We stayed at the Jellystone park in Cherokee for four nights recently. I had booked on the internet a sleeper cabin. Now, I swear when I booked I reserved a cabin that sleeps seven, which is a DELUXE sleeper cabin. However, I apparently goofed up and booked a regular sleeper cabin (I checked the confirmation email when I got home, and it was indeed a regular one I booked). At check in, we were assigned sleeper cabin #141. Check in went smooth and we were led to the cabin. My heart sank when I saw it. Very tiny, plain, in the middle of the campground right by the main road. Another sleeper cabin right next to it, and a campsite directly on the other side. No privacy whatsoever. We unlocked the door, and I was disappointed to see it just had one double bed and one set of bunk beds, all crammed in one tiny room. Technically, the sleeper cabin only sleeps four, so I'm surprised their on-line system even let me book it since we are a family of five. I went back up to the office, and asked if they had any deluxe sleeper cabins available instead. Fortunately, they did. I paid the extra $100 total it cost to upgrade, and they gave us cabin #93.
Cabin #93 was much, much, much better than the first cabin. We loved it. It's located back in the woods behind the playground area. You take a dead-end gravel road to get to it, so there is no through traffic. Only four cabins total are on the road, and none of the other ones were occupied when we there. It was great! It's very wooded back there too, so even if the cabins are full I think you would still feel like you had privacy. It was just a short walk (literally a few yards) to the bathhouse down the hill. The playground, basketball court, and activity center was just yards away also. I let my kids (ages 9,9,8) run down to the playground, activity center, and bathhouse by themselves since we were so close.
The bathouse was always spotlessly clean. A huge bonus, the bathrooms are all private! There were four in our bathhouse, each had a toilet, mirror, sink, and garbage in it. I saw two other bathhouses in the campground, plus there were bathrooms near the pool area. The showers were nice too; private with a small changing area. We had four showers in our bathhouse. We never had to wait for a shower or bathroom, but the campgroud was 3/4 empty (weeknights, end of May) when we were there. I'm not sure what it would be like when the campground is full.
The cabin had a picnic table and fire pit and water spigot outside. A screened porch with four chairs and small table. Inside, it had two rooms. The front room had a queen sized bed, night stands, lamp, and cable TV (kids were thrilled with the TV). Back room has two sets of bunk beds, one with a double bed on the bottom. Heating and air conditioning. Very clean. You can also get a linen package for an additional fee, but we just brought our sleeping bags from home.
We found the campground staff to be very friendly and helpful, in particular the ones who worked in the activity center.
Tons of things for kids to do here, especially the 10 and under crowd. Nice playground with separate toddler play area. Big, clean pool. River to wade in; although if the campground is full you may have a hard time getting to the river: there is no "public" river access for campers, and you probably don't want to be cutting across other people's sites. Best bet is to get a river site/cabin if you want river access. Basketball court and tetherball. Yogi and/or friends comes out at least once a day, more on the weekends. Hey, hey wagon ride with Yogi (you can meet him afterwards for photos). Activity center open every day, even "off season" like when we were there. Kids can buy pottery to paint, and all sorts of crafty things. For free they had coloring pages and a pine cone bird feeder for them to make. Also Yogi cartoons play all day in the center. Games such as bean bag toss too. Every night (again, even off season) they play on family-friendly movie in the center. Weekends bring things such as scavenger hunts, water wars, candy bar bingo. Arcade with quite a few games. Hike to Mingo falls. Bike rentals. Volleyball net. You could never leave the campground all week and the kids would still find plenty to do.
If you do venture out from the campground (and we did every day, to see the National park and other sights), it's a good fifteen minute drive along a somewhat curvy road into Cherokee. The road runs alongside the river, so it is a pretty drive. There is a gas station along the road a few miles away. Also the parking lot for Mingo Falls is along this road. Don't be alarmed like I first was when you're driving into the campground and see the entance. The neighbors live right at the entrance, and they have several ramshackle homes and a trailer, literally with garbage and clothing strewn all over the lawn. It really did give me pause when we pulled it, and dh made the comment, "We aren't letting the kids go anywhere by themselves here!". However, the campground itself is very nice and safe.
- Also Known As:
- Yogi Bear`s Jellystone Park Cherokee Hotel Cherokee