Shalane (the wife :O)
What is it about a campground that would possibly make us want to pay for a site? For those of you that follow our blog, you know that we prefer to travel by finding one free campsite after another. In fact, we traveled all the way from Nevada to Kansas, stayed overnight in four different locations, and spent a total of $7 in lodging. On the way back from Kansas to Nevada we stayed in five different locations and spent a total of $15. As you can see, we make a point of boondocking (also known as dry camping or wild camping) as often as we could. Basically, it means that we try to find free primitive places to camp without hooking up to any electricity, water, or sewer. In our most recent trip, there was one main reason why we paid for a site and it was TO STAY COOL! There are other factors that we consider, but for the most part, it seems as if keeping cool almost always has a part in it.
In recent blogs, I released the best free campsites that we stayed in this summer. I made the list using my own personal preference. With the list today, my wife and I each jotted down our favorites and then tallied the results to set up our top 6. Today we will look at those that we ranked as 6th, 5th, and 4th. Again, we will start with the 6th spot and countdown from there.
|Cookies baking in our solar oven at our site at Beaver Dam State Park in NV|
6) Beaver Dam State Park- ($17.00 - $15. for NV residents) Go a few miles north of Caliente, NV on US Hwy 93 & then get on a gravel road and go east 28 miles. By the way, any time you're in Caliente, eat at J&J's. They have a huge menu, good food and great chocolate marshmallow shakes. :O) Beaver Dam is one of the hardest places to get to. Having said that, in all likelihood if you can get there, you may find that you're the only ones there and have the entire park to yourselves. I'm not even sure the park ranger spends much time out there. There's no dam at Beaver Dam any more. There are no hookups. You will find some water spigots and a few outhouses scattered around the campground. Also, there is ample firewood available for a small 'donation.' We do like the feeling of being "out in the middle of nowhere," and this certainly qualifies. You might want to consider taking a few hikes while you're there. We have gone on a couple of the trails and we weren't disappointed. There is a small stream that works it's way through the park. We haven't fished there yet, but have heard others that have had success fly fishing. Note: Don't let the warm afternoon temperatures trick you into thinking it will stay that way at night. IT WON'T! Be prepared for cold! The mornings call for hot Tang or cocoa and a roaring fire.
|Our campsite at Eagle Valley RV Resort near Spring Valley State Park (Ursine, NV)|
|Eagle Valley Resort, 15 miles east of Pioche, Nevada.|
5) Eagle Valley RV Resort- ( About $20 per night/ $200 per month) Eagle Valley is in the town of Ursine, NV. We actually spent an entire month here. It is tucked right up against the scenic mountains in the area. It has full hookups. It is only about 4 miles from one of our favorite fishing lakes in Lincoln County. It has a snack store, a few slot machines, a very small grocery store, showers, restrooms, a laundry mat, and free wifi (if it's working) in the main office area. As school ended, we were excited to get out of the heat of Las Vegas and to get up there and be in the mountains for awhile. We probably would have liked it better had the promise of free wifi actually panned out. It worked for the first week but the rest of the time there was absolutely no access to the web. The campsites themselves are VERY close together. The awning on the RV next to us came within inches of our slide-out. The basic concept of this rustic 'resort' I like. However, due to our blog (and the lack of reliable internet) it is highly unlikely that we will stay here long term again. Due to it's remote location, the nearest free wifi is eighteen miles away. Location, location, location. I actually like Beaver Dam campground better, but Eagle Valley is close to a lot of great fishing, beautiful mountain hikes, the wonderful town of Pioche, NV and has all the amenities. The people here are friendly, and our overall experience was very positive.
|Calf Creek Campground near the Grand Staircase- 15 miles east of Escalante, UT|
4) Calf Creek Campground- ($7.00!) Calf Creek is 15 miles east of Escalante, UT on Hwy 12 near the Grand Staircase. This was one of the few campgrounds that we paid for. Not because we needed an electric hookup to stay cool, this one we just kind of stumbled upon. It was in a beautiful red rock canyon with a little creek running through it. It really was a pretty place. There was a restroom, fire pits at each site, a little swimming hole provided by a clear water stream, and plenty of trees. It was a welcomed stop after a long day of travel. Large RV's might have a difficult time with the small roads. However, we did see a few large trailers there. Another plus was that it only cost us $7 to stay there. I really had a hard time leaving it. There was a four mile trail that led to a waterfall that I would have loved to have taken. Since it was our first stop in our journey to the Midwest, we felt compelled to drive instead of hike. It was a GREAT and inexpensive little campground.
Tomorrow we will finish the top 3 spots. Until then, HAPPY TRAILS!