Campground Review: Tall Pines Campground in Branson, MO
Branson is a classic tourist trap. You can get a sweet piece of fudge, play mini-golf on a crazy course, and buy airbrushed t-shirts (3 for only $9.99). Despite the cheesy touristy-ness, Branson also has plenty of authentic appeal.
For us, Branson is a day trip, and we’ve made a lot of them to the town over the years. I’m not sure we’ve ever eaten the fudge, played mini golf, or bought a t-shirt, but we have found plenty of entertainment. We enjoy strolling along Taneycomo Lake after a walk at the Branson Landing shopping area. We have ridden our share of roller coasters at Silver Dollar City, the prettiest theme park in all the land. We’ve jumped into the cool lake water from the deck of a pontoon boat.
Branson has several great public campground options. On our first trip with Birdy, we stayed at Old 86, a Corps of Engineers campground that sits directly on Table Rock Lake (read about our stay here). Our friends have highly recommended Table Rock State Park (read about their stay here).
Despite the appeal of these beautiful parks, we needed to find a private campground…one that could reserve spots for a group of people, you know, just in case the fine folks at RV Family Travel Atlas decided to host a rally in the Midwest. Unfortunately, public campgrounds don’t work well for this kind of thing.
We had a couple of hours to spare one day and toured several parks in Branson. Many were nice, very nice, in fact. However, the ones inside the city limits don’t allow campgfires. It was inconceivable to me to have a rally without a fire pit for the group to gather around.
I also had it in my mind that I wanted the park to have a canopy of trees, just in case that RVFTA Midwest rally happened to take place in the fall, when the trees would be exploding with color. After visiting several parks that didn’t fit the bill for this event, I was discouraged. Then, we pulled in to Tall Pines Campground.
Tall Pines is a beautiful campground, especially considering that it’s a private one, not a state park. We made our way to the back of the park, where we found large, terraced pull-through sites under a canopy of tall oak trees, all surrounded by a wooded forest. I knew this was the place!
Tall Pines is located west of Branson, near Silver Dollar City. It’s easy to get to, while avoiding the congestion of the main strip of Highway 76. With its location, you can easily go to Branson West or Reeds Spring for food or groceries and avoid the Branson tourist traffic completely.
For Mother’s Day weekend, I was ready for a family getaway after going a whole 2 months without camping. We decided to check out Tall Pines to see if it was as good as it looked, and it didn’t disappoint.
The campground has a variety of RV spots. They also offer tent sites, which looked quite lovely as they line a ridge at the back of the park. Camper cabins are also available.
The campground has three sections, which I’ll call front, middle, and back. The front sites looked nice but were closer to the road. The middle sites are fairly close together, but they back up to a wooded ridge. This is the only section with 50 amp electrical (for a small extra fee).
We stayed in a pull-through site at the back of the park. These are much wider than average sites in private campgrounds. They are terraced along a hillside, and each site has a main level for their trailer, plus a lower terrace. The only drawback is that only 30 amp is available here.
Each pull-through site has a picnic table and fire ring, and plenty of room to use these without feeling as though you are on top of your neighbor.
The sites are all gravel (pea travel), and they are very well maintained. We didn’t spot any weeds. Our site wasn’t perfect leveled, but it was easy to get lined up. We thought it was really a lovely spot.
Full hook up sites are $36, plus $3.50 per person over 2 people. 50 amp electrical is an extra $3.50.
This is a small park, but it offers some nice amenities. The pool wasn’t open when we visited, but it looked like it would be a great spot to splash around in summer.
Our kids enjoyed the playground, even though they were too big to play on most of it. Signs request that kids over 10 stay off the playground, but we decided the teeter totter was ok. Of course, it wasn’t long before the boys were trying to knock each other off the teeter totters, so I decided maybe the “10 and under” rule was actually there for a good reason.
The WiFi was definitely above average for a campground; however, we had trouble getting a signal at our spot. Our younger son discovered it worked well at the playground, so he made himself comfy.
For a group, the large fire pit and covered pavilion look like the perfect place to gather. The pavilion even has a couple of BBQ grills.
A park store with a big, welcoming porch rounds out the amenities. The store carries a few grocery items, plus ice and propane.There is a game room attached, but most of the games weren’t working when we visited.
Those who know me know I’m picky about my restrooms. The showerhouses at Tall Pines are definitely a littler older and rustic. In fact, they reminded me of summer camp. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how clean they were. It looked like the whole room had been hosed down. Also, they had an ample changing area with hooks and a bench. I wouldn’t give these a 10, but I definitely was fine with using them. I did notice a sewer smell at the front restroom, so you might want to use the one at the back of the park.
This is a very small private park, so there are no other amenities or scheduled activities. Head out of the park to take advantage of the full slate of activities in the Branson area. You are 5 minutes to Silver Dollar City, 10-20 minutes to the Branson strip, and just up the road from Table Rock Lake.
We opted not to leave the park and just hung out in our hammocks and enjoyed a campfire in the evening.
The interior roads are the main drawback to this park. They are rather pitted with potholes. Signs are posted showing a 5 mph speed limit, which you’ll definitely want to abide by.
The pull-through sites at the back of the park are the best, in my opinion, but remember, these are only 30 amp.
Head down the peninsula to Table Rock State Park and check out the Lakeshore Trail for a great place to run.
Just the Facts
Name & Website: Tall Pines Campground
Location: In Branson, Missouri, near the neighboring town of Branson West
Rate: $40 a night for FHU, plus small fees for extra people and 50 amp electrical. They do offer a Good Sam discount–be sure to ask for it!
Sites: Almost all FHU except a handful of WE sites for truck campers/popups
Other Accommodations: Tent sites and camping cabins; owner also owns a hotel across the street
Bathhouse: Rustic but very clean
Amenities: Playground and pool, but no schedule activities
Park Description: One of the prettiest private parks we’ve stayed in!
Bottom line: If you’re looking for a private campground with beautiful sites close to the action in Branson, yet out of the traffic, this is your spot. It’s a great place to hang out.
You can hear all about Tall Pines and our favorite Branson attractions on this episode of Campground of the Week. Just press the play button below:
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