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Moab, UT is a popular spot for outdoor recreation. When Stef and I pointed Das Bus that direction recently, we stayed at Portal RV Resort and shot the video above. While the video will give you a good feel for the place, there are a few things that don’t come across in the video. If you’re interested in those, read on!
First, it’s worth mentioning that we were there in February. That’s definitely the off season for Moab. And since it’s the off season, most of the RV parks are shut down. There aren’t many choices in the off season, and Portal RV Resort is one of only a few that remain open during the winter months. If you are coming during the summer, the picture may look a bit different for you. Of the three I could find open, Portal was closest to town, so that sealed the deal.
The next thing you need to know about Portal is that it is split into two halves. There is the “campground” side, where we stayed, and the “resort” side, which is a private ownership section that wasn’t open while we were there. The amenities on the resort side are generally reserved for resort-side guests. It is possible to rent sites on the resort side – it just wasn’t available when we were there. This didn’t matter much though, as the campground side was just fine and had everything we needed.
There are plenty of outdoor recreation and fitness opportunities in Moab. And Portal will get you the same access to those as any of the other places to stay. There was no gym at Portal, though the resort side did have a pool. And it is located right across the highway from Moab’s excellent bike path which leads all the way to (and past) Arches National Park. There were also a number of poles and other structures that we attached our resistance bands to, so if you travel with resistance bands – you’re in luck. All in all, I’m rating Portal a bit above average for fitness opportunities, mostly for proximity to the bike path.
These guys visiting the park were actually pretty cool, too…
Now as far as facilities go, Portal has everything you would expect for an RV park. The sites were gravel, and very level (on the resort side, the sites were concrete). Most of the sites on the campground side were pull-through for easy access. There was water, 30 and 50 amp electrical service, and sewer on some of the sites for just a few dollars more. Cable was included with around 60 channels to choose from. We had mixed results with the Wi-Fi. I thought the service was speedy and had only occasional problems; but Stef had intermittent difficulties throughout our stay. We were staying fairly close to the office, so that may have worked in our favor. I didn’t roam the park testing the signal. Sorry.
I have mixed feelings about the other facilities. They did have showers, restroom, laundry, and a dishwashing facility that were all fine and fairly standard. They also had some other, more unique facilities available – they had two fenced dog runs, for example. And two swimming holes (one of them open to dogs as well). But they also had construction supplies piled up in places; exposed pipes; and a few other things that made it feel either unfinished, or under construction. You’ll have to check out the video to see what I mean. Perhaps they were renovating during the off season? Maybe they’re still building out? Either way, it was enough to ding them a couple points for facilities.
Now, as far as value goes… I’ll be fair to Portal, and mention that their rates seem about on par with the published rates for other parks in the area, so in that respect, they’re average.
But consider this: we paid over $95 to spend just two nights there. I might not have minded this so much in the high season, when demand and occupancy are high. But from our site at Portal, I could SEE the Motel 6 less than a mile away… advertising rooms and a hot tub for $29 per night. And the next night near Moab we spent at a BLM campground where we had 56 sites ENTIRELY TO OURSELVES for only $10. This makes the $45 at Portal ($40 if you don’t get sewer) seem pretty steep.
You’ll pay 50% more to stay 1/4 mile away at Portal RV Resort – and you won’t get a hot tub…
So, would we stay there again? Yes, we would – if we needed hookups and were in the Moab area. But if you’re going to Moab and you’ve got an RV, dry camping at one of the many places about is certainly a better value.