Lee D.
West Des Moines, IA
Joined September 2018
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.

Good location to explore the waterfalls

Ainsworth is one of three state parks with camping along the Columbia River Gorge. All are very close to the highway so you will hear road noise and trains thundering past on the adjacent tracks. But, if you are looking to camp with easy access to the Gorge, especially the waterfalls, this is a reasonable option. Many sites in the RV section were pull-through, with very generous sized driveways. Each RV site is full hookup with a picnic table, fire ring, and dish water disposal drain. Bathrooms are spacious and clean with HOT water. Showers are clean with a hook, and a stool. Six walk-in sites. Camp host was friendly and helpful. Unfortunately, all trails from the campground are still closed due to the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire but it was nice to see the reforestation that has occurred so far.

Confusing to find what you are looking for!

We drove out here yesterday because I wanted to check out the campground and take a hike I had read about (I’ve seen more than one photo that shows nice views of Mt. Adams). Approaching from 84 East, you need to shoot past the campground and back track about three miles. Once westbound, you enter through a rest area. Keep going and it will lead you into the campground (as long as you don’t mistakenly get back on the highway and have to do it all over again)! The campground itself looks nice but it is sandwiched between the road and the railroad tracks with the Columbia River just beyond the tracks. The sites that back up to the river appear to be very nice, as long as you don’t mind the train noise. After exiting the campground, I tried in vain to find the trail I was looking for but no luck. Before I knew it, I was back on the highway! I’d like to try it again sometime but yesterday was not meant to be! After all of our loops, I realized I forgot to take photos. This campground is quite a distance east on the gorge and not near the waterfalls, if that is what you are looking for.

An unexpected pleasant find

Located on the Hood River, right off Highway 35 near the small town of Parkdale, this park was an unexpected pleasant find. The sites used to be reservable, but are now first come, first available. The camp host was very friendly as was the resident cat, Huck, who came right up to us and hung out for a while. The sites offer a varying amount of privacy; the East Fork loop is more of an open space, with the sites close together and closer to the road (you will hear road noise). But, the sites along the Hood River (West Fork Loop) are separated by trees and much nicer (and a little more expensive but worth it). Site 82, a sort-of pull through, is right on the river. Showers were nice with lots of hooks; restrooms were reasonably clean but only had cold water. Only negative: the dumpster was overflowing; hopefully, this was just left over from the Memorial Day weekend. Nice, large day use area with a playground. Excellent internet/cell coverage.

Day use only but a beautiful waterfall

There is no camping at this park but beautiful Latourell Falls is well worth the visit. Our GPS said the loop trail was closer to three miles even though the sign said two miles. You will see both the lower and upper Falls from the loop trail

Good, but not my favorite Oregon State Park

The main draw for this park is the proximity to Bend and to the Deschutes River, but it is not my favorite Oregon State Park. The layout is a little wonky; we had reserved a site on-line and went to the left, directly to our site, not seeing the sign to go to the right to register. Not a problem as the ranger (who was very friendly and helpful) registered us. Firewood is a reasonable $5 per bundle, but only available from 5-7pm. There is a reasonable amount of privacy between sites due to trees separating them. You will hear road noise and, after it quiets down at night, I heard the river, which was peaceful. Flush toilets but the ones near our site were a bit tight. However, there was HOT water, a luxury not always enjoyed while camping! I didn’t check them out, but another camper said the showers were nice. Not much to do IN the park but you can access a portion of the Deschutes River Trail from the park. Contrary to what I anticipated, Tumalo Creek Falls are NOT in the park but about 17 miles away (but worth going to see). Husband could get sporadic internet, but I was not able to get any, a surprise given how close we were to Bend.

Fall asleep to the sound of the ocean - yes please!

There are 12 ocean sites, three of them are up a rocky slope. There are other sites in the redwoods. We were lucky to get an ocean site without a reservation on a Monday and Tuesday at the end of October but the best spots are best reserved. I believe some are set aside for walk-ins. There is also day use but the beach access is reserved for campers. Two toilets, one sink and one shower for the 12 ocean sites but one of the toilets was out of order while we were there. Although there was a light in the other, it was not working but I would assume campers would have flashlights. Camp hosts are very friendly and we had great conversations with other campers. Sites are kinda close together but while we were there not all were occupied so it felt fine. Four short moderate trails were easily doable in one day. One along a creek, one to a viewpoint, one to a great waterfall (caution; there are four stream crossings) and one to the remains of four lime kilns. No hookups and the size of vehicle (no big RVs) is restricted. Fantastic sunsets and while we loved this campground, it was pricey ($35 vs $20 for Oregon state parks for a non hookup site)

Fabulous sunsets!

If you are very lucky, you can snag one of about four campsites with awesome ocean views (A21-24, C1). We weren't but our tent site (no hookups) did have a partial ocean view! The sites can vary greatly at this campground - we saw some with parking pads so small, it would be lucky for a Prius to fit in it but we continued to drive around to find the site we landed in that was very generous in size. You can make reservations at this park. There is a big difference in price for a tent site ($20) versus a full hookup (including sewer, which we did not need) for $30. Nice day use area with a beautiful beach (what Oregon coast beach is not beautiful?) and a great place to see a sunset (we took the Butte Trail for a high up view but I think I would have preferred being at beach level). Restrooms were clean with warm air dryers. I had read reviews that logging trucks from the nearby logging company were very noisy; we did not experience that but our site was closer to the ocean and there were sites that were closer to the highway.

Great state park on the southern Oregon coast

This was the very first place we camped with our year old daughter in 1990 and we were not disappointed to return. Very large and clean sites with generous level parking pad (across from us, we watched a monster RV back in with room to spare. Staff upon arrival was very helpful in recommending a site that would best suit our needs (we were looking for a site with fewer trees and more sun). Restrooms were clean and the hand dryer had WARM air - yeah! We were able to take a 6-mile round trip walk to the Coquille Lighthouse along the beach (you can drive to the day use area for a much shorter walk) and enjoyed lots of interesting driftwood along the beach. Nearby is the small and proud town of Bandon. Good bakery and cute shops.

Good option for mid-coast camping

We were lucky to snag a site with electrical hookups here on a Friday without reservations. (there were plenty of tent only sites). This was one of few campgrounds we visited that had staff at the check-in booth; we appreciated that we were allowed to check out available sites before making a commitment (you can do this with unstaffed Oregon state park campgrounds as well). There are a lot of trees but we could still see stars at night. Our site was a little bit of a hike to the bathroom which was not too bad but there was only cold water and the hand dryers blew COLD air only (and since it was chilly at night, I would have appreciated warm air!). This campground is good if you want access to the dunes. Unfortunately, the dunes are heavily used by ATV riders. We are not ATV fans so we ended up visiting Cape Perpetua, about 45 minutes north instead.

Not the way I remembered it.

We enjoyed several wonderful camping trips at this park in the 1990s and eagerly looked forward to returning but were so disappointed upon returning that we ended up not staying! The trees had grown so tall that the sun was never going to reach any of the sites, many of which were closed for maintenance. It had rained for two days prior to our arrival and the sites were dark, damp, and in some cases, dripping wet. On the plus side, there is a wonderful trail that goes under Route 101 with direct access to Heceta Head Lighthouse. I would consider giving it another try in the future because it used to be one of our favorite campgrounds.

Nice state park on the coast

Nice, generous size campsites. Clean restrooms (saw a review that said just the opposite but I did not find this to be the case when we visited). When we purchased firewood, the camp host recommended the best loop for sunny sites (it had rained all day). Paved, flat driveways. Easy beach access directly from the campsite. Enjoyed our stay here, even though it was only for one night.

Returning to a favorite!

Oregon state parks have always been heads and tails above any other states we have visited parks in. It has been about 20 years since we were in Silver Falls and I would say they have only improved. This is one of the state parks where you can make reservations and it was a good thing we did as the campground was full when we arrived. The restrooms are very clean: hot water, air dryers, large mirror. There are showers but I didn't use them so can't comment on their condition. Some of the sites have shelters; snag one of these if you can because rain can come at any time in Oregon! Trails are extensive and well marked. Definitely recommend the Trail of Ten Falls, which can be done in two separate loops. The South Falls loop attracts more families with young children while we saw very few children on the north Falls loop.

Great find!

We arrived just after dark when we had no idea where we would land for the night and were pleasantly surprised. Level, paved sites that are very spacious. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, and bbq. Privacy is due to many mature trees throughout. Exceptionally clean bathrooms with soap and hand sanitizer. Didn’t check out the showers but I would assume they are in the same condition. Firewood available for a reasonable $6 per bundle. Our site (13) didn’t have hookups and maybe I did not see that others did (another reviewer mentioned them) but at $20 ($10 with senior lifetime pass), this place is a good deal. Pretty much non-existent cell service. We fell asleep to the sounds of the rushing North Umpqua River. Small amphitheater and horseshoe pits, along with several trails. Very quiet on a Tuesday the week before Memorial Day but I imagine it would be very different at the height of the summer with rafting and fishing.

Nice CA state park

It had been over 20 years since the last time we camped here so I was pleased to see that updates had been made and the park is well maintained. Two loops: Rim Camp and Pioneer camp. Pioneer has over 20 cabins plus over 20 camping sites. We stayed in the Rim Camp; on a Monday the week before Memorial Day, we had our pick of sites as the park was nearly empty but the website warns that on weekends and during the summer, this park does fill up. No hookups so the $35 per night ($33 for seniors) price is a little pricey. Some sites have paved pads and some are dirt; since it rained hard as soon as we set up, we appreciated the pavement. Bathrooms have been updated since the last time we were here in the mid-1990s and they are individual rooms with toilet and sink and (powdered) soap but no trash receptacle. Didn’t check the condition of the showers. The two draws are Burney Falls and Lake Britton. We didn’t go to the lake because it was cold and rainy but there are boat and kayak rentals available, which we would take advantage of during nicer weather. Absolutely no cell service!