Filed under: Campgrounds & RV Parks, Comfort at Camp, Destination Camping & RV Resorts, Entertaining Kids at Camp, Entertaining Kids at Camp, Family Camping, Kid-Friendly Trips, Kid-Friendly Trips, RV Campgrounds, State & National Parks, Tent Campgrounds, Uncategorized
Balancing Teens and Nature Thanks To KOA
Last summer, we had the opportunity to rediscover the Kampgrounds of America, also known as KOAs. We were visiting Yellowstone National Park and during the first part of our stay, we camped at Madison Campground right in the park. Madison was lovely, but it lacked amenities such as water and electrical hookups. And, there weren’t even showers at the campground itself. This, of course, didn’t go over too well with our teenage daughter. After a few days, the steam was starting to emerge. It was definitely time to shift gears.
So, when we decided to change our itinerary and stay a little longer, we opted to stay at the lovely Yellowstone Park KOA. We hadn’t stayed at a KOA in years, but this one is organized, immaculate, and beautifully maintained. The bathrooms were clean and the little shop offered lots of conveniences such as milk, bread, ice, and even homemade fudge. There was a playground and a coffee stand. A little café served pancakes in the morning. There was WiFi and electricity in the camper again. My daughter was noticeably relieved when civilization returned and hot showers were readily available. My eight-year old son was really intrigued with the bear-mauled cooler displayed at the registration desk. The clerks carefully explained that the cooler was mauled at the campground and instructed us to keep our food safely and securely stored. (James obviously heard that lesson loudly and clearly because he still talks about it!) The heated pool was lovely, and the sun deck around the pool was a welcome spot for sunbathing and reading before dinner. And, even though the campground was very full with families, it was remarkably quiet at night.
So, if you find yourself looking for family-friendly accommodations around Yellowstone, I recommend this KOA. They have tent sites and small cabins as well. Before we left the Yellowstone Park KOA and headed back to Seattle, I grabbed one of the KOA catalogs and used it to book a KOA campsite at another location while we were driving home. Last summer, I learned the importance of balancing teens, nature, and campground facilities carefully.
Photo by Melissa A. Trainer
–Melissa A. Trainer