RV Adventure to Cumberland Island National Seashore

Georgia’s Atlantic Coast can be your RV camping playground year-round.  One of the best places to experience the wild beauty and unspoiled nature of the area is with a visit to Cumberland Island National Seashore.

Cumberland Island Shoreline

Head out on this inviting boardwalk to the Cumberland Island shoreline!

As Georgia’s largest barrier island, this paradise is just two hours north of the El Monte RV Rental location in Orlando, Florida.  With fifty miles of hiking trails, an amazing collection of wildlife and a wide range of historical sites to discover, isn’t it time you took a trip to Georgia’s island treasure?

We’ve put together a guide for RV travelers planning to visit Cumberland Island, with answers to your most frequent questions.

Where Can We Camp Near Cumberland Island National Seashore?

The National Seashore itself is undeveloped, with no paved roads and access only by the Cumberland ferry system.  Plan to camp nearby and take advantage of the ferry for an authentic wilderness experience.

Here are some suggestions for RV parks near Cumberland Island:

Crooked River State Park, located in St. Mary’s, GA, is just seven miles from the Cumberland Island Ferry landing.  It features campsites with electricity in a beautiful setting worth discovering after your day on the National Seashore.

Fort Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach, FL, is right across the Cumberland Sound from St. Mary’s GA.  Enjoy their full-service campsites in a scenic setting, with quick access to the Cumberland Ferry.

A Big Wheel RV Park adjacent to Crooked River State Park is a privately run campground that receives rave reviews.  It accommodates any size RV!

Incredible Path on Cumberland Island

Incredible Path on Cumberland Island

How Should We Prepare for our RV Camping Trip?

Glad to hear you’re the kind of RV camping enthusiast who plans ahead!  It’s especially important, when visiting a natural, undeveloped setting, to know what to expect.  Here are some things to consider when making your plans:

    • You can only reach the Island by ferry (passengers only, no vehicles) so be sure to make reservations in advance.
    • Only 300 people are allowed on the island each day.
    • Ferry passengers not on dock at least 30 minutes ahead of departure lose their reservations, so arrive early!
    • Pets are not allowed on the ferry.
    • If you’d like to rent a bike to travel around the island, be sure to tell the ferry concessionaire when you call.
    • There are no services on the Island other than water to refill bottles.  Bring your own food, water and normal hiking necessities like hats, sunscreen and insect repellant.
    • Take along a trash bag, as this wilderness island has a ‘pack in, pack out’ policy for all visitors.
    • If you plan to fish while visiting Cumberland Island, purchase a Georgia fishing license and make sure you have the required Saltwater Informational Program Permit attached.

What Kind of Weather Can We Expect? 

Like any well-prepared RV adventurer, you’ll want to know what kind of weather to expect when you go.  The weather in November at Cumberland Island National Seashore is magnificent, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s.  Even in December, expect to enjoy 60 degree weather, with nighttime temps in the high 40s.

Wild Horse on Cumberland Island Coast

Wild Horse on Cumberland Island Coast

What Will We See on Cumberland Island?

History!  The Island was once mostly owned by the Carnegie family, and the ruins of their mansion, Dungeness, are just one part of its historic appeal.  Reserve a seat before you come on one of the Lands and Legacies Van Tours if you’d like to learn about the Native Americans who once inhabited the island, the large slave population who built the First African Baptist Church and, of course, the Carnegies and their opulent island lifestyle.  If you’re up to a lengthy hike or ride through variable terrain, you can also travel to these sites on foot or by bicycle.

Nature! Not only has the Atlantic formed a sixteen-mile stretch of perfect beach for you to explore, you’ll also find lush maritime forests, salt marshes and picturesque dunes here.  Stay on the marked trails to help preserve the wilderness for future generations and be sure to bring your camera!

Wildlife!  From feral horses to armadillos and alligators, this island has plenty to appeal for wildlife lovers.  No domesticated creatures call this island home, so keep that in mind while hiking or biking the area.  Keep a sharp eye out for the island’s famous wild horses, the sea turtles that nest here in early autumn and a surprising variety of shore birds.  Have we convinced you it’s time to visit Georgia’s barrier island paradise?  Here’s a link to more information, courtesy of the National Park Service.  We don’t often find unspoiled beauty that’s open for everyone to explore.  Let us know if we can help with an RV rental.  Please don’t miss the chance to discover Cumberland Island National Seashore and all it has to offer!

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: Cumberland Island Path by db rolenrock, Cumberland Island Boardwalk by Jon Dawson, and Wild Horse Along Shoreline by Doug Anderson; 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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RV Vacation Idea – Exploring California Ghost Towns

We’ve had so much fun delivering the goods on great ghost towns in other states, we almost forgot to include California! For an RV camping vacation that’s hauntingly spectacular, use these tips for exploring California ghost towns on your next trip.

San Bernardino Area Ghost Towns
Very near our El Monte RV Rentals San Bernardino RV Rentals location, you can explore ghost and historic mining towns to your heart’s content. Twin cities along the Santa Ana River were once the largest between Los Angeles and New Mexico. A devastating flood in 1862, however, destroyed most of Agua Mansa and La Placita. Today, ghost town fans can visit the historic Agua Mansa Cemetery, with graves dating back to the 1840s, to learn more about San Bernardino County’s earliest non-native settlers.

Ten miles from Barstow, discover Calico Town, the historic silver mining town that’s a treasure for the entire family. With one third of this once-bustling mining town’s structures still standing, your RV camping trip to Calico Town will provide an unforgettable glimpse into the California silver rush. Pan for gold, shop at the Mercantile and take the kids for a ride on the narrow gauge railway. A large RV campground onsite offers the amenities you’ll appreciate after a day exploring Calico Town.

One more area for hardcore ghost town fans to explore is the Wildwash mining area east of Victorville. Numerous working mines, abandoned mines and rock houses can be found. Pay attention to private property signs and plan to hike this area to find clues of mining towns now vanished. While visiting both the Wildwash area ghost towns and Calico Town, why not park your RV at the Mojave Narrows Regional Park campground? These lakeside campsites are sure to soothe your spirits after a long day of hiking.

Sacramento Area Ghost Towns
Swing by our El Monte RV Sacramento Rentals location for the perfect motorhome rental, and then head south to the historic town of Locke. Locke is a delightful place to spend several days exploring. Built in 1915 by Chinese merchants, it has remained a marvelously quirky village with narrow streets, abandoned buildings mixed in with thriving businesses and its own unique atmosphere. Explore the only completely Chinese California ghost town, and stay in waterfront luxury at Snug Harbor RV Park in Walnut Grove.

While in Sacramento County, be sure to visit Folsom. Although still a living city, Folsom has incorporated its mining town past into an intriguing historic district. Located on the beautiful American River, just twenty miles from Sutters Mills, you’ll find plenty of gold mining history to keep you busy in Folsom.

San Diego Area Ghost Towns
There are several fascinating ghost towns in the San Diego area. Start your trip at Stonewall Mine in Cuyamuca State Park. The collapsed mine shaft and a few ruins, as well as a cabin/museum mark a place where over one million dollars in gold was mined.

Vallecito stage station was rebuilt in the 1930s so that visitors to the area could have a taste of California’s early history. To the north, visit Banner to see the remains of a mining town struck by three floods and a fire before being abandoned. While you’re in the area, don’t miss Julian, CA, a beautiful historic gold mining town that caters to history buffs. If San Diego County is your preferred ghost town exploration destination, be sure to reserve your RV first at our San Diego/Santee El Monte RV Rentals location.

Learning about the past while exploring abandoned or historic towns in a fantastic way to spend an RV camping vacation. Choose a comfortable RV as your home for the duration, and pack your camera and hiking boots. Who knows? Exploring ghost towns in California just might become a lifetime obsession!

Posted in CA RV Camping, CA RV Vacation, ghost towns, RV Vacation Ideas | 1 Comment

Great RV Camping Idea: Exploring New Mexico Ghost Towns

The Land of Enchantment may also be the Land of Haunted Places, if you’re really into ghost towns. We knew you wouldn’t want to miss the many ghost towns of New Mexico, so we’ve put together a list of places RV campers will want to go.

Northern New Mexico Ghost Towns
Glorieta: East of Santa Fe is a fascinating place called Glorieta. The Civil War battle that ended the Confederate threat in New Mexico took place nearby in La Glorieta Pass. Within a few years, a village grew where the railroad came through the Pass and Glorieta was born. Numerous businesses operate in Glorieta to serve the tourists who come to see the original 1870s buildings.

Western New Mexico Ghost Towns
Horse Springs: This former ranching center sits just off Hwy 12 in western New Mexico. A large natural spring for which the town was named drew ranchers to the area but didn’t make up for the poor soil, so Horse Springs was soon no more.

Aragon/Fort Tularosa: The former Fort no longer exists, but you’ll find signs of the early settlement as well as a few modern-day residents.

Eastern New Mexico Ghost Towns
La Lande: Interesting stucco ruins rise up in the desert of eastern New Mexico on the site of La Lande, a failed farming village.

De Baca: Farther west on Hwy 60, you can explore several abandoned homes and businesses at De Baca, another small town that faded when farmers failed to make a living.

Southern New Mexico Ghost Towns
Brice: Just north of Orogrande in southern New Mexico visit Brice, where visitors will find a cemetery and the remnants of a turquoise mining settlement.

With so many ghost towns to explore and great RV parks to settle into, New Mexico presents real possibilities for RV campers who love the unusual. Start your trip with a call to El Monte RV Rental’s Albuquerque RV Rentals location. Our friendly staff will help you reserve a luxurious motorhome to keep you comfortable on your trip. Happy ghost hunting!

Posted in ghost towns, NM RV Camping, NM RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas | Leave a comment

Cruising Colorado Ghost Towns by RV

We have been sharing reports from friends about great ghost town destinations to include on your RV adventures. While you’re planning the itinerary for your next trip, don’t miss Colorado’s ghost towns. The Centennial State is home to dozens of former towns filled with artifacts, empty shacks and terrific Wild West history!

Let’s do a quick cruise of some of the ghost towns you can easily visit on your RV camping trip.

  • Florrisant: Thirty miles west of Colorado Springs, this former mining town has a school house and cemetery still in place, plus plenty of historical artifacts to discover. Stay at Lost Burro Campground in nearby Cripple Creek where you’ll find scenic RV campsites creek side.
  • Cripple Creek: While you’re in the area, don’t miss Cripple Creek itself. It’s one of Colorado’s most famous mining towns and area gold mines produced hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gold before 1930. Although Cripple Creek is now home to numerous casinos, there are plenty of mines, ghost towns and cemeteries to explore in the immediate area.
  • King: Turn your RV up the road to Park County and visit King, site of two major mining disasters in the late 1800s. Artifacts and ruins still exist in King, and the surrounding scenery is awesome.
  • Fairplay: Don’t leave Park County without visiting this once thriving gold mining town, where many of the original buildings still exist. Visit the grave of Prunes, the burro who worked the mines for decades and let locals tell you the story of Silver Heels the dance hall girl who nursed many small pox victims back to health. While visiting King and Fairplay, be sure to stay in Horseshoe RV campground in Pike National Forest.
  • Gold Hill: Northwest of Boulder is a cluster of former mining towns that will fascinate ghost town fans. Gold Hill was one of the first places in Colorado where miners actually put down roots. Like a lot of other mining towns, a large fire took its toll in the late 1800s, but the hotel, general store and many cabins are still in place. Stay in the area to visit Sunset, Crisman and Gold Hill Station and spend the night at Olive Ridge Campground located in the shadow of Longs Peak.

We can’t wait to hear your stories about your Colorado ghost town tour by RV! Let us know which ones become your favorites, and be sure to get in touch with our Denver RV Rentals location for the perfect RV rental for a Colorado ghost town vacation.

Posted in Colorado RV Camping, Dolorado RV Vacation, ghost towns, RV Vacation Ideas | Leave a comment

A Road Trip Through Texas Ghost Towns

While we’re exploring the idea of traveling by RV to find ghost towns, let’s not forget some of the very best are in Texas. I’ve put together a top five list of Texas ghost towns recommended by my friends and clients:

  1. Washington-on-the-Brazos: This once lively center of early Texas politics is in part operated by Texas Parks & Wildlife. Visit Barrington Living History Farm, the Star of the Republic Museum and a recreated Independence Hall, where Texas leaders signed their Declaration of Independence from Mexico in 1836. Not your run of the mill ghost town, it combines historical displays and the ruins of what once served as the capital city of the Texas Republic. Park your RV in nearby Waller, Texas at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone RV Park & Resort!
  2. Fort Phantom: Located just north of Abilene, Texas, this ghost fort was abandoned three years after it was established in 1851 due to the lack of fresh water in the area. Several ruins are still on-site and are managed by a local historical society.
  3. Barstow: Ghost town hunters love this town, with plenty of structures still standing to be explored and photographed. In the desert west of Pecos, Barstow is the classic Texas ghost town, deserted after the loss of irrigation to local farms.
  4. Salt Flat: At the foot of the Guadalupe Mountains in West Texas, you’ll find the town of Salt Flat. So-named because of the natural salt flats around it, Salt Flat features several abandoned buildings, the salt flats themselves and nearby Guadalupe Pass in the mountains. Two RV campgrounds in Guadalupe Mountains National Park make this trip easy to plan.
  5. Luckenbach: Founded in the 1850s by German immigrants, you probably first heard of this town thanks to Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson! The German inhabitants are long gone, but the attention brought to the nearly-deserted town of Luckenbach, Texas by a song of the same name now brings music fans from all over to hear new talent. Plan your RV vacation around one of the famous concerts and stay to explore the former general store, post office and other ruins.

For even more information on Texas ghost towns, I definitely recommend you visit GhostTowns.com. They’ve got plenty of fascinating tips for getting the most out of your ghost town tour by RV.

Come to El Monte RV to rent your motorhome and get your Texas RV vacation rolling. Locations include our Dallas RV Rentals location. By the way, if you find any ghosts out there, be sure to send us pictures to share on Monte’s Musings!

Photo by Lee Otis from his photo set Ghost Towns. Some rights reserved under Creative Commons: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Posted in ghost towns, RV Vacation Ideas, TX RV Camping, TX RV Vacation | 1 Comment

Great RV Vacation Idea – Exploring Arizona Ghost Towns

Arizona Ghost TownIf you like your vacations a little offbeat, why not travel Arizona in motorhome comfort while mining the chills and thrills of genuine ghost towns?

With more than 275 phantom cities to explore, Arizona is the mother lode for ghost town enthusiasts. Allow me to take you on a quick trip through some of the most famous Arizona ghost towns, just to get your imagination flowing.

In Arizona, we’ve found ghost towns fall into two categories – those preserved and commercialized for tourists, and those gradually destroyed by the forces of nature.

Either kind of Arizona ghost town gives a fascinating glimpse into the state’s Wild West history. Mining towns, railway towns and towns once famous as stops along the cattle drive all testify to the grit and determination of Arizona’s early settlers.

Ghost Towns Preserved for Tourists
The most famous “ghost town” in Arizona, Tombstone, is actually still very much alive. Home to Boothill Graveyard, the OK Corral and dozens of historic sites from the days of Wyatt Earp and Ike Clanton, Tombstone caters to tourists year-round and is a great first stop on your motorhome ghost town vacation.

Numerous RV campgrounds are located in Tombstone, including Stampede RV Park, Wells Fargo RV Park right in the center of town, and Tombstone RV Park & Resort, conveniently located on Highway 80.

I highly recommend visiting nearby Bisbee once you’ve toured Tombstone. With a mountain top cemetery, haunted hotel and the abandoned Lavender Pit Copper Mine to explore, it’s well worth the trip.

Jerome, Arizona, built along a steep hillside in Yavapai County, started as a copper mining town and was saved from extinction by residents who recognized its historic value. Rugged and fascinating, Jerome’s busy stores stand side-by-side with abandoned ruins that tell the story of this copper boomtown.

Authentic Ruins Left to the Forces of Nature
For those RV campers who prefer their ghost towns uninhabited by the living, authentic Arizona ghost towns dot the map. My friends often bring back stories of lonely settlements ground down to their foundations by the sand and wind of the Grand Canyon State.

Why not show the kids and grand kids the isolation in which brave settlers, miners and ranchers lived during the 1800s? True ghost towns like Agua Caliente, Tortilla Flat and Vulture City in Maricopa County boasted post offices, schools and saloons at one time, but now stand empty thanks to changes in fortune.

Hundreds of RV campsites in the Phoenix area make the trip to more than twenty authentic ghost towns in the area comfortable and affordable.

Ready to load up the RV and head for a ghost town adventure? El Monte RV is more than ready to help make that possible, with our convenient Phoenix RV Rentals and Tucson RV Rentals locations. If you’d like more fascinating trivia on Arizona ghost towns, be sure to visit ghosttowns.com!

Posted in AZ RV Camping, AZ RV Vacation, ghost towns, RV Vacation Ideas | Leave a comment