Thursday, May 24, 2012

Places to Stay

Jacob Lake - A frame from time-lapse
While on my road trip camping at the United States' best of the best. I took detailed GPS notes to record different locations we stayed, to share, and to have for next time I may find myself in that area.
As a sort of geocaching of something that is already there, and that is a great campsite at every single one.

Use some of the coordinates in google earth or maps to zero right in on that spot.

The parks are organized in the order that we stayed at them.  We never really just 'relaxed' around camp so it's hard to describe much else about them besides the important facts like location, etc.

Jumbo Rocks, Joshua Tree
Waterton National Park (Waterton, AB)-  LAT: 49° 2'54.53"N  LONG: 113°54'31.65"W
The first place we stayed. In mid summer, it would be a bustling campground in the heart of town. Having been there before most residents even moved back into town after the winter - we had the entire place to ourselves. Cooking huts with stoves are a nice touch, the water was cold and refreshing. Loads of hiking within the area.


Yosemite, "Camp 4"

Black Sandy State Park, (Helena, MT)- LAT:  46°44'51.66"N LONG: 111°53'12.27"W
Our first campground in the USA. On our way to Yellowstone, but didn't go the full way and used Black Sandy on the shores of Hauser Lake as a waypoint.  Nice place with good view, lots of boaters on the water however, and the water had a very strong smell to it. We opted to start buying water from this point on in our trip.

Mammoth Hot Springs, (Yellowstone, WY) - LAT:  44°58'33.81"N LONG: 110°41'37.52"W
A large campground, which when open, should have loads of space for tenters and RVs. Good access to trails and roads in the area.
Yellowstone

Horsethief Campground, (Canyonlands, UT)-  LAT: 38°33'41.51"N LONG: 109°47'48.60"W
Just outside of Canyonlands Park, run by the Bureau of Land Management if I remember correctly. only six sites, very cheap, but without water. Large amounts of wind battered our site but there are a select few with good wind coverage there.  First open air toilet I've seen - there's like a backyard fence around a pit toilet.

Lone Rock, (Lake Powell, UT)- LAT:  37° 0'54.37"N  LONG: 111°32'16.28"W
Shore of Lake Powell, if you google this location it will say we were in the water, but Lake Powell is the reservoir for the Glen Canyon Dam which is currently at one of its lowest volumes in years.  Was a very busy area when we arrived, ATVs and other ORVs were zipping up and down the sand. Four wheel drive recommended near the shore.

Bryce Campground, (Bryce, UT)- LAT:  37°37'15.94"N LONG: 112°10'36.29"W
We barely were at the campsite, however it was at an incredibly central location that allowed us to get around the park very easily. Good facilities, water was refreshing.

Zion Campground, (Zion, UT)-  LAT: 37°11'54.71"N  LONG: 112°59'7.92"W
Lone Rock, Lake Powell
A 'walk-in' site with shared fire pits, and was among the last sites available for the entire park. Very close to free shuttle was great for that.

Jacob Lake (Kaibab National Forest, AZ)- LAT:  36°42'48.98"N  LONG: 112°12'29.90"W
We originally tried to get into the regular campground in town, but hadn't opened for season yet. As the entire Jacob Lake area was a surprise when we found out Grand Canyon North Rim wasn't open. We took a dirt path off the side of main road and chose to set up camp right there.

Lee's Ferry
Mather Campground (Grand Canyon, AZ)- LAT:  36° 2'54.28"N LONG:112° 7'7.84"W
Pre-register before driving through and choosing (when there is an attendant present) which means your site is assigned so you wouldn't always get a great spot, but at the same time, assigned means guaranteed. Show up early, claim a site and even if you don't want to set up till the end of your long day, you will still have a site when you get there.

Jumbo Rocks Campground (Joshua Tree, CA)- LAT:  33°59'32.24"N LONG: 116° 3'42.25"W
Very cool site intermingled in giant boulders. Our tent was essentially walled on two sides by giant rocks fifteen feet high.

Lodgepole Campground (Sequoia, CA)- LAT:  36°36'20.40"N LONG: 118°43'29.66"W
A great spot right near a picturesque creek and numerous trailheads, and one small village with showers and market, making it the perfect spot to hole up for a little longer than some other spots.

Camp 4 (Yosemite, CA)- LAT:  37°44'28.63"N LONG: 119°36'12.28"W
Shared campsite, there were two other tents on our site within arms distance, for a shared fire pit and two picnic tables. Pay per person.  Symphony of bear bins may keep you awake or put you to sleep when they start the 'quiet time'.  We had some fellow Canadians to share the site with so that made it better than if you got the wrong kind of site-mates.

Lassen
Lassen (Lassen, CA)- LAT:  40°26'8.98"N LONG: 121°31'56.02"W
We arrived when it was essentially closed. The road was plowed for one mile past the campground, and after that it was closed to vehicles.  Though everything was a few feet in snow, we found one area that was cleared out, likely someone dug it out earlier in the season so the snow melted faster. Which really helped us out. Was a little eerie to sleep there and know that there was no one else around for miles.

Flint Ridge (Redwoods, CA)- LAT:  41°31'30.59"N LONG: 124° 4'42.03"W
A primitive campsite that we were told by the ranger is backcountry, and turned out to be as long of a walk in as it was from parking lot to shared site as Yosemite or Zion. And to only have two other sites around made it very quiet, just a stones throw from the coast where you can appreciate the sunset.

Crater-Lake Sno-Park (Crater Lake, OR)- LAT:  42°54'43.83"N LONG: 122°19'28.89"W
The snow-park was designed for winter usage with snowmobilers and is one from many, so they can complete long backcountry trips with a hut at each, fully stocked with wood, stoves, and benches.  The hut was very useful, since when we woke up there was a thick layer of frost on everything outside, and this was mid-may.

Kalaloch Campground (Olympic, WA)-  LAT: 47°37'1.32"N   LONG: 124°22'36.61"W
One of the most prime locations for a campsite and maybe favourite of the whole trip.  Just steps from the shores of the Pacific Ocean and beautiful photo location during all hours of the day.

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