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“when neighbors are incompatible”

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Bodega Dunes Campground
Reviewed July 9, 2011

When we camped here we had a two year old and four year old. It was our first camping trip. The grounds are nice, the facilities clean, and air fresh. Unfortunately, our neighbors were adults who had planned chilled white wine and intellectual conversation until late at night. We were a family with young children. In the morning, when we were up building a fire and starting coffee, they were asleep. They yelled,"Shut up", and I yelled, "Get Real, this is a campground!" We have since found Casini Campground to meet out needs for a variety of activities for children, security, and slow moving river for swimming. We go there every year for a traditional summer camp trip. My kids are 13 and 16 and they still like to walk down to the little store and buy duck food to feed the ducks.

Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
11  Thank 82manybeans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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55 - 61 of 71 reviews

Reviewed August 13, 2010

I had not camped in several years. BD was great. Hot showers, clean sites, friendly staff, and the sounds of nature and a fog horn to lull you off to sleep. Watch for nightly guests of the critter variety looking for food or garbage. Be prepared for quick weather changes. We were at site 88, a slight hike to the restroom, but a private, relaxing spot none-the-less. We would go again, and again if we could.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Telluric1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2008

We found the staff at Bodega Dunes campground to be most helpful and friendly. We stayed a number of days.
But we were not so happy with some of the other campers.
There were some very young campers just down a ways from us. We along with three fellow neighbors we found them to be loud, using profanity most of the day and late into the night. They walked through our camp site a number of times. We were pleased to see the camp hosts referred our complaints to the rangers in a prompt manner. These young men left beer cans scattered all through their site.
Another camper did not have his dog on a leash and it ran out into and across the road to attack my dog. Not having this being the first time to experience this, I managed to remained calm and asked that he please put a leash on his dog. The gentleman said we were the problem if we had not walked by it would not have happened. A fellow camper who witnessed this informed me that just a few sites further down was a Pit Bull also off leash wondering around loose. The leash law applies to all does it not?
I reported the attack to a park aid. I was told the Rangers were busy with a cliff rescue, but would let them know.
We found the showers to be free, clean and plenty of warm water. Although we found another shower house with hot water. In talking with the cleaning staff I was told that shower house had a newer water heater.
Bodega Dunes does not have any official group camp sites, but could not help notice that a great number of campers made up their own group sites, four, six, even eight sites. With each site with what appeared to be close to the maximum number of people, but all gathered into only one site for eating and sleeping, the other sites appeared to be used only for extra parking. We never noticed any of them being hassled by the staff as most observed the quite time. It is amazing how far noise of 12-24 or 30 people gathered in one spot having a good time will travel especially in the dark of the night.
A couple times a very loud generator started up and could be heard half way across the camp loop as I walked the dog at seven A.M. Please remember most of the campers at the Dunes are tent campers.
We did not find the one mile walk to the beach to very far.
The harbor views from sites in the upper sixties, lower seventies are quite nice.
There are several sites with hills of sand for children to slide down. Some sites have lost's of shade while others have plenty of sun. And if you don't like the weather just wait a bit it is sure to change. Great beach for kite flying. On the other hand if you have a difficult time getting around the beach is not so easy to get to since a storm wash out the board walk a couple years ago.
Their is a number of wild animals in the campground birds, fox, raccoons, skunks. It amazed us the number of campers who practiced poor house keeping and complained when the critters raided their food boxes, coolers and garbage bags hanging from the trees. Just so you know these skunks are not afraid of people. They will follow your children and nibble on your shoe laces as you sit by your nightly fire.
It would be grand if the state could find it in their budget to install animal proof garbage cans as the raccoons take the lids off every can seemly every night we were there and shared the bounty with all the other night critters to spread through out the campground. The cleaning crew seems to take it all in stride, and are doing a great job to keep the campground clean.
Last and not least Thank you to all the dedicated park Volunteers. We know you do not get any pay, only a camp site for all that you do.Yours is truly a labor of love as you give thousands of hours of your time to make our parks a better place for all of us. For with out the volunteers many if not most of our parks would have to be closed.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank crankiefrank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 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.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with friends
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5  Thank libraryvixen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 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.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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6  Thank beachcomber209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 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
6  Thank camprus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 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.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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4  Thank MrsLLL529
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

Address: Bodega Bay, CA
Location: United States > California > Sonoma County > Bodega Bay
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Specialty 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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