We’ve stayed at quite a few National Forest Service campgrounds as we’ve wandered the country. There are several things that make them appealing.
Of course, the biggest one, they tend to be in forests! We’ve taken advantage of them in Montana, New Mexico, Wyoming, South Dakota and now Arizona.
They’re rarely crowded. The campgrounds are usually remote enough that they aren’t often full, although, the closer you get to National Parks, the less that is true. They are well maintained and typically, are very clean.
Another great feature, is that they are inexpensive. We use the OTD (older than dirt) discount, so our cost is half the usual rate, which in itself is very reasonable at $10 to $20 depending on the area.
They have lots of sayings that they post on the signs to remind visitors of the rules. “Pack it in Pack it Out” applies to campgrounds without trash service. “Out Cold” applies to how you should drown your campfires. “Buy it Where You Burn it” applies to how you should avoid bringing wood from outside the immediate area into a campground.
There is one saying though, that I wish weren’t necessary and that is “A Fed Bear is a Dead Bear”. For crying out loud, what kind of ignoramus thinks it’s a good idea to feed wild animals? It’s so sad, once these bears lose their fear of humans, they become a danger, and ultimately, are shot and killed by the rangers.
Which, makes me think, maybe we’re killing the wrong animals? Of course, I’m not advocating shooting people, but a tiny part of me would find some satisfaction if the people feeding the bears were the ones who had to suffer some of the consequences.
You know, like “Here’s a sandwich fo….”.