Do you enjoy camping? I do, although if I have the choice, I prefer a cabin to a tent.
If I’ll be sleeping in a tent, I have some preferences. They bring to mind Goldilocks and the Three Bears:
- If the weather is too hot and humid, it can be difficult to sleep. (I mean, I can only take off so many pieces of clothing till I’m wearing just my birthday suit).
- If the weather is too cold, I could end up spending the night curled up in the fetal position trying to fall asleep to the sound of my teeth chattering.
- Spring and Fall are just right: the days are mild and the nights are chilly but comfortable.
No matter what type of camping you like, Outlanders River Camp (ORC) has a camping option you’ll like.
ORC is located in Luray, Virginia, nestled in the beautiful Shenandoah Mountains. The area is best known for Luray Caverns, nearby Shenandoah National Park, and Skyline Drive.
I first found ORC when I was searching online for campgrounds that were near the water and within a few hours from us. My boyfriend likes to fish, so I thought it would be a nice location for him.
We really enjoyed our first camping experience here, but this time I was able to take a lot more time to explore the campgrounds and discover all that it has to offer.
= CAMPING OPTIONS =
(Not pictured: Back-In and Pull-Through RV sites)
ORC offers a bunch of different camping options. Prices vary according to the time of year and are slightly higher during popular vacation times (Spring, Summer, Fall) and holidays. Peak season at ORC is May 1st – October 31st and off-season is November 1st – April 30th.
On weekends, there’s a 2-night minimum stay and on holidays, there’s a 3-night minimum stay.
- For current pricing info, refer to the ORC website.
To ensure that a campsite is available on the dates you want to visit, make a reservation in advance.
Plan your arrival before 9 pm. If you arrive after 9 pm, there’ll be no one there to check you in; you’ll need to check-in first thing the next morning.
⇒ NOTE: If you do arrive after 10 pm, be respectful of the other campers and turn your radio down or off as you drive slowly to your campsite. ORC’s quiet time is from 10 pm – 7 am.
= PRIMITIVE CAMPSITES =
If you’re looking for an “authentic” camping experience – a tent, a sleeping bag, and nature – choose a primitive campsite like we did.
At ORC, all primitive sites are walk-in, meaning you have to park your car in the lot and transport your gear to the campsite. Depending on how much gear you have, you can either carry it or use one or more of the wheelbarrows or wagons provided by ORC. They are situated by the parking lot for easy access.
Be sure to secure your gear in the wheelbarrow or wagon before heading down so nothing will fall off. The gravel path leading down to the campsites is steep and bumpy and you don’t want to have to keep stopping on the way down to gather your gear.
The path down to the primitive campsites has a few lights along it but they are pretty far apart, leaving long stretches unlit. If you arrive after dark, be sure to bring a flashlight or headlamp to help you light the way as you navigate the steep hill.
Since our last visit, a port-a-potty was added to the primitive camping area. I’m not a big fan of port-a-potties because they are usually pretty gross but this one was really clean and convenient.
If you prefer a regular bathroom, ORC also has a bathhouse. To get to it from the primitive camping area, you can either walk up the path or take the steps up. The steps are located in the middle of the primitive camping area.
All primitive sites have an area for your tent, a picnic table, and a firepit with an adjustable grill making cooking on the campfire easier.
We chose the riverfront site closest to the walkway down to the water. The sound of the Shenandoah River is relaxing; at night, the sound becomes a natural lullaby to drift off to sleep to.
Cost: We paid $60 for our campsite ($48 for the site + $8 for our friend + tax). Rates include 2 adults and 2 children; additional guests cost extra.
= CAMP AMENITIES =
In addition to the camping options, Outlanders River Camp offers a variety of amenities for campers.
- Camp Store – The camp store also serves as the check-in area. It has a variety of items available such as firewood, toiletries, snacks, ice, fishing gear, camping supplies, etc. to make your stay easier and to prevent you from having to leave the campground to buy supplies.
- Bathhouse – The bathhouse is located in the upper area of the campground and has separate facilities for men and women; both have bathrooms and showers with hot and cold water. (I’ve stayed at ORC twice and both times, the bathhouse was very clean.)
- Golf Cart Rental – If you don’t want to drive or walk to get around on the property, you can rent a golf cart at the Camp Store.
- Playground – If you’re camping with kids, the playground is a great place for them to burn off some energy. It has slides, swings, and more. The view is pretty nice, too!
- Walking/Hiking/Jogging Trails – There are several trails throughout ORC. Some go through the woods, some are near the water, and some are out in the open.
= CAMP GROUNDS =
= AREA ATTRACTIONS =
If you want to venture out beyond the campgrounds, there are a lot of activity options in and around Luray.
One of the most popular attractions in the area is Luray Caverns, a popular tourist attraction for both kids and adults.
If you’ve never been to Luray before, venture into town and explore the unique shops.
There are also a variety of restaurants in Luray. Here are a few that I like:
- Uncle Bucks is one of my favorite casual dining spots. The service is good and friendly and the food is tasty and inexpensive. (Also, I like the name 😉 )
- Rancho Viejo is a Mexican restaurant that offers big servings (some dishes can easily be shared) at small prices.
- The Speakeasy Bar in the Mimslyn Inn is decorated is a little more high-end but you don’t have to dress up to dine there. It’s decorated in a 1920’s theme and offers a relaxed, quiet dining environment. The prices are affordable, too.
History buffs can explore one of the area battlefields. Nature lovers can hike on one of the trails in nearby Shenandoah National Park. Several of them have waterfalls, making the hike a little more enticing and providing a beautiful setting for resting or taking some pictures.
For a less strenuous outing, you can go for a drive along Skyline Drive or Blueridge Parkway, both of which are known for their beauty.
Well, there you have it. I really enjoyed Outlanders River Camp and highly recommend it. I’ll definitely be back! The grounds are well-kept and there’s plenty to do within the property as well as nearby.