Reviewed Apr. 19, 2021

Great hiking & nice camping

We stayed here in our 5th wheel for five nights but had to move twice as we couldn't book a spot for the entire weekend. (And a bit annoyingly they charge a separate reservation fee for each "reservation" but oh well.) We stayed on sites 4, 25 and 31.

First, be careful to take Desoto Parkway up. Google tried to send us on an alternate road that had a big sign saying ABSOLUTELY no trucks - and from other reviews we gather that's the more trecherous one. This route wasn't bad but for someone who hates windy mountain roads without an camper attached, it did give me a few stomach drops riding with the 5th wheel behind us. 

If you are going to arrive after hours make sure you get the check in info and gate code. We arrived moments before the office closed at 5 pm so were able to get the information we needed to get into our spot. 

Staff were very friendly and helpful.

Also we found our second site 25 especially challenging to back into. There are drop off gulleys at the end of sites and maybe experienced RVers think nothing of it, but we thought it was tricky.

That said the sites were well spaced apart and maybe because it was April there were a lot of open spots. (Surprising since we had such trouble booking a continuous site!) There is a separate loop with pull-through sites that aren't as private, but they look very easy to get in and out of. 

I work remotely and internet was a challenge. I have phones with Verizon and T-mobile service as well as AT&T and T-Mobile hotspots. The verizon phone was the only service that got any signal at all, and it was spotty. In our first spot I couldn't get any service whatsoever. In the second spot it was a little better and the third (31) was the better - that was primarily by connecting to the park wifi. It must have been right between the two spots because it worked OK. (I don't have a wifi booster or any other similar equipment.) Wifi is available at the bathhouse and the visitor center. I spent more than a few hours in a camp chair working outside the bathhouse! I also worked from a rocking chair on the visitor center porch one afternoon. We hooked up the park cable and that worked well. 

Fortunately the bathhouse is nice, clean and well lit. The trails that lead from the loop to the bathhouse often end up in the back of sites but no one seems to mind. 

Our favorite thing here was hiking. In our 5 days we covered most of the trails on the map. You can hike right off the campground loop or go down to the visitor center to other hikes. All were on rocky uneven surfaces, and muddy in a few spots but not terribly strenous. 

Our favorite hike was starting at the swimming pool (closed for the season) and following the river past the Lodge. It was on the yellow trail and we reached a point where it was getting pretty iffy - just scrambling over rocks at the river's edge. We turned back at that point and looped up to Lodge Falls, and then to the Lodge. They told us in the lodge we probably reached the end of the state park property.

We had breakfast at the Lodge one morning and were not impressed. It was basically like a moderate hotel buffet. 

We went into Mentone for a lovely meal at Wildflower Cafe. We enjoyed walking around the quaint town. 

All in all we had a good, memorable stay at Desoto State Park.

  • River view walking down from pool to Lodge Falls
Site4, 25, 31

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