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.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Our Opinion: Recommend, though we might avoid it on summer weekends. This large county park has spacious sites and good walking around nearby Fern Ridge Lake.

Site 37 Richardson ParkDate of Stay: May 28th, 2009.

Weather During Stay: Sunny with a high around 80 and a slight breeze. Low around 50 degrees.

Site Description: This park has 94 sites in two loops (one of which closes after Labor Day). All sites have electricity and water, and each loop has a bathhouse with showers and two dumpsters. Of the 73 sites, 16 have 30 amps only - the remainder have both 30 and 50 amps. None have sewer, though a somewhat awkwardly placed dump station is available (easiest if your towed is unhooked).

All roads and sites are paved, with plenty of grass throughout the park. BBQ grill and large picnic table at each site. Most sites are reasonably level.

Pull-outs in Richardson ParkOur site (#37) is a large pullout along the side of the campground road, with 30/50 amp E and water. Approximately 25 of the sites are pull-outs (parking parallel to the road), the rest are back-ins. Many of the sites are heavily shaded (not suitable for rooftop satellite dishes); in general the pull-outs are larger and more open than the back-ins.

All sites can be reserved at the Lane County Parks website, but the $10 reservation fee makes that impractical for short stays. This park is often full on weekends. Maximum stay 14 days in 30.

Rate: $20 per night. Add $10 to the cost of your stay if you want a reservation!

Shady BackinsPhone/radio/TV: Verizon phone service is good, but the cell card has ups and downs. Lots of trees mean you need to pay attention if your TV satellite is roof mounted. On the antenna, we have numerous digital stations. NPR on 89.7 and probably others.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: This is a flat park with lots of green grass and trees. Elevation is around 400 feet. Views are of trees and other campers. Some sites are very open and sunny, others much more private and shady.

Lighting/Noise: Lots of lawn mowing going on during the weekdays! A fair amount of traffic in some of the perimeter sites, especially those in Loop B close the Clear Lake Road. Night lighting appears minimal.

Favorite Sites: As usual, we prefer perimeter sites to the interior sites. In this park, we choose the pull-outs - they are larger and have fewer challenges for the rooftop satellite.

Marina on Fern Ridge Lake at Richardson Park Hiking/Walking: Great. Walk the campground loops or head over to the lake and marina for a longer stroll.

Comments: This is our second stay here. The park is about 20 minutes from Eugene, a favorite town of ours. We used this park in conjunction with a couple nights dry camping at Valley River Center for a nice stay in the Eugene area (maybe dry-camp at the mall on Friday and Saturday nights, then head over here to dump and enjoy the weekdays without the weekend crowd?). It also is convenient to the wide variety of RV repair and renovation facilities in the Junction City area.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Our Opinion: Recommend - but only if you don’t mind road noise.

Date of Stay: May 21 through 25, 2009

Weather During Stay: High’s in the upper 70’s or 80, lows in the 40’s. Sunny and clear.

Site Description: Our site, number 22, is a long, level, narrow terrace, at the top of a fairly steep hill. The small (50 site) campground is all downhill from here. We have plenty of length for our 40’ motorhome and our Jeep, either front or rear. The terrace is narrow, but we have sufficient space for our chairs, a small picnic table, and our grill on the side of the motorhome.

All sites have FHU, with 20/30/50 amps. Cable TV is provided, with 98 channels. All sites are terraced, and about half are pull-throughs. Very nice landscaping.

Rate: $31.85 plus a 1% “travel tax”. 10% discount for AAA or Good Sam. We used the AAA discount, so paid $28.95 per night.

Phone/radio/TV: Verizon cells phones and the aircard work well here. No local TV stations on the antenna, but there are no obstacles for satellite TV and cable TV is provided. Local NPR is available on 89.5. WiFi is available in all sites for $2.25/night, $12.50/week, or $15.75/month.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: This small park, about 1000’ feet elevation, is built on terraces carved from a rather steep hillside.

The landscaping is very appealing, with a trees and shrubbery at every site. Because of the hillside’s slope, views are great, especially from our top-of-the-hill site: neighbors rooftops, lush landscaping, and distant views of heavily forested mountains.

Lighting/Noise: Night lighting is unobtrusive. The big problem with this park is it’s proximity to I-5 and the heavy traffic noise. This bothers Odel far less than it does me, and probably wouldn’t bother the hard of hearing at all! I would be somewhat reticent to return for that reason.

Favorite Sites: Site 22 is very nice, one of the larger sites, situated at the top of the hill. Backins in the 4-10 range look special, too - but most of the sites here seem very acceptable.

Hiking/Walking: Nothing interesting at the park. One mile down a steep paved road is a large city park along the Rogue River. The frisbee golf course there was very busy, and the walking looked pleasant. The area around Grants Pass abounds with hiking and other outdoor activities.

Comments: If this park was ½ a mile from the interstate, it would get an unqualified Rave rating. The first night, I slept with earplugs and closed windows - but found I adjusted as the days went by. If we stay in Grants Pass again, I would be likely explore other, quieter, options - but Odel is quite happy here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Our Opinion: Recommend. This is our usual stop for an overnight or two when traveling the I-5 corridor. Private; you must be an Elk to stay here.

Date of Stay: May 20, 2009.

Weather During Stay: Hot. High close to 90 degrees, cooled quickly as the sun set. Low around 55 degrees.

Sites: 20 RV sites on reasonably level asphalt on the perimeter of the large parking lot. Each site has 50/30/20 amps and water. All are suitable for big rigs, but parking is very tight if all the sites are occupied - room for slides, but not awnings. All sites are backins.

There are a couple of picnic tables here and there, and a convenient dump station. Dry camping is allowed only if all the sites are occupied.

Rate: $20 for electricity, water and cable TV. 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, and cable TV is at each site. Local NPR on 89.7 and 90.9.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: Flat, level parking with large trees in the lot and around the perimeter. Elevation is 550 feet. The lodge is next door to a senior center; views are of lots of cars in the lot (at times), other rigs, the lodge and the senior center.

Lighting/Noise: The lodge is far from any busy streets so, unless the lodge is rented for an event (we suffered through an all-night party during one stay), it is quiet at night. Occasional trains run fairly nearby. Bright night lights are on 3 foot tall pedestals behind the sites - could be worse!

Favorite Sites: They are all similar. About half face west (hot, hot, hot in summer); the other half face north. No reservations here, so take your choice from what is available when you arrive.

Hiking/Walking: Excellent walking is the reason we stop in Redding. The lodge is on the banks of the Sacramento River, with a wonderful walking/biking trail (this photo) that goes miles in either direction. Walk east along the river about 1 ½ mile through parks and greenspace to the famous Sundial Bridge (not this photo) at Turtle Bay, with it‘s lovely arboretum. Great!

Comments: This lodge is well away from I-5, in a convenient and appealing residential location. The river and walkway is a high point for us, but the lodge itself is also very pleasant, with a huge lawn sloping from the lodge down to the river. Their large swimming pool was closed for repairs on this trip - too bad. We have done a sightseeing daytrip from here to Lassen Volcanic National Park. Truly a convenient stop with plenty to do in the area.