Tom K.
Olympia, WA
Joined September 2016
Choose other parks for serenity.

This is a small campground surrounded by the fort. It had plenty to explore but not that many camping areas. The areas they had filled up quickly and were very crowded. Otherwise, this would be a good spot for RVers. The fort is pretty neat to walk around and is bigger than would be expected.

One of the best east side Olympics campground

This was one of the first areas we explored and keep coming back to it. They aren't open all year (typically May to October) but it is well worth it in the summer! We found a nice secluded and quiet spot with larger than average spacing to set up our large tent. The spots have a nice campfire ring and table that sit among the trees. The bathroom was a pit toilet but we have found that they aren't bad up hear. There isn't running water in the privy but they did have water for the campers. The road in is all paved and there is supposed to be a camp host although when we were there, no one showed up. The cost is a bit pricey for us at $20 but still better than the local state parks. As far as hiking there is a nice 4 mile loop and a nice ascent to Mount Eleanor. The 4 mile hike is one of my favorites so far in the region.

Easier hike into a wooded campground next to a river

This is a pretty easy 5ish mile hike into a wonderful back country campground next to a river. The elevation was a steady increase so you aren't necessarily pushing yourself to climb a big mountain. The downside is you do have to drop about 100 feet to get to the camp sites off of the main trail. There is a privy in the campground but… The good news is you are right next to an amazing river that is winding through the mountains as you relax. The sites aren't plentiful but they are spacious. The trail when we went was clear and even featured a new to use bridge built recently! You no longer have to ford any rivers to continue on the trail! Yay!

Next to loud road

How can you give a campground next to the Olympia forest 2 stars? Well, not because it is terrible but in relation to everything else that is available, this isn't the spot I would recommend. It is situated right off of 101 which leads to loud noises all through the night from passing vehicles and the spots aren't exactly spacious. The bathrooms are clean and have soap though! The Hood Canal is right across 101 for you to enjoy your day relaxing but there aren't many trails. We did have large elk in the campground when we were here so you have the chance for wildlife viewing from your tent (or car). As a traveler through the region this would be my last resort camp spot if you are on the way out of the region through Olympia.


this is an easy to get to low elevation campground amongst a forest close to the water. I liked the area in that it had an impressive amount of large trees and the water was close. we will stay here again in a low touristy time to walk the 11 mile round trip to the lighthouse but I would only count on this area if you were out of options. the bathrooms were dated but clean and the spots themselves were fairly large. this is a nice family rv spot imo.

amazing views!

this campground is not the easiest to get to but shouldn’t be avoided. the long winding road isn’t necessarily steep but it is narrow, so just take it slow. we found out that this was one of the original sites for camping in the Olympic high country and was even a ski resort when first built! the bathrooms are pit toilets but are well kept and not disgusting. no running water is available so pack in what you need. the spots are well spaced and don’t ask for much more. the deer are in abundance so you should definitely keep food in the car. the pads don’t really exist so be prepared for uneven tent surfaces. I don’t think campers are allowed but if so, I wouldn’t bring one up.


… As far as campgrounds go, I would not choose this spot. It is close to a scenic national monument and is located right at the entrance and is easy to get in and out of. That is where the positives end. It is sparse and fairly packed. It doesn't have a ton of vegetation as it is in the desert so expert dirty and hot. The monument itself is worth experiencing but I wouldn't plan for it to be a destination, just a pit stop. I won't stay here again.

not very private

I stayed here as a child and have very fond memories of this campground. Unfortunately, I did not experience that as an adult. The bathrooms and grounds were all in good shape and the KOA provides a pool and an arcade with plenty of activities but I just didn't care for this campground. The pluses are that it is right by the hiway and the river but the site spacing leaves everything to be desired. The spots are very very close to one another and an addition since when i was younger puts the spots almost on top of one another. This leads to a noisy and chaotic campground that I personally won't be back to.

Wonderful High Country Campground

The Wheeler Peak campground is a primitive campground up a steady and steep road in Great Basin National Park. If you are heading here I would do several things at the last major city you come to. 1)Buy all the food you will need. 2) Buy TP 3)Gas up the vehicle. You are literally in the middle of nowhere with a few small towns close buy but nothing really accessible to the park if you need supplies. Also, if you are going to go to this campground, bring your cold weather gear even in summer. You are really high up and it does get chilly at night.

When I was here the park rangers told me it was full and that driving all the way to the top was just for the vies. When I got to the top, it wasn't close to being full and I got a really nice spot next to a stream. I say this so that you check the sites yourself instead of word of mouth. It is a first come first serve campground so you never know how things will turn out. The sites themselves are great! I had a level spot to set my tenet up on and there was a table and fire ring. I was told you can collect firewood here that is on the ground but I would check with the rangers first. The bathrooms are a pit toilet and they have no showers. I would definitely do the bristlecone hike up even if you are short on time. It is well worth the time and adventure.

Best Campground in the area.

We loved our short stop over here. The bathrooms were nice, you have a choice of campground space with the three loops, nicely spaced spots and the lake. It even has a short trail if you hike! We just stayed over night here on the way home from a trip but really enjoyed the views. Comparing it to all of the other spot in the area this is definitely the best and most accessible as it is a short drive from the main hiway.

Back Country Campspots

There really isn't a proper Horse Thief Springs campground; it is describing a back country trail side campground. There are several spots to camp on the Horse Thief Springs Trail, an 11 mile trail through the winding stair mountains. This trail should not be done in summer as it gets very hot and has very little water. If you do plan on back packing this trail, bring your own water. The trail is generally in best shape in late fall or early spring as it gets well over grown in the summer. A recent fire several years ago wiped out a lot of the trees in several spots and the trail has been overgrown from underbrush. At one point it was higher than 5 ft tall and navigation was a little troubling. The best campground is just after Ceder Creek Which can be found clockwise from the turn off from the trail to Cedar Lake and down the hill. It provides flat areas for tents and enough room to set up. We have seen several snakes in this area however. This is the absolute best site for trails like this in the area.

Boating Campground

This campground is smaller with a single loop and is most ideal for RV's and boaters. It doesn't offer much privacy from each other but in a group camp or RV it wouldn't be bad at all. The bathrooms are in excellent shape and a newer build and ALWAYS clean which is a major plus as they really take care of this place. There are several picnic areas and places to enjoy the lake. My only drawback is they made is leave if we weren't camping that night and playing in the water with our dogs.

Great small scale family spot

This is a great spot to come with the family and enjoy the small Lake Wister. The area isn't very shaded and only has maybe 8-12 spots with shade so it could get warm during the summer months. The bathrooms don't have a shower and are little more than a cinder block building to utilize the facilities, but they are plumbed! The sites themselves are standard and decently spaced out. They come with a grill/ fire pit and a table. In my opinion there isn't much privacy since there isn't very much vegetation so be ready to know your neighbors.

Close to town; main spot for boaters

As a typical Oklahoma State Park, this campground is what you would expect. Built in the 50's and very few upgrades, it remains as a mostly RV/ Boaters park. Many family's go here for the shore line swimming and boating opportunities. The bathrooms are okay but haven't been updated but you don't have to worry about vault toilets. I would suggest bringing soap. Since we tent, it is fairly easy finding a level spot but they do not have platforms or any premade sites to set up. Some sites do have fire rings but most do not but they do have tables. This has always been a good spot for bringing our beginning camping friends to get them introduced to camping before any longer camping trips.

Back up campground to Mount Magazine

Located at the base drive up to Mount Magazine this is a good back up to the state park campground. It is a typical Arkansas campground but it does have decent bathrooms where you're not afraid to step into and has a camp host. It is based on a "lake" so beware of mosquitoes in the summer. We use it as a base to hike up to Mount Magazine as the trail crosses the road and heads up to the top of Mount Magazine state park. The trail is out of the ordinary for the region and takes you have some washouts and up the mountain. If it has been raining, beware and check your weather.

Wonderful overnight

We hiked in to this campground from Blanchard and were pleasantly surprised. It is primitive in some aspects but not overtly so. They have vault toilets that were manageable and spickets for water. We grabbed a site that had a bi-level for the tent and picnic table. There was a fire ring as well. Overall, it has some stuff to do being by the river and a longish trail to explore. We may have been to tired to care about some of the finer details so we were pretty happy with this site!

Back country review - Butterfield Trail

This review is for the Butterfield Trail in Devils Den. You have to hike in to get to theses spots. If you start at the traditional Devils Den and park at the pedestrian bridge you have a nice challenging hike up to the back country portion of the park. You start hiking along a river and after a mile or so you start your upward journey. The trail is generally in good shape but if it has been raining, beware as some of the trail is also used for horses which makes the trail sometimes tough to make it through as it gets pretty mushy. My favorite spot is about halfway through right on a river that flows a blueish color that doesn't make you want to even filter and drink the water. The spots are level and secluded but you sometimes find trash as people don't abide by the leave no trace principle. I bring all my own water on the trail but there are a few spots you can filter. We have found many snakes here and some are poisonous. BEWARE! The geography has is pretty unique and flash flooding is common. Be very aware of your surroundings and watch the river if you are in a rain storm. You must check in at the ranger's station before you do any back country camping in the park. The trail is a pleasant longer trail in the area and is a must but I would recommend trying this trail in the Spring or late fall.

RV campground; fisher's paradise

There is plenty to do here for family's even if it is run down a little bit. The fishing is excellent and it provides a great place to launch boats. The bathrooms are dated and I wouldn't take a shower here. The RV sites are level and provide great lake access. Each site has a fire pit and a table and the spacing is what I would consider adequate. The marina provides the supplies you need for fishing or things you forgot. The grounds were well kept but you could tell this is a 50's build and is in need of an update. There is also a beach to swim in the lake that was pleasant.

Last stop campground in the area

If you are traveling through, this could be a decent campground. It is right on the lake but I didn't like the spacing of the tent sites. It is pretty packed in and is more of an RV campground IMO. The bathrooms were okay but nothing to write home about. If this is your planned destination, I would call and make sure it is open. We have arrived more than once to find that it is closed for one reason or another.

Perfect spot to base your River Float

There is nothing more definitively defining "Oklahoma" as floating the Illinois river in summer. We always base our camp in Peyton's Place. Off Highway 10, the camp spots are decently spaced out with a table and fire ring. It does get loud in the summer as many family's and groups use this spot to camp and float. The bathrooms are nice and the grounds have a volleyball court to start a pickup game. The main draw is the float trip. You can choose the 12 or 6 mile float. Check the water levels before you head out as it can be very low or very high depending on your time of year. The sites are shaded so after a long day on the river you can get out of the sun. Caution: it can get very very hot in the summer and we have seen a few snakes.