Sitting between Rimrock and Sacrifice Cliff along the Yellowstone River in south-central Montana, Billings is the state’s largest city and home to the world’s first KOA campground.
The Yellowstone River, the last fully untamed free-flowing river in the lower 48 states, meanders its way along the southern edge of Billings.
Along its banks, you will find the recognizable yellow teepee insignia of the KOA (Kampgrounds of America) brand campgrounds. Founded in 1962 by Dave Drum and a group of entrepreneurs who understood the need for people traveling across the country to have an inexpensive place to camp along the way, the Billings KOA soon became–and remains to this day–an icon in franchise campgrounds.
With 500 locations across the U.S. and Canada, KOA still dominates the camping industry and boasts the most stringent inspection standards, including a 600-point annual inspection for all of their franchised campgrounds.
The Billings KOA is still located on the original property next to the Yellowstone River. In recent years, it has also won several service awards.
The campground has 135 RV sites, 11 cabins, and 40 tent sites. WiFi and 50-amp service are available, and the facility includes everything from a pool, hot tub, and sauna to mini golf and bike rentals. On summer evenings, enjoy a barbecue or fun ice cream social with locally made ice cream at the on-site snack shack.
Access to ponds and the Yellowstone River ensures anglers with ample fishing prospects. The river is considered to be one of the best trout rivers in the world by Trout Unlimited and is designated as a blue ribbon stream for its high-quality fishing, water quality, and natural capacity.
Billings is a thriving city with something for everyone, from zoos to museums, and restaurants to breweries. Montana State University and Rocky Mountain College have campuses in Billings.
With the natural beauty of a multitude of mountain ranges surrounding the area, there are ample opportunities for hiking, biking, rafting, skiing, and more. If you are looking for ideas for places to explore, the vicinity boasts several historic and natural sites:
- Pompey’s Pillar National Monument – A natural sandstone cliff noted by the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1806, 30 minutes northeast of Billings
- Pictograph Cave State Park – View displays of 2000-year-old artwork, 15 minutes south of Billings
- Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument – The site of the June 1876 “Custer’s Last Stand”, 1 hour east of Billings
- Chief Plenty Coups State Park – The homestead of a figurehead in bridging the cultural gap between the Crow tribe and white settlers
- Yellowstone National Park – Visit the iconic first National Park with its spectacular geothermal formations and geysers, 2 hours 45 minutes west of Billings
- Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area – Explore over 120,000 acres of canyons, rivers, and Bighorn Lake, 1 hour 45 minutes south of Billings
That KOA is definitely no longer “affordable” camping.
steve hammill says
Certainly not the way it used to be… However, if you’re driving a million $$$ Prevost that sucks a 50 amp service dry, then you can’t complain about the rates.
No KOAs are affordable.
That one especially for not being affordable, so we pulled into the Wally World for the night.
Security at Walmart was running around with his blinking light on the roof and directing RV traffic to parking…..lol. Quite a crowd there, by the time it got late and he wanting everybody perpendicular to the store front, so he could see both sides. Don’t know if he was ex law enforcement, being cautious, or if they have a hight crime rate.
Of the over a dozen KOA’s we’ve stopped at in the last two years this one was far and away the worst. Overcrowded, open sewer dump station. Our site was an undefined patch of muddy grass. When our neighbor arrive his site was worse. We called the office to assist him in getting parked. They sent no one. Once they got your money you were on your own. A 1 star out of 5. Online comments received no response.
Tara Mills says
Does anyone have suggestions on the best route to get to Billings, Montana from Orlando, Florida? Want the easiest route, not the most adventurist for this trip. Thanks.
Leon Edwards says
Stayed at this KOA Jul;y 2002. Very well maintained, very tight spaces (as you would expect in an old park).
Went o Little Big Horn battle site. 103 degrees F. that day.