Hat Creek Hereford Ranch RV Park & Campground

Camped in the field at Hat Creek Hereford RV Park & Campground
Because there were no camp sites available for the time slot we wished to stay we camped in “The Field” at Hat Creek Hereford RV Park & Campground which serves as overflow camping for a rig or two. We were told the field would flood when the neighboring farmer flooded his field. Oh, great… Nevertheless we took our chances based on reassurances from the campground host that wasn’t likely to happen during our stay,

CAMPGROUND NAME: Hat Creek Hereford Ranch RV Park & Campground
KIND: Independent
RATES: $25 to park in their grassy field without hookups (overflow), up to about $45 for full hookups. Check with the office.
CLUBS: Check with the office.

Hat Creek Hereford Ranch & RV Park Campground Map
Hat Creek Hereford Ranch & RV Park Campground Map

PHONE: 530-335-7171, 877-459-9532
EMAIL: hatcreekrv@yahoo.com
GPS: (Provided by AllStays) 40.79531, -121.50134

ACCESS: Dirt and gravel road of highway 89 but easily passable
SITES: Something approaching 100
SURFACING: Grass, dirt
MAXIMUM RIG SIZE: Check with the office. We saw some pretty good sized rigs there.
LEVELNESS: Good in at least some sites
SHADE: Yes, plentiful
TENT PADS: No, but tent sites, yes.
FIRE GRILLS: Campfire rings but maybe not grills. Check with the office.
PETS: On leash

HOOKUPS: Some sites with full hookups, some with W/E, some with none
DUMP STATION: Yes, but no potable water at the dump station

When the campground gets crowded tow vehicles can line up along the roadside.
When the campground gets crowded tow vehicles can line up along the roadside.

AT&T iPhone 6s without Wilson Mobile 4G booster: None

AT&T iPhone 6s with Wilson Mobile 4G booster: 3 bars and LTE, but there was no data connectivity despite the LTE indication on my phone

Results were similar for our Verizon Pixel 2.

Over-the-air: Didn’t check but I doubt it
Cable: I don’t think so but check with the office
WiFi: Generally OK at the office but we didn’t check other spots in the campground.
Download speed: Good enough for email and web surfing

Results of one wi-fi test at Hat Creek Hereford RV Park
Results of one wi-fi test at Hat Creek Hereford RV Park
A view of the pond at Hat Creek Hereford RV Park. A small area out of view is cordened off for swimming… really just for the kids to get wet, IMHO. For a fee fishing is allowed in the stocked waters. Hat Creek itself (not in view) is on the other side of the pond.

RESTROOM RATING: FAIL (I assign a Pass or Fail rating based on many considerations including: cleanliness, usability, hot water availability, hand soap availability, ease or difficulty it is to use the toilet paper, condition of fixtures, if using the restroom is a pleasant or unpleasant experience, etc.) If either Diane or I are reluctant to use the facilities or find them somehow unpleasant I issue a FAIL rating.
SOAP: Hand soap
SHOWERS: Included with camping fee
SHOWER RATING: FAIL (I evaluate showers in a similar fashion to restrooms. See above.)
WATER: There is a spigot at the office but unless you have a camp site with one you might be in a pickle.
RECYCLING: I don’t think so.

McArthur-Burney Falls
Situated just outside Burney CA is the lovely McArthur-Burney Falls. It is a worthwhile but often over-busy sight to see if you’re in the area. We visited when camped at Hat Creek Hereford Ranch & RV Park north of Lassen Volcanic National Park which is about 20 miles from the falls.

BUGS: Not troublesome when we were there early July

Gas: Old Station
Dump: in the campground
Propane: Maybe Burney
Groceries: There is a small Safeway and a Dollar General in Burney
RV Parks: Rancehria RV Park is an independent a little south and hat Creek Resort & RV a bit further south. There are also Forest Service Campgrounds in the area.

Mount Lassen towers over Manzanita Lake
Nearby, Lassen Volcanic National Park is a worthwhile destination and why we came to the area in the first place. Here, Mount Lassen towers over Manzanita Lake, a lovely place for an easy hike that circumscribes the water, some kayaking or tossing a line into the lakes in hopes of fishing out some dinner.

Hat Creek Hereford Ranch RV Park & Campground is what I would call a rural, family oriented park. This park is situated north of Lassen Volcanic National Park which is why we came to the area. Although there are other camping options nearby including another independent park and some Forest Service campgrounds, this is the only place we could find a spot in which we could fit, and as you will see it wasn’t really a spot.

Often, it seems to me rural parks are a little less formally run, and a little less spic and span. They seem to lag a little bit in terms of maintenance and upkeep, the showers may need refurbishing, the trash need may lag in being emptied… As a child of the 60’s/70’s the word “funky” comes to mind, although that could also describe a genre of rock music.

Camping in this rural location requires something of a drive for gas or diesel. We were concerned about the availability of diesel fuel for our truck as GasBuddy showed nothing between our location and the park and nothing in the park itself. There is, however, a gas station in Old Station on the way to the park that has gas and diesel and where the pumps are open 24/7 to those with the credit cards they accept.

lovely meadow beneath the mountain
We stopped roadside in Lassen Volcanic National Park to sit steam side at this lovely meadow beneath the mountain for a spot of lunch.

During our stay in early July of 2018 the campground was packed the weekend we arrived but by Monday the crowd had thinned considerably.There were no sites with hookups large enough to accommodate our 55′ +/- length when I first called to check a few weeks before we checked in. There were no sites without hookups that could accommodate us either. We were told we would be allowed to stay in a field near the office should nothing else open up and that is where we camped alongside a tattered volleyball net near the frisbee area. Not being in the campground proper is to some extent the reason some of the campground details I might otherwise provide are absent in this report. When checking in the host mentioned the possibility of the neighboring farmer flooding his field in which case we would be parked in a shallow lake, but we were also told he had just flooded his field a few days earlier so that wasn’t likely. We crossed our fingers and camped in the grass field which although had some lumpy spots was overall quite level. Our leveling system had no problems getting us level.

We opted not to use the camp showers as they were not so pleasant and our newish RV has what for an an RV is a fairly spacious shower. I used the camp restroom at times but Diane preferred ours in the RV because the stall doors in the camp restroom only came down about as far as the top of the toilet seat which could leave some folks with a feeling of insufficient privacy.

Men's shower at Hat Creek Hereford RV Park
This photo of one of the showers in the men’s restroom shows why we opted use our own shower in the RV and why I gave the showers a failing grade.

A pond at the campground was popular with kids for swimming and fishing, and a fee is charged for the latter. Hat Creek is on the other side of the pond and warnings not to cross it were given, I’m guessing because land on the other side is private, but I didn’t inquire.

As bird watchers we enjoyed sighting a bald eagle and saw blackbirds, gold finches, sparrows, Canada geese, robins and I think I may have heard some house finches singing too.

Campsites in the park are nestled in tall trees with surfaces of some combination of grass, gravel and dirt. Some have full hookups, some water and electric, some no hookups. Tents are allowed at least in some campsites. There were lots of children when we were there–as I mentioned, this seems very much a family oriented park.

One of the tent sites at Hat Creek Hereford RV Park.
One of the tent sites at Hat Creek Hereford RV Park.

Although not far from highway 89 we found the park to be very quiet at night. The most prominent noises were bullfrogs in the pond, an occasional moo from cows in the neighboring pasture and rarely a car or truck driving past on the highway. During the day the sounds of birds and people in the park were the prominent noises. You shouldn’t be bothered by road noise here.

The park has a dump station which cn be a little tricky to navigate to if tow vehicles are parked such as they were when we were there. There is no potable water supply at the dump station.

We would probably stay at this campground again.

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