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> Campground Quirks, Be Happy Avoid Unpleasant Surprises
post Jul 21 2013, 12:54 PM
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I am starting this thread because I read so many complaints/misunderstandings in the campground reviews concerning things that are standard in certain state parks, in National Parks and in Forest Service Campgrounds. The reviewers tend to take out their frustrations on the campgrounds themselves when with a little more information before hand they could have picked another campground or have been mentally prepared for rules or charges they didn't anticipate.
Here's the type of things I can speak to--there are probably many more. I live in CO so I will start there.

COLORADO-- State Parks charge day use fees in addition to camping fees--usually 6-8 dollars. CO parks are beautiful and well maintained. They are worth the money, IMHO. They usually have electricity. Water hookups are not as common and sewer is rare. Check the availability of hookups before, not after, your arrive. Then if full hookups are more important to you than space, privacy, and scenery go to a private park. Showers are not free either. Expect to pay a dollar to a dollar and a half or use your in house facility. CO state parks are extremely popular so make reservations especially on the weekends.

TEXAS-- Most state parks here also charge daily fees in addition to camping fees.

NM--This state has a unique system of reservations. Each park has up to half of its spaces on a first come basis. Even if is the national reservation system says the park is full there may still be spaces. Check with the park. Also and, most importantly, each reserved site has either a green or a red reserved sign. A red sign means it is reserved for that night. A green sign means it is open for one night only and you can park there. This is great information for overnight stops. Do not expect full hook ups, individual water hookups or green grass. NM is a poor and very dry state. It is considered high desert. Showers are free but you have to push the cut on button every minute.
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post Jul 21 2013, 10:16 PM
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To add to the list started by the OP:

State of WA parks are excellent and many have full hookups. If you are staying at a CG you do not have to pay the day use fee at the park. Reservations are via a good online system, but you will have to pay a reservation fee and may have to pay an non-resident fee as well.

As someone who volunteers at a WA state park, I suggest that people try to understand the difference between our federal government and those of the 50 states. Your federal senior pass does not work at most state parks; get over it and stop acting so surprised!

Joel Weiss
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