Group
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Unknown
Pets Unknown
Drinking Water
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
Features
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Firewood Available
Market
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Sanitary Dump
Toilets
Trash Available
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.
5 Reviews of Bob Shelter Recreation Area & Campground
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.