Six Places to Camp with the Kids in Arizona

RV camping with kids creates family memories and instills a love of nature in the next generation. The State of Arizona is a favorite with families who camp, thanks to the wide range of outdoor experiences available. Here’s our list of six outstanding places to camp with the kids in Arizona.

Buckskin Mountain State Park, south of Lake Havasu on the Colorado River, will welcome your family with roomy riverside campsites and fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. Outdoor recreation the kids will enjoy includes several scenic trails, water sports (boat launch is located near the campground), fishing, swimming and photographing desert wildlife. There’s also a convenient market on-site to make your family camping vacation even easier.

Homolovi State Park, on Hwy 40 at Winslow, can kick-start your kids’ interest in Native American history. The park protects the 14th century ruins of Homolovi, once inhabited by the Anasazi and considered sacred by the Hopi people.

Your family can learn more about the history and culture of this special place while camping there, thanks to the museum and visitor center with displays about on-going archaeological research. Another way this park will entertain and amaze the kids is with outstanding stargazing opportunities. Check the Homolovi SP website for special ‘star night parties’ throughout the year.

Before we move on to our next Arizona family camping spot, here’s a tip for parents: most Arizona state parks participate in the Junior Ranger program. Kids complete the activity book while visiting a state park and can then be sworn in to the Junior Ranger program by a Park Ranger.

Lost Dutchman State Park, east of Phoenix in the Sonoran Desert, Lost Dutchman State Parkoffers camping in the shadow of the Superstition Mountains, and a whole lot more, for your family’s entertainment. From hiking trails through the rugged beauty of the high desert to nearby Apache Junction, complete with ghost town, cowboy shows and other Western-themed entertainment, Lost Dutchman can be the epicenter for a memorable camping vacation.

Ranger-led nature walks and demonstrations can inspire your youngsters to explore the desert habitat more deeply, and the stargazing opportunities are excellent here, as well. This park’s roomy campsites welcome your largest rental RV, so bring the whole family and enjoy the unique experience of camping in the Sonoran desert.

Lyman Lake State Park, just across the border from New Mexico on US-191, is a boating family’s dream vacation spot. The state park surrounds a fifteen-hundred-acre mountain lake that allows any size watercraft, so bring the boat, the fishing gear and the RV for a water-themed Arizona RV camping vacation.

Three shorter hiking trails will also encourage the kids to take time away from their screens to discover petroglyphs, mountain wildlife and great views of the lake. Bald and Golden Eagles and Great Blue Herons are known to nest near the lake, so why not teach the kids to identify these mighty birds while on vacation? You’ll find the campground, camp store, boat launches and no-wake swimming and fishing areas combine to create the best possible environment for your RV camping family.

Picacho Peak State Park, about an hour and a half south of Phoenix on I-10, is another high desert getaway your family will enjoy. It’s especially good for families with bored teens in need of a challenge, thanks to the hiking trails that wind their way up to the Peak. For this trip, bring your hiking gear and plenty of water and prepare to be pushed to the limit by the rocky Hunter Trail.

The campground has electric sites only, but water and a dump station are available in a central location. Science-minded youngsters will love the natural desert setting of the campsites, so be sure to have them pack their notebooks for recording plant and animal life. There are also a visitor center and historic markers with details on the only Civil War battle in Arizona, the Battle of Picacho Pass.

Kartchner Caverns State Park, a couple of hours south of Phoenix, through Tucson on I-10, is home to an underground wonderland waiting to be explored by your family. Only revealed to the public in the 1980s, this limestone cave in the foothills of the Whetstone Mountains can be seen on a Ranger-led tour that’s suitable for grade school kids and older.

Both mountain and desert trails provide even more interest for your family, and the park’s scheduled stargazing parties are popular with campers, as well. To ensure a pleasant experience on this vacation, be sure to purchase your tickets for the cave tour in advance and arrive at the park’s Discovery Center an hour before your scheduled tour time. The campground here offers electric/water sites plus shower houses, dishwashing stations and other amenities.

Come to Arizona on your next family RV camping vacation! It’s easy to rent an RV in Phoenix, and the state’s excellent highway system makes these state park locations simple to access. Whether it’s beside a mountain lake or in the peace and beauty of the desert, camping with the kids in Arizona is an experience every active family should enjoy.

Posted in Arizona hiking trips, Arizona motorhome trips, Arizona motorhome vacations, Desert vacations | Leave a comment

RV Camping—Where Will 2015 Take YOU?

Are next year’s RV camping hopes already dancing in your head? The ease and comfort of camping in a motorhome may be lighting up vacation dreams for you and your family. So we’d like to know—where will 2015 take YOU and your family RV camping? saguaro national park, az

Will you go somewhere new this year or continue a camping tradition? Is there somewhere on your ‘bucket list’ that’s calling you to come explore? Please share your plans in the comments section below and, in the meantime, we’ll share some favorite RV camping spots from previous years.

Favorite Lakeside Camping Locations

There’s nothing quite like camping near a sky blue lake to breeze away everyday stresses. Here are some of the top picks among RV travelers for lakeside camping vacations:

Grand Haven State Park (Michigan): Located on a scenic beach between Lake Michigan and the Grand River, this state park’s beachside RV campground gets top marks. Walk the beach at sunset for spectacular views of the lighthouse and Grand Haven Pier.

Island Pond, Vermont: Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, just south of the Canadian border, is home to breathtaking mountain views, charming rural villages and RV camping next to crystal clear ‘ponds’. Island Pond is a favorite for trout fisherman, wildlife photographers and hikers.

Land between the Lakes National Recreation Area-Kentucky/Tennessee: Imagine two huge lakes divided by a one-hundred-seventy-thousand acre peninsula filled with trails, campgrounds and historic sites and you’ve got Land Between the Lakes. Fish, boat and explore both Kentucky Lake and Barkley Lake and then take to the trails and scenic drives for first-rate 2015 RV camping.

Favorite Mountaintop Camping Experiences

Klamath River, California

Klamath River, California

High Sierra CampingCalifornia: Motorhome campers have found the campgrounds near the Oregon border in California’s High Sierras to be among their favorites. As you’re planning your 2015 RV camping itinerary, consider a stay on the banks of the Klamath River at Blue Heron RV Park, where you can kayak, hike, or fish for steelhead released from the nearby hatchery.

Ridgway State Park-Colorado: If you haven’t experienced the magnificent San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado, a trip to this state park near Ouray is in order. A mountain reservoir adds even more recreation possibilities to a stunning setting surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in America.

Favorite National Park RV Camping Spots

RV camping in America’s national parks is one of the best reasons to hit the road next year. Here are three top-ranked national park camping possibilities.

Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida/Mississippi: Taking a motorhome vacation with kids in 2015? The barrier islands near Pensacola hold enough adventure to keep them busy all summer! Historic forts, quiet bayous, perfect, white sand beaches and a wide variety of outdoor recreation makes this a top pick among motorhome campers.

Redwood National and State Parks, California: The North Coast has drawn California RV campers for decades. Visitors will find not only the giant coast redwoods that give these five interconnected parks their name, they’ll also have the chance to experience wild, rocky beaches and meadows filled with wildlife. Likely to become a family favorite!

Gulf Island National Seashore

Gulf Island National Seashore

Hudson Valley National Heritage Area, New York: Hoping to plan an extended RV camping vacation in New York? The unforgettable Hudson River Valley has everything you’re looking for—hiking, biking and paddling trails, excellent fishing, scenic drives, quaint villages and lots of local history. Use this site to find the best motorhome camping in the Hudson Valley National Heritage Area.

Ready to start planning? We’re excited to hear where you’re going camping in 2015, and we’re always ready to help with an RV rental. Get in touch today, and don’t forget to add your ideas in the Comments!


Photo Credits: Klamath River – ((brian)) flickr commons; Gulf Island National Seashore – faungg’s photo flickr commons

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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 Trip to Death Valley

An ideal winter vacation is to head for Death Valley in an RV.  You avoid the crowds and find incredibly hot weather.  You can enjoy the desert landscape with the natural phenomena you’ll only discover in these desolate spots here on our great planet Earth.  Explore and explore some more.  There is nothing quite like Death Valley for a unique experience!

Death Valley is a Winter-time Wonder to Warm Up the Body

Death Valley is a Winter-time Wonder to Warm Up the Body

Don’t forget to carefully pack for your adventure.  You’ll want to ensure you bring the following items:

• Sunscreen

• Sunblock

• Sunglasses

• Wide brimmed hat

• T-shirts, tank tops, shorts

• Light jacket or sweater

• Hiking boots

Get to Death Valley National Park by starting out in Olancha, California and driving to the Death Valley Junction.  It should take around three hours for this section of the trip depending on how many stops you make along the way.  This is a huge park with more than 3 million acres with plentiful wildlife. There are numerous RV campgrounds in the area which will give you a comfortable and convenient home base from which to operate.

Don’t miss Darwin Falls in the Panamint Springs area and stop to see ten kilns which were built in the late 1800s to help in the processing  of silver and lead ore.  These are called the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns.  All while you venture into these desert landscapes you will be making fascinating memories to share with those back home.

There are three other areas of Death Valley National Park, each with their own unique attractions.  The next one to see is the Furnace Creek area.  This area has a number to things to do and places to see, such as the scenic drive called Artist’s Drive, hiking in the Golden Canyon, and a terrific overlook at Dante’s view.  You’ll also want to learn of the history of Borax in the valley at the Borax Museum. Another famous view is available at Zabriskie Point.

When you make time to see the Stovepipe Wells area you will discover some amazing sights. See the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at night with the moon shining down for a very eerie view.  Marvel at the shiny marble walls of beautiful Mosaic Canyon.  Enjoy a stroll along the wood boardwalk when you go to Salt Creek.

Head on over to the Scotty’s Castle area where you can explore a Spanish-style mansion at Scotty’s Castle & Visitor Center.  Also be sure to visit the highest and most colorful dunes in California, the Eureka Dunes.  You may have heard about the mysterious sliding rocks.  This occurs at the Racetrack, and you’ll want to stop here and see if you can be the one who solves this mystery.

Natural Bridge in Death Valley

Natural Bridge in Death Valley

Remember, hiking in this area can be quite rigorous, but winter is probably the best time as the weather is cooperative.  Some trails to take while here are the Natural Bridge Canyon, the Desolation Canyon and Gower Gulch Loop.  One great trail is the Golden Canyon Interpretive Trail, an easy two-mile hike.

The desert is always a fascinating place, and you can enjoy the best of it in Death Valley.  Make your trip the best of all in an RV and stay awhile!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

Picture credits:  Death Valley with suntanning feet by Brainsik and Natural Bridge by Mike Baird are licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.  Thank you!

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