RV Park Review – The Meadows RV Park, Ketchum, ID
A very small & tight RV park, but in an excellent location to explore the gorgeous area of Sun Valley, Central Idaho.
- Site quality = 2/5
Admittedly not the best site quality here, mostly because of the way RV’s are parked. This is a small RV park with 45 sites arranged in 2 long rows. The sites are all long, flat paved pull-throughs most of which can accommodate any-sized rig (a few can only take smaller rigs because of overhanging trees, but most can take any size). 43 of the sites are full hookup (50 Amp/water/sewer. NO cable TV) while the last two (#35 & #36) are dry-camping. The site sizes themselves are fine, but where the site quality takes a huge ding is in spacing & the way the RV’s are asked to park. This is a tight RV park with only small slices of grass between each site and RV’s are asked to park in opposite directions (end-to-end) which means that, unless you have an end-site, you are forced to share that teeny slice of green with your neighbor. In addition there is only 1 picnic table in each sitting area so you are forced to share that table with your neighbor too. Because of this arrangement we saw several “sitting areas” where one RV had “requisitioned” the table (leaving no sitting space for the other) and also several sites where RV awnings practically touched and/or one RV wasn’t able to put out their awning at all. It’s an awkward arrangement that can lead to “space hogging” between neighbors and folks who get upset about not having any private space to sit outside. Also, because of this odd parking arrangement hookups are all on one end of the site (shared with your neighbor on the other side) which means you may also need sewer & power cord extensions to reach them, depending on which way you are parked. If you can get one of the end sites (#1, #24, #25 or #45), you’ll have some decent space to call your own. Also the 2 dry-camping sites right next to the restrooms (#35 & #36) have good green space, but otherwise you’ll be packed in pretty tight and cozy with your neighbor.
Note/ We asked to park the “wrong way” in our site so that we did not have to share our sitting area with our neighbor, and the park was OK with that. We didn’t have much space to sit outside and we had to share our sitting space with 2 sets of RV hookups, but having even a teeny slice of green to call our own helped make the site more palatable.
- Facilities = 3.5/5
Very small, but decent facilities here. There is one central restroom area in the park with one men’s and one women’s restroom. Each area has a single (very large) shower and a single toilet. It’s a bit dated (the showers have those old-fashioned spray-type shower heads), but it’s very spacious and kept very nicely clean.
- Amenities = 2.5/5
A small set of amenities here, but they were all decent. There’s a laundromat (not in the park itself, but just down the road in the trailer park that’s attached) which was spotlessly clean and had very nice, new machines ($2 for wash). Also on-site WiFi is free and was actually very usable the whole time we were here. No pool or other outdoor activity areas.
- Location = 4.5/5
Location is definitely what this place is all about. The RV park is smack in the middle of Sun Valley, ~10 miles north of Hailey and ~4 miles south of Ketchum. It’s also right next to the fabulous Wood River Bike Trail (literally only 2 blocks away) and walking distance to Wood River. This puts you right in the middle of the best part of the valley with super easy access to all the fabulous outdoor hiking/biking as well as dining/beer. While we were here we biked to town literally every single day and thoroughly enjoyed exploring the surrounding area. It was fabulous! The only small ding? The park is very close to Hwy 75, so you definitely get some road noise. It’s not horrendous, but you do hear & see the cars from your RV.
- Pet friendliness = 4.5/5
This is a paw-friendly spot with just a few minor dings, mostly related to the next-door trailer park. There is a 2-dog limit and very strict-looking dog rules when you check in. You’re not allowed to walk dogs through the RV park (only around the outside perimeter) and you’re not allowed to walk dogs at all through the next-door trailer park, plus pet fences are limited to 30 inches tall & 10 feet in length. The rules seem very stern, but thankfully there’s still quite a lot of places you can walk with doggie close by. The bike trail (just down the road) is 100% dog-friendly and runs for miles. Plus you can actually access the river for dogs to dip their paws in the water right where the bike trail starts. Lastly there is a large, open field in front of the RV park which is also open to dogs.
Overall Rating = 3.4
BONUS ALERT: Camp within walking distance to the awesome Wood River Bike Trail!
Video Overview: Want to see it in living color? See our 7-min overview here:
Summary: So this RV park was definitely a mixed experience for us. The Meadows RV Park is the ONLY full hookup RV park in Sun Valley, so if you’re looking for hookups or (like us) you need to stay for more than 16 days (see below, OTHER CAMPING) then this is quite literally the ONLY game in town. There were definitely things we liked about being here. The park hosts were super friendly and the location was awesome. The park lies smack in the middle of Sun Valley, only ~10 miles north of Hailey and ~4 miles south of Ketchum. Plus it’s right next to the fabulous Wood River Bike Trail. This means you have easy access to no end of hiking/biking, lots of fabulous food choices and the ability (if you wish) to bike into town literally every day. Also, this is one of the very few private RV parks we’ve (ever) stayed at where the free on-site WiFi was stable & usable almost the whole time we were here (there were a few times we couldn’t connect, but mostly it worked well). All of that we loved. What we weren’t crazy about was the lack of private space & the way RV’s are asked to park. This is a very tight park with only teeny slices of green between site, and what’s worse is that RV’s are asked to park in opposite directions (end-to-end) which means you share that tiny space with your neighbor. Plus there is only one picnic table per sitting area. This leads to an awkward “space hogging” type arrangement with your RV neighbor and means you really don’t have any private space outside your door to call your own. We saw several sites where one RV had completely taken over the “sitting area” (leaving nothing for the neighbor) or sites where awning’s literally touched and/or one RV wasn’t able to put out their awning at all. Also hookups are all at one end of the site, so the end-to-end parking arrangement means that many RV’s invariably need sewer and power cord extenders to each their hookups. Because of all this we asked to park in the “wrong direction” in our site, which thankfully the park was OK with. We had to share our sitting area with RV hookups, but at least we had a little slice of green to call our own. The one bonus of the tight park is that it forced us to get out and explore the surrounding area literally every single day and this really helped us appreciate how awesome this place is. We fell in love with Sun Valley, both the outdoors and the towns themselves. It’s super dog-friendly, people are lovely and the surrounding nature is not only drop-dead gorgeous but so very accessible. We’ll definitely come back here, but when we do we’ll likely chose to boondock or stay in one of the many forest service campgrounds.
Extra Info: Very decent on-site free WiFi which was usable almost the entire time we were here. Also very good cellphone signal (4 bars ATT LTE, 4 bars Verizon LTE. Signal). $35/night (full hookups) in off-season (May-Oct), $40/night (full hookups) in summer season (June-Sept). Only 2 dry-camping sites (#35 & #36) which cost $25/night. Discounted monthly rates available. 2 pets and 2 person limit per site (additional $5 per person above this over 5 years of age). Total 45 sites.
Extra, Extra Info: OTHER CAMPING & BOONDOCKING: The Meadows is the only full hookup site in the valley, but if you’re OK with no hookups there are actually TONS of inexpensive forest service and free boondocking sites in the area. Stay limit is between 3-16 days, depending on where you go and the rangers DO patrol the boondocking sites, so plan ahead for the time you want to be here.
Forest Service Sites -> There are many inexpensive forest service campgrounds around Sun Valley, some of which are reservation and some of which are first-come-first-serve (FCFS). The closest to town is Boundary Campground. It is teeny (only 9 sites) and entirely FCFS, but it is right on the bike trail and has very good cell signal. Plus it can just about fit a “beast-size” RV like us. Given it’s great location this would likely be our #1 choice coming back to the area. Going north from town there are several more campgrounds (North Fork, East Fork, Easley, Wood River, Murdock). We scouted all of them and for “beast size” we estimated that Wood River was really the best fit with Murdock a close second. There were a few sites that could fit us in the other campgrounds, but mostly they are better suited for smaller-sized RV’s. Of these latter campgrounds only Murdock has *some* cell signal. The others have zero signal. See THIS LINK for info on Forest Service camping in the area.
Designated Boondocking Sites -> There are several areas that have “designated” boondocking sites. These sites are free, but you can only camp in designated, marked spots. The closest to downtown is just east of Ketchum. You drive down Trail Creek Road, past Boundary Campground and a few miles further down you’ll see the designated area on your right along Corral Creek Rd (FR 137). Several sites along here, although many are quite small/rough (we only saw one or two that would fit us) plus there is a STRICT 3-day stay limit here. North of town there’s a lot more designated boondocking sites along Baker Creek Road (FR 162). This is a lovely area with very pleasant & scenic sites many of which could easily fit “the beast”, but there is ZERO cell signal here. These sites do allow 16-day stay however.
- Open Boondocking Sites -> There are many, many more open, free boondocking sites especially further north of town and/or further east (past Sun Valley). Generally zero cell signal at any of these spots and we found many sites were too bumpy/rough for our size, but there are endless choices for smaller rigs. Check-in at the Sawtooth Ranger station (just north of town) and/or get an online copy of the MVUM map. There is a 16-day stay limit at all sites.
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