We have been in Oregon for several days, however it was not until we found this campground that we really felt like we were back in the Pacific Northwest! The lushness of green…moss, ferns, clovers, blackberry bushes, and oh the trees…so many wonderful trees! There is also the Chetco River which runs right behind the campground. Our first night we stayed in #4 and loved the huge “backyard” of our site. Today we moved over to #33 which has peek-a-boo river views, easy access to the river path (with a bridge), near the bathrooms and showers, and has a nice large picnic and fire area. We just planned to stay one night…and that has turned into two…and think we’ll end up staying here several more days.
This is one of best boondocking sites in the United States! The views are totally amazing!! Add to that meeting up with some fun friends we had met in Moab and many new friends and it all equals an incredible experience! Not to mention this camping area is right next to Grand Teton National Park with scenic wonders and wildlife that go on for miles and miles!! You can even use this site as a base camp to explore Yellowstone and the Jackson Hole area! Life is good!!
Oh, and this happened…
If you plan to boondock in this area, here are some things we found helpful…
Signal Mountain Campground inside of Grand Teton National Park has a dump station, water, public showers, recycle bins, and laundry. The shower rooms are clean and have some of the best water pressure we have experienced in months!
There are water filling stations throughout the park, look for the moose sign. At these you can refill water bottles and containers. The water filling station we went to was at the gas station/store on the way to Colter Bay.
We had a yummy breakfast at Buffalo Valley Cafe in Moran, which is probably the closest place to have breakfast in the area. Every morning about 7:30 (time may change depending on season) they let about 70 horses out…amazing to watch! Plus, if you drive further down Buffalo Valley Road you will find some amazing photo opportunities and even another place to dry camp.
The pizza is surprisingly good at Leek’s Pizza inside of Grand Teton National Park. It is located near Leek’s Marina, so you can eat outside and have a water and mountain view! Go around dusk, see wild life and eat pizza (they even have gluten-free)! They do also have salads, sandwiches, beer, wine, and ice cream.
There are many wonderful hikes around the camping area and in the park. We especially enjoyed hiking around Jenny Lake!
Be sure and enjoy the sunsets and fire rings at Upper Teton View!
We enjoyed our time there so much we are heading back in a couple days!!
We often get asked about how we find our camping spots and what memberships we find helpful. We decided to write a blog post about these topics.
When we first started out RVing we used Good Sam and general Internet searches for reviews when planning our stays. We eventually wrote a few reviews on Good Sam. We are currently Good Sam members, however we will only be as long as we feel we are getting value out of our membership. We eventually started looking at other places for reviews. Our two favorite places are Campendium and RV Park Reviews. We also sometimes use freecampsites.net.
Our camping preferences are boondocking on dispersed land, state or national park campgrounds, or a small quiet basic RV park. Sometimes though for various reasons we find ourselves at an RV resort.
Sometimes we carefully plan our adventures and other times “serendipity happens!”
We are trying to get better about taking time to review places after we have stayed at them. It is a work in progress that depends on time and cell phone/WiFi reception/connection.
As for memberships…these are our thoughts based on our limited experience this past year…
Our most used membership is Passport America. It pays for itself in one or two stays! We have never had a bad experience at any of the campgrounds listed with PA. Some are nicer than others, it pays to read reviews carefully.
Good Sam ~ Our first year we used this very often for the 10% discount, but have not used it lately at all. We will probably not renew next year. So far it has not paid for itself this year. However, it was a great place to start when first RVing. We still do use their trip planner from time to time.
KOA ~ Last year we found some deals at KOA campgrounds, used the membership discount, and had good experiences. We felt it was worth it. So far this year we are thinking it is not worth it. We had okay experiences, but felt we overpaid for what we got. Hoping we have better experiences in the future.
Boondockers Welcome ~ We did not renew this year. We had it all last year and never once did it work out for us to stay at one of their properties. We did try, but the people were not at home the dates we needed, the space was not available, or our RV was too large (never thought we’d hear that! Actually, it was the combination of our Pathfinder and our Shasta).
We recently purchased the following memberships, but have not yet tried them out…
Harvest Hosts ~ We feel this will pay for itself it one or two stays. We love the pictures we see of others’ stays at Harvest Host locations.
Thousand Trails ~ We have heard the good and the bad about TT. We purchased the 2 for 1 Zone Pass. We know it may or may not be our cup of tea. We will keep you posted on our experiences with TT.
Note: We are certainly not experts on these topics or anything pertaining to RV life. We are just fellow travelers sharing our experiences. There is no “one size fits all” or “right” way to do anything in the RV lifestyle!
Enjoy the journey!
This past weekend we stayed at Blue Mesa Escape near Gunnison, Colorado. This campground is on Passport America. $17.50 for full hook-ups + amazing water and mountain views = a good deal! They also have some nice cozy cabins! This campground is a hidden gem in the area and the owners are super wonderful! During our time is this area we enjoyed exploring the Curecanti National Recreational Area and Lake Fork. Lake Fork also has some nice basic RV sites for $16 a night! There is also plenty of BLM land and other places to stay, check out Campendium!
Note: There is really hardly any WiFi and not much cell reception in this area. This is the reason we decided to visit on a weekend, rather than during work days. It is a great place to wander where the connection (WiFi) is weak! We love spending weekends in places were we cannot be connected to anything except nature and each other.