Writer, traveler, gambler, whisky drinker... yeah... that's about it :)
Date of Stay:
March, 2016 -
The park itself is an absolute 10: It's gorgeous and expansive with lots of hiking areas to explore and wildlife to see. I spoke to several park personnel, both in person and on the phone, and all of them provided outstanding customer service.
Here's the catch: We booked our site online for our 42' rig. It was plenty long enough but it was so far out of level front to back that there was no way I could level out our rig. I would have had to lift my front tires off the ground 2'7"... that's not an exaggeration, it's a calculated fact. We suffered through climbing uphill to our bedroom in the back for one night and decided to cancel the rest of our 5-night stay.
Because of the way their computer systems are set up, once your stay has begun you Can't cancel the rest of your days. I spoke to a very nice woman on the phone and I told her about our problem and that I was thinking of moving. She explained the "can't cancel" issue and suggested that I write an email to her supervisor and explain the situation and that he "could probably do something to help." I called back an hour later to confirm that we would be moving and that I would just take my chances on getting some of my money back. The second woman I spoke to was extremely sympathetic to our problem, and she took it upon herself to speak directly to her supervisor after we'd hung up... I got a phone message from her a couple hours later stating that a refund had been approved and would appear on my card after our initial reservation dates had passed, which is exactly what happened. Now That's exemplary customer service.
The level issue described above didn't impact the long 5th wheels we saw there as badly as it did us, but they were using Lots of blocks and 2x4's to do it.
So the park deserves a 10-star rating as long as you can actually park there. There was one site I saw that was long and level enough for us, #5, but it was reserved. I was told there are pull-thru's in a section of the park that was closed when we were there, but they'd be the best option "next time." We camped at Del Valle in a Motorhome.
Our GPS directed us down through town to get there, but the easiest way by far is to take South Vasco Road south from 580, right on Tesla, left on Mines Road. Otherwise, you'll be dodging low trees, narrow lanes and thick traffic all the way through the heart of Livermore.
Date of Stay:
January, 2016 -
We were thrilled to find this gem - it's relatively small, VERY quiet and extremely well maintained. Yes, it's only 30 amp, which could be an issue for some during the hot, muggy summer months, but it was a completely non-issue in January. The sites aren't particularly level, either - a walk around the park revealed that many if not most sites - especially those for longer rigs - were high in back and low in front. My front wheels were 3-4" off the ground after leveling. Even so, the spaces are wider than most parks we stay at and plenty long.
The roads in and around the park look tighter than they actually are; we were able to maneuver easily with 43' of rig plus the tow'd. The spaces are grass with a cement patio and picnic table. The ground was firm enough to stabilize our jacks, even after a couple weeks of steady downpours.
So, while it's far from perfect, the customer service we received from everyone we spoke to was outstanding and far outweighed any of the park's shortcomings. They go out of their way to make sure you enjoy your stay. Boat docks and launches on the delta are just a short walk away, and there's a pretty decent restaurant right on the property that opens for the busy season.
We will stay here again, and I have no problem recommending it to anyone else. We camped at Sugar Barge Resort & Marina in a Motorhome.
Do yourself a favor and avoid Hwy 4 during rush hours - it's rated as the 3rd worst commute in the entire nation, and for good reason. Also, Vasco Road between Brentwood and Livermore is no picnic either, but time your travels around rush hour and you should be ok. Marsh Creek Road is one alternative getting to the Concord or Walnut Creek areas, but the locals know it well and it can also be slow with traffic during peak times.
Date of Stay:
December, 2015 -
I just spent 11 days in the Kofa Wildlife Refuge and it's as beautiful as any high desert landscape you've ever seen. Granted, that type of landscape is a bit of an acquired taste, but once you embrace its beauty it sticks with you.
The Palm Canyon Road entrance is just north of mile marker 85 on the east side of Hwy 95, about 25 miles or so south of Quartzsite. The road in was a little washboardy but very manageable. They do see flash floods from time to time, and the road shows some evidence of rutting from previous floods, but it's wide enough to maneuver around the problem spots even in my 43' rig towing a car.
One issue is ground clearance: on the road in it's not an issue at all, but when they grade the road they leave a berm of gravelly debris along the sides which creates a curb that many if not most RV's and Travel Trailers would find difficult or impossible to get over. This unfortunately blocks access to what would otherwise be some pretty nice campsites for larger rigs, though smaller setups might be able to take advantage of them.
During my stay there were only a few other campers out there, mostly in travel trailers, so we all had thousands of yards between us to call our own. There was some very light day-use traffic and the occasional hunters / shooters whizzing by on quad-runners, but the dust they kick up dissipates very quickly due to the almost constant breeze.
It's beautiful, quiet and isolated... and expansive. The sunsets are magnificent and the hiking is as easy or as hard as you want it to be: The flat plains are perfect for long evening walks, and the mountains / canyons at day-use area at the foot of the mountains are a bit more challenging.
There's a park host for any questions you may have, but really you just find a spot and park. It's boondocking at its best, and it's absolutely free. It really doesn't get much easier than this. We camped at Kofa Wildlife Refuge in a Motorhome.
For some reason this site won't let you add a $o.oo cost - it forces the minimum to $1 - but this area is absolutely free of charge. Quartzsite is just up the road if you need supplies, and there's an RV Pit Stop for filling fresh water on the way in or dumping waste tanks on the way out.
Date of Stay:
November, 2015 -
I know this park has gotten more than its fair share of poor reviews in the past, and perhaps deservedly so, but the new managers - Michael and Christine - are working very hard to change all that. The park itself is laid out well, with long, wide gravel spaces with long cement pads and grass borders, 50amp, a nice pool and hot tub, a recreation hall and a game room, beautiful palms, and roads wide enough to comfortably negotiate. There is a wee bit of freeway noise and the occasional train, but it's very minimal. This is a very socially active park, thanks almost entirely to the new managers. Our first night there we were invited to a free potluck, of sorts, where the park provided huge, perfectly baked potatoes and a vat of chili, and everyone brought their own toppings to share. This park is a work in progress, and the new managers have already made many improvements, and I predict it won't be long before it's widely recognized as a 5-star resort. We camped at Sans End RV Park (55+ Park) in a Motorhome.
Yuma is just a stone's throw across the freeway with the usual big-box stores to choose from. There are a couple small, mom-n-pop liquor stores and markets right down the street, but I doubt they carry much more than your average 7-11. There's a decent casino just a couple exits up the freeway with some pretty ok restaurant options for a night out of the rig.
Date of Stay:
August, 2015 -
We weren't planning on staying the night, we just pulled in to see what it was like for future reference. But after speaking to the very nice ranger we decided to spend the night. She directed us to site #53, which was just long enough for our 42' rig and spacious enough to stow our tow dolly and park our car and have plenty of space left over to comfortably relax in. It also had 50amp service despite the the report at the top of this page that says it doesn't. Not every space does.... I think only a few do, but it is an option if available. The one issue with the asphalt space is that it's not at all level - very high in back / low in front. I had to use 3 jack pads under each front jack to level it, but we finally got it there (the reason for the 9 instead of 10). The park itself is adorable and very well kept - easy to navigate with even our long rig. Most sites have at least a small tree with some shade; ours had a large tree with lots of shade. The recreation area at the lake is also very well maintained, though I imagine it can get quite crowded in peak season due to its smallish size. The boat ramp was busy and looked to be in excellent condition. We will definitely stay here again! We camped at Cattail Cove State Park in a Motorhome.
As mentioned in earlier reviews, the drive into the park is very tight and windy. We had just enough room to comfortably maneuver our 42' coach towing a car on a dolly. I'm not suggesting not to go because of the drive, just be aware that slow is the way to go :)
Date of Stay:
August, 2015 -
We were very pleasantly surprised by the park. It's very large and easy to navigate. It has huge, lush trees lining the back of the spaces that either block out the morning sun or the afternoon sun, depending on which row you're parked on. The spaces themselves are just that - spaces; full hookups, 30/50 amp - nothing special. They're wide and roomy, dirt and gravel with a cement pad for a patio. The park has a beautiful dog walking area on one side and a river walk for campers on the other. The pool looked beautiful, though without enough shade it was simply too hot for us to enjoy it. But, by far the best feature of the park is its staff: they were extremely friendly and supremely accommodating. They went way above and beyond for us, and we very much appreciated their help. We'll definitely stay here again when we're in the area. We camped at Rivers Edge RV Resort in a Motorhome.
Yuma in the summer is one of the hottest places on the face of the planet - I'm not kidding. If you're going to visit during the summer, be prepared with plenty of hats, sunscreen and water, and make sure your rig's a/c's are up to the task.
Date of Stay:
July, 2015 -
The park is immaculate, the sites are well maintained, the staff were all very helpful and friendly. The river was flowing well enough to enjoy it even at the end of July, which we didn't expect at all considering the heat.
Most of the spots looked spacious enough, though not the roomiest I've ever seen. It was quiet without being boring - there are nightly activities sponsored by the park. The campers while we were there were all well mannered and courteous of others (which was really just a mater of luck).
The pool was very nice but a little too small to accommodate this many campers, and there weren't nearly enough chairs or lounges so check first and be prepared to bring your own.
Our site, #57, is an excellent site if you like to feel somewhat isolated - it's in the back corner - but there are dumpsters very nearby (which weren't a problem for us) and I was never able to perfectly level my 42' rig (the site is very high in back / low in front).
All in all, it's a beautiful place to stay and we will stay here again. We camped at Zion River Resort RV Park & Campground in a Motorhome.
If you're planning on driving through Zion NP to get to Bryce NP, be aware that you will have to pay both entrance fees - which for us totaled $60. Believe me, the views alone are well worth the price of admission, but you have the option of buying an annual pass for just $80 that will get you into every national park in the country for a whole year (all prices as of July 22, 2015).
Date of Stay:
July, 2015 -
I don't remember exactly how much we paid for one night, but it was around $25-$30. It was a lovely little park meticulously maintained by the owners. The site was just barely big enough for our 42' rig, and it was a bit of a squeeze to back her in, but we made it.
It has a very nice, large pool and pool area, but little else in the way of amenities. That's OK for us - we weren't expecting anything special because we only used it to split a long trip in half - but we were pleasantly surprised.
The owners were very nice, and they make their own crafts you can buy in their little store off the main office. Cute stuff. One not-so-nice thing for us is that they only have 30 amp service, which means we could only run one a/c at a time... and it's in the middle of the Mojave Desert, so it was hot. We made do, but 50 amp would've been nice.
The park was very quiet, clean, extremely well maintained, and a pleasant experience overall. We'd stay here again, but really just as a layover to somewhere else. It's very nice, but it's hardly what I would call a destination spot. We camped at Sierra Trails RV Park in a Motorhome.
Date of Stay:
July, 2015 -
We stayed in site #3 which was backed right up to the beach. Very nice, very convenient. The site itself is nothing to brag about - it's a flat pad with some grass next to it - but the park overall is clean and well maintained as far as I could tell.
One complaint I have about the sites is that your neighbor's sewer connection is less than 10' from your picnic table without any barrier or screen of any kind - probably closer to 6-8'. You can't move your table, so you're stuck hoping and praying your neighbor has working sewer connections and knows how to use them. Ours didn't.
The casino, um... isn't worth the walk over to it. We didn't eat at the restaurant because we cook in our RV. (We did treat ourselves to dinner out at the restaurant in Wine Ridge RV Resort just up the road; the food and service were awesome, though it was very expensive.)
My wife complained that while the pool looked clean, her bathing suit was filthy when she washed it.... so there's that (and it was a new bathing suit she bought specifically for that trip). It was likely just all the sunscreens and oils from all the swimmers that weekend; it was busy and hot, so the pool was used a lot. But still...
The employees were pleasant and helpful. I spoke to one who had worked there for 17 years and he was still happy to show up to work every day... so that's something. Wi-Fi was spotty, but when it worked it worked pretty well.
Overall, the park was a pleasant experience - it's pretty to look at, it's quiet, well shaded, conveniently located, easy to navigate, etc. It wouldn't necessarily be a destination for us if we were coming from far away, but it's a great weekend getaway for us coming from Las Vegas. I also wouldn't call it a "resort" - though I suppose technically it could be defined as such - but I would call it a nice place to park your rig and camp for a few days. There's not enough to do and see around there to make a longer stay worthwhile. We camped at Lakeside Casino & RV Park in a Motorhome.
Date of Stay:
May, 2015 -
It's a lovely place to park your rig for a few days to explore the coast. Unfortunately, we didn't have our tow'd with us so we were pretty much confined to the park itself. That was OK, we were just trying to get out of the Las Vegas heat for a few days, so it worked out just fine for us.
The grounds are well kept, the pool and hot tub were lovely. The employees were nice and helpful. The size of my rig meant that I had to literally drive all the way around the park in order to access our site - any other turns would have been impossible with 42'. It wasn't a problem, just making you aware.
The site itself was nice, though nothing special. Every site except ours had a fire pit... which would have been nice on those 50° evenings. It's a bit of a walk to the beach - about a mile or so - and you have to go through about 3 blocks of industrial streets to get to the path, but they seemed safe enough during the day.
One word of caution: The sewer connection is all the way at the end of the hookup island in between spots. It took all 20' of my stretched out sewer hose to make it; those of you with 10' or 15' hoses will need an extension.
It was nice, but a little expensive. Would we go back? Yes, probably, but with a tow'd to drive around in. Pismo Beach is a strange little town (what we saw of it) but it's worth exploring for some of the really good restaurants and beaches. We camped at Pismo Sands RV Park in a Motorhome.
Right down the street is an EXCELLENT mom & pop grocery store. It was the cleanest, most well-organized store I think I've ever been in and the butcher counter had some extraordinary meats. I think it's called Central Market - it doesn't look like much from the outside, but it's a great place to stock up food and supplies.