Sadly Murray too now has suffered after the crackdown on squatters/homesteaders of both campgrounds at JBLM...now it's affected Murray :( 14 day stay limit now, then you must vacate and not return for two weeks...still no tent camping beginning NOV-End of march. These two rules are strictly enforced summer season now, no special people getting over staying longer/squatting-homesteading as I watched my many former summer seasonal neighbors constantly playing musical chairs with their RVs between McCord, Lewis and Murray campgrounds during my first visit back in three yrs since I moved to Florida. Ed the campground host still there, he's summer seasonal type whom lives in Hawaii and teaches scuba in winter, funny I left camp Murray after one summer season and lived Hawaii that winter and at the Veterans Day luau @ Hale Koa I saw ed, he was there... One of the squatter/homesteaders took over the asst host job so she doesn't have to rotate out now and she lost her approachable essence...takes the job way too serious... very nice place on water but sadly on fast side of American lake...Lewis campground about 1 mile west on same shoreline as Murray but around a choke point which separates American lake into two halves is, right where Lewis north forts American lake beach/park is that you'll see at 10oclock direction if you're lookIn at american lake from camp Murray. Murray is on the fast side of American lake so it's a lot noisier in comparison to Lewis area of American lake unless the special forces/2-75 ranger battalion are doing helicopter insertion/recovery training in the Lewis side of American lake where they fly in to water level inserting or extracting our warriors.. This busy watercraft thing on the Murray side/fast side of American lake is especially true on a sunny weekend day when boaters towing tubes, skiers, fisherman and the occasional kayaker or paddle board fill up the lake and holiday weekends kinda scary on the fast side (Murray shores on American lake) when you see busy days.. Rental water toys can be acquired at adventure center at ft Lewis on American lake...kayaks and paddle boards easily paddled to camp Murray campground from ft Lewis adventure center via waters shoreline...paddle across lake to north fort Lewis beach swimming area park, from there easy walk to shoppette, gym or warrior zone essentially avoiding existing out camp Murray gate and back into north fort Lewis gates which is faster than bicycle ride around.....surprisingly this is common and not a security issue as you'll see boats and people coming & going ashore at camp Murray dock/boat landing... Yrs before when I was a regular seasonal summer squatter here, there were jerks from civilian side of American lake that would do illegal dragboat races...fire up their 454powered rocket boats and go flying full roar skipping across the lake in the middle of the night....glad to see that ended! Ammeities on this website say swimming but absolutely no swimming at shores of camp Murray in American lake is authorized... Very serious risk to humans as too much boat traffic and or the opportunity of random boat traffic so swimming is seriously dangerous around dock/shores of American lake but you'll prolly catch some veterans dependant wife challenging regulations saying that's a dumb rule and she's gonna let her kids/grandkids swim there anyways... Campground has a party/group shelter and has unit functions/parties and when they do, the already limited bathrooms will be excessively busy as well as the screaming kids runnng around obnoxious/careless/irresponsibly so drive slow and be vigilant... Bout a mile & 1/2 out the gate to any stores/anythin other than coffee shop at camp Murray campground office unlike Lewis which has so much more to do of which all is bicycle rideable to everything and very much more dependant/kid friendly...Murray isn't very child friendly, no playground, jungle gym etc...lots of trails to walk but unattended children isn't an authorized option either... my experiance has been campers with kids at camp Murray dont seemingly enjoy the place (in comparison to Lewis or McCord) due to its lack of activities and also to kids it's boring seclusion with nothing to do for them unlike retired veteran/empty nesters whom project a look of happiness and content in murrays simplistic setting of nothing to do but sit and read a book or stare at the lake listening to Rush Limbaugh while visiting with other former war fighters...
Sites a bit close together, but overall the park was in an excellent location to Fort Lewis and all the touring sites. Nice, quiet area...14 day limit was enforced when we were there as our neighbor had to move out when their time expired. Bald eagles were nesting nearby. They were rebuilding a fishing dock on the lake when we left. Should be good when completed. Park provided a hook-up for Dish and DirectTV so that you don't have to set up your satellite-cool! Will visit again if we come this direction...
We normally stay here when we are in the Seattle area. The park is very quiet and you normally can get reservations. 30 amps work well enough for our rig. The view of the lake for the "temporary" guests is great. There are a large number of semi-permanent residents but they are not allowed to stay on the lake for more than 2 weeks. The rate is good for a full hook-up and base security is excellent. A large number of satellite receivers are available for Dish and Direct TV users so the lack of cable is not a major issue. Our cell/wifi card worked well also. (AT+T/Verizon).
MUCH improved since we stopped there last year. There were no spaces available so we didn't use the facilities but it looks like a campground now instead of a kinda scary south Arkansas style trailer park like it looked last year.
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