In winter, the drop in temperatures and some snowy landscapes will mean different preparations for national park trekking but is cabin fever getting to you? Well while it may take a bit of extra effort the adventure is well worth it.

We highlight just five of our most scenic winter national park picks here. Some take you to a warmer climate like Arizona or Nevada and others take you up north to enjoy the snow.

Opinions vary about what constitutes “comfortable weather,” so check the current forecast before you hit the road for the following parks.

That said here’s a sampling of several parks where winter is prime time for outdoor activity.

The park website has details about each campground, including the number of sites, elevation, and perhaps most important in a desert park, locations where water is available. You’ll also find information about which campgrounds accept advance reservations, and which are first come, first served.

  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area, on the Arizona-Nevada border south of Las Vegas, includes two large lakes and seven developed campgrounds: five on Lake Mead and two on Lake Mohave.

Although campgrounds in the park are open all year, the climate is much more pleasant in the fall and spring. NPS campgrounds offer restrooms, running water, dump stations, grills, picnic tables and shade; RV’s, trailers and tents are welcome. Concessioner-operated campgrounds with recreational vehicle hook-ups are also available within the park.

  • Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is located in southern Arizona, right on the border with Mexico. The Twin Peaks Campgroundhas 208 sites, can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet in length, and reserves some sites for tent camping only. It’s a clean, comfortable campground, with water spigots every few campsites. There are solar showers in the restrooms, but be cautious, as the water can get searing hot on hot days.
  • Mount Rainier National Park, WA – At Mount Rainier you will find all the snow one could ever ask for in winter. One area known as Paradise averages 54 feet of snow each year and held the world record for most annual snowfall in the 1970s at 93.5 feet. Mount Rainier also has all the winter recreation you could wish for with sledding, skiing, sliding, snowboarding, snowshoeing, climbing and camping. Just be certain you prepare well for the weather and definitely check local conditions before your trip. Note: All vehicles, including 4WD and AWD vehicles, must carry tire chains in the park during the winter season (November 1 – May 1) and be prepared to use them when tire chain requirements are posted.
  • Crater Lake National Park, OR – Winter is the reason that Crater Lake exists. The high elevation and proximity to the Pacific make climatic conditions that cause Crater Lake to receive more than 44 feet of snow on average each year. Without all that precipitation the lake would not exist. If you would like to explore this snowy wilderness, it’s recommended that you try skiing or snowshoeing, plus there are ranger-led interpretive hikes each weekend.

Crater Lake was formed when a violent eruption of a volcano triggered the collapse of a tall peak. Native Americans witnessed this formation 7700 years ago. Scientists still marvel at its purity: fed by rain and snow, it’s the deepest lake in the US and probably the most pristine on earth. Artists, photographers, and sightseers gaze in wonder at its blue water and stunning setting atop the Cascade Mountain Range.

Winter camping in the National Parks will be far less crowded than summertime, but check with each park before you go to see what’s available. There are also other RV Campgrounds nearby.

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Need to Rent an RV?

You can easily rent one of our RV’s at our various rental locations from Las Vegas to Denver or Ferndale, WA to any number of locations in California. Please check out our Where you can Rent RV’s page.

This February, NHRA racing fires up again starting in Pomona, California and then moves to Chandler, Arizona. Racers will travel to Auto Club Raceway at Pomona for the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals from February 6th-9th. This will be followed two weeks later by the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, AZ, the weekend of February 21st – 23rd.  Don’t miss the action of RV camping and watching drag racing at these exciting spots! What could be more fun than driving to an NHRA race in an RV? Camping out in one for the entire race!

First, February 6th to 9th the Autoclub Raceway of Pomona hosts the opening event for this new year. Fans have flocked to Southern California since 1961 for one of drag racing’s grandest traditions. The season opener brings with it new cars, drivers, teams, and sponsorships, where teams begin their chase for a spot in the Countdown to the Championship at Lucas Oil Raceway at Pomona. The fabled Pomona facility is known for its outstanding traction, smooth surface, and record performances.

As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers, as Every Ticket’s a Pit Pass® at the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet! Get direct access to the teams, see firsthand as the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from your favorite NHRA drivers.

Check out the schedule for this fired up weekend of drag racing at the Autoclub Raceway of Pomona page.

Camping for Pomona: There are many options for camping near the Autoclub Raceway, which is located about 25 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Bonelli Bluffs RV Resort and Campground
  • Fairplex RV Park
  • Autoclub Raceway At Pomona (if you can get reservations)

 

Then, from February 21st – 23rd the action moves to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, AZ for the NHRA Arizona Nationals. NHRA’s annual duel in the desert continues in its traditional spot as the year’s second event. The facility, a Southwest fixture since 1985, is also known for record performances, such as Tony Schumacher’s historic 330-mph quarter-mile blast in 1999 and his record-setting run in 2018. These races are fast! Due to its warm climate, it is a popular winter testing spot for NHRA and Indy Car teams. After 30 years of hosting, this track is home to an array of auto enthusiast events like the NHRA Arizona Nationals, Mello Yello Drag Racing, the Checkered Flag Run and Monster Truck Shows. Get there early and enjoy the whole weekend of non-stop action if you can.

Camping for NHRA Racing in Chandler: Campgrounds abound near this spot just south of Scottsdale, AZ. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Apache Palms RV Resort is closeby
  • Sun Life Vacation Resort
  • Hacienda Solano Resort (for those 55+)
  • Five Star RV Park
  • The Motor Coach Resort – at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park (if you can get a reservation)

Need to rent an RV? Find your ideal recreational vehicle at one of our El Monte RV Rental locations. See our Where to Rent an RV page for all our El Monte Rental locations in Southern California and in Phoenix, AZ. Please check early with the nearest one for available rentals.

And be sure to check out our NHRA RV Racing Vacations page for more suggestions and information about the NHRA and NHRA vacations.

This winter, take a trip around Southern California and within just a few hours’ drive you’ll be able to see oceans and beaches, islands, snowcapped mountains for skiing or snowboarding and lots of unique scenery in between, with infinite variety of Southern California landscapes.

State Parks of Southern California:

With 280 state parks, over 340 miles of coastline, 970 miles of lake and river frontage, 15,000 campsites, and 4,500 miles of trails, California contains the largest and most diverse recreational, natural and cultural locations of any state in the nation.

In Los Angeles County alone, there are more than 30 state parks to choose from. Orange County offers visitors another 6 state parks and San Diego County has about 15 more state parks to visit. Visitors can choose to visit the Tijuana Estuary, the largest coastal wetland in Southern California, located on the international border between the US and Mexico.

The estuary, often called an “intermittent estuary” is primarily a shallow water habitat, which is prone to extreme changes in stream flow at different times of the year. With extended periods of draught, many parts of the estuary are left dry, while at other times, it can be subject to flooding. For that reason, the Tijuana Estuary is considered a unique part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The Tijuana River Estuary is one of the few salt marshes remaining in Southern California, where over 90% of wetland habitat has been lost to development. The site is an essential breeding, feeding and nesting ground and key stopover point on the Pacific Flyway for over 370 species of migratory and native birds, including six endangered species.

The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve offers another spectacular view in Los Angeles County. Blooming poppies blanket the reserve in spring with their bold orange color. Every bloom is quite amazing. If you plan your trip in advance, you may catch this phenomenon. If you are looking to find the exact location of a particular flower or plant, the park ranger staff can point you to the right trails when you arrive.

Check each of the California State Parks for camping availability and to determine which allow RV Camping before you arrive.

California National Parks:

Within just a few hours’ drive of Los Angeles, you can find Pinnacles National Park, the Channel Islands National Park, Cabrillo National Monument and Joshua Tree National Park. Named for its founder, Juan Rodgriguez Cabrillo, the first European to set foot on what is now the west coast of the United States, Cabrillo National Park is home to a wealth of cultural and natural resources.

Pinnacles National Park was formed about 23 million years ago from the eruption of various volcanoes and a unique landscape still remains. Travelers can journey through chaparral, oak woodlands, and canyon bottoms. Hikers enter rare talus caves and emerge to towering rock spires, teeming with life including prairie and peregrine falcons, golden eagles, and the inspiring California condor. Bird watchers and hikers alike will find amazing treasures in Pinnacles National Park.

The Channel Islands are near Ventura, encompassing five remarkable islands in their ocean environment. This park preserves and protects a wealth of natural and cultural resources. Isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants, and archeological resources found nowhere else on Earth. The Channel Islands has helped preserve a place where visitors can experience coastal southern California as it once was.

Named for its founder, Juan Rodgriguez Cabrillo, the first European to set foot on what is now the west coast of the United States, Cabrillo National Park is home to a wealth of cultural and natural resources. At the southern tip of San Diego, this is a part with unique views of the Pacific Ocean and more. Visitors can climb to the statue of Cabrillo and see natural plant and animal life of Southern California here.

Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. About 3 hours east of Los Angeles, Joshua Tree displays a fascinating variety of plants and animals that make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features

add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in southern California. Joshua Tree is located in southern California between I-10 and Hwy 62; its headquarters is in Twenty Nine Palms, CA.

And the hottest, driest and lowest National Park is Death Valley National Park, bordering Nevada and California. Here you will see a below-sea-level basin, which steady drought and record summer heat have made this park a land of extremes. These extremes make Death Valley a rare picture of contrasts: towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite the name, there is a great diversity of life surviving in Death Valley.

 

Need to Rent an RV?

If you’d like to rent an RV for your southern California adventure, start by checking our California El Monte RV Rental locations. There are 5 southern California rental locations to choose from. This page also contains much more information about traveling by RV in California so be sure to check it out when planning your next RV adventure.

Florida is home to so many exciting festivals while the rest of the country is freezing that it is hard to resist the call to come south for the winter! If you have been in the Sunshine State before in late February and early March, you will know that there are many things to do – enough to keep you happily occupied with lots of food, music and fun. Here are a few of the upcoming festivals to mark on your calendar.

Florida Strawberry Festival from February 27th – March 8th. There is no shortage of fun and entertainment at this annual event, now in its 85th year! The Florida Strawberry Festival is an 11-day community event celebrating the strawberry harvest of Eastern Hillsborough County. Each year, over 500,000 visitors enjoy the festival’s headline entertainment, youth livestock shows, rides, commerce exhibits and, of course, its famous strawberry shortcake.

The 2020 Battle of the Bands has been whittled down to the Top Ten, who will be performing there. There are a variety of free entertainment options at the Festival in various locations around the park.  In addition, some top headline artists will include Reba McEntire, The Oak Ridge Boys, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Patti LaBelle, Rascal Flatts and many others. Check the Florida Strawberry Festival website for the full lineup of entertainment. The Florida Strawberry Festival was started in 1930 by the local Lions Club to help promote the local strawberry crop. Despite a few years off due to World War II, it is still flourishing in eastern Hillsborough County, about a half hour east of Tampa.

If you are a sea-foodie, come and enjoy the Grant – Valkaria Seafood Festival, February 29th and March 1st at the Grant Event Grounds – located between Melbourne and Sebastian Inlet State Park, off US 1 in Grant. For more information about this festival that is special to all the wonderful families and individuals, crafters and cooks, sponsors and performers who support it, see the link above for their website.

Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival – March 5th to March 8th, Sunshine Grove, Okeechobee, FL – The Okeechobee Music + Arts Festival is back this year for a full weekend of music, camping, art, and unique transformational experiences! The festival will take place amongst 800 acres of lush grasslands, lakes, woods, and jungle in Sunshine Grove, Florida, with nature-filled and lakeside camping options.

In addition to OMF’s three main stages, dance music lovers will gravitate towards Jungle 51, dusk till dawn dance party nestled in the heart of the jungle that has hosted some of the biggest names in house and techno in recent years. From dawn till dusk, OMF attendees will again be able to experience Aquachobee Beach, situated in the scenic background where Sunshine Grove’s jungle meets the white sand beach, which will give Okeechobeeings the chance to catch daytime live music sets while swimming and sunbathing.

Daytona Bike Week – March 6th – 15th – Daytona Beach, FL – Daytona Bike Week, the world’s largest motorcycle event, is celebrating 79 years in 2020!

It’s an event you won’t want to miss. This year’s 10-day event proves it’s high-octane with street festivals, concerts, motorcycle races, bike shows, rallies, manufacturer showcases and more. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world enjoy spring riding in Daytona Beach along historic Main Street to Midtown, Scenic A1A Highway and through the best of old Florida, the Ormond Beach Scenic Loop. The celebration continues at Daytona International Speedway, Bruce Rossmeyer’s Destination Daytona, and the U.S. 1 corridors in Daytona Beach and Ormond Beach.

Wondering how to travel to these Festivals? Come in your RV so you’re already set to stay as long as you wish in either locale.

Need to Rent an RV?

You can easily rent one of our RV’s at one of our Florida El Monte locations. It is only an hour from Orlando to Tampa and just 40 minutes from Orlando to Plant City. Check out availability for your travel dates on our Where you can Rent RV’s page.

NASCAR Season Races to California, Arizona, Georgia and Florida in March

NASCAR racing excitement started again this February as Denny Hamlin won the famous Daytona 500, followed by Ryan Blaney and Chris Buescher in 2nd and 3rd places at the kickoff race. Now, the energy continues at the Auto Club Speedway …

 

NASCAR Season Fires Off at Daytona

NASCAR fans missing the fun at their tracks for the past few months will be happy to know that racing starts again this February, with several races at Daytona, culminating on February 16th with the famous Daytona 500. Before that …

 

RV Adventure: Winter in State and National Parks of Southern California

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Ideas for February Festivals

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Let’s say you live somewhere near Chicago and you would like to rent an RV to see the Wild West – maybe venturing to Nevada, Arizona or Southern California. Or you are in DC area and want to take in …

 

RV Vacation – South Florida Fair – Visit in January and Great Recipes to Cook When Going RV’ing!

Here is a special blog for this time of year. How to cook quality food while RV’ing? How to make your meals special and not feel like they are “canned” or pre-made?  We have some timely tips for your RV …