Overall we were very happy with this campground. It’s a favorite with the locals with good traffic in the week-ends, and for good reason. The lake and hiking in the area are both spectacular and we enjoyed many hours of both. The only negative is that it’s quite primitive (only pit toilets) and trying to find a suitable campsite takes a while. The grounds are very varied here. The site we originally reserved was quite close to neighbors and didn’t have much of a view so we drove around and decided on another one further out. Some of the loops are very hard to access with a big-rig, or would be way too unlevel, but if you’re willing to spend some time you can find yourself a really sweet location. If we come back we’ll chose to drive further out from the entrance to the back of Granite Lake (Granite Point or Sherman Hills Loops) or into Crystal Lake which have nicer, mostly level sites close to the water. Overall, though we had a great experience and would definitely come back.
Not a Destination Location, But a Good One-Night Stop
This was a stop-over location for us on the road between Cheyenne, WY and the Black Hills in SD. The town is small enough to spit across (only ~10 blocks) and so is the campground covering 2 blocks and housing ~20 RV’s. As a stop-over it worked perfectly. The sites are large and kept very nice, the bathrooms are spotless, the hookups, laundromat and Wi-Fi work as they should and the owner has made an extra effort to put little cute touches to the place. Just don’t expect extra amenities or a hopping town. Not a destination vacation, but perfectly fine as a one-night stop.
More info and pics here:
This is a quaint little forest campground ~6 miles west of Custer. It’s a heavily wooded area and some of the turns and sites can be tight with trees, but we saw a 45-footer make it (albeit after ~40 mins of work) so it is possible to get in if you’re comfortable with your rig. This section of forest has no trails and is surrounded by private land, so the only negative is that you’re a bit isolated and need to drive out to get to hikes. Also, there is some residual noise from the highway so it’s not as serene as we’d like. However, as a result of these oddities there’s not alot of visitors, so it’s quite empty most of the time. We enjoyed the forest and “bush-whacked” across it quite happily with the bonus find that it’s filled with wild berries. Overall it was a pleasant experience and it’s nice that we had space (alot of Custer campgrounds are completely booked in summer) but we’ll probably look for another location if we come back to the area.
This is the first Custer State Park campground as you enter the park and is one of their larger ones set beautifully in a forested area near Stockade Lake. Overall it’s a great area. Large, level sites with electrical hook-up available, good shade and privacy between campers. There’s also a ton of activities on-site including a playground (on a large grassy area), movies about Custer SP at night and free canoeing on the lake once a week. On the negative side there’s no hiking trails right from the park, but you are within walking distance of the Lake and driving distance of everything in Custer SP. The other negative is that because it’s so popular, it’s almost always completely booked out. We talked to people who’d booked 8 months ahead for their site and we got one of the very last pull-in sites (non-electric) when we booked a month and a half ago. Overall a great campground, but beware to book way ahead if you’re coming in summer.
More info and pics here: http://wheelingit.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/sp-campground-rating-stockade-lake-north-custer-sd/
This is a nice setting, but an odd park. It’s geared mostly towards tenters and that was quite obvious when we saw the sites. They’re on a big grass “parking lot” which gets muddy and soft when wet and isn’t really deep or level enough for most big-rigs. I think the park rangers were surprised we managed to get in, and even more surprised that we stayed for more than a day. On the plus side this is one of the least visited State Parks in Iowa so we were really (really) on our own most of the time, plus it’s set right smack in the Loess Hills with plenty of hiking trails right from your RV. Now, it was particularly buggy while we were here so that did put a damper on the experience, but at the right time of year this could be a nice stop. Just don’t expect any fancy sites and be prepared for smaller roads and a bit of a squeeze to get in.
This turned out to be a great little stop-over for us on our way to Missouri. We’d heard from others that Iowa has lovely State Parks and this one confirmed it. It’s a beautiful setting, right smack in the Loess Hills and on the Lewis and Clark Historical Trail. It has a with a nice selection (7 miles) of hiking trails, some equestrian trails and even a fishing lake. The sites themselves were spacious and comfortable and had the bonus of electric hook-ups. However there’s not much else out here. So, a great little stop for exploring a corner of the Loess Hills, but probably not a long-term visit.
More info and pics here: http://wheelingit.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/sp-campground-rating-waubonsie-state-park-sidney-ia/
This was another nice little stop-over for us on our way to St Louis. State Parks, in general, are great options in the MidWest. Lots of space, lovely natural settings and all the perks of hot showers, flush toilets and electricity at a fraction of the cost of a developed campsite. This was no exception. Knob Noster is set in 3,934 acres of natural habitat which is a unique mix of prairie, forest and savanna. The sites were flat and large with electricity and shade, plus lots of hiking trails right from your doorstep. There was even a laundry. We’d stop-over here again.
More info and pics here: http://wheelingit.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/sp-campground-rating-knob-noster-state-park-mo/
This was a great park to explore the St Louis area. It’s in a really nice area of town, set smack in the middle of 2,500-acres of natural woodland and nicely quiet despite being so close to civilization (~30 miles from central St Louis). The entrance is quite fancy with a massive stone gate, broad avenue and statue of Dr. Babler. The sites are also great. Very large, concrete and nicely flat with the bonus of electrical hook-ups available. Campers are well separated and there’s access to hiking and biking (13 miles in total) straight from the campground. During the week the place is practically deserted, although it tends to fill-up in the week-ends. Overall a great stop.
More info and pics here:
This is a cute and quirky little park. It's in a bit of an "odd-ball" location being not quite next to Palm Springs or Joshua Tree, but ~30 mins from each. This is definitely a desert park with dirt pads and cactus landscaping, but they do a nice job of it. Also, half the park is permanent mobile homes. The absolute best part -> 4 hot mineral pools which you can use for free on-site, and a really nice pool area. That's probably the one reason we'd come back here. We went for 2-3 lovely mineral dips each day and then explored the surrounding area by car during the day. Weekly and monthly rates are worth looking at compared to the daily rate. Overall, we liked it.
Date of Stay:
Way Overpriced for What It Is
We came to this place expecting real luxury. For $50/night and with a flashy website we really thought this would be the ultimate RV resort. Unfortunately we were sorely dissapointed, and we were not the only ones. Most of the RVers who came in were shocked and dissapointed.
The RV sites here are poor (just a big parking lot), sewer connection is oddly located at the very front (many RVers had to pull forward to dump), and there's no shade and no real separation or landscaping. The only thing separating campers is slice filled with rocks and an old picnic table which is unusable. Showers/toilets were also poorly maintained especially considering the price. There's no additional amenities except for laundry and WiFi (which didn't work most of the time we were there). The one positive...the surrounding area is gorgeous with lots of hiking trails and natural beauty. I think they're able to charge the big $$ because they're right on the Colorado and one of the few RV parks in the area, but I'd give this one a miss.
More info & pics here: