"The last time we had been in Camp Nelson was 21 years ago, and I had fond memories of our stay there. It's changed a bit--there are more homes and access to the Tule River is not quite as easy. But the feel of the place--laid back, informal, friendly and far from daily responsibilities and distractions--is still there. The cabin has a wonderful deck, on which we spent many hours reading and writing. We did almost all our own cooking, and the kitchen had all the pots and pans and utensils we needed. Could have used: larger coffee mugs, measuring cup, a light over the stove, more kitchen towels. The livingroom has a great futon, which we used to watch the DVDs we brought (there were quite a few there too), but we had problems with the DVD player, so we ended up using our laptop. It would be really great to have a table in the dining area. You can eat at the bar or on the deck table, but I was doing a lot of writing, so an indoor table would have been nice for that as well as for other projects, playing games, and eating. I thought there would be board games/puzzles, but there were only a deck of card and one (adult) game. There was a good selection of paperbacks.
The cabin is in a good location for accessing the little market, hardware store, and diner/tavern, and we did buy a few stacks, an extension cord, and ate tacos and beer on the deck of the diner, which was fun. We explored all the neighborhoods and looked through the windows of the beautiful old lodge. However, the cabin is right next to the RV park, and it was noisier on the weekends when campers arrived.
Belknap Campground is about a 1 mile walk down Nelson Drive, and there is access to the river there. Walk another half mile (or drive to the very end of the road and park) to get to the unmarked trailhead for Nelson Trail. This trail gives you spectacular communion with the Sequoias in several groves. If you like to hike, there's no need to get into your car--you'll have this quiet, beautiful trail all to yourself, and it takes you all the way to Quaking Aspen if you're feeling energetic. I also found the trailhead to the Bear Creek Trail on Coy Flat Road (another great hike), but never could find Redwood Trail.
The cabin has a great fenced area for a dog to enjoy. The bedrooms were nice, both with queen-sized beds. The bathroom was fine too. I would love to stay there again, although I may seek an even quieter, more remote cabin next time, or go after school starts."
Date of Stay: August 2015
Review Submitted: August 22, 2015