While we were exploring Golden, Colorado we stayed at Dakota Ridge RV Park. Being Good Sam members I looked online and this park had very high scores. So we booked for 3 nights.
Well…let’s just say this was 3 nights too long. If they did not have a strict no refunds policy, we would have left. However, when booking the site, we had to pay for half up front. That was $59.00 a night, which included our Good Sam discount, not including tax. So, for 3 nights in this park, it ended up costing us $190 bucks total! Yikes! We said, this better be some great place.
Well, getting to the park is pretty easy. It’s right off of I-70 yet it was not overly noisy. At least where we were parked when we got settled. We were parked in site C5 which was a pull-thru. If you are unlucky enough to be put on the other side of the park, they are located right next door to a factory that starts working at 5am. Or so the other reviews online say. We did not hear any of that where we were parked.
We usually do not write park reviews like this as you know…but in this case, we felt we just needed to. (Note, the park office staff was nice, yet not much they could do and it seems we were not the first to say something about the park’s condition.)
They charge extra for pull-thru’s which is not unusual except for the fact that we could not “pull-thru”. The roads are very narrow and tight here, with light poles at every driveway corner, so their was no way we would be able to pull forward to leave without having the people across the way from us move their vehicles. Which by the way, they gladly said they would and they did not. So we had to back out of our pull-thru site onto yet another very narrow and tight street. We were only able to do this with me spotting and David’s confidence.
The site itself was terrible and while we walked around looking for a better site, we could not find one. All the sites there are concrete slabs with grass on the side. Sounds nice except when you find out that their concrete is crumbling, cracked, heaved from tree roots and uneven. The grass on either side of the concrete is much lower than the slab, so if you happen to go off the slab, you drop quite a ways. Unavoidable when you are pulling on or off your site as we barely fit side to side. So no wiggle room here. We were not able to level with our jacks.
It was taking our wheels off the ground, which we prefer not to do. Thank goodness we had an air leveling system. We were able to use that to level. Others in the park were not as lucky and had multiple layers of wood and such underneath tires and jacks just to try to level themselves. That’s how unleveled everything was.
This park is built on a hillside which shouldn’t be an issue if they graded it properly when they built the sites. However, they did not in my opinion. You know there is an issue when you hook up your sewer hose and it is traveling uphill from your site. Umm…what?
Yes, The sewer line is uphill from your site. Not good. It’s difficult to see in the picture but trust me, it is significantly up hill.
Unless you are one of the lucky few to be able to get into and fit into an end spot, which seem to be taken up with seasonals anyway, be prepared to become friendly with your neighbors. The sites in this park are laid out in such a matter that on the driver’s side, while you have your own electric, sewer and water, you are also sharing that thin strip of space with your neighbors electric, sewer and water. So all utilities are on one side, which puts the rigs pulling in opposite of you. So that leaves your passenger side where you hang out and go in and out of your rig. Well, your neighbors are also entering and exiting from their rig on that same patch of lawn. Your picnic tables are side by side and you are so close that really all they can fit are the picnic tables between you.
Because of mature trees at the sites, while not a terrible idea, are bad in the sense that they are not maintained. They are overgrown in the sense that all the grass between you and your neighbor, where your picnic tables are, is unusable because of tree roots popping up all over and making the ground uneven, as you can clearly see in the picture above. Not to mention, as I said before, they did not grade the hill they built this park on, so if you did want to sit outside, you’d be doing so at an angle. And good luck trying to get your awning out. Nope. Not possible. For 3 days we can deal with that though.
So why did we stay if it was that bad? Well…as I stated above, they have a strict no refunds policy. We were not about to loose close to $200 bucks for a bad site. We could make it work for the 3 days that we were there and heck we’ve all been there done that. We’ve been in worse and we’ve been in better. No, we couldn’t sit outside because of the slope everything was on and no, we could not pull forward through our pull-thru site (which they charge more for) but hey, we were able to get into the site, so we were able to back out of the site. As long as you take your time and listen to your spotter, which David does wonderfully :) , then all should work out. The park is in a great location with the historical area of Golden not too far, about 10 minutes or so away, and they were close to shopping and restaurants. So you pay for the location in this case…NOT THE PARK.
Will we stay there again? I think you all know the answer to that.
It really got under our skin that they charged so much for so little. While the place was clean and neat looking, it was not, in our opinion, a good fit for big rigs. So no, we will not be back to that park.
Next time, if their is a next time for that area, we will stay a little further away at a state park. Colorado has some beautiful ones that have full hook-ups and are very big rig friendly. We’ve stayed in them before and we will seek them out in the future. Their just were not any in the area we wanted to be close to.
Oh well…live and learn :) Stay safe out there and remember, milage will surely vary when it comes to RV parks. What may not have been good for us, does not mean it would not be for you.
We’ve had to stay there too. The problem is there is no competition in the area so they can charge whatever they want!
You are spot on we stayed there in early Sept. our site was on the end and we were so close to neighbors we could have reached out and touched. we felt very ripped off for what we got. we put it on our list to never stay again.
We are at Dakota Ridge right now.. this was the best park to be close to Colorado University Hospital as Sam is having his chemo treatment there.. I agree with everything you have written .. we are luck to be in a level lot and they just trimmed the tree that was hanging over our bus… you forgot to say that they will fine you for everything.. trash has to be out only during certain time the dumpster are locked so you can’t throw away your own.. don’t pick up after your dog $25. (Wish they would actually fine for this as it’s not being picked up). It’s rather funny all the fine signs they have and they charge you for everything!!! And they will not accept mail or any packages.. And they way they do their accounting is baffling to me as a former Mortgage Underwriting Manager I was not able to figure it completely out and the staff are not able to explaine it either… the good .. close to the hospital, downtown Golden, Red Rock, shopping f and restaurants..
David and Brenda, Next time, for goodness sakes, do two things: Camp at Clear Creek Campground owned by the City of Golden and located in a beautiful spot right next to Clear Creek; and second, call us – or email – and tell us you’re in town. Would love to meet and see you, and give you a nice tour of the area! Hope you at least enjoyed the surrounding area while you were here.
Agree with your review 100%
+1 after a 9 day stay in april 2016.
Y’all Mention -“We usually do not write park reviews like this as you know” – Out of curiosity why not? As much as y’all travel we would love to know what you find that is good (and bad) Thanks for your great site!
We stayed there once, not too bad. But this past time we went through Colorado and we stayed at Cherry Creek State Park campground. You need reservations but it’s open and nice.
Agreed about Cherry Creek State Park. We have stayed there a few times in their large pull-thru full hook-up sites, however we wanted to be closer to Golden and such. We certainly will seek out the state parks in the future. Thanks :)
Cherry Creek State Park is fantastic, stayed 3 days this fall with our “new” 2003 40′ Tiffin and 20′ car hauler, excellent pull through sites w/ full hookups, could park unloaded car in pull thru as well, beautiful reservoir lake, and deer wandering thru campgrounds in early morning.
Agreed. We have stayed at Cherry Creek State Park several times while visiting the area. This time we just wanted to stay closer to the area we wanted to explore. We will definitely look at the state parks from now on.
During our extended tour this past summer we spent about eight weeks in your fair country (seeing lots of Trump signs!) and staying in upwards of 30 campgrounds across about 10 states. Many of them were Good Sam parks, as we are a GS member. We noticed that often in the park reviews many campers would say that GS needs to review their park ratings. Initially we didn’t pay very much attention to those reviews, but after a few poor GS parks we took more notice. I have to agree with those reviewers. Take the reviews on the Good Sam trip planner with a grain or two of skepticism. It makes it even worse when a $45.00 night becomes a $60.00 night in Canadian dollars!
Good Sam should be notified. They would or may take this park out of their directory.
No reason to have a business even if the audience is captured because there is nothing
near them is no excuse and shows the owner do not care. Why are they in this business
if they don’t care?
I have come to realize that Google Earth can be a useful tool for giving you a look ahead to unknown spots or locations. It might be a good tool for you as well. Thanks for the info, it is greatly appreciated especially since I have relatives in the area. I know to stay away from it!
Agreed Tom. We use Google Earth all the time and looking at this park it looks decent enough for big rigs. Their are plenty of bigger rigs in the picture. However, it does not show the condition of the park and the sites. That was our bummer. Sometimes you just don’t know until you are physically there.
We have done 2 extended stays at Dakota Ridge (summer months 2014 & 2016). Location and the ability to stay for longer than 14 days are the main reasons we stay there. It is a good central spot to use as a base for our exploring. Shopping/restaurants and the light rail to Denver close by are a bonus. Apparently either the park was sold or at least under new management because we noticed some cosmetic and staff differences on our 2nd visit. The bathrooms/showers have always been well maintained as well as the other facilities.
The sites are a different story. Don’t know how old Dakota Ridge is, but it is not truly “big rig friendly”. We have a 37′ coach and tow a Kia Soul. We had to unhitch to make it easier to do the wandering around the narrow roads in the park to get to our pull-through site and just about fit the coach & car on the pad. It can be a challenge getting a larger RV level on a number of the sites. I also don’t care for the sharing of common area for outdoor relaxing and meals. One neighbor decided it was ok to tie their dog to our picnic table since it was getting tangled in their outdoor stuff when tied to their table. I would also advise that a visitor not take one of the sites along the entrance unless absolutely necessary. The daily parade of check-ins parking right at the edge of your site can be annoying when people insist on leaving their rig running while they check in. Even though there are NUMEROUS signs posted all around the area to please turn off your vehicle! If an escort happened to be there they would remind people but that wasn’t often. As far as the factory on the one side of the park – yes it can be loud and they do start early.
Some years ago we stayed at the Golden Fairgrounds RV sites. Very nice and close to town as I remember. Ended up there two years in a row. Reasonable and enjoyed stay.
Excellent review! We spent a whole summer there. We were there to spend time with our family and felt we didn’t have much of a choice since we didn’t want to have to leave every week or two, as is required at the state parks. We ended up finding a place in Englewood, CO named South Park Mobile Home/ RV Park. It’s close to Golden and Denver. It is nothing fancy but the monthly rent was much more reasonable, I think it was around 400 a month. If I remember right we were paying around 1,400 a month at Dakota Ridge. Full hookups as the RV spots are actually mobile home spots with no mobile homes. Concrete pads with a concrete patio to enjoy. Park was quiet and clean. The biggest negative for us was the sewer and water hookups are under the RV since it was built for Mobile homes. Not a big issue if you realize that before you back in. We just hooked up our sewer and a water hose to hook too before we backed in, and left them so they were accessible once we backed into our spot. Another negative for some is they do not allow pets. As i said it is nothing fancy but it worked well for us in a long term stay situation.
We stayed at Dakota Ridge for a year back in 2008-2009 while working in the area. Even at that time we found their greediness to be off the charts. We had a problem with their water pipe bursting underground and they tore up part of the asphalt RV pad and the grass and it stayed that way after the repairs. Dakota Ridge was built on top of a landfill and around the bend of the hill (on the side facing C470) you’ll see the exhaust flame burning off the gases. The owner, manager and staff don’t care what you think of them or the RV park because there’s really no competition in the Denver area. I hope one day someone opens a nice, real “RV Resort” that’s truly “big rig friendly” in the area, so Dakota Ridge will have to clean up their act. We would never return or recommend Dakota Ridge.