One downside to dispersed camping is site security. When on a walk I’m always wondering if my stuff will be unmolested when I return.
A paid campsite removes most of that worry, especially if I chat with the camp hosts and they can see my things from their site.
It’s also wonderful to have a real, honest to goodness foot trailhead not far from me, connected to the campground. OHV use is forbidden so I don’t get covered with dust on my way there. The trail itself is not much better than a mountain goat path as shown in the photo above. Narrow, loose sand and rocks, but perfectly fine for its intended purpose: hiking. On foot. Thank God. It feels so good after all the forest service roads I’ve trekked.
So quiet, no dust clouds or exhaust fumes, no wheeled maniacs, motorized or not, overtaking me every five minutes and forcing me off to the side. On a weekday I can walk an hour or four without encountering another soul. This is heaven.
I need more of this, even though it’ll cost money to camp next to good trails. It’s worth it!