Campground Review – Great Falls KOA, Great Falls, Montana

Great Falls KOA, Great Falls, MontanaDescription

The Great Falls KOA is conveniently located just off US-87 on the eastern outskirts of Great Falls, Montana. The park is beautifully landscaped and features an impressive water park for the kids. The park has recently expanded, adding a large new section to the campground. This campground is a peaceful place to stop for a few nights while passing through the Great Falls area.

Location

Great Falls KOA
1500 51st St S
Great Falls, MT 59405
Park: (406) 727-3191
Latitude: 47.488424 N, Longitude: -111.221227 W, Elevation: ~3,330 ft (1,015 m)

Details

We stayed for three nights at the Great Falls KOA in mid August of 2017. The campground staff was friendly and helpful during our stay. This is a lovely, clean, and well maintained campground set in the rolling plains country of eastern Montana.

Cost

We generally find that KOAs are pricey for our tastes, but we are willing to pay for the convenience for short stays or if there are not better alternatives. Prices were high at this park at this time of year. For three nights at a 50 amp full hookup pull-thru site, we paid about $70 per night, including tax and our KOA Value Kard Rewards Discount. There were no charges for an extra vehicle or pets.

Amenities On Site or Nearby

The campground offers the basic amenities expected from a KOA, including full and partial hookup sites, dry tent sites, rental cabins, RV dump station, propane, restrooms and showers, game room, laundry room, playground, horseshoes, tether-ball, volleyball, and dog run. The campground features a petting zoo, a nice water park and several hot tubs. The park has a small general store with basic groceries, household goods, camping supplies, souvenirs and tourist info for the local area. Grocery stores, restaurants, automotive and some RV services are nearby in Great Falls.

Ratings (1-5)

Accessibility – 3/5

The campground is easily accessible from highway US-87. However, the turnoff from US-87 to the access road is not well-marked and is easy to miss due to clutter from other businesses. Coming from the interstate I-15 is less convenient due to having to drive to through Great Falls to get to the park. Lanes in the park are well-maintained gravel. The park has both pull-thru and back-in sites and can accommodate large rigs. The campground facilities have provisions for Universal access. 

Note that for large rigs, the new section is more easily accessed than the old section. Lanes in the old section are narrow and difficult to navigate, depending on how others have parked along the route. Sites in the old section are also narrow and lined with railroad ties, large rock planters and other landscaping elements. Maneuvering a large rig into or out of a site is quite challenging.

Indeed, we had a difficult time getting our rig into our assigned site and even more difficulty leaving. Given how neighbors behind us had parked, we could not effectively back out of our site. Going forward, the only choice was to run over railroad ties. We also sustained damage to our rig on exiting our site as a low hanging branch gouged and tore a chunk out of our rubber roof. Should we visit here again, we will insist on a space in the new section!

Also note that extra vehicle parking is outside of the park entrance next to the petting farm – not a very convenient or secure location.

Facilities/Amenities – 4/5

The campground offers the basic amenities expected from a KOA, including full and partial hookup sites, dry tent sites, rental RVs and park model cabins, RV dump station, propane, restrooms and showers, game room, laundry room, playground, horseshoes, tether-ball, volleyball, dog run, Kamp Kitchen and free firewood. The campground features a petting zoo, a nice water park and several hot tubs. The park features snack bar and a pancake breakfast. Facilities are clean and well maintained. Staff was friendly and helpful.

Site quality – 4/5

Sites are basic, with full or partial hookups with 50/30/20 amp electric, basic cable TV, picnic table and fire ring. Sites are gravel and wide enough to accommodate slide-outs and awnings. Older section sites have mature shade trees, while new section sites have freshly planted small trees. Old section sites are generally not satellite friendly due to the many obstructing trees. New section sites are much larger and have a clear horizon for satellite reception.

Scenic Value – 3/5

The scenic value for this campground varies, depending on which section you are in. The older section has very nice landscaping with mature trees and shrubs, making for a shady, peaceful stay. The new section has freshly planted landscaping, contributing little to privacy, shade or scenery. The new section does, however, have a nice vista view of rolling wheat fields, hills and a river valley.

Location/Isolation – 4/5

The campground is on the outskirts of Great Falls and is far enough from highway US-87 to receive little traffic noise. During our stay, heavy construction truck traffic on the frontage road by the park generated some noise during the day. The old section of the park is densely landscaped with mature trees and shrubs and feels peaceful and very isolated.

The new section of the park is more exposed and does not feel very isolated. Here, the landscaping is newly planted and provides little privacy or shade, nor does it block the view of the adjacent Wal-Mart or other nearby urban development along US-87. The new section does, however, have a great vista view of rolling wheat fields, hills, and a river valley.

Paws Friendliness – 5/5

The campground is pet friendly and has two large grassy enclosed pet runs with cleanup bags (separate runs for large or small dogs). The campground is large enough for a decent walk with your pet.

Overall Rating – 4/5

Overall, the Great Falls KOA campground is a convenient, but expensive place to stay while passing through or exploring the Great Falls area. We would not mind staying here on another visit, but would certainly ask for a site in the new section, given the difficulties we had navigating the older section of the park with our large rig. 

Additional info

Internet access

We received a moderate 4G Verizon signal at this campground. We did not need to deploy our cellular antenna and booster to improve MiFi hot spot internet access. The campground provided free WiFi, but we did not use this during our stay.

Water Quality

The water at this campground tested moderately hard – we added our water softener to the water filtration stack.

Nearby attractions

Here are a few local attractions and activities:

  • Historic Fort Benton
  • Lewis and Clark National Forest
  • C.M. Russell Museum Complex
  • Paris Gibson Square
  • Giant Springs State Park
  • Water park at the KOA

 

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One thought on “Campground Review – Great Falls KOA, Great Falls, Montana

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