a garbage can, and a fire pit completed the site. Some of the sites were close together with no privacy to separate them; fortunately, there were many vacant spots so this was not an issue. Lots of road noise but there were sites tucked further back that would likely be quieter. Pit toilets only and they were reasonable. Hand sanitizer dispensers were a good idea but every single one was empty. Overflowing dumpster, due likely to the holiday weekend (we were there on Sunday after the 4th). Grass and weeds were a bit overgrown in the sites but not too terrible. Lots of cottonwood trees that were shedding their “snow” all around; thankfully we don’t have allergies. Interesting (and antiquated) payment system. Cash or check only. If paying cash, you must fold each individual bill into a tiny rectangle and then push it through the slot with the metal pusher that was attached. Might be fun for a kid to do! The price of$10 was just about right for this place.

Not our crowd

Let me preface this by saying that we have often found diamonds in the rough at county park campgrounds but are not finding this to be the case (at least so far) in Idaho. Situated on a lake, many of the “interior” sites are right on the lake, with direct lake access. The good news is that at 6 pm on a Sunday, the entrance booth was still staffed, although they could not tell us which sites were available. Instead, they told us to drive around and come back with several choices. There were several waterfront sites available and many of the ones across the street were vacant. This was our second attempt at finding a place to land for the night, but after taking a drive around, we decided to keep looking as this type of campground attracted more of the loud, partying, ATV driving type, which is not our crowd. However, in deference to those who prefer this type of campground, I am giving it three stars. 50 sites but only two pit toilets (plus a third by the beach). A few waterfront sites looked empty as were most of the sites on the other side of the road. Be forewarned that sites 39, 40, 43, 44, 47, and 48 back right up to Highway 20 so you will definitely hear road noise. If you like this type of campground, go for it; it was not our cup of tea!

Not for us

This was our first attempt to find a place to land in the Idaho Falls Area. Located about 10 miles south of Idaho Falls, it is a relatively new 12-unit RV Park (although they list prices for tent sites). When we arrived, there were two open spots but no apparent host or staff on-site. Sites are close to each other in typical RV Park fashion. There were some nice shade trees but they really did not provide much privacy/ separation between sites. The office was closed and you needed a code to access the restroom which we could see no way of obtaining. There were only large RVs camped there even though there are supposedly tent sites (without a code to the bathroom and nowhere that I could see to pitch a tent, I don’t see tenters staying there). There was some road noise and a chain link fence surrounded the campground. Nothing scenic about it. We moved on.

Cool campground located among the lava flow

Located right by the entrance station, this campground has 42 sites, with only a select number suitable for large RVs or 5th wheels(although we encountered a large RV coming toward us that necessitated us backing into an empty site)! It was very windy the day we were here but don’t know if that is typical. Flush toilets but no showers; typical of national park campgrounds. No hookups or dump station. Sites are surrounded by lava rocks; some were very nice but others not as much (sites 1-5 are right by (and I mean RIGHT BY) the entrance station). Sites 34, 35, 42, and 3 are fully accessible and site 34 has an electrical outlet for use by those with medical needs. Open April-November, weather dependent but water only available in peak months. Limited to no cell service (Verizon). $15 during peak season (half price for senior pass holders and when there is no water). No fee during April and November if open.

Small and secluded

It is a long drive from Twin Falls to get to this park, so you’d better hope there is space when you get here! It was full when we arrived, but we would definitely come back at a less busy time. Primitive camping right on the water (bugs could be a problem) and most of the camping was in tents (although it was posted that tents are not allowed Monday through Thursday), however, you could park your van/RV alongside the water. I only saw pit toilets and they were reasonably clean (others mention bathrooms which to me mean flush toilets but maybe I missed them). Note that THE Balanced Rock is about a mile down the road from the campground.

ok place for a night in an urban setting

As the name suggests, this is an RV park only and our first disappointment with an Idaho county park. No tents are allowed but the price of $20 per night with water and electric hookups is very reasonable. There are two sections, both are separated from the day-use area. The first section is nicer and a bit more protected from the road directly above but can only accommodate smaller rigs. The next section is not as nice and closer to road noise but is suitable for larger RVs. Surprisingly, there were several open spots on the Saturday of the 4th of July weekend. Don't be put off by the access road - it looks like it will not lead to a park, but it does. This park might be nice if you were with a group of friends or just passing through.

Something for everyone!

Seven RV sites with full hookups ($32.50/nite), four tent spots, and three cabins. Each cabin has different facilities ranging from partial to full bath. Bath/shower house accessible with code. Small playground. Lots of shade trees. Janice was very friendly and helpful and said they fill up every night. Best to call to make a reservation.

First to Review
Upscale accommodations in a rural setting!

Wish we had known more about this place when we were searching last night so hopefully my first impressions will help future travelers. Upon entering the driveway, we were greeted heartily by Jake, the owner, who was on his way out but invited us to speak with Glen, his manager. Sleepy J has five one bedroom and five two bedroom cabins and one fully accessible handicapped cabin. There is also one RV spot. RV spot has water and electric but no sewer and it should be noted is located near the dumpster, making the cabins likely a better choice! Although I did not see the inside of the cabins, the outsides looked immaculate. Rates range from $70-$200 and you can rent the entire place for meetings, weddings, etc. Great location traveling to/from the Tetons. Both Jake and Glen were very welcoming and I would definitely stay here when looking for a break from camping!

Small, quiet state park

We dreaded dealing with crowds over the 4th of July weekend and back in March, this was one of the few state parks where I could get reservations in this area. Keep in mind that "this area" is about 40 minutes from Clarkston, the nearest town so make sure you stock up and don't count on cell service (except for the top of Puffer Butte!) The campground is small - only 20 sites but even on July 3, there were still a handful of empty sites. It was very quiet. Some sites are pull through and some are larger than others (mostly the ones on the outside of the loop) Site 16 was large and could accommodate several vehicles and tents. One restroom that was very clean with my three necessities: soap, hand dryers, and garbage. Coin-operated shower but make sure you have quarters because there is not always a staff person to give you change. Firewood is on the honor system at $5 per bundle. There is an actual spring that the park is named for but it was still turned off (didn't know you could turn a spring on/off?) There are teepees, cabins, and shelters and it appears to be a popular place in the winter for cross country skiing and tubing. The 2+ mile roundtrip hike to the Puffer Butte is a must as the three state view (WA, ID, OR) is sweeping and gorgeous. Other than that, we enjoyed a quiet two nights at this state park

Definitely not a typical state park campground

Palouse Falls was designated the state waterfall in 2014 and we had been told it was not to miss. Apparently, four people have died falling off the cliffs here, according to signs as we approached. The road in is dirt with a lot of “washboard” and just over two miles. Navigable by any car, just take it slow. The falls are beautiful but not much to do here. Tent camping only, no RV or van camping in the parking lot. When we arrived on July 2 at mid-day, there were no tents and we mistakenly ate our lunch in a “campsite”, not realizing the day use area was off to the right. Camping area was a large field with no separation between the sites other than the picnic tables being numbered. Pit toilets only. We camp in a van so we moved on down the road after enjoying the Falls.

City park right on the lake!

We visited a cousin in Moses Lake and discovered this city park campground for an overnight stay. Not sure we would make this a destination as we are not boaters but for boaters, this would be an excellent place to land.  There is a boat dock so you can hear the drone of boats coming and going; not sure how late this will last but I assume it will taper off by dusk. There are a combination of both RV and tent sites, some right on the water and most, if not all, with water views.  Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, and bbq pit. Although there are trees, they did little to offer the comfort of shade in the afternoon heat but the views make it worthwhile. Nothing to separate the sites so not particularly private but again, the view of the lake makes it ok.  Bonnie, the"camp sheriff" greeted us with humor and helpfulness. We arrived on a Sunday at the end of June and we were fine for a one-night stay but Bonnie did say they were full up for the 4th of July holiday. Firewood and bagged ice are available for purchase. No alcohol is allowed (probably a good thing when combined with boating!). There is a nice playground. The bathrooms were reasonably clean and there are showers available for a fee based on how long of a shower you want. Open April - September and reservable May-September, although the reservation process was a little cumbersome so we decided to chance it and see if there would be a site available when we arrived.

Nice large state park campground with lots of activities

Lake Wenatchee State Park is comprised of two campgrounds: south and north, separated by the Wenatchee River. We stayed in the North campground so this review focuses primarily on this one. We were here the last weekend in June and I believe I reserved the last available site back in March. Many families were staying with kids riding their bikes and scooters around the loops which made us reminisce about when our kids did the same. The sites have varying amounts of privacy; the ones on the outside have more privacy because there is no one behind you. There is an algorithm that determines the price based on the ascertained popularity of the site but honestly, I could not figure out how it worked (we paid $32 for a non-hookup site (I believe the hookup sites are on the outside of the loops). While none of the sites have river or lake views, there are easily accessible paths to get to both. While we came for nearby hiking, there is boating (the launch is located in the south campground, I believe), swimming, and fishing. The bathrooms were clean and had my three necessary amenities: soap, hand dryers, and a garbage can. Showers are available for a fee based on how much time you want. Firewood is available from the host when on duty and the host was very friendly. Even though the campground was full, it was quiet at night save for some people talking. We had a pleasant stay here.

First to Review
Brand new BUT...

Let me start this review by saying that KOAs and RV parks in general are not our preferred type of camping. Personally, I would give this a one or two-star review but with the understanding that others may like this type of camping, I'm upping it to three stars. This is a brand new KOA that just opened in June 2019 and it has all the amenities you might expect from a KOA - full hookups, large laundry room, small store, etc. Yes, you do have views of the mountains. The lot is gravel and the sites are stacked up like dominoes, with nothing to separate the sites other than a white dividing line (typical for an RV park). But what makes this particular KOA not a good choice is that it is sandwiched between two dog sled kennels and you will hear barking huskies during your entire stay. If you don't mind barking huskies, you will definitely hear noise from the highway. There is NO separation between the campground and the road and should you be unlucky to get a site close to the road, this could definitely be unpleasant. It is also quite a distance from town so you would definitely need to drive. Considering the price tag of $60 per night and many other choices in the area, I'm not sure what the appeal of this facility is.

Nice campground close to Paradise

Cougar Rock is a large campground (and the one closest to Paradise) with over 170 sites in six loops.  Note that the maximum allowable length for motorhomes is 35 feet and 27 feet for trailers and 5th wheels. Loops A and E have some sites that are right on the road. Some sites are pull-through and most are spacious with varying amounts of privacy between them. Each site has a fire ring, picnic table, and a bear box. C1 felt very private, even though it was the first site in the C loop. You can hear the Nisqually River lull you to sleep. Don’t forget to bring your towel to the bathroom as there are no paper towels or air dryers in the bathrooms. The bathroom was reasonably clean but as with all NPS campgrounds, there are no showers. Cougar Rock was a very quiet campground on a Monday in mid-June, even though there were a fair amount of people camping. The campground opened in May; the sites are reservable June 21-September 3 only. If you haven’t reserved a site (and therefore pre-paid), there is a machine that accepts coins and credit cards (but not bills that I could see!) to pay for your campsite. The Wonderland trail is accessible from the campground, but you would have to drive to other trailheads. We are told you can get a great view of Mt. Rainier just across the street on the trail, but we will have to take the ranger’s word on it as the clouds completely obscured the view! No cell service.

Great park in a great location

Small county park on the shore of Haro Strait on San Juan Island with only 20 sites plus a hiker/biker/kayak site. I hate paying a reservation fee and prefer to stay flexible without reservations, but reservations were strongly recommended and upon arrival, it appeared all sites had been reserved/occupied. Most sites have varying degrees of a water view but little privacy between them. Very proactive recycling program with clear instructions about what is accepted. This was appreciated; as we travel around the country, the rules are different everywhere we go. The ranger appeared to be living on-site. We did a sunset kayak tour and advantage was that the tour company met us at the ranger station at the park; I highly recommend doing this. We were very lucky as we saw whales! A bit pricey for no showers or hookups but the location can’t be beaten.

Good location to the ferry to San Juan Islands

We chose this campground for its close location to the ferry terminal to take us to San Juan Island. Sites are reservable for no additional fee. There are 46 sites in two loops with water and electric and an additional 22 sites with no hookups. Good signage in the park. While the sites are generous in size, there is little separation/privacy between them. The pads are dirt. Most appeared level. Bathrooms are reasonably clean and there are showers. The campground is nestled in the woods with no water views but there is a one-way scenic loop drive along the water. We walked along the road to Green Point to see the sunset; there are picnic tables and benches on a grassy area that are good for viewing. There is a boat launch for an additional fee ($9). There is a pay station where you can pay for campsites, boat launch, firewood, etc. with either cash (no change given) or credit card. You will hear the sound of fighter jets from the nearby naval station on Whidbey Island (but not as loud as in Deception Pass State Park) and we heard them as loud as 9 pm. Rotary has a free exchange library by the bathrooms, although there was not much of a selection. Park staff came by our site at almost 10 pm to confirm that we were the people who were supposed to be in our reserved site.

Took a pass on this one

I hesitate to post this review but no one else has reviewed so here are my impressions. We thought we would use this as just an overnight stay while passing through the area but after checking it out, ended up passing. The day use area is very nice and right on the water; the campsites are located away from the water and look just ok. Half of the sites (20-37 and 49) are currently closed with no projected date of when they will re-open. The sites are not reservable. There was no park staff on-site when we arrived at mid-day during the week. Alcohol is prohibited in both the campground and the day use area. Note that the park is on the flight path of Sea-Tac airport. The campground is open April 1– mid-December but the day use area is open year-round.

Not my favorite NP campground

One of two reservable campgrounds in Olympic National Park, I chose this because we would be here over a weekend and didn’t want to chance not being able to find a campsite. It’s a long drive in so you would not want to arrive and not find a place to rest your head. By late Friday night, the campground was full. There is an RV section with hookups and two other loops with no hookups. Our site(B70) was a bit awkward and we ended up pulling our van in forward instead of backing in, otherwise our heads would have been lower than our feet. This space could easily accommodate two cars if you were tent camping. Our senior lifetime pass was not accepted at this campground as it was listed as an RV campground. However, upon arrival, I didn’t understand why they called it an RV campground. There were no hookups or other amenities that would make it any different than a tent-only facility in the A and B loops. In fact, many of the sites had pads that would not accommodate anything larger than our 17-foot van. The bathrooms were reasonably clean and had soap. No hot water or showers but again, typical of National Park campgrounds. Quiet hours were not enforced and, in fact, the people in Site 65 were loud until 2:30 am. The next morning, garbage was strewn all over their site, an ax was still stuck in wood, and food was left out all over the table, including a jar of honey(I swear I am not making this up). This campground has signs at the entrance and on every site picnic table that it is an active bear area and how important it is to keep a clean campsite. By 10 am, everyone at the site was still asleep, and neither the camp host nor ranger had done nothing to roust/oust them. (By the time we returned from our hike/soak in the hot springs, they were gone but the people who came after had to clean up the site.) The main draw to this campground is Sol Duc Falls and the hot springs. It is over a six-mile hike roundtrip from the campground to the falls and there is a trail to the hot springs(or you can drive to the trailhead and walk.08 mile to the falls). There is an additional charge for the hot springs($15 for adults,$11 for 62 and older; optional towel rental for$3) but it is so worth it to soak your weary muscles after a hike, despite the crowds. The bonus is being able to take a shower since there are none in the campground. No cell service. We would stay here again only if we wanted to visit Sol Duc Falls or the hot springs but it was not my favorite campground.

Very nice campground

We discovered this park by accident almost 30 years ago and I was happy to find that it is still a great place to camp. Close to Port Angeles and the Olympic National Park Visitor Center, it is located on the banks of the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. The sites that have water views are reservable; when we arrived on a Thursday in June, these had all been reserved(although not all were occupied). Many of the non-reservable sites were available. We were not able to get two consecutive nights in a prime spot so we returned a second time! No hookups in the loop but there are three tiers of 39 RV sites that have decent water views. Each of these has an electrical and water hookup and a paved pad but you are stacked up as you would be in a typical RV park. Restrooms are reasonably clean(but no garbage receptacle) and there are showers but there is a fee. If you have a water view site and the weather cooperates, you will enjoy a glorious sunset. There is a playground for children, but the best feature is the tidepools that are accessible at low tide; our girls had a blast exploring these when they were young.

Great ocean location!

Nestled between the highway and the ocean, this park is five stars for location, but three stars for the disparity in sites and limited bathroom facilities. But you can’t beat the price($11 with a senior lifetime pass or$22 without). Not all sites are created equal. There are six loops(A-F) and if you can score one with an ocean view in Loops A, D, E, or F), you are lucky(refer to the photo below to see which are the best sites). I reserved three months in advance(this is one of I believe two Olympic National Park campgrounds that are reservable) but the closest I could get was to hear the ocean, but two sites away from a view. That’s ok because I love falling asleep to the sound of the ocean. I also did not realize when reserving that our site(A9) was a handicapped site. The ranger assured us this was not a problem. It was an awkward site in that the picnic table was located very close to the parking space(and could not be moved). Additionally, I think it would be difficult for a handicapped person to navigate getting out of a vehicle to the site, given the concrete parking barriers. Some of the sites are very dark, some not quite level, and some in the A loop are right next to the highway and guaranteed to hear road noise. Supposedly many of the sites do not accommodate large RVs but I saw many (Our site, A9 would NOT accommodate a large RV). I cannot speak about the other bathrooms but in the A loop, there were only two stalls and one sink. No soap dispenser and only cold water. However, I only saw someone else in the bathroom once during our two- night stay. No showers or hookups but that is typical for national park campgrounds. There is a dump station for an additional charge. The best part about this park is the location: easy access to miles of gorgeous walkable beach. Nearly non-existent cell service (Verizon); every once in a while, we’d get a burst of service, but it would not last.