This is one of the only campgrounds we've ever left early. While the owner was nice enough, the whole place just had a bad vibe and felt run down and neglected.
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Overall Rating: 2.9/5
Price per night / Discounts: $38 / 10% off with Good Sam
Campground website: Black Canyon Campground
Our Site #: Unk
Privacy Rating (how spacious and private do the sites feel):
2/5: Like many commercial campgrounds, this place features campsites lined right up next to one another. Some areas are a bit more spacious than others, but none of it was great. There was a small strip of rocks/weeds between the sites but no foliage to speak of.
Location Rating (accessibility to points of interest or to major highways):
3.5/5: The campground is conveniently located right next to I-17 between Phoenix and Sedona. However, given its location right next to the highway, you will hear traffic noise. We did not leave the campground while we were there, but from what we saw, it looks like a tiny town. You can probably get your necessities, but options will be pretty limited.
Site Quality and Big Rig Accessibility Rating (utilities and accessibility of campground hook ups):
2.5/5: The sites are just run down. They are a mix of gravel and dirt, they are poorly maintained, and many are unlevel. We were able to get level without blocks, but just barely. Out utilities worked fine, but the strips of land between the sites, where the utilities are located, were full of weeds and rocks. The owners don't make any attempt to landscape these buffers or make them look nice. As for accessibility, some of the roads are pretty tight, but others are ok. The owner made sure we were assigned to a site we could get into and out of, so it was not an issue.
Technology and Customer Service Rating (online resources, reservations, and staff):
2.5/5: Customer service was weird. The owner and his employee were nice enough, but they have this weird schedule where they close their office for like 2 hours in the middle of each day - right when I assume most people are trying to check in. I can't remember the exact hours but they were closed from like 11:00 to 1:00 or 11:00 to 2:00 or something. Perhaps it's because they cater to long-term residents and therefore, don't have a lot of transients coming through, but for those of us who are just passing through, finding a closed office in the middle of the day is not a great way to start a stay. When we first got there, it was pouring rain and we went up to the office to find the door locked. Fortunately, we arrived right before they reopened, but had we gotten there 30 or 40 minutes earlier, we would have been stuck sitting in the middle of their parking area (trying to not block traffic) in the pouring rain, twiddling our thumbs. It just doesn't seem to be a great way to run a business.
I did go up to ask about buying propane before we left and, even though their afternoon siesta was scheduled to start soon, the owner did wait to close the office and filled our propane tank for us, which we appreciated.
Internet Availability Rating (Verizon coverage or campground wifi):
4/5: They have wifi which worked. AT&T was solid.
This whole campground was just run down and in need of some serious TLC. There are a lot of long-term residents, which normally doesn't phase us in the least, but here, it just seemed like no one cared how anything looked. A lot of sites were full of junk, the whole campground was overrun with weeds, and there were numerous dilapidated RVs. Cars were parked haphazardly, there were tarps and tents among the RVs, and there was random garbage laying around the outskirts of the park. The whole place felt chaotic and disorganized. If they put some money into it and cleaned it up, it could be a convenient campground along a popular route, but as it is, we were not impressed. Making matters worse, we got a bad vibe from some of the long term residents. It takes a lot to make us leave early, but we did.