We camped in Colter Bay Campground on Tuesday, August 25. Check in was easy, and the campground is very big on bear safety, seeing as there's at least one bear in the campground every day, but we never encountered one and followed all their safety precautions. There wasn't a ton of privacy at our site, but once it was dark it didn't matter much that our neighbors in the loop were all close at hand. Bathrooms were extremely conveniently placed, and there was even a room with a large, toilet-like sink where you could rinse your dishes. The lake and and pebble beach were a very short walk from our loop, and it was some of the most beautiful scenery we saw on our three-week roadtrip. The mountains were gorgeous and snow-topped, and the lake was clearer than any water I've ever seen before. My only regret is that we only had one night here, and I'm sure exploring the area would have been magnificent.
We arrived at Hanna Flat campground around 11 am on Friday, August 21. First thing about the campground is that the road to get to it is pretty rough. Totally doable for any car, but take your time and be careful on the road! There are some pretty massive bumps you won't notice, so stick to the speed limit! Almost as soon as we got there, the camp host, Penny greeted us. We were told to find any spot marked "open", so we did. After setting up, we turned the reserved sign around… do not do this! We weren't aware of the camp protocol and because of this, we ended up making a little trouble. Check in is at 2pm, which we didn't know upon arrival at 11am, so later in the day when Penny came back around, she had another party set up to camp in our spot, where we had already set up our gear. We ended up working it out with the other party and were able to keep our campsite. The host, Penny eventually made her way back around and we were able to pay her, get some firewood, and offer our apologies. She was extremely sweet and happy we were able to resolve it between ourselves. The rest of the evening was wonderful. Easy parking, simple entry and exit, campfire rings, and animal-proof storage boxes. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous, our neighbors couldn't have been better, and even through a lot of issues, the host was accommodating, patient, and very friendly. We will definitely be camping here again if we ever make our way back to California.
We ended up in a dispersed site right next to the road on a whim one evening on August 17th. It's a long, rough dirt road that you share with bikers, other cars, and cows. Yes, cows. Where we stayed was a round parking space next to the road and just on the top of a hill that led down to the creek. We were able to pull our car over and camp right next to it. We had two sets of neighbors no closer than thirty yards away who kept to themselves. The only thing I can see people seeing as a drawback were the slightly noisy neighbors… cows. They wandered through the campsites and relatively close to the tents, trailers, and vehicles and mooed late into the night and early the next day. Honestly didn't bother us at all, we thought they were hilarious, but obviously some folks might not be happy about their presence. The space is very dusty though, so expect your vehicle, equipment, and yourself to get a little dirty.
We recently camped at the Buffalo Grass campground, not once, but twice on a roadtrip. Both times were very different, but extremely enjoyable in different ways. Our first stay was Friday, August 14th. Being a Friday, there were quite a few people at the campground. We showed up a little before 8 and began the self check-in process, which was simple and very convenient, considering we showed up after the office had closed. It was only $18 for the night at a primitive campsite. We found a space tucked nicely into the trees to afford privacy. The lake was only about a minute walk, and if you don't mind a little climb down some rocks, swimming is allowed. The first night we got hit with a beautiful thunderstorm for about an hour. It may have rained, but it was worth it to see the storm. Our second visit was on Tuesday, August 25, and that time, we had literally the whole peninsula to ourselves… not a single other tent or car, and the weather was incredible. If we ever make our way back through Kansas, we'll definitely be stopping here again. It was easily one of our favorite campsites in the entirety of our three-week journey.