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“A Tale of Two Camps”

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Durango Riverside Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 July 2014

I'm first going to talk about the positives of this RV park, and there are many positives. This place has a great location, right on the banks of the Animas River. There are trees all over, and you're in the valley of the mountains, so when you look up, you see mountains. In the morning, you hear the whistle and roll of the Durango / Silverton Train. All of the amenities are excellent. The general store is full of useful stuff, it is quaint and the staff is friendly. The showers were always clean and had plenty of hot water. The showers and toilet facilities were also convenient and sufficient in capacity. We never had to wait to take a shower. The pool is well-maintained and a great place for kids to play. At night, they run a movie on a big outdoor screen. My tween girls enjoyed that and younger kids would especially enjoy the little outdoor theater. Every lot has a fire pit to roast marshmallows and enjoy.

Despite all of the positives, there are some negatives. First, this is really two RV Parks. The first night we arrived late, and had reserved a "standard" RV site (these sites are yellow and purple on the park's map). When I made the reservation, the staff member recommended a standard site. Because I arrived late, the office was closed and my site assignment was posted outside. I had no chance to look at the site before it was assigned to us. I immediately regretted it. The standard sites are tiny. We had a 30 foot RV with a rollout. We could barely open the door to the RV because there was a tree right next to the RV on one side, but on the other side, I barely had enough room to squeeze the RV next to the electrical service while leaving enough room for the rollout. There are literally just a few feet between RV's on the standard side of the park. On the standard side of the park, you also must be OK eating off of a picnic table that literally sits on top of your neighbor's sewer pipe. You might be able to move the table to the other side of the sewer pipe but if there's a tree, or if you have a car, you may be stuck with a picnic table sitting on a sewer pipe. On the standard side of the park, RV's are literally stacked on top of each other. This is a park that also seems to be used by repeat visitors, and the repeat visitors on the standard side of the park seemed unconcerned about cluttered, and also liked to party. When we pulled in our first night, the site across the road from us was filled by 20-30 people, all sitting in lawn chairs and watching us as we set up in the dark. It was a little creepy. Like it was a reunion of the cast from Deliverance. There was nothing they did that was particularly disturbing, it was just that there were so many people, crammed into this tiny site with an RV and pop-up tent camper, and we were the entertainment for the evening. And that was just in our area of the standard side of the park. There were plenty of parties on that side. Lots of unsupervised kids running around. Clutter everywhere. And yes, our site was littered with dog poop, which was another wonderful thing to pick up in the dark (but it was better than stepping on it in the dark). There was retired couple right next to us. I felt sorry for them. They just sat in their lawn chairs with a blank look on their face. I think they were glad to see us. If I had to stay on the standard side of the park for the entire four nights of our stay, I would have left and not even worried about losing a deposit or prepaid fees or anything. I couldn't have stayed on the standard side of the park for more than one night, and I wouldn't have stayed that one night if I'd had a choice. All of that being said, everybody quieted down at 10, and the night itself was restful.

Needless to say, after our first night, I awoke bright and early and was standing next to the office door the second it was unlocked. Luckily, I was able to transfer to the premium side of the park (the orange and red sites on the park map) for the remaining three nights. This was a different world. The premium side of the park was clean, the lots were spacious, there was plenty of space between the RV's for utilities and picnic tables. There were quaint little fences that marked where your site began and your neighbor's ended. There were dogs, but they were on leashes and the owners attended to them. It was just a whole different world. If I had not spent a night on the "standard" side of the park, I would have had nothing but positive things to say. The "premium" side of the park made the entire difference for us. The standard side was very uncomfortable. Maybe I'm stuck up, or boring, or whatever, but I greatly appreciated the quiet of the premium side of the park, the lower per capita population per campsite, and the lack of litter. It was well worth the extra $12 to change to the premium sites.

Skip the standard side unless you want to party and you plan on being so drunk that you don't care if you end up sleeping on top of a sewer pipe. If you're not looking for that experience, book a premium site, don't walk or look past the showers, and you'll have a wonderful time.

Another criticism: it didn't seem like management was around a lot. Not that we needed management for any reason, it was just inconvenient. As noted earlier, I wish we could have moved to the premium sites right away, but because the office was closed by the time we arrived the first night, we were stuck on the standard side. The office keeps regular business hours, opening at 9:00 and closing at some time earlier than we were ever back at camp. That's fine for people who stay at the camp all day, but we were out in the area doing stuff during the day and came back to the camp at night to rest. We could never buy anything at the store because it was closed. If we had an issue, we couldn't have discussed it with management unless we rearranged our entire schedule for the day. One annoying incident occurred when we went to do laundry our last night. For the first time in my life, I used a laundry room that didn't have a vending machine for detergent. I'm sure they sell detergent in the general store, but it was closed, so we had to do laundry without detergent. Why not install a vending machine in the laundry room? This place has so many conveniences, but that one little item is inexplicably missing. The hours kept by management seemed to indicate that the place catered to regulars and not to tourists. They apparently see the park as the destination, not simply a place to return to at night while visiting the other sites of Durango.

Some people comment on how far this park is from Durango. It's not that far. We rented a car and left our RV hooked up during the day. That was a great decision. That made getting around really easy, and the drive from the park to Durango seemed like nothing at all. As I noted earlier, however, this park is not in the mountains. It is in a valley (see the river running through the park). If you're expecting to be in the mountains when you stay here, you'll be disappointed.

Room Tip: Get a premium site.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Bluetornado0811
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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66 - 72 of 118 reviews

Reviewed 23 June 2014 via mobile

We are really state park and national park kind of campers but we were afraid Mesa Verde campground would be full. It's a little out of the way, being 11 mikes north of town, but beats the heck out of the KOA we camped at last time. We were lucky not to have anyone next to us so that we had some space. We have a pop up and HATE being sandwiched in with RVs. The cabins on the property were really cute and if you booked them you could be on the river. It was NEVER noisy, although there were plenty of RVs. I would recommend this park.

  • Stayed: June 2014
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Thank wisteriabarb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2014

Located about 15 minutes from Durango, this resort has lots of amenities that cater to families including a playground, pool, and age appropriate movies shown in the evening under the stars. Our 3 year old loved it!

We camped on the south side in a 5th wheel trailer. The sites were fairly close together especially with slide outs. Fire pits are very close to neighboring sites. The sites on the north side are slightly more expensive but appear to be worth it based on the size and upgraded fire rings. This is one of the few parks in the area that allows campfires.

Staff was very friendly and helpful. Bathrooms and all facilities very clean. The pool was cold and the ladders were broken.

Overall an excellent experience. We plan on visiting again.

Room Tip: Camp sites on the north side are larger.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Stephanie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2014

This place caters to families as it offers evening movies outside, an ice cream 'hut', a nice pool, and playground. It's conveniently located about 12 miles outside the town of Durango - easy drive. We rented a 1 room cabin on the river for 2 nights.
Each cabin has an outside picnic table, fire pit, grill (bring your own charcoal), and water spigot. The cabin had a full size bed (byo sheets/blankets) and twin bunks. The mattress is thin and plastic, so a bit uncomfortable. For chilly nights, the cabin had heat, but the noise is pretty loud and disturbs your sleep. Better off bringing warm blankets. For coffee/tea drinkers, plan on boiling water on the fire - coffee makers and any other small appliances are not allowed in the cabin - although the cabin had 2 electrical plug-ins. Bathrooms were always available and hot water never ran out. Wi-fi was reliable.
All in all, a neat place to stay for a few days.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Thank KPBTC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2014

We booked two of the camping sites on a family roadtrip. We arrived to find that not only were our sites not together as requested, but one of the sites, (mine), was a gravel patch on a hill. Ridiculous and laughable spot, wish I remembered to take a picture. The firepit being on the tip top of the hill, so my kids would never safely be able to sit around the fire. The camping sites are pretty much small rv sites covered in gravel. There is no way you can get a stake into the gravel and will probably rip your tent and have a horrible nights sleep on the gravel. The only place to put a tent on most of the spots is next to your neighbor's fire pit, so you can sleep all night watching sparks burn holes in your tent. When we brought this concern to the staff they were so rude about it. We had family staying in a cabin across the park, and when I told them I wouldn't even be able to have a fire with my children on our campout the woman (or young rude girl, I should actually say) smiled condescendingly and said I was so lucky to have family staying in a cabin across the park where I could take my children. This is after spending $70 to 'camp' in her gravel patch with powerlines over my head. I was 'lucky' to have to walk across the park in the dark with two small children to have a campfire while camping. Then I dress my girls up for the pool only to find it is actually not heated as they claim, and it was literally like jumping into a freezing cold, snowmelt river. We might as well have swum in an ice field, their teeth were chattering and they couldn't even swim they were so cold. The girls had been looking forward to this camp out for months and everything was horrible. After leaving the office in tears, my sister ended up upgrading me to a cabin to try to salvage what was left of our vacation. The cabin was nice, but as other reviews warned the mattresses are thin. Truly they should have given us a discount on our upgrade to a cabin as the camping was an absolute joke. I liked the cabin, but the staff and false claims of the resort left a bitter taste in my mouth. Too bad they can't provide good customer service, as the location is incredible.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank BDD679
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2014 via mobile

We took the recommendation of friends and booked a one-room cabin for a family of 3. At the time, riverside cabins were booked so we were in one up on the rise. (The observation deck along the river is a must see spectacular views of the river/canyon).
Be aware this site is not right outside if town as it's 15 mins north (as correctly stated on their web site).
We were re-miss in calling to say we would be arriving late as we were hiking around Mesa Verde NP. Having said this, hosts left a map and directions to our cabin on bulletin board outside registration building. ( arriving this lasted we didn't get to take advantage of the pool or ice cream shop).
Our cabin was very cute w one full bed and two bunks beds. We arrived too late to take advantage of fire ring right outside our cabin which would have been a very relaxing as the temps dropped. The wooden porch swing was very inviting too!
The bathrooms are in a main building but for being shared w other campers were clean and the showers were hot so a nice way to wind down before bed time.
(JFYI..Women's shower did not have ledge/shelf just hooks in the back of the door).
As we checked out the next morning, the office did have an impressive assortment of camping needs (including fire wood) and a good assortment of drinks, w a Keurig coffee machine if a cup of Joe was needed.
Would certainly recommend the camp ground for accommodations as the amenities were very nice compared to some campgrounds out there.

  • Stayed: June 2014
    • Value
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Thank HawkeyeTex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2014

Be careful, I had to cancel due to jury duty, and I did not get my $90!!!!!!! Deposit back, because you have to cancel with in two weeks or forfeit you deposit. Seems like a bad policy, most places give you 48 hours!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Thank Alex B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Durango Riverside Resort

Address: 13391 County Road 250, Durango, CO 81301-8602
Region: United States > Colorado > Durango
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 21 Speciality Lodging in Durango
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Durango Riverside Resort is a beautiful home away from home in the lovely San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Durango Riverside Hotel Durango

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