Today I’m welcoming Amy Whitley, a freelance travel writer and founder of family travel site Pit Stops for Kids. Amy took part in the KOA and Trekaroo sponsored travel campaign, and is going to share all about her recent adventure to discover What’s Behind the Yellow Sign at the Jackson Hole Base Camp KOA.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming is possibly the best mountain vacation town in the West. It has it all, from river rafting to national park access to swimming, hiking, mountain biking, and cowboy culture. The only problem: everyone knows this little ‘secret’, which means lodging in the Jackson area gets very competitive in the summer months. Our favorite travel hack for exploring our favorite Western town: staying at the Snake River/Jackson Hole KOA.
Understand, we’re camping snobs. We take our outdoors very seriously, and usually only camp in the backcountry, where people are few and natural beauty is plentiful. At the Snake River KOA, there are other people present, to be sure, but the beauty of this campground and ideal location more than make up for it. Situated directly on the Snake River, this large KOA is what the brand calls a Holiday Property: has its own Snake River float trip operation, and both deluxe and standard camping cabins in addition to RV and tent camping sites. We love that it’s only 15 minutes from downtown Jackson Hole, but is also its own destination.
When we arrived for our visit, we checked into a deluxe cabin overlooking the river. With two rooms and a full kitchen and bathroom with shower, we weren’t exactly ‘camping’, but the fire pit and picnic table outside, along with the camping ambiance of the campground, made us feel like we were getting the best of two worlds: luxury and the outdoors.
Right away, we explored the river access, and figured out very quickly that the absolute prime tent camping sites are here, right on the banks of the Snake. Next time we come with our tent camping gear, this is where we’ll be. There’s a beach for all KOA visitors, and kids can rent inner tubes to float down the stretch of river directly out front. Up on higher ground, the campground has a fun program where kids can find specially placed painted rocks and turn them in for ice cream cones at the KOA store. The entire place has a friendly, casual atmosphere that’s hard to find in 2015.
We use the Snake River KOA as a home base for exploring Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park. From the campground, we were only 35 minutes from the entrance to the park at Moose, where we drove into the lakes region of Phelps, Jenny, and String lakes. Ideal for swimming and hiking, this area’s campgrounds get crowded, so we loved the ability to visit during the heat of the day, then retreat to the Snake River. With a full day to explore Grand Teton National Park, we continued on to Jackson Lake, were we rented canoes at Colter Bay.
The town of Jackson Hole is even closer, an easy 20 minute drive. Here, we tried out the alpine slide at Snow King Resort, and played in the Amaz’n Jackson Hole Maze, where kids are issued water guns before entering the complex outdoor maze system. When we visit, we usually shop in the Western apparel and outdoor gear stores along the green, then eat pizza at Pizzeria Caldera before taking in the Jackson Hole rodeo (every Wednesday and Saturday night in summer).
Back in our deluxe cabin, I was able to catch up on work thanks to the WiFi, and the kids could wind down with a movie on the in-cabin TV.
Is it camping? Definitely not. Is it a resort stay? Not quite. The Snake River KOA is something in-between, a perfect blend of convenience and outdoor living that fits perfectly with the lively Jackson Hole vibe.
Want to have your own KOA adventure? Read more KOA stories, then enter to win a stay at a KOA through Trekaroo!
This post has been sponsored by KOA in partnership with Trekaroo. All opinions and views are unbiased and true to the author’s experience.