Petting zoo makes KOA special

IS THIS A FARM OR A CAMPGROUND?  —  Twins Craig (left) and Calvin Graham get to know this sheep and calf at the KOA north of Kalispell. These animals were just two of the over ten animals that call the KOA petting zoo home.  I-O Photo by Melissa Huber





By Melissa Huber, I-O Reporter

The end of Labor Day weekend marked the end of one of the last best camping weekends for outdoors lovers. For many, advice on where to camp may be too late, but here is a place to consider for next year, after the snow melts.

Nestled between Kalispell and Whitefish is, what appears to be, an ordinary KOA campground. On closer inspection, however, it is easy to see what makes it a bit more special.

For those who don’t feel like cooking in the morning, a continental breakfast is offered everyday with the choice of eggs, biscuits and gravy, French toast, fresh fruit, bagels, English muffins, toast, cereal along with a variety of juices and hot drinks.

They offer tent camping sites, cabin rentals and sites for campers. They also have wonderful shower facilities that are cleaned daily and a host of things to do.

Your children can cruise around the campground in a fun-bike (a sort of recumbent trike), play mini golf, ride a paddle boat, or go swimming in the heated pool all free of charge. There is even an “adults only” hot tub for the grownups.

Perhaps the best part of this KOA, however, is the petting zoo. The petting zoo is free to the campers, with feed only costing you 50-cents a bag. They have, on site, two donkeys (Sarah and Jack), one baby cow, two ponies, two sheep, a llama, an alpaca, and anywhere from two to six rabbits at any given time. The animals have their own meadow to graze in when not at the petting zoo, and are relatively free to roam wherever, though they primarily stay in the petting zoo area.

It is not uncommon, however, to see a sheep, donkey, llama, or alpaca wandering around the campground. The animals are all very gentle, and are not bothered by loud noises or over affectionate kids.

Besides the wonderful amenities on site, this KOA is also conveniently located near a great deal of local attractions such as Glacier National Park, Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, Flathead National Forest, the Montana Vortex, and Big Sky Waterpark, just to name a few.

This KOA is definitely one to consider when planning your next camping trip.