Welcome to our (very personal) reviews of the campsites we have visited. If you arrived here from a link on our travel blog, Semi-True Tales of Our Life On the Road, you can click here to read all of our campground reviews.

If you would like to know more about me, or contact us, click on "Who are We?" (to the right). For more information about what you can expect to find in these reviews, click on "About These Reviews". Finally, a note about the photos: hover your cursor over a photo to read the caption, or click the photo to enlarge it.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Our Opinion: Rave. A bit out of the way, but we felt it was worth the drive.

Date of Stay: June 30, 2008

Weather During Stay: Sunny, breezy upper 80’s when we arrived at 5 pm, had cooled to 78 when the sun went down at 9 pm.. Overnight low was 66 degrees with a slight breeze.

Site Description: The campground consists of one large, paved loop with 82 long, level, graveled sites with 30 amp electric. Most sites are shaded. All sites can be reserved.. Water is available at various places throughout the campground, and a dump is positioned for easy access arriving or leaving.

We chose site 73, very long, fairly level, with good afternoon shade. All sites have nice aluminum picnic tables in good condition. The campground also has two cute wooden cabins with partially covered porches, four more electric sites, and a dozen dry camping sites in another, smaller loop.

Vault toilets are scattered around the campground, and the two clean bath houses have running water, flush toilets and showers (and provide shelter in severe weather). Dumpsters and aluminum can recycling bins are near each bath house at at the fish cleaning station (most campers other than us have a fishing boat).

Rate: $14 for a site with 30 amp electricity, plus a day use fee of $3/person or $5/vehicle. We decided to buy an annual pass for $23, since we are likely to visit more SD state parks this year. Too bad we didn’t do that at Custer State Park!

Phone/radio/TV: Verizon service is weak to non-existent, though we probably could get a half-way decent signal if we put up the antenna. A pay phone is available. We didn’t bother with the TV satellite, but many sites would work with rooftop dishes. Didn’t bother with the TV antenna. NPR is available on 92.3 from Sioux Falls, SD.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: This is a flat park on Lake Oahe, made by damming the Missouri River. Elevation is 1,640’. Green everywhere - mowed green lawns and many large deciduous trees Views are of other campers, trees, and shady green lawns. The lake is nearby, but not within sight of our campsite.

Lighting/Noise: The only noise is from other campers, as we are several miles - or maybe even several hundred miles - from any heavily traveled roads. There is one streetlight at the playground in the center of the camping loop, and lights on each of the two bath houses. No lighting at each campsite - yay!

Favorite Sites: All sites are similar. We were looking for shade and distance from other campers and the playground.

Hiking/Walking: Walking the loop and the park entrance road is around 2 miles. A 2 mile long trail has been mowed through the tall prairie grass around the perimeter of the park.

Comments: We are on a three-day trip up to North Dakota, mostly on two-lane highways. Our stops have been selected to break the trip into easy driving days, and West Whitlock Recreation Area (a state park) happened to be along the route, about 10 miles off the two-lane highway we are traveling in the part of SD. Though there are commercial parks in the area, we like the extra space you can usually find in public parks, as is the case here. Very restful and refreshing stop.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Our Opinion: Recommend. We came here for a rally and enjoyed the park.

Date of Stay: June 21 through June 28, 2008

Weather During Stay: Quickly changing summertime mountain weather: hot sunshine, wild thunderstorms, drenching downpours, cool nights.

Site Description: This park has two distinct areas. For the rally, we have all 30+ sites in the more private back area (second photo). Sites in this area are a mix of perimeter back-ins and terraced pull-throughs in the center of the loop. We are in site 202, a long back-in FHU (50 amp) site near the bathhouse. Roads are dirt and gravel, very muddy after a thunderstorm. Sites are reasonably level. Very little shade in this section of the park.

Though the back section has a bathhouse with a washer and dryer, most of the park amenities (office, pool, hot tub, playground, pavilion, laundry, and social area) are in the front section of the park (top photo and third photo), a short walk from our section, with perhaps another 60 sites and several cabins. Grass lawns, blooming flowers and lots of trees make this a very appealing spot.

Rate: The usual rate for FHU’s is $25/night. We paid $15/night during the rally.

Phone/radio/TV: Verizon phones get 5 bars; aircard is on Broadband. Local NPR from Rapid City on 89.3. TV antennas may be able to pull in a few stations, but ours were very snowy. Park has WiFi, but we didn’t use it. Most sites to not have any obstructions for TV satellite dishes.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: This is a green, grassy park in a forested area of the Black Hills, well away from the freeway at the end of a dead-end road at 3,800‘. The forest has been cleared to create open space for the park. Part of the park is flat (front section); our section, up a dirt/gravel road to the back, is on a terraced hillside. Views are of green grass and forested hillside.

Lighting/Noise: No road noise. A few bright lights around, but we were positioned so that they didn’t shine in our windows. Some others might not have been as lucky.

Favorite Sites: Site 202 (last photo) worked well for us, but there are many nice sites here. All sites can accommodate big rigs.

Hiking/Walking: Walking the park loops is pleasant. A rustic dirt road leads out of the back loop to the top of a ridge - good for a short burst of exercise. Many well established and documented trails nearby in the Black Hills.

Comments: Rush-No-More is a good name for this park. The staff is helpful and accommodating, the scenery is very appealing… excellent place to kick back and relax. Cabins are available for rent, and a couple of social areas are located in the front section (including a beer bar with draft beer). This park would be a "rave" if there were more walking opportunities without the need to drive.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Our Opinion: Rave. Beautiful, green, level campground in a gorgeous state park filled with wildlife.

Date of Stay: June 19 and 20, 2008

Weather During Stay: Wild. Sunny, clear mornings; severe thunderstorms in the afternoon with lightening, thunder and hail; cleaning just before dark. Highs in low 70’s, lows in low 50’s.

Site Description: All sites have 50/30/20 amp E, no water or sewer. Dump station. Roads and sites are paved. Many sites are large enough for a big rig. Lots of trees; sites on the south side of the campground loop are in heavy forest. We preferred the more open sites. Each site has a picnic table. Sites are large and well separated from each other by mown grass lawns and leafy trees. All sites can be reserved.

Rate: $22/night for the campsite plus a park “license” for day use, $5/person good for one week. For a two night stay, we paid $44 in camping fees plus $10 for the “licenses” - $54 total.

Phone/radio/TV: Our Verizon phones get 1 bar with the external antenna, no service without the antenna. No aircard service. Both are available in the town of Custer, 10 miles or so east. No antenna TV. Our TV satellite was unobstructed. Local NPR on 102.5.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: This campground is one of several located in a gorgeous, amazingly green, state park. Elevation is 4,200’. Views are of forested hillsides, huge expanses of mown lawn, camping cabins and neighboring campers.

Lighting/Noise: A bright light on each restroom and the laundry - too bad! Noise is moderate during the day: traffic on the park road and campers. Very quiet at night.

Favorite Sites: We liked the one we had, 12E. Good view of the daily action at the dump station! The only sites we would avoid are those on the south side of the loop as they are heavily treed.

Hiking/Walking: Great 2 mile paved bike/hike path from Game Lodge Campground to the Grace Coolidge Campground. Use it to walk to the Norbeck Visitor Center (with good bison viewing), to the Game Lodge Resort, and to the Coolidge Store and Gift Shop (ice cream). Bison are often spotted along the path, near the Game Lodge and across from the Norbeck Visitor Center. Lots of trail in the park, but plan to hike/walk early to avoid the afternoon thunderstorms.

Comments: We love this place. It is easy to spot bison a short walk from the campground, and the Wildlife Loop Drive begins right outside the campground. On a drive today, we saw several each of bison, pronghorn, big horn sheep and wild burros.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Our Opinion: Neutral. Nice little park, but the price is high. There is a less nice RV park on the west side of town that participates in Passport America, $10 for FHU. We would try that one next time.

Date of Stay: June 18th, 2008.

Weather During Stay: Sunny and warm (upper 70’s) when we arrived, with puffy white clouds. Under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch from 6 pm until midnight, and under an actual severe thunderstorm for about 45 minutes. Low forecast to be in the low 50's.

Site Description: This small park is bisected by a residential street, with about a dozen sites on each side - 30 amp electric on one side, 50 amps on the other. Long, level, gravel FHU pull throughs with cable TV, a covered picnic table and grass at each site. Good electric service; good water pressure. No shade. Very tidy. We were in site 16.

Rate: $33/night. This was a shock; we were expecting to pay around $24, as rates quoted by campers last year were $22/night.

Phone/radio/TV: Verizon reception is strong, aircard alternates between Broadband and speedy National Access. Excellent cable TV. Didn’t try the antenna. Fuzzy NPR station from Douglas, WY on 89.5.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: This is a small park in a residential section of a small town at 5,100‘. Views are of tidy homes, grass, small trees and flat streets. There is a small park across the street.

Lighting/Noise: Minimal noise, just residential traffic. Noise typical for a commercial park: we pulled the awning down over the bedroom window and closed our shades to keep the lights out of our eyes.

Favorite Sites: Any of the 50 amp pull through sites are fine.

Hiking/Walking: Around town and on quiet residential streets. We had a pleasant walk along the main street of town to a city on the far north end of town, 3 or 4 miles round trip.

Comments: Though this is a pleasant little park, $33/night is too much to pay for an average park with no special amenities. If we come through Lusk again, we will stay at the less nice Passport America park on the west side of town, Prairie View Campground.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Our Opinion: Neutral. Nothing special here. Another similar RV park, Western Hills, is right next door - we’d probably give it a try next time.
Date of Stay: June 17th, 2008.

Weather During Stay: Low 80’s and quite breezy when we arrived. Low was 46 degrees.

Site Description: For an overnight, we took a pull through site with water and 50 amp electric. Electricity is excellent. Water pressure is high, so they advise use of a regulator. Sites are level, on dirt, dust, gravel and a bit of grass. Our site has a picnic table and there is a dumpster nearby. Site width is average; the roads and our site were sufficiently sized that we didn‘t need to unhook the jeep. The faint smell of a stockyard wafted in on the breeze occasionally, but was not too objectionable. 88 sites total, but many look like they hold permanent residents and several others look unused/unusable. Photo shows site 88.

Rate: For water and electric only, $24/night. They give SKP’s a 15% discount, so we paid a total of $22.08 with discount and tax.

Phone/radio/TV: Strong Verizon cell signal; aircard on Broadband. WiFi is available at no charge for those who need it (we didn’t try it). No cable TV, but we picked up Fox and a Wyoming PBS station on our antenna. Nothing to obstruct TV satellite signal. No local NPR station.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: Not much to say about this part of Wyoming, just off of I-80. Mediocre park located at 6,700‘ in rolling hills. Scrubby flora, few trees. Views are of other rigs, some homes, commercial buildings, the freeway, and hills and buttes in the near distance.

Lighting/Noise: Since we are about ¼ mile (if that) off of I-80, there is a lot of road noise - we had to close the windows at night to sleep. Railroad in the distance. Lighting was very low at site 88, which is in an out-of-the-way corner of the park... don't know about sites closer to the office.

Favorite Sites: None. All are essentially similar except that some are FHU, some W/E, and some E only.

Hiking/Walking: Around the park.

Comments: We weren’t expecting much from Rawlins, or from the park. The staff made us feel very welcome and I am sure they could recommend whatever sights there are to see in the area. We’re not sightseeing, though… just passing through and this park meets our needs for an overnight.

We did pony up $1 each to play the hilariously bad miniature golf course, good for way more than our money’s worth of laughs. The advertised swimming pool was dry. The very nice laundry facilities shared a large room with a small book exchange and lounge.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Our Opinion: Neutral. A decent urban RV park for visiting Salt Lake City.

Date of Stay: June 14-16, 2008

Weather During Stay: Sunny and hot. Highs in the low 90’s, lows in the mid 50’s.

Site Description: This park is HUGE. We were escorted to site W-27, a large, 50 amp FHU pull through site landscaped with grass and trees. Each site has a picnic table. Sufficient trash receptacles. Roads and parking pads are asphalt. Sites are well-sized compared to many commercial RV parks. Tents sites are available, situated on one edge of the park. Restrooms, showers, laundry, game room.

Rate: $37.45/night, less 10% for Good Sam Discount, which almost - but not quite - paid the taxes. Total with taxes was $37.60 per night.

Phone/radio/TV: Verizon phones have 5 bars. Verizon aircard on broadband. WiFi is available (no extra charge), but we didn't try it out. The trees blocked our TV satellite, but the park’s cable TV has more stations than anyone needs. Local NPR on 88.3

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: This is a flat, urban RV park at 4,200’, a short distance from downtown Salt Lake City. Views are of trees, grass, other campers and RV park buildings.

Lighting/Noise: Night lighting is slightly more subdued than many commercial parks. Noise level is typical of an urban residential area.

Favorite Sites: No favorites, they are essentially all the same.

Hiking/Walking: Walk the loops of this huge park, or go out the back gate and turn left to a walking/biking trail and park. Good for an urban environment.

Comments: This park is way bigger than we like, with many long-term residents. All the sites are nicely landscaped and decently sized, but the overall feeling is “too many RV’s in one place” with kids, dogs, and extra vehicles everywhere. Lots of workamping employees keep things running smoothly. As with KOA’s in general, this would be an excellent park for families, with a swimming pool and plenty of activities for kids (Saturday night family friendly movie, ice cream social). Feels safe and secure in a transitional neighborhood. We wouldn’t look forward to returning, but don’t consider it a park to be avoided. Free shuttle to Temple Square, grocery store nearby. Easy access from major freeways.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Our Opinion: Rave. What an unexpected oasis. Tall trees, river, and lots of space. An excellent overnight for us. This photo shows the view from our campsite of a bend in the Humboldt River.

Date of Stay: June 12th, 2008; updated to reflect increased fees during our stay on 5/7/2012.

Weather During Stay: Blue skies, sunny, high 80 degrees, low 36. Warmed up quickly when the sun came up.

Sites: A total of 46 sites divided between two campgrounds. No hookups. Several water spigots in each campground, but not at each site. Deluxe dump station to service both campgrounds.

The campground on the west side at the boat ramp is flat, graveled, with short, side-by-side sites, very level. Comfort station with private bathrooms and private shower rooms (coin operated). Big rigs would extend into the very wide loop road, which would not be a problem, but privacy is limited. Very limited shade in this campground, as you can see from this photo.

We stayed in the Riverside campground (next photo), down a steep, paved road just west of the dam. Lots of big trees and river frontage. Plenty of trash receptacles. Pit toilets and a separate comfort station with private bathrooms (flush toilet and a sink) and a coin operated shower.

Sites vary in size, many are long enough for a 40’ rig. Sites are fairly level; each site has a picnic table. Tall trees may interfere with roof-mounted satellites in many of the sites. Roads and spurs are paved; this photo shows the loop road through the campground.

Rate: $14/night.

Phone/radio/TV: No Verizon signal in lower Riverside Campground. Faint Verizon signal in some parts of the upper areas of the park. Didn‘t check TV antenna and didn‘t turn on the TV satellite. No local NPR station - in fact, only one (religious) radio station at all!

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: Rye Patch Dam was built on the Humboldt River in 1935 to create Rye Patch Reservoir. The reservoir is situated at 4,100’ in a landscape of dry scrub and badlands, with arid mountains in the near distance. Views are of the lake or river, tall trees in the lower campground, and the surrounding dry mountains.

Lighting/Noise: No lighting in the lower campground at night; didn’t check the upper one. The only noise will come from other campers, and the occasional distance wail of a train. Very, very nice.

Favorite Sites: We preferred the lower, Riverside Campground because of the tall cottonwoods and privacy in the sites. We had a nicely shaded site on the riverbank, site 10 (this photo); we also liked site 22. Many of the sites here are suitable for us. All sites are first-come, first-served.

Hiking/Walking: Walk the loops of the campground, a short trail from a picnic area to the boat launch ramp, or just stroll the road.

Comments: Just a few miles off of I-80, between Lovelock and Winnemucca, Nevada, this pretty campground was a nice surprise for us. Besides the two distinct campground areas, camping is allowed in several very large, flat gravel “overflow” areas with picnic tables that would make good rally sites. At least one of these, in the lower Riverside campground with river frontage, can be reserved. Lots of birds - we saw pelicans, herons, kildeer, swallows and all sorts of water birds - and welcome shade in the campground. This made an excellent overnight stop. 

Update: During our visit of May 7, 2012, we camped in the large, gravel overflow lot on the right side of the west end of the dam so we wouldn't have to unhook the Jeep for a back-in site.  Very quiet (few other campers were in the park) with a great view.