Summer RV Trip to our National Parks: Utah to Montana

While you are thinking about where to go and cool off this summer, don’t forget our amazing states in the Northwest, particularly Utah, Idaho and Montana. These scenic jewels are often overlooked when planning summer RV camping excursions. Begin your journey around Salt Lake City where you can rent an RV from El Monte RV Rentals. You would travel from Salt Lake City, perhaps stopping at Arches National Park and taking in Zion National Park before heading north to Idaho and then reaching Montana and the magnificent Glacier National Park.

If it is a leisurely trip, you can take the scenic highways (note US 89), and maybe pick out some other spots to stay in Idaho along the way. Idaho offers several amazing forests, including the Salmon Challis, Sawtooth, Payette, Beaverhead-Deerlodge, and Nez Pence-Clearwater National Forests. After visiting these scenic beauties, remember to keep your compass aimed northeast to Montana, to make this summer’s adventure truly spectacular.

Arches National Park

Double Arch in Arches National Park

Double Arch in Arches National Park

Most visits to Arches involve traveling by vehicle along the scenic drive, which provides access to many viewpoints and trailheads.  Arches National Park has the highest concentration of natural arches in the world. Over 2,500 of these unusual rock formations can be found here. Towering spires, fins and balanced rocks complement the arches, creating a remarkable assortment of landforms in a relatively small area. The park is within an arid, high desert environment with hot summers and cold winters. Parking is limited at all destinations. Popular trailheads like Delicate Arch and Devils Garden often fill for hours at a time, especially on weekends and holidays. Many parking spots can’t fit recreational vehicles (RVs) or vehicles with trailers. If you’re towing a car, considering driving it instead and leaving the big rig outside the park. For more suggestions on traveling in the park and how to avoid the crowds, visit the NPS’ Traffic & Travel Tips page.

Zion National Park

Zion was Utah’s first national park and is still quite popular. Here you can follow the paths where ancient native people and pioneers walked. You’ll be able to gaze up at massive sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that soar into a brilliant blue sky. You can experience true wilderness in a narrow slot canyon. Zion’s unique array of plants and animals will enchant you as you absorb the rich history of the past and enjoy the excitement of present day adventures.

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is truly the gem in the crown of national parks. As the Crown of the Continent, Glacier is the headwaters for streams that flow to the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and to Hudson’s Bay. What happens here affects waters in a huge section of North America. Due to a detection of invasive mussel populations in central Montana, Glacier has closed all park waters to motorized and trailered watercraft until further notice. There has been an invasion of non-native mussels in many of the waters of the Great Lakes and Glacier is controlling boating very strictly to avoid contamination of their lakes. You can read more about the invasive species of mussels and what the Park Service is doing to protect the Glacier lakes here.

However, don’t let this watercraft restriction deter you from visiting Glacier National Park. It is truly one of the most beautiful locations on earth.

Camping Spots

You can discover some of America’s best outdoor experiences in the West.

Here are just a few choices:

Camp in the National Parks – with reservations required for many spots, you may have to book early to get one. But, many sites are first-come, first-served. Our national park system is so technologically sophisticated that you can get full details including which sites filled yesterday and by what time at their websites.

  • For Arches National Park, you can camp at one of 51 campsites among slickrock outcroppings at Devils Garden Campground, 18 miles from the park entrance. You can reserve standard campsites up to 6 months in advance for stays March 1-October 31. All sites are usually reserved months in advance. Between November 1 and February 28, sites are first-come, first-served. Facilities include drinking water, picnic tables, grills, and both pit-style and flush toilets. Click here for Arches National Park reservations.
  • For Zion National Park, there are three on-site campgrounds plus at least five off-site if the ones in the park are full. You should make reservations to get in Zion as it fills up quickly especially in the summer. Click here for Zion National Park reservations.
  • For Glacier National Park, there are 13 different campgrounds with more than 1,000 sites to choose from. Several of their campgrounds are suitable for RV camping. For reservations and more information on available campsites, click here.

To make the most of your National Park RV camping trip, you can easily rent an RV at El Monte RV Rentals in Salt Lake City.

This entry was posted in Montana RV Camping Vacation, National Parks, Utah RV Camping Vacation. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Summer RV Trip to our National Parks: Utah to Montana

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