This will be a short campground review as we only stayed at the Needles KOA for one night as a stop-over on our drive to Flagstaff, Arizona. The Needles KOA is conveniently located along old Route 66 just off of Interstate 40 and on the outskirts of the desert community of Needles, California. This is a desert location – as such, temperatures soar in late spring and summer, but can be quite pleasant from fall through early spring. Given the campground’s proximity to the Colorado River, humidity is often quite high.
5400 National Old Trails Road
Needles, CA 92363
We stayed at the Needles KOA in late June – not the best time of the year for camping in the Mojave Desert as the daytime temperatures were reaching a blistering 111°F with high winds and high humidity. Given the humidity, nighttime temperatures did not fall below the 90’s °F. Given the expected conditions, we reserved a pull thru site with 50 Amp hookups to ensure we would be able to run both air conditioning units in our rig – and we needed them!
We had no difficulty obtaining reservations online for our stay of one night. At the time, there were only a few other campers in the park.
We found the campground to be very clean and well maintained and the park staff friendly and helpful. The campground was tastefully landscaped for a dry climate with rustic stone walls, gravel surfaced roads and sites, cactus garden and plantings of eucalyptus, mesquite and palm trees.
We generally find that KOAs are pricey for our tastes, but we are willing to pay for the convenience on short stays. For one night at a 50 Amp pull-thru site and with our Value Kard Rewards Discount we paid $34.95.
Amenities Onsite or Nearby
The campground provides a small general store with basic groceries, household goods and camping supplies, as well as a gift shop with desert and Route 66 memorabilia. Other supplies and amenities can be found nearby in Needles or further up the I-40 in Kingman, Arizona.
Accessibility – 5/5
The campground was very easy to access, both to and from Interstate 40. Campground entrance and lanes were wide presented few obstacles for maneuvering larger rigs.
Facilities/Amenities – 3/5
The campground offers all the basic amenities expected from a basic KOA – full and partial hookups, cabins, and tent sites; swimming pool; camp store and gift shop; propane service; snack bar; game and activity room. Facilities are clean, but are showing their age and could use some repair or spruce-up. Staff was friendly and helpful.
Site quality – 3/5
Sites were very basic, including only the full or partial hookups and a picnic table. Sites were level and surfaced with gravel. Most sites were of ample depth and width to accommodate larger rigs. Most sites had very little or no shade.
Scenic Value – 1/5
There was little of scenic value to the campground or to the view from the campground. The campground is essentially a gravel parking lot on a desolate alluvial fan in the Mojave Desert. Sunsets or sunrises might be of interest.
Location/Isolation – 2/5
The park is by no means isolated, but it is located along a frontage road which receives little traffic and is far enough from Interstate 40 to be reasonable quiet.
Paws Friendliness – 2/5
The KOA allows pets and there is plenty of area to walk pets through the campground, but there is no fenced pet area provided. Behind the campground is open desert with scattered creosote bushes and not too many cholla cactus – a reasonable option for a longer walk. Caution: daytime surface temperatures become extremely hot during the summer – too hot for sensitive paws.
Overall Rating – 3/5
Overall, the Needles KOA was a good place to stop for a night or two, but we would not care to stay longer.
The campground offers free and pay WiFi options. There is moderate Verizon 4G signal for those connecting via MiFi hot spot. We do not have devices with other carriers to report on.
The Needles KOA is located near the Colorado River for easy access to boating, water skiing, swimming or fishing. Needles is located near many recreational opportunities at Laughlin, Nevada, and Lake Havasu, Arizona. Other area attractions include driving old Route 66 from Needles to Oatman and Kingman, Arizona, as well as exploring nearby Mojave National Preserve.