The West Overlook Campground is located within the Dam Complex at the Coralville Lake Project. The Coralville Lake Project is a multiple use project providing primary benefits in flood control and low flow augmentation, and secondary benefits in recreation, fish and wildlife management and forest management. Coralville Lake provides many recreational opportunities, including boating, camping, hiking, mountain biking, lake and river fishing, swimming, water skiing, picnicking and hunting.
Visitors enjoy Coralville Lake for camping, boating, fishing, swimming and water activities. Anglers will find large and smallmouth bass, crappie, walleye and catfish. Several trails are within the Dam Complex, including Squire Point, Woodpecker Trail, Tailwater Riverwalk and barrier-free Veterans Trail.The Devonian Fossil Gorge is just below the dam, offering a unique opportunity to explore a 375-million-year old sea floor and discover fossil remains of sea life that once inhabited this tropical marine environment. Twenty discovery points can be found throughout the site along with a cell phone audio tour. The Turkey Creek Disc Golf Course is located in the Dam Complex and offers nine partially wooden and open holes.
The West Overlook Campground is located on the west side of the Coralville Lake Dam. The campground offers 89 standard electric campsites. Amenities include modern restroom and shower facilities, boat ramp, playgrounds, and horseshoes. The West Overlook Day Use Area offers a beach, picnic sites, picnic shelter, volleyball court, and playground. The dump station and drinking water is located just outside of the West Overlook Campground.
Coralville Lake is located in the Iowa River Valley, just north of Iowa City. The West Overlook Campground lies among a heavily wooded forest of mixed hardwood species on the west side of the dam. Wildlife is abundant throughout the project. Whitetail deer, turkeys, pheasants, waterfowl, song birds and other species roam the lands around the lake.
Iowa City/Coralville offers the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of Iowa campus, hospital and clinics, numerous restaurants and shops as well as Coral Ridge Mall. Cedar Rapids has wonderful cultural, historic and ethnic attractions such as The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library and is the home of the Kernels Professional Baseball Club. West Branch boasts the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site and Presidential Library/Museum. At Amana Colonies visit seven quaint villages with outstanding restaurants, wineries, historic sites and specialty shops. Kalona is known as the "Quilt Capital of Iowa" and is home to an Old Order Amish and Mennonite Community.
ADA Access: N
This campground is one of many around Coralville Lake. Reservations are a must. This campground is close to the dam and the Devonian Fossil Gorge.
This was a very handy spot for an overnight while driving cross-country on I-80. We didn’t have a reservation but found that there were several. We highly recommend W-38, where we set up our tent. It was a gravel pull-in that could have handled a small trailer. It was the most secluded site in the campground, facing right out onto a leafy forest and an easy walk down to the water where there are fairly clean restrooms with free showers, and a playground. The place seems to be very popular with the RV crowd. It was pretty quiet, especially after the person blaring their radio got the message that it was after 10 pm quiet time. Check in was very easy on Recreation.gov. We got our site for $10, thanks to our Golden Eagle Pass, or whatever they’re calling it these days. Well worth the price.
CAMPGROUND REVIEW - 4 stars
The West Overlook Campground at the Coralville Dam Complex north of Iowa City is run by the Army Corps of Engineers and has 89 sites. We've stayed at many of their campgrounds and have always been pleased with them; trees and grass are always appreciated. My only issue with this campground is that the sites are too visible and usually too close to each other for our liking.
FYI there are other campgrounds at the Dam Complex: https://corpslakes.erdc.dren.mil/visitors/projects.cfm?ID=B503910
See the video of the campground for a view of 5 camping areas within West Overlook. There is a bathroom/shower house near sites 1-33 and a second bathroom/shower house near sites 39-60.
Dump station, drinking water, filling station, trash dumpsters and fish cleaning station are on the right just before the campground entrance.
Bathrooms are a bit old but fine. We were there mid-week when the campground wasn't busy so the bathrooms were quite clean. It's nice that there's a utility sink outside the bathroom.
Sites are all back in/pull in, and most are parallel to each other. Most parking pads are gravel but there are some concrete pads.
Each site has a picnic table and fire ring.
The price is right at $20 ($10 if you have an NPS Lifetime Senior Pass).
Activities In and Near the Campground
Horsehoe pits and 2 playgrounds in the campground
Boat launch site within the campground along with parking slots for boats in the camping area
Day use area with picnic tables, picnic shelter, volleyball court, beach and playground
Boating and fishing
Devonian Fossil Gorge and hiking trails near the campground
The lack of privacy and close proximity to other sites would probably prevent us from making this more than a one night stopover in the future. Our camping unit is a teardrop trailer so we spend most of our non-sleeping time outside, and we really don't like being in full view of another site less than 20 feet away. As you can see on a photo of the map, it's parallel parking at the sites. In some cases, they aren't too close to each other, but the tall trees do nothing to shelter you from having to view neighboring sites. It's a pretty area with all the trees and the lake.
PRODUCT REVIEW - 5 stars
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I will receive products to test from time to time. The OOahh Sport Slide Sandal by OOFOS is my first product review. And, yes, they are feeling great on my feet.
OOFOS advertises their products as 'recovery technology for your feet' with emphasis on absorbing shock on your feet, providing arch support, and reducing stress on your feet, knees and back:
Here's what I noticed and what's important to me:
- Lightweight: I noticed this immediately when I opened the package and when I put them on.
- Arch Support: OOahh is a good name for the arch support I felt when I slipped them on. Other slides and flip flops I've worn have had a flat footbed.
- Sizing: At first, I thought they might be a bit large. My feet are 9.5 US, and the instructions indicated women should order up a half size while men order down a half size. I ordered a women's size 10. The size is working out well; they didn't feel too large despite my initial impression.
- Just Walking Around: I've tried flip flops, slides and Crocs as my 'hanging around camp' shoes which double as shower shoes. The flat flip flops make my Achilles tendons tight if I wear them too much, and Crocs cut into the tops of my bony feet. Slides fit my feet better, and the addition of arch support along with a cushy sole is great. The tops are not causing any hot spots on the top of my feet. I'm already wearing these other places than the campground.
- Shower Shoes and Safety: These are a 'must have' for me at the campground shower or my preferred Planet Fitness showers on the road because I'm not showering at any of these places in bare feet! This slide has to handle the moisture. Water collects a bit in the footbed due to the curviness, but I just shook it out. Most importantly, I haven't had the sandal slide or stick to any floor; sticking or sliding could be a disaster for a knee.
In addition to the blue slide (Wave) that I chose, the OOahh Sport Slide Sandal is available in many colors for women: https://www.oofos.com/collections/womens-ooahh-sport-slide-sandal
A note about sizing: The packing slip indicated the slides are a women's 10/men's 8. The OOahh Sport Slide is unisex sizing with a medium width, but be aware that not all OOFOS products are unisex sizing. Kudos to OOFOS for the comprehensive list of FAQs that I found helpful: https://www.oofos.com/pages/common-questions