Camping and Fishing at Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Imagine a place where you can enjoy RV camping, desert mountain views and first-rate fishing year-round. You’ve just caught the vision for Arizona’s Dead Horse Ranch State Park. This pleasant place in the Verde Valley draws RV campers in search of mild winter temperatures and exceptional places to play outdoors.

What You Need to Know Before You Go

Dead Horse Ranch SP is situated about an hour north of Phoenix in Cottonwood, AZ. If you’re renting an RV for the trip, fly into Phoenix for the ultimate in convenience. Once you’ve reached the state park, you’ll find three loops with a total of nearly one hundred developed campsites, all reasonably close to the water.

The park’s modern facilities make camping here easy. From hot water showers to friendly staff and easy access to trails and boat ramps, the campgrounds get high marks with veteran state park campers. Make reservations before you come; it’s a popular place!

It’s also a beautiful place, surrounded by desert mountain plant and animal life in abundance. At thirty-three-hundred feet elevation, you can expect to enjoy much milder temperatures than you’d find further south in the state. It can be as warm as the 60s in winter, coming down into the thirties at night. For a brief spell in summer you might encounter temps above one hundred, but the mercury’s normally lower most of the time.

Fishing at Dead Horse Ranch State Park

If fishing is your favorite part of an RV camping vacation, you’ll love the challenge waiting at Dead Horse Ranch SP. The free-flowing Verde River and the park’s three lagoons offer top fly fishing opportunities, with rainbow trout stocked often.

Fishing for catfish, also part of the stocking schedule, is popular in the lagoons. Nice-sized largemouth bass are pulled frequently from the lagoons, too, so bring along your favorite rigs if you’re a bass angler. The hiking paths around the lagoons add to the ease of access, just one more plus at this well-maintained park.

Here’s a link to more information about fishing at Dead Horse Ranch State Park.

Of course, you’ll want to purchase an Arizona fishing license before you put your lines in the water. One more tip: if you enjoy paddling your kayak to find the best fishing, these waterways where only non-motorized watercraft are allowed are the perfect place to indulge.

Take Time to Explore the Verde Valley

Camping by RV at Dead Horse Ranch SP keeps you centrally located for all Verde Valley adventures, whether that includes fishing, hiking, visiting the galleries and shops in Cottonwood or exploring the area’s many historical attractions.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Take a day off from fishing to visit legendary Sedona, just up the road. A twenty-minute drive will take you to Jerome State Historic Park, where the area’s copper mining history is on display for your discovery. And that’s just the beginning. The natural, cultural and historical treasures of the Verde Valley are well worth slowing down and getting to know.

Finding a state park where RV travelers are welcomed with open arms is always a pleasure. When you find that perfect spot also welcomes avid anglers, it’s a place to add to your annual camping schedule. Bottom line…when traveling through Arizona by RV, don’t miss the chance to enjoy Dead Horse Ranch State Park, where mountains, desert and fine fishing waters come together beautifully.

Photo attribution:  I, Murderbike [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
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Scottsdale, AZ—So Much More than Desert RV Camping

Does cold weather have you camped out in your living room, when you’d much rather be RV camping? Take a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona, where you’ll find so much more than desert RV camping. An entertainment and cultural center that’s part of Metro Phoenix, Scottsdale offers RV camping fans the chance to play year-round.

To help our readers plan, we’ve collected some fun tips for making the most of your Scottsdale RV vacation.

Active Scottsdale Ideas

What better way to enjoy the surrounding beauty while in Scottsdale than to take a hike? Use this excellent list of Scottsdale area trails to plan your trip into the Sonoran Desert, around a city lake or over a rocky mountain trail. You’ll also find plenty of wide open space to bike and rock climbing is also a popular sport, thanks to the proximity of peaks like Camelback Mountain.

Here’s another way to get a great walk in while on your Scottsdale camping trip—take advantage of the city’s more than two dozen public golf courses. Pick the  Scottsdale area golf courses that suit your style and don’t forget to bring your clubs!

Does your family like to see the great outdoors by four-wheel drive? Book a desert tour in the Scottsdale area—here are just two of the tour vendors ready to outfit your adventure:

Hoping to stay active, but prefer to stick to city streets while in Scottsdale? Take a Scottsdale Segway Tour through the town’s most popular attractions. Older teens will love it too!

Scottsdale Art Adventures

Did you know there are more than one hundred art galleries in Scottsdale? RV campers who love art will think they’ve gone to heaven! Stroll the streets of the Scottsdale Art District and check for special arts events before you go.

Scottsdale Great Eats

While you’re camping in Scottsdale, make a date to sample the excellent Southwestern cuisine for which this desert town is famous. Here’s a helpful link to some of the best Scottsdale local cuisine.

Traveling with kids? Make your way to Old Town Scottsdale and the Sugar Bowl, a legendary soda fountain everyone will enjoy.

And while we’re talking about good eats, if you’re in town on a Saturday, be sure to visit the Old Town Farmers’ Market for organic veggies and other tasty goodies.

Scottsdale Shopping Adventures

Superstition Mountains near Scottsdale, AZ

Superstition Mountains near Scottsdale, AZ

“Scottsdale” is synonymous with upscale shopping, so why not indulge while in town? If kate spade, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Barneys New York are music to your ears, make a trip to Scottsdale Fashion Square. 

If you’re hoping to score some cowgirl fashion out West, the outstanding shops in Downtown Scottsdale have it all, at shops like Scottsdale Pendleton and Saba’s. Drive down the palm-lined drive to The Shops at Gainey Village for one-of-a-kind finds at intimate boutiques and the chance to eat at some pretty amazing eateries.

These are just three of the many places you’ll find to shop in Scottsdale, but you’ll have plenty of room to take home your treasures when you travel by RV.

Hike, climb, bike, eat and shop your way around Scottsdale, and then go home to the luxury of RV camping every evening. With so many ways to play and near-perfect winter weather, it’s easy to see why so many motorhome travelers make their way to Scottsdale. Isn’t it time you joined them?

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Five Day Trips to Take While RV Camping in Tucson

Are you looking for new ways to enjoy the great outdoors while RV camping in Arizona?  Why not try Tucson, home to year-round campgrounds and some of the prettiest desert scenery around?

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park

To spark your imagination, we’ve collected helpful tips on five day trips you’ll want to take while in Tucson.  Let’s start our tour by saying that the weather in Tucson is fabulous for a winter holiday vacation.  With highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s, it’s perfect for hiking, biking and sightseeing to your heart’s content.

And that’s a good thing, because our first day trip suggestion is to Saguaro National Park, a hiking and biking paradise divided by the city of Tucson.  Photograph the giant saguaro cacti in the Tucson Mountain District to the west or take one of the Rincon Mountain District’s scenic drives or trails to the east of the city.  Either way (or both!) it’s going to be a memorable experience.

There’s no camping in the National Park, which closes to motor vehicle traffic at sunset, but there’s plenty of camping nearby.  Campgrounds such as Desert Trails RV Park, Prince of Tucson RV Park and Whispering Palms RV Park help keep RV camping in Tucson pleasant and affordable.

The second day trip suggestion we’d like to make for Tucson visitors is a picnic/hiking day at Agua Caliente Park.  Once a warms springs resort and ranch, this lovely spot offers palm tree-lined trails around the springs, as well as historical ranch structures to explore.

Your third day in Tucson wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Sabino Canyon in the vast Coronado National Forest.  Less than thirty minutes from downtown Tucson, this hauntingly beautiful setting can be seen by tram or on one of the many trails.

Day four on your RV camping trip to Tucson can be spent indoors, if you’d like, at one or more of Tucson’s excellent museums.  The Pima Air & Space Museum is the largest privately funded aerospace museum in America, so plan lots of time to take in acres of aircraft and educational exhibits.  Another great choice for a day indoors is the International Wildlife Museum, where hundreds of species have been preserved for study and enjoyment (great day trip for the kids!)

Pima Air and Space Museum

Pima Air and Space Museum

On Day Five, let’s take a quick road trip about an hour south of Tucson to Kartchner Caverns State Park.  Pack a picnic lunch in that convenient RV kitchen and then head underground for one of the tours through these caves’ most spectacular rooms.  It’s southern Arizona from a whole new perspective!

These are just five of the ways travelers to Tucson can amuse themselves on a camping trip.  Take the bikes, hiking gear and cameras and take full advantage of the natural beauty in and around this exciting Arizona city.

We’re happy to help with an Arizona RV rental, so be sure to give us a call as you make your plan.  The comfort of an RV, combined with hundreds of ways to have outdoor fun in the Tucson area, make RV camping in Tucson the way to go this winter.

What are you favorite day trips when camping near Tucson?  Let your fellow readers know by commenting on this post.

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE! or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo credits: Saguaro National Park by Jimmy Thomas ; Pima Air and Space Museum by Clemens Vasters; all are licensed under Flickr Commons

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An RV Excursion to the Red Rocks of Sedona

The scenery around the Red Rocks of Sedona is an attraction that captures the imagination – a place of beauty and natural wonders, a place to take a deep breath and enjoy the earthy ambiance.  In addition to the scenic sights, the RV camper has a number of opportunities to experience some fantastic outdoor recreation.

Man from Alaska Enjoying the Red Rocks of Sedona

Man from Alaska Enjoying the Red Rocks of Sedona

You will marvel at the sandstone formations with the red and orange coloring as well as the unique setting in the Coconino National Forest. Truly Sedona is the ideal spot to settle down for a wonderful RV vacation!   As you’ll get to experience for yourself, it is the red rocks that make this area so incredible.  The pine forests and canyons with their nearby mountains make this region one of superb loveliness.  Discover landscapes you will find no place else than around Sedona, Arizona.

Be sure to visit some galleries and enjoy the artworks, eat at one or several of the delicious eateries, and check out the events timetable to see what is happening in and around town when you visit.  Stay at the Rancho Sedona RV Park while you visit, as this park makes a great home base.

Bring your trail hiking shoes!  You may want to hike in the Verde Valley and see the rugged cliffs and colorful gorge of Oak Creek Canyon.  Venture out to visit the wildlife parks in this region and try your hand at rock climbing, one of the most popular pastimes.  You may be surprised at how Sedona and your RV traveling brings out the “adventurer” in you!

Another fun adventure is stopping at Slide Rock State Park where you will find a number of trails for hiking.  It may be a bit too cold for water fun, but perhaps if it is a very warm day, you might brave it.  You must take some scenic drives around Flagstaff while in this area! One of the favorites is Page Springs Loop right outside of Flagstaff.  You will have the opportunity to visit some wineries here.

Cathedral Rock Reflections in Sedona, Arizona

Cathedral Rock Reflections in Sedona, Arizona

If you are with your loved one, romance is abundant at Red Rock State Park. Take the famous Moonlight Hike where you can experience moonrise, the moment when the moon rises above the horizon.  You can take guided walks during the day as well.

A popular landmark in Sedona is the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a place for some regenerating inspiration.  This chapel appears to be a part of the red rock landscape.  And if you travel south for a while on Highway 89A, you will reach Jerome, a real ghost town and known as one wicked place back in the day.  This is a fascinating place to visit and should be added to your itinerary if you have the time.

You can spend some time in Flagstaff, too, because there is a long list of sights to see in this town.  Definitely stop at Wupatki National Monument to see this ancient pueblo where nearly one hundred members of local Indian tribes lived.

Yes, winter is an excellent time to come to Arizona, and the Red Rocks of Sedona are waiting for you to arrive and enjoy this unforgettable beautiful setting!  It’s a great vacation destination, particularly in an RV motor home.  Come soon and get away from the cold north for a spell; you’ll be so glad that you did.

Comfy and Cozy Motorhome from El Monte RV

A Comfy and Cozy Motor home Rental from  El Monte RV

El Monte RV

El Monte RV

For information on renting an RV in Arizona – CLICK HERE or to rent a motor home outside of the state of Arizona  – CLICK HERE.

Picture credits: photo of man in Sedona by Alaskan Dude and photo of Sedona Cathedral reflections by Anita Ritenour are both  licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.

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Travel to Lake Havasu for a Unique RV Vacation

Picture of Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu also Showing Lake Havasu City

Arizona is a vacation paradise and Lake Havasu is no exception. With beaches, boating, fishing, hiking, and so many more outdoor recreational opportunities, Lake Havasu is a perfect destination for a wonderful RV vacation. Getting away from it all takes on new meaning in this memorable spot. There is something for each member of the family to fill the days with simple pleasures.

Lake Havasu City alone is a playground to stimulate your imagination. The sun shines almost every day of the year, and you’ll find nightlife relaxes you after a day of adventures in the sun. Sitting right on the edge of the Colorado River, Lake Havasu City offers one of the loveliest locations for a spring and summer vacation.

Make your home base the Havasu Falls RV Resort with lovely facilities and plenty of amenities. There are full hookups and free Wi-Fi so you can stay connected to friends and family at home. Sit overlooking the lake for a very comfortable place to make your home away from home. Chow down with the family at the barbecues. You are certain to make new friends here as it is a real community with like-minded people.

Picture of London Bridge

London Bridge

One of the most popular sights in Lake Havasu City is the London Bridge. You often hear jokes about someone buying the London Bridge (the one in England). Lake Havasu’s founder really did buy London Bridge – the real one! It was shipped here piece by piece and rededicated after it was constructed in Lake Havasu City in 1971. You can visit the bridge, take a walking tour of it and marvel at this historic site.

Of course, visiting the beach has to take a top place on your itinerary. Rotary Beach has it all, from picnic and swim areas to walking paths and volleyball courts. Very close to the London Bridge, you can just walk over and enjoy the fresh air and clean water. It is the perfect way to cool off.

Of course, you can get out for some more wonderful fun in Lake Havasu State Park with more beaches and some nature trails to hike. Marvelous views just add to the visit. Launch a boat here into the lake to soak up the sun and relax. You can also enjoy a walk though Arroyo-Camino Interpretive Garden to see cottontail rabbits, birds and lizards as well as desert flora.

For a great hiking experience, try the Mohave Sunset Trail along the shoreline of the lake and through the desert. Start out at the London Bridge and move along the picturesque 4 miles of great sights. It is an easy hike, taking about two hours.

El Monte RV Arizona RV Rental Locations

Picture credits: The picture of Lake Havasu is from the by Doc Searls and is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. the picture of London Bridge is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is in the public domain.

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An Exciting RV Trip to Flagstaff Arizona

Picture of the San Francisco Peaks from Flagstaff Arizona

San Francisco Peaks from Flagstaff Arizona

Travel to Flagstaff, Arizona in an RV means being surrounded by incredible scenery, natural wonders and a multitude of recreational opportunities. The mountain air strengthens your resolve to go on vacations more often. The historic sights inspire one to learn more about our wonderful country. Flagstaff is the perfect destination, with its charm and sense of adventure. You’ll find RV camping plentiful, with Woody Mountain Campground and RV Park a great place to make your home base during your explorations. They have many large pull-through sites with full hookups, to make your stay just wonderful.

A long list of attractions right in town will have you spending the first few days just exploring Flagstaff. The Arboretum at Flagstaff is a place to enjoy some of nature’s beautiful plants in the gardens and natural habitats. Rare plants and a nature trail add to the fun. Another spot you will want to see is the Arizona Historical Society-Pioneer Museum. Let the kids see a locomotive and caboose, enjoy artifacts from early days such as pioneer mementos and even an iron lung. The railroad exhibit is really awesome as well.

You will need to get to a visitor center to pick up a full list of everything you can do and see around Flagstaff. Some other immediate recommendations are the Lowell Observatory and the Museum of Northern Arizona. Lowell Observatory is where you can gaze into space with a telescope, see multimedia shows and immerse yourself in live presentations.

When you are done exploring Flagstaff itself, you can plan your itinerary to the surrounding sights. The diverse landscapes give you the chance to discover our amazing country, everything from the beautiful canyons and glorious red rocks of the southwest, to the forest lands and mountain peaks. Start out by getting out into nature at Coconino National Forest. Fish the streams, hike the trails and take scenic drives. The San Francisco Peaks are distinct landmarks in the region, with the center of the peaks a dormant volcano caldera. This is a place you must definitely include when you visit.

Of all attractions in the area around Flagstaff, the Red Rocks of Sedona are one of the best. Spectacular scenery is just the beginning. Outdoor activities abound! Then there is Grand Canyon National Park. Words are just never sufficient to describe this natural wonder. It can almost overwhelm you when, walking over a small rise, you catch your first glimpse. “Breathtaking” can almost portray the reaction.

If you are fascinated by volcanos, as many of us are, you can stop by Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument where you can actually hike the trail made by the lava flow from this volcano. The landscapes are almost surreal, but you can imagine what it must have been like when the eruption occurred approximately 900 years ago. Also be sure to visit Wupatki National Monument to get a tour and a lecture to learn so much about this Colorado Plateau area.

Last but not least is the Meteor Crater where you can see the hole made from an asteroid as it hit the desolate region about 50,000 years ago. Perhaps this will be the ideal ending of a perfect RV vacation to the southwest and beautiful Flagstaff, Arizona.

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Picture credits: The picture of the San Francisco Peaks is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is in the public domain.

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Explore Yuma Arizona on a Southwestern RV Vacation

Picture of the Desert Near Yuma Arizona

Desert Near Yuma, Arizona

Adventuring through the Southwest is perfect this time of year. Driving an RV is the best way to experience the beauty and wonders of our fabulous country. Recommended is a visit to Yuma, Arizona with the Colorado River running to the north and west side of town. This spot probably has more sunshine that anywhere else on Earth and is ideal for being in close proximity to a lot of outdoor fun.

Naturally, you’ll want to know where to park your RV. It is reported that Yuma has over 23,000 sites to park an RV. That may be no exaggeration. But picking the right place could be difficult with so many choices. One favorite, however, is the Yuma Lakes Resort where you can camp right on the Colorado River. They have lovely shade trees and you can fish on the stocked lake.

Don’t miss touring the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park while you are here. This prison was built in 1876 and operated for thirty-three years. You will be able to walk through the cells to really get a feel of what it must have been like here for the criminals who ended up behind these bars. This is a piece of history you will be glad to see.

For more history, be sure to go to the Castle Dome Mines Museum and Ghost Town just a little way north of Yuma. What is the fascination with ghost towns? The imagination allows you to walk in the steps of those from the past. Here you will get to tour a bank, a hotel, barber shop and so much more. Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park is another must-see. View the exhibits to enjoy military history, conservation, and culture from days gone by. The visitor center should be your first stop so you can find out more information to make your visit the best.

Of course, this area is filled with hundreds of thousands of acres of wildlife refuges. The diversity of landscapes is amazing. First you can drive to the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area nearby in California. Hopefully you have brought along your OHV so you can really get out there in the sand dunes and run wild. The scenery alone is worth the trip.

Martinez Lake is the place to go for fishing. This lake lies on the Colorado River and is a great spot to just unwind and shed all cares. RV camping is available here too. Bird watchers love to come to see the many species that make their homes here. When you throw a line in the lake, you can catch tilapia, catfish or bass (or all three!). Rent a boat and get out there and soak up the sunshine. If you are there on a weekend, it gets lively with dancing and live music.

Last stop is Kofa National Wildlife Refuge with thousands upon thousands of acres of desert to explore. This is the home of the desert bighorn sheep and you’ll want to at least try and get a glimpse of one before heading home. Yuma, Arizona will welcome you back again anytime.

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Find Adventure in an RV Vacation to Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Picture of Lake Mead from the Hoover DamA vacation in an RV offers such great opportunities for families to enjoy the sights and activities at any destination. Nevada and its mountains, vast plateaus and dry desert basins are one getaway destination that many head to so they can enjoy some outdoor fun and a little adventure.

The Lake Mead National Recreation Area has been the favorite of travelers for many years. With recreational opportunities abundant, outdoor lovers always find time to make their way to this region. No matter your preference, whether it is fishing, boating, hiking or sightseeing, Lake Mead National Recreation Area has it all. It is open all year through, every day, all day.

Scenic driving around Lake Mead couldn’t be better. There are several roads that take you places most tourists never discover. Lakeshore Scenic Drive is an 11-mile drive with incredible views, inviting you to break out your camera equipment and start shooting. Stop at the scenic viewpoints to absorb the best this recreation area has to offer. Another popular drive is Northshore Road which gives you the chance to enjoy the bright colors of the rock formations. Before embarking, however, always check road conditions.

There is no shortage of RV campgrounds around Lake Mead. Each provides plenty of amenities for RV campers. Boulder Beach Campground is a great place to camp and you are right close to a boat launch so you can get your boat into the water. You are able to step right outside your door and begin your explorations for the day.

Fishing at Lake Mead provides a catch that you may not be able to find elsewhere. Of course, trout is popular, but you may also hook a green sunfish, largemouth bass or blue gill. Some of these you will find more prevalent in the upper arm of the lake. Don’t forget to get your fishing license for the state you are in, Nevada or Arizona.

Lake Mead Marina is the perfect place to launch your boat, or rent one if you didn’t bring your own. Maybe you would like to rent a fishing boat to get out on the lake and try your luck. You can also find cruises that will take you to Hoover Dam. This is a fun trip and scenic too!

While here, be sure you do make your way to Hoover Dam, preferably driving there. The dam is open all year. Tours are available and you wouldn’t want to pass up the opportunity to see the workings of this engineering marvel. This is what created Lake Mead and made all this fun possible!

Take your time to enjoy all the sights and sounds of Lake Mead Recreation Area. There is no place quite like it anywhere else. Go hiking, watch the wildlife and breathe air that is fresh and clear and healthy. This is bound to be one of the best vacations ever, and a convenient one, too, when you take an RV.

Picture credits: The picture of Lake Mead is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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An RV Vacation to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Picture of Organ Pipe CactusAn RV vacation to the Sonoran Desert is a treat for all members of the family. The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is a most wonderful place in southern Arizona where you can see all that the desert landscapes can offer. You can go hiking, drive scenic drives and witness fragile ecosystems you can see no place else. The convenience of traveling in an RV makes it all the more wonderful.

Within the boundaries of the national monument you’ll find Twin Peaks Campground with 174 spaces available for RVs. There are no hookups, but there is a dump station and a quiet and beautiful environment. You will also find other RV campgrounds in Ajo, a small community about 34 miles north. They always offer the best of amenities for RV travelers.

Start out with taking some scenic drives. One popular route is the Puerto Blanco Drive, although if your RV is longer than 25 feet, you will want to bike this road. Or you could take a three-hour ranger guided van tour. Another scenic drive and the most popular is the Ajo Mountain Drive. This again is a route that you will want to take a bike (or a motorcycle) if your RV motorhome is more than 25 feet long because of the twisting and narrow road.

Visit an oasis by heading to Quitobaquito, a spring that lies almost right on the U.S./Mexican border. The water comes up through cracks in the earth, pushed to the surface by a fault underneath. You will see the remnants of human habitation in the past here, as people gravitated to the spring’s waters. The best way to see Quitobaquito Springs is to take a ranger guided tour.

You should stop by the Kris Eggle Visitor Center to get all the information you need to plan your itinerary throughout the monument’s area. You will find postings for interpretive programs so you won’t miss a minute of everything offered here at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Guided hikes, bird watching spots, wildlife habitats – get all your explorations mapped out.

You will love hiking around this desert landscape. You can get off the beaten track and experience the desert up close and personal. The Visitor Center Nature Trail is a very easy track that you’ll enjoy, and there are many more both easy and more strenuous. Estes Canyon Trail is located in the Ajo Mountain area and is a favorite.

While you are in this beautiful southern Arizona area, travel only two hours and reach either Phoenix or Tucson. This will give you an opportunity to see more fascinating sights and get to enjoy some city life at the same time. Both cities have a lot of southwest history and laid-back fun that bring a joy to your RV vacation. You will never want to leave the state once you have visited for a while and enjoy the wonderful weather and the gorgeous lands of the colorful desert.

Picture credits: The picture of the Organ Pipe Cactus is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Subject to disclaimers.

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Travel Historic Route 66 on a Winter RV Vacation

Picture of a Route 66 SignDrive a historic trip along Route 66 on an RV vacation to experience all the wonders of the American Southwest. This is a perfect adventure for winter months, as the weather and road conditions will cooperate. Historic Route 66 does not appear on current road maps, but is signposted off I-40. You will begin in Glenrio, NM which sits on the New Mexico/Texas border. You will travel across New Mexico all the way to Topock, Arizona, near the California State line.

From Glenrio to Santa Rosa, follow the best routes so you don’t run into trouble on the rough roads with your RV. When you reach Tucumcari, be sure to take your family photo by the Route 66 sign. Montoya is also a must-see, a ghost town where you can even visit a boot hill cemetery.

Santa Rosa, New Mexico is known as the “City of Natural Lakes.” This oasis is a great place to stop for a while and sight see. If you are a scuba diving enthusiast, you will want to try out the Blue Hole. Leaving Santa Rosa and driving to Tijeras, there are many sights to see. Stop at Longhorn Ranch to view the ruins here, and get a real flavor of the Old West.

You will likely want to follow the post 1937 alignment of Route 66 as you move from Tijeras to Grants, New Mexico. But the choice is really yours. Study your maps carefully. In Albuquerque you must see Old Town as well as the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. At the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center you will absorb the fascinating history of our Native Americans, and at the National Museum of Nuclear Science History you’ll learn all about the Atomic Age.

In Grants, you can enjoy some great meals out (if you are tired of cooking in your RV). Then take a side trip to Bandero Volcano and the Ice Caves. From Grants to Manuelito, you will move through more haunting landscapes. When you reach Gallup, you will find a long list of attractions, and if you are visiting in December, you simply must go to the Red Rock Balloon Rally.

The next phase of your trip is in Arizona. Traveling from Lupton to Winslow is filled with anticipation as you approach some of the most famous sights in Arizona. At Houck, you will want to bring back some memories by seeing the old fort built just for the television show, the F-Troop. See the ruins of the Old Querino Canyon Trading Post.

Of course, for amazing stretches of desert and colorful views, drive into the Painted Desert a ways. The lavender, gray, red, pink and orange hues simply take your breath away. And the Petrified Forest has a 28-mile drive that will take you to some of the most popular parts of this National Park area.

Next, Winslow to Flagstaff is a drive to remember. Winslow is filled with Southwestern history. Visit the Old Trails Museum. Stop on the corner of 2nd Street and Kinsley and sing that old Eagles’ song – “Take it Easy“. This was the corner referred to in the song.

To view one of the largest “accident” sites in the world, stop at the Meteor Crater. A huge meteor crashed into Earth about 50,000 years ago, making a gigantic crater of one mile across and more than 550 feet deep. Check out the former observatory and stop in the Visitor Center on the rim.

You will continue on your trip, from Flagstaff to Seligman, only wishing this vacation will never end. The desert expanses give you the feeling sometimes that you are on the moon. At Flagstaff, take a side trip to the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument where you can view old extinct volcanoes and the black remnants of lava flows. Contrasting colors and the jagged fields of old lava invite you to experiment with your camera to capture the unique scenes.

When you come to Williams, Arizona, you are really close to the Grand Canyon, so you can make a 60-mile side trip here if you would like! Everyone loves the Grand Canyon’s beauty and the scenery between Williams and this amazing wonder of the world.

The last leg of your journey is from Seligman to Topock, AZ, with more beauty and spaces stretching before you. It is a shame to be done with your Route 66 adventure, but this highway continues on all the way to Los Angeles. If you feel up to it, you can drive this historic route onward – a winter trip with nothing to compare.

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