Jemez Falls CG is a beautiful CG at 8100'. Surrounding forest was recently thinned out for safety, though it didn’t prevent a camper from setting fire to his site Memorial Day weekend during extreme drought conditions. The CG water supply was tested in early June, but produced only a trickle, and the water well will have to be re-drilled much lower into the water table ($$$). That probably won’t happen until 2012, so make sure that your water tank is FULL (thus a rating of 8, not 10). Vault toilets are new style, and well vented, but without water in CG, are rarely washed out. Cell phone service (Verizon) is spotty and depends on where you stand. Nearby Jemez Falls is a nice walk and picturesque, and McCauley warm springs is a good hike where you can soak your muscles for free. Toward the end of our 4-day stay (June 22-25, 2011), drought conditions caused the Forest Service to declare “no open flames” in CG, which meant fire pits, or exterior propane stoves and grills could not be used. CG is usually fairly quiet weekdays, but can fill up on weekends, especially holidays. We use a 45 watt solar panel kit to keep the TT battery charged while dry camping. NOTE - CG was temporarily closed during summer due to extreme drought and the Las Conchas wildfire. Call Jemez Ranger Station (575-829-3535) for latest conditions.
Signal Mountain CG is a dry camp operated by Signal Mountain Lodge, but no reservations, so first come first served for 86 sites, both tent and RVs. CG located next to Jackson Lake, and each site was just a few minutes walk from the lake. All loops are heavily wooded, and built into a hill, which compromises RV access, especially for longer TTs and MHs. Most sites are fairly large, so you don’t feel crowded. Elevation 6,800'. A few pull throughs (on side of road), but most are unlevel back-ins. During high season (until Labor Day), CG fills before 11:00. My site in upper loop was a fairly level pull-through on side of road and long enough for my TT & TV, w/ new picnic table and fire ring. Many sites had newer “bear boxes” for food storage. Each loop had one bathroom with flush toilets, cold water sinks, dish washing room, and a single faucet (threaded) in front to fill water tanks with a very long hose. Faucet drain in front of our bathroom was clogged with food floating in it, and maintenance didn’t bother to fix it while we were there (4 days). Dump station nearby, no recycle containers. Cell phone coverage (Verizon) excellent. Nightly charge $20.50, Golden Age $10.25. One site designated “Full Hookup RV” at $50.00 (no discounts) with electric, water and sewer. We use a 45 watt solar panel kit to keep the TT battery charged while dry camping. Nearby lodge, restaurant, small store and marina, and spectacular views of Tetons across the lake.
Grant CG is a dry camp operated by Xanterra, so reservations can be phoned in (no web reservations) for 438 sites, both tent and RVs. CG located next to Yellowstone Lake (42ºF), and each site was just a few minutes walk from the lake. All loops are heavily wooded, and built into a fairly level area, so parking at most sites is easy. Most sites are large, so you don’t feel crowded. Elevation 7,800'. TTs are assigned to pull throughs (actual pull-outs), so access is easier than having to fight into a non-level back-in. My site in Loop I had asphalt drive long enough for my TT & TV, fairly level, w/ picnic table and fire ring. Each loop had one or more bathrooms with flush toilets, cold water sinks, hand soap dispensers, electric space heater and hand driers, dish washing room, and 4 faucets (non-threaded) in front to fill water tanks. Dump station & recycle containers at entrance. Cell phone coverage (Verizon) excellent., 1 pay land line remains at entrance. A few sites had newer “bear boxes” for food storage. Nightly charge $20.00 + tax & utility fee, Golden Age $10.00 + tax & fee. Xanterra sells ice and firewood at entrance, ice $3.00 for 7# blocks or 3# cubes, small box of firewood $7.28. We use a 45 watt solar panel kit to keep the TT battery charged while dry camping. Nearby Grant Village for restaurants, stores, features. Lots of families, so seems busy, and some generator noise. Saw elk grazing through CG while we were here.
Buckboard is a US Forest Svc / Bureau of Reclamation CG, operated by Flaming Gorge Corp., and reservations can be phoned in or via internet for 68 sites, both tent and RVs. CG located on west side of Flaming Gorge reservoir, more or less in the middle of nowhere, and each site is a few minutes walk from the lake. Sites are $16.00 or Golden Access $8.00, plus $4.00 for electric. We chose non-electric, and use a 45 watt solar panel kit to keep the TT battery charged while dry camping. Two loops, one no electric and one w/ half electric and water. CG built on level desert meadow, some pull-through sites (off the road), some with nice long back-ins, all level with fresh gravel. I was able to leave my TV connected to TT for a short 1 night stay. Each site had picnic table, lean-to (to shade from west sun), and fire ring (impossible to use with the constant wind). Sites were well-spaced, no crowding. Grass around the sites, no bare dirt; some scrubby trees (it’s a desert environment), and beautiful views of the nearby lake. Elevation is 6,100 feet. One loop had an older bathroom with flush toilets, cold water sinks, and water faucet (threaded) in front, electric heater and hand drier. The newer bathroom had the same, plus very nice hot showers (free for campers). Cell phone reception was poor (Verizon), and there are no pay landlines. Was very quiet. Saw a herd of mule deer grazing in the morning. Note that there is no nearby access to groceries, gas, or Starbucks; but there is a marina.
Norris CG is a dry camp operated by US Park Svc, not a concessionaire, so no reservations and first come first served for 100 sites, both tent and RVs. Nightly charge $14.00, Golden Age $7.00. Loop A is mostly meadow and has nice views of nearby Gibbon River. Loops B & C heavily wooded and built into a hill, which compromises RV access, especially for longer TTs and MHs. Most sites are fairly large, so you don’t feel crowded. Elevation 7,500'. A few pull-throughs (some actual pull-outs, but most are on side of road), but most are unlevel back-ins, some with missing asphalt or just plain dirt. During high season (until Labor Day), CG fills by 11:00. CG volunteer hosts helped me find a site I could back my TT into, and waited at site to hold it. My site had asphalt drive wide enough for TT and TV side by side, fairly level, with picnic table and fire ring. Each loop has one bathroom with flush toilets, cold water sinks, dish washing room, and a single faucet (threaded) in front to fill water tanks (heavy on the chlorine), no dump station. No cell phone coverage, 2 pay landlines at entrance. Many sites had newer “bear boxes” for food storage. Xanterra sells ice and firewood at entrance, ice $3.00 for 7# blocks or 3# cubes, small box of firewood $7.28. We use a 45 watt solar panel kit to keep the TT battery charged while dry camping. Nearby features are Ranger Museum and Norris Geyser Basin. Bison may browse through CG.
Cost for 1 night $25.00, non-event day (fairgrounds not in use), and first come first served. Event days are $10 with reservations. 122 sites with electric & water, no table, no fire ring. Sites close together. Cell phone coverage (Verizon) excellent. Landscape is well-graveled drives, grass sites, no shade but a few trees at west end of CG. Sites all have some slope, all back-ins, and must separate TV or toad to side. Very quiet. Large bathroom has sinks, toilets & showers w/ good pressure, clean. Okay for one night.
Cost for 1 nite $20 + tax, with electric & water, sewer $5 more. Active military are free. Assigned to a pull-through site of about 25 sites, separated from the full-time RVers, and a mobile home area. Convenient so we could leave TV connected to TT for a 1 nite stay. Very quiet. Clean bathroom has sinks, toilets & showers w/ good pressure, and laundry room. Sites have water, electric, picnic table, fire ring, & free Wi-Fi. Elevation 4025'. A few pull throughs. Sites are close together. Cell phone coverage (Verizon) excellent. Landscape mostly loose dirt, no grass, some gravel in drives, some short trees. Our site was fairly level.
Stayed here for Rock Rock Balloon Rally in December. Staff escorts you to your assigned site. Some sites are small: had to squeeze my TT into my site. Mostly dirt, sites not very level, w/ electric and water. Two large bathroom units with endless hot water. Nearby rail line has 24-hour freight traffic, and you'll hear one about every 20 minutes. Scenery is outstanding, especially with hot air balloons flying around the nearby rocks in the mornings. Cell phone service ok, radio stations ok, no TV. Nearby Gallup is 20 miles west. Operated by City of Gallup.
Redondo CG has deteriorated over the years, and could use a complete rebuild. The water system hasn't worked in years, so make sure your water tank is FULL. Vault toilets are very old and smelly. Many sites won't fit an RV. East side of CG okay for tents, not RVs. When I was here, there was no host, and pit toilets hadn't been serviced (no TP) in a while, fire pits were full of trash. CG is densely wooded, and really needs to be thinned out to be safer from wildfire. Usually very quiet during week, somewhat busy weekends, rarely full. No cell phone service, but is available across Hwy. NOTE - CG is temporarily closed due to extreme drought. Call Jemez Ranger Station (575-829-3535) for latest conditions.