Date of Stay: March, 2008
We came with a Cub Scout Pack of approximately 15 families covering 8 camping spaces allowing two cars each. The daytime activities and surroundings were excellent. Our boys hiked a trail around the lake, played at the playground and in general had plenty of space to do group activities. It wasn't until evening time when all the problems started. We did note on entry that gates to the camping facility closed at 10 p.m. and all campers were to observe quiet time beyond that point. That's pretty standard at "family" campgrounds but what's not standard is the fact no one enforced this. We were surrounded on one side by gang members having a large family gathering with thumping music and free flowing alcohol and obscenities and behind us an altercation between some drunk 20 somethings and on the end next to us another drunk group of men with two small sleeping children. At around 11:30 we dug out the map and tried to call the park ranger with the number on the paper but could only leave a message. As the evening wore on with no quiet in sight and a vulnerable feeling in our tents by rising tempers outside we resorted to calling 911 and reporting the incident which was worsened by the fact the police also could not gain entrance to the camp due to the locked gates at the entrance. When they finally did arrive in a convoy of 5 cars they ended up taking 3 people away and letting us know that camp usually contained this type of element and he apologized that our family and our boys all had to put up with this sort of facility. We will now add to our camping list bolt cutters because what it amounts to is we paid a facility to let us sleep there for the night with no park rangers making rounds and keeping things in check and allowing no way to leave pending any "real" emergencies. On a side note, the bathrooms were pretty dirty on all occasions we used them. So if you have a family with children, if you must camp there, please camp in the group camping sites next to the water's edge. We have camped there before and found it pleasant and was patrolled by a park ranger. This was a very nerve wracking experience and one we will not repeat. This must be the closest place for all the undesirables of the area to congregate knowing full well there is no enforcement around.
Date of Stay: October, 2007
We have stayed at this campground now probably 4 to 5 times in the last year and absolutely love it. It's quiet, beautiful with the tall trees and is small enough of a campground to feel like you're secluded and have your privacy. It's not one of those types of campgrounds where you are parked right next to someone else like a parking lot. Spaces are spread out to accommodate different kinds of camping whether tent camping or larger trailer parking. We did two of the hikes offered both in summer, fall and winter in the snow. They put up new trail posts over the last few months and this has really helped to hike up to the nature center where they offer a fireplace and interesting things to see like a museum format. If you can't hike to it, there's a road you can drive a short distance to get to this nature center. All campsites have a table and a fire ring and dirt bottoms for tents, not all level though. Pleasant rangers and they are around so if you have questions they are there for you. We will continue to visit this park. Oh, and in the winter you should go and play in the snow there. There's a very large open area and not ever crowded. Can't say enough about this county park!
Date of Stay: April, 2007
This was a first time trip with a 5 year old boy and all had a super time. It was off season so not crowded at all. We got to pick out our spot. We hiked 2 of the trails over our 3 days and they were fine, even for a 5 year old. The interpretive museum was good too, and you could hike to that from the Palm Canyon campground. We even saw some bighorn sheep, which is a rarity we've heard. Weather was awesome and flowers in bloom. We couldn't have asked for a better time!