<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Our Favorite RV Parks
Little Log

OUR FAVORITE RV PARKS...

The following list includes national, state and provincial parks, private campgrounds and RV "Resorts". Some would be considered "destinations", while others are merely stopovers we've encountered en route. Our preferences are for places where the sites are spacious, the views interesting, the facilities clean and adequate, with friendly and professional management. We're not particularly keen on urban locations, train or highway noise, or video arcades. Hookups are certainly a convenience, but some more primitive locations can be superb without them. Thus in the lists which follow, you'll find RV parks that fit into virtually all categories. We set them forth by State or Province, indicating among these recommendations those which currently rate as our absolutely "TOP PICKS"


ALABAMA

Sherling Lake (Greenville City) Park is some four miles west of the town of Greenville, and has earned its "10" rating for environmental setting. The sites are scattered through a well manicured woodsy area adjacent to a small lake. The trees, shrubs, and lawns are meticulously maintained. The sites are thoughtfully fitted into the contours of this hilly area. Most are widely separated from one another, and all have an unusually pleasant exposure to this especially attractive area. Fishing and golfing oppotunities are abundant. (03/00)

ALASKA

Haines Hitch Up RV Park is located within walking distance of the "downtown" area of the charming village of Haines. This is the most logical port of disembarkation if you're taking the Alaska Ferry northbound; and the most logical port of embarkation if you're taking the ferry south. There are easy ferry connections to Skagway, about 15 miles by water -- but an astounding 350 miles around via the highway. This quaint town is one of the truly enchanting ports on the lengthy Alaskan coast. The park offers spacious back in and pull through sites, accommodating the biggest of rigs with space and 50 amp service. Cable TV is at every site. The grounds are "parked out" with incredible care; the scenery from the park is breathtaking; and the persons who manage the park have that "something special" that makes every guest feel instantly at home. The store is well stocked with interesting aritcles, and modem hookups are available. We've travelled extensively in Alaska, and until something comes along that convinces us otherwise, this is a candidate for the nicest RV park in the State. See website. (06/02)

Anchorage RV Park is fashioned more on the model of an upscale RV resort found in the lower 48. The sites offer all ameneties, including some with both cable and phone hookups -- the only ones we've seen in Alaska. Big rigs were definitely in mind when this park was designed. An attractive office, store and lobby area are surrounded by extensive landscaping featuring colorful flowers in season. The sites are in an area of trees and shrubs which has been left in a natural state -- so much so that moose still wander through on occasion. Although the park is in an unusually pristine setting for an RV park within the city limits of a major metropolitan area, it is very close to the type of major shopping opportunities most RVers will need when traveling in Alaska. After spending time in a variety of much more rustic settings typcial of Alakan travels, this park will seem especially attractive. A very modest amount of highway noise is noticed at night. See website. (06/02)

Bear Paw RV Park is one of several commercial parks in the port town of Valdez. It actually is two parks, separated by a few blocks. While we normally don't find an attraction to "adult parks", we found the adult park section of Bear Paw extremely well located right on the water, in a secluded and quiet setting away from the commercial center where most parks are located. The restrooms and showers are a particularly welcome sight in Alaska; and on the second level of the building in which the restrooms are located is a large "family room" with a TV, couches, and other amenities -- the most welcome for us on our visit was a dedicated phone line for laptops. (06/02)

River View RV Park is actually as close to Fairbanks as it is to the downtown area of North Pole, where it is listed in the directory. Most RVers heading for Fairbanks will miss this one, and stay instead at a better advertised park in Fairbanks. We stayed at both, and found River View RV Park much more suitable for us. It can accommodate rigs of all sizes, has well maintained shower, restroom and laundy facilities, and has two modem hookups in the laundry area. Perhaps because it is not listed under "Fairbanks", we found this park less strained by the high season RVer population. And we list it here primarily as our park of choice for the Fairbanks area. (06/02)

[Unnamed] City Park in Seward is included here, not because of amenities, but because we think it's sort of "the place to be" when visiting the charming port village of Seward. This is another place best suited for fully self-contained rigs. The park comprises what is, in effect, the primary waterfront location in downtown Seward. It goes on for several "blocks", with sites right on the beach (actually a public walkway along the beach), with about 3 other "rows" of sites set further back from the beach. There are a limited number of electric and water hookup sites in the middle part of the park. In selecting a spot here, and depending on the weather, it's a good idea to check the wind direction and choose a location that is relatively sheltered if there's much wind. The charm of this place is more in "being where the action is" -- right along the beach with all the fishing and sightseeing charters going by. It's also sort of the social center for RVers visiting the Kenai Peninsula. Since it is virtually "in town", it's but a short walk to the key attractions (including a fine new "Sea Life Center". (06/02)


ARIZONA

Alamo Lake State Park (AZ) It isn't often that we would recommend an 80 mile round trip into a remote and otherwise inaccessible part of the Arizona desert. However, if you ever find yourself en route between Phoenix and the California border, check this one out. Located literally at the dead end of a 40 mile paved narrow road, this State Park has several sections of campgrounds near the shores of Alamo Lake, formed by the construction of a dam across the Bill Williams River for flood control in 1968. The lake is reputed to be among the most productive for warm water fishing. Campsites vary from primitive to a few full service pull throughs. But by far the best bet is the water & electric hookup sites at "Campground C", located on a side road about a 1.4 miles before one reaches the Ranger Station and store. Here you are nestled among the palo verde trees, saguaro cactus, and green desert plant life. The sites are all paved, and beautifully landscaped out of a desert alive with a wide variety of birds and animals. These sites are much like the spacious, well designed and landscaped sites at McDowell Mountain Park -- but happily there has been no fire here as there was at McDowell. This is probably Arizona's most remote, and in many respects most beautiful, State Park. (03/99)

Gilbert Ray Campground, Tucson, Arizona is located near the Saguaro Cactus National Monument, "Old" Tucson", and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Old Tucson is a great place to take the kids. The nearby Desert Museum (entry fee) is our favorite desert museum anywhere; and the spectacular visitor center at Saguaro Cactus NM is probably the best designed, in term of architecture, we've found yet. Gil Ray's landscaped sites, most with 30A electric hookups (water and sewer available in park), look out on the Ajo valley stretching to the west of Tucson. In the distance is Kitt Mountain, with its interesting observatory. The road in to Gil Ray is a bit narrow and winding, but with care any size rig can navigate it. Many sites will accommodate large rigs.(2/11)

Catalina State Park, Tucson, Arizona, is located about 10 miles northeast of Tucson, and is a competitor with Gil Ray for the best non-private campground in the Tucson area. Unlike Gil Ray, which looks "down" on a valley desert below, Catalina looks "up" at the rugged Catalina mountains immediately adjacent to it. A number of trails, ranging from easy to very much otherwise, begin at a trailhead within this expansive State Park. The flora on this side of Tucson is not predominately cacti, but rather a "forest" of mesquite trees -- not the brushy shrubs types, but the full sized trees. There are approximately 75 sites here, about half with electricity, and half with no hookups. A dump station and water are available. The sites are generously spaced, with lots of trees around and between the sites. It is definitely "big rig friendly". (11/97)

Islanders RV Resort, Lake Havasu City, Arizona. We visited this large park in the "off season" -- March -- or we would probably not have been able to find an unreserved spot. It is located on the lake and has nicely landscaped sites with full hookups. There are 2 swimming pools, one for family use and one for adult lap swim. There are also game rooms, craft rooms, and, in high season, the usual "planned activities" for families and adults. (3/03)

Patagonia Lakes State Park. Located 18 miles Northeast of Nogales AZ, this interesting park is located on a lake with a very narrow neck, making one lake appear to be 2 . The campsites are well designed into the natural landscape; most of them with hookups and water views. Except for the weekends, this State Park appears to be quite uncrowded. Kino Springs Golf Course (which we enjoyed) is a mere 10 minutes away. The former home of Stewart Granger and wife Jean Simmons has been tastefully preserved. It is now a beautiful clubhouse with an outstanding restaurant. Memorabilia of "movie days" are everywhere. And of course Mexico is only a short drive beyond.

Picacho Peak State Park. (N 32 39.265 x W 111 25.295') Another delightful Arizona State Park "find", located some 15 miles SE of Casa Grande (between Phoenix and Tucson), off exit 219 on Interstate 10. While there are a limited number of hookup sites here, we don't recommend you come here to use them (parking lot style). Instead, opt for the landscaped and spacious non-hookup area which is another mile into this desert scenic area. It's about a 45 minute drive to Saguaro National Monument, and the Desert Museum -- both being west of Tucson and "must sees" when visiting this area. While the sites are within sight of both I-10 and a main rail route, the distance is so substantial that there is no audible distraction. (2/97)

Ajo Heights RV Park: (N32 23.609' x W 112 52.303') in Ajo has become a secret winter destination. Park is owned by full-time RVers, has no park models, and does not cater to permanent residents. That's due in part to the fact that the owners have chosen to keep this "purely RV" park open only seasonally -- October through April. Small (circa 40 sites), reasonably priced, superior WiFi, digital cable, small but clean washrooms, friendly neighbors, and helpful on-site owners. Concrete pads, full hookups, and gravel areas that are manicured to perfection daily. It's amazing to see how the creative owners have been able to turn what is essentially a gravel parking lot into a thoughtfully landscaped and impeccably maintained RV park. (11/14)

Usery Mountain Park (Top Pick) (N 33 28.641' x W 111 37.214') Part of the growing Maricopa County Park System, this park seems to have avoided the notice of the throngs of RVers who invade the nearby Mesa/Apache Junction complex annually. Yet it's a mere 8-10 minutes from downtown Mesa! The park is situated several hundred feet above the east valley floor, and seems worlds away from the crowded tangles of RVs which populate the popular Mesa and Apache Junction areas. The park now accepts reservations, and in season they are essential. The sites are large and nicely landscaped, often with as much as 20 - 40 yards between some sites. Each site has (50A) power and water, a table, a barbeque, and a fire ring -- plus its own private selection of desert flora (including very large Saguaros). There are numerous hiking trails of varying difficulty within the park which are especially popular with day users on weekends. (12/14)

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Located only five minutes from the border with Mexico just north of Lukeville, this desert wonderland was initially included in our list, but for a while removed because of safety concerns (illegal immigration). The park and the Border Patrol have taken positive steps to assuage safety concerns, and the park's newly enlightened attitude will accommodate any RV that they are told is "40 feet" -- and they've apparently thrown away their measuring tape as well. The sites here range to about 60 feet, are well spaced, and each has its own private landscaping of the lush natural desert flora -- many including towering saguaro cactus specimens. Birds are plentiful and varied. There are no hookups, and generator hours are restricted to certain daytime hours. There is both water and a dump station in the park. For those who enjoy true seclusion, this is a must visit campground. Easy day trips down and back to Rocky Point can be made while staying here, though any travel to Mexico as of this point in time requires some consideration. (11/14)

Wahweap RV Resort and Marina is located near Page in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. This park is extremely well laid out, offering spacious sites for rigs of any size -- all with full hookups. The park sits on a sloping hillside overlooking Lake Powell. There are many wonderful and scenic day trips to take from here. Don't miss the trip over though Marble Canyon to Lee's Ferry. (03/07)

Butterfield RV Resort, located in Benson, has attracted our attention when passing through this area because of its nicely designed pull-through sites generally available for overnight guests. Some would complain that the park is too close to the mainline Southern Pacific tracks, and if train noise is a major factor, this may not be your spot. However the common facilities are extremely well done, and there is a definite spirit of comaraderie among the folks that choose to stay here. Regretably WiFi is provided only on a fee basis. (02/11)


BRITISH COLUMBIA

Boya Lake Provincial Park
. Located roughly 50 miles south of Watson Lake, British Columbia, on the Cassiar Highway, this Park was such a delightful surprise that we ended our driving day mid-morning -- it was just too pretty to pass up. The sites were immaculate, raked after each departure. The hike around the lake was a delight and the scenery breathtaking. We saw mountain sheep as we explored this area. Special mention must also be made of Kiniscan Lake Provincial Park, and Meziadin Lake Provincial Parks, both to the south on the Cassiar Highway, and both very similar in all respects to Boya Lake. One caveat when visiting any of these parks: bring plenty of mosquito repellant! (6/02)

Dave's RV Park in Vanderhoof was a surprise "find" we made while looking for overnight accommodations in this charming lake country community. Located about a half mile off the Yellowhead Highway, we ventured out that way seeking a comfortable, friendly place for a night's stay. What we found was a park that can handle any size big rig with long, level pull through spaces with full hookups. The clean restrooms were exceptional in this country of typcially more rustic facilities. And a special surprise was finding a dedicated modem line to facilitate internet connections. (06/03)

Anahim Lake Resort, located just off of BC's Highway 20 is on that fabulous "soft adventure" route between Williams Lake and Bella Coola. Located in the heart of a fishing paradise, this park is unique for its warm hospitality and rustic but serene lake setting. The sites are simply randomly spaced grassy locations, some with shade, that offer water and 20 amp service. A sani dump is available. If you insist on level paved sites with 50 amp service and cable TV, you'll not be happy here. Nor will you anywhere else for a couple of hundred miles, because this is a true "back country" location. Come here for the "getting away from it all" sensation -- and bring a small boat or rent one here. Any well behaved pet will be welcome here without a leash -- and will have two instant friends in the person of the resident brown and black labs. (07/08)

Ripple Rock RV Park is about 15 minutes north of Campbell River on Vancouver Island. It's 3 miles east of the main highway (19) that leads to Port Hardy. The 5 KM access road is gravel, a bit dusty, and steep in places. This is a very special find, especially for big rigs that will find few parks in British Columbia as accommodating to larger RVs. The setting is on the Inland Passage, just north of Seymour Narrows, and the views are spectacular. The cruise ships to Alaska pass within a few hundred feet of your RV, and after dark are a truly amazing sight. Fish from their pier, launch your boat, or take a 10 minute walk to the local floating restaurant. The grounds are neatly landscaped and well maintained. Free WiFi is provided throughout the park. (07/08)

CALIFORNIA

(TOP PICK) Durango RV Resort is a relatively new RV resort in Red Bluff, CA. It first opened in 2008, and surely rates as among the top RV properties in the United States. With more than 170 generously sized fully paved pads and landscaped sites, this park offers virtually every amenity we've ever found at a resort property -- and then some. Pet friendly? Not only two fully enclosed dog runs, but even a a professional dog washing facility! No need to list all the amenities -- just know they're all here and all first class. The "standard" sites are delux by any measure; and the premium sites along the Sacramento River, fountains, and even "buddy sites" offer further upgrade options. The clubhouse is the finest we've seen for a park this size anywhere, and are perfect for groups looking for facilities that could handle large numbers of rigs. Free WiF, which is generally good but can become dicey as the park fills, and good TV cable. Superb park layout and design by Rich Stockwell, RV Park Design Consultant. This is one RV resort you'll have to see to fully appreciate. (12/14)

Betabel RV Resort is located six miles south of Gilroy, and near the small village of San Juan Bautista. This first class park has niceely landscaped sites with well trimmed shrubs separating each of the spaces. This is a one of California's most pleasant climates, with easy access to many nearby attractions including Monterey, Santa Cruz, Moss Landing, and the pristine Elkhorn Slough. In addition to very nicely maintained facilities, we give extra credit to this one for its friendly atmostphere and personable managers. (01/09)

Anza Borrego Palm Canyon State Park (N 33 16.193' x W 116 24.550') is located in Borrego Springs California, about 90 miles east of San Diego in the Anza Borrego Desert. There is a 52 site full hookup section plus a separately developed dry camp section, complete with tables, fire rings, barbeques, restrooms and shelters. Many of the sites have their own palm trees or other desert flora. It's wise to have reservations for this park, especially on the weekends and holidays throughout the winter months. On years when there has been sufficient rain, the flower displays are spectacular. The park has its own desert museum at the park headquarters building, and is a must see for new arrivals. There are numerous trails both for hiking and for vehciles, and during winter months a full schedule of educational programs and instructional hiking events. Internet service requires access to one's one cell service. (10/14)

Doran Beach Regional Park, located in Bodega Bay (on Highway 1 about 2 hours north of San Francisco) is a real "must" for RVers who are fully self-contained, and enjoy visiting ocean beaches. While there are no hookups, you'll find this this RV destination among the best natural settings anywhere along the Pacific coast. There are a total of 128 RV spaces, with additional sites for tent camping or groups. The entire park is located on a sandy spit which separates the very protected Bodega Harbor from the open Pacific Ocean. On one side is a placid bay, literally filled with sea life of every type and descripton. On the other side is the sandy beach, complete with those wonderful breakers which ensure a wonderful night's sleep. Most of the sites are designed in "circles", each containing about 10 sites, with the "circle" design guaranteeing easy back ins with unobstructed views. And the views are fabulous in every direction. This is purely a first-come-first-served park, and we suspect the summer season and weekends through the shoulder season are busy, since there is a designated "waiting area" for RVers who want to get in. If there's a bird watcher in your group, you will find this among the top finds anywhere in the country. It's big rig friendly, though the design of both the park exit and RV dump area creates an unneeded challenge for extra long units. (01/05)

Marina Dunes RV Park, Marina, California. It's often difficult to find a really "nice" RV park near major tourist attractions. This one, located some 10 miles north of Monterey, is a great find for those visiting the Monterey/Carmel areas. In addition to offering very privately landscaped sites with full ameneties, the park is situated across the street from public access to some of California's most spectacular beach front. It goes for miles in either direction, and is notably uncrowded. This is what Carmel USED to be like, some 30 or more years ago. A great place for kids, and an easy drive to the Monterey/Carmel area. Highway noise will be a drawback for some. Pricey. (5/02)

Orange Grove RV Park, Bakersfield, Ca. Bakersfield often on the route of RVers traveling to southern California or the southwest desert areas. The park is situated in an actual orange grove. During the "picking season" -- mid-December through early March -- campers are invited to pick as many oranges as they can personally use, and even loaned the appropriate picking implements. Take a bag along with you when you leave, because you'll never find these in a grocery store! A 2003 addition provided many new very large pull through sites, and the park now offers complimentary WiFi service. A delightful stopover, and on a route that for many involves using Hwy 58 as an alternate to going through the Los Angeles basin area. (12/14)

Premier RV Resorts, Redding: This parked was transformed from an unimpressive KOA to an upscale big rig friendly RV park that reflects the superb qualities of Premier's other locations in Coburg (Eugene area) and Lebannon (Mallard Creek). Sites were rebuilt and relandscaped; the office complex was completely redesigned to provide the usual attractive indoor ameneties that are common to Premier propertiies; and friendly hospitality is of course the hallmark of these commonly owned parks. To the included daily newspaper and morning continental breakfast they now add free wireless. The daily rates have been increasing to a point that might soon challenge the notion of "reasonable". (02/05)

The Springs at Borrego RV and Golf Resort: This award-winning park offers approximately 140 sites in the first two phase of its development. More are in process. The physical layout of the sites are outstanding, with both 70' and 90' pull throughs, well placed utilities, and concrete pads and patios. The sites are encircled by an inviting lush green golf course, which provides a scenic contrast to the towering desert mountains that surround Borrego Springs. This is clearly among the top RV resorts anywhere, and is priced accordingly. The attractive clubhouse area offers a nicely equipped exercise room, and a kitchen with two public rooms There's also a swimming pool and several different sized spas in the courtyard. With increased expansion additional common areas will become even more needed. Free internet access is offered, but with a disclaimer about its speed or reliability. Recently some concerns have arisen when three park models were seen ready for placement somewhere in the park. (10/14).


FLORIDA

(TOP PICK) Topsail RV Resort, Santa Rosa Beach (east of Pensacola), is the flagship of the Florida State Park system. This is one of the top handful of parks, in terms of layout and landscaping, we've seen anywhere. The sites all have the feeling of privacy and seclusion, due to the superb landscaping. Trees, shrubs, flowers and lawn -- all meticulously maintained, with even an occasional fountain or other "art object" tossed in to complete the picture. Several small lakes (one with resident alligator) complete this idyllic picture. From the camping area it's about a 15 minute walk through dense forest to what some have called the most beautiful beach in Florida. Stretching for perhaps a mile, this fine white sand almost demands sunglasses to look at it. And given the sheer size of the beach, it is not teeming with tourists. While it's price reflects all these amenities, the value is still there. However, the word is out, and getting a reservation can be a challenge. (03/00).

IDAHO

Coeur d'Alene RV Resort, offers 200 fully serviced sites in Post Falls, Idaho, just off Interstate 90 at exit 7. Spread over 20 acres are not only RV sites, but an indoor swimming pool with two spas; a tennis court; a putting green; a fascinating kids play area; an outdoor shelter suitable for large events; a spacious and well appointed TV lounge, separate picnic areas with tables and grills; and more. All in all, a nice physcial facility. While some might prefer a bit more distance between an RV park and an Interstate highway, and others may be disinclined towards the higher daily fare which a true RV resort will typically charge, this is definitely a place to plan a night around during a visit to the wonderful Idaho Panhandle area. (5/03)

Glacier View Campground
, Redfish Lake, Idaho. The Redfish Lake area has many campgrounds, but this is our favorite. Again, the sites are most spacious, very level and the views of the Sawtooth Mountains are nothing short of spectatular. Although there are no hookups available, Redfish Lake is a favorite destination for families; reservations should be made for weekends or holidays. The elevation here is more than 6000 feet, but summers are warm in these mountains, and the mountain breezes are pleasant. The rustic old (but very well maintained) Redfish lodge serves meals, and there is a small grocery, stables, and a Visitor Center. (7/06)

 

Blackwell Island RV Park is on the Spokane River in Couer d'Alene, and will be a welcome sight for big rigs, and for all RVers who delight at a park rule that says "please feel free to wash your rigs at the site". The sites have fulll (50 amp) hookups. The park offers free in-park wireless high speed internet connections. Bring your boat and rent a slip here as well, and you're ready for a perfect boating vacation. The riverfront docks are but a short cruise to the beautiful waters of Lake Coeur d'Alene. Kids of all ages will love the beach and protected swimming area. This is a place to be discovered by RVers who want a great central location for summer travels. We seldom mention highway noise, such as exists at this park's primary competitor. However, the world is imperfect, and the sound of traffic is replaced here to a certain extent by a fairly busy lumber mill just across the river. It is surely not enough to keep us coming back for more visits in the future. See website...07/06)

McCall RV Resort This park features excellent layouts and common facilitie. Situated on a charming wooded 55 acre parcel with extensive frontage on the Payette River, there are a variety of site settings to choose from. We tabbed this park as a "Top Pick" when it opened in 2006. However it was subsequently sold and became a KOA. We withdrew our rating pending a return visit. However, the park was once again sold, this time to the "G7" group, that owns other parks in Idaho and Arizona. Chris, one of the owners, was on site when we visited, and is a delightful and friendly person. Upon our return in August 2011 we were delighted to find the park restored to its original well-landscaped and maintained condition. This is now once again one of the true RV resort "gems" that it once was. And we welcome its return! (08/11)

Wagonhammer RV Park is one of those rare and delightful finds in a spectacular mountain setting along the banks of the Salmon River two miles south of North Fork. This is recreation paradise, with fishing, wildlife viewing, white water rafting, hiking, and just enjoying the scenery. The large office and adjacent gift shop and club room are as tastefully done as anything we've ever seen in our RV travels -- anywhere. If you should simply pass by on Highway 93, at least stop to say hello and see this amazing interior. But plan to stay, because you'll find an incredibly friendly environment here. Two eithernet connections in the lounge area provide high speed internet access for your laptop -- something you usually don't find in an area this remote. We suspect this park will be discovered by RVers that are looking for a truly special place to spend a month or more during the season. (07/06)

Bear Den RV Resort, in Grangeville, is a small 22 site park with full amenities, excellent design and landscaping, and friendly managers. Free cable and WiFi are provided, and the rate is reasonable. This is a wonderful place to "base camp" and explore the surrounding area. There really are lots of places to explore around Grangeville, and the small town is friendly and delightful. (06/14)

Powell Junction Campground: This Forest Service campground is located on Highway 12 -- the route over Lolo Pass -- and is just 12 miles west of the Montana border. One loop is dry camping, and the other offers 50A electric service. Most sites are very well shaded, offering a cool setting during warm summer months. The elevation here is approximately 3,400 feet. The sites are mostly well spaced, and offer a fabulous forest setting along the Lochsa River. As an added bonus, a 10 minute walk takes you to the only commercial establishment along the entire route -- the Lochsa Lodge. The Lodge offers cabins plus a beautiful Lodge building with restaurant. It's a great place for breakfast, lunch or dinner. To top it off, the Lodge also has complimentary WiFi. (07/14)

LOUISIANA

Betty's RV Park is unlike any place we've ever taken an RV before. It's located in Abbeville, arguably the epicenter of Acadiana, and approximately a dozen (count 'em) spaces -- by far the smallest park you'll find in our "Favorites" listings. Each has full hookups, including 50 amp power and cable TV. There is also space for 2-3 rigs to dry camp. Betty's attractive home is on the adjacent parcel, and her screened back patio reaches to the edge of the park. Here on the patio is where you'll enjoy some time with your neighbors in the park. Flash your SKP card, and the tariff is very reasonable. This park makes our list not because it is in any way "fancy" (though big rigs will find it easy here), but mostly because of the "Betty" part. You will not only feel truly "home", but you'll have the best possible source of information about the local area. And a wonderful area it is. We highly recommend this unique and friendly home town RV park as your "RV Parking" base camp for exploring the wonderful Cajun country. WiFi friendly! (02/13)

Chicot State Park, perhaps the keystone in the Louisiana state park system, is located some 7 miles from Ville Platte, in Evangeline parish. It is a favorite place for in-state visitors, but provides the out of state guest with a wonderful opportunity to experience the rich flora and fauna of this densely wooded lake area. The campsites offer water and electric hookups, and many are suitable for big rigs. Surrounded by thousands of acres of near-wilderness, the park offers a variety of recreational opportunities from hiking/biking to fishing. (1/99)

Grand Casino RV Parks, in both Marksville and Kinder, are extremely similar parks which are operated in conjunction with major casino facilities. Both are at sufficient distance from the Casino to be truly "separate" facilities. And both well deserve the "9" and "10" ratings they're awarded by Trailer Life. The sites (they call them "slips") are large enough for the longest and widest RVs, provide both 30 and 50 amp power, plus water, sewer and cable, and have thoroughly modern restroom and main office facilities. What's really remarkable is the relatively low cost of an overnight stay. Obviously they're counting on RVers to take one of the free shuttles that come through the park periodically, and leave an additional payment at the game tables. (1/99)


MARYLAND

Cherry Hill RV Park is in College Park just east of "The Beltway" around Washington DC. We include it here primarily because of its convenience when visiting the nation's capitol. We're aware that finding a full amenity park near major metropolitan areas can be difficult. Here you'll find rigs of all sizes and descriptions, plus quite a number of tents. Located directly on a busy Interstate, noise is a factor. But the facilities are clean, the staff helpful and friendly, and most of all its location is well suited for visiting Washington DC using public transportation. WiFi is offered for a daily fee. (04/00)


MISSOURI

America's Best Campground RV Park was our choice when visiting Branson, a virtual Mecca for RVers who enjoy country music. Sue and Jim Alkire, the owners, are ever present to ensure everything is running smoothly. And with such a friendly staff, it does just that. The park is located in a very quiet area in Branson, away from the hustle and bustle of the "mostly tastefully touristy" town. To say it's big rig friendly is an understatement, given the fact there was a rally of more than 50 "Bus and Bike" rigs while we were there. These were all 45 foot Prevosts toting matching 20' enclosed trailers carrying their big Harleys. And they all fit easily into the park. Some sites include phone hookups, and a separate modem facility is available in the office. A fine headquarters while enjoying Branson. (05/00)


MONTANA

Yellowstone Grizzly RV Resort: Not all RV parks called "resorts" earn that descriptor -- but this one definitely does. Many long big rig pull through sites, all with newly planted trees, and full amenities. Our preference runs to the somewhat shorter perimeter back-in sites, many of which border on the adjacent forest. Modem hookups are available, and most recently the park introduced WiFi through Nomad ISP at rates that are more reasonable than most fee-based services. The park is located on the south edge of West Yellowstone, near the entrance to the park. The view extends in all directions to snow capped peaks, visible above the surrounding forest lands. A comfortable conference area and complimentary morning coffee round out the amenities here. This is an incredibly beautiful park, thoughtfully designed, and well managed. (06/10)

Mountain Meadow RV Park & Campground: This beautiful park near the entrance to Glacier National Park in Hungry Horse has an ad which says "watch for our flowers". Sure enough, rounding the bend going east on Highway 2 from Hungry Horse, we spotted a spectacular display of summer blossoms marking the entry to this neatly landscaped hillside retreat. Across from the attractive office and store is a small lake for catch and release fishing. But what really commands attention are the mountains which seem to surround this area. It's as if one were already in Glacier National Park. The terraced hillside has large, spacious sites cut out from this alpine type forest. We found this an exceptional respite in an area which can during the peak season feel crowded. But not here! What a grand "base camp" to see what may be the most scenic part of Montana's fabled Big Sky country. On our most recent visit we were please to see the park now offers free WiFi to a good portion of the park. Ask for a site in the "WiFi area".. See website (07/05)

Spring Creek Campground & Trout Ranch: If you're looking for a "real" Montana experience, we know of no better destination than this family owned peaceful and scenic retreat located near Big Timber. It's about three miles south of the Interstate, with easy access and quiet "real Montana" surroundings. Part of the business here is raising large trout, which are sold to ranches in the surrounding area. If you have a young person along wanting to experience the thrill of catching a good size trout, for the reasonable price of a trout dinner you can do it here. And if your preference runs to trying your luck in the stream that runs right though the property, you may have the good luck we experienced in catching (for free) a good sized wild trout within a few steps of our own RV. This would make a superb base location for exploring all parts of this spectacular portion of Montana. Now offering free WiFi. (08/05)

Glacier Meadows RV Park is situated in a picturesque mountain meadow approximately 17 miles west of East Glacier on Highway 2.  The park offers both grassy "meadow" sites with power and water; and shaded sites scattered through the adjacent pine forest.  The latter are electric only sites.  The charm of this park is both in its setting, and in the warm hospitality of Roy and Connie Levi -- the park's friendly hand helpful managers.  There is a $5/day WiFi access that offers a strong signal, but guests are welcome to use a dedicated computer in the office to check their email using the Starband connection at no cost. The "red touring cars" make a daily stop here, so RVers can choose to leave their rig at the park and take a full day's tour of Glacier NP in style. Optionally, since RVs are precluded from traveling the main route through the park, this is an excellent place to leave your rig for the day while you tour the park's main route via your own tow car or towing vehicle. (08/05)

Yellowstone's Edge RV Park is so named because it occupies more than a quarter mile of riverfront along the famed Yellowstone River. It's located 18 miles south of Livingston, and 35 miles north of the North entrance to Yellowstone National Park. This is an area that offers tons of outdoor activities -- fishing, hiking, rafting, horseback adventures, back country exploring, and of course day trips to Yellowstone NP. Plenty of big rig sites here, and all with full hookups. Many of them are right along the river. The office and related buildings are nicely landscaped with bright flowers, and maintenance here is taken very seriously. The free wireless signal reached our site easily. Add in the warm hospitality of the friendly staff, and "everyone's invited" campfires every night, and you have the formula for staying here much longer than you might have anticipated. Thanks to Leo Everitt for steering us in this direction. (07/10)

Jim and Mary's RV Park in Missoula is an excellent choice when visiting this charming city. The park design and landscaping are excellent, amenities are complete, and the management is extremely professional and friendly. (08/13)

RV Village in Ennis has one of the most attractive "settings" we've found anywhere. Ennis is in the Madison valley, and claims to be the fly fishing captital of the world. Judging from the number of float boats and fly shops in the area, it probably has a fair claim. The full service sites come in 90, 60, and 30 foot lengths. Each has its own patio area and is carefully landscaped with grass, shrubs and trees. The common areas are clean and inviting, and the WiFi is among the fastest we've found at an RV park. The website shows availability information, but does not offer online reservations. Many guests have chosen this scenic park for the full summer season -- and obviously they're into Montana fishing. (07/13).

Eagle's Rest RV Park in Polson is one of those friendly and well-maintained smaller parks that seems to attract return visitors each summer season. Summer can bring warm days, and perhaps the greatest "amenity" during the hot weather is the comfort of a shade tree. There are the usual full amenities as well, but the bueautifully landscaped grounds with mature trees is a perfect setting, and it has attracted one of the friendliest groups of RVers you'll find everywhere. Pull up a lawn chair at 4:30, and bring a beverage of your choice, because many of the folks there will want to meet the new arrivals, and chat about all the things they've done that day. (07/12)


NEVADA

Atlatl Campground is one of two extraordinary campgrounds in the Valley of Fire State Park. This is an excellent example of why one needs to read the Trailer Life Directory about public (versus private) campgrounds with "understanding". There you'll find a statement that the sites are 20' x 50', and the park offers only "fair" interior roads. That conjures up a rather bleak picture. But in reality one finds that while the developed parking sites may average 20 x 50, many of the sites are as much as 100' apart from one another. Lots of choices for big rigs here. The interior roads are gravel, but more easily navigable than many highly rated private parks. Moreover, the setting is in an astonishingly beatiful area of huge colorful sandstone rocks that make this among the most scenic campgrounds we've ever found. The sites have water, but not electric hookups. Within the State Park there are numerous hiking trails, petroglyphs, petrified logs, and and a Visitor Center which depicts both the geological and anthropological history of this unique part of Nevada. (10/01)


NEW MEXICO

Hacientda RV Park is a very upscale park located at Exit 140 off of Interstate 10. It was built by RVers who know what RVers are looking for -- especially the big rigs. With full service (including instant phone hookups) at each site, and landscaping between sites, this park is poplular both with those traveling through this scenic part of the country, and with winter snowbirds. The meeting rooms, special purpose rooms and reception area all all done with a tasteful Southwestern flair. Here you will sense a management philosophy that seeks to take the "customer service" aspect of the RVing experience to a new level. As any park located within easy distance of the freeway, some highway noise is unavoidable here. WiFi is now included in the daily rate. This is clearly our stopover of choice when traveling through (or staying in) this part of the country. Groups looking for a rally site in this area need look no further. (02/11)

Rose Valley RV Ranch is located in the charming mountain town of Silver City. In addition to tours of the "old town", which offers numerous quint galleries, day trips to fascinating places in the Gila National Forest (e.g. Cliff Dwellings and "Catwalk") make this a perfect central location. The WiFi is free, but at this point a bit iffy. Very friendly owner/manager couple that can help you find your way around. Elevation 5900 means visits in the winter need to be planned with a weather forecast in hand. Large dirt/gravel sites with full utilities, and a decided "ranch theme" make this an attractive destination for RVers. Note -- this is a particularly "dog friendly" place, with perhaps 20 acres available for letting your pup get a bit of an off-leash run. (03/07).

Rusty's RV Ranch is located in New Mexico, but virtually on the border with Arizona. It is an exceptionally unusual park, with very large sites averaging a quarter acre each. Although there are side-by-side hookups, they've been designed in such a way that you will have no sense of another RV being anywhere close to you. Extremely pet friendly, and with free WiFi for short term guests, this is a fabulous place for a "home base" while visiting the Chiricahua mountains. Be sure to see the "towns" of Portal and Paradise. This is truly the land of the starry nights, owing to it repuation as one of the top six places in the country for for astronomy buffs. Full hookups, fabulous scenery, and friendly folks. It's a bit out of the way for most "tourist routes", but well worth venturing out to this part of the country. (01/09)


NORTH CAROLINA

Rutledge Lake Travel Park (N 35 26.470 x W 82 31.291) is situated well off the highway in Fletcher, a few miles from Asheville. Like some of the more enjoyable places we've stayed, this spacious park is enhanced by the warmth and hospitality of its owners, Sandy and Mike Tinsley -- who live here too. We visited just as the park was nearing completion, with only the clubhouse not yet quite completed. Most of the landscaping was in, and we were impressed by the extraordinary size of most of them -- capable of handling the largest of rigs with ease and comfort. The park, which is located in a charming, forested neighborhood, is situated on a small lake that offers fishing for kids of all ages. This is the heartland of the North Carolina "Mountain Country", with the Blue Ridge Parkway passing within only a few miles of the park. Sandy and Mile will ensure your stay here will be a memorable one. (04/00).


OREGON

Seven Feathers RV Resort (TOP PICK) is located near Canyonville, and is accesed from Exit 99 on Interstate 5. This is among the very nicest of RV parks in the country. It has virtually every imaginably amenity, including free WiFi, an indoor swimming pool and spa, and beautifully landscaped sites with "designer" patios and tables. Moreover, since it is part of a casino resort complex, the daily rates are reasonable -- and take another 10% off your discounted rate if you choose to get a free "membership" at the casino, which is located on the opposite site of I-5. This is also an ideal location for club outings. (11/14)

Junipers Reservoir RV Resort. This special place is located on an 8000 acre working cattle ranch about 10 miles west of Lakeview, Oregon. The setting is spectacular -- too far from the nearest road to even hear the sound of vehicles. Animal life abounds, as this is a wildlife preserve. Expect to see antelope, deer and porcupine on a drive through this private perseve. The park is more than a mile off the highway via a gravel ranch road (the tradeoff for the sound of silence you'll find here), and is in a completely private and serene setting. With nothing but fields and mountains in view, this destination park, with all amenities, is one of the most remote and beautiful locations one could ever find. An outdoor pavillion offers everything that a visiting RV club or caravan could wish for. All this -- and modem friendly too! We go there not as an "RV resort", but as a true "outdoor experience". It's an unusual park that expects and gets respectful conduct from its guests without presenting them with a list of rules, or putting up signs about things you can't do. If golf is your game, there's a pleasant 9 hole course just a few minutes back towards town. (09/05)

Blue Ox RV Park. At exit 233 on I-5 in Albany, Oregon, you'll find a nicely laid out park which will accommodate from the smallest to the largest RVs with ease. Of recent vintage, this park is laid out with long, wide concrete pads (and interior roads) which are especially welcome during Oregon's rainy days. Free WiFi. The landscaping at each individual site is nicely done. This park makes an attractive stopover option when traveling the I-5 corridor. (07/13)

The Burns RV Park in Burns earns a place here because we think it qualifies as a pleasant small town "find" in a vast and sparsely populated area of east central Oregon that offers an ideal overnight stopping point. The park is relatively small, with 30+ sites -- many of which are under towering old shade trees. While not "fancy", there is charm and character here. The grass between the spacious sites is well manicured, and barrels of flowers add a pleasant splash of fresh color to the surroundings. This may well be the quail capital of the world, as these little critters are everywhere. There are several pull through spots here, though most of the choice spots were back in sites that can accommodate big rigs with easy ingress and egress. The town of Burns is a bit of a "find" in its own right -- friendly to tourists but retaining much of its true "Western town" character. A pleasant nine hole golf course is nearby. We suspect many who pull in here for an overnight stay end up staying several days. (05/09)

Driftwood RV Park is tucked away in a quiet canyon, yet just steps to both a wonderful beach and the inner harbor in Brookings. It's location provides a bit of welcome shelter from the prevailing winds. We investigated a number of RV park options in the Brookings area, and found many nice parks -- but this one is our choice. The sites are neatly maintained, and are surfaced in a manner that would be welcome in the event of damp weather. Big rigs are easily accommodated, and smaller ones will feel at home here as well. The amenities include both instant site phone hookups, plus an available computer with internet connection so that guests without laptops can get their email here as well. Free WiFi has been extended throughout most of the park. (01/10)

Premier RV Resort - Eugene is located at Exit 199 on the east side of I-5 in Coburg -- just north of Eugene. Like all Premier properties, this one has first class facilities, and is based on the "outdoor hospitality" theme which characterize this family of parks (Redding, Eugene, Lebanon, and Salem). You'll enjoy a morning paper delivered to your site, and a continental breakfast served in attractive surroundings. WiFi is offered, but is woefully inadequate to the point of being useless during peak hours. This park, while nice, has also becme quite pricey given the option of reasonably priced Lane Country Parks nearby.

Casey's RV Park is just west of Oakridge on the side road to Westfir, and just off of Highway 58 -- a popular connection between I-5 and Highway 97. This park is on the middle for of the Willamette River -- and that's RIGHT on the river for most of the sites. Most of the sites are pull throughs, and we've seen 45 foot buses with a towed vehicle comfortably situated on some of them. You'll immediately notice the very attractive landscaping and flowers -- and the hammocks hung from the trees along the river's bank inviting a catnap next to the rapids. Free WiFi. (09/13).

Crown Villa RV Resort (Top Pick) We think Bend, Oregon, is among the very best RV destinations in the country. This park was a pleasant destination when originally constructed. But subsequently it was completely redesigned and rebuilt to become one of the most upscale RV resorts one will ever hope to visit. The lots are all extra long and extra wide, and are made with decorative pavers that include unique designs. The grounds are meticulously maintained, with lots of grass and many full grown pines throughout the park, creating a true "forest like" setting. The staff is highly professional, and well tuned to the finer points of outdoor hospitality. The facility has outstanding common areas for groups and clubs, and offers wireless internet access at all sites. (09/08)

Sumpter Pines RV Park is one mile east of the fabulous old town of Sumpter. It is a relatively small park (about 18 sites) offering both pull through and back-in sites, most of which can accommodate rigs of any size. The setting is about as serene as it gets, with towering pines providing welcome shade and cool sites. Full hookups (including 30 and 50A +cable TV) are at all but the four available tent sites. Sumpter is on the Elkhorn Loop, an Oregon scenic byway that offers a 110 mile scenic drive that is one of the best loop trips we've found anywhere. Here's a place you may intend only to overnight, only to discover there's so much to explore here you'll stay longer -- as we did. The park now offers free WiFi, which reaches some of the sites in the park. Under new ownership as of summer 2006 -- Venita and Red will be missed. (07/06)

The Narrows RV Park is approximately 25 miles south of Burns, on Highway 205. It is a perfect "base camp" to explore the vast adjacent areas that include the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and the Steens Mountain Recreation Area -- both "wild and scenic" discoveries that are relatively unknown to RV travelers. The park offers full amenities plus free WiFi, can accommodate rigs of any size, and offers a peaceful setting in one of the last remaining portions of the true "wild West". You know you're in that country when you see the first of the posted park rules is "no shooting". Despite its remote location, you'll find more than RV accomodations here. You'll also find a well-stocked convenience store, a charming full service restaurant, and a saloon. Linda and Ron Gainer, who own the park, are most hospitable -- as you'll see confirmed when all the locals stop by to enjoy a folksy breakfast, lunch or dinner. This has to be one of the least known "special finds" for RVers touring the western states. (09/08)


TEXAS

Big Bend National Park, Texas. Our favorite campground here (there are three in the park), is Rio Grande Village. There are two sections; one allows generator use, one does not. You camp under spreading cottonwood trees or in an area surrounded by, and carved into, thickets indigenous to this area. There are nature walks, hikes into the surrounding areas, and of course, the rest of this vast park to explore. Watch for javalinas, the wild pigs of Texas; and don't be surprised when coyotes stroll through the campgrouund looking for a handout. There is a separate "hookup" area, but it resembles a parking lot in an urban area, and has none of the character of the non-hookup areas which we greatly prefer. (02/02)

Buckhorn Lake Resort is an outstanding new addition to the RV park options available in the Kerrville area. This park is truly a paradise for the big rig enthusiast, as the sites are truly "Texas size". Not only are there full hookups including site phones, but the park offers free high speed wireless service. Its proximity to I-10 (about a quarter mile) results in slight highway noise, but in our view less than in many other top rated parks that we've visited. There are untold acres of hiking and exploring here; lots of wildlife (the birding is wonderful), the park has both a swimming pool and spa; and the oversized modern "red barn" will host the largest of RV groups. The friendly owners will provide you with a good dose of old fashioned Texas hospitality; and there is even more here than space allows us to describe. It's a "must see". As expected this new park is now being "discovered" by the snowbirds, as this would make an outstanding place to enjoy the Texas winters. (02/03)

Lazy Longhorn RV Park is among the friendliest stops you'll find as you cross the always friendly State of Texas. Located in Victoria, it provides easy access for day trips to a variety of places, including such interesting side trips as the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Full service hookups include availability of instant telephones at several sites, and more recently free WiFi. Big rigs are easily accommodated, and popcorn and mixers are available at the afternoon social gatherings. A number of winter Texans have claimed this as their favored stopover for the entire winter season. (02/10)

Lost Alaskan RV Park in Alpine, TX is a wonderful "find" in a charming small Texas town in the highlands of the Southwestern part of the State. Huge "Texas size" sites with full hookups will accommodate the biggest of big rigs. And the bathroom facilities deserve (and get) their top rating of "10" from TL. Lots and lots of space to walk the pets, and just far enough out of town to be quiet and peaceful. There's lots to do and see in and around Alpine. Alpine is a natural stopover to or from Big Bend; but it's really worth a stay here as well. The manager, Susan Lassiter, is wonderfully accommodating. The park continues to make landscaping improvements to enhance the scenic quality of the camping experience, and most recently nine new premium sites with added landscaping and amenities are now available as well. Free WiFi. One heads up: they've installed some pretty mean speed bumps -- and offset to guarantee you can't get over them without tossing everything in the rig around even at slow speeds. (02/11)

Quail Springs RV Resort is just at the east end of town in Uvalde. A new park, this offers spacious sites scattered artistically under a canopy of old oak trees. Trailer Life gives this a well deserved top rating. The sites are mostly very spacious, and almost all would accommodate a big rig. Very friendly staff. Visitors to this area will find it a surprisingly pleasant stopover -- or place to spend some time in a beautiful part of Texas. (02/07)

Triple R RV Resort, located approximately 3 miles east of Crystal City on Highway 65, is one of those really "out of the way finds" that makes RVing so much fun. Many of the sites are under shaded and back onto the Neuces river. This is both a working cattle ranch and a pristine piece of the "West Texas Badlands" that is alive with wildlife. A nature trail leads through forests, along the river, and around small lakes that invite a variety of waterfoul. Birding is superb here. An enclosed off-leash dog run is the better part of an acre. The staff is friendly and helpful. There is vitually no highway noise, train noise, or any other sound to detract from the many competing bird calls. All sites are full hookup, and a ranch-wide WiFi signal is available free. This is a must see park for those visiting the part of West Texas, where it borders on the Hill Country. (01/09)

Choke Canyon State Park, about an hour north of Corpus Christie, has a well-deserved reputation for spacious, attractive sites and is a prime destination for seasoned birders. Many of the visitors bring boats to fish the adjacent waters, but just wandering the grounds of the State Park can provide a very pleasant experience of the natural beauty of this part of the country. Armadillos are easily spotted, and there are signs alerting visitors to the local aligators. (01/09)


UTAH

Zion River RV Resort Virgin is fifteen minutes from the west entrance of Zion National Park. Built to comfortably accommodate rigs of any size, each site is meticulously landscaped with grass, gravel, and shrubbery; and offers full hookups including telephone. The park design is features curving contoured curbs that makes each site feel unique; and artistic use is made of the indigenous red rock that graces the Zion area. A pool, spa, and comfortable clubhouse are available, as is a shuttle bus to the Park Visitor Center. The use of a coin shower sytem here, fees and time limitation on site phone calls, and most recently a WiFi offering that requires a daily fee, all seem out of synch with a quality park that collects hefty daily rates and then looks for more dimes and quarters on a variety of specific services. It gives new meaning to the phrase "drawn and quartered". But for all these extra fees this would likely rate as one of our Top Picks. (03/07)

Watchman Camprgound is located just within the western entrance of Zion National Park, and offers large, well spaced sites with fabulous views of the canyon walls. Each site has a 30 amp electric hookup, and there is a common dump station and fresh water supply located in the park. This quiet and tranquil setting is only a short walk from the Park Visitor Center, which is also the departure point for the outstanding free bus shuttle service that ferries passengers to all points in Zion Canyon (in season). It's also a short walk to the the quaint village of Sprindale, just outside the park entrance, which offers access to shopping and restaurants. Reservations can be made here, and surely would be advisable during the peak season. For those carrying a Golden Age pass, not only is entrance to the park free, but you'll pay only $9 per night to stay at this pleasant facility. (03/07)


WASHINGTON

Beebe Bridge County Park:
Along the shores of the Columbia River near Chelan is one of the best kept secrets in Washington. There are a number of excellent Washington State Parks, some of which are located along the Columbia. This one is special. Imagine a carefully manicured lawn sloping down to the river, with paved interior roads and sites. Each site has its own spacious patio, firepit/grill, and quality picnic table. The sites can all accommodate big rigs, and offer power and water. Best of all, they're spaced so far apart that the sheer distance between sites provides privacy. Surrounding and adjacent are additional huge lawns for soccer, baseball, or whatever -- and for the most part they are virtually unused. Although it's not located within any town, the quaint resort town of Chelan is only a five minute drive up the hill. (6/05)

Brookhollow RV Park in Kelso is about a mile east of Interstate 5 at the milepost 39 exit offers 133 sites which are spacious and well manicured. Big rigs will especially appreciate all the extra space to set up here. The park offers full hookups, including cable TV. It's location is particularly attractive, as is set just behind a berm which controls the Coweeman River. At the top of the berm is a specatular walking trail which traverses stretches of open country and offers sightings for birds and wildlife. Free WiFi. Many visitors to Washington ask where to stay when visiting Mt. St. Helens. We think this is a good choice, even though on our last visit we found the staff a bit less friendly than on previous visits. (03/1-)

Maryhill State Park is located on the Washington side of the Biggs Rapids Bridge, and directly across from Biggs, OR. We invariably stop for a night or two here when traveling north or south on Highway 97. Located in the famed Columbia River Gorge area, this is a spacious park with full hookups (limited in winter). Many of the sites are directly on the river. There are many acres of grassy area here, with abundant trees for shade -- and some sites that offer good dish orientation. Reservations have become essential in season. (05/14)

Granite Lake Premier RV Resort is a relatively new destination park located in Clarkston. With 75 well manicured full service sites located on the banks of the Snake River, this is one of the best laid out new parks we've seen. A miles long walking/biking trail skirts the shoreline immediately in front of the park. Make this your headquarters for doing one of the famed "Hells Canyon Adventure" jet boat or float trips, which can be arranged through the park -- and the departure point is only steps away from the park. Ask them to make you a tee time at one of several local golf courses and you'll enjoy a special rate. Under new ownership the rates here have increased to levels that some might find a bit pricey. (06/06)

Icicle River RV Resort is located a short 3 miles south of the Leavenworth, WA. The park is situated along the banks of the Icicle River, and is beautifully landscaped and maintained. Pots, baskets, and barrels of flowers provide a kaleidescope of color during the summer months. The sites are all paved, and have individual patios of concrete or wood decking. A picnic table and grill are at each site. Allen and Virginia Gayken are the friendly managers, and add to the pleasure of a stopover here. This park is best suited to small to mid-size RVs. There are a limited number of sites that can accommodate big rigs, and the interior roads are quite narrow. The current managers are working to accommodate a higher percentage of larger rigs. Free WiFi is also available to some sites. Wash your RV at your site with in-season irrigation water which is so pure your rig will dry spot-free. Leavenworth, located on the east slopes of the Cascade mountains, is a popular tourist destination because the entire town resembles a quaint Tyrolean village; and there are events here virtually year-round. (06/08)

Fort Worden State Park, located in Port Townsend, is located on the inland waters of the Pacific Ocean. In earlier days a defensive bastion guarding against invasion by foreign warships seeking entry into Puget Sound, this remarkable piece of oceanside real estate is now dedicated for public uses. The buildings have been preserved for new, less hostile uses, such as restaurants, meeting facilities, and even an aquatic museum displaying the local denizens of the deep. The RV sites are in two separate areas. One is on a bluff, and away from the water. By far the more popular area is only a few feet above high tide, and is well designed into the reeds and sand dunes which are characteristic of this part of the coastline. As with most Washington State Parks, the sites are well spaced. We'd strongly recommend a reservation, as this is a popular spot in all but the most "off" of seasons. (06/045)

Fort Flagler State Park, is on Marrowstone Island, and within sight of Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend. This park is located in a pristine area of deep forests and sandy beaches at the north end of and Island accessible by bridge near Port Hadlock. There are a limited number of hookup sites, with most being "standard" (i.e., no hookups). The sites near the beachfront 97-116), while mostly "open", are more spacious and better suited for larger rigs. Sites 1-47 tend to be a bit "dark" for this climate, and seemed mostly designed for smaller rigs or tents. Sites 48-96 offer a few sites suitable for bigger rigs, and are generally "sunnier" than sites 1-47. A popular place for family outings in summer months, it's wise during this period to book a reservation in advance -- particularly on weekends and holidays. Very friendly and helpful park staff when we last visited. (06/05)

Riverfront RV Park -- A common name perhaps, but this uncommon city park is located in Sedro Wooley, near the western end of the scenic North Cascades highway, and nestled along the banks of the Skagit River. This park convinced us to look more carefully in some of the smaller towns we visit; because this one you'll not find listed in any of the major RV Park directories. But it's a little jewel. For a very modest fee it offers approximately 50 sites, approximately half of which are pull throughs. Big rigs will encounter no problems here -- unless your heart is set on sewer hookups or showers. Each site has water and (30 amp) electric. But don't look for the electric near the ground. Look instead about 8 feet off the ground, at the top of a 6 x 6 pole. But not to worry, each post is serviced by three wooden steps to get you up there. The reason? That marks the 100 year flood level! Elsewhere you'll find lots of trees, well manicured grass, and in season a carefully maintained micro garden -- at each site! If you've not ever tried a municipal park, this might be the ideal place to start! (08/01)

Lake Pleasant RV Park is our choice for where to stay when visiting the Seattle area. Located in the nearby suburb of Bothell, it's only a mile west of Interstate 405 at exit 26. This secluded park completely encircles two small lakes that are teaming with all types of waterfowl. Those who want to avoid locations where the abundance of waterfowl leave constant traces of their presence may be less happy here. Veteran RVers recognize how difficult it sometimes is to find a true "RV atmosphere" in and near large metropolitan areas. We'd recommend calling ahead for reservations here, as the secret is out among frequent visitors to the Seattle area. (07/01)

Alderwood RV Resort is a highly rated destination park in Spokane. You'll find professionally landscaped sites, separated by carefully maintained trees and shrubs that provide privacy and shade -- without creating overhead or lateral obstructions. The garden-like setting creates an illusion of being parked inside a very large nursery. The park lives up to its high ratings despite the fact its sites are a bit narrow and closely spaced, and access from I-90 requires negotiating several miles of Spokane city streets -- best done at non-peak traffic hours. Some sites have phone hookups. This park would possibly rank even higher with us but for the relative difficulty of accessing through Spokane. (07/03)

Friends Landing is a special find located near the town of Montesano -- some 20 miles east of Aberdeen and just far enough inland to provide fair weather when the coast is cool and foggy. A bit of a trick to find, it's about 3 circuitous miles from the town -- but easily within a mile of it as the crow flies. This park was originally established for the purpose, among others, of providing outstanding facilities for disabled persons. But it's become a favorite for all who have discovered these 19 sites with 30 amp power and water, set spaciaously apart from one another, and with blacktop pads that measure as big as 16' by 100'. The park is now owned by Trout Unlimited. It's situated on one mile of the Chehalis River, and has a 1.7 mile blacktop and boardwalk hiking and biking trail that encircles a small lake within the park boundary. (07/03)

Hoquiam River RV Park is a new park (2003) that offers a wonderful new "big rig" option for RVers who are touring the Olympic Peninsula. The Aberdeen-Hoquiam area had previously not offered many options for RVers looking for an upscale RV destination. On our first visit in the summer of 2003, it was only partailly completed, but we were confident that if the park was completed to the same standards as we first saw, it would indeed deserve a place in this listing. Now nicely finished and landscaped, this park offers a riverside setting in a quiet area with easy access to and from Highway 101. Carefully manicured sites offer full hookups and can accommodate the largest of rigs. This is an excellent "base camp" location to explore the vast expanse of Washington's coastal areas -- both north and south of here. (04/10)

Bayshore RV Park is located in Tokeland, about 20 miles south of the better known coastal town of Westport. Most visitors to this area will bypass Tokeland -- and never know what an attractive area they've missed. This rustic park is set just behind a low berm that separates the RV park from the sandy beach. Much of the first 500 yards beyond the initial waterway is tidal, providing a labyrinth of islands and waterways at different tide levels. The town is slightly inland from the mouth of Willapa bay, and tends to be both warmer and sunnier than areas exposed directly to the incoming surf. Well behaved and carefully managed canine friends can be granted a waiver of the "pets-on-a-leash" rule here while they're romping around on the acres of nearby beach and tidelands. Across the street is the historic Tokeland Hotel, which is a must for a meal out when staying in this area. Regretably this is out of range for most practical cell uses, and the local WiFi is not workable for most purposes. (07/12)

Bridgeview RV Park: Located just across the Columbia River from Hood River Oregon, this park is on the Whie Salmon (WA) side, and only a few hundred feet east of the bridge. The grounds here are immaculate, and the public facilites very clean and tidy. Full hookups are complemented by one of the best in-park WiFi setups we've found. This is a perfect spot from which to explore the extraordinary scenery of the Columbia River Gorge; or to partake of the local water sports which are world famous. While it is adjacent to one of the two rail lines that travers the entire shoreline on both sides of the river, it is actually well above the tracks and well-shielded from excessive noise. Most guests that come here will consider this a special find, and no doubt return to this as the RV destination of choice in the Gorge. (03/08)

Howard Miller Steelhead Park is a Skagit County Park located near the Cascade foothills near Rockport. This is one of those magnificent little "finds". The park as approximately 45 paved sites, most of which are widely spaced with acres of neatly mowed grass and mature trees. The biggest rigs have no problem fitting here. Some sites offer 50 amp service, while others have 30 amps. This is the type of park you think you'll just be staying for a night, but ending up staying much longer. (07/12)



WYOMING

Gros Ventre -- Grand Teton National Park
. Here is a quiet and panoramic oasis in what can be a very busy summer tourist season. The sites are large and shaded. And if you don't see moose or elk you aren't looking. Since it is well out of town, sites are usually available here when in-town parks are full. There is hiking and fishing along the river, and the quaint (but busy!) town of Jackson Hole is only 10 miles distant. It's also fewer than 5 miles from an extremely attractive golf course and restaurant at the base of Grand Teton mountain.


YUKON TERRITORY

Takhini Hot Springs is located about 15 minutes northeast of Whitehorse, in a very quite, forested area with wonderful mountain views. While modest in terms of ameneties (some electric only sites), the spaces are large and generously spaced -- uncommon along the Alaska Highway route. This is a favorite place for Whitehorse residents because of the natural hot springs, which are captured into a large outdoor year 'round pool (extra fee). (5/99)

Kathleen Lake: Driving north from Haines to Haines Junction is one of the most scenic highways in all of the north country. You'll find few camping spots along this lesser used but well maintained road. But one that stands out is the Yukon Government campground at Kathleen Lake. If you're driving the Alaska Highway, you'll miss it, unless you divert south about 20 minutes on the Haines Highway. And the diversion is well worth the time if you value a clean and well maintained campground. No hookups here, but the price is right -- and for an extra $2 (Canadian) you'll have all the firewood you can use at your disposal. The campsites are above the lake, and about a quarter mile away. The mountain views are spectacular. (06/03)

White River Crossing Trading Post: At milepost 1169 on the Alaska Highway, this is situated in an area that some will find convenient for an overnight stop. We include it not because of any pretense of being a "fancy" campground, but rather because it struck as as being a quintessential example of the typical "roadhouse" style campground found along the Alaska Highway -- and best for fully self-contained units. But this offers some special features. We were impressed that many of the sites could easily handle big rigs. And the owner, Robert Beatty, is an excellent host. In the late afternoon he built and ignited a large, centrally located bonfire for all to enjoy. In the early evening he came by once to lead a tour of interested RVer guests across his small landing strip for a visit to one of the accessible perma-frost sites [further north you'll pay for a tour to bus you to such a site]. And he came by once again to point out a large moose dining in the tall grass at the end of his landing strip. You'll sense a real spirit of the north in this rustic stopover. (06/02).

 

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