We planned our summer road trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone in October. Part of making the drive was staying in Rawlins, Wyoming, a town on I-80 that I had driven through numerous times. I don’t think I had ever stayed there, but it made a good starting point for reaching the Grand Tetons, according to my map. Based on our need for full hook-ups that particular night, there were three campgrounds available in this town. After reading reviews from fellow travelers, I selected the Red Desert Rose Campground and RV Park. Interestingly, all three of these campgrounds sit on the same stretch of road, neighboring the interstate and all the noise that comes with it. We weren’t looking for anything special in this stop, just a place to park and stay.
We arrived in the afternoon after driving into the 40 MPH wind that blows across this section of Wyoming’s open prairie. Electronic billboards warned travelers of the wind through the last 60 miles of our drive. I have driven through Wyoming on I-80 several times and none have been without these constant, strong winds. We pulled into the campground, which was easy to find based on the directions on their website. The owner was in the office which shares a space with a small convenience store for campers. This campground has permanent residents parked throughout, with the front spots reserved for travelers passing through. Tent sites ring the edges of the campground and include grills, picnic tables, and electricity. But tent camping here would be almost impossible due to the wind, and no tent campers were present on our stay.
Check-in was seamless and the owners were very helpful. We were escorted to our spot by the owner. This is essentially a large, gravel lot with full hookup spots lined up next to each other. There is just enough room for a picnic table between campers. We pulled in our spot and hooked up in the crazy wind. And then we stayed inside, waiting for the wind to calm down. I had no illusion that the wind would stop. It didn’t. But it calmed down to about 20 MPH and my son and I decided to play a free round of miniature golf. We picked up our clubs and balls at the front desk, then went to the small course in the front portion of the property. While the course is definitely in need of attention, we enjoyed playing a round of mini golf before a lightening storm started. When returning our clubs, my son noticed the large, glass freezer in the back of the store that was stocked with ice cream bars of various flavors. We had to buy some. Each bar was only 50 cents! We bought a few extra for the next day, too.
After making dinner and eating in the camper due to the wind, dust and lightening, the storm passed and we walked around the property. There is a large, fenced playground with all the favorite playground equipment from my childhood, such as a merry go round, geometric dome climber, and a teeter-totter.
There was also a large structure that included multiple slides, swings and other fun areas. We were the only people on this play structure, and I am almost sure my son was the only child camping at this location when we were there. He had a great time.
The owners at this park are friendly and helpful, providing mints at check-in and information about visiting Rawlins. There is a free courtesy car available for guests to drive into town, so unhooking is not necessary. And the bathrooms are exceptionally clean and updated. The water pressure here is excellent, and regulator is required (they have them in case you don’t). We slept well and simply pulled out of our space the next morning.