I hate to give Fallen Leaf Campground a poor rating, because on the whole it is a beautiful place. The sites are large and the lake is pristine. Unfortunately, the "rangers", camp hosts and staff seemed only interested in the camp rules and regulations, with no regard to whether or not these "rules" make camping possible.
The concept of customer service seemed completely lost on the staff. Our camp host spent her (his?) time driving from one campsite to the next doling out citations from the comfort of her golf cart scooter. We stayed in site #151 (awkward layout, no tree shelter and dusty). There were only two sites available when I made my reservation...and I chose unwisely. The site is advertised as able to accomodate a travel trailer + 2 cars. There was hardly room for our small 19' trailer and our truck, let alone our guests' car. The ranger was on us immediately. The "all wheels on the pavement" rule made it impossible, as the width of the tarmack was not adequate to park without having at least one tire on the sand shoulder. The camp host ranger stood there with a deadpan expression reciting the rules over and over as we endeavored to make our cars fit. In the end she gave us a citation, which she said would be followed by a $300 fine if we did not move immediately (all the while we were still in our vehicles trying to accomodate her direction). Our guests had to park outside the campground and were told by the check-in booth that "no refunds could be given" for the unusable parking permit he had purchased for the week. After much debate, he got his money back and we drove them to and from their car for supplies all week, which was inconvenient. When it was time to pack up and go, our guests used the empty driveway in the next campsite over to load their vehicle. Within seconds, the camp host was back with her golf cart and began to recite the rules again, demanding that we produce a validated parking permit to be in that campsite. Despite our efforts to explain that we would only be there for 5 minutes, she would not relent. It was difficult to understand her motive for being so rigid and unflexible. This unfriendly attitude made our stay very unpleasant. BTW, we were two couples (late 40s), one with a 3 year old daughter and one with a 9 year old son. We are not partying, noisy, rule-breaking people...we just wanted to have a nice week of family camping. Encountering this much negativity upon arrival and departure made us feel harassed and really dampened the mood during our stay.
On the upside, we did see many other sites in the campground that would accomodate a trailer and 2 vehicles, but unfortunately for us, these were all reserved. The spot we got was possibly the worst one, which would account for our experience, but we discovered that most all of the other campers in our immediate area had also received citations and warnings from the ranger host. It definitely makes me think twice about going back. We made a point of noting down the numbers of sites that looked better configured with more parking, and perhaps we could camp there again without as much interference from the horrible staff.
ADVICE: Do your research before you choose a site, make sure you get a space big enough for your needs (don't trust the online description...call and double check), and stay under the radar of the staff and you should have a good time.
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