Lake Fairfax is the perfect, local camping spot for beginning campers or for those that want to fit in a quick camping trip without a long drive. We recently headed out to this beautiful park for a Father’s Day camping adventure with our 4 and 2 year old. Our only regret was that we couldn’t stay longer.
We arrived on a sunny Saturday morning, checking in at the camp office by noon. All of the staff members were helpful and the registration process took about 6 minutes total. We were given a park map, information about the amenities, and advice on how much firewood to buy for one day/night of camping. With our 2 bundles of firewood and easy to follow map, we headed down the road to the campsite area. On your way you will pass the sports fields and the skate park. We headed out to site A37, which is a short walk to the bathroom facility and partially shaded. You will want to check out the family campground map and pick one of the outer loop camping sites. These provide the only shade and are more secluded than the sites in the middle. Call ahead and make your reservation. You can also request a particular spot and the staff will do their best to meet your needs.
Are bugs an issue? Not when we were there. We had beautiful 80-degree weather during the day and 60’s at night. I’m sure our campfire helped a bit, but we did not have any issues with bug bites or other critters during our stay. Awesome.
It didn’t take long to set up our tent and feed the girl’s lunch from the cooler of food that we brought with us. Each site includes a fire pit and a picnic table. Bring a tablecloth to help ‘clean up’ the picnic area. After we set up we headed over to The Water Mine – the water park that includes slides, a lazy river and loads of other fun water play areas. To read more about this fun option, check out the Our Kids review. After spending a few hours at the water park we headed back to our campsite. Skip the showers at the water park and use the family bathrooms at the campsite. Much nicer!
The bathroom and shower facility is newly renovated and clean for a campground. We utilized the family bathrooms, which included the toilet, shower stall, sink and changing area. There’s a large amount of space for a family of four. Bottom line for the bathrooms is that it was very clean and accessible.
We set up our campfire, which was easily contained in the fire pit. Each fire pit comes with a top grill so you can roast a variety of food. I would recommend bringing foil or using roasting sticks as it does get pretty dirty. After a yummy dinner of Applegate hot dogs, macaroni salad and watermelon we sat around the fire and played charades and chatted a bit. What a welcoming change from being tied to technology! We met a couple of nice families that were camping nearby and the kids all played together.
As evening approached we settled in and put our girls to bed in the tent. My husband and I were lucky enough to sit around the fire and chat for another 2 hours while we knew our sweet angels were sleeping soundly. While you can’t really bank on having great camping neighbors, we were not lucky in this area. The campers next to us had more than the allotted amount of people at their site. They blared their music and did not quiet down until after 10pm. That was the only drawback of the evening but definitely not something that ruined our stay.
We left after breakfast the next morning planning our next camping adventure as a family. Overall this was a comfortable camping trip that allowed our girls to get their feet wet in the great outdoors. They absolutely loved it and it is definitely a topic of conversation around our house.
Things to Note
- Bring a flashlight(s), picnic tablecloth and roasting sticks.
- When registering, pick up some firewood so you do not have to run back out to the registration office.
- A standard, non-electric campsite will run you $28 per night.
- If you are looking for a secluded camping experience, this is not the park for you.
- Check in is at 12pm and check out is at 10am.
Photos courtesy of Marcy Fisher.