OK, so since we have put an end to KOA-shaming, let’s talk about some of the KOAs from my most recent trip. Specifically, I will give you quick reviews of 4 KOA Journey Campgrounds along I-80 and I-90 through the Midwest and plains states.
Grand Island, Nebraska
This particular KOA was triggered as a result of an Instagram post by Travel with Delaney (Patrick & Patty) who had posted a photo of their cute little dogs enjoying the dog park. I have not loved the Walmarts in Nebraska, so this seemed like a posssible option for me and it turned out that Grand Island hit at the right part of the day for me.
This KOA is easy access from I-80 but I did not notice Interstate road noise. The bathrooms were very nice, with lockable individual shower stalls. The sites were fairly close to one another but the rural setting, surrounded by farms, along with the amenities it offered made this a good stop. There was plenty of room to walk Rocky and 2 different dog parks.
Tip: they sell pizza at the office and deliver it to your site at a reasonable price and it was pretty good!
I arrived in Rawlins just as the sun set and was happy to be able to plug in and order Pizza Hut delivery right to my campsite in Rawlins. I did laundry, emptied my tanks, and watched Sunday night football, and was on the road in less than 12 hours. The sites were close and like a lot of western RV parks, there is not a lot of grass, but the facilities were clean, the campground was quiet, and the access was easy.
I arrived in Spearfish, hoping to ride out the storm at one of the area campgrounds. I had seen other reviews mention this KOA as a spot for riding out another storm, so I took a chance on it. The hosts were terrific people and mentioned that they were open, although they were frantically trying to blow out the water lines, but I could have a site and it would be discounted due to the limited facilities. Even with the water off, they have a full bathroom attached to the office that is open 24 hours. These sites were a little more spaced out and more like a state park. The park grounds were very nice and there is access to a nature trail with an off-leash dog area in the rear of the park. You have easy access to Spearfish, Spearfish Canyon, Deadwood, and I-90 from the Spearfish KOA.
Sioux Falls, SD
If you enjoy having a campground positioned adjacent to I-90, this campground is for you. If you enjoy having sites close to your neighbors, this campground is for you. The bathrooms were locked, apparently for the season, but I wanted shore power and this campground worked. I think without the desire for shore power, I could have had an equally good night sleep at Walmart.
Honorable Mention from Past Trips
I have had a couple of other worthwhile experiences worth sharing:
Ouray KOA – very nice KOA with excellent barbeque. This works if you need shore power in the Ouray area. It felt more authentic than Ridgway State Park but it is also a little pricier.
Devils Tower KOA – the views are better than the National Park because you get just enough distance. This is a great place to catch up on laundry and they show, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” every night, with the tower looming behind the screen.