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“Beautiful setting and convenient location”

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Julian Price Park Campground
Reviewed January 5, 2012

We were looking to combine a camping trip with a visit to family in Boone, and I prefer to support our State and National Parks when possible, so Julian Price was a perfect fit!

I had booked the lakefront site online with no trouble. I knew from the web that there were no showers at the campground, so planned ahead for our hygiene needs.

We drove the Parkway from the South and it was raining most of the way, so we were a bit worried that the site would be a muddy mess, but the large elevated tent pad was well drained and we set right up. The site was steps from the lake and hiking trail, but surrounded by flowering shrubs and large trees so felt very private. It had a cement picnic table (in need of repair but serviceable), a lantern hook, and a fire ring as well as an adjacent parking space, and was fairly large.

The staff members we interacted with were helpful and friendly, the hiking trails were lovely, but be warned that they are left fairly natural, so there were mud puddles and fallen branches, etc. The wildlife viewing was phenomenal; we saw deer, water snakes, beaver, and frogs...our 5 year old son was thrilled by the tadpoles! We rented a canoe and explored the lake a bit, which was a wonderful activity.

The restrooms were adequate with toilets and sinks, and two potable water sources found outside of them.

We would definitely choose this campground again and recommend it to those tent campers who are okay with something between fully roughing it and extensive amenities as we are. If you have an RV, and have your amenities with you, I definitely recommend it.

Room Tip: Choose a lakeside site for gorgeous views
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank BamaFam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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38 - 44 of 44 reviews

Reviewed October 12, 2010

This was our first camping experience with our children (11 and 14). I was a little wary because of previous reviews but we had no problem getting our site and we arrived on July 4, a Sunday, in the middle of the holiday weekend. Comfort stations weren't spotless but not filthy either. I'm not a clean freak so it didn't bother me. But by Monday afternoon you could tell that they just run skeleton staff on weekends.

We were in a tent-only site and the pad was really too small (10 x 10) but the ranger told us it was ok to put our large tent anywhere there was room and that it was ok to put up a small tent also (we're brought it just in case). Apparently as long as it all fits within the site they're not picky about number of tents. With tween/teen kids having room for an extra tent was a bonus! They shared a big tent and mom and dad got our own tent about 10 feet away.

We had worried a little about doing a week-long trip with no electricity and no running water and no showers but we did just fine. We heated water for sponge baths. We had two carboys for water and it wasn't that far from the 'comfort station' where the water tap was located to our camp site. Mid-week we drove down to Linville and used the shower facilities at their YMCA (we used our 'away' privelege from our Y to get day passes)---that felt very nice!

Hiking in the park is fantastic. We didn't do as many hikes as we thought we'd be able to, we figured out quickly that any cooking and cleaning up took twice as long camping as at home. But we enjoyed the laid-back pace of having no where in particular to go and nothing in particular we wanted to get done. We spent a half-day in Boone, just exploring downtown and a couple of evenings in Blowing Rock.

On the next to last day my 11 year old daughter said "this is the best vacation ever"! I asked 'better than Disney World?" (we've been 4-5 times in the last few years) and she said "yes, it's not rushed and there aren't so many people".

One sour note at the end of the week--a large family group (several families) took over two campsites near the restrooms. They didn't supervise their young children very well in the toilets and at one point on Saturday both of the women's toilets were clogged and my husband said there was excrement on the walls in the men's room. Gross. Luckily the cleaning team showed up just a few minutes later. This same group was VERY LOUD both nights they were there. On Sunday morning the ranger told us 'you should have called the 1-800 number on your parking permit, we'd have had someone out to shut them up in no time'. We just never thought of it. The rangers say that they take the curfew very seriously and that people should call if they have problems of any sort.

One warning. The tent sites have room for only one car and they enforced parking even in the middle of the week (we had to leave our extra car in overflow parking by the boat dock) when the campground wasn't full.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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7  Thank goinplacesNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2010

My husband and I stayed over Labor Day weekend in A section and loved it! We had a great time, and now we are going back sometime in October!! We can not wait for next year to return.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank pamed11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2010

I sure don't know how this place could get positive reviews! We drove over 500 miles to camp down by the lake on a tent site. You would think on a Monday that the campsite would be less crowded. The campsites are one on top of the other. There is no privacy! You are so close to the tent next to you must WHISPER to converse! Forget about sleeping! You can hear every conversation going on in 3 tents each way. Several very loud, idiotic, inconsiderate campers added insult to an already miserable experience. I have had some bad camping experiences in my 48 years but, this was the worst. I cannot rate the grounds farther up from the lake, we did not check them out. We just wanted to get the heck out of there and find another place to camp.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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6  Thank jamesconzett_com
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
11
Reviewed February 17, 2009

Campground is so very beautiful, clean, quiet, and natural. Like being a million miles from nowhere, yet only a short distance to Blowing Rock for anything that is needed. Very friendly. Campground host Ginny & John, we will never forget, they are so friendly. Looking forward to visiting the campground again in 2009

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2008

We made a reservation two months ago for a lakeside campsite in section A and were extremely excited to go camping with our friends here for the first time. After we checked in, we found that someone had already set up camp in our site and our reservation ticket was not on the site marker. When my husband got out of the car to find the camper and talk to him, a neighbor immediately walked over and launched into a spiel about how the man in our site had said he had paid in full for the weekend and that he would be out with his mother until 9 o'clock that night (as if anyone tells campsite neighbors they've "paid in full.") His child, who looked to be about 9, starts loudly repeating, "I'm sorry, he was here first, you'll have to find another campsite." Meanwhile, a man pulled up alongside my vehicle and whispered to me that the neighbor my husband was speaking to probably knew the man in our campsite because the neighbor had taken the campsite he had reserved. We drove up to the front desk to inform the employee inside, who said that he had no record of anyone paying to be in that campsite and that our name was definitely in the book to be in that campsite, however, WE should go ahead and find another campsite because he couldn't leave the office. Before the rest of the explanation, I want to point out that at no point did anyone in our group ever raise their voice or say something nasty, we were just frustrated and baffled by the situation and tried to problem solve while being yelled at to just make things easy and find another campsite (there weren't any other available lake sites unless of course we wanted to screw someone else over and continue on with the domino effect). What is the point of a reservation again?

My husband asked if we could take this site down (it was 3:30) and employee said, "Sure!" My husband asked, "LEGALLY, can I take this site down?" and the employee said, "Sure! He's in your site, do whatever you want." So my husband asked him to call a ranger to come over and stand by. Obviously we didn't want to really touch someone else's stuff, we just wanted to talk to someone else. When the ranger showed up, my husband told him he didn't really want to take this persons site down, he just knew the presence of a ranger was going to get something done. The ranger went down there and when he came back, had been told again by that same neighbor who supposedly didn't know the person in our site then called the man who apparently was out on a hike and would be back in an hour to take his site down (that he never paid for or told the park he was in).

When our suspicions had been confirmed that these two people in fact knew each other and had been lying to our faces, my friend asked if there was a chart or anything that could show us what campsites were not reserved. The employee actually started yelling at him, saying "I told you to find another site from the beginning! You need to just drive around and see what's available!" My friend said, "Well, there wasn't a reservation ticket on our site so we don't want to accidentally take a site someone else has reserved because someone forgot to mark it with a ticket." The employed said, "Your site had a ticket, the person in your site tore it off, that's why it's not there. You're not listening to me, you need to drive around and find a site." Then every time my friend tried to say something, he started yelling, "YOU'RE NOT LISTENING TO ME! YOU'RE NOT LISTENING TO ME!" And then said, "I'M NOT GOING TO GET UPSET OVER THIS BECAUSE I'M GETTING PAID NO MATTER WHAT."

My friend, again, had NOT been yelling, had NOT said anything nasty. He was just freaking trying to get this situation sorted out by someone who apparently could not understand at all why we might be confused and upset that it was no big deal for us to have been lied to and have the site that we reserved months in advance so that we could be on the lake taken. I don't know how my friend maintained his cool because my blood was boiling. He just kind of laughed and said, no no, I'm not upset, I'm just trying to get this resolved, I'm not going to waste my time getting angry. The employee was still waving his hands around, saying, "I told you from the beginning to just look for another campsite!" I honestly felt like a dog, I'd never been to a campground where something that so obviously could cause conflict would be so permissible.

We drove around, found a campsite in the b section that was by far more private and off the road. There wasn't a campsite at all to the left, there was a little hill and some trees that separated us from the site on the right and no one camped there the entire time anyway. When my husband went back to tell the employee which site we picked out, he told my husband that the man in our site had JUST been there to pay for time he had been in our site (already paid in full huh?) and was breaking down camp. Our campsite ended up being better than the one we reserved and we had fun on our hikes, we didn't want to let a bunch of liars and rude jerks ruin our short vacation.

I would never go back there because on top of being treated like garbage and getting screamed at, the bathrooms were DISGUSTING. They never cleaned them once the 4 days we were there, there aren't any light switches so after 10:30 lights out you'd better take a lantern, and once the toilet paper runs out, they don't bother to refill it for days. Also, other campers use the bathroom garbage can for their personal trash rather than driving it to the dumpster, further stinking it up. I dealt with the fact that this place didn't have showers and used camping antibacterial cottonelles to keep clean, but for God sakes, when you have so many people using one bathroom, it seems like it might be a priority to keep it clean. They really didn't seem to have any priorities other than not being bothered and getting paid, apparently.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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18  Thank Travel0413
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2008

The campground is located right off the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile post 297 near Blowing Rock, NC. There are several sections (A-F) with A being closest to the water on one side of the parkway and the rest on the other side of the parkway. We stayed in A which I would suggest is the more desireable section since, although you can't see the water in most locations, is close to trails and boat rental.

There are not many ammenities at the campground. No showers, pool, playground etc, but my kids (7 & 9) didn't miss any of this. There were a lot of families there and the kids were never lacking for something to do. We rented a row boat ($10 for first hour) and went out on the lake (they also have canoes), we hiked the trail around the lake which is 2.3 miles and very easy to walk and well maintained.

The campsites are not private, but enough seclusion so you don't feel as though you are on top of each other. There are a lot of trees and bushes. Unfortunately, our lakeside camping spot did not have views to the lake because of bushes blocking the view. This was disappointing, but when you get out on the lake or hike the trail it provides a better visual than seeing tents. Our site had a raised level pad that accomodated our large family tent nicely. There was a picnic table and a fire ring also. Wood is sold at the boat rental station which is a short walk away.

The park has an ampitheater where we watched a presentation on bats that was informative and interesting for kids and adults. The path there is lighted along the way. They do something different every night so check for a schedule at registration.

We fished a little with no luck, but there were plenty of stories from other campers about 4 foot catfish being caught (fish tale?) and other successful outings.

Mosquitos were visable, but they never bothered us, not even my daughter who is like a magnet. We used bug spray while there at night, but not in the morning.

We actually ate our meals in Boone which is only about 15 minutes away and has everything you might need.

The only negative were the Bullfrogs at night. I was warned by the 5 year old staying next to us, but just figured he was a little scared the previous night. However, as soon as we went to bed, the Bullfrogs were loud and didn't stop until dawn! Oh well.

Overall the scenery is picture perfect here (and getting there), the campground was clean, well maintainted and the other campers were very friendly and family oriented.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank ckralich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Julian Price Park Campground

Address: Mile Post 297 Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, NC
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Mountains > Blowing Rock
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Blowing Rock
Number of rooms: 180
Also Known As:
Julian Price Park Campground Hotel Blowing Rock

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