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, August 31, 2010


The entrance and office at Green ValleyOur Opinion: Recommend. This small, family-run campground is a convenient stop when traveling across Montana; the beautiful nearby state park is frosting on the cake.

Date of Stay: August 31, 2010.

Weather During Stay: Cool, dry, and pleasant.

Site Description: This small, shady campground is planted in the center of a corn farm, with tall trees for shade. Since we didn’t get (or need) a campground map, and I didn’t count the sites, I am guessing there are 25 or so. Definitely small.

The graveled entrance and exit roads are narrow, but since they are one-way, it isn’t a problem. Sites are level, gravel and grass, each with a picnic table. Most sites are pull-throughs, reasonably long and wide enough for big rigs with slides and awnings. Our site had a picnic table, as did most others.

Our Site at Green Valley in GlendiveRate: A bargain - $16.50 for a 50 amp FHU, $1 less for a 30 amp E/W. Plus tax.

Phone/radio/TV: Good Verizon signal for phones and aircard. No WiFi. No obstacles blocked our roof-mounted satellite TV, but this could be a problem in other sites because of the big shade trees (our site was long enough to maneuver past the tree). We didn’t bother with the air antenna. Local NPR available on 88.5 FM.

Elevation/landscape/terrain: The elevation is around 1,500 feet. The nearby area is somewhat hilly, but the park itself was flat and the sites level. Views are of other rigs, tall trees, and cornfields, very pleasant.

Lighting/noise: The park was reasonably dark. Traffic noise from nearby I-94 was noticeable but didn’t keep us awake.

Our row at Green Valley Favorite Sites: No favorites - pick your site based on orientation and utilities.

Hiking/Walking: No significant walking in the park, but we hiked the beautiful trails through the badlands of nearby (under 5 miles) Makoshika State Park, a treat.

Comments: Very easy access off either Hwy 16 or I-94. You can’t beat the price for 50 amp FHU in this pleasant, quiet, convenient park. Even if you don’t want to hike, take the drive through the nearby state park - fabulous!

Monday, August 30, 2010


Office and entrance road at Roughrider Our Opinion: Recommend. This spacious, shady park worked well for our short stay in Minot. Easy access to Hwy 2, but far enough away to limit traffic noise.

Date of Stay: August 29 and 30, 2010.

Weather During Stay: Warm sunshine on arrival, rain all day long the next day, some quite heavy.

Site Description: Eighty-five sites in this campground are a combination of FHU and W/E. More than half are pull through sites, all reasonably spacious with room for slides and awnings. All but the half-dozen or so newest sites are in the shade of very large trees.

Roads are paved or graveled; sites are gravel and grass, with picnic tables. All sites are reasonably level, and some of the sites are exceptionally long.

We were in site 83, one of the newer sites at the back of the park. We requested a site with no obstacles for our TV satellite dish; these newer sites are the only sites without trees.
Site 83 in sunshine 
The park has wonderful, grassy expanses next to ponds for tent campers, and mown trails wind through a forested area next to the ponds. The owners live on-site. The office has a small and very well supplied RV supply store. Dump station on site.

Rate: We paid $55.80 for two nights with a Good Sam discount and taxes for a 50 amp FHU pull through, around $28/night.

Phone/radio/TV: Strong Verizon signal for phones and aircard. No obstacles blocked our roof-mounted satellite TV, but this would be a problem in most sites. The air antenna pulled in a few networks. WiFi is available, but we didn’t use it because Verizon worked so well. NPR available on 88.9.

Elevation/landscape/terrain: This a flat, shaded campground at 1600 ft. elevation. Views are of huge trees, shaded sites, lots of grass, ponds, and a neighboring farm.
Long pullthrough 
Lighting/noise: Quiet and reasonably dark at night.

Favorite Sites: If you have roof-mounted satellite dishes, request one of the newer sites at the back - 81 through 85 or so. If you want to beat the heat, the shaded sites look enticing.

Hiking/Walking: Mown paths skirt the ponds on the south side of the park (accessed through the tenting area) - not long, but pleasant and scenic.

Comments: We came to visit friends staying at another of the RV parks in Minot, a gravel parking lot within sight of Hwy 2 that looked quite unappealing to us. Roughrider’s easy access and green, spacious grounds were a far better choice for us.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Pull through sites Our Opinion: Recommend.  Quiet, convenient overnight stop off Hwy 2 in Minnesota.

Date of Stay: August 28th, 2010.

Weather During Stay:  Pleasant summer weather, high 84, low 72 with a breeze.

Site Description:  This small, city owned RV park is situated on the bank of the Red Lake River, one block off of the main street of small Crookston, MN.  Sixteen sites total.  Three are pull throughs with 20 and 30 amp E, the remainder are back-ins, some with E, some without.  All the sites were level.

None of the sites have water or sewer, and we didn’t see an onsite dump station.  Bathrooms are available; get a key when you register with the ranger, who arrives around 6 pm.  We had a picnic table and a fire ring. 

Site 7 The road is paved; sites are gravel and grass with large trees scattered around.  The three pull through sites are long and spacious, easy in and out with no need to unhook.  The back in sites are shorter, but we could have fit ourselves in by hanging off the back of the pad. 

Rate: $15/night for 30 amps; $10/night no hookups.  Pay the ranger who comes by around 6 pm.

Phone/radio/TV:  Strong Verizon signal for phones and aircard.  No obstacles blocked our roof-mounted satellite TV.  We didn’t bother with the air antenna.  WiFi is included, but we didn’t use it because Verizon worked so well.   Didn’t check for NPR.

Elevation/landscape/terrain: This is a very small campground in Crookston’s very green Central Park. Elevation around 600 ft.  Views are of the park, the other rigs, and some large, old, historic buildings on the edge of downtown Crookston.  Fishing and kayaking possible in Red Lake River; the park has a boat launch ramp, too.

Backin sites Lighting/noise:  The park itself was dark at night, but the entrance road is lined with bright lights.  Very quiet at night.

Favorite Sites:  We liked our site (7), but either of the other pull-throughs would work just as well. 

Hiking/Walking: Walking through this small town, empty on Sunday morning, was very pleasant. 

Comments:  This was a perfect overnight stop at the end of a longish driving day, with very easy access off of Hwy 2 on the west side of the Red Lake River.  We enjoyed the green park, the small, very clean town, walking along the river… we’d stop again when passing through.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Our row Our Opinion: Recommend.  A park-like campground in an urban area with a rural feel.

Date of Stay:  August 17 through 21, 2010.

Weather During Stay:  Warm and humid, highs around 80, lows around 70. 

Site Description:  This campground occupies a small part of a very large county park, with lakes, biking, hiking, and equestrian trails, and a couple nice playgrounds. The campground has sites of all kinds: 58 FHU (20/30/50 amp), 23 E (20/30 amp) only, and 11 tent sites with no utilities.  Some of the sites in the E only loop are suitable for large rigs.  Most sites are back-ins; 3 sites are pull-outs along the loop road.

Roads in the FHU loops are paved.  All sites are manicured dirt/gravel, as are the roads in the non- FHU loops.  All sites have a large, heavy picnic table and fire ring.  FHU sites have less shade, but all sites are surrounded by thick green grass.

Site 48 The majority of the sites are reasonably spacious, some VERY spacious, others not so much.  The non-FHU sites have a lot of shade and privacy.

We were in the FHU loop, site 48.  Good voltage, adequate water pressure, the site was long and spacious - just one complaint: it wasn’t level!  About half of the FHU sites are sufficiently sloped that large motor homes either used leveling blocks in addition to jacks, or were jacked so high that their front wheels were off the ground.  It is hard to figure out why such a lovely, modern campground would not have leveled the big, spacious campsites adequately.

All loops had nice bathhouses.  A dump station is near the entrance/exit.  The campground uses a central dumpster with separate cans for paper and “mixed” recycling (I like to see recycling at a campground).

One of the E only sites, in the east loop Rate: Varies by type of site: FHU - $32.14/night; E only, $26.78/night; No hookups - $18.21/night.  Tack on an extra $7 if you want to make a reservation.  We got in on a mid-week special, so paid half price for our FHU site on the weeknights - nice!

Phone/radio/TV: Good Verizon signal for the aircard and phones.  WiFi is included in the camping rate, but we didn’t need or use it.  No obstacles for our roof-mounted satellite, and over a dozen channels on the antenna including several PBS stations.  NPR is available at 91.1 and others.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain:  Elevation is around 1,000 feet, with green, slightly hilly terrain.  Views are of other rigs, thick grass, and big green trees.

Lighting/Noise:  Several streetlights are left on all night; fortunately none were right next to us.  There is some traffic noise, but not more than is expected in an urban environment.  The campground is not far from the Minnesota Zoo, where LOUD summertime concerts lasted until around 10:30 pm on two of the nights we visited.

Typical FHU sites at Lebanon Hills Favorite Sites:  We didn’t make a list, but would ask for a level site if we called for a reservation, probably site 44.  There are a couple of sites that were less desirable than the majority (2 and 53) - shorter and tighter - and it appears they don’t use those unless the campground is full.  Our site faced mostly north, nice when the weather is hot.

Hiking/Walking:  Excellent!  A one-mile mown grass hiking trail leads from the east loop of the campground to another section of this large park with miles and miles of hiking trails (hiking/ biking, and equestrian trails are separated in this park, a nice touch).

Comments: We came to this park to visit friends and Costco (we’d been out in the boonies too long!).  If you need/want to be in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, this is a very pleasant campground.  For a campground map, visit the website: Lebanon Hills Campground.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Boats and RVs at Lakehead Boat Basin Our Opinion: Recommend.  Asphalt parking lot with great views in a fascinating location.

Date of Stay: August 11 through 16, 2010.  We came back for another six days August 22 through 27, 2010.

Weather During Stay:  Warm, muggy summer weather (the locals all claim it is unusually hot).  On our second visit, it had cooled off considerably, with highs in the low 70’s and upper 60’s.

Site Description:  Don’t come expecting a campground.  RV parking (no tents) is on long, rather narrow, asphalt lots used for boat storage in the winter.  Twelve sites (in a single row backing up to a little used road) have FHU (50/30 amp).  In another long row, eighteen sites have W/E (20/30/50 amp).  A few dry camping spaces are also available.

Sites can accommodate rigs to 40’ with room for slides and awnings.  In a few sites, we saw even longer motor homes.  Room to maneuver is tight, and the access roads to both rows of sites dead-end, so we’ve watched many big rigs back quite a LONG way down the limited access road upon departure.  If you have a big rig, don’t plan to come here if you are not confident of your maneuvering ability.

Row of W/E sites The RV sites face the small Lakehead marina and out across the harbor to the hills of Duluth.  On our first visit, we were in site 13 of the W/E row, closest to the entrance.  Most sites are fairly level, and each has a picnic table. 

On our second visit, we stayed in site 3, a FHU site.  Here the access road is not as tight and congested, so maneuvering is a tiny bit easier.  All the FHU sites are completely flat; several of the W/E sites slope somewhat.

Dump station, bathhouse and laundry (one washer, one dryer) on site.  Showers/bathrooms are private, small, poorly ventilated and humid.  Electricity was reliable in hot weather.  Good water pressure – so good, in fact, that you absolutely need a pressure regulator.

Rate: $34/night for FHU; $29/night for W/E; $25/night dry camping.

The Aerial Lift Bridge, view from the end of the marina/rv parkPhone/radio/TV:  Good Verizon signal for phones and aircard.  No obstacles to block our roof-mounted satellite TV.  Nine channels on air antenna.  No cable TV.  NPR broadcast on 92.9 and 100.5.  WiFi is available (for a fee?), but we didn’t need it.

Elevation/landscape/terrain: At lake level, this is a flat, asphalt parking lot with utilities on the perimeter.  Views are fascinating: the activities of boaters in the small marina, the Aerial Life Bridge, huge freighters entering and exiting the Duluth harbor, pleasure craft, sailboats, and beyond to the green hills of the city of Duluth. 

The view from the W/E sites is superior to the view from the FHU sites, so the convenience of the sewer and the slightly easier access is a tradeoff.  For a short stay, we’d return to the W/E sites – better view, lower rate.

FHU site #3 at Lakehead Boat Basin Lighting/noise:  Typical marina sounds, and the occasional loud blasts from a freighter and the answering blasts from the bridge.  Very dark at night with a beautiful nighttime view of the lights of Duluth and the illuminated bridge.

Favorite Sites:  Sites in each row were all very similar.  Site 13 is at the beginning of the W/E row, which we found very convenient.  However, the sites closest to the restroom and showers (at the beginning of the row, where we were) are somewhat sloped.  Those closer to the end are flatter, and have the best view of the bridge.  Of the FHU sites, those closest to the office probably have the best views – 3 through around 7.

Hiking/Walking: Excellent.  Perhaps a ¼ mile to the bridge, and on beyond to Canal Park (restaurants, movie theatres, tourist attractions), the Lakeshore boardwalk and the Bayside trail. 

Site 13, Water and Electricity Comments:  We came for the annual Blues festival, not knowing what a fascinating spot this would prove to be.  We would be likely to return next time we visit Duluth (as you can see above, we did just that, a week later!), though parking and departing can be somewhat challenging.  If you like boats and especially the big freighters, and like to walk, this is a great spot to park.   Friendly, interesting, mellow owners, and you can receive mail and packages.  Don’t come expecting campground amenities.  Nearest grocery store is a couple of miles away.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


View from our site.Our Opinion: Neutral.  This unassuming park worked well for our utilitarian needs.

Date of Stay: August 8 through 10, 2010.

Weather During Stay:  Quite a mix of sunny and cool; hot and humid (including warm fog); and rain.

Site Description:  This combination mobile home park (older single-wides), RV park, and campground is quiet and convenient.  It appears that FHU RV sites have been added as mobile homes have been removed, resulting in about a dozen 50 amp FHU sites in various spots in the small park.  Another dozen W/E sites are in a row adjacent to a large grassy area for tent camping (unusually appealing tent area for an RV park).

Our row at NemadjiWe were in a FHU site in a row of  half a dozen large RV’s.  The site was a level back-in, gravel and grass, with a sturdy picnic table.  Our site was reasonably roomy with space for slides and awnings.  The park road is paved and easily negotiated by big rigs.

Dump station, bathhouse and laundry on site.  Very reliable electricity even on a hot afternoon.

Rate: $24/night for FHU; don’t know the rate for W/E or tent camping.

Phone/radio/TV:  Good Verizon signal for phones and aircard.  No obstacles to block our roof-mounted satellite TV.  Twelve channels on air antenna.  No cable TV.  NPR broadcast from Minneapolis on 100.5; Duluth probably has a station, too.

Row of single wide mobile homes.Elevation/landscape/terrain: This is a small, open campground at lake level (Lake Superior). Views are of the owner’s home (owner lives on site), older single-wide mobile homes, other rigs, and large trees. 

Lighting/noise:  Conveniently located a couple blocks off of Hwy 2 on the east end of Superior in a residential neighborhood, road noise and other city/residential noise is noticeable during the day, lighter at night.  Several large security lights reflected off our rig at night.

Favorite Sites:  Sites in our row were all very similar, so no favorites here.

Hiking/Walking: A long, paved walk/bike trail runs alongside Hwy 2 and Lake Superior through town.  Very pleasant walking, just a few blocks from the campground.

Tent area at Nemadji Comments:  We wanted an easily accessible, level, FHU site with reliable 50 amp service for a 3 day stay between W/E sites, and Nemadji delivered it all at a bargain price.  Nothing here for kids (though a few live in the park), just us old retired folks.  Very friendly and helpful owner. There is a small grocery store nearby, with Target and WalMart within 5 miles.  Easy access to downtown Duluth, the harbor, and the lift bridge.  We would return.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Houghton RV Park Office with vegetable garden. Our Opinion: Recommend.  Excellent location in town; good base for exploring the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Date of Stay: August 2 through 5, 2010.

Weather During Stay:  Pleasant summer weather, highs in the 80’s, lows in the 60’s, plenty of sunshine.

Site Description:  This city owned RV park enjoys a great in-town location on the shore of the Portage Canal, adjacent to a city park and swimming beach.  All 22 sites are for self-contained RV’s (no tents), as the park has no bathroom facilities.  This park definitely feels like an RV park (which it is), rather than a campground. 

All sites are back-ins, all sites are FHU, and all sites have 20/30/50 amps and cable TV.  Each site has large a wooden deck facing the water, with a picnic table, shade structure, and bench.  There is room on the deck for a couple of lawn chairs.  Each site has its own covered trash barrel, a fire ring and a grill.

View from our patio, towards our deck. The road and the sites are paved.  Sites are surrounded by grass and many have a small tree or other landscaping. Sites can accommodate  40 foot motor homes and a towed, with space for slides and awnings.

No dump station, no bathroom, no laundry.  Very reliable electricity even on a hot afternoon.

Rate: $25/night for 30 amps; $28/night for 50 amps. 

Phone/radio/TV:  Strong Verizon signal for phones and aircard.  No obstacles to block our roof-mounted satellite TV.  Cable TV is included.  WiFi is included, but we didn’t use it because Verizon worked so well.   NPR broadcast from on 91.1.

Our row at Houghton RV ParkElevation/landscape/terrain: This is a very small, open, terraced park at 600 ft. elevation on the shoreline of Portage Lake in “downtown” Houghton.  Views are of other rigs, the blue water of the lake (a canal), and the small town of Hancock across the water.  Very appealing, and the decks are designed to take advantage of the view.     

Lighting/noise:  Located just below Canal Road, road noise is noticeable during the day and lighter (very light late) when traffic thins at night.  Thought it was noticeable, it didn’t keep us awake.  Pleasantly dark at night.

Favorite Sites:  All the sites are similar in size, orientation and amenities.  We were in an upper tier site, with slightly more privacy than the lower tier, but would request a lower tier site next time for proximity to the water.

View from our deck, to the lower tier and the water beyond Hiking/Walking: From the RV park, a biking/walking trail goes east through town and the campus of the Michigan Technological University for an unknown distance (we walked at least 2 miles), and walking downtown is a short, pleasant stroll.  Many places to hike on the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Comments:  Houghton is a pleasant, small (4000 population) town that is proud of its history, well presented on interesting historical signs along the waterfront walkway and in the old downtown section.  We enjoyed the proximity of the park to the town, and it made a great home base for exploration of “Copper Country”.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Row of Lakeside sites with FHU Our Opinion: Recommend.  Beautiful views on the shoreline of Lake Superior.

Date of Stay: July 31 and August 1, 2010.

Weather During Stay:  Pleasant summer weather, up to 80 degrees one day, overcast the other.  Lows in the 60‘s.

Site Description:  This is a city owned and operated campground, 2 or 3 miles west of the center of Munising.  The 87 sites are a mix of E, E/W, and FHU (16 FHU).  A separate area is set aside as “rustic tent sites”, and they have an overflow area with water and a big new bathhouse.

Twenty-two of the sites are directly on the shore of Lake Superior, adjacent to a sandy beach.  We were in one of the shoreline sites, #77, shaded by tall pines.  Our row of 9 FHU sites have been added since our first visit 7 years ago, along with 7 pull through FHU sites across from us, one row off the beach. 

Site 77 The sites in our row, 72-80, all are pleasantly long and wide, some with shade, some in the open, and all reasonably level.  The pull-through sites across from us aren’t as long or as level.  The remaining sites, all older and none FHU, are a variety of shapes and lengths.  Each site in our area has a heavy-duty picnic table and a fire ring - I‘m not sure about the others.

Roads are dirt/gravel (with potholes that filled when it rained), and sites are gravel, sand, and grass.  The campground includes two bathhouses (heavily used and sandy when I visited), a dump station, and access to the Lake Superior shoreline and beach. 

Rate: Range from $19 to $30/night (for FHU sites). 

Phone/radio/TV:  Strong Verizon signal.  In site 77, trees blocked our roof-mounted satellite TV, but it would have worked in other sites.  No cable TV.  We didn’t get any stations on our antenna, but other campers had their antennas deployed.  The campground advertises WiFi, but we didn’t use it because Verizon worked so well.   NPR on 90.1.

Our backyard in 77, Grand Island in the distance Elevation/landscape/terrain: This is a flat, grassy, partly shaded campground at 900 ft. elevation on the shoreline of Lake Superior.  The water here is shallow and warm, great for wading and swimming.  Views are of other rigs, trees, the beautiful lake, and nearby Grand Island.   

Lighting/noise:  Located just off the main east/west road through the U.P., there is quite a lot of road noise during the day, less when traffic thins at night.  Thought it was noticeable, it didn’t keep us awake.  Very dark in our section at night.

Favorite Sites:  We wanted FHU while here, and the newer FHU sites along the beach were great.  Next time, we would reserve 75, 74, 73 or 72 - they were more open, so have a better shot at satellite TV.  W/E sites #1 and 2 are very large, with nice privacy in site #1.

Hiking/Walking: The sandy shoreline of Lake Superior is a nice stroll.  For longer hikes, head east to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.  The hike to Mosquito Beach is 4 miles round-trip, to a lovely beach with a wonderful limestone shelf for wading/swimming in the lake - truly beautiful.

Comments:  Munising is the “western gateway” to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and this campground is very convenient to town.  Lovely location on Lake Superior.  Boat tours of Pictured Rocks leave from Munising, as do the glass-bottomed boat “shipwreck tours”, which we took and enjoyed several years ago.  On the advice of a reader, we had lunch of pasties at Muldoon’s (voted #1 pasties in the U.P, according to their sign) - excellent!

Overflow at Munising Tourist Camp W/E Sites