CAMPGROUND REVIEW: Jefferson County Fairgrounds Campground – COLORADO (Golden)


Campground/RV Park: Jefferson County Fairgrounds Campground (Golden)
Location: 15200 W 6th Ave. Frontage Road, Golden, CO  80401
                (303) 271-6600
Date(s) Stayed: 8/15/15 – 8/20/15
Length of Stay: 5 days
Site #: 1 (Back In)
Cost per night (with taxes): $40/day
Discount Used:  None
Connections: 50 amp Electric/Water and Dump Station
Stars:  2 

Jefferson County Fairgrounds Campground 
managed by the Jefferson County Fairgrounds has 40 RV sites.  The Campground was easy to get to off of US-6.

Sites 1-18 are on pavement; first section are back ins (50amps) and second section are parallels (30amps); it was a weird configuration.  Sites 19-40 are gravel pull-throughs (not level).  Since we were in site #1, we can’t speak for reviewing or giving knowledge of the gravel sites.  The back-in sites back up to a small hill; most take their dogs back there to unwind and do their business (and not clean it up!).  Being a Toyhauler, we could not unload our toys from the back which was not an issue for us; we hadn’t planned on it anyways.  Picnic tables were present at each site in the back (we moved ours to our awning/door side because we were so long and we had more room).  The bath houses were very clean and had ‘codes’ so no one from outside the campground could use them.

There is a nice covered pavillion with lots of picnic tables with a children’s playground to the right after the entrance check-in building (which was directly across from the front of our rig).  There is a bit of highway noise but that wasn’t an issue for us as we were out playing tourist.  

Reservations highly recommended (by us) with thorough explanation of your size and needs.  They assigned us in site #1 which was fine except if the parking spots directly in front of our rig were taken.  Spaces were TIGHT; literally, slides touching which made it difficult for privacy and walking around your rig.

While parked, we toured and visited Rocky Mountain National Park, Breckenridge, Frisco, and Golden.  Lots to see and do in this location.

In our experience and opinion, Jefferson County Fairgrounds Campground was overpriced for what it was.  This is not a long-term campground’/park; only good for a couple/few overnights.  This was the only place with vacancy for our 44′ big rig toyhauler 5th wheel.  Though accessibility to I-25/US-6 was great, no sewer connections (except for dump station which was not big rig friendly), layout of the park, spaces between sites, maneuverability, and no sewer earned only 2 stars. 

Would we stay here again?  As a last resort.

Fort Robinson State Park Campground – NEBRASKA (Crawford)


Campground/RV Park:  Fort Robinson State Park Campground – NEBRASKA
Location:  Fort Robinson (Crawford), NE
Date(s) Stayed: 8/2/14 – 8/6/15
Length of Stay:
 4 days
Site #: #57
Cost per night (with
taxes): $24/night
Discount Used: None
Connections:  Electric
Stars: 2.5
Phone: 308-665-2900
We stayed at Fort Robinson State Park to take in the local historic and
geological attractions.  Fort Robinson is
located on Route 20 near the town of Crawford, Nebraska. 
There are two campgrounds in Fort Robinson State Park; Red Cloud
Campground which has FHU’s, Soldier Creek Campground which has Electric only.  We made our reservation online through
Reserve America in which left us selection of availability.  They say the sites are ‘Big Rig Friendly’
however, take that at face value.  We are
a 43’ toyhauler; even with our trailer wheels all the way to the grassline and our back leveling jacks were completely off the asphalt pad, we
barely fit our rig and our truck.  Be
aware.  They do have non-reservable sites
for those just passing through.  Maximum
stay in the park is 14 days.  Our
recommendation is not to make reservation on Reserve Amerca; to otherwise, call
the number we’ve provided above for better service.  If you are a big rig, make certain you repeat
that several times so you get an ample site.
The check-in process is not desirable to say the least and can be quite
confusing.  You enter into Fort Robinson
in which a small sign directs you to check-in at the office, located on a busy
street.  Finding parking, especially with
a big rig, is a challenge.  We recommend,
if pulling a toad, is to have your toad person go about 15-20 minutes before
your rig arrives to get checked in and then your toad/person can lead you to
your site without having to navigate the streets.  We did this by motorcycle and it worked
perfectly.  If you camp in Soldier Creek,
please be aware that the sites are marked ‘backwards’ on the posts so you don’t
know your site # until you actually pass it. 
As well, there are no signs directing you to different site #’s.  The campground is all one-way narrow
roads.  There is only one building that
hosts separate showers and flush toilets in Soldier Creek with another small
building of individual compost toilets (men’s and women’s).  The way the campground is setup is quite compact;
lots of trees and obstacles, including other rigs or vehicles that may be
sticking out slightly from their sites.  The
sites are a bit tight but since we were always out playing tourist, it didn’t
bother us as much.  Our site was not
level.  We had to put our picnic table on
the back of our site behind our rig so our beverages didn’t spill and our peas
didn’t roll off our plates.  Because of
the tightness between sites, the campfire rings were close so windows had to be
closed in the evening hours.  Camp
Hosts?  Well, we didn’t see they at all
while we were there.  There needed to be
a little better upkeep on the grounds and the bathrooms and showers could have
used a bit more attention as these were shared with so many campers.
However, aside from the negativity of the outdated campsite issues, it’s
nicely located within a historic post-Civil War Cavalry Military Post.  You will learn about the Red Cloud Indian
Agency and POW Camp, the Cheyenne Outbreak Barracks, the Buffalo Soldiers and
Military K-9 Training Area.  The State
Park will not leave you or your family bored. 
There is a mass array of activities to keep everyone occupied.  On Thursday evenings (Summer), there is a
free Rodeo.  Located within the State
Park is an indoor swimming pool, riding stables (if you bring your horses),
trailside museum, a Post Playhouse which showcases musicals and plays, Jeep
rides, Horse drawn wagon history rides, craft room, bike rentals, nature
center, snack bar, picnic grounds and shelter, and lots of hiking and horse
trails (you have to drive to them)!! 
They also serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily during the summer
season at the Fort Robinson Inn (their breakfast was out of this world and
plentiful!).  This is a fantastic place
to take your family!
Fort Robinson is about a 40 minute drive to Toadstool Geological Park and
about an hour to Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska.
We stayed at Fort Robinson State Park in a 43’ 5th Wheel
Toyhauler. Since we’ve visited and learned everything we aimed at, its most likely
we will only use Fort Robinson State Park Campground as a pass-through.

Tomahawk RV Park – NEBRASKA (Broken Bow)


Campground/RV Park:  Tomahawk RV Park – NEBRASKA
Location:  Broken Bow, NE
Date(s) Stayed: 7/28/14 – 8/2/15
Length of Stay:
 5 days
Site #: #13
Cost per night (with
taxes): $20/night (tents are less)
Discount Used: None
Connections:  FHU
Stars: 3.5
Tomahawk RV Park is a city/town managed RV Park is centrally located
within the town of Broken Bow, Nebraska
Broken Bow is located on the railroad and considered a farming/ranching
town.  The park has all the amenities one
could ask for; level gravel sites, easily in-easy out, children’s playground,
bath house, and within walking distance to the town square.  We gave this park a 3.5 due to
non-availability of a laundry facility (we had to go into town), no campfires
or grills provided at each site and the close approximity to the railroad
crossing.  However, recently within the
past couple years, Broken Bow has ‘quiet crossings’ (no whistle blows) except
for when signaled of impairment on the tracks. 
The sites also are close together but that didn’t bother us because we
were always out learning about the area. 
The park has a wonderful picnic pavilion with lots of picnic tables and
charcoal grills and lighting for evening dinners or picnics. The park was clean
and staff was minimal.  We called ahead
of time to insure availability which they seem to always have.  Their sites vary in size and is recommended
that you only use a site that coincides to your rig size; in other words, don’t
use the big rig sites if you have a small setup.
The town/city of Broken Bow is located on Route 2 in the heartland of farming
and ranching.  It is about an hour drive
to  Fort Hartstuff; a post Civil War
Cavalry Historic Park and a short drive to begin the Sand Hills Journey to
points west.  There are small businesses
and café’s however, there is no Walmart in the town.  There are two or three small grocery stores
that will meet your needs (they sell beer and wine in them!).  Since we ride motorcycles, it’s a nice town
to camp overnight if needed in a tent.
All in all, Tomahawk RV Park met our expectations and we will be back. We
stayed in a 5th Wheel Toyhauler.

Ives Run COE Campground – PENNSYLVANIA (Tioga)


Campground/RV Park: Ives Run COE Campground (Corps of Engineers) – PENNSYLVANIA

Location: 710 Railroad Grade Trail (Ives Run), Tioga, PA 16946     (570) 835-0110
Date(s) Stayed: 6/13/15 – 6/20/15
Length of Stay: 1 week
Site #: 111 (Walk-in Site)
Cost per night (with taxes): $17 ($34 for others)
Discount Used:  50% National Park Access Pass (Disabled)
Connections: 30 amp Electric/Water and Dump Station
Stars:  4.5

Ives Run COE Campground sits on the eastern shore of Hammond Lake in north-central Pennsylvania. Surrounded by lush forested ridges, the lake offers recreation.  The campground is approximately 30 minutes to Mansfield and 30 minutes to Wellsboro and the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.  This campground is what all campgrounds should replicate!  Nicely manicured, staffed and managed by the Corps of Engineers proved its worthiness with cleanliness, ample spacing between sites, beautiful views of Hammond Lake and nice roads to walk or bicycle.  To reserve a site, you must be registered through Reserve America online.  Because of the popularity of this campground in the summer season, expecting to find a campsite during weekends or extended stays (14 day maximum) is difficult because PA and NY state residents have made their reservations a year ahead of time.  However, the campground has three ‘walk-in’ sites that are left vacant for RV’s and Campers that are passing through.  The three walk-in sites open at 10:00am when the office opens.  You can reserve for three days at a time before having to go and reserve again in person if you need another three days, but be sure to be at the office to do so at 10:00am (be first in line so no one bumps you).  The campground season begins May 1st and ends October 30th each year.  

The campground is absolutely gorgeous!!  Lots of gentle wildlife!!  We oftentimes took three walks a day/night. There is a separate swimming area from the boat ramp. Fishing is allowed with proper license.  We appreciated their rules of not allowing boats/trailers on the campsites.  They have overflow parking down at the boat ramp and elsewhere throughout the park.  The campground rules state that each outside guest that visits your site must pay $3 each.  There is a small campstore for basics (ie. hamburger/hotdog buns, hotdogs, chips, soda, water, etc.)  Quiet time is kindly adhered to.  A roving Park Ranger makes his rounds regularly noting safety issues and adherance to the campground rules. 

Make certain you bring extra leveling blocks; note that this site sits in the mountainous region of Pennsylvania. As with all campgrounds, we highly recommend filtering your water. The only drawback to Ives Run COE Campground is internet capability is seriously lacking because of its location in the mountains (AT&T and Verizon); spotty at best.

We WILL return!  We would have given it 5 stars if internet capability existed.  

Tompkins COE Campground – PENNSYLVANIA (Tioga)


Campground/RV Park:  Tompkins Corps of Engineer Campground –
Location:  Lawrenceville, PA
Date(s) Stayed: 5/31/15 – 6/13/15
Length of Stay:
 2 days (had a reservation of 2 weeks)
Site #: #65…then #19 both Back-in
Cost per night (with
taxes): $17/night
Discount Used: 50% off with National Park Access Pass
Connections:  Electric
& Water; separate Dump Station
Stars: 1.5

We arrived at Tompkins COE
Campground entrance building at 5:30pm; after a tiring drive through the
mountains of Pennsylvania.  The woman
Camp Host handling our check-in was sweet and gave us our paperwork from our
reservation, vehicle passes and pertinent campground info.  Our reservation was for site #65 in which we
made months prior on Reserve America. 
When we found our site, we were stunned and disappointed.  On the Reserve America site, it listed #65 to
be 55’ long.  It was 37’ (we measured) so
we had to go back to the entry building office to get reassigned a site.  Things quickly went downhill from there.  Because we were looking for a two-week stay,
the Camp Host(s) said because every weekend, every site was taken, that we were
out of luck.  We sternly told them that
we made this reservation two-months prior and that we should be made an
exception based on the inaccuracy of the Reserve America site listing (which
the info is given by COE) and to find us a site.  They clearly didn’t know what to do to find
an answer for us; all they offered was a full refund.  They didn’t even think of offering us a spot
in the dry-camping section for an overnight so we didn’t have to go back on the
road fatigued.  This was not an option
for us because of the area, not many campgrounds as well as finding something
that will accommodate our size.  We asked
that they find us ‘something’.  They
called another COE (or so they said) campground but they were already to
capacity.  We then said, since they can’t
find us ‘one’ campsite for a two-week stay, let’s look into breaking the time
period up.  The woman wasn’t too
enthusiastic nor knew the RA site and how to manipulate it to accommodate our
reservation promise.  Finally, she found
three sites for us to go check out.  Out
of the three, only one would work, so we unhooked and as soon as we were
getting into the truck to go tell them, their maintenance person drove up to
tell us ‘all of a sudden, a reservation was made on RA for that site’.  By this time, we were frustrated and
angry.  I then, went up to pretty much
tell them how horribly we were treated. 
Finally, they found a site #19 for M-F and then we move to the SITE NEXT
TO US for S & S and then back again to #19 for the following M-F and we
were on our own to find somewhere else to stay the following weekend.   Now,
here’s the kicker.  It took ALL of our
blocks we brought to level our rig; it was so bad that on one side, all three
tires of our rig were off the ground. 
Our rig felt incredible unstable.   The site was not long enough for us; nor our
ability to use our back deck when extended. 
We had to unload our motorcycle(s) on the narrow road prior.   In
addition to that headache, we had absolutely NO connectivity to the internet OR
phone service.  The campground is located
in the middle of a ‘bowl’ between mountains. 
This also was not an option for us as we needed connectivity because we
had a son who was deployed overseas as well as family in the area with health
issues.  We had to find somewhere else to

As a whole, this campground needs
SERIOUS updating from the get-go.  The
COE needs to re-measure every site and post more accurate site lengths on the
Reserve America website.  Do not trust RA
site measurements and good luck finding someone to get that accurate
information.  They need to prune and thin
some of the trees.  The campground roads
were very narrow; only one-lane wide at best. 
If you were trying to park your RV and needed time, no one could pass or
get around you.  Most sites had seriously
low overhanging branches that would damage even the smallest of RV’s or
campers.  Most sites were not level;
understandably because it’s in the mountainous region but still, could have a
little ‘engineering’ done to make the sites more level.  Some sites that were blacktop surface had
divots and holes from campers who’s jacks may have sunk in; needs to be filled
in.  Each site was provided a picnic
table and firepit; both were in fair condition. 
The picnic table required us to put a blanket on the seat as to not get
splinters or paint chips.  The bath
houses were clean however, needed serious updating with new lighting and
moisture control.  The laundry facilities
were there, however, we weren’t there long enough to evaluate them.  Quiet time is 10am-6pm.  No more than two vehicles and six people per
site.  Pets are welcome but must be on a

Part of the campground (newer
sites – not where we were located) overlooked the COE Lake.  Those sites were nice with a view and a
little more in the open; not so overgrown with trees like the rest of the
campground.  Those site were either
packed sandy gravel or black top. 
Leveling blocks still necessary but not as bad as the other

If you’re looking for a ‘campy’,
heavy foliage and trees, tight maneuver sites with very little expectation,
this campground is for you.  If you care
about your rig, its stability, its outside fiberglass and decals, then this is
not the place for you. 

We do not plan on staying at Tompkins COE Campground again until they make
updates and improvements.

Artillery Ridge Campground – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania


Campground/RV Park:  Artillery Ridge Campground – PENNSYLVANIA
Date(s) Stayed: 5/26/15 – 5/31/15
Length of Stay:
 5 days
Site #: #404 pull-through
Cost per night (with
taxes): $38/night Mon-Thurs
and $50/night Fri-Sun
Discount Used: Passport America
Connections:  FHU
Stars: 3.5

Artillery Ridge Campground is
great for those wanting to visit Gettysburg. 
It is a family campground as well as for equine campers.  We chose Artillery Ridge based on other
campground reviews found on the internet. 
We made our reservations two months prior; the person on the phone was
very helpful in finding us a site that would accommodate our site and our
wishes.  We found the check-in process
was easy and quick; they were waiting for our arrival and had our paperwork
ready.  The campground is located on the
edge of the battlefield so you get the full feel of being there.  The center of Gettysburg is about 10 minute
drive from the campground and only about 3-5 minute drive to the Gettysburg
National Historic Site Visitor Center.

The roads into the campground are
packed gravel; some have ruts from wear and weather.  Our campsite was in the back behind the horse
stalls in the equine section; during the week it was rather quiet and on the
weekend, it picked up with horse trailers. 
We chose that are of the campground because of length of sites.  We enjoyed the outdoors; lots of birds,
squirrels, bunnies, chipmunks and close proximity to the horse corral.  It was very warm during the day and
sometimes, depending on the direction of the breeze, we can get a whif of horse
manure but it wasn’t too bad.  We are not
horse experts but in our opinion, the horse corral could have used a little
care, leveling and grass.  It looked like
a big muddy (when wet) dirt mess.   Most nights we were able to sit outside to
enjoy.  The campground had many mature
trees throughout; none of which impeded our site or parking.

Our site itself was a packed
gravel as well; not too difficult to level. 
There were grassy patches throughout. 
Each site was provided a picnic table and firepit.  Spacing between sites was average; about 20’
between sites.  Two sites over from ours
was a permanent resident that a collector of junk outside (2 grills, 2 lawn
mowers, etc.) in which he did not keep up. 
In the area of our site stood two ‘tiny house’ residences.

The bath house was average.  They were clean; showers a little outdated
and small.  We did not see or use the
laundry facilities so we can’t give an review on those.  The campground was family friendly; has a
playground and pool near the entrance. 
We did not use either so we can’t give an assessment of those.  There is a good sized camp store at the
entrance in the same building as check-in. 
It everything from basic staples, fishing supplies, pool towels and swim
noodles, and a great array of Gettysburg souveniers.

Special note: the entrance/exit
is on a busy road.  When leaving the
campground, be vigilant as there is a blind curve in which motorists don’t
realize the campground entrance.   When
leaving with your camper/coach, we recommend driving to the left of the
campground sign before entering the road; you get a better view of the blind
curve of those approaching and can enter the road more safely.