Horn Rapids County Park is the only campground run by Benton County, WA, and is perhaps the closest public campground to the Tri-Cities area.
Horn Rapids is located right along the Yakima River, and right along Highway 225, right where it intersects with Highway 240.
It’s not free to camp here. It’ll run you $25.00 a night. However, it does offer 50 AMP electrical and water hookups. There are no sewer hookups, however, but it does have an RV dump station up front, with potable water.
You cannot reserve sites in advance. It’s a first-come-first-serve campground with a payment kiosk up front.
Sash and I camped here for two nights, August 19-21, 2019. We stayed here primarily to sanitize our holding tanks, and thus needed the RV dump station.
Pros and Cons of Camping at Horn Rapids County Park
Pros: You’re close to the Tri-Cities, WA area, and is probably the closest public campground there is. There are several other RV parks that are closer, but they are very expensive, running from $50.00 a night on up.
Pros: It’s very empty. Hardly anyone stays here. Thus, you get a pretty good pick of what space you want.
Pros: Some shady sites. Several spaces aligned to the southern border of the park, where there are tall trees, give shade from the afternoon sun.
Pros: Decent walking trails. These are all paved trails, but give you a pleasant walk through the area. Some of the native trees along the walk have small signs telling you what variety they are.
Cons: The campground doesn’t feel like a campground. It feels more like a golf-course due to so much lawn.
Cons: The water sprinklers come on every day during the summer because the temperatures can get up to 100 degrees F. As a result, the water sprays across your RV and tow vehicle, and even sprays into your camp.
Cons: Lots of bugs here. They’re mostly gnats and houseflies. But we also encountered very tiny ants crawling through our trailer. It seems these ants have learned to invade motorhomes and trailers. You had better bring something to keep them away.
Cons: Verizon 4G data does not come in here. You may still get voice and texting, but you will not get online here. Even our WeBoost wouldn’t do any better.
Cons: The driveway through the campground is very narrow. It could make backing a trailer into a site very difficult if there happens to be several RVs already camped nearby.
Cons: The campsites are just barely long enough to fit our 28 foot (33 feet if you count the tongue) plus our pickup truck. They’re definitely long enough for motorhomes, but trucks with trailers longer than ours will struggle to back in, and fit into a space.
Cons: Some of the electrical pedestals don’t work. At first we pulled into site #15, and found that the 50 amp was faulty (only one of the two poles worked). We moved to #14. I read other reviews saying they had electrical problems at other sites. In fact, the campground itself posts a sign up front that they do not give out refunds if your campsites is not functional.
Is it Worth Camping Here?
At $25.00 a night, it’s on the steeper end of publicly-owned campgrounds. When you add the fact that you cannot get Verizon 4G data, and that there’s an ant-invasion problem, and that some of the sites have electrical problems, it seems the County of Benton is putting much resources into taking care of this campground. The fact that the water sprinklers get your RV and campsite wet everyday is a deal breaker.
Sash and I won’t be camping here again for the reasons mentioned above.
If you do plan to camp here, make sure your payment is in the kiosk before 8:00am of the next morning, because the park ranger will definitely knock on your door.