We have camped here 100 times at least. Here is the inside scoop. It’s one of very few true beach front campgrounds. If you have looked from Maine to Virginia you might be able to find a total of a dozen campgrounds that are truly beach front with full hookups. The locals know how unique this is and getting into this campground takes technique because the locals fill it up. First, there are six sections and they vary greatly. Upper extension is the best one, with large sites that have excellent ocean water views from your camper. Lower extension and upper east is ok. We will not camp in the others: upper west was designed for tent sites but the let 38’ fifth wheels shoehorn in, if they like. It looks a bit like John Goodman in a speedo. Both lower sections are commonly called the “Ghetto” where you will see a 4 man tent with 19 teenagers staying it. Its good entertainment to see them get out of the tent in the morning but, trust me you really do not want to be their neighbors. I talked about technique, well here it is. The campground reservation system allows reservations exactly six months prior to the arrival. The good sites are all reserved by five months and three weeks before the date you camp; the upper extension is 179 days prior. If you want to get in on a holiday weekend, book 180 days in advance from Tuesday to Tuesday. 180 days from Thursday to Thursday and you will be in the ghetto.
I struggled to be fair in rating this CG. The CG advertises that it is family friendly, but our opinion is this CG is aimed towards the senior citizens crowd. THEY seemed thrilled with the CG. We pulled in late and went off to find our site, which had no site number. We figured it out by process of elimination. We pulled into the site and our camper was angled down towards its back and our truck was angled towards its front. There was a crest to the hill. Looking from the side you would be seeing an obtuse angle. Those with a TT will know that this will force the ball back into the brake in the trailers receiver, so disconnecting the truck from the TT was just not possible. We moved in the morning to the smallest site we have ever stayed at. So, if you are in the senior citizens crowd you’ll love it, but if you have school age children pass.
This campground is the best KOA in the system. I do not mind paying a premium if the campground is worth the money; this one is. They had a staff of about 100 with 10 of them a Christian ministry team. The staff was polite, professional and great with the kids. We had a full agenda of sightseeing and activities in the area which was a shame because the kids would have been happy just playing at the campground. They lead their horses off to their night-time coral every night, which made the entire campground stop and watch; it was a spectacular site. If you come here please learn from my mistake and plan a “down” day where the kids have a day to just play at the CG.
We looked for a campground near the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame and the reviews were scary. We kept moving our radius out until we hit the reviews of this campground. We were sold. The campground itself is a peninsula into the lake and our site was a peninsula off of that. It had 270 degrees of waterfront. We only had one night but this campground was great. One warning there is a bridge with a huge drop off after it that we crossed leaving the campground that is NASTY. Careful going over it, 20 mph is too fast.
This campground is a great launching point for Yellowstone and Yellowstone is truly amazing. Given the location you would expect this campground to be one of the best in the KOA system. Unfortunately, it is only average. I have no problem paying for a premium site, per child fees and activity fees. I do however demand value for my money which I do not feel we got from this campground. The bathroom situation is a mess. There were lines early in the morning and up to 12 at night for the showers. At the rates they charge this is a travesty. $ 70.00 + a ton of other fees a night is top of the line pricing. At these rates they have to deliver. They have a nice patio and swing at the premium sites but this means nothing if they have not covered the basics. My wife and I have four kids and hate to go to completely unattended pools. Leaving a pool with a handful of rules posted on a sign is a recipe for disaster. We watched kids choking each over, dunking each other, and we watched one father throw his kid (for fun) onto other kids in the pool. We left after 15 minutes.
This campgrounds sole existence is for overnight stays to or from the Mount Rushmore region. This means it requires 3 things to be acceptable, 1 be near the interstate, 2 be well maintained & 3 be accommodating. This CG is near the interstate and they were accommodating to a late night arrival. Maintenance on the other hand was terrible. We got in at 1:30 am after driving 880 miles that day. Their sign said something like "not for nervous drivers, mud and potholes everywhere". We pulled into the site and my wife started to argue that we were parked in the street. I could see how she thought that but according to the map we were in our site. Trust me, after 880 miles I needed that like I needed a hole in my head. I could not get the WI-FI to work so I walked into the laundry room the next morning and stood under the antenna. I was able to send a text email but uploading a single picture was too much for it.
This campground is potentially a gem in the rough. It is hard to find, and when you pull in there is some kind of industrial operation next to it. Once inside, it is one of the best maintained KOA's in the system. I had to keep asking if everything was band new. The staff is constantly cleaning. Our site was lake front, and when you look to the left there is a mountain range. They did misunderstand the classes they took on insurance risk management. The idea is to manage risk not change your business. I sent my 16 yr old with my two sons to rent a paddle boat, and they turned her away. You have to be eighteen to rent them!?! This is only one example of their weird rules. That is a bit like an ice cream parlor selling only warm melted ice cream because someone might get brain freeze. The staff is incredibly friendly and once they figure out that they are in the family entertainment business this campground will truly be a gem in the rough.
This is the worst campground I have (almost) stayed in. After we checked in we proceed to the site. The kid in the office drew a line to the wrong side of the pull through site. No big deal; I backed it in. When I got out of the truck to check out what adjustments would be needed, my wife and daughters came to me and said that EVERY eye in the campground was on us. I shrugged it off. What I could not shrug off was the condition of the site. There was no grass but only weeds and my TT was tilted precariously to the left. I would need to lift up the left side 12” to level this out. I looked around and there was dog dirt all over the site. I then made the mistake of walking over to a make shift fire pit, which was a truck rim with 4 pieces of scrap metal welded to make legs. When I looked inside I saw dirty sweat socks and other noxious garbage. My wife attempted to use the lavatory but left stating that they were clogged. From the tear in the corner of her eye and the dry heaves I assume she was understating the problem. This is when our fan club became very interested in us. I am guessing that they were betting on the over/under; on whether we would leave and how long it would take us to decide. No reservations and no idea where to go was a better option than staying there. I left to go the front desk. I explained that these conditions were unacceptable. Their response? “ That not my concern”. I then asked a simple question “you do not care because you’re an employee or you’re the owner who does not care about his business”. His ego required that he tell me that he was the owner. He then reversed the credit card transaction. On my walk back I came upon kids jumping over a drainage ditch which appeared to have raw sewage in it. Upon jumping in my truck I looked at the campground map, only to realize that if I followed it, it would lead us up an embankment that would flip the camper on its side. I then noticed one of our fan club (whose camper was a landscaping trailer with an awning BTW), was not happy that we were leaving, perhaps she bet on the over?