Campground Review: KOA Flagstaff, AZ

Get to Know Your Neighbors in FlagstaffDo yourself a favor, and skip this area of AZ any other time of year except winter.

We don’t like KOA parks, but we decided to stop here because it was easy to meet my parents there, and we could use it as a base camp to explore the area south, Sedona. The tightwad in me also wanted to avoid the few overpriced RV parks closer to Sedona. So upon check in, we weren’t expecting much other than the standard swimming pool and hookups that would allow us to run our AC. But what we found out after check in was, this KOA is, simply put, a dump.

The place is run down, trash is everywhere, the sites are crammed together, and management is so cheap they won’t even buy toilet seat covers for the restrooms. Unlike other KOAs we’ve overnighted at, this one had no DVDs for rent, the office doesn’t open till 8am and you can’t even buy a newspaper until then because they’re in the office. And they don’t even have a pool! In Arizona!

As we sat in the cool comfort of our Fox’s air conditioner while the outside world baked in 100 degree heat (ok, it was 95, but is there really a difference?), someone knocked at our door. It was a KOA Flagstaff clerk, who arrived to tell us that we weren’t allowed to run our AC on their 30amp hookups, “because the park is so old it can’t handle it.” If we had been told this ahead of making the reservation, we never would’ve stayed there.

We were told that we could run our AC if we ran our generator. Oh great, sucking up exhaust is loads of fun for people who are sitting outside. But that was moot. Our Honda EU200i Super Quiet Generator is lean and mean and quiet, but the downside is that it won’t run our AC. So we sat. And we baked.

Out of anger and desperation for AC and a pool, we looked into LoLo Mai Springs Resort near Sedona. Their base rate is fine, $33, but for our two guests and their extra vehicle, they wanted us to rent a SECOND site, which would mean a $66 a nite rate! And this isn’t even in Sedona proper!

We stuck it out at the KOA. Saw Sedona and Jerome and had a great time with the parents. But when it came time to leave after 5 days, we couldn’t get out there fast enough. It’s good to be out of Arizona.

In addition to the KOA frustrations, we hadn’t experienced so much racist, xenophobe, Dixie-mentality since….since I don’t know. There are a lot of good people there, but in general, racist and xenophobe T-shirts, hats and Southern flags are proudly displayed in a lot of places in that state. I guess living in Humboldt sheltered us from the rampant anti-immigrant hatred that’s overrunning places like AZ. Scary.

15 thoughts on “Campground Review: KOA Flagstaff, AZ”

  1. The dated review of the KOA in Flagstaff is totally bogus. The site now has 50 amps almost everywhere. We’ve been staying there for almost twenty years, and, yes, it is a dated park, but we’ve never seen fit to call it a “dump”. It’s one of the prettiest and well-run parks we’ve ever stayed at.

    • Well Mike, you’re right, this 2007 review can be considered dated, not just time-wise but it also reflects our general lack of RVing experience that we had at the time.

      After all, we had only been fulltiming for a few months and expected much more from a national franchise RV park. Over four years after making the decision to live the RVing lifestyle, now we know better! We’ve stayed in far dumpier places that make the Flagstaff KOA look like the Taj Majal.

      In fact, as far as KOAs go, from what I recall, this one wasn’t all that bad. It was just the fact that they made us shut off our A/C while my elderly parents sweltered in the heat. I’m glad to hear that the park has redone it’s electricity service.

      However, as you can see from the review before yours, dated 6/25/11, it’s clear that the KOA can still use some improvement.

      Thanks for commenting.

  2. We stayed at Flagstaff KOA as a two for one camping night in May 2011.
    WHAT A MISTAKE! No one monitored the grounds. Two young girls shouted till 11:30 PM , with a man continually yelling “shut up” two tents over. Then the person the girls were with, talked on a cell the rest of the night, played loud music till we got up and slept in car. The next morning they put us in a cabin and we had to sleep all day long to make up for it! We were told we could stay as long as we want and could pay day to day. On the 6th day when we went up to pay they RUDELY TOLD ME: We have the cabin rented, you need to leave!!! The manager’s dog jumped up on me, while I was being told that and almost pushed me down! Then, we packed the cabin and was told they would charge us for another day if we did not hurry as we were 1/2 hour late!!! THEY SAID NOTHING OF THE PLACE BEING RENTED!!! I called the main KOA and they COULD CARE LESS!!! MY son has seizures and was shaking from this woman as she yelled at us and told us they could call the police on us!!! THIS DEFINATELY IS THE PLACE FROM HELL!!! WE stayed in Kingman KOA which was excellent the next day BUT WE WILL NEVER RETURN TO A KOA AGAIN….

  3. You had the same experience that long ago? Amazing. Well, thanks for posting, I’m happy to pass along your opinion of that dump too. When you pull up to that KOA, they have this big “2005 KOA President’s Circle Award” hanging in front of the office. We thought “wow, how bad can it be?” But after staying there, it seems that the corporate office criteria for that President’s award is only about how much money the park makes, nothing more.

    Hey I’ve never heard of the J&H Park, or at least I missed them on the directories. Drats!

    • I can not believe what I am reading! I stayed at the Flagstaff KOA last weekend and I was shocked at the place. It was so clean, the staff was friendly, they had hayrides, and free movies, an all you can eat dinner. The bathrooms were spotless we had a guided escort to our site. They had a great home cooked breakfast in the morning, and on site recycling. I havnt been to a campground in 5 states that offered recycling. It was beautiful. To call it a sump makes me wonder what your standards must be. I did see the Presidents Award for 2008 and I am sure they will get it for 2009. I urge anyone who is thinking of staying to consider it and not listen to these folks. I have been to KOA before and they can be trashy but not this one!

      • Nice people? Recycling!?! It must be under new management then. Readers will note the date of this original post: July, 2007. And who said anything about the place being a sump?

  4. We too stayed in the Falgstaff KOA about 3 years ago. We found them to be unfriendly, unresponsive and down right rude. It’s obvious their goal is to maximize their income, not to make your stay a pleasant one.

    Even though we travel in a Class B, we still like to have a full hookup site. They stuck us in a tent site saying that was all they had. As we walked around the park later that evening and early the next morning, we noticed plenty of full hook up sites.

    We will never stay at this particular KOA again, and will pass along our opinion about this particular KOA every chance we get.

    The bright side to all this is the next year we went through Flagstaff and stayed at the J and H RV park. It is everything the KOA wasn’t. Clean, friendly, helpfull, had a great TV room, an out door fireplace for all the travelers to gather in the evening. They really work to make your stay a pleasurable one.

    • Yes, you are right! They out and out lied to us telling us “you can pay day to day” in the cabin, after A NIGHT NOT SLEEPING BECAUSE OF MY ABOVE RESPONSE.” I should have just told them to shove their camp ground and left… but instead, I moved to the cabin and was used for a week till they were uncouth and rude as could be and told me to get out they have someone reserved for the cabin.
      Even thought Kingman KOA was excellent, I called the corporate and they DID NOTHING FOR ME! PLUS, MY CARBON MONIXIDE ALARM WAS STOLEN!! THEY COULD CARE LESS!!

      THEY did nothing. TO HELL WITH KOA!!

  5. From your post (I guess living in Humboldt sheltered us from the rampant anti-immigrant hatred that’s overrunning places like AZ. Scary.) Dude you ain’t seen nothing yet! Wait till you get to the midwest or the real south!

  6. Really? Wow I was told by a friend that stayed there that there are no hookups. I hear it’s really nice, but we didn’t go because we needed hookups since we had my parents with us.


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