(Click here for an article I wrote about Thousand Trails.)
Address: 33655 Geysers Rd, Cloverdale, CA 95425
Phone: (707) 894-3184
# of sites: 125
Full hookup price: From $68/night
Open: Year round
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Warnings: No sewer hookups!
In the middle of Northern California's heralded wine country, the Russian River RV Campground is snuggled 6 miles from Cloverdale off Highway 101 and 25 miles from the nearest real shopping in Healdsburg. Its namesake is nearby, though mostly a creek this time of year.
The aforementioned wine country is the biggest draw to this campground, though its relative proximity to the Pacific coastline, Monterrey, Big Sur, redwood forests and San Francisco must also be considered huge positives. We enjoyed a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway from just north of San Francisco up to Monterrey and were treated to fabulous ocean views from both sea level, where you can watch waves crashing onto jagged rocks up close, to nearly 1,000 in elevation, giving us a bird's eye view of the coastline in both directions.
The park itself has little else going for it, but it was clean, provided a shady canopy of trees and the staff was very friendly. There were nice green views from each of our windows as well. If you like walking taking your dog out, you'll get plenty of exercise, since the resort is on several levels of elevation and each camping section on a slight incline.
There was much to dislike here. The park must have been built in the 1960's when the largest trailers on the road were only 24' long. The sites are tight, with practically no room for the park-supplied picnic tables, which have to be moved even to pull in, let alone mats and lawn chairs. I had parked my truck across the front of my site, barely off the road and stretching into the site in front of and behind me. A Class A motorhome trying to straighten out in one of the few pull-through sites backed into it, and my first thought was, why are you bringing that large of an RV into this park?
The biggest pain was that there are no sewer hookups. When I called Thousand Trails to ask how we can find out in the future whether a park has sewer hookups, I was told they all do in their system. Wrong. For $25-$35 a honey wagon can be scheduled to empty your tanks on Tuesdays or Fridays.
Laundry consists of a single washer and one dryer at each of the five restroom buildings scattered around the resort. Since there were about 40 people waiting for each, getting laundry done was a game of stamina and attrition. Speaking of restrooms, the odor in each was a definite deterrent to using them, but the lack of sewer connection made it necessary. By the way, the cabins had sewer hookups, so what the heck?
Overall this park is not dog friendly. Though they do have waste bag kiosks at the restrooms and a few other locations, but there is no fenced dog run and thorns and stickers in nearly every patch of grass.
We will not be returning to Russian River RV Campground. Even with its wine country location, there are just not enough positives to overcome the downsides. If you must camp in this area, we recommend you choose another resort.
Click here for an article I wrote about Thousand Trails.
Jack Huber is a novelist with 7 mysteries published, along with several books of poetry and photography. Now retired, he and his wife, Nadyne, are free to travel the country in their 32' 5th wheel and 1-ton Ford pickup.