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“Good campground close to visitor's center” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Headquarters Campground

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Headquarters Campground
P.O. Box 7, Mammoth Cave National Park, KY 42259   |  
Hotel amenities
Chula Vista, California
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
“Good campground close to visitor's center”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

We stayed on a Thursday night in June at the Mammoth Cave Campground. We had a reservation, but there were several sites that were vacant. People arriving without a reservation wouldn't have had a problem finding a campsite. However, I would imagine that the campground is full on the summer weekends. The campground is close to the visitor's center, hotel, and store. The campground has flush toilets that were fairly clean. The pathway to the bathroom was lined with lights at night. The campground was mostly wooded and there was enough distance between sites. Our site was flat, as were all of the others. The campground was quiet at night. The only complaint that we have is that someone was smoking pot near our campsite. We felt that this was completely inappropriate since we had children traveling with us and so did most of the other campers. We never saw the campground host or knew where they were located otherwise we would have reported this camper.

The other lodging in the park didn't look so welcoming. We had no problem with yellow jackets, other insects, or animals while camping. We were happy with our decision to camp and will stay at this campground again the next time we visit Mammoth Cave.

Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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20 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Minnesota
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I stayed at this campground at site 26 in late May. Very nice and spacious site. The campsite attendants were very friendly and helpful. The restrooms were clean and easy to locate. Also, this campground is very easy to find (we easily found it in the dark) by following the signs to the visitor center/campground. My only issue with this campground is that it is very close to the main entrance road, so you will likely hear some cars going by throughout your stay. This wasn't a deal breaker for us (especially considering we only stayed one night), but if you are looking to get away from it all, you might want to check out the other more remote campsites at this park. My impression was that this "main" campsite is perfect if you are visiting the park with kids--very easy to get to the main visitor center along a short path and the campground seemed kid friendly. I'd recommend this campground as long as you are not expecting tons of privacy and solitude. I'd stay here again though.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central Indiana
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

We spent several days at the Mammoth Cave Campground. Bathrooms were clean & modern, but no showers. There is a store/post office & laundromat in the park at the entrance to the campground. You can buy $2 shower tokens in the store and get 10 minutes of water in the showers in the laundromat. That was a first for me, but an okay experience. I little intimidating walking to the showers in the evening after the store was closed. It felt deserted, but there was ample lighting and the campground host is nearby. There is a hiking trail from the campground leading to the visitor center & hotel about 1/2 mile away - a pleasant walk and nice to leave your car at your campsite while touring the cave. The grounds were clean,shady and spacious, with 3 big loops of paved sites for RV's and a separate tent area. Only drawback was lots of generators running, due to no electricity.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Two Rivers, Wisconsin
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

We had a great time camping at Mammoth Cave National Park. This was our first visit there and we plan to go back again next year. I thought I would struggle with a non electric site, but it was totally fine. The bathroom in the campground had outlets that I was able to use for my blow dryer and curling iron. We had packed a stove coffee pot, but ended up not using it. If you bring your own cup to the camp store you can get coffee refills for 25 cents. Campsites were nice and the bathrooms are kept up really well.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franklin, Tennessee
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

We stayed one night at campsite #26. There were just two of us, and we wanted to make sure we were somewhere quiet. Our campsite was very large and level, but there were not any small trees or shrubs to make you feel like you had any privacy from your neighbors. Also, after driving around and choosing what we thought was the best site, we got back to unload our things, and realized we were basically right on the road. We dismissed it and figured the somewhat quiet road would get even quieter after dark, and it did, but we still heard cars occasionally throughout the night. Hearing cars all day and night certainly takes away from the serenity of camping out. Anyway, we had no problems with yellow jackets at our site as previous reviews mentioned, but I can see how the group site would have some problems because the dumpsters are right there next to them. Overall, it was an ok camping experience, but I would maybe try one of the other campgrounds next time. Hope this helps.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newburgh, Indiana
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

I don't know why TripAdvisor has this campground labeled in such a confusing way. In the park, it's just Mammoth Cave Campground (no 'headquarters'). This is the main campground for the park and the one nearest the visitor's center.

We had reserved site #6. It was easy to find. The sites are level and fairly large. The bathroom facility (real toilets - not pits - and sinks) was a short walk way, and was air conditioned. Our first night, we only had 1 other campsite nearby being used, and it was very quiet. However on our second night, a group had come to the group area across the road and they were EXTREMELY noisy. 'Quiet Hours' are supposed to be 10pm to 6am, but even though rangers periodically came through the campground, no one ever made these idiots shut up. My husband even walked over in the rain around midnight and asked them to be quiet; they did not quiet down. So if you need quiet, be aware that if you have noisy neighbors, there might not be anything you can do about it.

My one major complaint is as others have said - the bee/yellow jacket issue. Our first evening they weren't a problem but then for some reason at breakfast the following morning, they came out in droves! We kept everything covered, took trash away immediately, and they were still swarming us. I killed seven of them with a book in a matter of minutes. They were very aggressive. Fortunately none of us got stung, but if you or anyone in your party has bee or other similar allergies, I would steer clear of this campground. There's always that chance when camping, but at this campground, it's a much, much higher chance.

There are many lovely deer roaming the area, and many less lovely wild turkeys, so that was fun to see. The deer are almost frighteningly docile and will approach humans.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, IL
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

This is the main campground, called Mammoth Cave Campground on the website. I was worried when I read the other reviews about the yellow jackets, but they were not bad at all. They only came around when it was mealtime (we kept all our food and coolers in the car) and if you sit around the fire, the smoke keeps them at bay. There are NO mosquitos (thank you bat population!) and you have to set up on the gravel. I never saw a snake, but the Rangers talked about seeing copperheads, so that may be why. We didn't stake our tents and it was fine, we had plenty of gear to hold them down (and it wasn't windy). We stayed in the first loop across from the groups. It was nice and quiet and literally a 10 minute walk to the visitor center where they run all the tours. Close enough to the showers and camp store to see them, but never bothered by noise. If you bring your own mug, coffee refills are $0.27. We were on the outside of the loop (2,3 & 5) so there was traffic heading to and from the visitor center, along with a bike/jogging path right behind us. It was ok. What was really nice was the easy walk to the immaculate bathrooms with flush toilets and seeing the wildlife walk through in the early AM. Groups of deer and wild turkeys would wander right through the sites.

Room Tip: When I booked, I wanted a group site but they were sold out. So we took other sites in the "gr...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Headquarters Campground

Address: P.O. Box 7, Mammoth Cave National Park, KY 42259
Location: United States > Kentucky > Mammoth Cave National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Specialty lodging in Mammoth Cave National Park

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