Lee D.
West Des Moines, IA
Joined September 2018
Could use a little TLC

Two campgrounds: tent sites with no hookups and an RV Loop with electric. We chose the latter since we are having problems with our solar. Several sites are not open due to damage (storms, vandalism, not sure why) and the ones that are open could still use a little sprucing up. We were in site 112 which had the advantage of shade from a huge oak tree. Since the three sites to our left were closed and the one to our right was not occupied, it felt private but if all sites were open and occupied, there would not be much privacy between sites. 116 looked to be the best site in this Loop. Wooden picnic table was a little warped and there was a huge hole at one corner that I tripped in more than once. We tried to re-position the table but there was no way it would budge. No bathrooms in the RV Loop but it was not that far of a walk to the flush toilets in the tent Loop. The road on the RV Loop was part paved and in fine condition but part dirt with deep ruts that were impossible to navigate around. This campground gets extra points for recycling, especially of propane canisters. The campground is located at the East entrance to the park by the Visitor center; there are no campgrounds by the west entrance and you cannot drive between the two (you can hike). Lots of hiking, Condor sightings and, in the spring, many wildflowers.

Almost full even in bad weather!

Arrived around 5pm on a Tuesday the last day of April and even though the weather is crappy (low 40’s with intermittent rain/snow and a freeze warning), there were only a few spots left. Surprised to see several tent campers. As other reviews have pointed out, only the B Loop is open; the A loop is going to have electric (and water?) installed but no completion date was indicated. Would have been nice to have electric on these cold nights so we could plug in our portable heater. I think when Loop A is completed, it will be the nicer of the two - farther from the road and with aforementioned amenities. First Nevada State Park we’ve been to with flush toilets (but no soap and they could use a little maintenance work - some faucets missing and one toilet took extreme muscle to flush. I also felt like Goldilocks - one toilet was so low, I was squatting and another was so high, I had to hoist myself up!) Sites all looked level and most were back-in (even the handicapped ones) but ours (33) was a “pull-through”. All sites have a picnic table and fire ring but only some have shelters over the tables (a must on hot summer days). Very quiet in Site 33. I didn’t hear road noise some mentioned but those closer to the road might hear more. I can only imagine it would be a completely different scenario in the summer when people come to enjoy the lake. I would definitely recommend walking to the lake in the morning for nice reflection shots.

Better than expected

I was apprehensive after reading reviews for this campground about how unlevel the sites were. We travel and sleep in our 17 foot van without leveling blocks so we need a level site. Yes, some were not level (but many of those were tent sites) but we found many that were just fine! Site 1 was very level (and could accommodate a large RV). Probably the cleanest pit toilets I have ever seen! Many sites had lots of privacy between them. We were there at the end of April so many roads and hiking trails were not yet open so we toured Lehman Caves which I highly recommend (reserve ahead of time at Recreation.gov). All tours were booked for a Monday in April (when we booked day before, there were still plenty of openings). Limited or no cell service.

Nice find!

Thanks to The Dyrt, found this place to land last night. Not your typical campground; the sites are lined up along the lake with the only privacy being the space (decent) between sites. We were there during the week at the end of April and it was pretty quiet but I imagine that is not the case in the summer. Each site has a cement pad, table, fire ring, bbq, and wind screen. The screen didn’t help last night as it was very windy and blowing in another direction! Clean Pit toilets and no hook-ups. Beautiful view of the snow capped mountains but woke to snow the next morning!

Better than expected

I was apprehensive after reading reviews for this campground about how unlevel the sites were. We travel and sleep in our 17 foot van without leveling blocks so we need a level site. Yes, some were not level (but many of those were tent sites) but we found many that were just fine! Site 1 was very level (and could accommodate a large RV). Probably the cleanest pit toilets I have ever seen! Many sites had lots of privacy between them. We were there at the end of April so many roads and hiking trails were not yet open so we toured Lehman Caves which I highly recommend (reserve ahead of time at Recreation.gov). All tours were booked for a Monday in April (when we booked day before, there were still plenty of openings). Limited or no cell service.

First to Review
Not as “modern” but more beautiful!

There are two campgrounds in Valley of Fire: Atlatl with showers, modern bathrooms, and RV hookups but we decided on Arch Rock. Only vault toilets but the 29 campsites are tucked in among the red rocks more so than at Atlatl. Some are more private than others (22-24 are the best in my opinion). We ended up at 27 which had a nice secluded area where we could enjoy a campfire. Stargazing was amazing! (Hard to believe we were only an hour from the light pollution of Las Vegas!) Each Site has a fire ring and bbq. Sites are large and each has a covered picnic table (essential in the heat). They are very sandy and you will get sand and pebbles in your sandals if that is your footwear of choice! The flies were pesky, there was no cell service and be aware your voice will echo among the rocks but this was a very beautiful setting to camp! No reservations and we were lucky to get a site on a Friday at the end of April.

Large sites, great view of the Superstition Mountains

Camped here for two nights and enjoyed it very much. Sites are large and well maintained. We opted for a site with electrical and water ($30 vs $20) so there were mostly RVs. Large pull through with fire pit and bbq grill and metal picnic table. Many have views of the Superstition Mountains. We reserved ahead of time which is good as the campground was full when we arrived. There is overflow camping if no sites available. Bathrooms were clean and one had showers and filtered water, a nice bonus. I only saw two bathrooms (there might have been another in the newer loop but we didn’t explore that) so they were not real close to our site. Several hiking trails directly accessible from the park. A variety of ranger led programs but unfortunately none during our stay. You do have to put up with the annoying train whistle from about 10-6 from nearby Goldsfield “Ghost town” but otherwise it is probably the quietest campground I’ve ever stayed at. Only issue we had was with over-eager volunteers who yelled at us and told us we couldn’t park outside the showers. (We had moved from our site to use the showers after our hike and before leaving).

An unexpected gem!

After four failed attempts to find a place to land for the night (two campgrounds not yet open for the season in mid-April and two dispersed sites that would not have been navigable in our low clearance van), we would have camped just about anywhere! Fortunately there were spots available here and we were greeted by a super friendly and welcoming camp host. Sites were all flat with tent pads; most had decent privacy between sites. All have fire rings, large picnic tables in good shape, grills, and lantern hooks. Vault toilets were clean. Artesian well that some reviews said the water quality was questionable; camp host says she drinks it but others do not. We filled up our water jugs and will give it a go. If it weren’t for the proximity to the road (89A) and the noise that goes with it (site 18 you might as well BE in the road!), I would have given this place 5 stars! For $11 (50% off with senior pass), this place was perfect for us!

Great location and amenities, just not our favorite type of camping!

We chose this campground because of its proximity to Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. We are normally state or national park campers (we have a van not RV) so our three star review is based on our preferences. If you are used to an RV Park, this may be better suited for you.

Pros: Friendly staff and check-in was smooth Generous sized spaces with picnic table (although it was raining and we didn’t use it) Clean bathrooms and showers with hot water Dishwashing sink with hot water Fitness room 10% discount for AARP and others Proximity to Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon

Cons: Very close to road - lots of noise No privacy

Overall, it worked for a one night stay for us but we decided to move on closer to our next destination.

Beautiful campground, flawed administrative system!

This review covers two topics: the campground itself (4 stars) and the reservation/check-in process (1 star - more on that later). The campground itself is quite a drive from the entrance but is very beautiful. Well-maintained but sires vary greatly. Some are narrow pull-throughs; some have beautiful views and generous back-in drives. Good privacy between most sites (but not between 2 and 3). Cell service is spotty (Verizon); sometimes you get two bars and sometimes no service. Bathrooms were generally clean but no garbage can, hooks or soap (hand sanitizer dispensers) and they were serviced regularly during our stay. Solar lights on the path to the amphitheater/bathrooms were helpful. Two hiking trailheads can be accessed directly from the campground. No water spigots but each bathroom had a dishwashing sink which was much appreciated. Now for the flawed administrative system! We had reservations made six months in advance for three nights. We arrived a little after 4pm to find both the admission station and visitor center closed. No problem as we proceeded directly to the campground. There was a sign saying it was full and each site had a reserved placard but with no identifying information. Each night we were there, multiple sites remained empty. There was no camp host or ranger on-site during our entire stay. The only employees we saw were maintenance. Even the visitor center was unaware there was no camp host. Firewood locked up and not able to purchase. Fortunately, everyone was well behaved but it could have been quite a different situation if there had been a problem. Arches is a beautiful park and we are glad we had a good stay but hopefully their system will be overhauled soon!

Nice campground close to the city

We picked this campground so that we could visit with a cousin who lives in Austin. Our stay was on a Thursday night in early April and although most sites were occupied, it was a quiet campground with the sites spaced a good distance apart. Some sites were afforded more privacy with trees. Our site (78 in the Big Cedar Loop) had a slight downgrade but it leveled out at the end and our 17’ van fit perfectly. Bathrooms were reasonably clean. Nice trails to see two waterfalls. Enjoyed our one night stay here at this time of the year (quiet with lots of wildflowers) but I imagine it would be a very different place on a hot summer weekend, a time I would not want to be there!

Pleasant and affordable place to camp

We arrived just before 5pm on a Sunday at the end of October and had no problem securing a site. If you are over 65, you pay the same for a site with water and electric as you would for a primitive site ($16). Compared to other states, this was a pleasant surprise. Many sites back up to the lake and have generous sized concrete pads. Most we saw appeared level. Our picnic table was down a hill by the water so it was a hike to it but very pleasant for eating. I would imagine that at other times of the year staying here might not be so pleasant (heat and humidity plus we saw the remains of some HUGE ant hills). No fire rings but it looks like previous visitors may have built fires in the sandy area near the beach. Bathrooms were reasonably clean but they don’t have soap. I also don’t understand why there was one across from site 12 and one more not far down the road but for the last half of the loop, there weren’t any (except for one that had a closed sign and appeared to be more “rustic”). I’m guessing that people in those sites have fully equipped RVs. Good cell service for Verizon in the campground. Nice hiking trails - we liked the Outcroppings Trail. Evidence of the work of the CCC in the Park, especially the swinging bridge. Overall, a pleasant stay.

Nice campground with nice hiking trails

When I called Saturday morning to check on availability for that evening, I was told only primitive sites were available which would have been ok for a one night stay but upon arrival, we were told you had to pitch a tent for the primitive sites (we don’t have a tent and sleep in our van). However, a number of improved sites had opened up so we were in luck. All sites are gravel and appear to be fairly level and ours was likely the most level we’ve been in for awhile. Picnic table and fire ring at each site. Many families with young children (fun to watch them ride their bikes around the loop). Bathhouse was clean and I appreciated the HOT water! Coin laundry. The North Alabama Japanese garden is a nice short walk and there are a variety of hiking trails (I would recommend the Stone Cut Trail for a moderately challenging hike).

Perfect for our stay in GSMNP!

GSMNP is so huge, it is difficult to decide where in the park to stay. Elkmont is sort of centrally located and has trails from the campground (although we drove to other trailheads). This busy campground is huge with loops A-N. We stayed in Loop A and although our site did not back up to the creek, we could easily hear it. Good spacing between sites. Clean bathrooms with cold running water and a utility sink. No internet, showers or hookups but for $12.50/night (with 50% senior discount), you can’t beat the price! Firewood is available for purchase in the park and it was the best wood we’ve ever bought. Our two bundles had our fire going for well over four hours. Although the campground is huge and full, it was very quiet.

Great park along the Blue Ridge Parkway

You can’t beat the location of this campground, located right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. We stayed in Loop D which has a brand new bath/shower house with six individual stalls with a bath/shower combo. The only thing missing was soap dispensers (I had to remember to bring soap every time I used the bathroom). Very nice and large dishwashing sink. Loop D is for tents so the driveways were small. We were able to fit our 17’ camper van but anything larger might not fit. Park personnel were very friendly and helpful. Wish firewood was available to purchase at the park as we didn’t buy any ahead of time. (You are permitted to pick up downed branches which was new to us). No electric sites and spotty internet but great hiking trails. Recommend the Boone Fork Trail but be prepared for many stream crossings!

Great state park in WV

This was our first stay in a state park campground in West Virginia and it was a great stay. Arrived during a steady downpour and rented a cabin for the first night but camped the second night. Two loops - one with electric sites and one without. Very reasonable rates - $25 for electric ($22.50 with senior discount) plus you don’t need a state parks sticker as you do for other states. Rates are also the same for residents and non-residents. Not all sites are level and some are very close together (which would be good for people camping together). Inside sites have no privacy between them; some of the outside sites have some trees offering privacy. Flush toilets and showers plus coin laundry. Bathrooms were clean but although the showers appeared to have new shower heads, they were a bit sketchy looking (shower shoes would be a definite). Very limited cell service but WiFi is available in the lodge and cabins. Great hiking trails.

One of the best WI state parks!

The good news about camping in the “off” season is fewer crowds; the bad news is that many of the perks (concessions, boat rentals,etc) are not available. After summer during the week, the only campground available is Quartzite (I believe there are two others plus a group campground). The bathrooms in Quartzite were new and very clean. Trails are plentiful and some are quite challenging but offer fantastic views. Trails are well marked. We were there on a cold, cloudy day but I think it is the best time to visit.Of all the Wisconsin State parks we have camped in recently, Devil’s Lake is the best!

Great park in Door County

Peninsula State Park is a huge state park with five campgrounds with over 400 sites (not including group sites) and it can be overwhelming trying to decide where to stay. Our decision was narrowed down somewhat because two of the campgrounds were closed for the season. We camped in South Nicolet along Nicolet Bay for two nights. Our first night was on the water but because heavy rains were forecasted, we relocated to another site closer to the bathrooms for the second night, putting up with the “hum” for a closer dash in the rain. There is so much to do in the park itself and Door County in general. However, we were here during the week in October so while the campground was quiet, bicycle and boat rentals were not available. Many great hiking trails. My only beef is that Wisconsin State parks charge more than many other states and, in general, facilities are not always as well maintained (bathrooms were a little dated and not the cleanest but sufficient for a campground). Still - this is a great place from which to explore Door County!

Feels a little neglected

After reading all of the wonderful reviews, I was a little underwhelmed. Perhaps it is because we arrived after a rainy period. Many of the sites in the A Loop were flooded or muddy and there was only one site occupied. B Loop was a bit better and there were a few more people there. Some sites in the A Loop overlook the river valley through trees but they are directly over railroad tracks so you will hear loud trains. No flush toilets but for pits (A Loop has sinks and a shower), reasonably clean. However I would not choose sites closeby because the fans are quite loud. Bison viewing road was cool and leads to the rebuilt granary (all that remains from a mill). Waterfall (across the street and about a mile from campground) is nice. Unless you hike the Minnesota River Bluff trail, you could easily see the bison, granary, and waterfalls in half a day, making this good for just a one night stay.

Easy access to a great park

Banning is located just off I35 but you would never know it; unlike other parks close to highways, we didn’t hear any road noise at all. Small campground (34 sites including one cabin, about a third with electric). Some sites (18-34 especially) offer great privacy. Clean bathrooms. Great hiking trails (although the Wolf Creek Trail between the split from High Bluff and the falls is not marked and can get a little confusing to navigate). The Quarry Loop Trail is also interesting and you can pick up an interpretive map.