Troy W.

The Dyrt Pro

Austin, TX

Joined May 2018

A happy camper - traveling, hiking, camping, backpacking. Find me at www.theadventurebegins.tv or Social Media (FB, IG, YT, PIN) @troyfromtexas

Mather Campground and the Backpacker Campsite

We stayed at this campsite during our backpacking trip through the Grand Canyon. We stayed specifically at the backpacker area of the campsite which is reserved for backpackers passing through the canyon. I believe that backpackers are only allowed to stay at this site one night to ensure that there is always available space for newly arriving backpackers. The fee for the backpacker campsite was only $5 which was payable at the campsite ranger station. 

The campsite is a short 1/4 mile walk to the Market Plaza where one can find a grocery store, restaurant, restrooms and water. They store carries basic supplies that a hiker or backpacker might need. The prices at the store are higher than what one might pay at a traditional outfitter store.

At the campsite there are fire pits and fire wood may be bought at the Market Plaza store. Check with the ranger station or visitor center to see if a burn ban is in effect or not. There are bear boxes available to store food and scented items. If bear boxes are full, just ask the rangers for extra boxes and they will make them available.

The drive into the Grand Canyon Village and the Mather Campground allows you to pass through some beautiful pine forest. From the village and this campsite one can walk to shuttle services which can take hikers and backpackers to a variety of trailheads.

Horn Creek Primitive Campsite

To get to this backcountry campsite one must hike along the Tonto Plateau to reach this primitive site. The site is nestled within a riparian zone. The site is a primitive campsite so you find a clear area and pitch your tent. There were some hard packed areas to pitch a tent on top of the flat rock and near the cottonwood tree. Leave No Trace principles should be applied. There is no water source at this site, so you must carry in your own water.

We hiked from the Grand Canyon South Rim starting at the Hermit Trail trailhead, down the Hermit Trail, across the Tonto Plateau to this campsite. The hike from Monument Creek is mostly at the same elevation with some ups and downs. Be sure to load up on water when you leave Monument Creek.

Along the way, you'll see dramatic views of the Grand Canyon and a variety of geological features such as copper shale and rock formations. In the spring there was some beautiful prairie grass along the plateau. There are no real facilities at this site, the beauty of this site is that it is rustic with great views and there will likely be no one else around.

Granite Rapids Primitive Campsite

This is a common area for rafters to run the river and take a break. It's also a good place to witness the power of the Colorado River. There are only two ways to get to the Granite Rapids Primitive Campsite- ride a raft or hike a trail. We hiked from the Grand Canyon South Rim starting at the Hermit Trail trailhead, down the Hermit Trail, to the Granite Rapids campsite. The descent down the Hermit Trail requires hiking down a rocky trail with some rough dirt or stone steps. There are segments of the trail with exposure and steep drops.

Along the way, you'll see dramatic views of the Grand Canyon and a variety of rock formations and geological features. In the spring there were some beautiful flowers budding on the cacti. There are no real facilities at this site, the beauty of this site is that it is rustic with great views and there will likely be no one else around. There is no water available along the trail until you reach the bottom of the canyon and the Colorado River. It is possible to take a detour to collect water near the Monument Creek campsite. 

The NPS recommends that people do not try to day hike (in one day) to this location from the South Rim trailhead. The hike down is simple enough, but the hike up is steep, rocky, has no water and is not often traveled by other hikers or the rangers. The water and rapids are fast, so exercise caution if you enter the river.The site is a primitive campsite so you simply find a clear area and pitch your tent. Leave No Trace principles should be applied.

Hermit Rapids Primitive Campsite

There are only two ways to get to the Hermit Rapids Primitive Campsite - hike a trail or ride a raft. This campsite may be reserved through the National Park System (NPS). The NPS recommends that one not attempt to hike from the trailhead to this area and back as a day hike due to the steepness and potential mid-day temperature. You may see rafters passing through the rapids. Our group hiked from the Grand Canyon South Rim starting at the Hermit Trail trailhead, down the Hermit Trail, to the Hermit Rapids area. The descent is about 4000+ feet. The descent can be pounding on one's legs, so trekking poles are highly recommended.

The decent down requires hiking down a rocky trail with some rough dirt and stone steps. Along the way, you'll see steep canyon walls, desert flora and amazing panoramic views of the Grand Canyon. There are no real facilities at this site, the beauty of this site is that it is rustic with great views and there will likely be no one else around. There is no water available until you reach the bottom of the canyon and the Colorado River so be sure to start your hike with 2 to 4 liters of water. It is possible to take a detour to collect water near the Monument Creek campsite.

The site is a primitive campsite so you find a clear area along the beach and pitch your tent. Leave No Trace principles should be applied. The water and rapids are fast, so exercise caution if you enter the river.

Lost Maples State Natural Area Primitive Campsite H

Lost Maples State Natural Area has some beautiful hiking trails and backpacking areas. If you need basic supplies you may find some at the general store in the small town nearby the park named Vanderpool. 

Perhaps the best time of the year to visit is in November when the weather is cool and the fall foliage take place. However, the park is very busy in November, so make a reservation six months in advance. If no campsites are available you may visit for the day and find a private campground nearby to camp.

There are basically two loops- an East Trail and a West Trail and each covers about 4-5 miles. It is completely possible to hike all the trails(about 12 miles) in a single day, but I prefer to hike and appreciate the natural features that can be found throughout the park.

This review is for the Primitive Area H on the West Trail.  The campsite is a primitive or dispersed site so there are no amenities. There is no water, no electricity, no restrooms, just natural space. Leave No Trace and Pack In Pack Out principles should be practiced. The camping area is adjacent to the West Trail and close to the West Loop Trail. There is a open field in one area and a tree covered space in another area. So there are options for both tent and hammock backpackers. 

This park has a number of peaks, creeks and ponds to view. In Texas State Parks fishing is allowed and no fishing license is required. Whether you're visiting to relax, fish or hike this park is enjoyable for all ages.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area + The Cave

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is an excellent park to visit for the day or to camp for a few days. It is family friendly with some easy trails, great views and lots of areas to scramble over rock surfaces.

Book a reservation for a day pass for an overnight stay at least a week in advance or it is very likely that there will be not space and you will be turned away at the gate. Yes, even day passes routinely sell out 3 to 4 days in advance.

Enchanted Rock is a huge monolithic granite rock. Most people simply hike up the rock along the main trail. If you take the main route you will likely be following a line of other hikers until you reach the top. However, if you are a little more adventurous, I recommend that you hike along the Echo Canyon Trail until you see the BIG ROCK - you'll know it when you see it. Then cut through the brush and hike up the steep back side of the rock. You'll be rewarded with a more independent and secluded hike.

Of course the view from the top of the rock is why most people visit the park - it is great. You'll have a 360 degree view of the surrounding area. 

At the top of the rock venture toward the collection of boulders. You can scramble on top of the boulders, slide in between the boulders and if you can find the cave, you can immerse yourself within the boulders. You can find the cave by asking someone or looking for the X. Once you find the X you will need to drop down a crevice about 8 feet to enter the depth of the cave. Once you drop down into the crevice you are pretty much committed, because it is a little difficult to exit the crevice. The cave stretches for about 100 yards and takes 30 to 40 minutes to pass through. Once you walk about 20 feet, you’ll be in complete darkness without a light. I recommend that you only enter the cave if you have a headlamp and you secure all of your valuables in a zipped pocket within a backpack. There are sections in the cave where if you drop your light, keys or phone you will not be able to retrieve them. Other than that, have fun walking, crawling and sliding through the cave.

There are walk up campsites on a big open field. On this occasion we stayed at the Moss Lake Primitive Campground. The campsite is nestled amongst a forest. There is plenty of trees and shade to hang a hammock and relax. Texas State Parks require 2 inch tree hugging straps to hang a hammock. There are not facilities at this site, so Leave No Trace principles should be practiced.

Lost Maples State Natural Area Primitive Campsite A

Lost Maples State Natural Area has some beautiful hiking trails and backpacking areas. If you need supplies you may find some basics at the general store in the small town nearby the park named Vanderpool. 

There are basically two loops- an East Trail and a West Trail and each covers about 4-5 miles. It is completely possible to hike all the trails(about 12 miles) in a single day, but I prefer to hike and appreciate the natural features that can be found throughout the park. 

This review is for the Primitive Area A on the West Trail. I'd say that the hike to the campsite and away from the campsite is more scenic than the actual campsite. The campsite is a primitive or dispersed site so there are no amenities. There is no water, no electricity, no restrooms, just natural space. There is a latrine near the campsite. Leave No Trace and Pack In Pack Out principles should be practiced. There are openings amongst the brush for tents or a number of closely spaced trees for hammock backpackers. 

Perhaps the best time of the year to visit is in November when the weather is cool and the fall foliage take place. However, the park is very busy in November, so make a reservation at least six months in advance. It is possible to just visit the park to day hike the trails as well, but even then a reservation is advisable.

If no campsites are available you may camp at a nearby private campground and visit for the day.

Brazos Bend State Park + Aligators!

Ok, I'll admit it. I visited this park for one reason only… to see alligators.

Brazos Bend State Park does have other attractions like miles of hiking trails, campsites, water fowl and migratory birds, but the real attraction for me was simply to see live alligators in their natural habitat. If you have the same motive, this park will not disappoint. 

This park is located outside of Houston. During much of the year the temperature can be warm to hot and muggy. I think that the best time of the year to visit might be in the winter during November, December or January. At other times of the year you may need to fight off mosquitos as big as alligators.

There are a number of trails to hike, but I chose trails that would provide the greatest opportunity to see alligators. So we hiked along the 40 Acre Lake to Elm Lake Loop. We first saw a number of water fowl - ducks, cranes, egrets. Then right along the trail we saw a fairly large alligator. Now there are signs that warn to stay a safe distance away from the alligators and it is solid advice. But simply staying on the trail allowed me to pass about 30 feet in front of a resting alligator. I'm guessing that if the alligator wanted to get up and chase me it could have. I just calculated that I didn't need to be faster than the alligator, I just needed to be faster than my hiking buddies.

We all survived and it was a pleasant experience.

Navajo National Monument and Monument Valley

Traveling, hiking and camping around Navajo National Monument and Monument Valley is a treat to the eyes. If you are a fan of Western or Cowboy movies you'll understand. You are able to see iconic landscapes that you might have seen in a movie or tv series. You're best able to cover ground by driving to various destinations. But if you have the chance to hike in the area you are rewarded with a more intimate experience. 

This area is not part of the National Park System, so NPS annual passes are not valid. There is an admission fee per individual or per car to accesss the Navajo land. In additional there are fees for backcountry hiking or guided tours.

Lost Maples State Natural Area Primitive Area E

Lost Maples State Natural Area has some beautiful hiking trails and backpacking areas.

There are basically two loops - an East Trail and a West Trail and each covers about 4-5 miles. It is completely possible to hike all the trails (about 12 miles) in a single day, but I prefer to hike and appreciate the natural features that can be found throughout the park. 

This review is for the Primitive Area E on the West Trail. The campsite is a primitive or dispersed site so there are no amenities. There is no water, no electricity, no restrooms, just natural space. Leave No Trace and Pack In Pack Out principles should be practiced. The camping area is adjacent to the East Trail. There is a open field in one area and a tree covered space in another area. So there are options for both tent and hammock backpackers. 

I'd say that the hike to the campsite and away from the campsite is more scenic than the actual campsite. Perhaps the best time of the year to visit is in November when the weather is cool and the fall foliage take place. The park is very busy in November, so make a reservation very early or go when the weather is extremely cold and no one else wants to be outdoors.

If you need supplies you may find some basics at the general store in the small town nearby the park named Vanderpool.

Zion National Park + Watchman Campground + Angels Landing Trail

I've visited Zion a couple of times and have stayed at the South Campground. This trip I stayed at the Watchman Campground. We arrived into Zion around mid-day and immediately hit the trails. 

I hiked the Angels Landing Trail while my friend hiked some other trails. We finished at around 4pm then drove into town for a bite to eat. We ended up eating at the Thai Sapa Restaurant right outside the park in the nearby town of Springdale. 

I knew that there were not showers within Zion NP so I inquired where I might be able to find a pay shower within Springdale. I was directed to the nearby Zion Outfitters Store. Attached to the store there is a shower room and laundry room that anyone can use. The showers operate on tokens that you can purchase from a machine and cost $4 for about 5 minutes. After showering, we ventured back into Zion NP to find a campground.

We were camping in the winter time, so the park was pretty empty and we had our pick of campsites. We drove around the grounds and found a spot close to the restroom. The restrooms do have sinks and toilets, but no showers. We were camping in a campervan, so setting up camp was easy. We simply pulled into a space, paid our camping fee at the after hours kiosk and we were all good.

We didn't really have a chance to explore the campground much. But the real advantage of this campground is that it is conveniently located within the park. During Spring, Summer and Fall you can access the free shuttle. And it is close to the exit of the park so that you can easily travel to the nearby town of Springdale to pick up any supplies, shower or do laundry.

McArthur's Temple View RV Resort + Saint George

We were on a road trip around Utah and decided to stop in the town of Saint George to get a bite to eat. We ended up taking our time to eat. By the time that we finished it was already dark and a little bit late. We didn't feel like driving far to a State or National Park, so we looked on TheDyrt app for nearby campgrounds. We found the McArthur's Temple View RV Resort right in the middle of town. 

We first attempted to call the resort to see if they had any openings, but it was a Sunday evening and their office was closed. We were close by so we decided to just cruise over to the site. We found the office and luckily they had an after hours info kiosk with information about available campsites. We found one that was located right behind the office and adjacent to the restroom which worked out perfect for our needs. 

The resort has many other amenities that we did not have time to take advantage of such as a pool, shuffleboard, cable tv, movie theatre, etc. It appears that this is both a long term and short term RV resort with many amenities. We paid the fee via the dropbox which was about $42. The restrooms and all the facilities were clean and accessible. At this resort, you're located in the middle of town, so don't expect easy access to natural areas. However, there are natural areas nearby the town of Saint George. 

The next day we drove to the nearby Valley of Fire State Park and had a blast. 

Caveat: The resort's name is McArthur's Temple View RV Resort which kinda indicates that while at the resort you may view the Saint George Mormon Temple. We could view the temple from an open area within the resort, but not every campsite has a temple view. It's best to simply drive to the nearby temple and check it out if you are so inclined.

Ranger Review: Travelers Autobarn Campervan at Fremont Indian State Park

We spent a fun day exploring Cedar Breaks National Monument. However, we lost track of time, the sun was setting and we had not chosen a place to camp. 

Campground Review of Fremont Indian State Park:

We searched on TheDyrt app for nearby campgrounds and found Fremont Indian State Park. We drove down the mountain and around another mountain and found the campground. It was totally dark by the time that we arrived and so we quickly parked and set up our campervan to sleep. 

A gentleman emerged from the shadows and approached our site. It seemed a little sketchy at first. However, he ended up being friendly and inquired if we’d like to join him and his friends around their campfire. After we prepared our campervan and cleaned up a bit, we dropped by the campfire. It turns out the party included some park staff and researchers. One lady was researching dark skies and one gentleman was researching astral alignment with ancient rock art. They shared about their research and showed us some of their amazing photos of the night sky. A warm way to end the day.

The next morning, we woke up to snow on the ground and the nearby mountaintops. Having learned from our new friends that the park contained some pretty significant rock art, we decided that we should check it out. We hiked on a couple of the trails and discovered quite a few of the rock art pieces created by the Fremont Indians. There's an easy trail that is located adjacent to the park office. There are other trails that run along the river. It is amazing that so much of the rock art was in such good condition.

The campsites provide the basics like a parking space, picnic table, electrical & water hookup and firepit/grill. The restrooms were conveniently located close to our campsite and were clean. There are showers behind the restrooms. During the winter the showers may be closed. The campground is somewhat small, but is surrounded by beautiful mountains and bluffs. The staff were super friendly and helpful.

For more info: https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/fremont-indian/

Product Review of Travelers Autobarn Campervans:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, from time to time I am provided products to test. For this outing I was provided a Travelers Autobarn Kuga Campervan. 

For more info: https://www.travellers-autobarnrv.com

The best thing about traveling in a campervan is the ease, flexibility, and ability to make detours if needed. 

We picked up our Kuga Campervan in Las Vegas. The Travelers Autobarn office is just west of the the main strip and easy to find. We arrived early in the day to begin the registration process and campervan orientation. The process was quick and easy. The Kuga Campervan is a hightop van conversion with couches, a table, two beds, propane stove, sink, water, kitchen, interior lights, fan, window shades and solar power. We also had the free living package which included kitchen pots, pans, utensils, cups and accessories. It also included sleeping bags, sheets, pillows and towels. The package pretty much made it super easy to get in the van and go. 

The Travelers Autobarn staff member was super friendly and provided an orientation of the basic operation of the campervan. The campervan drives like a normal van, but learning about the camper functions was helpful. 

We had charted a route around Utah and Arizona visiting a number of towns, parks, roadside attractions and hot springs. The day that we started a weather system passed through which made the temperatures drop in the northern part of our route. We simply flipped our route to avoid the cold weather and traveled the southern route first. By the time that we circled north the weather had warmed up and it was perfect weather for exploring. Traveling in a campervan made it super easy to be flexible with our route and schedule. 

On our seven day trip we visited Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Horseshoe Bend National Monument. Monument Valley National Park, Arches National Park, Mystic Hotsprings, Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Meadow Hotsprings, Valley of Fire State Park and Fremont Indian State Park. 

If we were not traveling in a campervan it is unlikely that we would have had the flexibility to camp anytime and anywhere. We would have never found and stayed at Fremont Indian State Park. It ended up being a gem of a park and a great overall experience. This campervan camping adventure opened up my mind to new opportunities and travels. So much fun!

For more info: https://www.travellers-autobarnrv.com

Lost Maples + Fall Foliage

Everyone loves Lost Maples State Natural Area, whether you are a RV camper, car camper, backcountry camper or just visiting for the day and day hiking. There's a little something for everyone. 

Perhaps the best time of the year to visit Lost Maples is in the Autumn when the fall foliage is occurring - it is often during the first three weeks of November. However, during fall foliage it can be very difficult to reserve a campsite, so I recommend booking a campsite 6 months in advance. Or do what I did and show up on a really cold weekday when no one else is interested in being outside in 25 degree weather and there will be plenty of space to car camp or backcountry camp.

If you camp at the established drive-up campground there are assigned campsites with space for cars, vans and RVs. At each campsite there is a sunshade shelter, picnic table, lantern pole, water, electricity and campfire pit with a grill. There is also a restroom nearby with sinks, toilets, showers and a water fountain. There is even a little free library where you can take a book to read or leave a book to share. 

If you camp in the backcountry there are designated and marked zones where you just set up your tent. There are no facilities in the backcountry campsites so leave no trace practices should be applied. Near some of the backcountry campsites there are latrines.

The park has well maintained hiking trails that will lead you by pastures, through forest, alongside creeks and up some hills. It is possible to hike the 8 to 10 miles of trails in one day, but it is more fun to go slow and enjoy the sights. There is an East Trail Loop and a West Trail Loop and some spur trails. Pick up a map at the Ranger Station and enjoy the trails. Some of the trails have steep rock ascents which are indicated on the park map.

If you need supplies there is a small store with basics in the nearby town of Vanderpool.

While you are in the area, you may as well stop by Bandera, Texas known as the cowboy capital of the world. It is a small Texas town and every weekend they celebrate cowboy culture with some performances and events.

Rancherias Spring Campsite on the Rancherias Loop

Rancherias Spring is a dispersed primitive campsite on the Rancherias Loop Trail. 

The main attraction of this site is the unique opportunity to walk through a cottonwood forest grove in the high mountain desert. There is not much water in this region, but there is apparently sufficient water to sustain a grove of trees. You also have the opportunity to cross over a high desert mesa. 

There are no facilities nor amenities at this campsite. Leave No Trace principles should apply. Purchase gas and supplies in Fort Stockton, Alpine or Terlingua before entering the park because there are no supplies within the park. Prior to visiting this site it is required that you check in to the Barton Warnock Visitor Center from 8am to 4pm and secure a backcountry permit. Sites must be at least 1/4 mile from any other existing campsite; at least 300 feet from water sources and prehistoric or historic cultural sites; at least 3/4 mile from trailheads or roads. 

At the trailhead and once you enter the trail, there is no cell phone signal. This is a remote area of the park which has few visitors, so take appropriate safety precautions for self-rescue if needed. 

This site is about 7 miles from the West trailhead entrance of the Rancherias Loop Trail. The spring itself was just a trickle when we visited. We were able to collect and filter water. Some in our group camped in the river wash. Others and I elected to camp up the hill on the rock surface. The surface on the hill was almost all rock, so instead of tent spikes I used large rocks to secure down my tent. 

The main attraction of this site is the unique opportunity to walk through a cottonwood forest grove in the high mountain desert. There is not much water in this region, but there is apparently sufficient water to sustain a grove of trees. You also have the opportunity to cross over a high desert mesa.

Casa Reza Farmhouse and Creek on the Rancherias Loop

Casa Reza Farmhouse is a dispersed primitive campsite on the Rancherias Loop Trail. 

The main attraction of this site is the ability to see a bit of pioneer history at the farmhouse. Also, having a perennial water source in this remote area is a nice luxury. You’ll also scamper over rock formations, through desert brush and around a myriad of desert flora. 

There are no facilities nor amenities at this campsite. Leave No Trace principles should apply. Purchase gas and supplies in Fort Stockton, Alpine or Terlingua before entering the park because there are no supplies within the park. Prior to visiting this site it is required that you check in to the Barton Warnock Visitor Center from 8am to 4pm and secure a backcountry permit. Sites must be at least 1/4 mile from any other existing campsite; at least 300 feet from water sources and prehistoric or historic cultural sites; at least 3/4 mile from trailheads or roads. 

At the trailhead and once you enter the trail, there is no cell phone signal. This is a remote area of the park which has few visitors, so take appropriate safety precautions for self-rescue if needed. This site is about 7 miles from the East trailhead entrance of the Rancherias Loop Trail. It is recommended and encouraged to not camp at the farmhouse site, but rather collect any needed water from the spring and walk further down the trail to camp. Reportedly this spring is a perennial water source. When we visited the water was freely running and we were able to collect and filter water easily. 

The main attraction of this site is the ability to see a bit of pioneer history at the farmhouse. Also, having a perennial water source in this remote area is a nice luxury. You’ll also scamper over rock formations, through desert brush and around a myriad of desert flora.

Seep Spring on the Rancherias Loop

Seep Spring is a dispersed primitive campsite on the Rancherias Loop Trail. 

The main attraction of this site is that it is relatively close to the trailhead entrance. Also, camping in the river wash on soft sand with high bluffs surrounding us was a fun experience. On route to this site you will pass through desert brush, see a variety of high mountain flora and weave your way through ocotillo forest. 

There are no facilities nor amenities at this campsite. Leave No Trace principles should apply. Purchase gas and supplies in Fort Stockton, Alpine or Terlingua before entering the park because there are no supplies within the park. Prior to visiting this site it is required that you check in to the Barton Warnock Visitor Center from 8am to 4pm and secure a backcountry permit. Backcountry sites are$10 per night with a limit of 6 people. Sites must be at least 1/4 mile from any other existing campsite; at least 300 feet from water sources and prehistoric or historic cultural sites; at least 3/4 mile from trailheads or roads. 

At the trailhead and once you enter the trail, there is no cell phone signal. This is a remote area of the park which has few visitors, so take appropriate safety precautions for self-rescue if needed. This site is about 4 miles from the East trailhead entrance for the Rancherias Loop Trail. Along the trail you will cross over mountains, valleys and river washes. During our trip there had not been rain and there was a forecast of zero rain. We elected to set up camp and sleep in the river wash on the sand. This is not advisable if there is rain or a forecast of rain because this area could flash flood. 

The main attraction of this site is that it is relatively close to the trailhead entrance. Also, camping in the river wash on soft sand with high bluffs surrounding us was a fun experience. On route to this site you will pass through desert brush, see a variety of high mountain flora and weave your way through ocotillo forest.

Poage Lake Primitive Campsite + Lake + Fishing

My friend and I made a fly fishing trip to Poage Lake. This land is part of the National Forest System and offers dispersed primitive camping. 

The Poage Lake campsite consists of a large parking area, a short trail to the lake, and the lake itself. You can disperse camp next to the parking lot. There are no services nor amenities at this campsite, so Leave No Trace principles should be applied..

There is nothing special about the campsite area other than it is conveniently located next to the beautiful Poage Lake. The lake is secluded and pristine and surrounded by old growth forest. It is an excellent place for fly fishing for rainbow and cutthroat trout. 

There are no towns nor stores near the campsite, so be sure to pick up any supplies you may need in the town of South Fork, CO. There are grocery stores, gas stations and outdoor gear and fly fishing stores in South Fork. Take any water that you may need or filter water from the lake.

If you like peace and quiet this site might be for you. If you like amenities, this site probably is not your style.

South Fork Campground + The Rio Grande River + Fly Fishing

My friend and I stayed at the South Fork Campground for a fly fishing trip.  

The campground seems to be primarily a RV campground with 50 sites, but they do allow tent camping with 6 sites. There is an office at the entrance and the staff were friendly. Next to the office is a community room and laundry room.

The RV sites have water and electric hookup. The tent sites do not - at least ours did not. There are restrooms with sinks, toilets and showers nearby the campsites.

The campground itself sits on the Rio Grande River which is a world class fly fishing river. When we were visiting the river was flowing fast and deep, so it was not a very productive time. We choose to fish in the mountain lakes and streams instead.

Overall the South Fork Campground is a nice place to stay for a few days or longer. The campsites were a little close in proximity for me, but I'm one that is accustomed to backcountry camping where there are few people around. The campground is a short drive to the town of South Fork where there are grocery stores, gas stations and outdoor gear and fly fishing stores.

Monahans Sandhills State Park + Sand + Wind

My friends and I made a short stay at Monahans Sandhills State Park on our way to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. We made a reservation online because we knew that we would be arriving late considering that we were leaving after work at 6pm and out drive would be at least 5 hours. It is possible to pick up supplies or eat in the town of Ozona or Fort Stockton.

Upon our arrival, it was fairly easy to find our assigned campsite because all of the campsites appear to be located along a loop road.

Each campsites has water and electric hookups. There are also a sun shade, picnic table and grill. The bathroom was located a short distance from our campsite and contained sinks, toilets and showers. 

The main attraction of this park is definitely the sandhills. One can explore the sandhills freely, but I think that it might be a good idea to not venture too far from the main campground unless you are familiar with desert navigation or are equipped with a GPS. One can walk up the sandhills, roll down the sandhills or just stand in awe within them. I was surprised to find a variety of flowers thriving amongst the sandhills. How does that happen?

There are not any marked or designated trails at this park. There are not many facilities or activities to do. The main attraction is the sand, the sandhills and the sunrises. Even though our stay was short, I really enjoyed staying at this park and watching the sunrise in the morning.