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Old 06-12-2014, 08:21 PM   #1
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KOA's

Having completed 8 stays in various KOA's over 3 weeks, I'd like to share some observations. Kansas City East has been recently remodeled and is spotless with owners present on site and there is a B-R-BQue available with KC ribs. Highly recommend. Next up was Limon, CO, avoid this one, absent owners and the place was a mess. Next is Lava/Hot Springs, UT which was right on the CB&Q rail line and if you like trains, nice, otherwise noisy. ALso there are no hot springs, they are located in the nearby town. NkMip CG in Osoyoos, BC was really nice, clean and the spots were nice and level and big. I can see why ETI stays there.
Missoula, Mt was a disappointment, needs to be remodeled and really small spaces. Billings, MT, the first ever KOA is really nice with big spots, an on board restaurant with dinner and breakfasts. Too bad the other KOA's did not follow in this one's footsteps. Next up is the Badlands/White River KOA, SD one of my favorite places. This is my 4 th stay there and still has the wow factor, driving thru the Badlands NP. Another nice place is TerraHaute KOA, IN with on board dining and nice level spots.
All KOA's had a pool, other than Limon, which should be spelled with an "E"!!
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:01 PM   #2
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Any chance you mean Lava Hot Springs, Idaho on the Union Pacific mainline?
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:46 PM   #3
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CPH you should visit Oregon and stay at State Parks.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:30 PM   #4
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I'll add to the list:

Wendover NV/UT - eh reminded me of a gravel parking lot with knee high weeds. Nothing there. Only of you have to..stop. Should have continued onto SLC but it was our last chance to gamble.

Cheyenne, WY- was very windy, but apparently the entire state is! Nice facility. I would stay there again. lots of room, grass trees and level spots.

South Bend, IN- was absolutely our favorite! Staff was wonderful! Grass, trees, very nice well kept dog area. Staff was very active making sure everyone was satisfied with the facility.

LaSalle Peru IL- another nice place. Lots of trees. Level spots.

Erie NY. Right on the water-beautiful. Trees, lots of grass.

We were very impressed with 99% of the KOA's and wouldn't mind trying just KOA's as a trip!
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lefttee View Post
Any chance you mean Lava Hot Springs, Idaho on the Union Pacific mainline?
Yes, my mistake. Very busy and impressive trains.
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:54 AM   #6
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Hi:cpaharley2008... Just sat out a thunder storm in Great Falls MT. KOA... Any port in a storm I always say!!! Heading for Yellowstone before crossing the great plains. Be home in a week or so. Always looking for good reviews of one nite stands. Alf
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Old 06-13-2014, 06:05 AM   #7
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Hi Alf, We really like the Billings KOA, it is the first KOA and they have a real nice little restaurant there for dinner and breakfast, spots are shaded and far apart. There are alsoa couple in Wyoming, Buffalo and Cody that are nice. TRy to stop in the Badlands/White River KOA on the way home, right of #131 off I90 at Badlands NP, a really spectacular NP and the KOA is right in it!
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Old 06-13-2014, 12:44 PM   #8
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It's interesting to read a first-hand review of the Billings KOA. We were looking for a place for 2 nights in that part of Montana, and couldn't find any good reviews of that KOA. Looking at the site on Google street view, we decided against it because the neighborhood looked ugly.

Just goes to show there's nothing to replace word-of-mouth and first-hand knowledge.
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Old 06-13-2014, 01:43 PM   #9
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Just goes to show there's nothing to replace word-of-mouth and first-hand knowledge.[/QUOTE]

Or maybe some chorus lyrics from Kacey Musgraves' My House - "Water and electric, need a place to drain the septic, any KOA is A-OK as long as I'm with you…"
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Old 06-13-2014, 06:14 PM   #10
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I've only stayed in a few KOAs and that was a couple of years ago.

Went to Carlsbad, NM and stayed in the one there. Got a cabin (no trailer and too windy to tent). It was nice, and the park seemed nice and well kept, as did the clubhouse. The smell of the oil refinery wasn't so nice, and when I asked the management what it was, they said, "It's the smell of money." Won't go back because of that money smell.

Stayed in the one in Holbrook, AZ near Petrified Forest NP. It was OK, but nothing to write home about. Part of that was the setting, as it was well kept and the management was nice. Just too close to the freeway.

Flagstaff, AZ was OK and would recommend, but nothing to write home about. Spots kind of close to each other. Very busy (in March).

Keep in mind I stayed in cabins in all these.
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:07 PM   #11
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"The smell of money" was what my dad used to say about the pulp mill in my home town...
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:25 AM   #12
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I have not stayed at too many KOAs over the years. Most were not much more than a parking lot with services. A couple were nice. Lava Hot Springs that Jim N spoke of was one we really liked. Yes, there was a train track nearby, but they rarely ran at night, and the sound of the beautiful Portneuf River we camped alongside more than made up for it.

The Lava Hot Springs are one of the best commercial hot springs I have been to, with temps reaching 110°F in the hottest pool. Lots and lots of room too. I sure helps cure what aches you.

Here is a shot of my buddy fly fishing right from our campsite.



We are hiking up the hillside here across the river to the south of the campground.



We found an abandoned mine on our hike.



A view of the townsite from near the top.



A telephoto shot of the section of the campground we stayed in. We are about 3 trees to the left of the bridge.



An old irrigation ditch we saw part way up the hillside.

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Old 06-14-2014, 08:45 AM   #13
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Hi: Jim Bennett... We have found the typical KOA is not located in a towns prime real estate.
Nice pic's., and I don't see any trains... just the tracks. We are now in a new KOA parking lot at West Yellowstone. Going into the park today. Alf
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:08 AM   #14
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Alf, say HI to Yogi and Boo Boo for me, would ya?
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:18 AM   #15
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Similar experience as others. KOA's are all over the place. You really can't go by their guide. Agree, Flagstaff was ok, great location. Amarillo had barbecue dinner delivered to your trailer! Albuquerque is a gravel parking lot. Brigham City, UT was not clean or well kept (that was several years ago, maybe they have improved). Deer Lodge, MT looks great in the pics but the neighborhood it's in didn't feel safe. (We didn't plan to stay in Deer Lodge but the Grant Kohrs National Historic site is worth a stop). West Yellowstone is a destination campground, pool, hot tub, basketball, free bikes, outdoor cafe, large store but costs $$. We even had a swing at our site with views of the mountains. It is actually a bargain for families visiting the area. We don't stay at KOA's as much as we used to but usually can depend on them having a laundry and small store for supplies.
Happy trails,
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:30 PM   #16
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We stayed in our first-ever KOA in Twin Falls, Idaho. The park got "so-so" reviews but only because, in late summer, the flies are a problem. However, when we were there, there were no flies, the owners/staff were very nice and they had a cute little "cafe" where you could get dinner (delivered to your RV if you wished) or breakfast (pretty good size breakfast at that). Plus, the view from our door was pretty spectacular in the evening. Joined their club (for $27/year, why not) and got their directory. However, from some of the posts here, the directory descriptions may not resemble reality.

Since we're rather new to the RV circuit, we have fun looking at all the other rigs and listening to others talk about their favorite spots. But one thing that never ceases to amaze us is how many people "camp" in these RV parks and you never see them!! They sit in their 40+foot units and never come out. Check out the one that rolled in and caught most everyone's attention ...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 006 Twin Falls KOA.jpg (254.6 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg 008 Twin Falls KOA.jpg (354.0 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg 012 Twin Falls ID.JPG (229.8 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg 007 Twin Falls KOA.jpg (242.5 KB, 49 views)
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:47 AM   #17
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Boy, that first step is a killer….I have belonged to KOA for almost 10 years now, started out with their cabins and now just sites. They are the "Howard Johnson" of campgrounds, they seldom turn you away. Majority are clean with clean restrooms. Just a couple I would not return to. You also earn "points" which can be used for camping.
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:54 PM   #18
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We checked out a KOA in Levenworth WA but did not stay as they were asking $65USD, we are not fussy campers and do not require all of the amenities so went elsewhere.
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Old 06-25-2014, 04:18 PM   #19
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Call me a camping snob, but I would choose a national park or a state park or a state forest over a KOA any day. Camping isn't the same experience in a privately owned campground. Give me a state park any day.
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Old 06-25-2014, 04:30 PM   #20
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KOA's are like what Howard Johnson's Motor Inns used to be, a nice place to stay while traveling, not a destination, but enroute stops. I too prefer nature over a private cg, but sometimes when nature calls, all one has to choose is something at the "Next Exit" for a stop.
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