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“Avoid at all costs. Really.”

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St Mary / East Glacier KOA
Brevard, North Carolina
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Avoid at all costs. Really.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2012

The only reson I am taking the time to write this review is to because I feel obligated to try and save someone else the horrific experience we had with this campground. My family had stayed at two KOA's in other locales during our drive across the country to glacier. They were adequate if not better. We had reserved a group campsite at this KOA weeks in advance. We are familiar with the glacier area but had never camped. We know the summers are busy and reservations would be a must. After driving across the country we were greatly anticipating a three night camp at St. Mary KOA. The nightmare started immediately. We had a group of six adults and two small children. We rented the group sight because of its good location next to bathrooms pool etc. Upon arrival, we were told that group sight we rented was occupied. We were moved to individual sights because of our small sized group. Mind you that we had pre-paid for the group sight and were assured that a small group was o.k. When we demanded to stay together, they moved us to large sight were in fact three tents could easily be set up with plenty of room. One problem. There was a family already on the sight. When I asked them to move , the father got very aggressive and confrontational. He had obviously been drinking. We advised the staff and they refused to ask the family to move. We got the impression that there afraid the situation would turn violent. We were told he had been there for a couple of days and they tried to move him before but he refused. Fearing for the safety of my children at this point, we decided not to stay. It was getting too late to set up camp. We asked what other accomodations were available. We offered a cabin for an additional $107.00 per night. Really? I felt like I was on a reality show where somebody was going to jump behind the counter and say gotcha, just kidding. We ended up driving to an Inn Essex MT. That was the closest availability. We were lucky to find that for 6 times the amount of money we were supposed to spend. To sum up: Horrible service. Reservations mean nothing. Views are not at all what they appear to be on website. A sea of RV's not mountain peaks (I briefly noted this while arguing with the camper who poached our second sight.) Oh, I will mention that the kids area and pool looked nice. For me, I would rather camp in a mama Grizzly bears den with two starving cubs than return to this KOA. Don't say you weren't warned. The unfortunate thing is that based on location alone, this KOA will stay booked year in and year out.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
7 Thank Jrodmt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
glacierhiker, Owner at St Mary / East Glacier KOA, responded to this review, September 7, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to rate us on Trip Advisor. As you recall, you did not stay here. I went down and talked to the other camping family that you were upset with and he did not appear intoxicated or violent. There are times when guests don't like their neighbors or have disagreements but in fairness it would have been very upsetting for that family with their two small children to be evicted during dinner on their 3rd night here because you didn't like them. The rest of your group stayed two nights and there was no further interaction with the other camping family. The group site that you had been assigned is not exclusively for one group. It has a 150 person or 30 tent capacity and is normally for large groups so we felt putting you on one end of the site with the other family on the other would not be a problem. I am sorry this was not the case and we were unable to provide you a private secluded site for your stay.
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178 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    56
    66
    34
    15
    7
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89
50
5
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0
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Canyon, Texas
Level Contributor
43 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2012

We stayed in a tent site for two nights, and paid approximately $90. We had two tents and two vehicles and the site itself was small, but worked out. There was no water or electricity at the site in which we stayed.

This KOA had two food vendors inside the campground offering meals in the morning and late at night.

The park had horseshoes and a swimming pool which were clean.

One consideration in staying here vs. the Natl Park is that you can take showers at the KOA at any time (unless they are being cleaned). In the Natl Park they have shower times and you may end up waiting in lines when they open or when they are about to close. Most people are out and about during the day and want to take a shower before going to bed at night. At the KOA you are not a prisoner to 'shower availability times.'

The park was quiet when the sun went down and seemed secure.

I would consider bringing a small amount of firewood as they were sold out and so were the local stores just outside the KOA.

I could have stayed cheaper just inside the park, but think I made the right decision traveling with kids.

Room Tip: I would ask if I could drive to the campsite to ensure it's large enough. If I could do it again...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Japheaux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bothell, WA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2012

We stayed in a cabin with a bathroom. It was tiny, but enough for my family of four. The floor of the cabin desperately needed to meet a mop!! It was FILTHY! The curtains and beds smelled so bad. We didn't use any of their linens that were provided. The full size (?) futon was broken so the one side was more like a slide. The bathroom was fine. I know it's a camping place so I didn't expect anything fancy, but for $175 per night clean is good. The staff had all their dogs off leash and would come by and poop in our site. The neighboring area was full of barking dogs ALL NIGHT LONG! The wifi was non-existent! The location is good, just blocks away from going to the sun road. Many Glacier is just a couple miles north and is a great place for some easier (and some not so easy) hikes. We won't be back to this KOA!

Room Tip: I wouldn't recommend the group tent camping sites, they are in an open field in the middle of ev...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank aceandj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2012

After turning back 5 miles into our hike from seeing a grizzly bear, we headed back to our car and only arrived at 2 am. Upon searching for a place, we decided to rest so as not to crash our car. We found this KOA at 5:30am, parked and fell asleep. When we woke up and were eating, an employee told us it was going to be over $45! They even charged us an extra person fee. When we asked if they could help us out, as 3 college students, the female boss came out and was really unfriendly, charged us full price and offered no sort of help or kind word. Would not recommend, the views are only OK, and you'd be better off in a trailhead camp, or perhaps one on the Indian res for cheaper service. Unless you really came to glacier to use some OK pool you could find anywhere, I would keep looking

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Gregmaggass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2012

We got to the campsite at 6am to get a few hours of sleep after coming in late. The manager was very unprofessional. We were willing to pay, but asked if we could get any sort of discount, she took this very offensively and started to threaten us. The camp sites are also very close together.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Nelencwe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
glacierhiker, Owner at St Mary / East Glacier KOA, responded to this review, September 7, 2012
I was the woman who you describe as a "terrible person". It is hard to understand how you could feel threatened by me since you were armed and I was not. Our campground has the registration area clearly lit and registration forms available to pay for your site. You opted not to pay which resulted in my presence at your campsite at 11am. I don't know of any campground anywhere which will allow you to not pay and then negotiate on how much you believe you should pay. I see all three of you posted similar reviews on August 16.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Owensboro, Kentucky
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2012

We pulled in on Aug. 1st need a tent site for 1 night. Was told to go to F16 when we got to the site there was 4 men putting up a tent on F16. They said they were given F15 but their tent would not fit so they were taking F16. Went back to the office was given K12 (or something) when we found that site it looked like it had just been carved out of the bushed and weeds that week. The fire pit was leaning up against a tree but worst of all there was a pile of dirty dishes left behind by someone (leftover chili pot and pans) This is bear country. Put the tent up any way told the office staff about it and went away for 2 hours . Came back dirty dishes still there. Took down the tent picked up dirty dished took them to the office and set them on the counter and asked for my money back. OH BY THE WAY there is a family owned campground right across the hwy(89) called Johnson Family Campground and it is about $10.00-$12.00 cheaper a night for a tent.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Paul E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
glacierhiker, Owner at St Mary / East Glacier KOA, responded to this review, August 24, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to review us on Trip Advisor. I apologize for the confusion on your tent site. We check out and clean the sites daily but our staff believed the campsite was occupied since there was personal belongings at the site. I want to assure you and other travelers that we are not a corporate owned campground. Our family owns and operates this campground and we all work here every day. It is true that Johnsons is cheaper than we are but we have showers included in your stay and also a pool/hot tub/splash park complex.
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Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2012

We spent two nights at this campground in a back-in RV site. We thought this KOA was overpriced. The sites seemed rather small, location is remote and the pool was cloudy. Bathrooms were clean and staff was friendly.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank elly952
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about St Mary / East Glacier KOA

Property: St Mary / East Glacier KOA
Address: 106 West Shore, Saint Mary, MT 59417
Location: United States > Montana > Saint Mary
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Saint Mary
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This campground resort is perfectly located for quick and easy access to Glacier National Park. Panoramic views from your campsite provide a backdrop of towering glacial carved valleys and peaks. Those in the "know" will tell you the best hiking and sightseeing are on the east side so pick up lunch fixings at the KOA grocery store and gift shop, then board a Glacier tour bus at the campground entrance or hit the trails to the remote backcountry. If you want to give your dog a day off while you explore, your hosts offer pet sitting. Put your feet up and enjoy this relaxing resort atmosphere while you hone your putting skills, play bocce or enjoy the new swimming pool and hot tub complex. Rent a kayak and explore the wilds of Lower St. Mary Lake and River. The AOK Grill serves up breakfasts, pizzas and dinners daily from mid-June to September. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
St Mary / East Glacier Koa Hotel Saint Mary
St Mary / East Glacier KOA Saint Mary, Montana

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