Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-09-2008, 08:09 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar

 
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Currently Looking...
Boulder City , Nevada
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,369
Rockdocking Western Nebraska Badlands- FREE

Yes. There is some Western Frontier camping left in Nebraska and it is exceptional for its scenery and history! This is all in the panhandle within Sioux and Dawes Counties. Although Nebraska is not considered in the Western United States, this part of Nebraska may as well be...

Traveling on Interstate 80 you will want to exit at Ogallala, NE taking State Highway 26 to Bridgeport, NE. At Bridgeport you turn North on State Highway 385 to Alliance, NE to State Highway 2 to Hemingford. Proceed on combined highways 2 and 71 to Crawford, NE. At this point you have TWO options. A Rockdocking experience or a Boondocking experience:

Boondocking Option: Fort Robinson, Nebraska

From Crawford, NE turn WEST on State Highway 20 to Fort Robinson, NE, about 8 miles. Entering the Fort Robinson State Park, at a speed of about 30 mph, keep looking to the NORTH for the Fort Robinson Inn and Lodge. Make the turn and park on the right side of the road beneath the huge cottonwoods. This is a State Park and you will be offered the option for a daily permit or an annual Nebraska Park permit in order to use their campground and facilities in the area. There is a large campground for tent camping and RV/Trailer camping, showers, water, sewage dump, etc. The cost is very reasonable and current information can be found at www.outdoornebraska.org or calling 402-471-1414. This is the fort where Crazy Horse was killed in 1877 and many of the original buildings are available for rent.

Rockdocking Option: Toad Stool Park Badlands

Staying on State Highways 2/71 keep going NORTH several miles and slow down once you cross the bridge... Highway 71 will split to your LEFT which is West and Highway 2 will turn to the EAST. Take Highway 71 North. About 5 miles north begin to slow down after crossing railroad tracks... another mile. To the LEFT make the turn WEST on the improved wide gravel road following the sign that says Toadstool Park. In less than three miles the road turns NORTH. You will be following the raised railroad tracks on your west side. About 13 miles you will see the turn on your LEFT for Toadstool Park. If you are pulling your trailer for the Rockdocking campsite, stay on the road, passing Toadstool Park. About two miles ahead, before Orella which means you passed the turn on your LEFT, crossing the Railroad Tracks heading WEST. This "improved" county road will take you west and about 5 miles you will be looking on your LEFT (south) for Road 918. This is a BLM turn off that sometimes has the sign knocked over. You will be going up a slight incline, crossed a short concrete bridge and the "two ruts" going onto the Ogalala National Grassland is wide open for a camping spot. Once you see the area, you will understand that there are virtually unlimited places to pull off the BLM road and set up camp. There are Badlands to your SE and SW. Unlike the Badlands National Park in South Dakota, you can camp and hike into these! You are also close to the Black Hills, at least on a clear day you can see the southern most part... The two ruts are Rockdock rated at a 5 out of 10 (most difficult) and just watch any high centering and you will be home FREE.

There are a lot of things to do in this area and the State Park has many places to see and visit in this small area. If there is any interest, I will locate several photographs of our prior visits. We are possibly heading there in the next several weeks, if the weather keeps improving! You WILL NOT be disappointed going to one or both camping locations.
__________________

__________________
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2008, 09:47 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Mexray's Avatar
 
1978 28' Ambassador
Morada , California
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,583
Any Lat/Lon coordinates? If so, we can check out your 'find' on Google Earth, etc...thanks.
__________________

__________________
Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
Mexray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2008, 10:02 PM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
samb's Avatar
 
1961 22' Safari
Union , Oregon
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 451
Images: 11
Ray--
Thanks for the clear and easy to follow directions. I just checked it out on a map. I will be traveling from Eastern Oregon to mid-northern Minnesota in a week and, though I didn't plan on going this far south, it looks promising! And not too far from the route through South Dakota I had planned on. Not sure yet which place I may head for, but they both look good. If I don't get there on the way over, then for sure on the way back the last week of June. If you see a '61 Safari around there that is probably me.

Some of the weather reports for that area don't look very good, but we will take what we find. Would it be best to avoid the rockdocking area with rain or forecast of? I have 4 wheel drive, good tires, and chains (which I will use only to get me out of someplace I shouldn't have entered in the first place).
Thanks again for the info. If not too much trouble photos would be appreciated.
Sam
__________________
samb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2008, 06:10 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar

 
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Currently Looking...
Boulder City , Nevada
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,369
Badlands of Nebraska Rockdocking/Boondocking

Mexray: I do not have the GPS coordinates handy. The area in the Nebraska DeLorme Atlas is page 15, C4/5. 103 degrees 28 minutes/42 degrees 57 minutes will get you in the ballpark.

Samb: I would take Interstate 80 to Rapid City, SD tour Sturgis to Hot Springs and catch Highway 71 south to Crawford, Nebraska. When you are ready to leave the area, take Highway 20 East to Valentine, NE and catch I-80 to the north. While in Sturgis, SD you can pick up Sturgis motorcycle T-shirts at a price of 3 for $15 in the center of town for the last several years. These are the same ones that the tourist shops sell for $15 to $30 each! The relatives and kids love the T-shirts and we make a point of picking up a bunch to dole our for birthdays and Xmas!

The pictures attached are:

(1) The Fort Robinson office. You register here for a camping spot, can eat at the restaurant, pick up literature for things to do. From a stagecoach traveling around the fort, like a bus in a city to an Olympic swimming pool, horse back riding, jeep rides, natural history museum this is just a bit of the activities available. Even a playhouse with melodrama that are very professional and entertaining.

(2) View from the Rockdocking location on Oglala National Grassland 918.

(3) Wife climbing through Badlands near the Rockdocking campsite.

Travel on the badland roads during rain is not recommended. It turns into "gumbo" which is a slick mud on the top several inches and dry underneath... The weather here on the Front Range has been beautiful with minor showers, so that is why we are ready to spend some time in peace and quiet. The two rut Road 918 is Rockdock rated a (1 is interstate highway) 4 out of 10 (most difficult- impossible for AS travel). The road to Toadstool Park is rated at a 2 out of a 10. For example... many of the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) dirt roads through the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation are 5 to 10! If you cut through the Badlands National Park and planning to just drive through without stopping, tell the ranger at the booth and they will NOT charge you to drive through the park on a State Highway 240 to Nebraska. It is the same at Yellowstone National Park, by the way...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN1124.JPG
Views:	124
Size:	441.7 KB
ID:	62167   Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN1108.JPG
Views:	128
Size:	400.6 KB
ID:	62168  

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN1106.JPG
Views:	135
Size:	867.6 KB
ID:	62169  
__________________
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2008, 07:24 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar

 
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Currently Looking...
Boulder City , Nevada
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,369
Nebraska Badlands Rockdocking/Boondocking

Just a bit of correction.

The gravel road to Toadstool Park would be a Rockdocker 3 level road, not a 2 that I indicated. I do not want to give you the impression that you can travel 65mph on this road. You could, but 35mph to 45mph is best with trailer in tow. The National Grassland road is 5mph to 15mph travel. Not because it is difficult, but the trailer needs to minimize the side to side traveling if you are going too fast. It probably does not hurt to practice the Rockdocking rules of the road... tie down your cabinet handles with cord to prevent them from opening while traveling any non asphalt surface!
__________________
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2008, 11:59 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar

 
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Currently Looking...
Boulder City , Nevada
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,369
Nebraska Badlands Rockdocking/Boondocking

Saturday we are leaving for the Nebraska Panhandle. Put in the replacement Moen faucet that was sent to us by the factory at no charge and it was a bit of a headache to substitute over the 2006 sledge hammer w/water filter that came with the Safari at that time. This one has the water filter lever to the side and the canister will handle 750 gallons before replacement is... needed. Well, in any event, it works and no leaks discovered with the extra fittings I needed to reroute the hot and cold water lines under the sink. Whew...

The weather has been beautiful on the Front Range the last week, so we are hoping that the cold rainy days are coming to a temporary halt. At least that seems to be the trend and I feel for those in the Mid West and eastward for the terrible weather they have found themselves stuck with this Spring.

With weather permitting, we will be setting up camp at the Rockdocking location for some time and then off to Fort Robinson for a day to clean up, water up take a long shower, ice cream cone in Crawford and probably head west on Highway 20 to eastern Wyoming. As said earlier, there are some wonderful Oregon Trail wagon stops across Nebraska and Wyoming, worthy of a visit. Scottsbluff, Nebraska is an interesting visit in western Nebraska as well.

Two weeks out in the hills and than back to Colorado to pack up for an extended trip to NW Wyoming into cooler country, some river wading, mountain hikes in the Wind River Mountains and maybe some fly fishing depending on the depth and volume of water to work with. Things are not going to be any better by staying home waiting for gasoline prices to fall. Today could be your last opportunity to get out and enjoy your free time, so make the best of it and enjoy your health while you can!
__________________
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2008, 01:26 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Mexray's Avatar
 
1978 28' Ambassador
Morada , California
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,583
Here's a sky shot of Fort Robinson State Park...you can zoom in and move around to view the RV sites.

Web browser and Live Maps are incompatible

I couldn't find Toadstool BLM area, however...maybe someone familiar with the area can zoom to it and provide the link....
__________________
Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
Mexray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2008, 10:17 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar

 
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Currently Looking...
Boulder City , Nevada
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,369
Nebraska Badlands WERE BAD this trip!

Hi MexRay-

It is called Toadstool Geologic Park to be concise... That could help you locate the park. I would not pull a trailer bigger than 8 feet into Toadstool.

We have returned from five days camping in the Badlands and three days at Fort Robinson and were lucky enough to endure three days of intense thunder showers and winds that rocked the boat... or rather Airstream while Badland Rockdocking. We had planned on three days and when the roads were dry enough to travel upon, a thirty foot stretch was impassable for a 4x4 pulling a trailer without adding 200 pounds of "gumbo" to the truck and trailer. By the way, NW Nebraska was in a drought until we... arrived and the rain, hail and wind arrived in volume!

What is about a 23 mile trip back to Crawford, Nebraska became a 50 mile return to Fort Robinson, Nebraska using backroads we inspected before attaching the trailer and getting out before the NEXT RAIN... which arrived promptly the next day after setting up camp at Fort Robinson. The DeLorme Atlas is worth its price when looking for alternate routes OUT of some camping location.

The musical "Oklahoma" was playing at the Fort Robinson Post Playhouse for $14 per person. We enjoyed it with the sold out Saturday crowd. The $5.50 breakfast will fill you up, and includes coffee at no additional cost.

The weekend we drove through an Indian Pow Wow was in progress with various tribes in full dress and spectators everywhere... I suspect the 140 or so tailer pull ins were nearly full, but we were heading out to National Grasslands.

This weekend (20th-22nd) we were surprised to see about a 70% full campground... the Good Sams were getting together and had an excellent showing of members, I have to admit. Last weekend I did see an Airstream parked across from the Fort Robinson lodge to register, so I gave the people walking to it a toot of my truck horn.

Today we were expecting to camp in Wyoming around the Register Cliff or Wagon Ruts of the Oregon Trail. We visited them and found a private RV camp at Register Cliff (Guernsey, WY) near a "swamp" next to the Platte River and decided if that is the best we could do... we are coming home. And we made it back with only a few pounds of "badlands gumbo" on the mud flaps. The Wagon Ruts are within several miles of the Register Cliff, so you can see it all in several hours. The wagon ruts are impressive. The Register Cliff has so much modern graffiti on it that it was really no what I remember from 15 years ago. The town of Guernsey appeared to be having hard times, as there was not much of a commercial area and three gas stations had recently folded up on the east side of town.

Have plenty of Badlands "rain & storm" pictures, but I am probably running a bit too many photographs that are allowed on the forum, if I understand the colored bar correctly. The Badland grasslands were beautiful green tall grass for as far as you could see towards the Black Hills. No doubt due to the rain we discovered coming through south of the Black Hills and east of the Rockies.

Returned to Denver, CO our rain gauge showed ZERO... that figures... and everything is brown here.
__________________

__________________
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Southwest North Rim Grand Canyon Rockdocking- FREE Ray Eklund Boondocking 22 12-29-2014 10:44 PM
Badlands, SD gaylejoe On The Road... 20 12-30-2007 06:33 PM
Hello from Nebraska sportypcars Member Introductions 5 04-06-2007 12:46 PM
Interstate 80 thru Nebraska wingfoot321 On The Road... 9 06-02-2006 09:35 AM
Badlands/Yellowstone from midwest heaven On The Road... 27 02-10-2005 09:54 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.