Standard (Tent/RV)
Group
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Drinking Water
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
About Bob Shelter Recreation Area & Campground

Bob Shetler Recreation Area is located in the tailwater area below the 26,000-acre Saylorville Lake Project, which stretches more than 50 miles up the Des Moines River Valley.

The lake provides a wide variety of recreational activities, including boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and hunting.

Natural Features:

Large shade trees dot the open grassy areas of the campground, which offers excellent views of the Des Moines River. Most campsites are within easy walking distance of the shore.

Wildlife is abundant throughout the project. White-tailed deer, turkeys, pheasants, waterfowl and other small game animals roam the lands around the lake.

Recreation:

Visitors enjoy Saylorville Lake for its excellent boating, sailing, water skiing, windsurfing and swimming opportunities. Anglers will find walleye, wiper, largemouth bass, catfish, crappie and northern pike.

The paved Neal Smith Trail winds 24 miles from Des Moines to Big Creek State Park and connects the campgrounds on the east side of the lake. It is designated as a National Recreation Trail and is used for biking, hiking, jogging, walking and in-line skating.

Facilities:

The campground offers 67 family sites, all with electric hookups. Amenities include flush and pit toilets, showers, drinking water and a dump station. The campground also provides educational programs, group shelters and playgrounds.

Nearby amenities include a visitor center, hiking trail, baseball field, volleyball courts and a disc golf course. Boat ramps and an accessible fishing dock are also close by.

ACTIVITIES

Biking

Boating: Marina

Fishing

Hiking

Hunting

Water Sports: Water Skiing

Swimming Site

Sites
67
Operator
US Army Corps of Engineers
Access
Drive In
Walk In
Boat In
Features
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Electric Hookups
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
Market
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Reservable
Showers
Toilets
Trash Available
No WiFi
+ More
RVs and Trailers
Sanitary Dump
No Sewer Hookups
No Water Hookups
30 amp Hookups
50 amp Hookups
Pull-Through Sites
Max Length: 60 ft.
Location
Bob Shelter Recreation Area & Campground is located in Iowa
Latitude
41.7017 N
Longitude
-93.6853 W
Get Directions
Directions
From I-35, take exit 90 to Ankeny/Oralabor Road and go west for 4.8 miles. The road turns into Highway 415. Turn left onto 37th Street, then turn right onto Horseshoe Road. Turn right and drive across the Saylorville Lake Dam to the campground.
9 Reviews of Bob Shelter Recreation Area & Campground
Nice campground

Love to camp here and watch the spill way.

Lovely spot backing to a river. Great pads with electric only.

This is a lovely spot. We stayed at spot 20 which was extra wide, concrete pad with electric hook up. No water or sewer. Spot 20 is at the end which makes it very private with nice large grassy area adjacent to wooded area. It backs to the river below the spillway from the dam. It was just an over night stay for us but we really enjoyed the location. Highly recommend.

Bob Shelter Recreation Area COE

Sept 15-26, 2019 Very nice campground. Site 67BSHM had electric. Park had water available to fill fresh tanks, showers, flush toilets and dump station. Sr. Lifetime pass rate $10 per night. Elevation 830 ft. Verizon 4G 3 bars.

Quiet campground

The Des Moines area has a fairly large camping population - because of this, reservations are usually necessary. The area does not have a ton of shade - so be weary in the middle of summer. Clean campgrounds - nice staff. Pads are on gravel - one downfall.

Nice spot

I would suggest getting reservations. We stopped on a Friday with out one, they were booked. We only wanted one night in a tent. They don’t have designated tent sites but they have one overflow sight and they let us use it for the night. Price is great, $20 per night. Easy to get rvs into the spots and a lot to do for the kids.

First to Review
Great Pull Thru next to the Des Moines River

Great spot located next to the Des Moines River. Check in was a breeze and conveniently near the fill and dump stations. Peaceful lot near the river. Great fishing in the river. Near a city so you don't run short on supplies.

Cozy

This campground sits behind a dam. Not many mature trees. Playground is simple. Older shower house.

First to Review
Bob Shelter Rec Area and Picnic Area are part of the same complex

The recreation area and picnic area at Bob Shelter are part of the same complex and campgrounds. They are all clustered together on the backside of the Dam at Saylorville Lake and are right next to the spillway. These campgrounds and picnic area are run by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The campgrounds are clean and well managed with modern bathrooms and showers. I am not a fisherman but there were a lot of folks casting near the spillway.

A long with the campgrounds there are quite a few picnic areas and shelters with playground equipment and plenty of space to run and play games with your kids. All of the public spaces are well groomed and maintained. There are three campgrounds in this area connected to Bob Shelter and they all pretty much look the same. You can't go wrong with any of the sites.

First to Review
Bob Shelter Picnic Area is part of 3 campgrounds

The picnic area and campgrounds at Bob Shelter are all clustered together on the backside of the Dam at Saylorville Lake and are right next to the spillway. These campgrounds and picnic area are run by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The campgrounds are clean and well managed with modern bathrooms and showers. I am not a fisherman but there were a lot of folks casting near the spillway.

A long with the campgrounds there are quite a few picnic areas and shelters with playground equipment and plenty of space to run and play games with your kids. All of the public spaces are well groomed and maintained. There are three campgrounds in this area connected to Bob Shelter and they all pretty much look the same. You can't go wrong with any of the sites.

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