Sugar Bottom COE Campground

View of the Coralville Reservoir from the tent sites

Now, I know not too many of my fellow travelers spend much time in Iowa but should for some strange reason you end up here in the land of corn and beans, this is a great place to stay. Sugar Bottom is one of six COE campground on the Coralville Reservoir In Eastern Iowa (between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City) and is the largest of the group. There are 12 FHU spots (#300-311) that are very nice. The pads are concrete and have ample shade. We are in spot 303 and our friends are in 304. The rest of the RV sites are electric only. In those 311 sites there also are a handful of tent sites and several great group sites.
Our friends site with FHU
We have really enjoyed our time here. This is a very busy place on the weekends, walked through yesterday and there were no open sites. However even as late as Friday morning there were still spots in the non-reservable loop which surprised me. The majority of the sites are reservable but there is one non-reservable loop near the entrance (has a couple of my favorite sites in it) and then a whole group of sites near the water that are also non reservable.(#156-210). In the FHU sites #306-311 are non-reservable. If its early in the week I think you could find a great spot without a reservation.
My favorite sites in the non-reservable electric only loop, #46-50
My favorite reservable electric sites #1-15
This is a big area for water sports so on the weekend there will be lots of boats and lots of kids. There is a boat launch right off the campground and a beach for swimming too. The day use area has another beach, picnic areas, an 18 hole disc golf course and mountain bike trails. Being situated between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City makes for a very busy spot but convenient to shopping (North Liberty is just 5 miles away) and entertainment.
Gayle and John Morgan

Camping with our friends Gayle and John has been great. We have had several happy hours (one lasted until 11pm) and shared lots of laughs. We are hoping to do this again next year. We might have to plan it in the fall or spring  but thats what’s great about the RV life, it is pretty flexible.

The other thing we are exploring now is work camping possibilities for both this winter and next summer. We have applied for a spot near San Diego but we know that is a busy spot and may not have an opening for us this year so we are also going to apply in Oregon. Their website mentioned that sometimes there are openings in the winter. We will be in the NW in the fall and though this is not the south it is the coast and looks like something we would enjoy. I’ll be crusin’ the Workcamper News too. If anyone out there has any other suggestions let us know.  We also are applying for a volunteer position in the Apostle Islands National Seashore near Bayfield WI for next summer. Ideally I would like to have a place to work for 3 mo. in the winter and 3 mo. in the summer leaving spring and fall for traveling but we will see what happens.
Map of the area

Hope all the dads out there are having a great Father’s day. John is just relaxing and hoping to hear from his sons. I didn’t remind the boys this year so we will see if they can handle remembering all on there own, time for mom to take a step away.

Happy Trails..........................


  1. LOVE that area, will be in Davenport in about a month for a friend visit, no rv this time around... the Amish places around there were neat to see too!

  2. The Apostle Islands is a beautiful area. Maybe you can stop and visit us if you go there. Good luck on the San Diego gig. I'd love to camp host on the ocean some year.

  3. Happy Father's Day, John!

    Thanks for the tip on that campground. We haven't hit Iowa in our travels yet but it's good to know where a nice place to stay is located.

  4. Sounds like a great place to stay. I was pleasantly surprised that all of Jim's boys remembered him today. Yes!! it can happen.

  5. Even though you are visiting with family it is nice that you are able to get away and feel a little like you are on the road again. This looks like a nice campground should be find ourselves in Iowa.

  6. I love COE parks! Our favorite is on Carlyle Lake in Illinois, just east of St Louis. Sounds like you have some great possiblities coming your way!

  7. Never been there... but still hope to see all the States!


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