Shari G.

The Dyrt Pro

Boone, NC

Joined June 2016

Environmental Educator, Photographer, Traveler, & RV Adventurer. We found Freedom in Can in 2012 and haven't looked back!

Fascinating National Monument in Northern New Mexico

This was our first time at this lovely National Monument and we simply loved it. The campground was small with only a few spaces for bigger rigs, but we fit without any problem. Love those small spaces! 

The campground is perched on the mesa above the monument’s protected dwellings, artifacts and trails at the valley. You can get there by walking about 2.5 miles from the campground along a stunning trail, or driving around the road. We simply loved hiking here, choosing a different way each day over the four days we were there.  So much to explore!

Campsites have the standard picnic table, bear box locker, and fire ring. The trees were mostly shorter scrub junipers and other high desert trees so there was lots of sunshine for solar powered rig, but no electrical service at any sites.  Nice privacy between sites.

The bathrooms were clean, heated, and had flush toilets and running sinks with potable water, plus a small dish cleaning sink, but no showers. 

The Visitor Center is an awesome CCC structure from back during the depression as are many of the hiking trails in the valley.   We were here for Halloween, so carved our pumpkins in memory and celebration of the people who lived here so many years ago.

Nearby Los Alamos has all the services you need as far as supplies, services and restaurants. But if you can plan your hike to end before 4pm, the cafe at the VC is really worth it!!

Lovely Campground in Northern Montana

This is a great BLM camping spot right above the reservoir, with all of the sites having a great view. We were stopping for a night so didn’t get to explore very much. All of the sites can accommodate larger rigs, but none have electrical service so there are lots of generators.   We found this unnecessary as we run on nearly 100% on solar and there is open sky a plenty!

The bathrooms are clean, pit toilets, but have potable water right outside. The camping area is right next to a large boat launch for anyone getting on the water. Hiking, boating and fishing are all right there for your enjoyment. 

Nearby towns of Craig and Wolf Creek don’t offer much in the way of services, besides a small bar and grill, and gas station, so come prepared.

Possibly Our Favorite Campground in Northern New Mexico

There are many campgrounds that we simply love, and we can’t come within 50 miles of this place without staying at least one night. Tucked into the Jemez Valley just south of the town of Jemez Springs and the nearby Carson National Forest, Valles Caldera National Preserve, and Bandelier National Monument, this campground offers a great place to camp for a night or stay for a week. 

Some of the sites have the full shade structure over the picnic table and campfire ring area, others offer shade under the trees along the river bank. There’s lots of great sun for solar power in the valley but none of the sites have electricity. It’s still one of the best campsites for $10 a night.  The toilets are clean vault style and are regularly serviced by the nearby park service crews. As the name implies, the scenery is stunning and you can find lots of hiking in the area, including trails that lead to nearby warm and hot springs. 

You can also get a permit to visit the Jemez reservation (Red Canyon) hiking trails here as well -- definitely worth it.  Also check out the locals who prepare food at the stalls across the road, got some good enchiladas there. But probably the best food around is going to be Los Ojos Saloon. Now, we don’t normally single out businesses in these reviews, but this one is special. Definitely get Olgas Chile Rellenos, as they are among the best we’ve had…anywhere!

With 3 hot springs resorts in town, your soaking desires can be serviced locally or within a short drive. Back down the valley at the reservation visitor’s center there’s a small museum and a cafe offering a very respectable spiced mocha and gas station where you can get a pizza.  The suburban sprawl of Bernalillo is just about 30 minutes away in case you need something beyond the convenience store level.

Camping Isn't the Reason to Come Here

Just going to start by saying that camping is not why people come here -- it’s for the waters!  The spa offers numerous pools and tubs at varying temperatures so you can find your joyful spot– be sure to check out the cold plunge pool as well. 

The RV spots are on one side of the large parking lot, with the hook up spaces in the middle, with non-electric spots running around two of the outside sides. We were in one of these spots because we run completely on solar to save money. There are zero trees around the lot so sunshine was plentiful. 

The bathrooms were clean, modern and nice, as was the small, shared kitchen where we could do dishes. In addition to camping the resort offers hotel rooms, private yurts, tipis, conference rooms and other hotel services. In addition to the soaking being included in the price, so was a buffet style breakfast and dinner. The food was delicious, and veggie/ organic friendly. The whole experience was very reasonably priced and relaxing!

There’s a lot of hiking nearby, in the mountains to the north, west and east- but definitely a drive away. We didn’t check out the walking path in the spa, but they did offer yoga classes in the yurt as well as private massages services and a host of other spa treatments. 

There aren’t a lot of nearby towns that offer larger grocery stores, Crestone has a small co-op grocery as does Buena Vista, so if you are planning on cooking for yourself, come prepared.

Best Tide Pooling in the Lower 48 States!

We love this campground so much, I almost hesitate to write this review. Like a number of Washington State Parks, the plug-in sites are in a large field, with very few trees around and kind of look like a lot of other standard RV parks with three or so levels of close parking with lovely views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca between the US and Canada.

While the view is lovely, this is not where this park shines. Go further, into the primitive camping loops, there you’ll find paradise. The sites are small, and situated under a diverse coastal Washington beach forest. A few of the sites have some good solar opportunities, while others are completely under canopy. Most could only accommodate smaller rigs, but a few could get a mid-sized Class B, vans and smaller trailers aren’t a problem. 

Aside from reminding us of the kind of campsites we went to as kids, this place just feels like a great place to hang out and let the kids run feral. This park offers one of the most stunning tide pool experiences that these two naturalists have ever seen without getting in a boat. It’s so richly filled with creatures in the intertidal zone, that it has to be seen in order to be believed. Just a short walk from the campground, go armed with good footwear and the curiosity of a child. Trust us, just put it on the list. 

There’s lots of hiking within the park as well, from the short coastal path, to exploring the WWII ruins, and down to the sandy beach below the bluff on which the campground sits. Nearby Olympic National Park offers many recreational opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast, the hiking is particularly stunning there. 

Port Angeles is less than 20 minutes away where you can get resupplied, or treat yourself to dinner, or get more information about the National Park. The nearby communities have gas stations, general stores and convenience stores but only a few Mom and Pop diners/ cafes along state route 112.

Old Growth Forest near Olympia, Washington!

Just 20 minutes south of Olympia, WA you can pull off I-5 and pitch a tent beneath towering old growth Douglas Fir and Hemlock trees. This stunning state park reminds us both of the kinds of campgrounds we frequented as kids. 

Most of the campsites in the forest loops are small with limited parking and the narrow roads would not serve larger camper rigs. Our little 15 foot travel trailer made it in without any problem. The feeling of camping under the old-growth canopy is so classic Washington, but the solar gain is pretty minimal. Ironically, the electrical hookup sites, which more easily accommodate the big rigs, are out in a more cleared area where there would be solar gain for days. 

We camped on the closest loop to the full-hook up RV area and were able to get our solar suitcase out into the sunshine on its extension cord for a few hours. The bathrooms in the forest loops are pretty simple ranging from pit toilets to flush varieties with showers. There is a more modern bathroom facility with nicely clean and refreshing showers near the larger RV field. Things to do in this park are abundant. The water is super chill, shallow and warm. 

Only “cartop boats” are allowed in the lake, making it ideal for stand up paddle boards, small kayaking boats, inflatables, canoes, fishing dinghies and just swimming around.  Lightening storms in this part of the world are pretty rare, so very fun to see one over the lake while we were here.  The lake shore has some classic picnic shelters, built by the CCC, that are reservable, offer wood burning stoves, and lots of places to cook for a family get together. 

Hiking and trailing running in the park is wonderful, and with all the loops your efforts can range from 30 min strolls to half-day hikes. The trails are well mapped, and signed making it nearly impossible to get lost. 

Tumwater is about 10 miles away on country roads to the north, and Grand Mound is 10 or so miles to the south. Either of these communities provide the usual suburban supplies for groceries and restaurants. There are also some nearby convenience and general stores where you could pick up some ice and such. During the summer months the park has a small cafe and ice cream shop.

Absolutely Stunning!

This might be one of our favorite state parks along the coast of Oregon. Just a short detour off the Coastal Highway, this park offers some spectacular views, tons of nautical navigation history as well as a lovely campground tucked into the trees. 

Like many state parks the campsites are extremely orderly, sparkling clean, reservable and offer electrical service.  We typically run exclusively on solar, but it was hard to do with a completely tree covered campground.  We appreciated the electrical hook-ups here.  Fresh water spigots are scattered throughout the campground, and a dump station will help you empty before getting back on the road.  The bath houses are clean, large, and lovely with flush toilets and hot showers.

We rarely make reservations, but we found a couple open sites in the middle of the week. Registration with the very helpful camp hosts was easy. We had to move sites a couple of times to make our desired stay work out, but that’s the price you pay for not reserving. 

There are plenty of recreational options nearby, including hiking, beach combing, horse trails and paddling. This part of the Oregon Pacific coast is unprotected so the ocean can be pretty rough for kayaking, but the nearby river might offer a more protected space to explore by kayak, canoe or paddleboard.   And, a hike out to the lighthouse at sunset is epic!

Nearby towns along the coastal highway will offer a quick resupply for groceries and gas but the nearest town is Port Orford about 20 minutes away. It doesn’t offer much more than a convenience store and Dollar General. So, plan ahead.

Close to Redwoods National & State Parks

Great location, great scenery, great price, but tight space for RVers. If you have a rig over 20ft, think twice before coming down this road to search for an available campsite. There are only two sites which could accommodate longer rigs.  The rest of the campground is a tent camper and vanlifers dream, though not a lot of privacy between sites.  We got lucky and snagged the one and only larger spot with some privacy and direct access to the lagoon!

Even small RV’s will have a problem negotiating the tight turns and narrow spaces between the towering trees and large roots extending into the narrow driveway. When in doubt, walk it out before you head in. There are also a few bike in / hike in only sites, which we love to see. This route is a classic bike packing trip as well. 

The campground offers fresh water, flush toilets, and hot showers. The bath house was definitely of vintage age but clean enough for our standards – and always grateful when a night of camping for around $25 includes a hot shower. 

This is Redwoods Country with both the State and National Parks within a short drive, and there are plenty of recreational options nearby, including hiking, beach combing, horse trails and paddling. This part of the No Cal Pacific coast is unprotected so the ocean can be pretty rough for kayaking, but the lagoon offers a protected space to explore by kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. 

Grocery stores and gas stations are pretty sparse in this part of the coast, so come prepared with what you need, or take advantage of the local diners and restaurants available along the road. This highway always reminds us of an earlier time during the golden age of the American road trip.

Nice Respite Along the Beach

We rarely make reservations to camp in California Beach Parks, as they are usually filled up weeks or even months in advance. While meeting up with some friends in Half Moon Bay we happened along the campsite and simply enquired if they had an open site for the night. They did, and we ended up staying for 2 nights due to a cancellation.  It never hurts to ask!  

The campsite is a nice quiet stretch of grass, live oak trees, and beach shrubs about 30 vertical feet above the Pacific beach shoreline.  While you get away from the blowing sand, you get to hear the pounding ocean at night. I can’t imagine a more gentle lullaby, frankly. The sites themselves are a little close quarters, but all provide just about enough space for a long camper and a tow/towed vehicle as well.  For a small camper like us, there’s even enough room to have a friend visit. 

The sites offer electrical and water hookups, additionally there is a dump station just as you exit the camping area. Showers and flush toilets are available, but also used by all the beach goers in the area, so you know what they look like….never clean.

The town of Half Moon Bay offers pretty much everything you need in terms of restaurants or grocery stores. Riding your bike, or walking along the path toward town for a well-earned brunch should definitely reach the top of your to-do list while you’re there.  We had brunch at Mavericks Creparie and dinner at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company.  Both are absolutely fantastic!

Beachcombing, sunbathing, swimming, horseback riding, and skim boarding during the warmer months also are great ways to fill up the day. The beach path goes for miles in either direction so you can get some exercise off of the main roads.

Good for 1 Night & Quick Soak

This small hot springs resort has a unique charm about it. With not a lot of acreage, they maximize the space for sure. The main attraction is the warm pool, 25 yards with swimming lanes, and the hot pool which can accommodate 30 people. We found this rustic resort a good place to spend the night and get in a quick soak, but not exactly someplace we’d like to spend a weekend. 

The RV lot is a large parking lot with spaces allocated on the outside of the gravel road. The tent camping section was a narrow patch of grass, with sites slotted in together along a tight corner of the property. Get to know your neighbors, because you’ll be close! Our little camper and truck rig was just small enough to fit into one of the grass camping sites at 32 feet combined, but it was a tight fit.  We were easily able to run on solar instead of paying for an electrical site.

There's a picnic table and fire ring at each site, but the sites are so small, you are practically on top of your neighbors with zero privacy.  There are pit toilets in the campground as well as flush toilets and showers available near the bath house.  They also offer cabins for rent.

The town of Avila Beach has restaurants and a few convenience stores, but the larger grocery stores are available in nearby Pismo Beach.  Morro Bay is definitely worth a visit as well!

A World Away from the City Surrounding It

Tucked on the outskirts of Mission Viejo is an oasis of green grass and groves of the twisting and searching limbs of Coastal Live Oak trees.  If you stuck me in the middle of this park, I’d never know that I was miles away from the sprawl of suburbia of a major metropolitan area…shhh don’t tell anyone.

There are 3 campgrounds within this regional park -- one soley dedicated to RV's that require electrical hook-ups (Ortega Flats), a group campground (San Juan Meadow), and another which is a mix of tents and off-grid RVs (Live Oak).  This review is specifically for the off-grid Live Oak Campground which s aptly named because you’ll find yourself enjoying the ample shade of these amazing arbors, but plenty of sun to run our solar powered system.  

The campsites can be reserved but there is plenty of room for first-come first-served travelers as well.  The sites offer enough space to tuck away a tent in the corner, or set up the longer trailer, as well as the typical picnic table and fire ring.  Plenty of port o potties are scattered throughout the campground and served the large groups gathered here on Easter weekend.  We indulged in making a fabulous brunch of Wood Fired Waffles to celebrate the holiday!  As of April 2023, they were still experiencing a well water issue, so no water was available from the faucet, but the river running through the park was useful for obtaining water to wash dishes.

Hiking, biking and horseback riding trails meander throughout the park. The campground borders on a small creek for fishing, but is off-limits to wading and swimming because of the instability of the opposite bank. Keep an eye on the kids!  Be sure to check out the volunteer-run Nature Center on the property which is full of great information about flora, fauna, and native history.

The closest store for firewood, and groceries is just a few miles back toward town.  And, the closest beach is just about 30 minutes away, so a great option for a day trip.

An Oasis in the Greater LA Area

If someone dropped you into the middle of this stunning campground, you’d never know that you were surrounded by one of the largest metropolitan regions in the country. This is a quiet, quaint and simple escape from the greater Los Angeles area, shhh don’t tell anyone. The campground is super simple, with sites that fit tents or vans to larger sites for bigger rigs. 

One of the limiting factors for this campground is the winding road in.  In a few spots it narrows down to one lane, so larger rigs might want to look to see if there are any size restrictions on the State Park website. Also, this park is used by a ton of walkers and cyclists from the nearby communities who park outside and roll in by human power- so plan to arrive before rush hour. 

There’s no hookups at any of the campsites so come prepared with your solar power and you’ll have more than you need in this sunny part of the world. The bathrooms were fine with a clean bath house offering single use toilet stalls and warm showers. We arrived in the middle of wildflower season, April, after a particularly rainy winter and spring ‘23, and those blooms were simply off the hook! 

Hiking trails to the nearby hills which provided unique perspectives on the suburban sprawl, began right out of the campground. Opportunities to cycle and hike throughout the park were abundant. Supplies can be gathered in the nearby communities, but the park gate closes at 10PM so plan accordingly.

Huge County Campground with Numerous Site Types

The lovely county run park in the hills above the Santa Barbara coastline, is a great campground offering a wide variety of camping experiences from full hook ups to grass covered spaces under the trees along the shores of this lovely reservoir. The sites offer the usual camp picnic table and fire ring, and the many group sites offer large grills and even a few picnic shelters. 

The sunshine is typically abundant in this California park, and even without full hook ups you can easily get all the power you need with an appropriately sized solar panel system. We’ve run on solar for over 10 years, and it saves us thousands of dollars each year for our full-time camping life. 

The flush bathrooms are clean and spacious. Water spigots were plentiful throughout the campground. The coin operated showers got the job done, but since we were there during a chilly March, things could have been warmer. But hey, everything important got clean… 

The lake is perfect for boating, but since it’s a drinking water reservoir, there is no body contact with this body of water. So plan on using the campground pool to cool off during the summer months. Hiking and mountain biking trails are abundant throughout the area, and kayaking, canoeing, fishing or sailing on the lake is the perfect way to spend the afternoon. 

The campground offers some excellent yurts and cabins for nightly rent right on the shores of the lake. These are often booked out so plan ahead. 

The camp store offers enough grocery supplies in case you forgot something, including ice, snacks, fire wood, and gas.  There is also a cool pub down by the boat ramp which offers live music in the weekends.  The nearby tourist town of Solvang offers a great day trip to sample the amazing Dutch pastry treats, pick up some groceries, wine tasting, or a night out on the town.

Adorable Beach Campground at the End of a Gorgeous Drive

I’m sure I could imagine a more idyllic central coast beachside campground, but it would probably look a lot like this one. The road winds for 14 miles through farms and the California coastal sage scrub ecosystem which when we were there, April, was just going off with wild flowers.  Gorgeous sunsets to boot!

There are very tightly packed full hook up sites on the upper loop, know your backing up skills, in addition to some dry camping sites down closer to the water for those running off solar power or just old-school tenting.  In a twist of irony, the lower loop sites without electricity offer more space than those with hook ups…go solar folks!  The beachfront sites are always the first to book out, and are truly lovely. 

The camp store and cafe has a few good grocery options, in addition to ice, wine and beer, and also serves the famous Jamala burger, even in a vegetarian version!  It’s a delicious option for when you don’t feel like cooking. Definitely check this place out, it’s exactly what you imagine a beach side burger to be. 

The flush bathrooms are clean and the coin operated showers were efficient - when they say 3 minutes, they mean it, but they were hot and clean.  Great dishwashing sink too!

There aren’t a lot of hiking or biking options in this park, simply the beach or walking on the road. This beach is popular with surfers and is a great spot to just walk up and down and do a little tide pooling. The Amtrak train goes through a couple of times a day, but since it’s a passenger rail it doesn’t offer the long and annoying disruptions of a freight train. 

The closest services are in Lompoc or Buellton, where you can find groceries, gas and restaurants -- everything that the camper might need -- but it's a heck of a drive there, so stock up before you come down.

Campground with Pool, Golf Course, & Ice Cream

It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again–“all of the campgrounds in the valley are glorified parking lots, some more obviously than others.”  Fiddler’s Campground is one of the more lot-like, but there is shade with a row of trees on the south side of the camping lot. The campsite is closer to the National Park Visitor’s Center than even the Park’s campground, Furnace Creek.  While it's a very utilitarian campground, it's a good central location to explore the park from Golden Canyon to Zabriski Point to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes to Badwater Basin.

It is run by the Oasis Ranch at Death Valley Resort, so you have access to all of the services provided there including the lovely golf course, pool, showers and reliable wifi. During our two visits to DVNP, we’ve spent at least one night here just to grab a shower, swim, and wifi update. While these sites are usually booked months in advance, you can find an occasional open night during the mid-week. 

The campground bathrooms have clean flush toilets and hand washing sinks, and a dishwashing sink with good tasting potable water just outside of the bathrooms. The bathrooms by the campsites were pretty clean, but the pool was very clean as was the shower/ locker rooms. 

The campsites are stacked pretty tightly together but there’s plenty of room for big rigs. Unlike Texas Springs campground up the hill, Fiddler’s Campground allows gas generators. There’s no need with all of the sunshine, an appropriately sized solar panel system will provide you with all the power you need. We’ve run for over a decade on solar panels and saves a ton of money on campgrounds. 

The resort also offers a few restaurants, gift shops and a small grocery store with enough options to feed yourself in case you didn’t bring much food. We highly recommend the milkshakes at the ice cream shop, they are expensive but worth the drive to the valley alone! 

Mobile service was pretty spotty, we had Verizon which seemed to have a good signal in the morning until more people woke up and then everything slowed down. Service throughout the park was pretty spotty too.

Low Key Resort with Gorgeous Hot Pools

This place is not much of a campground, but it makes up for it in being a super cool, chilled out, low key hot spring. The sites are pretty close together like a lot of other RV parks, and there are very few trees, it’s the desert afterall, but the landscape is stunning! 

There are hiking, biking, and ATV roads just off the property, in addition to a few other locally maintained hot pools, so you can get out and enjoy the desert. There are luxurious and clean indoor private pools that allow groups of 8 or less to soak for 30 minutes, and a large outdoor pool with smaller hot tubs right around the perimeter available 24 hours a day. 

The resort offers flush toilets and hot showers as well as some pretty slow wifi closer to the office. We had pretty spotty Verizon service in the area but that’s not why you come here. You come to soak, to chill out and get away from all those notifications. And this place allows you to do it. 

Additionally there are some small and sparsely decorated cabins and guest rooms for folks without an RV or camping gear. All of the sites have electricity and nearby water, but we never need hook ups because our solar panel system works simply and beautifully out in the desert sun, and everywhere else we’ve been. 

Locally, there isn’t much in the way of food except a local steakhouse, bistro and brewery serving barbeque, we didn’t checkout any of them. We did make a day trip down to China Ranch for some amazing Date Shakes and Mediterranean fare. There’s some great hiking down there as well, and well worth the bike ride or drive. 

The closest town with all the regular services is Pahrump Nevada, about 45 minutes away.

Desert Camping with Access to Amenities Nearby

All of the campgrounds in the valley are glorified parking lots, some more obviously than others. Texas Springs holds our favorite distinction, “No generators allowed!” This alone makes it worth the short drive up the hill, but it’s also got a little bit more charm than the open acres down the hill. The open sky makes it the perfect place to rely on your solar power as there are no electrical hookups here.  Within walking distance of the Visitors Center, the hotel, grocery store, gas station and restaurants, all contained in the Ranch at Death Valley, it’s a great base camp for your park adventures. 

The simple bathrooms have flush toilets and hand washing sinks, great dishwashing sinks with good tasting potable water are just outside of the bathrooms. The sites are stacked pretty tightly together, so there’s not a lot of privacy and there is zero, I mean zero, shade. All of the palm trees are down at the resort, but the scenery is all mudstone, sand and gravel, and it is lovely.  Climb up the hill a short way and you can see clear across Badwater Basin and Panamint Mountains to the west. Sunrise is as lovely as sunset. 

This is Death Valley afterall, so come prepared to set up a canopy but be careful of wind- we saw many shade structures destroyed and discarded in the dumpsters. Mobile service was pretty spotty, we had Verizon which seemed to have a good signal in the morning until more people woke up and then everything slowed down. Service throughout the park was pretty spotty. Showers (and use of the pool) and wifi are available at the Ranch for an hourly or daily fee. 

Biking, hiking and even golf are just a few of the activities available nearby, but pay attention to Park warnings about heat. Pets are not allowed on any of the trails and only allowed to be walked on roadways, because of the hot conditions found on some of the trails. We visited in February/March and found some of the canyons pretty uncomfortable, even that early in the spring.

Great Place to Camp Before / After the ALCAN Border Crossing

We were lucky enough to visit this FREE (volunteer serviced) campground twice, once on our way into Alaska and once more on our way out. Just about 30 minutes from the US border services and 52 miles from the Canadian border services, this place is ideally suited to travelers.. And the endless sunset in the fall…well, our pictures tell that story!

Most of the campsites are small and will only accommodate rigs less than 30 feet total length, but a few might fit if you’re creative and skillful. The sites all have a picnic table and fire ring, and like many Alaskan campsites there are bear lockers for food storage for cyclists and motorcycle campers. The bathrooms were clean vault toilets, but drinking water wasn’t available - except from the lake.  While the campsites were wooded, there was a lot of open sky and the long days meant that we had plenty of solar power.  Roof top panels should be fine in many sites and portable solar suitcases could be put out in the others to collect what you need. 

Bring your paddle boats, with access to the lake right at the bottom of the loop, the paddling and fishing opportunities are great, and the waterfowl viewing is simply stunning. A short trail leads to a bird blind where birding enthusiasts can bring out their big lenses. Walking and hiking opportunities are limited to along the ALCAN, and watch out for the neighbor’s dogs when you go back up to the intersection – they take their "guard dog" job seriously. 

The nearest services are in Northway Junction which has occasional gas, another 45 miles toward Fairbanks and you reach the village of Tok, which offers all the things campers along the ALCAN need.  Be aware that the prices in Tok are less expensive than in Glen Allen at the local Three Bears grocery store, so stock up if you’re heading south along the Tok Cut-Off Hwy.

Peaceful Retreat Near Anchorage

This place is a secret wonder, just off the Glenn highway north of Anchorage. The autumn color was spectacular here!  It was raining and cold in early September, but simply gorgeous.

The first-come, first served sites are on the smaller side and very wooded; with lots of space in between sites, but not a lot of open canopy. This was a bit of challenge for our rooftop solar, but we used portable solar suitcase on an extension cord to capture some sunlight. 

The bathrooms are simple, but clean, vault toilets.  Water is available at spigots located throughout the campground loop. The lake offers lots of stunning recreation opportunities for flat water paddling and fishing -- careful, the lake can kick up some pretty mean chop during windy afternoons. 

Hiking on the Twin Peak trailhead is just around the corner, and cycling along the main road could be a great way to get some hill climbing exercise, as it’s a steep road up to the lake from the Glenn.  If you are visiting the Musk Ox Farm in Palmer, this is a great close by campground (about 30 miles away).

We loved that this campground had the feeling of a remote, wilderness campground but all within an hour’s drive of Anchorage. There is one local tourist ice cream shop just a few miles back down the road, which offers food, showers, and laundry. It is only open during the summer months. Further afield the suburban area around the interchange between the Glenn and Parks Highways has all of the services campers need about 30 minutes to the north of the campground.

Totally Worth the Effort to Get Here!

To celebrate our 10th nomadiversary and 22nd wedding anniversary, we sea kayaked into this incredible campground about 5 miles from the boat launch point at Lowell Point, and found the most perfect tent platform just off the beach.  This may be one of the most spectacular campsites we’ve ever enjoyed that is just a few miles from shore.  Making a camp fire on the pebble beach to cook our dinner and watch the sun go down couldn’t have been a better way to end the day!

A short walk up a trail, there’s a picnic shelter with food storage lockers, and a fire rig. 

A few more yards toward the ranger cabin you’ll find the two vault toilets (rustic, yet clean), but don’t forget to bring your own toilet paper.  This place is a paddlers dream, with easy beach access and a sheltered cove. Paddle around the headland to the south beach and you’ll find sheer rocky cliffs and sea arches -- in good weather this is simply stunning. 

If the weather is too harsh for paddling, there’s a great hiking trail leading between the two camping areas with a side trail up to the remains of Fort McGilvray, a World War II era fort. Truly beautiful hike, gorgeous views, and very interesting history.  

Resurrection Bay, and Seward AK, is one of the most visited areas of the Kenai Peninsula. Visitors can access this area by boat, cruise ship, plane, train, motor vehicle, bicycle, or on foot.  But, getting to Caines Head SRA is a bit of a logistical challenge, but totally worth the effort. The parking area is limited, with only a few spots for RV’s of any length, in the upper lot. But the experience is so worth it. There are a couple of cabins that are reservable through the DNR scattered throughout the Caines Head area.  These are accessible via boat or at very low tide.