Summer Road Trip Part Two: KOA vs. State Park

Rawlins, WY

In my last post I shared about the two family reunions and vintage camper find that led up to our big Summer road trip.  My husband and two boys drove round trip from New Braunfels, TX to the following cities:

  • Greensburg, Kansas
  • Rawlins, Wyoming
  • Garden Valley, Idaho
  • Bloomfield, New Mexico

Our stops in Kansas and Idaho were for the two family reunions. Our stops in Wyoming and New Mexico were adventures all our own! When we were planning our stops I expressed interest in staying at a KOA since I had never been. My husband was quick to say “what’s wrong with a good old state park?” From there our challenge to stay at and compare one of each was born.

I chose the Rawlins KOA because it was exactly halfway between Greensburg, KS and Garden Valley, ID. Upon reading the online reviews I was kind of nervous. It was described as a concrete slab with no shade right off the highway. Also, imagine my panic as we pulled into town to camp overnight and found out the Wyoming State Penitentiary happens to be in the same town. I have to admit though that I absolutely loved our time in Rawlins. The KOA had great amenities including a playground and peddle cart rentals. We even went and toured the old State Pen. Also, Rawlins has some of the most idyllic parks and downtown scenery I’ve ever seen.

We chose the Navajo Lake State Park in New Mexico because it was the halfway point for us again, this time between Garden Valley, ID and home. Unlike the Rawlins KOA, the Navajo Lake State Park had great online reviews. Families boasted staying here year after year with happy kiddos. Our experience ended up being slightly different. The beach we went to swim on was not exactly the cleanest. I unfortunately ended up twisting my ankle early on in our stay and didn’t really get to explore much after that. The bathrooms were clean though and oh how I remember loving that warm shower.

In conclusion, I have to warn not to trust online reviews. This is a statement I also know to be true from my work in online marketing. As for the KOA vs. State Park debate , #KOACamping all the way!


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