SP Campground Review – Claytor Lake State Park, Dublin, VA
A GORGEOUS state park with a slightly mixed-bag of campsites in the western part of Virginia. Only ONE loop (D Loop) for larger rigs here.
- Site Quality = 3/5
There’s quite mixed site quality here, All sites are fairly large, gravel sites either back-in or pull-though with very spacious (very nice) “sitting areas” containing picnic tables, fire-pits and lamp-hangers. Main dings are the narrow roads through the primitive camping loops and the fact that many sites of rather unlevel (be prepared to use leveling blocks!). The campground is separated into 4 loops, 3 of which (A, B, C) offer “standard” (= primitive, no hookup) sites and the last of which (D) offers 30A/water sites, and they are very different in size limits & feel:
- “Standard Loops” (Loops A, B & C): These are all primitive/no-hookup sites. The official online size-limit is 20-feet and although some sites can definitely accept slightly larger rigs, you definitely do NOT want to bring “beastly-sized” rigs in here. The sites themselves are quite spacious, but many are very unlevel and the road that goes thro’ each loop is VERY narrow and VERY curvy with trees on each side. There is NO WAY we’d bring the “beast” down here! Loop A is the absolute smallest/narrowest/curviest loop and definitely best-suited to tenters or max 20-foot campers/trailers. Loop B is somewhat more open and could probably accept rigs larger than 20-feet (say 25, or maybe even 30-feet)? Loop C is in-between in size/accessibility and easily accessed by 25-feet, but would be problematic for larger rigs. Note that many sites are very unlevel in these loops, so be prepared with leveling blocks. Also NO GENERATORS permitted.
- Water/Electric Loop (Loop D): These are all 30A/water sites. The official online size-limit for this loop is 35-feet, but IMO you can easily bring in bigger rigs here. There is a somewhat sharp turn into the loop (we saw many big rigs miss the entrance and actually recommend unhooking right after check-in), but the main road thro’ the loop is wide and spacious, sites are huge (our site was probably around 60-feet long) and accessibility of sites is not a problem. Sites near the entrance (#1-6) and by the host (#7-12) are the most private/forested and have the absolute best separation. This was our #1 preferred section of the loop. Sites in the middle pull-through section (#13-21) are quite spacious, but are more open with limited privacy and somewhat variable separation. This was our 2nd preferred area of the loop. The least desirable sites are the pull-ins on the far right (#28-34). They are somewhat smaller and they face the wrong way (your “sitting areas” is right by the main road!), so this was the only part of the loop we really didn’t like. NOTE that many of the sites are rather unlevel so be prepared to use leveling blocks.
- NOTE1/ Site Reservations: Right now (2017) you can only book a spot (either water/electric or standard) but not a specific site. So, you simply drive around and chose an open (available) site after you’ve checked in. However starting March 2018 the park is opening site-specific reservations, so you will be able to reserve specific sites from that date on-wards.
- NOTE2/ Cottages: This park also offers 3 rentable lodges and 13 rentable cabins which look absolutely amazing!! These are separated from the main campground loop and are all located along Claytor Lake with gorgeous views of the water.
- Facilities = 4/5
Nice facilities here. Flush toilets and very large, individual shower stalls with good shower-heads, nicely warm water and separate bench and pegs for your clothing. Only ding? Water pressure was low in the showers. On-site dump station (both in primitive loops & loop D).
- Location = 5/5
The main reason to come here is to enjoy Claytor Lake and for that purpose this park is perfect. The grounds are huge with miles (and miles) of lovely hiking trails, a cute on-site marina with SUP & boat rentals, a huge, sandy white swim beach and plenty of spots to hang, picnic and relax by the water. There is also a good pizza place closeby and within 20-40 mins drive you’ll find plenty of shopping (Walmart/Krogers) as well as the lovely town of Blacksburg (Virginia Tech is here, plus lots of dining, breweries and such). It’s a great place to enjoy nature.
- Pet Friendliness = 4.5/5
Great place for doggie. Lots of space in camp, plus miles (and miles) of gorgeous nature trails to hike. Only slight ding? The on-site swim beach does not allow dogs. Everywhere else does, however!
Overall Rating = 4.1
BONUS ALERT = Enjoy beautiful Claytor Lake and miles of awesome hiking trails!
Video Overview: Want to see it in living color? Check out our ~15 min overview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9leOJExOJPo
Summary: This was our first stop by the mountains of VA and although the campground was a bit of a mixed bag, the area was fabulous! Claytor Lake is a lovely recreation area with a huge lake, a gorgeous beach, lots of picnic areas, no end of lakeside activities (kayaking, paddle boarding etc.) and miles of fabulous hiking/biking trails. From the nature side, it really is a wonderful place to come and hang. The campground is in a very private & tree’d area of the park, so it’s wonderfully quiet but it definitely has some draw-backs. Loops A, B, C are all primitive loops (no hookups) with 20-ft official size limit, and I’d say that is close to the proper limit. The road that goes through the loops is curvy/narrow and heavily tree’d, so there is no way we’d ever take “the beast” in here. Loop A is the absolute steepest loop with a very narrow, curvy road and lots of very uneven sites (best for tenters or really small rigs), whereas loops B, C are somewhat more open (could possibly take 25-ft and maybe even 30-ft in spots?). Note that NO generators are allowed in the campground, so if you’re in the primitive area you need to be ready/prepared for this. On the other hand Loop D is much more open and although the official size-limit is 35-ft, it can easily take just about any-sized rig (this is the ONLY loop where I would bring a big rig!). Loop D sites are all 30A/water and there is a mix of back-in and pull-thoughs. Sites nearest the entrance (#1-6) and by the host (#7-12) were our preferred here as they offered the most separation and privacy, whereas sites in the middle section (#13-21) were spacious, but somewhat too close together for our liking. The only sites we didn’t really like at all were the pull-ins on the far right (#28-34) as they were somewhat awkward to get into and their “sitting area” was facing the wrong way into the main road. We ended up with a very spacious and private site (#6) which was (mostly) flat so we had no problem parking “the beast”. Plus we absolutely loved the hiking and nature in the park, so we had a very enjoyable stay. If you’re coming through the area, I’d say this is a lovely spot to stop for a few days and hang in nature. Just make sure you book the correct loop for your size!
Extra Info: Somewhat iffy cell signal here. Verizon had 2 bars LTE, but the signal was often very slow even with boosting (overloaded towers?). ATT only had 1 bar LTE, but 4G signal was fairly fast/reliable. Surprisingly T-Mobile was our fastest/most reliable connection (Binge-On worked great). Total 110 sites all reservable on-line. 70 sites are standard (no hookups) and cost $20/night (for VA residents) or $24/night (for non-residents) plus tax, whereas 40 sites are water/electric and cost $30/night (for VA residents) or $35/night (non-residents) plus tax. Several on-site dump stations.SPONSORED LINK:
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