Date of Stay: July, 2010
After seeing a post over at the RV.NET forums I decided to try this campground for the 4th of July weekend. I'll preface this review by saying that it's extremely hard to get a 10 out of me which is why I gave this place a 9 but it definitely deserves an almost perfect rating. My kids (7 and 4) loved the place, especially the water spray park and couldn't wait to play. There's also a very well kept mini-golf course that the kids played at least 6 times over the weekend stay. This place is great for kids and offers accommodations for tent RV'ers, "cabin" dwellers and "motel" style outings. It was very very clean and the staff was friendly and helpful. The grass area between the spray park and swimming pool is a nice place for the parents to lounge with views of the playground, mini-golf course, pool and spray park from one spot. There's also a centrally located "group" picnic area which is nice if you have multiple families meeting together. I was very surprised to find that this campground wasn't even close to being full but I was told they were under new management which had only recently taken over. Guess that explained why the playground and spray park were practically brand new. I'm sure this place will take off as soon as word gets out, especially if one has kids. I should mention as well that many of the sites up on the backside of the park are up on a hill with a fabulous view of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It was cool to sit at the picnic table at the site and see the snow covered mountains so late in the season. There are too many good things to say about this campground all in one review. My family is definitely planning to go back again next year and even hope to make it back before the nice summer weather ends this year. As with any review though not everything can be "roses" as the saying go. The only "problem" per say that I experienced was that after spending a hot afternoon by the pool I came back to my trailer to find that the power had gone out at my site. I later discovered that my Surge Guard had gone into protection mode as the voltage at the site had gone below 100v (as monitored by my Kill-A-Watt meter) for an extended period of time and wasn't sufficient enough to safely power the A/C. I turned off my A/C for a couple hours until the voltage stabilized and was fine the rest of the day. This only happened once out of 4 days of camping so it could have been something outside the campground that caused the problem. As stated though, we're definitely going back and I recommend this place to anyone with kids that like to have fun in the water and for parents that just want to relax while the kids have fun.
Date of Stay: May, 2010
Despite other reviews regarding "rude" staff we made reservations here so that we could take the kids to Yosemite Valley. Overall the campground was very clean and the one staff person I had contact with was helpful and friendly. The kids loved the playground. I would have given the campground a higher rating but the pool was cold and we were told that they had not turned on the heat due to a late winter storm. Not exactly sure how a late winter storm has anything to do with not heating the pool before Memorial Day weekend but I did notice that they didn't have a cover on the pool either. Would have been nice to get a bit off the daily rate since the pool was closed. Another camper said that the office told her on Saturday that they just turned the heat on but it would be a week before the pool was warm enough to swim. Overall I would go back here. It was very convenient to get into the valley and a beautiful drive. The park was busy due to the holiday weekend but was very quiet.
Date of Stay: August, 2008
This campground is very close to Calavaras Big Trees State Park which is one of the reasons why we choose to stay here. After staying at the State Park with no hookups and small children that get really dirty it was time to find a full hookup location. This campground satisfied our needs and provided many other benefits that we hadn't counted on. As others have stated the area is beautiful and the grounds well maintained and clean. There were many "permanent" trailers there as well as seasonal rentals however all were well maintained and didn't prove to be eyesores at all. The manager Jason is very friendly and wandered through the area a couple times throughout our stay checking to make sure things were OK. The pool was a bonus for us and proved to be great for the kids. The water wasn't cold as we've found in many other campgrounds and was very enjoyable after a long day of hiking. Kids playground was well maintained and sufficient. Our kids found this to be one of their favorite things to do after walking the grounds. Couple things to note about this place though. (at least for us). We camped in a 26' travel trailer and a few sites are a bit hard to get into. Jason though noted this when assigning us a site and gave us a choice. This is by no means a reflection of the campground though but is more "par for the course" when camping in the Redwoods. Nothing a 12 point parking maneuver couldn't resolve. There are larger sites to accommodate larger rigs as was noted on a walk round the campground and only a few where there would be a challenge getting in. While I would like to give the park a 9 or 10 there was one thing that caused me to give a lower rating. We camped here in August during a weekend where temps hit > 90 degrees. When arriving on Friday the campground was not full and running the A/C wasn't a problem. However on Saturday after the campground filled up I noted a large drop in voltage. It was large enough to cause my Surge Guard to cut power to the trailer. (Surge Guard will cut off when voltage is below 102v). While others didn't have surge protection (from what I could tell) and were still running their A/C units I personally didn't want to remove the Surge Guard to run the A/C and risk causing permanent (hidden) damage to my unit. I monitored voltage all day and at times it dropped to 98v. It wasn't until the evening when voltage was up to about 105v. On Sunday when many had checked out the voltage was again up to 112v+ and A/C use was fine. (Voltage was measured with a Kill-A-Watt plugged into one of the outlets) If you're one like me that would rather not run your A/C in low voltage conditions then I would recommend camping here when it's a little cooler in the season. August is a traditionally hot month here. Other than that this was a great campground and we will definitely come back again.
Date of Stay: July, 2008
This is an excellent park and we discovered it 4 years ago. It's been an annual trip since then as we attend the Thomas the Tank Engine days at Roaring Camp with our kids each year. As others have mentioned this campground can be full of kids as expected with the Thomas event every year. This is great for us as there are other kids and "young" families in the campground during this time of year. In talking with the few "permanent" residents many other times throughout the year the campground is quiet. Cotillion Gardens though is a great base camp for doing most everything in the area. If steam trains aren't something you're interested in then the Santa Cruz Boardwalk is only minutes to the south. Want to do some hiking? Head north for Big Basin State Park or just stay in the area and hike Henry Cowell State Park. Need groceries or other items? Downtown Scotts Valley is only minutes away as well however there is a large grocery store in Felton as well. Point being this is a great central location to explore the greater Santa Cruz area with lots of things to see and do. The campground is also clean with decent sized spaces. I would give this campground a 10 however the pool has been a little colder than expected on 2 of our 4 visits. Just a little cold for children however it's clean and everyone still has fun. Oh don't forget to check out the tree slide. A unique playground feature that my kids look forward to every year.
Date of Stay: May, 2008
We decided to try something new this time around after receiving the email invitation for the KOA stay one night get the other night free promotion. After looking through the KOA web site we found this location and noted the kid friendly environment portrayed on their web site. Having two kids (5 and 2) we thought this would be a perfect way to start the camping season this year. This campground is definitely kid friendly however it's not adult friendly.. at least not when it comes to the wallet. We were very disappointed to find that all the kid activities featured at this campground were an additional charge on top of the expensive nightly rate. (Thank goodness we got one night free). Each kid friendly activity had it's own individual charge or you could purchase an "all day" pass that would get you on all the activities as many times as you wanted during the day. The all day pass though was an additional $20 per kid. There are also age restrictions for the mechanical "bull" and jumping pillow so purchase of an all day pass was useless for us. The jumping pillow also wasn't regulated at the time we were there so at times there were dozens of kids jumping on it which would have proved hazardous to the littler kids. The kids did love the "train" though that roamed through the campground and rode it a couple of times ($1/person) and I even enjoyed it. The pool was also warm and clean and included a hot tub. The campground was also clean and well maintained. Staff was very friendly as well and quickly assisted when I had a small problem with the fire pit that's not worth mentioning. The mini golf .. well if you could call it that. I could have fit the course in my back yard. It was very very small and almost not worth playing. Before I forget though .. the playground is HUGE and is bigger than some community playgrounds I've been to. The kids loved it and so did we since it was free :) One of the best playgrounds we've ever seen in an RV park or even in our local housing community. I gave this campground an 7 because as an RV park it was very nice. However I think that the very high price per night should include at least the chance for the kids to try one or two of the activities once for free. The web site should also post the age restrictions on the activities. Probably will not come back here as I can get more value for my money elsewhere. It's cheaper in some cases to take the kids to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and ride the rides there instead.