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“Big Groups... beware!”

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Bodega Dunes Campground
Northern California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Big Groups... beware!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2008

This was my first visit to Bodega Dunes. Our group occupied 2 adjacent cites (24 & 26). There were a total of 12 people: 8 adults and 4 kids). The site itself was clean. We were right next to the camp host's site and the bathrooms.

The first night, after the kids went to bed, the adults sat around and talked for a while. At least 2 skunks came into our site. Our group got out of their chairs and kept away from the animal to avoid getting sprayed. We kept our flashlight on it until it went away. During the period of 10 PM - 1 AM, camp rangers drove by twice, but never stopped to talk to us. We assumed there was no problem.

The next morning, we got a visit from Bob... the camp host. No, not the same one next to us... but the host from the other end of the campgrounds. He told us there was a complaint about noise past at 1:30 AM and about us "harassing wildlife and that a skunk sprayed because of us". We asked if it was another campsite or the camp host next to us. He had no answer and got snippy. He was neither pleasant nor quiet about lecturing us. He woke up the remaining 3 adults and 3 kids at our site with his bellowing. Bob was very defensive and a jerk. We told him that if other campers... or even the rangers that had driven by had told us to quiet down, we would have. We were talked down to and were told that if we weren't quiet that night, he would be calling the cops (ahem... rangers) at 10:01PM. When were were trying to talk to him, he walked away stating that he was an "unpaid volunteer".

Less than 10 minutes later, we got a visit from Ranger Horn. He was more quiet and respectful to us, but dismissed our complaints about Bob. We told Ranger Horn that we didn't appreciate being visited by 2 people within 10 minutes of each other. If we were going to be "talked to" we would have preferred a Ranger instead of enduring the embarrassment and disrespect of having being scolded by Bob. The ranger was at least respectful towards the group and explained things like our regular voices unintentionally carrying through the site and through the canopy. We also questioned the 2 times a ranger drove around between 10 and 1 AM. Both the Ranger and Camp Host got agitated when we tried to question inconsistencies.

After the Ranger talked to us, our "issue" was discussed with the neighboring camp host. The kids in our camp who had to walk by to use the restroom overheard them talking about our group.

My suggestion, stick to the sites in the 70s 80s and 90s. It's more conducive to groups and people there are less uptight about noise.

  • Liked — Nice scenery, well taken care of, the rangers at the front gate
  • Disliked — the camp hosts
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank libraryvixen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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66 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
california
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2008

We have stayed at Bodega Dunes many times over the years and found it to be beautiful and well kept with many friendly campers. It is a wonderful place to stay as there are many beaches within 5 minutes as well as the beach on the campgrounds.

I have read the reviews on here and was suprised that people had problems with the rangers...until this year. We were up and talking and laughing past the quiet time of 10 pm..The next morning a very surly camp host pulled into our campsite and immediatly started being very rude, we felt very bad as we did not think we were being that loud. After being scolded by the camp host, about 30 minutes later a Ranger pulled up and threatend to evict us if we werent quiet by 10pm.

Needless to say we left on our own and if we ever go back we will stay elsewhere.

  • Liked — The amazing scenery
  • Disliked — The Camp Hosts
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank beachcomber209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2008

I helped my son plan his trip to the campground. There were 16 teens/young adults in the group. We knew the rules...8 per campsite, number of tents, etc. Reservations were paid by me on credit card. When the group got there they endured the car inspections for alcohol (they did not have any), then the rangers told them that they could never have more than 8 people in a site during the day, meaning that they could not share their meals together and socialize. Then, the ranger suggested that this probably wasn't the right type of campground for a group of young adults and that they would be better off driving down the road to another campground. The kids were very upset and decided to leave. I immediately called the State Park system to find out what was wrong, they called over to the campground but nobody would answer the phone. The person who I spoke with said that they could certainly eat together and socialize during the day. I called the State Parks four times over a period of week to come to some resolution. They never did speak to the ranger and they went ahead and charged my credit card for cancellation fees for two sites, even though the group left as a result of the rangers actions. Lesson learned....this is not a campground for groups!

Stayed June 2008
Helpful?
6 Thank camprus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Bay, CA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2008

In short, we were only able to get a reservation for our second nights stay online because the campground was full. When we arrived in town, we were directed to the overflow lot at Wright's Beach.
We were very lucky and we able to get a space (#21) at Wright's Beach because another camper left early. Any space there is a good space. Easy beach access, clean restrooms and clean campsites.
Our second night at Bodega Dunes was disappointing. It appears that there is water or beach access on the map. We got space #67, very large and backs up to the bay. You cannot access the bay because of a cyclone fence surrounding the property. In order to get to the beach, you have to drive back towards the entrance and turn down a narrow road into the dunes. You drive about a mile until you arrive at a parking lot (no RV slots). Then you have to walk a trail up and over the dune to get to the beach. Are you tired yet....
Restrooms are decent, free showers are a heavy mist of luke warm water. But at least you can wash up.
Basically, unless you don't mind treking to see the ocean or bay this is not the place for you. Great for someone with large camp groups or that plans to sit at the site.

  • Liked — The dump station...
  • Disliked — Most everything else!
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
4 Thank MrsLLL529
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northern California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2008

We just returned from a 3 night stay at the dunes and we had a good time. The weather was mostly foggy, but mild with a high between 65-69. We didnt get into any trouble with the ranger, however, I did see him harass other individuals on about 3 occasions (I think as long as you follow the rules, you will be fine!). Our group booked 3 sites, however we ended up staying together on sites 84 & 85 since there really wasn't 3 decent sites next to each other that were not already taken. A few of the campsites are located close to vacation rentals (Friday night the revelers let loose with music and loud interaction until the wee hours of the AM), not to mention when your camping, you expect the have nature in the backdrop and not houses! Some other sites are located close to noisy hwy 1 or next to the road that leads to the marina! Watch out for the late night visits by the skunks and racoons! Make sure EVERYTING/ANYTHING food related needs to be put away and out of reach! The skunks are not afraid of humans and not afraid to sniff any crumb out of hiding! We also had a young buck run through our site on the way to the ocean! We had a few youngsters in our group and they loved the sand dune in our campsite! One thing that i didn't like about the campground is the fact that all the sites are first come first served, with or without a reservation. When the people first get here, they drive through the loops like racing idiots! They forget the speed limit is only 15 and not 25 or 30! So keep a real close eye on the littler members of your party to make sure they don't become a victim of carelessness! overall we enjoyed our stay and may return again.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — too many houses around taking away from nature setting
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank Lisabethl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vacaville, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2008

We drove up to Bodega Dunes July 1st. We arrived around 10:00am with no reservation. They handed us a map of the 98 campsites. The ranger told us to find one we liked and let her know.
We really liked #31 right across from showers and restrooms. It was on sand and backed up against large dunes with lots of trees, a fire pit and food locker. Everything was very well kept and clean. Most sites were seperated enough so you didn't see your neighbor.
There are two seperate beaches within walking distance. I like the Pacific Ocean side the best. You can drive almost right up to the beach or walk about 10 min. to it. When perchasing the campsite pass for $25 you can visit any California state park for free for the following 24 hours. We really liked some of the other beaches we sampled on the way home.
At dusk a buck passed through our campsite. We overheard someone mention seeing a fox as well. We saw a couple of different tracks in the sand around our car, looked like raccoon.The weather was great for coastal temp. about 79 high 52 low. At night it was so quiet everyone was so respectfull, you could hear the ocean faintly. It was really comfortable even in a tent. The Dune hills really seemed to cut the winds down.
We will be back, our kids loved it.

  • Liked — Felt private with nature for an incredible value
  • Disliked — would love to have had a store like at a KOA. (You could drive to an outside store)
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
6 Thank MirandaPen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2008

I am a youth leader for a church in West Sacramento, California, and decided to take a group of our young members on a trip to the coast. There was a group of twenty of us and we decided to stay at Bodega Dunes Campgrounds. The gatesman was nice, but the Park Ranger by the name of Ben was not as nice. I guess he was threatened by the size of our group. He harrassed me on more than one occasion, and at one point he stood on the street next to our campsite watching us and waiting for someone to mess up. At dusk we made a campfireand told ghost stories. I was the last one in bed at 11:30pm. The next morning I was starting breakfast, and the "camp host" came up and was angry that we were up all night being loud. I questioned him about a formal complaint after 10pm and he couldn't answer me. He kicked us out on a note left by Ben. I have no idea why they didn't want us there... I'm assuming they don't like larger groups. I will NEVER return there.

  • Liked — The gatesman
  • Disliked — Ranger Ben and the "Camp Host"
  • Stayed June 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank YouthBaptist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bodega Dunes Campground

Property: Bodega Dunes Campground
Address: Bodega Bay, CA
Region: United States > California > Sonoma County > Bodega Bay
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Bodega Bay
Number of rooms: 98
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Camp amongst the dunes, and it even has hot showers. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bodega Dunes Campground Hotel Bodega Bay

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