Sean F.
Washington , DC
Joined June 2019
Hidden Gem in Utah

This is one of my favorite campground in the entire country.  Whoever designs and maintains it really understands what campers want all in a setting that lets you have classic Utah views while camping.

We were in the basin campground.  The campsites themselves range in size and ours (#23) was roomy but in a part of the camp loop where we were surrounded a bit by the road. There is good spacing between sites and some low trees for shade and a visual break.   If you have big tents, you'll definitely want to scout out the best site.  Some of the outside ones had a short walk-in (30 feet) but almost looked like camping out in the desert.  No-see-ums in July were bad around breakfast and dinner time but went away the rest of the day.  Off-season, we didn't see any.  Temperatures went into the 40s in July which made for very nice sleeping after the heat of the day.

The showers are maybe the most notable difference- neutral woods and rainforest heads create and almost spa-like setting. Considering how many Utah campgrounds have no showers at all, this is a great break if you're on along trip in the area. Outside the bathrooms is a nice dishwashing sink.

The campground is set in a basin, surrounding about 270 degrees by low Utah mountains.  There are a few interesting hikes right in the park and also lots of low clambering on the rocks for kids.  It is remote enough to have great night skies with clear milky-way views.  We used this as base camp for Bryce, which is about 40 minutes drive away.

First to Review
Have the prairie to yourself!

This is a primitive campground in the American Prairie Reserve.  It seems to be a relatively unknown place and we were the only people in the campground for the night (there are 6 tent sites and 7 RV).  It was about 40 miles of high-quality gravel road to get here.  Near the campground, there is a research HQ for the reserve which is not open to the public and otherwise we didn't see anyone else the entire time.  

Tent sites are walk-in and and on platforms, which you are required to use.  This means if you have two tents like us, you'll need two sites.  You tie the tents down to lashing points on on the side of the platform.  Each site has a fire pit, picnic table and there is a community covered picnic area and fire pit as well.  Free firewood is available next to the toilets.  There are vault toilets and non-potable water sources in the loop.  The walk-in is only about 15-50 yards, depending on the site.  From the campground, there is a small auditorium and nature trail available.  Bugs were pretty bad the night we were there, so we didn't try much of the nature trail.  

Everything felt new and almost unused, like the campground had just opened.  The toilets were only okay in cleanliness, the main reason I took off a star.  It was a fantastic experience for the kids.  A buffalo herd roamed the area and even through the campground at night and in the morning.  Prairie dog towns were all over.  It was one of our most memorable camping experiences but definitely come prepared since nothing is available on site or nearby.  Many of the roads in the preserve are in pretty primitive shape so 4WD is recommended to get around the preserve, but you want need it to access the camp site.  We had a big windstorm come through during the night, so lash down carefully!

Cub Creek Lake Campground #1

We stayed in Cub Creek Lake Campground #1, spot 12, on June 19, 2019. We sleep in two big tents and had originally reserved a spot in campground #2 which from descriptions was more aimed at tent campers. But after pulling into loop #2, we were able to switch our reservations to Loop #1 since #2 looked nearly abandoned with sloped sites and poor pad space. Our new campsite was great and had lots of room for our two big tents and and plenty of parking for our van. Nearby campers (mostly RVs) were spaced far enough away and the camp host was friendly and helpful.

Because of the season, it was hot and humid at night and we had a huge series of thunderstorms come through. The site drained well as well as the entire campground and next morning walking around the well-maintained trails and foot bridges over the lake was pleasant and dry. It looks like a big facility with a lodge and some cabins available on the other side of the lake. Would definitely recommend this site and this loop. Only reason I take a star off is because of the poor state of loop 2 and the lack of a dish washing station, but overall this is a great camp area!

Wonderful Park on the Water

We stayed at Beech Point campground at site #12 on June 20, 2019. This was a huge campsite with lots of room for our two large tents. It was set back on its own point out into the lake, so our tents were surrounded on three sides by water. The campground was not very crowded on a Thursday night so even pulling in late we still could choose from a few great sites. We were right across from the swimming area which had a sandy wade-in. It was hot and humid at night but still reasonable for sleeping. Sites were very spread out so we didn’t hear the hum of nearby RV A/C units.

Bathrooms and showers were organized in banks of 4 private shower/bath combos and were clean and well-maintained. We didn’t see a camp store on-site (just a gift shop with a few scattered camp supplies) but the visitor center had very helpful rangers. The only real lack for facilities in the camp was a dish-washing station. You can get to the main Mississippi River from the park, but it is about 20 mins drive from this campground.

The visitor center offers a drop-off service for SUPs and we woke up the next morning with the boards dropped right next to our van. There is a small boat dock in the campground - only for carry-able boats since there is no ramp and about 5 steps to negotiate. The lake is smallish but filled with coves to explore and abundant wildlife to see.