This review is a quick summary rather than a full review due to the nature of this campground. This campground is more for last minute trips and not a destination campground.
Campsite: STOVEPIPE WILLS CAMPGROUND
Geographic Location: DESERT – DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
Type of Campground:NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
DISH WASHING SINK
SHARED FIRE PIT/PICNIC AREA
WOODENPICNIC BENCHES AT A FEW SPOTS
POTABLE WATER SPIGOT AT RESTROOM
WALKING DISTANCE TO SHOPS, PARK RANGER AND GAS STATION
INSIDE THE NATIONAL PARK
MACHINE PAY STATION
Comments from the “Chix”
Overall, this campground is really meant for last-minute trips to Death Valley, as a last-resort campground when all the others are full. This campground is basically just a gravle parking lot were you can park your RV or plop your tent next to your car. At $12/night it is affordable, and a viable last-resort option. This was fine for us, since we just wanted a chance to see the superbloom. We would not recommend this a first or second or third choice campground inside Death Valley. That being said, for what it was (basically a parking lot) it had some nice amenities. Note: there are a few spots around the outer-rim that do actually have fire pits and picnic tables, but those go fast.
Pros: This campground is large, so its easy to get a spot. Even during the hype of the superbloom, on a holiday weekend (Easter), we were able to get a spot with no problem. There is a convenient pay-station at the entrance to the parking lot …I mean campground. It is affordable and it is inside the National Park, but before the fee area. There is a gas station and a few shops, as well as a ranger station just outside the campground. The thing we were most impressed by, however, were the restrooms. For such a bare-bones campground, they had really nice restrooms. They have flush toilets (the only ones we saw in the park!), they were clean, they were stocked with toilet paper, they had drinking water available and they even had a dish-washing station outside!
Cons: The biggest con, and its a big one, was the dust level. The beautiful sand dunes are just a short distance away, and when the wind picks up, well, excpet everything you own to get covered in dust. When we returned to our tents after a day of exploring the park everything inside had a layer of fine dust on it. We had to shake our sleeping bags and dust off our pillows before being able to sleep again. Also, there is no shade. That is big no-no in the heat of Death Valley. Due to that one fact, this campground would NOT be recommended during hot-temperature days. Then, there is the obvious…that this campground is merely a parking lot. No fire pit, no privacy, no table, just a spot for your car and a tent or two.
Tips: Bring some sort of shade with you if you can. Make sure you have some sort of camping stove or food that doesn’t require a campfire. Get there early to get a coveted spot with fire pit and bench. Or, just come with an open mind and enjoy the beauty of Death Valley.