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, September 27, 2010


Site 11-24, in the first parking area (entrance at the rear of this photo) Our Opinion: Neutral.  Quiet, easily accessed and inexpensive.

Date of Stay: September 26 and 27, 2010.

Weather During Stay:  Hot days, cool and windy nights.

Site Description:  This is a paved parking lot for RV’s on the edge of a pretty, green, municipal park.  Each of the 24 sites has a shared electric box (two 30-amp plugs) and water spigot at the back of the site. No sewer connections, but there is a dump on-site.

Sites are reasonably spacious, backing up to a bit of grass and thick tree cover with picnic tables.  The only restrooms are down the hill, through the trees, in the day use picnic area, so this park works best for self-contained RV’s.

We were in Site 2 The parking area has two sections.  Sites 1-10 are farthest to the west, and the dump station is also located there, at the farthest end of the parking area - a very awkward location if site 1 was in use.  Sites 1-8 are best for big rigs, but we saw a big motor home parked in the first area (sites 11-24), too.

Rate: $12/night for 30 amp E and W.  Fill out an envelope and pay the iron ranger.

Phone/radio/TV:  Strong Verizon signal for phones and aircard.  No obstacles for the roof-mounted satellite TV dish.  No cable TV here, and we didn’t try the antenna.  Local NPR from Salt Lake City on 91.1.

Elevation/landscape/terrain: Spanish Fork is at 4,500 ft, at the foot of some VERY DRY mountains.  The green of the grass and trees of this municipal park were very welcome.

Lighting/noise:  Very dark and quiet at night.

Canyon View Park Lake, down the hill from the RV campground Favorite Sites:  Big rigs should go into the second parking area where the sites are a bit longer.  We’d avoid site 1 because of the placement of the dump station.

Hiking/Walking:  You can stroll through the park (down the hill, through the trees behind the campsites), but we didn’t find any easily accessed long walks/hikes.

Comments:  This park was about ¼ full when we visited.  Good bargain.  Grocery shopping within a couple of miles (back towards I-15).  Odel paid $20 to play 18 holes at the golf course that surrounds the park.  We would stop again if we wanted to overnight in the area.


Casino in background Our Opinion: Neutral.  Made a good overnight stop just off I-15 near Pocatello.

Date of Stay: September 25, 2010.

Weather During Stay:  Warm, dry afternoon and a cool evening.

Site Description:  The 40+/- sites in this tidy casino campground are all pull-throughs, all reasonably long, and all narrow.  All have FHU with 20/30/50 amps. 

Roads and sites are paved, with the pavement just barely wide enough for a rig.  With the exception of 6 or 7 sites on the far end of the campground, sites are separated from each other by a 4 or 5 foot wide strip of grass, over which slides and awnings extend.  Very tight!  

Between the inadequate width of the sites and the odd placement of the utilities, it would be quite uncomfortable to be sandwiched between close neighbors.

Grassy recreation area and restroom Onsite restrooms with showers, and a large expanse of green lawn for recreational use.  If you drive a big rig, beware of the A row of sites (the first row as you enter the park) - the turn at the end of the row to exit is too right for a large rig, requiring you to back out of your site or drive against the traffic pattern.

Rate:  $20/night for FHU.  Pay the cashier in the miserably smoky casino.

Phone/radio/TV:  Strong Verizon signal for phones and aircard.  No obstacles for the roof-mounted satellite TV dish in most sites (except those behind the single clump of large trees).  No cable TV here, and we didn’t try the antenna.  Local NPR from Pocatello on 91.1.

Elevation/landscape/terrain: Located at around 4,400 ft, with plenty of green grass and many recently planted smaller trees, the park is fairly visually appealing.  Views are of the casino, the adjacent service station, and dry countryside.

Lighting/noise:  Reasonably dark at night.  Noise from nearby I-15, but not overwhelming.

Our site, A-14 Favorite Sites:  Half a dozen of the sites in the back of the park had much larger grassy areas dividing them from their neighbors, so would be far superior when/if the park was full.

Hiking/Walking:  Nothing pleasant.

Comments:  We wanted to stop early in the day and visit the Costco in Pocatello.  Too hot to dry camp (which is allowed for one night in the gravel lot behind the service station), this park, not half full, worked well for us.  Very convenient access to I-15, but far enough away that the traffic noise was not annoying.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Our Opinion: Recommend, if you want to get away from it all - nothing much around here.

Pull-outs in the A Loop Date of Stay: September 22 through 24, 2010.

Weather During Stay:  Balmy fall days and cool nights; very windy afternoons and evenings.

Site Description:  What a mix of sites!  The campground, with a large reservoir on one side and agricultural fields on the other, consists of 2 paved loops with 40+ paved sites and a grassy area for tents.  Perhaps a third of the sites have a large enough flat spot for a big rig - the rest (mostly back-ins) are either too short or two sloped for big rigs. 

The utilities are also a mix.  Most sites are FHU, with at least 20/30 amps, but several sites have 50 amps.  Some of the developed, paved sites have no utilities at all, and one has 30 amps and water, no sewer.

Sites are very spacious, and each site has a concrete picnic table and a large fire ring.  Well-watered and manicured grass surrounds all of the sites, dotted with appealing juniper trees.  Each loop has a restroom, and the picnic table has its own.

We were in Site B13 Rate:  $18/night for FHU, $16/night with a Golden Age Pass.  $10/night for tent sites. 14 day limit.

Phone/radio/TV:  Strong Verizon signal for phones and aircard.  No obstacles for the roof-mounted satellite TV dish.  No cable TV here, and we didn’t try the antenna.  Local NPR from Rexburg on 100.5.

Elevation/landscape/terrain: Located at around 4,900 ft., this park feels very remote (nearest town, tiny Ririe, is 4 miles away).  The irrigated grass is very appealing.  Local views are of grass, junipers, and neighboring rigs; distant views are of open agricultural fields and big skies.

Lighting/noise:  Very dark at night - the only lighting came from inside the restrooms.  Very quiet when we visited (but the park was virtually empty).

Favorite Sites:  These are the sites that will accommodate a big rig reasonably well, mostly pull-outs but a few are backins:
50 amps - A8, A20, B3, B6, B10, B13 (our site), B15, B17, B19, B20
30 amps - A14 (no sewer), A17, A23, A25, A26, B4, B12
No HU: A10 and A12, both quite private with great water views.

A no-hookup site in the A LoopHiking/Walking:  Walking the campground loops is pleasant, and some primitive trails wind through the undeveloped area of the park.

Comments:  This park was almost empty when we camped here, a few days after the “close of the season”.  The nearest grocery store is 20 miles away in Idaho Falls, so bring food with you!  We were told the place fills up in summer, especially on weekends, so reservations are a good idea.  Locals come here to picnic, boat, swim.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Loop A from a distance Our Opinion: Recommend.  No hookups, just a pretty campground in a gorgeous national park.

Date of Stay: September 16 through 21, 2010.  This is our second stay - the first was in June of 2004 and nothing appears to have changed.

Weather During Stay:  Mild fall weather: mostly sunny days in the 70’s and cool nights.  

Site Description:  Located at the south end of Grand Teton National Park, Gros Ventre Campground has over 300 sites, arranged in seven loops and along the “main road” that ties the loops together.  Just one of the loops has utilities, and it houses national park employees and volunteers – no campers. 

Typical campground road None of the remaining 6 loops have utilities, and three of the loops do not allow generators.  At the time of this visit, generator use was allowed in loops A, C, and D, and in sites along the main road linking the loops. 

Each loop has two bathrooms with flush toilets (no showers), a water faucet, and a bear-proof trash container.  A dump station is located at the park entrance/exit, with potable water.

Loop roads are narrow and paved.  Sites are mostly level and graveled, all back-ins of varying sizes.  Many small sites, many medium sites, and far fewer sites for big rigs.  VERY few sites to accommodate rigs over 40 feet.  All sites have a heavy picnic table and a fire ring, and spaces are backed by cement and log barricades.  To allow our rear end to hang over the barricade (so our front end was off the road), we set the jacks manually WITHOUT dumping the air suspension.  It was obvious many diesel motor homes had taken the same precaution to avoid fiberglass damage on the barricade.

Rate: $20/night, $10/night with a Golden Age pass.  No reservations; all sites are first come, first served.  This is one of the last campgrounds in the park to fill, and frequently doesn’t fill.

Site 147, C Loop - barely off the road Phone/radio/TV:  Verizon phones and aircard worked without a booster or amplifier.  Our satellite TV dish was able to find a signal through the trees.  We didn’t bother trying the air antenna.  Local NPR on 90.3.

Elevation/landscape/terrain: Located around 6,500 ft., this flat campground is a very short walk from the Gros Ventre River.  Very tall deciduous trees throughout the campground provide shade and obstacles for satellite dishes.  Views are of you neighbors, the tall trees, distant hills, and the occasional moose.

Lighting/noise:  VERY dark and quiet at night!  Each bathroom is lit by inside lights and a few dim outdoor lights, so not a problem.

Favorite Sites:  We were in site 147, barely long enough for us.  No real favorites here, though we preferred Loop C.  Loops A, which seems to have most of the longer sites, is very open with little privacy or shade.  Most of the rigs there were big.  Loop B didn’t allow generators, so that was not a choice for us.  Loop C has trees, but is not too heavily forested, while Loop D was quite shady.  If you are in a big rig, your choices will be somewhat limited.

Another view of loop C Hiking/Walking:  Plenty of exercise walking the loops of the campground and exploring the river, but the park is loaded with good hikes, most within no more than a 30 minute drive.

Comments:  Stop at the office to register when you enter.  If you have a specific site in mind, they know whether it is open or not.  Otherwise, you will be assigned a site based on the size of your rig and any special requests.  Pay, and proceed to your site.  There is plenty of space to hook or unhook a towed in the amphitheatre parking area just off the main road - a good idea since the campground roads have NO place to do so.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


View of the Teton Range from near the RV Park Our Opinion: Recommend, particularly at Passport America rates.

Date of Stay: September 12 through 15, 2010, off-season (after Labor Day).

Weather During Stay:  Balmy fall days and cool nights, with occasional dramatic cloud formations.

Site Description:  This small park opened in 2005 adjacent to Teton Mountain View Lodge.  Of 22 sites (all pull throughs), 16 are FHU with 20/30/50 amps; 6 (one on each end of the three rows) have no hookups.  An additional 8 tents sites are on grass at the edge of the campground.

Sites are nicely sized, each with a bit of grass, a small tree or two, and a picnic table.  Utilities are placed between two adjacent sites, so you are very close to your neighbor on the utility side, while you pull through in opposite directions.  Roads and sites are gravel.  Sites are completely level.

A central building houses restrooms with showers, a large laundry room with reasonably priced machines, and a TV room (no cable TV at sites).  Dump station on site.

Site 7 and bathhouse Rate:  We paid the 50% off Passport America rate, $14.50/night plus tax.  A great bargain!

Phone/radio/TV:  Usable Verizon signal for phones and aircard.  WiFi is available, but we didn’t use it.  No obstacles for the roof-mounted satellite TV dish.  No cable TV here, and we didn’t try the antenna.  I found a local NPR station, but it had too much static to listen.

Elevation/landscape/terrain: Located at 6,600 ft., this park is in the wide open space of the Teton Valley, on the west side of the Teton Range (Grand Teton National Park is on the other side of the range).  Near views are of the lodge and the little town of Tetonia.  Distant views are of the peaks of the Teton Range.  Rugged, very “western”, dramatic and appealing.

Lighting/noise:  Night lighting is subdued, with a low light on each utility box and a few dim lights around the perimeter of the park.  The sounds of traffic from Hwy 33 die down late in the evening.  This is generally a quiet area.

Looking west at the almost empty park. Favorite Sites:  All of the RV sites are similar.  We chose site 7, with our door side facing the view of the Teton range.

Hiking/Walking:  Take the short walk into Tetonia, or stroll down the road on the west side of the park.  The USFS Ranger Station in Driggs (6 miles south) has information on hikes in the area, or drive Teton Pass east to the national park with all it has to offer (45 miles).

Comments:  The park was only ¼ full during our visit, a real treat.  Very friendly and efficient staff in the office.  Odel played 18 holes at The Links at Teton Peaks for $18 (walking).  Excellent grocery store and good natural foods store in Driggs, a slightly larger town 6 miles south, along with an independent book store, art gallery or two, a couple “outfitters”, banks, realtors.  We had delicious burgers in Tetonia at the North End Bar & Grill.  Lots of large, lodge-style homes in the area… looks like there is money in Teton Valley.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Madison River at Bakers Hole Campground Our Opinion: Recommend.  Low fees, level sites, 3 miles from west entrance of Yellowstone National Park.

Date of Stay: September 7 through 10, 2010.  This is our second stay - the first was in June of 2004 and nothing appears to have changed.

Weather During Stay:  We had it all: warm sunshine, cold rain, wind and calm.  No snow, but some cold nighttime temperatures.

Site Description:  Just off of Hwy 191, 3 miles north of West Yellowstone, this USFS campground has 72 developed sites, 33 with 30/50 amp electricity, the rest “primitive” (no electricity).  No water or sewer at sites.

Loop roads are narrow and paved.  Sites are level and graveled, with plenty of space between sites.  Lots of pines throughout the campground, often close to the road.  About ten sites are large pull-outs alongside the loop road, but the majority of the sites are back-ins of varying sizes.  Many sites can accommodate big rigs.

Bakers Hole Map SignAs you enter the narrow entry road, a sign to your left shows a map of the campground loops next to the self pay station.  Ahead, another sign identifies sites 25 through 72 as best for larger rigs.  In this loop, the sites with E come first, and these sites fill more quickly than the sites without electricity.  There is no place along the loop to stop to unhook a towed vehicle other than the road, which can be awkward (see Comment).

The smaller loop (sites 1 through 23) also has some electric sites, several of them large enough for big rigs.  In both loops, sites with E are closer to Hwy 191, and highway noise is noticeable.  Sites without E are farther from the road, closer to the Madison River, a more desirable location - but still hear some highway noise.

Pit toilets.  No showers.  No on-site dump station.  One threaded water spigot near entrance to fill freshwater tanks (in an awkward spot); numerous non-threaded spigots throughout the campground for filling buckets and water bottles.  Two on-site host couples.  Plastic and aluminum recycling and central dumpsters.  Sixteen-day stay limit, 2 pm checkout.  Open May 15 to Sept 15, depending on the weather.

Site 30 Bakers Hole Rate: $16/night without utilities.  Add $6 for E.  Senior pass holders get half off the site rate, so pay $8 for the site plus $6 for E - a total of $14/night for an electric site. 

Phone/radio/TV:  Verizon phones and aircard worked – though sometimes poorly - without a booster or amplifier.  Our site was large enough that we found an opening through the trees for our roof-mounted satellite TV.  We didn’t bother trying the air antenna, but some rigs had them deployed.  Local NPR on 91.9.

Elevation/landscape/terrain: Located at 6,600 ft., this flat campground is adjacent to the lovely Madison River for first-class fishing.  Some of the “primitive” sites have great views of the river, but most sites had views of pines and other rigs.

Lighting/noise:  VERY dark at night!  Noise from Hwy 191 is noticeable during the day and until fairly late at night - but didn’t keep us awake.

Typical primitive site. Favorite Sites:  On our first visit, we were in site 29, a roomy, level back-in.  This time, we took site 30, a huge pull-out.  Both worked fine for us, as would many others, including pullouts 20 and 22 in the smaller southern loop.

Hiking/Walking:  Pleasant walking along the riverbank, and the hosts have advice about longer walks from the end of the northern loop - but the really good stuff is in nearby Yellowstone National Park!  Walk the outside of the combined loops for around 3,000 steps.

Comments:  All the sites in this park are first-come, first-served, which works very well for us.  We appreciate the reasonable price, the quiet campers (seems more geared to fisher folk than to families), and the easy access to the west gate of Yellowstone National Park.  West Yellowstone is nearby (groceries, gas, tourist services and entertainment).  There is a very large, signed “day use” area, suitable for trucks and big rigs, one mile south on Hwy 191 – a good place to unhook a towed before entering the campground, or for hooking up after you depart.  Since there is no dump station and the single threaded water spigot is awkwardly placed, come with empty holding tanks and full fresh water.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Yellowstone River at Rock Canyon Our Opinion: Recommended for a relaxing interlude with convenient access from I-94.

Date of Stay: September 3 through 6, 2010 (Labor Day weekend).

Weather During Stay:  Sunny one day, rainy and cold another… a mix of cool to cold, fall-like weather.  Lows in the low 40’s.  Snow fell on the high peaks.

Site Description:  This is a small, well-tended, family run campground on the bank of the Yellowstone River.  The owners live on-site.

The map shows 23 sites, but we counted fewer - at any rate, it is small.  Most of the sites are long, somewhat narrow back-ins, but 4 nice sized pull-throughs were used by overnighters during our stay.  If the sites were all full, it might feel somewhat crowded, but we had plenty of space during our stay.

All of the developed sites are FHU, probably 50 amps, as was ours (site 20) and cable TV is provided.  The sites are gravel and grass, very level.  Most sites have a tree or two, and all sites have a picnic table.  A couple grassy areas are available for tents and overflow dry camping.   Onsite laundry (1 washer and 1 dryer) and restrooms.

Site 20 at Rock Canyon Rate: Between sending a check for a deposit, then writing two additional checks when we arrived, I don’t remember EXACTLY what we paid, but it was around $35/night plus tax.

Phone/radio/TV:  Good Verizon signal for phones and aircard.  A tree blocked our roof-mounted satellite TV, so we used the included 30+ channels available on cable TV.  Local NPR on 91.1.

Elevation/landscape/terrain: Located at 4,600 ft., this park is in a rocky canyon at the north end of the Paradise Valley.  Views are of the green grass and trees of the park, a rugged, rocky canyon wall to the west, and a high rocky ridge to the east, on the other side of the wide Yellowstone River.  Our site faced down the valley towards the high peaks of the National Park.  Because of the high canyon wall to the west, the park is shaded well before the sun sets.  Quite appealing.

Lighting/noise:  Night lighting is subdued, and there is little noise once the traffic along Hwy 89 dies down for the night.  About the ONLY noise in this park is daytime traffic noise from Hwy 89, which leads to the north entrance of Yellowstone N.P.

Looking east at Rock Canyon Campground Favorite Sites:  We liked our site (20), a long back in with a nice view to the south.  All the sites in our row (16 through 23) are similar.

Hiking/Walking:  Across Hwy 89 (adjacent to the park), a walking/biking trail stretches 2 miles back to Livingston and another mile or so to the south.  Hiking trails are available in Paradise Valley and Yellowstone National Park (55 miles south).

Comments:  We made reservations here in advance of the Labor Day weekend, to be off the road.  This small park was quiet and peaceful, not full, which surprised us!  It is rather far to the National Park from here; maybe that is why sites were available all weekend.  Like to fish?  Stand on the bank of the Yellowstone River, a few steps from your site.  We would stop here again when passing through Livingston on I-90 - the park is just a couple miles off the interstate.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Site 47 Our Opinion: Neutral.  Proximity to Little Bighorn Battlefield, easy access and large FHU sites were our top priorities, so this campground met our needs.

Date of Stay: September 1 and 2, 2010.

Weather During Stay:  Pleasant summer weather, sunny and breezy with a nighttime low in the 50‘s.

Site Description:  Around 60 sites are situated in this roomy park, a mix of FHU, electric only, and seasonal sites.  Several sites are very long pull throughs.  Roads are paved, sites are graveled and very level.

We were in site 47, a very long pull through that was easy to access without unhooking our Jeep.  As did all the sites, ours had a picnic table.  Some trees are scattered throughout the park, mostly on the perimeter, but few sites are shaded.

Large sites, wide roads Outbuildings and a few old mobile homes are scattered around.  An onsite laundry room shares the building with the restrooms and has a rack of tourist information.  Our host told us there is an ice cream social each night at 7 pm.

Rate: We paid $67.40 for two nights, which included a Good Sam Discount and tax - close to $34/night for 50 amp FHU.

Phone/radio/TV:  Very strong Verizon signal for phones and aircard.  No obstacles blocked our roof-mounted satellite TV.  40+ channels are available on cable TV.  Local NPR on 91.7.

Elevation/landscape/terrain: Located at 3,000 ft., this is classic western landscape: dry, scrubby, silvery trees, expansive views in all directions.  Lighting/noise:  Our site was reasonably dark and very quiet at night.

Long pull throughs, sites 47 and 45 Favorite Sites:  We liked our site (47), a long pull through that faced east - very welcome when the sun shone in our big front window on a cold morning.  Site 45 and 43 were equally nice.  Most sites looked spacious and level.

Hiking/Walking: We did our hiking at Little Bighorn Battlefield, 15 miles east.

Comments:  We wanted to spend a day at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, and this campground served us well.  We would stay again if we wanted to spend time in the area.  The little town of Hardin has an IGA for groceries.