Thursday, June 19, 2014

More Thousand Trails Previews

We took a day trip to check out some of the Thousand Trails RV Parks within 2 hours of our house on Tuesday of this week.  (I was having some minor surgery on Wednesday, and it was a great way to keep my mind off of it.)

First up was Grandy Creek Thousand Trails/KOA in Concrete, WA.  I have read mixed reviews on this park.  There are sites specifically for TT members, and then the public sites.  I personally thought the TT sites were better.  Be sure to follow the directions on the website.  We had one GPS that wanted to take us totally the wrong way - apparently there is a Grandy Creek National or State Campground a few miles away.  Look for the Thousand Trails/KOA signage on Highway 20.

This was not the park for me.  The sites did not appear to be kept up.  It could just be that it is early in the season, and they have not spruced things up.  There did not appear to be much space between the sites, and no privacy.  But that said, I think this would be a great campground for families with kids.  Although the park is fairly good sized, it is open enough that you could let your kids run around, and you could probably find them pretty quickly.  There was a great playground.  A bouncy jumpy castle type thing.  The pool looked small but it was open.  There was a hot tub.  They had just opened their new solar power restrooms and laundry building.  Kim checked it out and said it was pretty cool, and clean.  They had fairly new looking cabins for rent.  There were some annually leased spots that were a little junky looking, but not bad.  (I'm doing this comparison on what I saw in Leavenworth, which were annually leased sites that were very clean and well maintained.)  I had decent cell service in the park, and we saw people with satellite dishes out, but you are in a forest, so reception could be iffy.  The staff was very friendly.  I think it would be a great family campground, but so much for us old fogeys.

Next up was an Encore Park which was included in our Thousand Trails Zone Membership.  It was called Friday Creek in Burlington, WA.  Pictures I've seen were not what I experienced.  Again, it is early in the season so maybe they have yet to do their annual clean up.  I think big rigs would have some problems with low hanging branches, and tight campsites.  It is a small park.  There was no one around to ask questions.  Not one RV or tent camper in sight.  Just one RV by the welcome center, which I assume was the camp host.  There was a check in box - the type where you register your name and camp site and put your payment in the lock box.  I would not go back in our rig, but some of the camp sites on the creek were very peaceful looking.

We down the road a bit we came to the Thousand Trails Bow (Mt Vernon) Campground.  We have reservations here in a few weeks, so I wanted to check them out.  There are only a few FHU spots, in the A section, mostly near the restrooms and the rental cabins/yurts. They do have a dump station, and also personal pumping service for a fee. This is a large campground.  It borders on one side onto I-5, with a tree buffer zone.  We had out windows down as we drove through the park so see which spots we might try to get when we come back with the rig.  Most of the spots have some degree of privacy.  The spots in the B area were my favorite, but we also found a few in the G section.  They have a huge pool, which must be heated as we saw people swimming - of course they were much younger than we, and the sun was out, but I doubt it was warmer than 72 degrees outside at that time (early afternoon).

Heading south down I-5 to LaConner Thousand Trails.  We had visited this park before on a day pass when Kim's aunt and uncle were renting a cabin here.  It is huge, well kept with friendly staff and decent amenities.  No pool, but there is Puget Sound waterfront.  There is one section in this park that has FHUs, but most had water and electric only.  I love that on their map, the sites for good satellite reception are clearly marked.  Most of the sites offer some privacy.  I'm looking forward to our stay here at the end of July.  (Of note, if you are visiting this park during the summer, you may want to avoid the route that takes you through Conway.  The drive is pretty, but they are constructing a round-about at one intersection and we sat there for 30 minutes waiting for the flaggers to let us by.  Continue north, instead, and take the Anacortes exit.  It is a straight shot from there on decent roads.)

By the way, there is a nice little campground attached to the Swinomish Casino.  No privacy, but a great view, cement pads if I recall, and nice grass between the sites.

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