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.

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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.

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