Campground Recommendations

Started by MikeT, March 08, 2024, 02:32:22 AM

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After our trip across Canada, we are heading south to Chicago and St. Louis, west to Kansas City, then continuing west through to Portland.  We are considering travelling Highways 80 and 84 to Portland.  I would love to hear of any campground recommendations that are on the outskirts of Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City that are within transit commuting distances.  Also, recommendations for campgrounds along Highways 80 and 84.  The Columbia River Gorge in Oregon is already on our list.




En route from Michigan going west, I've made the trip from Chicago to Portland a number of times and have some favorites. I've always used 80, 84, or 90 as the main interstates, so I've never been down to 70 at St. Louis.

How will you be getting to Chicago from Canada?

Indiana Dunes State Park in Chesterton Indiana just outside Chicago on Lake Michigan is a gem. Nice campground with lots of local things to do.

Mormon Island State Recreation Area near Grand Island, Nebraska has nice sites and very convenient access, if you are on I-80 by then

Antelope Island State Park in Ogden, Utah is a must. It's a truly unique camping experience on an island in Great Salt Lake. Huge sites and you won't forget the experience.

I've stayed a many others on that route, but those 3 are those I will stay at again next time I go. The others are mostly "meh", just places to stay overnight en route. I've had some bad experiences with noisy and poorly maintained KOA Journey campgrounds, so if you stay at any KOAs, I'd avoid those labeled Journey.

Oddly enough, I've never had any luck scoring a campsite in the Columbia River Gorge. They are always full when I do trip planning, so I can't help with recommendations there. I've stayed just east and west of the gorge; most recently had a nice stay at Hood Park in Pasco, Washington east of the gorge. It's another Corps facility with great sites, but it's a bit north of I-84, so not right on your route.



Thanks very much for the information, Merlin.  We are heading across Canada from our home in Metro Vancouver and travelling through to Newfoundland.  It will be a somewhat leisurely tour, and we anticipate taking four months before we head back home.  We decided to travel back through the United States, and we will be heading south at Windsor, Ontario towards Chicago. 

My wife is the "travel agent", and gives a big thank you to you for your recommendations.


What a great trip!  The Windsor>Detroit crossing on the Ambassador Bridge is a busy one with lots of trucks. Plan a bit extra time for that one, or consider the Sarina>Port Huron crossing too. As you cross Michigan if you need anything let me know. I'm in the Lansing area. I check the forum everyday.


Thanks for the tips.  Great to know that there is an option of a second border crossing  We will keep that in mind.