Ok, so this place is KOA #1 – the very first KOA campground in America. Billings, MT is the corporate world headquarters. One would expect this place to be the show piece, the flag ship or the “Big Grand Daddy of them all.” Well, maybe 20 years ago but, today, it’s just another tired, well worn KOA camp ground just like most of the franchises all over the country. Honestly, I don't see what all the hullabaloo is/was about. I expected a KOA that was the test bed for new and innovative technology. Instead I arrive at a KOA like most KOAs. The park is dated and rundown. They have a lot of big Cottonwood trees that were spreading their seeds everywhere. At times, it looked like it was snowing. Everything just needs a good going over and the trees need to be trimmed way back. The river out back is little more then a trickle of water. Oh sure, they have sites that run the gambit from tent sites to, what they call, “deluxe.” It ain’t cheap either! I have stayed in way better parks for less money that didn’t boast of themselves as camp ground #1 of anything – just good clean, tidy parks with good value for the dollar. Got AND I got the site I requested and the price I was quoted. Prices here are way out range for what one would expect. We paid almost $75 a night and we are KOA card members. Geez, I can park in a 5 star resort for $75 bucks a night. They do an ice cream social at night but, they charge for the ice cream and it’s really nothing special. The so called “restaurant” is really a hot dog stand that serves food out of crock pots and charges restaurant prices. I wonder about sanitary conditions when I eat in places like this that call themselves a restaurant. I think the park is geared for families and people with pets. Bigger rigs will find it hard to maneuver around the narrow asphalt streets and parking is either on grass, for tent campers or gravel, for the rest of us. Check in was painful. The whole process was very disappointing from the second we stepped through the office door - even though we had called ahead several days just to confirm everything and make sure we, and our friends, were all being assigned spaces next to each other… we were not. Lady desk clerk had all the standard and silly excuses; which ranged from, “we are full” to “well, one of you booked on the phone and one of you booked online.” Neither of which was true, as we both booked on the phone and exactly 1 minute apart months ago. When we pulled into our spaces there were empty spaces on all our sides. The manager, was going to come by and “talk” to us but never showed. Well, so much for follow-up and problem solving. We won’t be back. There are just too many really nice parks that are so much better then the Flagship of KOA. Honestly.
We stayed here for 4 nights recently, and it seemed like forever. The park is dirty, crowded, and totally misrepresented as to what it has to offer. They pack everyone in here like cords of wood. They have asphalt streets and gravel/dirt parking sites. There are no level sites here! Bring lots of leveling blocks! There is a constant odor of sewage in the air from people either not using their sewer hoses or broken sewer connections. Counter staff is well-trained to be less then helpful, and while constantly smiling when you talk to them, they are really very rude and less then helpful. They seem to advertise that you are in "Garden of the Gods," but we were not even close to the park. I guess for people with kids and dogs it's perfect - for the rest of us it's a dump. We won't ever stay here again. My advise for everyone would be to go elsewhere.
I'm joining in with the choir about Wolf Creek. First, these two owners are great people. We count them among our friends. They take so much pride and care in their park it is amazing. He keeps the place pristine, down to watering the grass and picking up your garbage in the morning. They have activites almost every night through the week and even have a reserved table at a local restaurant that does a Jazz Night. They buy the hors d'oeuvres. He makes the best dang chocolate chip cookies in the world and also serves up a pretty good continental breakfast every day of the week. Watch out for his SPAM and pancake breakfast too. I could go on for hours, but the proof is in the fact they have such a strong and dedicated return customer base, that I think most parks would kill to have their reputation in the community and industry. 11s all the way around!
This is one of the nicest state run parks I think we have ever been to. While we did not get to stay, due to waiting too long to book, let me tell you about what we found when we drove out to look at the place with our traveling friends. The state of Colorado has done a great job with this park. All the parking sites are terraced which means you get great views in all directions, and I don't think there's a bad site there. The amenities are fantastic with clean and well maintained restrooms and shower facilities. The sites themselves are clean, maintained, and manicured. I liked that each site has a fire ring, and you can have a fire in the evening. The staff is attentive, seemed friendly, and professional. Above all they go out of their way to make the whole experience painless and enjoyable. While they were sympathetic to our plight, they made us feel good about trying next year. We noticed the activities boards around the park offering day and evening classes in everything from studying prairie dogs to star gazing and night sky activities. If you have not already, you will have to buy a $70 dollar seasonal pass to the park, good at all Colorado State Parks as well, and then pay the nightly fee of $7/day. No big deal and the $70 bucks is paid off pretty fast if you stay the 2 week limit. Speaking of time limits, it's 14 days in a 45 day stretch. So, stay 14 days then leave for 30 days before you can come back. The park is so popular with the good folks of Colorado and other states that you need to book early through their website "reserveamerica.com." We sure were bummed we could not stay this trip, but we hope to come back and stay for 14 days in the future.