camping

In traveling around the United States we find some notable campgrounds and are pleased to be able to tell other travelers about them. And now you do not have to own a camper to be able to stay at these lovely campgrounds because they have cabins and some deluxe cabins (which have everything you need). You can have the fun of camping without packing up all the gear needed! Call ahead to inquire the amenities and to make your reservations.

West Glacier Holiday KOA: What a PERFECT place to spend your resting time at Glacier National Park, Montana. This KOA is so well located just a couple of miles from the town of West Glacier and the west entrance to the Park. This is the largest and one of the very most beautiful KOA’s we have found across the United States. The sites are all grassy, good level, gravel sites. Clean in every aspect; good laundry facilities large enough to handle the many campers. The KOA breakfasts are delicious! With many choices from pancakes to French toast, eggs, bacon, and the trimmings! Dinner is on site every night by a concessionaire provider and looked like good food and lots of fun. You can go to on-site SCOOPS for their specialty: huckleberry ice cream. There is a lovely pavilion with pool table, fireplace, and satellite TV for gathering anytime. This KOA is the perfect one for reunions.
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The heated pool facilities are so pretty with beautiful flowers nearby. This KOA is open May 1 – September 30, coinciding with normal Park season. West Glacier is not as crowded as the East Side of Glacier National Park and has many, many wonderful hikes, places to visit, and shopping for quaint mountain activities and trinkets. We had been to East side many times but enjoyed this side immensely for a new experience. The two sides are quite different…East being more crowded, higher mountains, fewer trees, more grassy meadows, snow and beautiful scenery! West side has tall, dense forests, beautiful lake, streams, creeks, and great hikes and turn-outs for incredible photo views. If you are not afraid of heights traveling the Road To The Sun is a MUST, from either side. And stop to hike the most challenging and one of the most beautiful hikes we have ever made: behind Logan Pass Visitor Center. This KOA is PERFECT for your Glacier holiday!
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Salt Lake City KOA: This well-kept park is lovely and very large, and it is so convenient to have a location in the city, but with the feel of a quiet campground. The office and store are newly renovated. The pool and KOA cabins are clean and inviting, and there is a basketball court for older kids. We were delighted for the rest after a walk beside the Jordan River at the back of the RV Park. The River walk is convenient and pretty and goes miles with walking bridges and a paved bike path on the other side of the little river. About a block down the path is a large municipal park and huge playground. This is a nice plus for KOA campers here.
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There is also free shuttle service to the Temple area. Salt Lake has many activities and attractions at all times of the year and is a lovely, clean city with very kind, personable people. If you come here be sure to plan to hear the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The KOA is located in walking distance to the State Fair Grounds and September is the biggest time for those events. There are summer concerts in the park and cool nights in this desert area. This is a wonderful place to stay, and be sure to enjoy the truly delicious pancakes, eggs, sausage, and bacon prepared on the KOA picnic grounds throughout the summer for very nominal prices. We were fortunate to eat the last breakfast of their season, and it was really good! The KOA is open year-round.
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Coyote Ranch Resort at Wichita Falls, Texas, is Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park and has all the amenities and extras you could ever want in a campground, whether you are staying for overnight or for a long time. This is a perfect place for reunions, meetings, and even weddings. The Resort is truly cowboy western style and has a chapel, a large and a small reception building, cabins, even a yurt to rent. And the RV sites are perfect with grass, full hook-ups of the best kind, and anything you could want. The playground and swimming pools are pretty, and even the little laundry and bathhouse buildings are stylish…cowboy style, that is. This is a most unusual and appealing luxurious campsite with a little shed and ponies to see in their pasture. You are very close to Wichita Falls center, so there is a lot to do in the city.
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It’s winter in the USA, but many RV travelers and campers will be crossing the country to be with family for the holidays. Here are some good winter camping tips.
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Grants, near the middle of northwestern New Mexico, is a small town on Highway I-40. KOA Grants/Cibola Sands is a Journey KOA. Since Grants is about an hour west of Albuquerque most of their guests are overnighters, tired from long drives, and they know how to cater to all their needs and desires. On check-in they gave us yummy cookies and dog biscuits for our little pal. She not only told us all about the KOA’s amenities, but also volunteered the weather report for the night and offered home-cooked dinner to be delivered to our RV!
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There are other RV parks which have offered meal delivery, but usually from Pizza places nearby. We were amazed and delighted with the many offerings from a turkey and stuffing complete Thanksgiving kind of meal, to smoked beef barbeque, to chicken strips, and lots more, and delicious pies…all home-cooked from scratch and delivered to our RV! I bet EVERYONE who stops here orders their choice and enjoys a night out, IN!
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We settled quickly into the flat, clean site (all pull-throughs with 50 amp service and free cable TV and Internet.) By the time we were all set up and had relaxed in the cool evening air (in mid-August) our hostess delivered our smoked beef dinner with apple pie alamode, which was fabulous! Watching the famous big sky and orange sunset, we ambled along the paved walking trail in the lava field beside our campground on this high desert. We travel this road often and we will definitely return to stay here over and over. Next morning we enjoyed the free continental breakfast at the office and visiting with other campers.
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Tucumcari KOA Journey is mainly for overnight New Mexico campers and has a fenced-in area for horses…a real western park with lovely cool nights in the pleasant, but hot daytime, desert air. They offer dine-in delivery service or you can eat in their dining room in the evening and breakfast in the office restaurant area. The people are so nice and helpful, and tried to fix our cable which would not work for TV, but we got some antennae stations. The park is clean and tidy, though the wood picnic tables are old and some need changing. The restrooms and laundry area are very clean. The pool is nice and the playground has some fun equipment you don’t see often, including the popular southwestern horses for kids to ride, made from tires. This is a perfect overnight stopover KOA, for which the Journey signs indicate. The nice K9 dog area has grass and there are trees throughout the park, which is not easy in desert areas.
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A drive through Eastern Washington State is lovely. For miles and miles we passed the rolling yellow wheat fields as far as we could see on both sides of Highway 261. Definitely, this is one of the bread basket areas of America, very impressive and unusual scenery. Starbuck/Lyons Ferry KOA is located at the historic site of the ferry which took passengers, animals, and wagons and cars across the Snake River for over a century, until the Lyons Ferry Bridge was opened in 1968. This has been a favorite fishing place for more than 100 years, with record catches of sturgeon, and other fish. The Monumental Dam creates the Herbert G. West Lake, and the Marina is located at this KOA. The setting is beautiful with rolling hills, rivers, lake and a beautifully kept KOA Kampground.
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Jim, the owner, is so personable and we loved having a delicious meal prepared in the KOA restaurant. The menu was quite varied and really well prepared and yummy from early morning breakfast through a very good evening meal. Jim and Angela are terrific personalities who give a great welcoming feeling to their guests from March to October. Fishing here is legendary, and you can see salmon climbing the ladders near the fish hatchery in late summer. PHONE 509 399 8020 or EMAIL lyonsferrymarina@columbianet.com
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There are many things to do in the area, especially the 1,000 acre Palouse Falls State Park just a short drive north of the Marina. The park is bordered by the Snake and Palouse Rivers, where you can enjoy swimming, a sandy beach, fishing, boating, or hiking. There are picnic tables and restrooms. The recently designated Palouse Falls is the official waterfall of Washington, and you’ll get great views of the very deep canyon from the park above, or you can hike along the river on a trail below. During the Ice Age a 2000 foot high ice dam was breached many times and this area flooded with water over 13 times the volume of the Amazon River (the largest river in the world today.)
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This was a site where Lewis and Clark found Indians drying their salmon. The rocky bluffs are called Marmes Rockshelter, where in 1962 an archeological team discovered about a dozen skeletons of people who lived here 13,000 years ago. This is the oldest inhabited site in North America. This is also a good area for bird watchers, and many of the birds to look for are illustrated on placards in the park. There are especially large raptor birds in this area, but don’t let your children who saw Jurassic Park Movie think they should be frightened of being eaten by velociraptors!
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We had fun watching the adorable and friendly little ground squirrels, who loved the wild wheat along the rim. Just downstream you can see the Joso Railroad Bridge, built in 1910-1914. At 3500 feet long and 180 feet above the water it was the longest and highest in the world for trains. Today it is still one of the longest and is operated by the Union Pacific Company.
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We try to escape Texas heat in the summer by heading north in our RV. Because we have a friend who works there, we were fortunate enough to have a tour of the KOA International Headquarters in Billings, Montana, where KOA was started. The amazing foresight of the ones in charge, who secure land for more new KOA’s each year, and the standard of excellence for each campground that sports the familiar yellow and red tent-like KOA logo, assures tired campers of the best facilities possible and the friendliest staff. There are many perks for KOA Members including quick check-in, points for free stays, and a few times each year offers of a complimentary extra night or special events. Our summer included stays at some KOA’s we would like to recommend:
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In the cool, welcoming Black Hills of South Dakota you’ll find this wonderful Custer/Mt.Rushmore KOA Kampground with good gravel roads, wide, clean sites beneath ponderosa pines for any size rig, which dot this cool land. Even in mid-July when mid-day heat rises to around 90 degrees, the nights are delightful around 60 degrees. You’ll find many of the adorable and comfortable KOA Cabins, which are so popular, and pristine, well-groomed tent sites. Of course the camping store can supply almost any need you have, and coffee is hot and fresh all day. The swimming pool is cool and inviting in the hot hours of the day, but the wonderful giant jumping pillow, for a small daily fee, is the most popular. There are always children laughing and smiling in delight as they enjoy this great exercise, making adults want to join them. The rules for safety are good. If you are not into cooking, the friendly KOA hosts will make you a great chuck wagon breakfast.

This KOA is out of the tourist traffic on Hwy 16 west, three miles out of the town of Custer. Do not mistake the big sign in town, which is for another Mt. Rushmore KOA, but call the office (605)673-4304 for good directions. Make your reservations early for peak summer months, as this is a very popular KOA, and centrally located to all the many points of interest of the area. We enjoyed Custer State Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, Needles Highway Drive for the unusual rock formations, Iron Mountain Highway for the scenery and herd of buffalo, Crazy Horse Monument, National Museum of Wood Carving, Mt. Rushmore National Park, Wind Cave National Park and the wonderful touristy shopping and restaurants in Custer City, Hill City, and Keystone, all very nearby. If you want to leave the driving to others, you can make your Golden Circle Tours reservations right at the KOA desk and await your pick-up at the office.
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Butte, Montana, KOA we found to be a wonderful Kampground right beside the excellent Visitor Center, just off of Hwy I- 90. Of course, as with all KOA’s we found friendly hosts, clean, flat sites. As soon as we hooked up everything Bill turned on our tow car only to discover our battery was totally dead. When I called the KOA office they sent two men and a battery jumper immediately and in less than ten minutes our problem was solved! So no worries for us weary travelers after a long day on the road. KOA is great! Internet here was easy and free, but there was no cable TV because there are eight stations which are excellent with only antennae. We found excellent, clean laundry facilities for some needed washing.
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With Butte Visitor Center right next door, we walked over to catch the red city tour bus, which is well worth the nominal price. We had no idea Butte is such an interesting city. Our tour guide is a teacher who told us about everything from the mining operations, to the varied and unique architecture which ranged over 140 years, to the brothels and saloons and speak-easies from yesteryear. We enjoyed exercise on the nature walking path right behind our campground. The lovely native plants and flowers were plenteous and the blacktop path went for miles beside a little creek. Someone reported a moose in the water on another part of the path. When we drove our car far enough to see her there were several rangers in consternation of how to relocate her safely out of town! Butte Montana KOA should be near the top of your travel list! (Phone: 406 782 8080)
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Polson/Flathead Lake Montana KOA and Motor Coach Resort is quite something! This place is where we discovered a new concept for the camping company. The regular campsites were perfectly kept and an excellent place for RV’s, tents, fifth-wheels, and campers of all types. The cabins are typical KOA cozy, or you may rent the Deluxe Cabin with a fireplace, a kitchenette, air conditioning, and a barbeque grill and Jacuzzi hot tub on your private deck! You look out at the beautiful Mission Mountains and the big Flathead Lake, a great place to fish. You are quite near Kalispell and Whitefish and about a two hour drive to Glacier National Park.

The adjacent Motor Coach Resort was beautiful with wide, level gravel sites in tiers down the grassy hillside. Each concrete site has excellent permanent patio furniture and beautiful flowers and stone borders, wide grassy areas. On many nights there is special entertainment, sometimes sponsored by KOA and sometimes sponsored by the many people who have the large rigs as their second home and often stay for several months here and even own their own site, enjoying the facilities and friendships, and leaving their RV’s in good care when they go away for long periods of time. This is an excellent facility also for those who live fulltime in their class A motor coach and want to stop in places for long periods of time. We arrived just in time for the evening Luau with exotic drinks for happy hour and an excellent barbeque meal with all the trimmings. Rain was threatening, but the festivities were under a large white tent with tables and chairs and comic entertainment for the many enjoying the fun. This is a great concept for KOA and we will certainly look for more of their Motor Coach Resorts, even if we have only a short time to stay. ( 1 888 883 2151)
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