Four Urban RV Campgrounds-Affordable Lodging in the Big City

Camping beyond the city lights is always a good way to relax, unwind and get back to nature. But have you ever thought of taking along the RV when you visit big cities? Once you compare the expense of hotels, restaurant meals and rental cars to the convenience and affordability of RV camping, urban RV campgrounds become an attractive alternative.

But where can you camp that makes sense when visiting larger cities?  We’re glad you asked, because we’ve put together our list of four favorite urban RV campgrounds that keep you close to the action.  Keep in mind, we’re not talking about stealth boondocking on city streets. These are places where camping can be comfortable and affordable while putting you within easy reach of big city attractions.

Urban Camping Ideas for RVers

* Greenbelt Park, twelve miles north of the Washington DC metro area in suburban Maryland, is an affordable, comfortable alternative to pricey DC-area hotels.  You won’t find electric and water hookups in the one hundred seventy-four wooded campsites, but you will find hot showers, flush toilets, potable water, and a dump station.  Your self-contained RV does the rest!  You’ll also be a mile and a half from a DC Metro station, making it easy to access all DC-area attractions.  Consider camping at this NPS-operated campground next time you visit our nation’s capital!

* Campland on the Bay in San Diego was voted one of the 10 Best Urban Campgrounds in 2014. With its own stretch of beach and a boat launch on Mission Bay, as well as an amazing array of year-round planned activities, RVers may be tempted to stay on-site their entire vacation.  But you’ll also be right across the Bay from SeaWorld, less than twenty miles from Coronado Island and within easy reach of San Diego’s many vibrant suburbs.

* Winter Island Park in Salem, Massachusetts is a destination unto itself.  Designated a Marine Recreational Area, the park offers 30 amp and 50 amp campsites from May to October. Boating, lighthouse tours, Salem walking tours and dozens of other attractions in the Salem area can keep campers busy, but you’ll also be within an hour’s drive of most Boston attractions.  Bring the towed vehicle if you plan to drive in Boston (restrictions on propane in certain tunnels) or take the Salem Ferry or MBTA into Boston for more flexibility.

* McKinney Falls State Park, fifteen minutes south of the Texas State Capitol in Austin,

Lower Falls, McKinney Falls State Park

Lower Falls, McKinney Falls State Park

is an urban RV camper’s dream.  With 30 amp and 50 amp campsites, hiking trails, fishing and swimming on Onion Creek and many other ways to play outdoors, this state park also provides low-cost Austin vacation lodging (less than $25 per night!) It’s a short drive to Austin’s world-famous entertainment districts, Lady Bird Lake and fabulous cultural icons like the Paramount Theater.

These are only four of the urban RV campgrounds that can change the way you travel to larger cities. Pick a city and start investigating the state parks, city parks and private campgrounds that might be hidden near popular attractions. Isn’t it time you joined the growing trend of urban RV camping?

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BLM Camping—Balancing ‘Off the Grid’ with RV Comfort

Does the wild call to you, tempting you to come find the places where mountains, coastlines and forests surround your campsite? Does that mean giving up the comforts you’ve found while RV camping? Good news—there’s a way to combine your love of wild places with the convenience of RV travel. Developed campsites on BLM lands help you balance the ‘off the grid’ experience with RV convenience.

But how do you find that happy medium, the campsites tucked away among the trees, along the shore or on a mountainside, that accommodate RV camping? A good place to start is at the Bureau of Land Management website, where you’ll find a map of public lands and a guide to recreational opportunities.

We’re going to be sharing more in future blog posts about special places where you can camp on public land. For now, let’s take a quick look at the kinds of places where the Bureau of Land Management has created opportunities for camping and other outdoor recreation.

From Alaska to Arizona, Colorado to California, the BLM manages wild and scenic rivers, wilderness areas and national monuments. Some of these locations are set aside to allow study of eco-systems, some are preserved to allow outstanding outdoor recreation, still others center around preserving the habitats of threatened species.

These public lands surround more than five thousand miles of national scenic and historic trails. They’re home to more than two hundred protected wilderness rivers and national monuments as varied as the Grand Canyon and the California coast.

San Juan Islands WA

San Juan Islands WA

No matter which type of wilderness experience you’re hoping for, there’s a way to bring along the comfort of RV travel, if you do your homework. You won’t be camping in a paved campsite complete with full hook-ups, but you will be as close as it gets to the natural wonders of the American West.

Tips for BLM RV Camping

To completely enjoy your experience ‘off the grid’ camping on public lands, it’s important to follow the guidelines that are consistent for most of these wilderness areas. Here are the basics:

* Leave no Trace – in other words, pack out what you bring in, don’t leave trash and leave the campsites, trails and waterways as you found them.

* Follow Posted Restrictions – for example, if bear boxes are required at all campsites, make sure you have them for food and scented items. Same goes for rules governing where pets are allowed. Motorized vehicles such as RVs or tow vehicles aren’t allowed in all wilderness areas, so be sure you know the rules before you drive through. Ignoring posted restrictions like these can endanger you, other campers and the wilderness environment.

* Stay Aware of Fire Conditions – Smart campers check for up-to-date conditions where they’ll be camping, so they know if it’s safe to start a campfire or if there is heightened fire danger in the area.

* Camp Only Where it’s Allowed – By using the BLM website or contacting their regional offices, you can obtain maps that show both developed campsites and places

where dispersed camping is allowed. Make sure you know the rules about parking near water sources, roads and natural features.

* Prepare for ‘Off the Grid’ Camping – For the most comfortable camping possible, prepare ahead by emptying waste water tanks, carrying sufficient water for your trip (don’t assume potable water will be available), whether generators are allowed and if weather extremes are possible.

* Know How Long You’re Allowed to Stay – The typical limit on camping at a specific campground or dispersed camping area is fourteen days, so if you’re planning a longer trip, make plans to move to another area, if allowed within the management area.

Camping away from it all, in vast wilderness areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management, can open a whole new outdoor experience for RV travelers. Don’t miss your chance to find your own balance between camping ‘off the grid’ and enjoying all the comforts of traveling by RV.

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RV Camping to Utah’s Best Mountain Biking Destinations

The boulder-lined canyons and dense alpine forests that make up much of Utah’s terrain also make for spectacular single-track trails. Mountain biking fans will find that RV camping is the best way to get close to Utah’s top trails. Ride along as we offer tips for enjoying four of the best mountain biking venues in Utah, including where to camp closest to the trailheads.

Utah RV Camping and Mountain Biking Destinations

  1. Deer Valley Ski Resort in Park City is becoming famous with single track fans for its challenging downhill trails served by three convenient chair lifts. Set up your base camp at nearby Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest campgrounds or at one of several private RV campgrounds in Heber City or Park City.

What can you expect to experience on Deer Valley’s trails? How about six mountains, more than sixty miles of mountain bike trails and easy access to hundreds of miles of additional trails in Park City’s trail system? While at the resort, take the chairlift to the top of your chosen mountain and then blast down trails built by experts for each level of mountain biking skill.

  1. Slickrock Trail, just outside Moab, UT is a breathtaking, gear-grinding ride over Navajo sandstone that’s best suited for experienced technical riders, but there’s a loop that even newbies will want to try. Moab has become a magnet for mountain bikers from around the globe, thanks to its proximity to trails through awesome terrain like Flat Iron Mesa, Klondike Bluffs and Arches National Park.

Adding to the appeal is the abundance of camping venues in the Moab area. Whether you enjoy a full-amenities RV resort, BLM ‘dispersed’ camping or something in between, there’s a place for you to park the RV while mountain biking in Moab.

Bonus Tip: outfitters abound in Moab, offering bike rentals, shuttles to popular trails and guided trips through area terrain.

  1. Wasatch Crest Trail on Salt Lake City’s eastern border offers plenty of trail riding thrills, plus views from the crest at nearly ten thousand feet elevation. It’s easy to access this trail without finding a place to park at the trailhead, thanks to local mountain bike shuttles that make several trips a day to the summit. Ride up, bike down and unwind in the comfort of your RV. Camp at East Canyon State Park, Antelope Island State Park or at one of the many Salt Lake City area RV resorts, depending on your camping style.
  1. Brian Head Ski Resort, smack in the middle of a golden triangle of jaw-dropping geography, offers one hundred miles of trails down Giant Head and Navajo Mountains. Centrally located near Cedar Breaks National Monument and Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks, you’ll never run out of challenging terrain while you’re there. Plan to experience all the elements of single track challenge and trails suited to every level rider. Buy a mountain biking day pass to gain access to chair lifts, shuttles and all Brian Head trails.

Where to camp while biking Brian Head? Try one of five private RV parks in Cedar City or the Cedar Canyon Campground in Dixie National Forest. You’re sure to find Southern Utah’s famous hospitality and there’s no end to spectacular scenery here!

Ready to load the mountain bikes and head for Utah? Before you go, reserve your campsites and, if you don’t own an RV, make arrangements for a Salt Lake City RV rental. Mountain biking and RV camping in Utah—there’s no better way to get the adrenaline flowing.

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Rent An RV for Viewing the Perseid Meteor Shower

Attention RV camping fans who also love a good meteor shower! The summer of 2016 promises to be one of the best times in recent history for North Americans to see the “Perseids”, that group of meteors following the Swift-Tuttle Comet. This year will be exceptional because conditions are right for us to see twice as many meteors as normal!

This year’s viewing time, when the Earth passes through this ‘tail’ of meteors, begins this week and will last through August 24. That’s great news for you, because there’s still time to rent an RV or dust off the one in your driveway and find the best campsite for prime Perseid Meteor Shower viewing.

How to Rent Your ‘Meteor Shower Chase Vehicle’

Let’s get the practical part out of the way first…if you don’t own a motorhome or travel trailer for watching this summer’s performance, renting one has never been easier. El Monte RV Rental locations across the country are stocked and waiting with a wide range of models for your expedition. Choose your favorite, book your best dates and start planning the rest of your adventure!

When and Where to Go for Best Perseid Meteor Shower Viewing

The Smith-Tuttle Comet ‘tail’ of meteors is predicted to peak on August 12 (that’s when we’re right in the middle of the most meteor “debris”). Plan your RV camping trip to chase the Perseid Meteor Shower for August 11, 12 and 13 to see the most meteor action.

But where can you go to see the meteor shower without interference? The key is darkness—finding a place where the lights of the city won’t diminish the show. Finding the perfect campsite with an unobstructed, front-row-seat to 2016’s biggest meteor shower may take a bit of scouting ahead of time, depending on your location.   Meteor Showers

If you’re living in a large city, check online maps for county, state and national forests or parks out away from urban illumination. Look for campsites that have an unobstructed view to the sky. If possible, reserve your campsite so you won’t be disappointed on the night of the big show.

The night of your meteor shower viewing party, be prepared to spend several hours outdoors. Your RV’s kitchen is perfect for preparing snacks and beverages for the party, so bring along supplies and make a night of it. From 10 pm to dawn you’ll have the best chance of seeing those amazing streaks of light that occur when the Perseids hit our atmosphere. Blankets or lawn chairs, insect repellant and your fellow amateur astronomers will help make the party a happy memory.

Get More Information on the Perseid Meteor Shower

Scientists have done all the work to help us plan for 2016’s viewing of the Smith-Tuttle Comet meteor shower. Several websites can furnish you with more information as you plan your own RV camping and meteor shower gazing expedition:

The freedom of RV camping is never more enjoyable than when it allows you to witness the wonders of nature. Setting up camp to watch 2016’s celestial phenomenon, the Perseids, is no exception. Make plans now to share this spectacular show with friends and family this August!

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Adventure RV Camping at Great Sand Dunes National Park

If you’re new to RV camping and aren’t sure it can fit into your active, adventure-seeking lifestyle, you’re in for a surprise. Coming back to RV comfort after a long day spent climbing, canyoneering, trail running or whatever it is you do to get the adrenaline pumping makes adventure vacations even more enjoyable. Here’s an idea for your maiden RV camping voyage—why not take a trip to Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park?  great_sands_natl_park_shutterstock_349793624

It’s an amazing place filled with plenty of outdoor recreation possibilities. Imagine the tallest sand dunes in North America (some as tall as 700’), surrounded by snow-capped mountains, alpine forests and mountain lakes, and you’ve got an idea why adventure seekers flock to Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes.

How to Get There

The park is located two hours southwest of Pueblo, CO. Get there by following I-25 south and then I-60 west. You’ll turn north on CO-150 to access the park’s visitor center and interior roads. From the west, follow I-60 from Durango to the national park.

What to Do There

You might just be surprised at the range of outdoor sports visitors to Great Sand Dunes National Park enjoy. Here’s a quick list of five to whet your appetite.

  • Sand Boarding and Sand Sledding are favorites of park visitors, using specially built boards and sleds that safely slide the dunes. Area outfitters rent the equipment so you don’t need to lay out cash to buy your own.
  • Fat Biking on Medano Pass is another way to find adventure while at the Dunes. Mountain bikes are pretty tightly restricted within the national park and fat tire bikes made for riding in sand are restricted to Medano Pass Primitive Road (sorry, no dune riding), but there’s plenty to experience along the route. Hint: keep your eyes open for wildlife!
  • Hike the Dunes: With thirty square miles of dunes to hike, you can discover some totally spectacular views! Test your ‘sand legs’ by setting out for the summit on any dune you’d like. This is the original ‘find your own trail’ adventure venue.
  • Hike Mt Herard: Adventure seekers with mountain hiking experience will want to make the climb up this 13er. You’ll have to make the trip by high-clearance 4WD vehicle (no ATVs) to Medano Pass to reach the trailhead to the summit. Once you’ve made the summit, the view of the dunes, lakes and tundra surrounding Mt Herard is unforgettable.
  • The Dunes After Dark are a whole new world waiting for your nocturnal exploration. Plan a hiking party by the light of a full moon and enjoy a midnight picnic at the summit of a dune (don’t forget to pack out your trash!) The darkness at this national park is so intense, the stars will pop out in ways city dwellers may never have experienced. 

Where to Camp There

Once you reach Great Sand Dunes National Park, you’ll want to set up camp quickly so that you can get out on the dunes, mountain trail or in the middle of Medano Creek. There’s a campground that can accommodate RVs right inside the park entrance, so if that’s where you’d like to stay, jump on the NPS website and book a campsite before you come.

There’s also plenty of camping at private campgrounds within forty miles of the national park, and also at San Luis State Park just down the road. No matter which campground you pick, you’ll be close to the action and in some of the most scenic country you can imagine, right in the shadow of the Sangre de Cristo Range. If you haven’t taken the plunge to purchase an RV, you’re still in luck. You can pick up a Denver RV Rental and enjoy RV camping comfort for less than you think.

It’s going to be a great trip, so start packing your adventure gear and be sure to share your experiences in the Comments section below. Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park—it’s got to be seen to be believed.

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RV Camping While Hiking and Climbing Kentucky’s Red River Gorge

About two hours east of Louisville, Kentucky is a place all RV travelers who enjoy hiking and rock climbing should explore. Red River Gorge Geological Area is tucked within the high ridges, riverfront cliffs and green expanses of Daniel Boone National Forest.

Camping there is easy, thanks to private and state park campgrounds throughout the forest, and miles of hiking trails and climbing routes are waiting to be traversed.

What RV Travelers Will Find at Red River Gorge

RV travelers have an easy route to the Gorge from the west, following I-64 east from Louisville into the national forest. If you’re coming from the east, follow I-81 W out of Roanoke, VA about five hours, to where the Red River meanders through an awe-inspiring limestone gorge.

Once you reach Daniel Boone National Forest, you’ll find a variety of natural wonders Daniel Boone National Forestworth exploring both in and around Red River Gorge. Picture a place where limestone arches and stunning, windswept cliffs rise up out of dense hardwood forest and you’ve got an idea what awaits you on your trip.

A favorite spot of Kentucky RV campers is Natural Bridge State Resort Park adjacent to the Gorge. The park is named for an enormous sandstone arch that’s easy to discover via well-maintained hiking trails. Motorhome travelers will also find electric campsites, a small lake perfect for paddling and plenty of family friendly activities there.

Climbing and Hiking at Red River Gorge

For campers hoping to put in some time rappelling or climbing, there’s no place better than Red River Gorge. Rock climbing opportunities abound among the ‘knobs’, cliffs and crags of ‘The Red’. Areas like The Motherlode, Torrent Falls and Military Wall offer dozens of climbing routes for a range of experiences.

Bring your own equipment or book the services of an area climbing guide to make the most of sport and traditional climbing opportunities while camping near Red River Gorge.

Need a little more incentive to pack the RV and head for Kentucky? The hiking available around the Red River Gorge is unparalleled, thanks to the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail that acts as the central hub of the area’s trail system.

Whether you plan to make several day hikes on your RV camping trip to Red River Gorge or follow the entire three-hundred-mile length of the Sheltowee Trace Trail, the scenery found along the ridges, waterways and gorges of central Kentucky will find a place among your favorite vacation memories.

So, what’s holding you back from taking your own RV trip to Kentucky’s Red River Gorge? Affordable RV rentals, easy access by interstate and excellent private and state park campgrounds make this trip one that’s perfect for rock climbing groups, adventurous families and nature-loving campers alike. Take the trip soon, and be sure to let us know in the Comments Section what you loved most about RV camping at Red River Gorge.

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Three Spring Break RV Camping Itineraries

Kids out of school soon and still haven’t picked your Spring Break vacation spot? Why not take the family RV camping this year? We’ve put together three camping destinations perfect for families on Spring Break.

Spring Break RV Camping & Fishing Trip: Lake Texana, Edna, Texas 

Have a houseful of eager young anglers looking forward to catching the big ones? Take the RV southeast from Austin to Edna, Texas and the wonders of Lake Texana.

Brackenridge Park and Campground and Texana Park and Campground, both part of the Brackenridge Recreation Complex on the lake, offer Texas Spring Break RV Campers plenty of choice for accommodations. Not sure how to please everyone in your crew? Whether it’s hiking the trails, photographing wildlife or enjoying legendary Texas bass fishing, we think you’ll find something for everyone to enjoy on your stay.

With a fishing pier, perfect bass habitat, canoe and kayak rentals and six hundred acres of shoreline to enjoy, this South Texas lake is an excellent place to entertain the youngsters on Spring Break. Don’t forget to reserve your Texas RV rental. Spring Break is right around the corner!

Spring Break in the Heart of California Gold Country – Columbia, CA 

Hoping to surprise the youngsters with a little gold this Spring Break? Why not camp in the heart of California’s Gold Country and spend some time in the town that’s also a State Historic Park? Columbia, California, home to an impressive collection of Gold Rush-era structures, has plenty for young prospectors to explore.

Stroll the boardwalks with the family and soak up 1850s ambience, then stop to enjoy a meal, shop for souvenirs and enjoy the living history presentations. There are enough historic structures, museums and exhibits to keep everyone busy. Be sure to let the kids try their luck at gold panning, too; it’s a favorite activity for Columbia visitors.

You’ll also enjoy camping in the beauty of the Sierra Nevada foothills. Private campgrounds in Columbia help keep family RV camping convenient.

Spring Break in the Pacific Northwest – Bellingham, Washington 

Families who want to divide their Spring Break time between urban adventures and outdoor recreation will find no better place than Bellingham, WA. Just south of the Canadian border and a couple of hours north of Seattle, this coastal city has plenty to discover.

Start your time RV camping in Bellingham by challenging the young ones to completeLarrabee State Park at least part of the six-mile Interurban Trail. They’ll be rewarded with views of Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and waterfalls in a dense urban forest. Plan to play awhile at Larrabee State Park  at the trail’s southern end, where gorgeous Samish Bay and trails into the Chuckanut Mountains are just part of the outdoor splendor.

While in Bellingham with kids, you’ll also want to visit the city’s exciting museums. One of the best is the Spark Museum of Electrical Invention, where you’ll find thrills for the entire family. Another don’t miss—Mindport, where art and science come together in a fun, interactive environment.

Two more ideas for active families hoping for the full Bellingham experience on Spring Break:

  • Spend a day in the city’s Historic Fairhaven District enjoying shops, coffee houses and vintage charm.
  • Take an hour’s drive east to Mount Baker Ski Area for a day on their world-famous slopes.

One last travel tip for Bellingham RV campers—March will be cooler in Washington than in Southern Spring Break destinations, so pack plenty of cool weather clothing for the kids. Aren’t you glad you’ll be traveling in the roomy comfort of an RV?

And there you have it, three fantastic ways to spend Spring Break RV camping with the kids. Whether you decide to travel to Texas, California or Coastal Washington, you’re sure to bring back memories that only camping with the family can deliver.

Photo attribution: By Cody Logan (clpo13) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
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An Alabama Caving and Camping Vacation

If your family loves to get underground and explore, two caves in northeast Alabama should be your next RV camping destination. Only fifty miles apart, Russell Cave National Monument and Cathedral Caverns State Park will teach the kids about ancient civilizations and also thrill them with first-class natural wonders. Use our handy guide to camping and caving to plan your trip.

How to Get There

Russell Cave National Monument, in Bridgeport, Alabama, is a 45-minute drive from Chattanooga, TN on I-24W. It’s also only 2 hours south of Nashville on I-24E. Once you’ve explored to your heart’s content at this cave, head one hour south to Grant, Alabama on AL-2 and US-72 to find Cathedral Caverns.

What Will We See?

The attraction at Russell Cave is history! North America’s earliest inhabitants left clues to their cultures in this large shelter in the rocky face of Montague Mountain. The visitor center and museum houses excellent exhibits of the prehistoric artifacts archaeologists have unearthed on-site. The cave tour itself is restricted to the shelter just inside the cavern’s entrance, but it’s an easy hike and well worth the trip.

Russell Cave National Monument

Russell Cave National Monument

Take the time to take the cavern tour, check out the exhibits and videos at the museum and have a picnic on the park grounds. Teach the youngsters even more about nature with a hike along the North Alabama Birding Trail and a stroll through the park’s Wildflower Meadow. If the kids haven’t entered the National Park Service Junior Ranger Program at another national park, this would be a great place to start.

When you head south to Cathedral Caverns State Park, get ready to experience a wonderland of giant rock formations. From the enormous cavern entrance to record breaking collections of stalactites, stalagmites and other structures formed over the eons, there’s plenty to see and enjoy throughout the cave. Cave tours run seven days a week, every two hours beginning at 10 a.m. Young ones may also want to try their luck at finding gems in the ‘mining’ area and hiking the trails throughout the park’s picturesque setting.

Where to Camp?

There’s nothing quite like coming home to RV comfort after an exciting day of exploring underground! If you arrive early in the day at Cathedral Caverns, you may be able to snag one of the first-come, first-served water and electric campsites at the park. There are also several campgrounds within easy driving distance—Lake Guntersville State Park, just thirty minutes away, has a large RV campground and reasonable rates. You’ll find more information here about Alabama RV campgrounds.

Bonus Tip: Other Northeast Alabama Caves

Did you know that the rugged mountains and hollows of Alabama have more caves per mile than just about anywhere in the US? It’s true, and that’s why we wanted to give you more ideas for extending your Alabama camping and caving adventure.

If you’re camping at Lake Guntersville, take the Cave Trail to find a cozy little cavern along the way. For families on an extended trip, head south two hours to DeSoto Caverns Family Fun Park for a day of adventure and a night of full-service RV camping on the grounds. Rickwood Caverns State Park near Birmingham also offers a small on-site campground and a cave tour that takes you and the youngsters seventeen stories below ground!

A trip to visit the caves of northeast Alabama means family fun time in exciting natural settings. Camping in an RV means comfort, safety and convenience while you’re there. Start planning this year’s caving and camping trip now and don’t forget to post your memories here in our comments section!

Photo credit:

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RV Camping to Nevada’s Valley of Fire

Spring is the perfect time to visit Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park, before the blazing summer sun heats up the stunning red rock landscape. Why not make the trip now? We’ve got a half-dozen reasons why outdoor enthusiasts vote it one of Nevada’s top spots for engaging Nature.

Easy Access to the Valley of Fire

One of the reasons this amazing spot should be on your motorhome camping itinerary is its easy access from major destinations. Following I-15, the Park is just an hour north of Las Vegas, about four and a half hours northeast of Los Angeles on the same highway and also about five hours southwest of Salt Lake City. The Park is right next door to Lake Mead National Recreation Area, as well, so plan to make it a two-for-one camping adventure.

Modern RV Campsites On-Site

Park your RV and set up camp in an unforgettable Mojave desert setting. Within the two campground, some campsites even have 50-amp service, but plan to arrive early in the day, as all sites are first-come-first-served. A dump station and showers are available on-site, too.

Premier Hiking Destination

The trails that wind through the Valley of Fire have so much to offer, you’ll want to follow them all. Whether your journey takes you through massive red sandstone arches and ‘beehives’, past ancient petroglyphs or to a natural water basin where a Southern Paiute renegade once laid in wait for travelers, the hiking here is always an adventure. Don’t forget the cameras!  valley_of_fire

A Glimpse into the Past

The civilizations who have called this valley in the Mojave Desert home left their mark, and so have the forces of Nature. Rock paintings by ancient Native tribes, including the Anasazi, are well-preserved within the Park. You’ll also have a chance to see extraordinary examples of the ways rock is shaped and changed over time—from the White Domes and the canyons of Rainbow Vista to the amazing Elephant Rock—you simply must see this special place yourself to understand the timeless power of Nature.

A First-Rate Visitors Center

The time that was taken to plan the center at the heart of this state park will be evident as you roll your RV into the parking lot. Built to blend beautifully into the massive rock formations that surround it, the center offers excellent educational exhibits covering the people who once inhabited the area, the valley’s geological origins and other topics of interest to park visitors. Be sure to stop in to gain in-depth understanding into the Valley of Fire.

Family-Friendly Destination

Besides the education the kids will receive at the Visitors Center, the valley also welcomes families with easy-access trails to many of its main attractions. Break out the sunscreen and sturdy walking shoes and don’t be afraid to take the kids along.

As always, we’re here to help with a Nevada RV rental as you plan your trip to the Valley of Fire. Get in touch to let us know how we can lend a hand, and don’t forget to post your comments to share your vacation experiences. Nevada’s Valley of Fire—the perfect place to kick off spring RV camping season!

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Six Spring Wildflower Scenic Drives to Savor

It’s that time of year, when we tune up the RV and start mapping scenic drives to find spring wildflowers. We’ve gathered a bouquet of six of the best scenic drives in America, bursting each spring with color and variety. Come along as we take a tour of six spring wildflower scenic drives for RV campers to savor.    wildflower_scenic_drives

I-10 to Picacho Peak State Park – Arizona

Traveling I-10 south out of Phoenix (or north out of Tucson) in early April is sure to reward you with a glorious display of wildflowers. One of our favorite spots, and also a dandy place to camp in your RV, is Picacho Peak State Park, midway between these two Arizona cities.

Watch for blooming saguaro cactus, palo verde and Mexican gold poppies by the thousands, along the roadways and especially as you hike this park’s trails. The entire area surrounding Picacho Peak is a nature photographer’s dream in early spring.

Willow City Loop – Fredericksburg, Texas

Cruise north in springtime out of Fredericksburg, Texas on the famous loop trail to Willow City. You’ll soon learn why Hill Country is at the heart of so many Texans. Wildflowers populate the rugged hills and canyons along the way, including daisies, bluebonnets and sunflowers, to name just a few.

Mount Nebo Scenic Byway – Uinta National Forest, Utah

The rugged, red rock beauty of central Utah is reason enough to head there this spring, but there’s an added bonus of eye-catching color from spring wildflowers in the Uinta National Forest. Follow the 35-mile Mount Nebo Scenic Byway in late spring to glimpse meadows full of gold and bright white flowers framed by aspen and fir. Plenty of pull-outs and scenic overlooks allow even the driver to enjoy the wonder of spring wildflowers in Utah.

Tioga Road – Yosemite National Park, California

There’s always a scenic drive waiting to thrill in Yosemite, and spring is no exception. Point your RV toward Tioga Road, a stunning journey complete with a high meadow filled with wildflowers in late May and early June. Tuolumne Meadow, above eight-thousand feet in elevation, promises spider lupine, tufted poppy and dozens of other plant species happy to display their colors.

Pinto Basin Road – Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park, located near Palm Springs, California, boasts a wide range of wildflowers starting each year in early spring. Once you reach the park via I-10, follow Pinto Basin Road past the blazing red blossoms in the Ocotillo Patch, the sand verbena and desert lilies at Pinto Dunes and the subtle gold of creosote bushes everywhere you look.

Highland Scenic Byway – Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia

Does the chance to view miles of rhododendron, Canadian lilies and scarlet bee balm seem like a great reason for a leisurely springtime drive? That’s what you’ll find along the Highland Scenic Highway in West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest. Start in Richwood and follow State Route 39 until it joins State Route 150, then watch the profusion of color all along the route until it meets US-219.

There you have it, a half dozen reasons to warm up the RV and take a drive. Break out the wildflower field guide, because the meadows, mountainsides and desert valleys are blooming. Spring is the perfect time to visit America’s scenic byways. And we’re always ready to help with a first-rate RV rental for your trip!

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