Melisss W.

Pro

Cincinnati , OH

Joined May 2018

Not bad for a developed NP campground

Like all NP campgrounds, no fires are allowed which is disappointing. There are pit toilets which are incredibly clean however, the walk up to the flushing RV toilets isn't too far. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of privacy at the sites because they seem pretty tightly packed at first. Each site has a nice tent pad and picnic table. The parking isn't very adequate and at most of the sites you will need to carry your gear from your car a little way to the campsites. Sites are first come first serve. We got there in the late morning during busy season and had several sites to pick from but the camp ground did fill every day. The views are decent from the campground. Location is ideal. It's pretty central in GMNP and only 30 minutes from Carlsbad Caverns NP(where they only have back country sites). Overall, not a bad campground and probably the best option around while visiting GMNP and CCNP if you're a tent camper(their RV parking lot looked terrible).

One of my favorite spots I've ever camped, Yedra 1

We camped at Yedra 1 for 2 nights during our trip to BBNP, Guadalupe Mountains NP, Carlsbad Caverns NP. This was our favorite spot of the whole trip and in my top 3 camp spots I've ever been to. Yes, the road to get here is rough but not bad. Sedans would be fine on the main road but side road to Yedra was tight with some large pits (our wrangler was fine). Each camp site has a nice fire pit and picnic table. As you can see Yedra 1 has spectacular views. I was worried about the proximity to Yedra 2 and papalitto but there are miles between each site and you truly feel alone. Yedra sits in between the main road and ranger station. The ranger station and showers are amazing! Staff is super friendly and helpful. Bathrooms were clean and water was hot.

First to Review
Worth it to camp outside of the park

We stayed at Rancho Topenga for 2 nights during our week long trip at Big Bend National Park(we also stayed in the park for 2 nights). We wish we would have stayed at Rancho Topenga for more nights than we did. It's only about 20 minutes to the park entrance from the campground. Guy, the owner, takes such good care of his campground. The showers and bathrooms are amazing and meticulously clean (sorry I didn't take any pictures, you'll have to trust me). Some of the campsites are a little close together but have more space than the established campgrounds within the park would have. In addition to having showers and flushing toilets, you can have a fire which is a huge bonus for us. Each campsite has a fire ring, picnic table, and tent pad. You can hear a little road traffic(depending on what site you get, some might have more noise). The sunsets were amazing here and we liked walking around the property to say hi to his dogs and horse. We would definitely recommend Rancho Topenga for camping while in BBNP.

Seclusion but lacks scenery

My husband and I stayed at Grapevine site 5 during park peak season. Sites 4 and 5 are at the very end of Grapevine Road. Sites 4 and 5 are close but there is plenty of privacy and you would never know there's another group out there close to you. It's about a 15-20 minute drive to get to 4 and 5. The road is dirt and gravel with a couple of areas with deep ruts but we were in a wrangler and did fine. A large SUV might do OK. Sedans would be questionable. It's obviously way out of the crowds since it takes awhile to get there. Sites 4 and 5 are about another mile after the Balanced Rock/Grapevine Trailhead which can get crowded during the day. We loved being out of the crowds. However, sight 5 had a lot of overgrown brush so you couldn't really see anything. Site 4 on grapevine has much better views (we would recommend booking site 4 over site 5). The bear/javelina box is nice to have (however I'm guessing most people would drive there). Since it's a NP, no fires are allowed which is a bummer while camping. There's also no picnic table. We did like that it is somewhat central to to park so it's easy to get to your day time activities.

Loved it for tent camping

Great camping experience! Waited too late to book in hocking hills state park but found a site here instead. We are tent campers and stayed in site 106 on"Northridge". Loved that the non-electric tent sites were so isolated from the RV campers. Site 107 gets muddy with a lot of rain. Sites 108-112 have a pretty significant slope. Each site in the loop has a picnic table and fire ring. There's a dumpster, pit toilets, and water. It was a short drive to the rest of the campers, a great hot shower, fantastic general store, miniature golf, and the beach to swim or lake to kayak. Took us at least 30 minutes to drive to the common hocking hills hikes but well worth it. We would return.

WOW

What a unique experience camping on a deserted island! As advertised, you must bring your water. We took the yankee freedom ferry (I think tickets are about $150/person regardless if you stay 1, 2, or 3 nights) which does not allow compressed fuel. We flew there so we didn't bother with a cooler but most people did (we ate MRE's and PB&J). Each site has a bbq, picnic table, and a pole to hang up your trash. We had no problem with a campsite but we camped going into a holiday weekend and on Friday night there was a group of people in the "overflow" (I think they were fishers that came in late on a private boat). You do need some type of hard plastic to put your food in (we grabbed a bin from target for 8$ when we landed). Our trash was not hung up high enough and the rats did get into it on the first night (If you come on the yankee freedom they will take your trash everyday). If you take the yankee freedom, the maximum number of nights you can stay is 3. We stayed for 2 nights and almost everyone we talked to agreed that 2 nights is probably perfect (by day 3 you may begin to get a little bored but 1 night just isn't enough). We met some amazing people and even had an imaginary "campfire" on our second night (no fires allowed) with people from all over the US. The composting toilets are clean but are only open when the Yankee Freedom isn’t docked (otherwise, everyone on the island uses the Yankee Freedom lavatories during the day). The campsites themselves are pretty small and none truly offer a view of the ocean from your campsite. I think all except for 1 have some shade during the middle of the day. If you take the Yankee Freedom, you can use their snorkel gear (or bring your own). The first of the day visitors begin arriving at 8:30am on sea plane. The yankee freedom is docked from about 10:30am-3:00pm everyday. You get one lunch with your yankee freedom ticket but I believe you can buy lunch from them the other days if you’d like. The last sea plane leaves at 5:30pm and then it’s just you, the other campers, and a few rangers left. Several times, private boats would start their engine and leave in the very early morning (4 or 5am) which woke us (and the other campers) up (I didn’t mind looking at the stars and waiting for the sunrise). Overall, it’s an amazing experience that I’d love to do again someday.

Not the best camping in a NP but ideally located

This seemed like the only option around for staying on the east side of everglades. It's a very large campground. We had no problem getting a site (apparently they are first come first serve but I've read reviews that there is a way to reserve sites) during "peak season". Some of the sites are fairly close to one another but we got one on the perimeter which was really nice and a little more private. The showers are huge plus (beware water only gets luke cold at best- no hot or warm water in the winter) and having flushing toilets are always nice. Tables and fire rings at each campground. I believe I read that you needed to bring your own wood but I think you could buy some. The campground is in a pretty ideal location. Close to a couple great trails (Anhinga and Long Pine Key). We were able to break up our 2 days in the everglades by splitting it with an day in Biscayne bay- driving too and from the campground to Biscayne NP was very reasonable from this "home base". The only down side to the campground is how close sites are to one another (again perimeter sites seem a little better). Additionally, walking around and seeing people sitting in their RVs watching TV kind of takes away from the camping experience (especially a NP). It's also pretty pricey for camping in a tent. Lastly, their staff is terrible. They're not bright (they'll have trouble figuring out which sites are open and then tell you sites that are obviously taken are actually open). They also lack any customer service skills and can be rude at times.

Quiet and remote, great campground

Amazing campground (as long as you're cool with pit toilets and without showers). Great picnic tables and fire rings. We're tent campers and loved this place. There's only 7 tent sites and they're on the opposite side of the lake from the RV's (I think there's about 10 RV sites). It's far enough from the road that's it's quiet (about a mile on gravel from the state route to the campsites). Stars are great. Bathrooms are clean. Bring your own firewood. We didn't see any hikers or OHVers (their website says this campground is commonly used by them). There was an alligator swimming in the lake at dusk. Don't make the mistake like we did and wear sandals though, the chiggers/no see ums are terrible.

Clean and quiet. Average sized campground sites.

A'll sites gave fire rings. Some of the picnic tables are small. Nice clean bathrooms. Site was a little pricey at $30. A shooting range nearby is a little annoying. There's a good amount of trees for shade coverage.