Date of Stay: November, 2007
If you need to be close to the Phoenix city limits for a visit to Phoenix, this probably will suit your needs ok, but for a recreational camp weekend, I can't say this is the place to go. The surrounding neighborhood is iffy. The campground itself is very clean. The sites are pretty tight especially up near the front. Most likely your front door will be about 10 to 15 ft from your neighbors sewer hose. The office staff were friendly enough. They came around often to sweep gravel off of concrete pads. The grills were kept very clean for sites that had them. Having a picnic table and a grill is considered a premium spot and there are only a few! WiFi only worked for us for one day out of a 3 night stay. The pool looked clean although I didn't use it. Again, if you needed a place to stay in or near the city of Phoenix it was safe enough and clean enough. I can't consider it resort camping however.
Date of Stay: August, 2007
This place was the perfect place for us. If you want to camp off the beaten path, under the stars, with a campfire, have plenty of room for spreading out, with sweeping views of mountains and Henry's lake; This is the place. The hosts and workers went out of their way to help in every aspect of our stay including parking our large rig. They made sure we had a map with things to do, places to see, and not to be missed places to eat. It is only a short 20 minute drive from West Yellowstone entrance. We saw moose nearly every night grazing on fireweed a short 2 mile drive from the campground. This is the perfect place for big riggers that need the hook-ups, but still want to feel like camping and want a view. You do share a power pole and water spigot with a neighbor but each site had a large grass front yard. We drove the entire Yellowstone area, and we thought this was the best bet for a good camping experience at Yellowstone. Shhhh it's quiet here!
Date of Stay: July, 2007
We went camping at Newport Dunes in Newport California for three nights including a weekend. They self proclaim themselves as "The Ritz of Campgrounds". First lets start with the good. Location! The campground is located on the bay with some sites along the water. It looks more like a lake but it is ocean water, but they consider it ocean front. If you come in wanting an upgrade to one of those spots, expect to pay, I'll talk more about this in the "bad" section of the review. However, the surrounding area has plenty to do and see. The women will love the nearby shopping at the Fashion Mall where they can shop in "hoity toity" shops such as Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, etc, etc. Macy's would be considered the budget store at the Fashion Mall. Crystal Cove is about 4 miles down the road and is a wonderful spot for biking, hiking, and swimming, and sitting by the surf pounding against the rocks. Most of the restaurants nearby are valet parking only and we ate at the Rusty Pelican. Food was expensive, but acceptable. The campground is very nearby The Back Bay Cafe restaurant. We did not sample the food there so I cannot comment on it's value or taste. The campgrounds are kept clean, and the help seemed friendly, but most do not speak English. We had an issue with our original camp spot where a tree branch threatened to tear off my rubber roof if I backed it in, and they gave me a free upgrade a little closer to the water. However, unless you are at a designated water front spot, you probably will not have a view at all except of other campers. The campgrounds had activities for kids such as movies on the beach at night which was nice although we didn't have any kids with us. But for families it looked like lots of fun. There are also boat rentals, an arcade and plenty to keep kids busy. Now the bad: My number one complaint is price. If you plan on upgrading after you get there, expect to pay 299.95 a night for a waterfront spot. Only the waterfront spots have some grass, and enough room to sit comfortably outside your camper. I understand that if you reserve a year in advance you can get one of those sites for just under $200.00. Gee.. what a bargain! The sites throughout are very narrow. If you have a triple slider like ours, you will probably not be eating outside, unless you don't mind eating a few feet away from the neighbors sewer hose. The campers and motorhomes with no slides had it the best here. Each site is separated by a fence. This is a blessing and a hassle. At least if you went with friends and got two sites, you could make some room between campers, but the fence gets in the way. On the plus side, it keeps your neighbors from crowding you because of their lack of space. There is basically no room for a tow vehicle. You are forced to park perpendicular to your camper sticking out in the road. I had to pull in my tow mirrors feeling they might get swiped off by a passerby or a kid on a bike. On the weekend, this place is crowded. The inconveniences certainly do not keep crowds away, and there is obviously a lot of people with disposable income that forked out the money for the premium water front spots. By Saturday evening, it was difficult to drive through or even ride a bicycle through because of all the people and children in the streets. They are in the streets, because there is no room in their campsite. The swimming pool is kept clean but my wife and I found the Jacuzzi to be filled with little kids using it as a kiddy pool. There is a sign posted that says no kids under 12 should be in it. No adults were watching them, and some were around age 5. We went to complain, and the office said they would handle it, but security did not arrive for about a half hour. By that time we handled the situation ourselves. The Jacuzzi was also not working properly. Although the water was hot, there were no bubbles and only two working jets. In conclusion, camp here only on weekdays. It's not as crowded and you might get to eat outside your camper without being next to a sewer hose. Off season would also be helpful. The sites in the back row are still priced high at around $80.00 per night, but they are just as large as the rest of the campground and just as much view as the rest of the campground excluding the waterfront sites. It's really the only game in town and it shows because they demand such a premium price for camping and seem to get it. It's NOT the RITZ! Not even close. I have been to much nicer camp resorts for a LOT less money. The ocean view sites are the best sites, but it's still just like looking at a lake because it's in a small bay. Don't expect to see surf here, but surf is a short 4 miles drive away. The waterfront sites do offer a lot more room for picnics and BBQs. Personally, a nice hotel would be more comfortable and for the same amount of money. If you must camp, and have to be in Newport Beach, it's the only game in town. Bring your wallet.
Date of Stay: July, 2007
This place is in need of some work. The trees are in great need of pruning. High profile vehicles should beware. The staff was friendly toward us and helped us find a place that would be suitable for our high profile 5er, but it still required some very slow going and we watched branches rub across the roof. There were some iffy looking campers that may have been long term residents next to us. Their camper had flat tires and the holding tanks were leaking. It was very rusty, old, and an eyesore. We stayed here simply as an overnight stop on the way to Yellowstone. We didn't need to use the picnic tables but they were old and in need of repair and paint. There was not much room between campers for any outside activity. This might be an OK place for an overnight stay for a small travel trailer, but not so great for a high profile 5th wheel or motorhome.
Date of Stay: July, 2007
We arrived at this resort and were greeted pleasantly by the workers. They were sure to give us a schedule of the activities there in the resort as well as information about nearby Zion. This park seemed to be the most convenient to Zion in terms of easy in and out for big rigs. Many sites are situated along the Virgin River, however the banks are up high so no sites really have a view of the water. The sites along the river are back-in. Thankfully the banks were up high because there was a flash flood while we were there. If they had not been raised, it could have been a disaster. There are many pull through sites available. They held activities for children and had a movie night as well. The park was very clean and well kept. Although the park was only about half full when we were there, the 50 amp power was slightly on the low side showing in the red on my power meter. There are some nice views of the mountains and beautiful sunsets to be seen there. Campfires were allowed. The pool was clean, but a little small for the size of the park. There is an outside cafe/grill where reasonably priced food can be ordered. There is a hotel with RV park close to the Zion entrance gate which looked like it might have nice views of a beautiful mountain side, but it looked much more difficult to get in and out of. Zion River Resort was very easy to drive around in with a big rig. I would definitely come again.