Both the falls and Mt Hood are easy drives from this camp, as are several other things to do in the area, including nearby town of Hood River. While at the camp itself, you can enjoy the river itself.
Variety of camp sizes are offered. Mid week in October at 2/00 we had so many to pick from, it was almost hard to choose. We ended up at 77 on the lower loop. It was roomy and flat.
By sunset, several others rolled into camp filling it up more than o expected, but still less than half full. If it was full, it would have lost a good bit of charm because a lot of spaces are right on top of each other.
The bathrooms and showers were in fair shape but could use some maintenance.
Both AT&T and Verizon had good service throughout the camp.
As others have said, the freeway traffic noise is constant. If you can deal with that and sites being a little on the pricey side, this is a nice stopover canp.
I wouldn’t spend several days here, but it was convenient to our route, pretty,sites are pretty big, it’s clean and the phone service is good.
Great bay with beach sites and tree lined sites. Quiet, beautiful, peaceful.
There are hikes right off the camp or Lopez is a great and easy island to explore.
We had deer in our campsite everyday.
Camp host was very welcoming and helpful.
There is a great grocery store in the village. That was important because midweek in the offseason, not many restaurants were open.
Watmough Beach on the southern end of the island is a 300 yard flat hike/walk to stunning cliff views and a great Cell coverage was spotty throughout the camp. AT&T was mostly available but slow. Verizon has dead spots, but when it did connect, it seemed faster.
We stayed in spot 16 - close to bathrooms and trash, but not right next to them. Roomy site with massive trees.
Would happily stay here again.
It’s hard to blame the campground for this. You can only work with the land you have and they want to accommodate as many as they can. But the sites are right up against each other and and no privacy breaks such as trees.
That said, the trade-off is worth it. Great little beach - watch the property line Nd don’t stray on to private property. Elevated hill for viewing the strait and looking for whales and seals. All around great views.
Restrooms were clean.
One more con at least for us. No cell service on Verizon.
I’ve stayed on other fairgrounds and it’s like camping on a parking lot.
This is like camping on a nice driveway. You get some grass, a picnic table, a fire pit, water and electricity. Code protected bathrooms and a community shelter.
There was only one other camper here, so it didn’t feel crowded, but if all 8 spots are filled hole for good neighbors.
Airport is close by and planes take off at all hours.
Town is close by and an easy walk. Immediately around the camp is a residential area. You can see down to the ocean from parts of the camp. Not a great view, but nice reminder of where you are.
Wi-Fi is provided, but cell service is good too.
I would pick the county park over the fairgrounds if the amenities aren’t important, but the county park fills up first. When it does, this isn’t a bad spot to be.
No tent camping.
We were there mid-week in the off-season and pretty much had the place to ourselves. The sites are close together, but that obviously didn't affect us.
Pretty lake. Good cell service even though its tucked away from the main road. The owner was very nice and helpful.
I wish we were staying longer and we would have rented one of their boats and done some fishing.
Restroom is just an outhouse up the hill a bit, but it was clean.
Picnic table and fire ring, but a burn ban was in effect while we were there. Owner provided a 120 VAC adapter plug for us to connect to 220 service.
Nice stay. Would definitely stop over again sometime.
They reopened just one loop (B) for primitive camping on the day we arrived. So the dump station was closed as were some of the toilet facilities. Vault toilets were still available.
We saw wolves stroll through the first evening we were there.
Camps were spaced okay, but nothing secluded. I could see 6 or 7 other camp fires burning while sitting next to mine.
We stayed three nights and every night heard someone a site or two over as he was talking too loud (and too much). The last night we were there I could even hear snoring from the site next to us. Plus trains run all night.
All of that being said, the park is such a beautiful place that it’s easy to look past those things.
This camp is near the entrance and walking distance to Apgar village and the south end of Lake McDonald. We could get some cell service in those locations, but none at camp on either Verizon or AT&T.
Definitely would return.
Right by the highway. Right at the edge of town. I heard there was a lot of transient activity and it looks like they closed it to overnight camping.
Sites were well marked with okay spacing. Definitely plenty of room, but not secluded. Each had a picnic table and a fire ring.
We got there about 4:30 in the middle of the week in late September and there was only one spot left.
Looked like about a third of the spots were people who had taken up residence. About a third were fisherman. About a third just traveling campers.
The river wasn’t particularly scenic, but it was right there. Lots of towering trees. Restroom was clean for a vault.
Not a bad stopover, but not a destination site unless you are fishing.
Good cell service.
I didn’t fish the river, so I can’t attest to the quality of fishing, but it looked like a great spot.
Just a short dirt road drive off of 287, this small camp had level spaces, roomy and shade. Good cell service, too.
People on the phone making reservations were nice and helpful.
The sites are flat.
Access to supplies and stores.
Good phone signal.
Surrounded by town and town sounds.
You are “camping” on a parking lot.
Close to trains and train horns all night. Repeatedly. Like the engineer was pissed off repeatedly.
Street traffic noise late. Street traffic noise early. Interstate traffic noise always.
Electric plug is only 220. No 110 outlet.
Shouldn’t be your first choice, but suitable as a last choice.
The office staff was very friendly both when calling to make a reservation and during the stay. They were attentive to making sure your stay and visit to the area was good.
Wifi worked well. Facilities were clean. Lounge area worked perfect for a video conference call.
Not a wilderness camping experience, but you have to know going in its not that kind of place. No complaints.
It feels like a municipal campground close to a town, so I was worried about rowdy weekend activities. There was some loud music for an hour or so, but it was just a wedding at one of the pavilions, so hard to be too upset about that.
Some great views and the sites were spaced pretty well. Not complete privacy, but mostly because the thinning out of trees, not because of close quarters.
Bathrooms were clean. Verizon cell service was good.
Our site had a fire ring and a picnic table and was pull through.
We had checked out three other camps in the area before trying this one. They were all full or lacked phone service which was necessary for me to submit some files.
We rolled through Tie City about 3:00 on a Friday and got the second to last spot left. It was a great spot. Not sure why it had been passed over, but we enjoyed it.
Saw two deer at the check in point. Friendly neighbors. Didn’t seem like many were “living there” like a lot of dispersed camps we drove through.
Lots of bear warnings, so we took lots of precautions. If they passed through in the night we didn’t notice.
AT&T and Verizon service were solid…actually have line of sight to a tower.
It is close to the interstate and you could hear road noise, though I didn’t notice it until after dark. Wasn’t bad for me. Didn’t cause trouble for any of us sleeping.
Upon leaving I saw some had setup camp at the overflow parking for the trail. Not sure it is intended for that, but in a pinch I guess they made do.
Forest, stream, trails, wildlife, mountain views, cool air. It was great.
The dirt road in is pretty well marked and not bad to drive on.
First come, first serve and not a ton of spaces. That said, on a Wednesday in September we got there at 3:00 and about half the spots were available. We had a great site beside the (empty) host site. It backed up right to a stream.
My kid was bummed about no internet until he found the creek. Then it was all hopping and exploring.
By 10:00 P.M. it seemed most of the spots were filled.
Don't let the amount of traffic coming out the road and you drive in discourage you. The day use trailhead gets a lot of traffic.
Clean vault toilets. Picnic tables. Water pump (non-potable). Fire rings, though burn ban was in effect.
I'll add several pics to show empty sites, but keep in mind most of the better shadier ones were already claimed (and I didnt want to take pics of others).
Would definitely return - despite no AT&T or Verizon service.
Privacy: not much
Cell service: great
Camper center: Amazing! Laundry, clean restrooms and showers(coin operated, but so worth it) and even a dedicated place to wash kitchen dishes. Wow!
Not sure I would give it extraordinary marks for beauty and interest, but its nice and definitely a great stop for getting caught up on laundry and internet chores.
Like some other reviews have said, the state park isn't at Black Mesa…just near it.
The area itself has plenty of cool things - Black Mesa, wonderful changing views, dinosaur tracks, petrified forest. Some of those things are at the state park, others are "nearish".
The campground itself - well, when I showed up I wasn't very impressed. Facilities are outdated and not well cared for. I don't blame the people working there. Probably just a funding thing, especially being so far from the population and capitol of Oklahoma. It's a shame because a lot of people pass through this corner and it might be their only impression of Oklahoma.
But friendly neighbors, great evening weather and some nice star watching despite thin clouds made me warm up to the place.
Some spots are have big nice shade trees, but with all the star watching you might actually want a spot without trees.
No Verizon service but AT&T was strong enough to FaceTime with.
Next time I come back to the area - and I hope to - I will check out camping options at some of the nearby bed and breakfasts. Would love to see the state invest a little in this camp. I don't think it would take much.
Mesquite Campground 88
Came to Palo Duro several times as a kid and young adult. Probably almost 20 years since my last visit. Plenty is still the same, but lots of updates, too. Well maintained.
Currently they are limiting access, so be sure to make sure you have reservations or check that the COVID restrictions are listed. There is a fire ban at this time, too, but propane stoves and grills are allowed.
We stayed in the Mesquite Camprground. Nice pad sites, each with a picnic table under a roof. Sites also have electricity and water. Restroom and shower facilities. We didn’t have hot water for the shower, but the facility was clean. Our spot was the far end from the restrooms, but it was an easy walk. Sites are well spaced with decent privacy. Spot number 88 was great, with picturesque views.
Very quiet. Well nature had a symphony going on, but no manmade noise.
Mesquite campground is on the far end of the park and the drive in is great. Plenty to see and tons of trails. Very dark and we hear the star gazing is remarkable from this campground. Unfortunately for us, the night was partly cloudy and hazy from the western fires. I’ll take the haze over the fires, though, so no complaints and prayers for those really affected by the fires.
Nice gift shop and interpretive center (bit dated, but its not like the info is outdated). Trading post offeres groceries, gasoline and firewood(when not banned) according to their sign. We didn’t stop.
No Verizon service in the canyon, but good data at park entrance and free guest wifi near the entrance and visitor center.
Great experience. Would definitely recommend and will return.
If you are looking to soak in nature…Nope. Though it does have a nice pretty lake and some nice cliff backdrops.
If you are looking for quiet…nope
If you are looking for cheap…nope. I booked online for $17 and then had to pay $16 entry fee on top of that. For a primitive campground.
If you are looking for space or privacy…nope. Especially the RVs are crammed tight. We lucked into the biggest spot in the place.
If you are looking for a place to have a party/gathering in a nice outdoor spot, this could be your place. Dogs running around. ATVs about. Ice Cream trucks and vendors selling roasted corn. Quiet hours that don’t start until 11 pm. Live music and stereos playing music of all types. Kids running, screaming and scootering through every camp site.
If you are looking for that - and there isn’t anything wrong with it if you are - this is a good spot.
And if you are looking for that, I don’t think you will find nicer people. Everyone has been super friendly and meeting folks has actually been my favorite thing about this spot.
Wild Horse Campground Spot 74
I showed up at the welcome center with a reservation for primitive camping, not realizing the only spot to set up my RTT would be the parking lot. A nice lady working the desk, slide me into a spot that had cancelled earlier that day at the Wild Horse Campground.
Wild Horse is the equestrian camp and each spot has horse pens, picnic table, fire ring(though burn ban was in effect while we stayed) and water. No restrooms. The campground is behind a drive through gate that you have to close to keep the buffalo out.
Only one slot had horses while we were there. Several had mountain bikers staying in them. Everyone besides us and the horse folks were in ground tents. Plenty of room for us and the horse trailer setup didn’t look too cramped either. Slots are well spaced out, but not much privacy– see tree comment below.
Not much shade to be had except what little you get from scrubby mesquites, but if you are looking for lots of shade, this probably isn’t the park for you. The park itself is great. Easy to get around. Lots of well-marked trails. Bring water and what for snakes. Gorgeous canyon views and features.
Very quiet after sundown.
Quitaque(kitty-quay) is a couple of miles from the main entrance and has a convenience store, a grocery store and a couple of cafes. We drove ten miles further to Turkey, Texas for dinner– very cool setup at Hotel Turkey. Good food, good music and fun casual outdoor atmosphere. Be sure to check their website for hours. Speaking of website, we had no service on Verizon cellular except very slow spotty connections from 10 pm to 7 am. Service in Quitaque and Turkey was very spotty and very slow.
Definitely glad we stopped here. Wouldn’t hesitate to do so again.