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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Our Opinion: Recommend. A few miles west of Hwy 99, this Elks Lodge is a green oasis in a quiet residential area. Private; you must be an Elk or traveling with an Elk to stay here.

Date of Stay: March 30 and 31, 2009.
Weather During Stay: Springtime: lows in the 40’s, highs in the upper 60’s.

Sites: Of the 12 W/E (30 amp) sites available, 7 are suitable for big rigs, 4 are suitable for shorter rigs (under 30‘ or so) and one is occupied by a host‘s rig. Sites are reasonably wide (room for slides and awnings) and fairly level, on asphalt and gravel, with picnic tables here and there. No pull-throughs. Utility hookups for the big-rig sites (at the back of the parking lot) are placed to allow backing in or nosing in, so motorhomes can face the small green park adjacent to the RV sites - very nice.

All sites are located along the perimeter of a fairly small, quite busy parking lot - it could be difficult to maneuver into a space if the lodge is busy. Dry camping does not seem feasible due to the heavy use of the small parking lot.

A host is in the site next to the dump station. Dump station access is a bit awkward, but possible for all sizes of rigs. Two washers and two dryers (coin operated) are available in the laundry room on the first floor of the lodge (the bar and dining area is upstairs).

Rate: $16 for W/E. Dump included in camping fee.

Phone/radio/TV: Strong Verizon phones and aircard signal. No obstructions to block TV satellite. Several TV stations using the TV antenna. Local NPR on 91.3.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: Flat, level parking with grass and trees around the perimeter. Elevation is near sea level. Views of grass, trees, the lodge and parking lot, and nearby homes.

Lighting/Noise: The lodge parking area is quite lit up at night, somewhat obtrusive. Very quiet at night.

Favorite Sites: We like the longer sites at the back of the lodge parking lot, where we pull in front forward facing the park. No reservations here, so take your choice when you arrive.

Hiking/Walking: Lodi Lake Park has a few miles of nice walking trails a short drive away, or walk there: head south from the lodge less than 1/2 miles to the cemetary. Between the cemetary and the railroad tracks (don't cross the tracks), turn east (left) and follow the wide concrete path to the park. Nice "natural area" loop and paved roads.

Comments: This lodge is in the tiny community of Woodbridge, just north of Lodi - a medium sized town with a pleasant, well-maintained downtown. The Lodi post office, right around the corner, might be a good spot to receive General Delivery mail. Nice big, new Raley‘s grocery store and Safeway further south on N. Lower Sacramento Road. Golfing at Micke Grove Park, south of town. There is a Cummins repair/service facility nearby, on Woodbridge Road just off (west) of Highway 99

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Our Opinion: Recommend. This convenient stop along Hwy 101 borders a golf course. Easy access in and out. Private; you must be an Elk to stay here.

THIS REVIEW IS OUTDATED.  Please CLICK HERE to read our most current review.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Our Opinion: Recommend. Fun location a few blocks from Pismo State Beach, a great walking beach also open to vehicles and camping. This is an Elks Lodge - you must be an Elk to stay here.

THIS OUTDATED REVIEW HAS BEEN DELETED.  Please click here to read our most recent review.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Our Opinion: Recommend. The nicely landscaped and convenient lodge makes a great stopover for traveling Elks. Private you must be an Elk to stay here.

Date of Stay: March 19th, 2009.

Weather During Stay: California coastal springtime. Lows in the 40’s, highs in the 60’s.

Sites: Ten W/E sites (30 amp) are along the west side of the parking lot in the back, with another 13 FHU (including cable TV) sites in a separate area on the south side of the lodge .

The FHU sites (top photo) are very side, with a picnic table at each site. Lots of grass around the area, and some trees. Sites there are a little sloped.

We stayed in a W/E site, which had fewer rigs. These sites are reasonably wide and very level, on asphalt. A wide strip of mown lawn runs behind the sites, and there is a group of 4 picnic tables under a cover at one end.

Rate: $25 FHU, $20 W/E, $10 drycamping. Convenient dump (third photo) is available behind the lodge (get the key inside).

Phone/radio/TV: Strong Verizon phones and aircard signal. No obstructions to block TV satellite in the W/E sites. Trees might be a problem for roof mounted satellites in the FHU sites, but they provide cable TV. We didn’t bother with the TV antenna. Local NPR on 90.1, news and music.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: Flat, level parking area. I didn’t check the elevation, but it is probably no more than 500‘ or so. Views of local residential neighborhood, lodge, parking lot, and Hwy 101.

Lighting/Noise: The night lighting in our W/E site was unobtrusive. Didn’t check the FHU sites. Noise… well, the lodge is right off of Hwy 101 (see the view of the parking lot and Hwy 101 from our site in the last photo). Lots of highway noise during the day, but it didn't bother us at all at night once we closed the windows.

Favorite Sites: Except for the difference in the W/E vs. FHU, all sites are essentially the same. We would make our selection based on the number of rigs on site and how long we intended to stay.

Hiking/Walking: We didn’t get out at all; it was a short stopover for us.

Comments: This is a very convenient location for traveling Elks. The lodge is attractive, with lots of green lawn, trees, landscaping and plenty of paved parking. Very clean, convenient dump station.. A much-better-than-average Elks RV parking area in a small (population 91,000) city in a pretty, hilly, agricultural area. We saw all the standard shopping nearby as we came up Hwy 101.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Click here to read our most recent review  (December 12, 2011) with updated fees and additional photos.

Our Opinion: Recommend. This large regional park has spacious sites and good hiking, in the midst of an urban area.

Date of Stay: March 15th through 18th.

Weather During Stay: Springtime! Lows at night were crisp, in the 30’s; daytime highs in the mid 70’s. Beautiful.
Site Description: Our site is a large pullout along the side of the campground road. A school (high school?) is next to us at the border of the park, so it is quiet at night but lots of “kid noise” during the day. All sites are paved, with large concrete patios surrounded by grass. BBQ grill and sturdy picnic table at each site. FHU with 50 and 30 amp electric.
The campground is gently rolling, with lots of green grass and trees. Most of the 42 RV sites are pull-outs, but some are back-ins. Not all are level, but most are quite long; all are fairly spacious. Many of the pull-out sites have multiple utilities for groups of two or three. Several restrooms (with showers); plenty of trash cans. Tent camping sites are available in a separate area. Dump site available. All sites can be reserved at http://www.sbcountyparks.com/. Maximum stay 14 days in 30.

Rate: FHU RV sites are $27. Senior camping rates are available Monday-Thursday, $23. We paid the full rate for Sunday night, the senior rate thereafter - plus a $5 fee for making a reservation.

Phone/radio/TV: Verizon service is good on both the aircard and phones. Lots of trees mean you need to pay attention if your TV satellite is roof mounted. On the antenna, we have four digital stations, all PBS. NPR on 91.9.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: Rolling hills, lots of trees, green grass and lakes. Elevation 2,600 feet. This large, regional park is in a busy urban/suburban area, with a school next door and homes nearby. Views from the campground are of other campers, the surrounding hills, and the school.
Lighting/Noise: No streetlights here (a good thing), but the restrooms are brightly lit at night. We were positioned so that wasn’t a bother. Noise from the neighboring students during the day. Sites near the front of the campground had considerable road noise.

Favorite Sites: All have some good, some not-so-good features. As usual, we prefer perimeter sites to the interior sites.
Hiking/Walking: Walking the loop road of this huge park is pleasant. A rather strenuous hike goes to the peak of the highest nearby hill, Mt. Zanja.

Comments: This park is a pleasant oasis in a busy urban area in the Inland Empire of California. The campground occupies a small area of the park, which includes a large lake (with fishing), swimming beach, water slides, playground, and several large picnic areas. I suspect this park is very crowded with day-users in summer. Grocery shopping nearby; 18 hole public golf course ¼ mile away.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Our Opinion: Recommend. Plenty of open space with vast views near an interesting small town.

Date of Stay: March 10th through 15th, 2009.

Weather During Stay: Desert springtime weather - warm days, cool nights, some clouds, lots of sun, calm, breezy and windy alternately.

Sites: No developed sites. Dispersed camping in a huge tract of land located at the intersection of S22 and Rockhouse Road on the eastern edge of Borrego Springs, CA.

Rate: Free. Near the beginning of Rockhouse Road, signs on both sides say “No Trespassing”. These signs are completely ignored by boondockers and are not enforced.

Phone/radio/TV: Verizon phones and aircard, if you stay near the intersection of S22 and Rockhouse Road, but the signal diminishes if you travel further back towards the mountains. Nothing to block satellite. Didn‘t bother with TV antenna. NPR from Palm Springs/Indio at 92.9 FM

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: Elevation is 660 feet. View is of scrubby desert and scattered RV’s with arid mountains in the distance. Wide open spaces.

Lighting/Noise: No night lighting whatsoever. When the moon is full, it is bright enough to cast a shadow. Noise during the day from passing traffic on paved S22 and vehicles moving about in the area - and the distant sound of generators humming

Favorite Sites: Dispersed camping available along dirt roads throughout the area - find a flat spot with a nice view and you’re home.

Hiking/Walking: Walk in any direction on dirt roads/tracks throughout the area, or stop by the Anza Borrego State Park Visitor Center for information on the many, many hikes in the park This photo was taken on a hike on the west side of Borrego Springs, several miles from our boondocking site.

Comments: Rockhouse Road is the gateway to one of several boondocking areas surrounding the small town of Borrego Springs, located in the center of California’s largest state park. Lots of interesting activities in the state park and in the town, with more decent restaurants than is typical for a town its size. There are a couple of golf courses in town (one 9 hole) and a very upscale RV Resort, along with a few other RV parks and a FHU campground in the state park. The small grocery store is well supplied by not inexpensive - bring supplies.

Monday, March 9, 2009


This review has been updated to reflect a more recent stay.  Click here to read our latest review.