After a long day of driving, the last thing you want to hear is that the only campground in a small town is booked. But of course, that’s exactly what we were told when we called the KOA in Devils Tower, WY at 4;30 pm on a Monday. We were only about 50 miles from the KOA, and they are the only game in town. Not wanting to boondock at a rest area on I-90, we pulled out our Woodall’s Directory and found a small listing for Keyhole State Park, about 35 miles away.
The Eastern Wyoming countryside approaching Keyhole is dry, scrubby and blazing hot. Keyhole State Park is a reservoir (really, really low right now), in the middle of dry high country. We weren’t expecting much, just a spot for the night that would be better than the dumpy “RV Park” we saw in Moorcroft, the nearest town to Devils Tower.
We pulled up, tired and hungry and expecting a low quality experience. But what we are learning most on this trip is, don’t assume before you get somewhere, and open your eyes before drawing any conclusions on a place. We were relieved when we arrived at Keyhole.
For just $12 a night, you get:
- huge, shady, level RV spots
- no hookups, but there’s drinking water (you pump it )
- clean, new restrooms
- walking distance to the lakeshore
- big new picnic tables
- walking / bike paths
- a gorgeous prairie and waterfront view
Keyhole is well worth the 9 mile detour off I-90. If all of Wyoming’s state parks are this nice, we are impressed. In comparison to the California State Park System (sorry Ranger Mike and Cindi), Wyoming’s parks rank high above the $20-something a night, no-hookup spots we had in CA, where you have to make reservations six months ahead of time and solitude is impossible because campers are crammed right next to each other.
If you’re in a tight spot on the way to Devils Tower or the Dakotas, be sure to make Keyhole State Park a stop. You won’t regret it.