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Date of Stay:

This RV Park is on the east edge of Cody, Wyoming. Some Garmin GPS units (such as my Nuvi 1450) incorrectly show the Absaroka Bay RV park as being about 30 miles northwest of Cody, instead of in Cody. Garmin apparently confused it with a lodge in Montana with a similar name, and according to the rv park owner, has to date been unable to correct the problem. The friendly, helpful, accommodating laid-back owner is a potter, wood carver, & sculptor, and also maintains a small vegetable garden. Even though it is in a “Y” between two highways (easy entrance & exit), this park has relatively little road noise, and is quiet at night. The roads are asphalt, the spaces are level gravel with small grass lawns and picnic tables, a few sites have a shade tree. The utilities all worked flawlessly. WiFi access & use was easy, fast, smooth, and solid; cell phone reception at our site was excellent. The minimalist restroom decor reminded me a lot of a late 1950s army barracks; concrete floors, cinder block walls, open runs of pipe, etc. However, the restrooms were very clean and well stocked. The large shower stalls had large antechambers with big hooks, so your towel and clothes don’t keep fall off them, and plenty of hot water. The guests were quiet and friendly, no ATV problems, and the one small dog that barked incessantly was dealt with after my spouse talked to the folks. This Park is smaller and less elaborate than the big one downtown, and much more to our taste. We stayed three nights in a popup trailer and paid $30 per night with a Good Sam card. We will stay here when we come back to Cody in the future.

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This trip we have been privileged to stay at three parks with the outstanding best restrooms/showers we have ever had the pleasure of using. This is one of them; see also my reviews for Lander WY & Gardiner MT. This park is in a small swale on a low spot between the freeway and Sheridan proper. The roads are gravel. The spaces are gravel and only roughly level; there are relatively large grassy areas, picnic tables, but no shade trees. The spaces are nearly all amply large, quite long pull-throughs. There are no trees, which will make the big rig owners happy; nothing to get big rigs or extensions tangled up in. The owner obviously takes pride in his park; the whole area is clean as a whistle; my spouse even said the dumpsters were the cleanest that she had seen. The power, sewer & water connections were all in good condition and trouble-free. The restrooms (in a centrally located metal building) are also continually spotless, neat, and in excellent condition. The mens has three sinks, two toilet stalls, and three showers (one stall and one shower are designed for handicapped access). Although the shower stalls are somewhat small, the adjustable shower heads are on extension hoses, so no awkward contortions are necessary to get rinsed off. We stayed two nights in a popup trailer (Aliner), and paid $32 per night. We had not been to Sheridan before, and picked this park primarily because of the good reviews it got; we agree with those good reviews, and would be comfortable staying here again (although, because we tow a popup, and actually prefer trees, we might also stay at a Ranchester or Sheridan park that had trees).

     

Hardin KOA

Hardin, Montana

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This is a fairly small KOA, surrounded by sugar beet fields. The park appears to have been somewhat tired & run down when the new owners took over two seasons ago; they are making improvements, but don’t expect fancy yet. We stayed during the sugar beet harvest, when the nearby processing plant periodically makes a rumbling noise (probably beets falling into a hopper or something) that sounds like a cross between distant thunder and a Tyrannosaurus exhaling. This blends with occasional traffic and train sounds to form a fairly constant, but relatively low-key, nighttime noise background. The roads and (relatively level) spaces are gravel, and most are quite long pull-throughs, so you won’t have any trouble fitting your big long rig onto a site. WiFi worked, but a bit slowly. Cell phone reception was fine. There are patches of grassy lawn, picnic tables, and some shade trees. The restrooms are also older, and are probably next on the list of things to remodel. I am told one of the womens toilets was out of order when we arrived, and will be replaced as part of the remodeling. The mens has a urinal, two toilet stalls, three shower stalls, and four sinks. The restroom was kept clean. The urinal space is narrow, and the shower stalls have low partitions so you can talk to your neighbor. The shower heads are positioned at just the right height for folks about 5 feet tall, but the water is hot, and flows well. Hardin is the logical stop if you are visiting the nearby Little Big Horn Battlefield. We travel in an Aliner popup, and we paid $33 per night for two nights (full hookups) with a KOA card, which I would say would be a good price when the place is a bit more fixed up. I don’t know that we will be coming back to Hardin, but if we do, there are two places to stay; this is the one that is not in the middle of town. Hardin also has a great museum, and a wonderful Mennonite(?) bakery (Oh’s, at the only stoplight in town. The bakery also serves tasty soups and sandwiches for lunch during the week days.

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A very small, family-run park right on a side channel of the Yellowstone river, in a small, scenic canyon on the south end of Livingston. About 18 sites with shade trees, grassy patches & picnic tables, gravel roads and level gravel pads. Cell phone reception okay, WiFi fairly fast, no problems encountered. There is a small laundry room with one washer & dryer, open 24 hrs/day. The clean, well-maintained restrooms are home style; the mens has only one toilet stall, one sink, and one shower. This could be problematic depending on the number of guests and their needs. The mens toilet stall is rather small, so tall old folks like me bump their knees, and have trouble getting back to a standing position; the stall could stand to be extended about 6”. The owner/operators are very helpful, the nicest folks you could find anywhere. When they spotted a Mountain goat on the cliffs above camp, they came around and told everyone in the camp, so they could see it. Full hookups $40/night (cash or check only, no credit cards). We stayed two nights in September in a popup trailer; this will be our first Livingston MT choice in the future.

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On a bench looking down on Gardiner and across the river to the north (Gardiner) entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Note that “downtown” Gardiner also has an excellent little grocery store with bakery(!). Elk wandered through our campground. The restrooms are spectacular, look brand new looking, super clean, three each toilet stall, sink, shower in the mens. Some may think I obsess about restrooms; I have two reasons. First, since our pop-up has no facilities, we depend on them. Second, restrooms are a pretty good indicator of the overall campground management…if they take pride in the restrooms; you can bet they treat the whole park the same way. All of the utilities worked fine (we were too busy playing in the National Park to try the WiFi). We stayed five nights in an Aliner popup, and would definitely stay again if in the Gardiner area. We paid $42 per night full hookups (except cable) with a Good Sam card (slightly pricey, but you are staying at the entrance to a National Park). We absolutely will stay here again.

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This park is located a few miles south of Lander; we saw it driving by and were attracted by the appearance, pastoral, trees, a couple of ponds/reservoirs. This Good Sam Park has only about twenty spaces. The owner obviously takes pride in the park. Neat, well maintained, gravel roads and mostly level gravel sites with small green, grass lawns with picnic tables, hookups all in working order, very friendly, laid back staff. Most of the sites with smallish shade trees (no mean feat in Wyoming). Quiet, peaceful. Neatest restrooms ever…large, home style, spotlessly clean, modern, a big shower area, handicap/ready, a spacious toilet and a sink area occupy an amount of space that in many RV parks would be stuffed with two or three shower stalls, two toilets, a couple of urinals, and three or more sinks. In fact, this is the only quibble I can think of…with only one toilet and one shower in each of the restrooms (mens' and womens), I can imagine there might be a waiting line when the park is full, especially if folks aren’t considerate. No problems at this campground; there were no generators, no loud music or parties, nobody cranking up a diesel truck at 4 AM, no loose, pooping, or barking dogs, no ATVs ripping through. Please don’t stay here if you are the type to contribute to any of the above problems …I really like it the way it is. Did not try the WiFi; cell phone reception was somewhat weak but serviceable at our site. Bottom line, possibly the nicest little park in the whole world; courteous knowledgeable staff & quiet, courteous guests. We (two people and a quiet, well-mannered dog) stayed here one night in September in a popup trailer; this will be our first choice in the future. We paid $31 with a Good Sam card.

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From the road, this looks like a pretty little place, grass, level concrete pads, so we momentarily forgot that beauty is only skin deep. When we mentioned that the RV Park reviews for the place were a bit dodgy, the lounging host said “Well, you can’t always believe them online reviews.” You can believe these. I am not sure that the electric is what caused my microwave to suddenly go crazy, but it did. After looking at the setup, I did not hook up to the water or sewer, and did not try the WiFi…and there was no cell phone reception. My spouse had planned to try the thermal pool here, but after looking at the restrooms, and at the stuff floating (some possibly swimming) in the pool, she decided against it. She went for a shower, opened the first one to find it full of running bugs, the second to find what appeared to be a used syringe; used the third reluctantly (the fourth had an abandoned scrunchy lying on the bench). The mens restroom had one urinal, one toilet stall, and three sinks. You won’t have to wait to get into the bathroom though, the latch hardware has been removed. There were spider webs on the urinal and on the air freshener, which didn’t. There was an empty soap dispenser, and no paper towel or hand drier. The person responsible for mopping the center of the floor did not extend that effort to the corners. We went through a container of anti-bacterial hand wipes in one night. There is some highway noise, although that is not too bad since you are below the highway, adjacent to the railroad tracks. Have I mentioned the trains? The tracks run just behind this small park. Trains roaring past make the ground shake…literally shake. The owner of this place apparently lives in what looks like a nice, clean, modern house above the premises; it is unfortunate the same effort has not been extended to the campground facilities. We stayed one night in a popup trailer. I’d say a fair one-night price might lie somewhere between zero and fourteen dollars, but we paid $38 for the privilege. In the future, we will stay someplace at least an hour’s drive away from Thermopolis. I gave it a 3 because I've seen one worse campground, and presumably there could be one worse than that out there.

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Note that some of the literature we were given there calls this "Goulding’s Camp Park", and lists the telephone number as "435 727 3235". This Good Sam RV and tent campground is nestled in among red sandstone cliffs, next to the Goulding Trading Post and Museum. Apparently, John Wayne movies are shown nightly at the trading post theater. There is a convenience store and gas station just down the road, the Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley scenic area, where many Western movies were made, is about four miles east across the main highway. I wish I could give this Good Sam campground a better rating than I am going to. The sandstone cliffs surrounding the campground seem to block most of the wind, which can be pretty intense in Monument Valley. The relatively level sites are compact red dirt, most with at least some shade trees. The asphalt access roads are narrow with tight turns, and may be tricky for bigger rigs. The staff person was somewhat harried and impersonal. I did not try the free Wi-Fi. There is no formal dog walk, guests are asked to have their dogs use “underdeveloped” areas; the only place we found to use was the side of the road in front of the campground. A previous reviewer commented on the unavailability of showers; the showers are actually inside the campground store, and are thus available only during store hours, which were about 7 AM to 8:30 PM when we were there; it would seem this obstacle could be overcome with a little planning. I have no further information on the showers. The restrooms are accessible at all hours from the campground by use of a swipe card, which you get when checking in to the campground. The mens restroom, which serves fifty (50) RV sites, has only two sinks, two urinals, and just one toilet stall. Although the restroom was regularly “cleaned”, a close look revealed various small blobs of debris at heights of up to three feet on the restroom walls. The one toilet was occupied when I needed it by one of those fellows who sit there to read and contemplate, rather than someone who was ready to do his business. I survived the long wait, barely, and then discovered that the toilet was not actually fastened securely to the floor. Later, as I walked to the office to turn in my restroom card, I noticed that the pay phone on the wall was out of order. Although I am accustomed to paying high dollar at campgrounds near National Parks (and the Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley area is equally of international interest, the rate of $44 with a Good Sam card seemed excessive given the level of the amenities present. We stayed one night in an Aliner, and are unlikely to stay again at the current level of service and price. If you are totally self-contained, have a modest-sized rig, don’t mind paying the high rate, and really want to spend some time in Monument valley, maybe this campground would work for you.

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Another one of those great Arizona State Parks. This one has spaces scattered around the edges of a lake/reservoir, in mesquite, juniper, and cottonwood trees. There are extensive hiking paths, boats and canoes for rent, and guided boat tours of the lake. Most of the sites have shade. There are many restroom blocks. Ours was always clean and functional; although, the floor needed repainting. All the restroom necessities like paper, hand drier, soap, shower soap dish and clothes hooks, etc were present. There is no curtain between the shower stall and dressing area; since the water comes out of a non-adjustable nozzle with the approximate force of a fire hose, make sure you put your towel and dry clothes out of the over spray area, and protect any sensitive body areas! There is even a foot-washing basin, but no outside sink for dish washing. The staffer we usually encountered was helpful, efficient, and a bit of a kidder. I was again amazed at how quiet and courteous most of the campers were. Patagonia Lake, like the other Arizona State Campgrounds we’ve stayed in this year, is very quiet and relaxing. The birding is excellent. Be aware that there is a campground store and gas station, with pretty high prices, but for any shopping you will probably have to drive about 15 miles to Patagonia, or 30 miles to Rio Rico. There are a coffee house (Gathering Grounds), a great little bakery (the Oven) and an eclectic/organic foods mart (Red Mountain) in Patagonia. There are big stores and cheaper prices in Rio Rico. We would very definitely return to this campground. We paid $25 per night for four nights.

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We stayed at this campground just behind the Safeway store in Benson six years ago. It is still nice, and the trees have grown some more, providing pretty good shade for most of the spaces. Much of the clientele appears to be snowbirds. The staff is, as before, friendly, efficient, helpful. The streets and most spaces are asphalt, and level, attractively, if sparsely, landscaped. There is a pool and a large rec room, as well as a kitchen/dining room available for group events, and lots of activities in the clubhouse. The restrooms are clean and comfortable. The dog walks are fenced with trash cans there. The worst thing about this campground is the WiFi, which is Tengonet. I just can’t say enough bad things about Tengonet. It is slow, buggy, aggravating, intrusive, and typically kicks you off just before you push “enter” to send the stuff you worked so hard to compose. The real draw for us at Butterfield is an actual observatory with a dome a 16” telescope that some universities would kill for. On clear nights when wind is not a problem, you can sign up for a chance to see some great views of the universe. Benson is on the railroad and has two road crossings, so if you are one of those bothered by train whistles, you may not enjoy that aspect. This is a nice campground, and the prices reflect that. We paid $36 per night for full hookups with a Passport card. We stayed a total of five nights in March. We would definitely come again just for the observatory experience, but Benson is also a good central location from which to see Tombstone, Bisbee, Sierra Vista, and things on the east side of Tucson.

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This RV campground/fast food/gas station is just off the main highway, about six miles from the Meteor Crater, and apparently all are run by the same corporation. When it comes to campgrounds in the middle of nowhere, we found this one a bit better than most. The campground is gated. The gravel spaces are relatively large, each with a picnic table shade tree, and there are even a few pines planted around. There are also three grassy public spaces, with benches and a jungle gym to play on. The rec room is large, comfortable, and open 7 to 7, with hot coffee first thing in the morning. There are several restroom/laundry buildings, including laundry facilities attached to the rec room. The restroom block we used had a small laundry, and five relatively modern, very clean, home-style bathrooms, each with toilet, sink, and shower. Oonly two were open in this particular block because there were very few campers this early in the season. The water took a while to get warm, but it got there. The staff were all first rate, helpful, and friendly, as are the staff down at the Meteor Crater itself. There is some road noise from the highway, especially noticeable in the late evening, and some distant train sound. This area can be quite windy in the spring, but we enjoyed two days of calm, clear weather. The campground water is from wells, and tastes good. There are two fenced dog walks with waste cans. The only problem we encountered was with the WiFi. It worked intermittently for us, and was buggy and slow. We stayed two nights using a water/electric site, and paid $29/night with a Good Sam card. We would stay here again if we were in the Winslow area, or when we revisit the Meteor Crater, which is really well worth the trip.

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. This was our first experience with the Arizona State Parks system, and we were impressed. Situated a little out of the pleasant little town of Cottonwood, across the Verde River, DHRSP has asphalt roads, lots of hiking trails, good birding, some fishable ponds, and even horses and a wrangler available. The staff was uniformly great. We had a nearly level, gravel, water/electric site in “Quail” loop. The entire park area, although filled to capacity, was clean, well-maintained, and very quiet. Though the campground was full, the restrooms were never crowded or malfunctioning. We are finding that each State Park has its small eccentricities; our restroom at DHRSP had no soap dispensers, and no place in the shower stall to put a bar of soap. There is no official dog walk; guests are asked to pick up after their dogs, and seemed to be quite good about it. The only real downside we found was lack of WiFi. There is a public Starbucks/Safeway WiFi in town. Our experience at DHRSP convinced us to stay in Arizona State Parks whenever possible, and we definitely will stay again at DHRSP. We stayed four nights in an Aliner popupand paid $31 per night ($30 per night plus a $5 reservation fee). Our "8" rating on the various AZ State Parks is for the stuff we find most important, which does not include clubhouses, tv, WiFi, or sewer hookups.

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Holbrook never appears to have much going on, and is not a shopping mecca, but it is the nearest town to Petrified Forest National Park. It can be very windy here; although, it was calm when we visited this time. The OK RV Park looks better than it did when I was through about seven years ago, so we gave it a try. The park is far enough off the freeway and the rails to be relatively quiet. You will hear trains in the distance. The staff were friendly, efficient, and helpful, and gave us useful information about local businesses. As is typical of southwestern desert campgrounds, the roads and level sites are gravel, although some have concrete pads between them. The place apparently changed hands a few years ago, and the current owner is slowly making improvements. Some trees have been replaced and all appear to be alive. The spaces are ample, quite long, and many are rather wide. You could park a sixty-footer with a toad in the one we got. There are codes for the WiFi which works well, but is a bit slow at times. The restrooms we used are a block with two each mens and womens. The mens room I used had two toilets, two showers, two sinks and a urinal. The restrooms are older, and somewhat run down. However, everything was clean and worked properly. The restrooms we used are not really well-adapted to handicapped use, but others in the campground may be. The dog walk is along an unpaved road and grassy field running along the back of the park. Remember that Arizona does not use Daylight Saving Time, but stays on Mountain Standard Time all year. This appears to be a point of pride with Arizonans. We stayed two nights. We would stay here again if in Holbrook. We paid $54 for two nights ($27 per night) with a Good Sam card.

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Checking the reviews before staying at this campground, I noted that previous reviewers had complained about the pay showers, dirty restrooms, and high prices. However, this was the closest private campground with hookups/restrooms/showers to Grand Canyon National Park. This quiet campground is located behind the General Store in Tusayan, about a half a block east of the main street, and about four miles south of the south entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. The spaces are gravelly, relatively level, some with some small patches of grasses, picnic tables, some sites with small shade trees, a few sites with pines. We stayed two nights in mid-March, before the tourist season. The staff were very friendly and helpful, and knowledgeable about what services were available in town. The sites appear to be mostly pull-through. The WiFi worked very well. The restrooms are older block buildings. I saw at least four; the one we used was clean and trouble-free. The mens restroom had two each sinks, toilets, and shower stalls. Each shower stall consisted of the shower stall itself plus a small ate-chamber for dressing. A shower cost $2 (put in eight quarters) for eight minutes; it is not unusual to encounter pay showers in areas where water is limited or expensive. The hot water was plenty hot, and eight minutes is quite a long shower (I’ve seen paid the same price for four minute showers). The shower water pressure was quite low, and I first wondered if I was going to get wet all over, but found the eight minutes more than ample to deal with this issue. The area is at high elevation (above 7000 ft), and arid, with limited water supplies (the campground depends on a well). The restrooms were cleaned daily. The price for a 30 amp site with full hookups was $34 per night, pre-season. Although the full hookup part was moot, since the water was turned off to avoid freezing the pipes at night. We found Grand Canyon Camper Village a pleasant surprise, but I am sure that if we arrived at this or any other campground during heavy use periods, we could find things to complain about. The pizza place attached to the General Store and the RP Stage stop (coffee house) both had good food at reasonable prices. A note to fellow travelers: campgrounds in National Park gateway communities have something of a captive clientele, and so are often more expensive than the norm, and have fewer amenities. They also get very heavy, and often thoughtless use during tourist season, leading to plumbing and trash problems. During our stay, more than one person pulled in quite late then left early and didn’t pay for their stay. It only takes one thoughtless or malicious idiot to jam up a toilet so nobody can use it. Water, electricity, WiFi time, and general maintenance all cost money.

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We’ve stayed here several times. The guests have always been quiet and friendly, mostly older folks. We considered trying a different campground this trip, but of the other two options, one looked pretty bad from the road and the other was closed. The gravel spaces, all pull-throughs, are level, each with a picnic table and (most) with small shade trees, and are large enough to park a vehicle beside your trailer. The small pond that a previous reviewer found choked with weeds is cleaned up, and being utilized by ducks, grebes, and other birds. The restroom facilities are rather novel, but work well. There is a stucco building with a creaky floor that feels almost like a trailer floor; it has a small central reading room with couch & chairs, pay phone, and book shelf. Surrounding the central room are the doors to four separate, clean, home-style restrooms with about 1950s décor, each with toilet, sink, and small shower stall. These facilities are more than adequate for the campground, which has only a couple of dozen spaces. The Cadillac Ranch is currently for sale by the daughter of the owner, who had passed away since we last stayed here. I hope someone steps up and buys this little campground, and keeps it going. We stayed with electric only. On-site water was available during the day, but had to be turned off at night due to freezing temperatures. We paid $27 (two nights at $55). This would be my pick when we come to Bluff again.