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“Great camping, close to cave entrance” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Headquarters Campground

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Headquarters Campground
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P.O. Box 7, Mammoth Cave National Park, KY 42259   |  
Hotel amenities
west central ohio
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Great camping, close to cave entrance”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014

I camped here with 3 of my children (ages 7, 9, and 14) in April 2014. The grounds were wonderful - nicely maintained. There are tent and pull-thru sites for RVs. The sites have concrete picnic tables and a fire ring with a grill. The area is wooded and on a hill - we had to look for a spot with minimal slope (probably not so much an issue if not tent camping). There is water (communal spigot) and modern bathroom facilities in the campground; there are showers and laundry at the camp store but we didn't use these. The sites are nicely spaced - it was not crowded the weekend we stayed but we did have someone next to us and we didn't feel like they were on top of us. There is a dedicated tent camping loop in the camping area - we did not camp here (was raining the night we arrived - just wanted to get the tent up!) but would probably chose this next time because there were raised, sandy spots to pitch the tent (rather than on the grass - had puddles).
The no electric was a plus for us- very quiet after dark (there is also a no generator policy after 10pm but I don't think it's enforced). Also very dark - the other campfires were the only other lights we could see. There were no leaves on the trees when we were there and the stars were amazing - my sons saw the Milky Way for the first time here.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 reviews from our community

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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
    4.5 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
nashville, tn
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

I was concerned about camping with no electricity and no water. After the sun went down, it was so worth it. It was quiet and dark and you could see stars you never knew even existed. It was beautiful. I will admit, there were some rowdy campers around but they really didn't bother me too much. I could still enjoy the beautiful skies even though they were enjoying themselves a little too much. The restrooms were clean and well kept up. The showers (yes, $2 for 10 minutes) were clean and quite comfortable. The staff was very helpful and friendly. There was plentiful firewood on the ground. It took some work to gather it but we had a nice fire buring for most of our stay. Our stay was during the "walk in" period when no reservations were available. There were many other campers but there were plenty of spots available even on the weekend in late March. All the spots were spacious and seemed to be spaced sufficiently apart from the next spot. Spots for RVs were not very plentiful. Some of the spots would only accomodate a smaller RV and many would require a skilled driver to get in. The grounds around the loops were so beautiful. Some of the spots had a very scenic overlook. I can't even imagine how beautiful it would be in the fall. If you are making reservations, pay attention to the provided information about the specific spots. You can hardly go wrong but there are some spots more right than others.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

We enjoyed our stay in the park a little more than the campground but it had all that we needed. The showers were adequate but a little distance from the camping area. The site was a decent size for our two tents but had lots of poison ivy. The picnic table was a cement thing that was not very comfortable but, again did it's job. We rented bikes at the little store and they didn't even have enough helmets for the bikes which looked like they had been serviced once ten years ago. We did enjoy our stay and had fun biking around. The cave tour was also very enjoyable.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

Our family of five, including three youngsters, had a great time. We tent-camped three nights and were amazed at the abscence of mosquitoes (thanks to the bats). The yellow jackets were around but not terribly annoying around our Loop A site. We noticed one camp site in Loop C that was closed off due to a yellow jacket nest being nearby. Yikes! The NPS should do something about this. Last I checked, yellow jackets weren't endangered or anything. There are emerald ash borer traps up in the trees. How about yellow jacket traps!?!?

The proximity to the Visitor's Center and tours cannot be overstated. It's incredibly convienent. The hotel is a musty, damp throwback to a time best forgotten. That said, the AC in the lobby was a welcome relief from the humidity. The restaurants were decent, except the Troglobite, which only accepts cash and has a menu of typical fattening garbage. I'd rather hunt for my lunch in the woods than pay for that junk.

Our family had a wonderful time and the little ones loved the cave tours. Hopefully before we come next time, a new sinkhole will open under the hotel, a new yellow jacket disease will sweep through the park and Obama will be out of office so the sequester-nonsense that ended most of the cave tours (you're telling me Obama couldn't think of anything else to cut in the federal budget?!?!) will pass and services the American people actually want from the federal government (like the full range of cave tours from their NPS rangers) will be reinstated.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

Though we had been to the park for cave tours before, this was our first stay at the campground. The campsites were clean, flat, well-shaded, and spacious enough for our needs. The bathrooms were also clean. It was a only a 10 minute walk from our campsite to the visitor's center. And it was incredibly quiet during the night. Others have already commented that there are virtually no mosquitoes in the park, and I can confirm that. Instead there was a large population of fireflies, which kept the kids busy in the evening. The showers are $2, but to use them, you must buy tokens at the camp store. Be sure to do your business before they close at 8 pm. We lost track of time at night and had to drive to Cave City for ice. If at all possible, make reservations for your cave tours. Otherwise, plan on being at the visitor's center first thing in the morning. I arrived five minutes after they opened, and there were already 30 people in line and one sold out tour time.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

The Mammoth Cave NP campground is clean, full of trees, and has campsites adequately spaced between one another. We camp in a small RV, and we go out in the woods for the peace and quiet of nature. This park allows generator use from early morning till late evening (10:00, I seem to remember). To be blasted by generator noise almost constantly is not necessary. I truly feel sorry for the many tent campers who use the park. This problem could so easily be eliminated by greatly limiting generator use hours or by having a camping loop dedicated to those who wish to use generators. Other than that, the campground is a perfect choice for easy walking to the Mammoth Cave visitor center, plus a nice camp store and a post office. The price is, as with all national parks, a bargain. No hookups-- but there is a showering facility for public use at a small fee.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

We stayed three nights here and really enjoyed the campsite. The site itself was spacious and had nice shade. We had deer walking through every morning and again aat night. The bathrooms were ok. The showers cost $2 for ten minutes and are pretty gross, so if you can get away with it, it's best to avoid them. We're used to rustic, though, so it was fine for us.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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
Number of rooms: 111

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