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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

DAVIS MOUNTAIN STATE PARK, FT. DAVIS, TEXAS

Our Opinion: Rave - if you don’t mind losing your cell phone coverage in the campground. A great stop in the wide open spaces of west Texas.

Overlooking Davis Mtn Campground Date of Stay: January 17 through 20, 2010.

Weather During Stay: Dry and cool. Lows near freezing; highs around 70. Very windy at times.

Site Description: We’re in a full-hookup (50 amp and cable TV included) pull-out, site 16. All the FHU sites are pull-outs, right alongside the loop road. Sites in the lower FHU loop (1-16) have more privacy and shade than those in the upper loop. Sites are spacious, with concrete patios, picnic tables, and fire rings.

The campground has 94 sites total: 33 W, 34 W/30 amp E; 27 FHU 50 amp. Some sites are shaded, some are in full sun, so pick your site according to the weather. Many sites are somewhat sloped, including site 16, and difficult to level a big rig. Dump station available.

Rate: FHU sites are $20/night, plus a per person day use fee ($4/$2 senior, over age 65). As we usually do in Texas, we bought the $60 annual pass - it covers the day use fee for both of us in every state park for 12 months, a good money saver for us.

Site 16 looking northPhone/radio/TV: No Verizon service in the campground - drive or hike to the scenic overlook for service. Free WiFi available to campers in the lounge of the Indian Lodge, an historic lodging in the state park. Some obstacles for roof-mounted satellites. FHU sites have cable TV. Only one radio station available, and it is NPR - 93.5!

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: This campground is in a narrow valley in the Davis Mountains at 5,000 ft. elevation. Views are of dry grasslands, cactus, and woodlands along the (mostly dry) creek bed. Grassy, rocky mountains flank the campground on both sides. Lots of wildlife here – birds, tame deer, and families of javelina.

Lighting/Noise: No light at night except on the small buildings in the campground. Stars galore, as there is no nearby light pollution. NO noise.

Favorite Sites: For FHU sites, we prefer the 1-16 loop - more privacy and more trees.

Indian Lodge (WiFi hot spot) at Davis Mountain State Park Hiking/Walking: A variety of hikes are available from the campground, including a hike to the scenic overlook on the eastern ridge.

Comments: Scenic, historic Ft. Davis (4 miles away) has the old fort (a national historic site), shops, fuel, Hotel Limpia (looks like their restaurant would be good), a nice bookstore and an excellent natural foods market. This campground is a good base camp for explore the “west Texas triangle”: Ft. Davis, Marfa and Alpine. Renowned McDonald Observatory is not far from the state park.

5 comments:

dabgriff said...

I have stayed at this park. I agree with all you said. You should give Balmorhea State Park in the town itself. It has a spring fed pool, wet lands at a nice desert atmosphere. Full hook ups with cable TV. Good for a few days or a over night just off of
IH10. The sites are big enough for any size rig with out unhooking

dabgriff said...
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dabgriff said...
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creationsbymimi said...

I really have enjoyed reading your blog. So much info and I appreciate you sharing so much. I have a couple questions. What is the $60 pass you talk about and what exactly is the NPR is that for radio. We will be full-timing again after the first of the year and we can hardly wait. thanks
Patti

Laurie and Odel said...

Hi, Patti. The $60 pass (the price may have gone up since we last visited) is an annual pass for Texas State Parks. It covers entrance fees (day use fees) to all Texas state parks for the period of one year, so you can visit any TX state park for free during that year. Camping fees are paid separately.

Since TX is a BIG state and they have nice state parks, we often find it is worthwhile to buy the pass even if we will only be there 4-6 weeks. For instance, if you stay at Davis Mountain State Park, you could do a day trip to Balmorhea State Park for free with the pass or, if you stay in a private park, you can go hiking or picnicing at a nearby State Park for free with the pass.

You can buy the pass at any TX state park - you receive a temporary pass at that time, with a laminated pass following in the mail, along with two coupons for either one night of free or of half-price camping (can't remember the details!). I think it is a good deal IF you like state parks.

NPR stands for National Public Radio, the station I like to listen to as we travel. Apparently many of our readers do, too. Not all towns have local affiliates, which is why I comment about it in the reviews.

Safe travels!