The Collier Campout / 2016
AUGUST 30TH - DECEMBER 1ST
The Collier Campout was a three month long camping road trip starting August 30th and finishing on December 1st. During that time, we drove through 19 states, visited 14 National parks, and traveled over 13,000 miles. This site was built as a means of sharing the experience and hopefully inspiring others to take their own.


⇣ ⇣ ⇣ Scroll down to learn more about each stop.
Greenville, SC
AUGUST 30TH
The first day of the trip. We packed up everything in our Rav4 and hit the road.

Little Rock, AR
AUGUST 30TH
Quality Inn & Suites
$$
The first full day of driving and we decide to stop in Little Rock. We stayed in a Quality Inn & Suites. It was not quality. Pulling around to the side we noticed the cops were there. Great start!

Dalhart, TX
AUGUST 31ST
Hotel
Another long day of driving through crazy rain. The kind that almost brings you to a stop on the highway. Google maps decided to basically take us through a run down neighborhood as a shortcut to the hotel, so it felt like we were going to end up parking in someones yard. The next morning was super foggy but we stopped at Daylight Donuts, grabbed a few, some coffee, and hit the road.

Red River, NM
SEPTEMBER 1ST
Columbine Campground
36.68° N, -105.514° W
$18 / DAY, SELLS WOOD. BEST SITES #15, #18, #19
We stayed in site #19. It is in the far corner with no neighbors, and close to the back parking lot and literally has a branch off of a hiking trail leading out the back. Chatted with the hosts and found out that site was actually a popular spot for bear sightings. If you can get there at the right time site #18 is the best site. It is more secluded and next to water.

Creede, CO
SEPTEMBER 3RD - 4TH
Rio Grande Campground
37.762° N, -107.012° W
$5 / DAY ON DONATION
Smaller campground with a vault bathroom but no potable water. Sites sit next to the river. We had our first near bear encounter here while laying in our tent around 4 in the morning. Ultimately it scratched around the fire pit and picnic table then moved on. We packed up around sunrise and headed out soon after.

On the way out we originally planned on heading through Paonia and over McClure pass to Glenwood Springs, however McClure was closed so we had to head East and take the West Elk Loop, CR-12 to Crested Butte. Highly recommend this in the fall if conditions are nice.

Taylor Park Reservoir
SEPTEMBER 5TH
Lake View Campground
38.8175° N, -106.58° W
$18 / DAY, SELLS WOOD
Lots of sites with mixed tent and camper spaces. Upon settling in near the back of the campground we talked to the host who felt the need to share his recent bear story, which of course happened in the exact site we were setting up in. We moved... and stayed in site #22 which has a good lake view and flat tent pad. The campground has basic vault restrooms and potable water.

Highly recommend taking Cottonwood pass (closed in the winter) towards Buena Vista.

Clark, CO
SEPTEMBER 6TH
Seedhouse Campground
40.772° N, -106.771° W
$12 / DAY
After a long day driving due to a closed pass, we made our way up to Seedhouse on the suggestion of a guy that worked in an outdoor store in Steamboat Springs. It is a little off the beaten path but has some good sites. Drive all the way in to the back and look for sites #15 and #16, which back up to the Elk River and have tree cover. We stayed in site #4 next to the host trailer. We never saw the host, but did see some deer.

Rock Springs, WY
SEPTEMBER 29TH
Hotel
$$
We drove out of Colorado and into Wyoming on dirt back roads, all the while passing a massive hunting lodge. This was the first hotel stay of the trip. Grabbed some much needed showers and slept in normal beds.

Grand Teton National Park
SEPTEMBER 8TH - 9TH
Gros Ventre Campground
43.6165° N, -110.6672° W
$25 / DAY, SELLS WOOD
We made our way up through Jackson to Gros Ventre. It is a large campground with 300+ sites and a dedicated tent only loop. You check in at the front of the campground and they assign you your site by length of stay and type of camping you are doing. We were given site #349. It backed up to the woods and had the river about 60 yards behind us but was right next to the bathroom. Convienent but noisy.

Grand Teton National Park
SEPTEMBER 10TH - 11TH
Colter Bay Campground
43.9047° N, -110.6408° W
$25 / DAY, SELLS WOOD
Colter Bay is another large campground with a tent only loop. We stayed in G loop site #141. Pretty sure we heard another bear walk through the site at night heading over to our neighbors who cooked up some bbq the eveing before. We did however see deer grazing through our site and the campground at dusk.

Yellowstone National Park
SEPTEMBER 12TH - 14TH
Madison Campground
44.6456° N, -110.8612° W
$23.50 / DAY, SELLS WOOD
The South entrance to the park was closed due to a wildfire so we had to backtrack and make our way around into the West entrance of Yellowstone. As we were driving in it started dumping snow, which apparently most people do not get to experience since the park closes down so early for the winter. We were originally going to stay two nights in one site then move to another campground in the park for another two nights but everything was booked up due to the closing of a campground near the fire. So we stayed in two different sites at Madison over 3 days. We were in sites #254 and #260. It was pretty packed with people so we decided to leave a day early and drive out the North entrance at night. Not the smartest idea.

Campgrounds Google Doc


Bozeman, MT
SEPTEMBER 15TH
Hotel
$
Another hotel stay, some Jimmy Johns, and clean laundry.
Great Falls, MT
SEPTEMBER 16TH
Hotel
$
We decided to stay in Great Falls for the night so we could try and get into Glacier National Park early the next day to secure a campsite. Made the mistake of going to Walmart and seeing some rather interesting people.
Glacier National Park
SEPTEMBER 17TH - 20TH
Two Medicine Campground
48.4915° N, -113.3646° W
$20 / DAY
We stayed in site #50. Two Medicine has quiet campsites with access to amazing trails. We also drove over to Many Glacier campground. We would recommend it for more diverse hikes up to glacier lakes, but need to get there early. It can be hard to get a spot there. We hiked out to Twin Falls, then down to the lake, and back. Going to the sun road (shown in pink) is worth the drive! Also recommend the southern loop drive. It is not as breathtaking but still pretty amazing.
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Trail map for Two Medicine
Trail map for Many Glacier
Campgrounds Google Doc

Powell, ID
SEPTEMBER 21ST
Lochsa Lodge Cabin
46.5107° N, -114.7177° W
$90 / DAY
Down a great drive on highway 12, passing the "Winding roads next 99 miles" sign, you can stop in at Lochsa Lodge. We booked a cabin that included a bed and wood fire stove. They have great bathrooms and shower facilities but you have to walk over to them. We stayed in cabin #1. The lodge has a small general store, resturant, and bar. It sits next to Powell campground which has good sites next to the Lochsa River if you do not want to spring for a cabin.

Lowell, ID
SEPTEMBER 22ND
Johnson Bar Campground
46.119° N, -115.577° W
$ / DAY
Basic campground with potable water. We stayed at Site #8 on the end. It has a trail behind leading down to a private river/beach. It would be a nice spot to fish. There were no other campers when we arrived and lots of people had left plenty of extra wood from previous nights so we loaded it up and had a great fire for most of the afternoon.

Hood River, OR
SEPTEMBER 23RD - 25TH
Tollbridge Park Campground
45.521° N, -121.570° W
$ / DAY
Decent campsites with shower facilities. Stayed in sites "M" and "I". "M" was next to a flowing river which was nice at night, and "I" was on the interior loop. There is decent privacy but by no means a secluded campsite. Drive up to Timberline Lodge and take a look around if you have time. We did the Tamanawas Falls hike.

Portland, OR
SEPTEMBER 26TH - OCTOBER 4TH
Hotel & Friends
$
Caught up with friends and ate good food. After a few days we jumped on a plane across the country to Florida for a wedding, then back to Portland a few days later for more food and friends.
Smith Rock, OR
OCTOBER 5TH
Smith Rock Campground
44.365° N, -121.140° W
$5 PER PERSON / DAY
Walk in sites about 100-200 yards from parking lot. Lots of climbers around. Some good hikes and climbing if you are a climber. Less forest and more high plains desert area.

Blue River, OR
OCTOBER 6TH
Cold Water Cove Campground
44.362° N, -121.989° W
$20 / DAY
Very thick woods and a few sites back up to clear lake. Normal vault toilets. Som road/air traffic at night. It was dumping buckets when we left in the morning which made for an interesting packup.

Crater Lake National Park
OCTOBER 7TH - 8TH
Mazama Campground
42.868° N, -122.167° W
$22 / DAY, SELLS WOOD, FLUSH TOILETS, SHOWERS, RESTURANT, GENERAL STORE
We stayed at Mazama campground just inside the south entrance to the park. There are small campsites, and they are close together. First come first serve with a limitied number available. (25%) you can reserve.

Somes Bar, CA
OCTOBER 9TH
Oak Bottom Campground
41.376° N, -123.452° W
$10 / DAY, VAULT TOILETS, WATER
Secluded campground off the main road. Only one other person there while we were there so we had lots of space to spread out. Directly across the road is access to the Salmon River.

Redwood National Park
OCTOBER 10TH
Gold Bluffs Beach Campground
41.384° N, -124.070° W
$35 / DAY, 17.50 WITH PASS, GOOD TOILETS, SPREAD OUT SITES
Sites sit 100 - 200 yards from the beach. It was super foggy while we were there so you could not see the water from your site. Highly recommend hiking in Fern Canyon.

Clear Lake State Park
OCTOBER 11TH
Kelsey Campground
39.002° N, -122.812° W
$35 / DAY, 17.50 WITH PASS, GOOD TOILETS, SHOWERS, SPREAD OUT SITES
We were not sure where we were going to camp this night so we had to take what we could get. It is a large campground geared towards families and lake activities. Has showers, a boat ramp and lots of deer at dawn and dusk. We stayed at site #88. Lots of animal noise at night...raccoons.

Tahoe National Forest
OCTOBER 12TH
Grouse Ridge Campground
39.388° N, -120.611° W
FREE, VAULT TOILETS
Great basic campground at the top of Grouse Ridge. Only has about 7 sites which vary in comfort level. On the peak, a watchtower was being renovated into a rentable cabin with an outhouse hanging out over a cliff. Lots of trails and is a popular place for atvs. Might need 4wd after any kind of rain or snow, as the road heading up is all dirt.

Napa, CA
OCTOBER 13TH - 14TH
Skyline Wilderness Park
38.275° N, -122.242° W
$25 / DAY
Very basic spot of land...basically like camping in a backyard. Has lots of RV spots. Trail hiking if interested. Has good bathrooms and showers. Would only recommend for showers. Can't camp in woods so it's not that great. You can hear everyone else around you. Basically you can pay more to camp on some vineyards around Napa or you stay here.
San Francisco, CA
OCTOBER 15TH - 16TH
Hotel
$
Stayed here.
Yosemite National Park
OCTOBER 17TH - 22ND
Upper Pines Campground
37.737° N, -119.564° W
$26 / DAY
Great campground at the end of the valley. Yosemite is packed so expect the same in all campsites. We booked six months early to get site #234. It is on the last loop with the back of the site facing the woods. Upper Pines does stay colder as it does not get as much sunlight due to the trees and proximity to the mountains.

Bishop, CA
OCTOBER 22ND
Browns Town Campground
37.358° N, -118.398° W
$25 / A DAY, COIN OP SHOWERS
Basic campground with rows of flat tent and RV sites. Has a general store and laundry facilities. Basically another backyard.
Death Valley National Park
OCTOBER 23RD
Wildrose Campground
36.265° N, -117.189° W
FREE
Stayed in Site#22. Sites are located in small valley but watch out for mice at night. They will find any food not locked up in storage. (Even in your car). It can get really windy here and the ground is hard so staking your tent can be tricky. Try and find a site with protection on most sides.

Death Valley National Park
OCTOBER 24TH
Stovepipe Wells Campground
36.606° N, -117.147° W
$14 / DAY, HAS WATER, NICE BATHROOMS
Very large dirt parking lot with tent only spots on the far end in the desert. Recommend driving down to emigrant campground for free. Again, keep food locked up from the mice. We stayed in site #10.

Los Padres National Forest
OCTOBER 25TH
Chula Vista Campground
34.813° N, -119.122° W
FREE
Walk in campground (150 yards). We were the only ones there but saw hikers walking around the exterior of the campground. Campground sits at 8200 ft.

Carpinteria, CA
OCTOBER 26TH
Carpinteria State Beach
34.392° N, -119.521° W
$45 / DAY, SELL WOOD, 100 YARDS TO THE BEACH
Stayed in Plover A. Single corner site included in a group site. Easy beach access.

Leo Carrillo State Park
OCTOBER 27TH
Canyon Campground
34.048° N, -118.933° W
$45 / A DAY
Normal campground right off Highway 1. Easy walk to the beach ( about .5 mile). There is a break there so surfers are around. We stayed in site #96.

Los Angeles, CA
OCTOBER 28TH - NOVEMBER 1ST
Hotel
$$
We stayed in an AirBnb This one .

Joshua Tree National Park
NOVEMBER 2ND - 3RD
Belle Campground
34.002° N, -116.018° W
$15 / DAY, VAULT TOILETS, NO WATER
We stayed in site #3. A few sites provide wind shields, aka rocks, to place your tent next to. If you have a small single person tent or want to sleep with out one this site has a cave like area to tuck up in.

Phoenix, AZ
NOVEMBER 4TH
Friends
FREE
Stayed here.
Grand Canyon National Park
NOVEMBER 5TH - 6TH
Mather Campground
36.049° N, -112.118° W
$18 / A DAY
Nice campground with south rim close by. Shuttle will take you to trailheads. Hiked to Skeleton Point via Kaibob Trailhead. We stayed in site #293

Horseshoe Bend
NOVEMBER 6TH
Daytrip
Free
A short hike for a cool view

Antelope Canyon
NOVEMBER 6TH
Daytrip
$ PER PERSON FOR TOUR
A cool tour through Antelope Canyon. A one time thing.

Zion National Park
NOVEMBER 7TH - 9TH
Watchman Campground
37.198° N, -112.986° W
$20 / A DAY
Really nice facilities close by. The shuttle take you to all trailheads. Best showers so far! Great market, pub, and coffee. Feels like mini Vail. Great all around hikes. We did the Emerald Pools, Weeping Rock, Antels Landing, and Hidden Canyon. Stayed in site #D4.

Bryce Canyon National Park
NOVEMBER 10TH
North Campground
37.631° N, -112.168° W
$20 / A DAY, FLUSH TOILETS, WATER
The overall park is not that large so it is easy to get to most hikes. We stayed in site #43.

Arches National Park
NOVEMBER 11TH - 12TH
Hal Canyon Campground
38.640° N, -109.477° W
$15 / A DAY
We opted to stay just outside the park but right on the Colorado River. We stayed in site #5, which lets you put your tent by the water.

Canyonlands National Park
NOVEMBER 13TH - 14TH
Squaw Flat Campground
38.149° N, -109.799° W
$20 / A DAY
We stayed in site #25B. Great hikes. We did Confluence Point (10 miles RT). Climb up the Rocks behind the campsite to watch the sunsets.

Bluff, UT
NOVEMBER 15TH
Sand Island Campground
37.260° N, -109.617° W
$15 / A DAY, VAULT TOILETS, WATER
Sits next to the San Juan River and is 40 minutes to monument Valley. A lot cheaper than actually staying in the MV sites.

Mesa Verde National Park
NOVEMBER 16TH
Daytrip
$15 PER PERSON
Took a day trip here to check out the cities built under the cliffs.

Santa Fe, NM
NOVEMBER 17TH - 18TH
Hotel
$
Saw some friends and checked out the town.
Paris, TX
NOVEMBER 19TH - 27TH
Family
FREE
Stayed at the family farm catching up with family and fishing for crapie.

Baton Rouge, LA
NOVEMBER 28TH - NOVEMBER 30TH
Family
FREE
Stayed with family and made a quick day trip down to New Orleans.
Greenville, SC
DECEMBER 1ST
Home
FREE
We made the final drive of the trip.


















The Collier Campout was handbuilt by Ryan Collier utilizing ⒸMapbox & ⒸOpenStreetMap.
ⒸRyan Collier / www.ryanhcollier.com / 2017