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, July 21, 2011


Rows on west sideOur Opinion: Recommend - a very reasonable price for a great central location.

Date of Stay: July 18-31, 2011 (we came for 5 days, ended up staying for 2 weeks).

Weather During Stay:  All the locals bemoan the “missing summer”, as it has been cool and mostly cloudy much of the time with frequent showers and intermittent sunny days.  With most of the rest of the country setting heat records, we’re happy with our cool temperatures.

Site Description:   56 FHU sites (30 amps) are arranged in the shape of an L, with one road running north/south, the other east/west.  Roads are asphalt, all sites are level gravel back-ins, and each site has a substantial picnic table.

On the N/S leg (photo above), sites are arranged in two rows that face each other across the access road; on the E/W leg (photo below), sites back up to each other within the loop access road.  Though the campground wasn’t built for big rigs, we all managed to squeeze ourselves in comfortably.

Southfacing sitesThe campground (Staysail RV Park) is part of - and immediately adjacent to - Windjammer Park, an Oak Harbor city park.  Though the campsites are close together (large enough for slides and awnings), the views across green grass lawns and out to the water provide a feeling of spaciousness.

Rate: $20/night for FHU (30 amps), a very good price for this area, where many RV parks charge in excess of $30/night this time of year.  First come, first served.  No reservations taken.  Self pay at the kiosk at the south end of the N/S road.   Tent sites can be used for overflow ($12/night) only if all the FHU sites are filled.  Thirty day stay limit - don’t know if/how it is enforced.

Phone/radio/TV: Good Verizon signal for phones and aircard.   Roof mounted satellite TV dish will work in the spaces on the N/S road, but probably not on the E/W loop, where big trees to the south are likely to block the signal.  We didn’t try the air antenna.  NPR from Seattle on 88.5.  No park-provided WiFi.   

Site 16 and the rowElevation/Landscape/Terrain:  This is a flat park at sea level.  Lots of green space and paved walking paths through the adjacent city park.  Views are of neighboring rigs, trees, grassy expanses and the waters of Penn Cove.  Families picnicking, sailboats sailing by, kids skateboarding, dogs walking, kites in the air - the public aspect of the city park offers a lot of action.

Lighting/Noise:  Though there is quite a bit of daytime activity - and attendant noise - during the day, our site was very quiet at night.  We appreciated our blackout shades here.  

Favorite Sites: We were in site 16, which seemed to us to be one of the nicest in the park, situated at the south end of the row with an expansive view of the park rather than other rigs.  On the other hand, we were just across from the dump station and self-pay kiosk and facing the Windjammer park parking lot, so it was exceptionally busy in our area.  Most of the bigger rigs were in the N/S row, probably for satellite TV reception.

Driftwood in Oak HarborHiking/Walking:  A walking trail runs from Windjammer Park for 3 miles, out to a point across the water, a 6 mile round trip.  Since the park is IN the small city of Oak Harbor, you can walk to grocery stores, downtown, all sorts of services.

Comments:  We love first-come, first-served parks and decided to stay longer than anticipated as soon as we settled into our site.  Because the campground is part of a city day-use park, there are a lot of people in the area, coming and going.  We felt secure here, but didn’t feel it was a good idea to leave anything temptingly loose outside the rig overnight (like the grill).

Oak Harbor is in a central location on Whidbey Island, with easy access to several state parks and trails, to the ferry to downtown Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula, to Anacortes and the ferries to the San Juan Islands, to great eating in Coupeville, to charming La Conner… LOTS to explore from here. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Site 31 HMSPOur Opinion: Rave, if you don‘t mind partial hookups.

Date of Stay: July 13-17, 2011

Weather During Stay:  Cool and damp.  Frequent rain, showers or downpours.  Limited sunshine.  Photos were taken during the short periods of sunshine.

Site Description:   Forty-five or so RV sites in a beautiful green park adjacent to the Skagit River.  Thirty of the sites are arranged in circular groups of ten, like spokes on a wheel, on mostly level graveled pads, with large expenses of grass surrounding each circle.  Other sites (paved) are near the river, including the 7 pull-through sites.  Most sites are suitable for big rigs.

All the RV sites have at least 30 amps and water; sites 40-49 have 50 amps as well as 30 amps.  All sites have a substantial picnic table and a fire ring. 

Site 48 HMSPTwo restrooms with showers; dump station; separate tent sites alongside the river; a covered pavilion for groups; a couple camping shelters that look like they are used by bicyclers; a boat launch area; a day use area with interesting historic information.

Rate: $26/night for 30 amps; $28/night for 50 amps. 

Phone/radio/TV: Good Verizon signal for phones and aircard.   Roof mounted satellite TV dish will work in most sites, though perhaps not those closest to the river.  We didn’t try the air antenna.  No local NPR station.  No park-provided WiFi.   

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain:  BEAUTIFUL park, extremely well maintained, 240 feet elevation.  Though most of the countryside around here is thickly forested, the park has been cleared - very welcome in the drizzly weather we encountered.  Lots of grass, lots of planted deciduous trees, with evergreen forest borders.  Views are of other rigs, grass, trees… and the river if you have one of the adjacent sites.

HMSP mapLighting/Noise: Very quiet and dark at night.  Most of the park is unlit or has low lighting; lights on the restrooms are on all night long. 

Favorite Sites: Any of the sites in the circles (20-49), big, level gravel sites.  Sites 8 and 10 are our favorites of the riverside sites.  16-19 were the least appealing to us (on sloped grass), can be difficult to access and are the last to fill.

Hiking/Walking:  Great walking west of the park on a mowed grass trail through a wild area.  You can walk for miles from the park (trailhead well marked on the west end).

Comments: Howard Miller Steelhead County Park is a beautiful park in a very small town.  Reservations RECOMMENDED if you want to stay on a weekend - two rallies were going on over the weekend we were here, though parking was wide open during the week.  Park staff is particularly helpful; knowing we wanted to stay over the weekend, they kept us in the loop for cancellations.  Though we had to move to another site, we were able to stay.  We found this to be a good, lower elevation campground to explore North Cascades National Park.

Site 48 and neighbors The 30's circle

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Scoopy and othersOur Opinion: Recommend - EXCEPT FOR THE MOSQUITOS!

Date of Stay: July 9-12 , 2011

Weather During Stay:  Pleasant, mild, mostly sunny; clouded up and sprinkled the last day.

Site Description:  This grassy riverside park has a wide variety of sites: 53 FHU with 20/30/50 amps (21 of them facing the river); 8 riverside W/E sites; and a nice tent area.  Each site has a substantial picnic table and campfire ring. 

Roads are paved, pads are gravel.  Lots of trees and grass throughout the campground. We had site 13, one of the 21 level pull-in sites facing the Methow River.  How nice it is to find a site designed for a motor home to take advantage of the view!  Some sites have park models on them, and a few mobile homes are in the row nearest the road.

Second row at Riverbend, with mobile homesRate: With a Good Sam discount (even though our membership had expired) and including tax, we paid $31.90 per night. 

Phone/radio/TV: Good Verizon signal for phone and aircard.  The park offers free Wifi, but we didn’t try it.  We had asked for, and were given, a site with southern exposure for our roof mounted TV satellite dish.  Five or six snowy analog TV stations available on the air antenna, including a PBS station.  We didn’t pick up any digital TV stations.  NPR on 91.9. 

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain:  Located in a canyon on a level property between the road and the Methow River at 1700 feet elevation, the riverfront sites offer an appealing view of the river, its grassy banks, and the trees and hills beyond.  The overall feel is cool and green.

Lighting/Noise: Quiet and dark at night.  Though adjacent to the road, there is very little nighttime traffic.

Favorite Sites: We were in site 13, very appealing.  These pull-in/back-out sites are great for motor homes.

Close neighbors at RiverbendHiking/Walking: Nothing special here in the park, but we did a couple great hikes in the surrounding wilderness areas while here.

Comments: This park has a lot to love (pretty, well maintained, friendly management), but our stay was marred by the mosquitos.  RV’ing friends told us they left after one night; we probably would have cut our stay in half had we realized that we were “confined to quarters” morning and evening by the miserable bloodsuckers.  The morning the grass was mowed, we had dozens of mosquitos clinging to our window screens, and we had to go on a search and destroy mission each time we came into the motor home.  No outdoor grilling, no outdoor relaxing.  Its not the park’s fault, but if you plan to make a reservation here, you might want to ask about the mosquito population.  Very unfortunate.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Site 42 WRCPOur Opinion: Recommend, if you want close proximity to Wenatchee.
Date of Stay: July 7-8, 2011
Weather During Stay:  A very hot afternoon when we first arrived dropped a welcome 15 degrees when a cool front blew in that evening.
Site Description:   47 spacious, level sites well suited to large rigs.  Only 3 sites are pull-throughs (and are some of the least appealing sites in the park).  43 sites are FHU (20/30/50 amps); 4 sites are W/E only.  Good voltage, strong water pressure.  All roads are paved, as are the sites.  Most of the sites (40 back-ins) are arranged in circular groups of ten, like spokes on a wheel.  Plenty of space, grass and trees around each of these sites. 
No tents are allowed in this park.  There is a grassy dog run area, and plenty of playground equipment for kids.  Nice day use area adjacent to the campground.
Rate: $29/night for FHU, going up in 2012 to $30, I think.
Shaded broundsPhone/radio/TV: Good Verizon signal for phones and aircard.   We were not able to get a satellite TV signal on our roof-mounted antenna because of the tall trees to our south, but this would not be a problem in some of the sites (those closer to the river).  We tried the air antenna, but only picked up one station, snowy analog.  NPR on 90.3.   
Elevation/Landscape/Terrain:  At 700 ft. elevation, this park is so close to Wenatchee as to be considered urban, unfortunately impacted by noise from heavy traffic on Hwy 2.  It is visually very appealing, with large swathes of well maintained lawn and huge trees to provide welcome shade.  The Wenatchee River flows adjacent to the park.  Our view (from a north facing pull-through) was of the overflow/storage parking lot, a row of trees, and the rushing traffic beyond.  Views from the back-in sites are considerably more appealing.
Lighting/Noise: Night lighting is pleasantly dim.  Highway noise is noticeable until quite late.  Trains pass on the other side of the river occasionally. 

Long sites
Favorite Sites: We had site 42, one of the three north facing, less appealing, pull-through sites.  If we had a choice (too late, by the time we called for a reservation - highly recommended, by the way), we would reserve one of the sites closest to the river in camp area A, B, or C: 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 16, or 24.  Camp area D is less appealing than A-C.

Hiking/Walking:  No trails from the park that we found, but there are a lot of recreational opportunities in Wenatchee, including a long, paved Riverwalk.
Comments: This county park was quite attractive, and very convenient for the errands we wanted to run in the urban area.  It was full while we were there, and apparently usually is in spring, summer, and fall.  It seemed to be very well maintained and managed; our stay was pleasant.  If we were planning to stay in the area longer for sightseeing (plenty to do here), we would be likely to try for a site at one of the nearby state parks, hoping to escape the traffic noise.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Huge Sites TucannonOur Opinion: Neutral.  This spacious park worked well for an overnight stop.

Date of Stay: July 6th, 2011

Weather During Stay:  Hot!  95 degrees at 2 pm, 75 at 9 pm.

Site Description:  33 very spacious, level sites can handle the largest RV’s.  Entrance, interior roads, and pads are gravel.  Sites are separated by green lawns; most sites have a tree or two.  All sites are pull-throughs, and all have 20/30/50 amp FHU.  Good strong voltage.  Very well maintained.

Rate: Normal price is $22/night; we paid $11.00 with Passport America, good for one night only.  A real bargain at that rate, as we ran two AC units all day long.  WiFi included.

Spacious Entrance TucannonPhone/radio/TV: NO Verizon signal, so no phones or aircard.  NO FM radio stations at all.  Good signal for the free campground WiFi (down when we arrived, but repaired by evening and then quite reliable).   Because the sites are so spacious, we had no trouble getting the satellite TV signal.  We didn’t try the air antenna.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain:  At 750 ft. elevation, this RV park is located in a wide canyon next to the Tucannon River.  This time of year, the green grass of the park is only possible due to irrigation, and is a pleasing oasis in the otherwise dry, brown, barren landscape of Washington’s Palouse.  Views are of neighboring rigs, the green grass and trees of the pack, and barren, rocky outcrops to the north, trees bordering the river to the south.

Lighting/Noise: Very quiet and dark at night. 

Palouse hillsidesFavorite Sites: We had site 25, close to the clean, roomy, cinderblock restrooms.  No favorite sites here - they are all LONG, level, and essentially the same.

Hiking/Walking: Printed information says there is a rustic trail along the river, but it was too hot for us to search it out.

Comments: This was just an overnight stop for us, rather remote - we picked it because it honored Passport America so the price was right.  We were surprised by how nice the park is.  On the Tucannon River, not far from the Snake, it probably appeals greatly to fisher folk.  Nice, quiet, friendly park, well maintained.