The Big Spring is really pretty and we appreciated learning about the geology of the area. The campsites were tight. The pads were small and short. Campers had to part their vehicles on the grass. There were no private campsites that I observed. (I always appreciate some foliage and privacy between campsites so you feel like you are camping in nature rather than a parking lot. During the week there were less campers so you felt like you had some space but on the weekend it was cramped with cars and trailers.
I did not find the access to the river easy or convenient. We were in t he 200 loop. There was an access off the 100 loop that had stairs and then a short cliff (say 10 feet high?) with a rope that you had to hang on to while you backed down the cliff then waded across some shallow water. Not very conducive to transporting supplies for a day at the river. The second access off the three hundred loop was a bit easier to negotiate. It involved a100 yard (guesstimate) walk in the woods through deep sand then an easier scale down a bank and across a large gravel bar to reach the river. The water was clear and refreshing. Good fishing and a nice swim area. The downside for me was the very fast motor boats that would speed by. The drivers of the boats would not slow down for kayaks or people tubing. This behavior was surprising to me although I was told that this is normal on Missouri rivers and lakes.
Considering the motorized boats and the more challenging access to the river, I think I prefer Sam A Baker and Buffalo Point AK over this campground.
Enjoyed our stay at this campground very much. The campground can be a bit crowded without much privacy but the highlight is the river. Beautiful clean, crisp refreashing water great for tubing and chillin'. Easy access to the sand bar from the campground. Our site had electricity but no water. Fill up on the way in. Did not use the bathhouse due to COVID19. Be sure and check out the stars at night! We did shop at the campground store which was well stocked. There is a nice bike trail that the kids really enjoyed. The walk to the shut-in area was nice and the actual shut-ins are beautiful. Will definitely return to this state park.
Buffalo Point is a very nice, CCC built campground with some old school type campsites. A number of sites are multi-level, meaning the picnic table may be on an elevated platform with steps for access. Some sites you may not be long enough for your entire rig and you would park your tow vehicle next to your camper. Shade was plentiful. There are five different loops. The A&B loops are the closest to the large Buffalo Point sandbar and boat ramp and the sites are very close to one another. The D loop is slightly more spaced out. The E loop is nice but the pads are short. There is an access to the river between the C&D Loops.
We did not use the restrooms because of COVID19. The ranger stations were closed and there were no programs at this time either.
The Buffalo River is beautiful and with very few people on the river during the week when we visited. The river was very slow and smooth during our visit and perfect for those just learning to kayak.
There are a number of hiking trails in the area. Be sure and check whether or not your dog is allowed on the NPS trails before heading out on your hike.
Our site had a narrow pad and the electric post was located in a position that we could not use the entire length of the pad in order to extend our slide. The seating area of the campsite has great view of the neighboring campsite. But we had some foliar obstruction that provided some privacy from our neighbors on the other side. It appeared that most sites you are going to have a view of your neighbors’ campsites. We did not have enough space to put our patio mat out between our trailer and the picnic table. We spent little time at our campsite so this did not bother us.
The NPS is starting to use motion detector lights at their parks to help with light pollution. Be sure and take advantage of the opportunity to view the stars from a gravel bar by the Buffalo River. Magical!
Easy pull through sites, 415. Level Sewer connection had an odd configuration. We had to dig a bit of dirt out in order to make a connection. Nice, clean bathrooms. Showers had no seats and only one hook for clothes, towels and toiletry bag. Very limited Wi-fi that had to be accessed at the lodge reception area. No cell phone service. A courtesy phone is available at the lodge reception desk. Clean laundry facility. 2.25 to wash, 1.75 to dry 40 minutes. Convenience store. Gift shop with WY fishing license. Did not use other amenities. We took a nice ride out Grassy Lake Road from the ranch. The area near the ranch was burned in the 2016 wildfires so you will see lots of burned trees. On the plus side, the wildfires provide nutrients for the wildflowers to thrive. This campground is also fairly convenient to many of the sites to see in the Grand Tetons.
Loved the location because we could easily access most sites of interests. a little scare at check-in when we were told we had different size campsites than we had reserved in spite of confirming our reservations just a few days before we arrived. I don't know where the glitch was but our three sites worked out well. We were assigned sites nearby one another and the sites adequately accommodated our equipment (a 27 ft trailer with slide on #D153, a pop-up on #156 and two tents on 140). Sites were roomy and backed up to a common area. We pulled in backwards to D153 so our door faced picnic table. We learned that you must have printed tickets for all Xanterra reserved tours. We were supposed to receive these tickets at check-in however we did not receive our tickets. Happened to learn about this when trying to add to our reservations. Near disaappointment luckily averted. Make sure you get your Xanterra tickets printed when you check-in! Did not use bathrooms but plentiful and conveniently located. Great, spacious bear boxes. Nice dish washing stations.Two great rivers nearby for fishing and watching sunsets. Loved nearby Fire Canyon road, which offered good fishing and a swimming hole! Great evening ranger programs. Great place to do the Jr. Ranger program. Ice, drinks, snacks available for sale at campground. Good recycle program.
We camped at the North Fork section of Buffalo Bill State Park. The scenery was outstanding and the campsites roomy. Our trailer site, #81 was a pullout/pull-through site. We ended up pulling our trailer in the "wrong" way so that our door faced the picnic table and fire ring rather than the road. The scenery was incredible! We drove around the mountain side of the lake and saw a coyote, grouse and pelicans. We watched the sunset from this incredibly remote and peaceful location. The pay showers were very clean and well laid out. Had to wait a few minutes on a busy morning but definitely worth the wait. Quick drive into Cody, WY.