Interior South Dakota has a population of 67. Surrounded by the desolate Badlands and Indian territories, it’s a sparse and difficult landscape. Accommodations for the area are aged and hard to get. The White River Badlands KOA is an oasis against the harsh landscapes of this South Dakota area. We spent one night here. Earlier in the day we toured the Badlands National Park Visitor Center and participated in the Junior Ranger Program. We were hot, tired, and weary by the time we reached the KOA.
The sites were level and all were within close distance to the amenities. I think the Cheese Wagon looks nice. We cooked outside to keep the RV from getting even hotter. Instant pot to the rescue.
To say it was hot while we were there is an understatement. The dry air and heat felt like it was sucking the energy from my body. They had a pool. I highly recommend spending as much time in that water as possible if it is going to be a hot day. Our air conditioner never stopped running during the one night stay. The bathhouses were sufficient to wash the grit and grim from our parched bodies. It was one of the few times I took a cold shower on purpose but I am sure they have warm water as well.
They offer a pavilion with made to order pancake breakfast with sides. Pedal bike rentals and a free putt putt golf area. We tried to find water access to the White River during our stay but we either missed the cut across or it was overgrown.
The evening was beautiful watching flocks of birds swoop and catch the evening bugs and listening to the cicadas sing their evening song.
While the weather was hot during our stay, I feel the landscape lends itself to extreme conditions year round with the extreme weather they experience in every season. And a never ceasing what the Badlands visitor center video presentation called “infernal wind”. I would stay in the White River KOA again in comparison to the other lodging options available but I can honestly say I have no interest in returning to the area in the heat of summer. The Badlands NP was beautiful, interesting, well preserved and offered lots of pull offs to explore this unique landscape.