Jonathan's place was a dream. It was exactly what we were looking for in a quick getaway. Not a long drive from the city, but completely great for stargazing. We went on the full moon and were not disappointed. After the insane rain and lightning storm passed, the moon rose beautifully, displacing the remaining clouds. Jonathan was extremely responsive before we got there. Cell service was very spotty, but he has marked the entrance to his property with red reflectors. There is plenty of wood already cut on the property and a few different fire pits - some even with a cooking grate. I would recommend this quiet destination if you're looking to unplug and truly get back to nature..
Desert Sanctuary truly lived up to its name. We arrived in the middle of a rain storm; Dana greeted us and directed us to an RV spot less than 100ft from the facilities and pool house, instead of the normal dry RV camp spot. The pool house is a magnificent space that also functions as a game room, with a pool table, large screen tv with dvds available, and tons of books. Since we typically cook our meals over a fire, we were grateful to be able to use the kitchen equipment inside. A large fridge was available to use as well, and wifi was included that worked well when in the game room and up to 100ft radius around it. It did not seem to be able to handle more than one or two devices at a time, however, it worked for our needs.
Just outside the game room is the large pool with a 9-ft deep end. While the water was a bit chilly following the rains, we still jumped in the next day before taking a long soak in the hot tub. In warmer months I can imagine the pool will be a refreshing alternative to the desert sun. Dana has two outdoor showers with hot water not far from the pool area, which felt amazing. We haven’t found another hipcamp with outdoor showers in our travels thus far; it was truly a treat.
Walking the property and exploring all the different buildings was probably our favourite part. Dana has spent four years restoring many of the 17 structures on the property including an old pottery house that he’s converted into a communal dining hall. He has 7 friendly and energetic pups that will keep you company as you wander the grounds; be sure to give them lots of pats.
We enjoyed our stay so much we extended another night! We would recommend staying at the Desert Sanctuary for at least two nights to get the most out of this beautiful 100+ acre haven. There is absolutely no noise pollution, and should you want to experience zero light pollution, you only need ask that he turn off the lamp posts which mark the walkways. The view of the night sky is brilliant even with the lamp posts. Dana is a welcoming and friendly host who is open to chatting and sharing the story of the land. We can’t wait to return to this marvelous and magical place.
Lil, Niki, and Starla 💫
Steve’s property is right off the highway, but the sounds of traffic don’t disturb. There aren’t any areas cleared, so car/van camping seems to be the best idea – we have a bus and managed to find a spot to park right next to the driveway. Unfortunately, because we arrived after dark we couldn’t see the entrance to Steve’s property and realized we had parked in a neighbor’s driveway when the sheriff woke us up the next morning. Steve answered our call right away and explained the mix-up and all was well. As a result, we suggest arriving well before dark to find your way, and feel free to call Steve if you need further instruction. Other than that, we had no trouble at all. With barely any light pollution, we enjoyed a calm, cool night under the stars near the Organs. The next day we drove the 10 minutes down the road to Dripping Springs for lunch and a hike around the area. If you’re looking for somewhere quiet and away from other campers, this is a great spot.