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Balancing Teens and Nature Thanks To KOA

June 26, 2011 by · 3 Comments 


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


3 Responses to “Balancing Teens and Nature Thanks To KOA”
  1. Jon says:

    Stop at the KOA in Yellowstone several years back a very nice campground. At that time we had a couple of buffalo running thru the camp one morning. We only had a tent camper to stay in. Kids had a wonderful time going thru the park. They still talk about it as being one of the best vacations ever. Every needs to put it on their list of parks to see. The Grand Tetons is another wonderful park to visit.

  2. Hi Jon~

    Thanks for the recommendations. If you have a chance, send us pictures! We would love to see them!

  3. Barbara Gallagher says:

    Our favorite KOA to date is just out side Badlands NP in Interior SD.Nice campground, great people, and good food. For pictures of Badland check my flickr page

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