This review really needs to be divided into two different parts.
First is a review of the park as a place to spend the day. Absolutely Devils Lake earns a 5-star rating for that. Over 4 days we hiked, we fished, we kayaked, we swam, and we will likely go back for more of all the above. The hiking, in particular, was spectacular. If you're into rock climbing and/or rappelling, you'll find plenty of locations to do that too. The lake is clean and quiet; not motors are allowed other than electric trolling motors. We even saw a few snorkelers. The beach front concessions area was nice, the boat rentals reasonably priced. The experience was worth well more than the price of the vehicle admission sticker.
Our camping experience, however, rated more like a 3. Factoring in the reservation fee, we paid nearly $30 a night for our site. That included electric service but no water hook-up. I could live with the fact that the drive was gravel, not paved. The sparseness of the gravel on the drive, however, was disappointing. As soon as a it rained, the drive became a muddy rocky stew. Most of the other drives in the Quartzite and Northern Lights areas looked the same. A few were paved, but those appeared to be specifically for handicapped individuals.
Speaking of mud, it was the predominate surface of much of our site. Given that the fire pit and picnic table were on a terraced area above the drive, it meant negotiating a muddy slope every time you transitioned between that area and the camper or car. Everybody in our group slipped at least once, some several times. Luckily nobody hurt anything other than their pride. A sprinkling of gravel on this slope, or a set of steps,
As for the bathroom facilities, we found them be adequate if not remarkable. And the size of most of the individual sites seemed quite generous.
We scouted for potential sites for future visits. While there were certainly better spots than the one we were at (Quartzite 26), there were none that seemed outstanding. All had various compromises like excessive slope, poor drive quality, no privacy, backed up to railroad tracks/highway, lack of shade, and/or lack of grass.
We will almost certainly go back to Devils lake sometime for the activities because we had such a good time. We might consider one of the various private camp sites in the area, however, for a place to stay.
- Also Known As:
- Devils Lake State Park Hotel