Six Awesome Swimming Holes to Visit By RV

When experiencing the sweltering heat of summer, it’s natural to daydream about shady pools where the cool, clear water is waiting to offer relief. If swimming holes are in short supply near you, no worries! We’re going to share six swimming holes RV travelers love to visit.

South Yuba River State Park – Bridgeport, CA

The dog days of summer are the perfect time to hike down this scenic waterway to one of the many swimming holes within the state park. Spring flows can be treacherous, but by late summer the river has calmed down and offers sweet relief in its cool, granite-lined waters. Be prepared to hike in the river, as no ‘drive-up’ access to these pools is available.  RV campgrounds in Camptonville and Browns Valley are a short drive from the state park.

Slide Rock State Park – Sedona, AZ

Slide Rock State Park, AZ

Slide Rock State Park, AZ

The cold, clear waters of Oak Creek slip along an eighty-foot groove over smooth sandstone boulders. Swimmers can travel down this natural water slide and beat the heat while enjoying the beauty of Sedona’s famed red rocks. Three tips for enjoying this swimming hole that’s consistently chosen as one of America’s favorites—wear water shoes to avoid falling on slippery rock, wear old shorts over your swimwear to avoid friction related malfunctions and call ahead to make sure the swimming hole is open in late summer (low water flows may close the attraction). Numerous private campgrounds between Flagstaff and Sedona are waiting to welcome RV campers.

Inks Lake State Park – Burnet, TX

The rocky terrain and cool blue waters of this Hill Country lake keep swimmers (and campers) coming back for more. Devil’s Waterhole is a sweet spot for adventurous souls brave enough to dive from the cliffs above. The large, on-site RV campground makes it easy to stay awhile and experience the rugged beauty of the area.

Kings River Falls – Witter, AR

Located in the northwest corner of Ozark National Forest, the Kings River Falls Natural Area is a sight to behold. Ozark Mountain beauty frames the Kings River as it flows over large slabs of rock to create the Falls that swimming hole fans rave about. The water is cold and pristine and so worth the two-mile round-trip hike from the parking area to reach the Falls. More than a dozen developed campgrounds within the national forest present plenty of possibilities for RVers.

Southside Quarry – Louisville, KY

This Louisville entertainment staple is an old-fashioned, quarry-turned-swimming-hole where the music is playing, the sun is shining and there’s a laid-back adults only atmosphere. The quarry is quite deep, so most folks bring along something to keep them afloat. Rocky cliffs along one side create visual interest (and a place to dive from, if you’re brave). The entrance fee goes to charity, so you can do something good while cooling off from Southern summer sizzle.

Madison Blue Spring State Park – Lee, FL

The turquoise waters of North Florida’s natural springs make for some of the best swimming imaginable. Madison Blue Spring on the Withlacoochee River flows up into a hardwood forest, creating an idyllic spot for a lazy, summer afternoon. Both swimmers and cave divers take advantage of the limestone ledges surrounding the pool to make their launch into the spring. Nearby campgrounds include Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Madison, just ten minutes away.

Pack the RV and grab your swim gear. There’s no better way to beat the summer heat than an RV camping trip to find awesome swimming holes.

Posted in Arizona RV Camping Vacation, Arkansas RV Camping Vacation, California RV Camping Vacation, Florida RV Camping Vacation, Kentucky RV Camping Vacation, Texas RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

Spring RV Travel in Search of Desert Wildflowers

North American desert landscapes will host lavish displays of color this spring, thanks to heavy winter rains. In parts of California, they’re actually calling 2017 the year of the ‘Super Bloom’.

It’s time to take the RV out of winter hibernation for a trip to the desert in search of wildflowers. We’ve got all the information you’ll need to hike, camp and thoroughly enjoy the desert’s flashiest season.  

RV Wildflower Viewing Trips

RV Wildflower Viewing Trips

RV Desert Wildflower Itineraries

According to DesertUSA.com, there are several desert locations in America where wildflowers are either blooming right now (last minute RV road trip, anyone?) or will be in full bloom in the next thirty days.

Some of the best places to enjoy desert wildflowers are on BLM preserves. This year has promised to bring such abundant color that the Bureau of Land Management has set up a special hashtag, #TracktheBloom, and is asking desert visitors to share their wildflower photos on social media sites such as the BLM California Facebook page.

That last-minute location we mentioned, where cacti and other desert plants are showing their best colors this month is Carrizo Plain National Monument in California’s Central Valley. Here’s what you need to know to plan your RV trip:

What’s Blooming? Plenty! Expect to see lupine, delphinium, goldfield, hillside daisies and poppies through April in the immense valley that’s home to Soda Lake.

How to Get There? Carrizo Plain NM can be reached via several major highways. From Van Nuys, drive north on I-5 (four-hour trip.) From Las Vegas, it’s nearly a straight shot west eight hours via I-15, same distance from Phoenix via I-10.

Where to Camp? There are two improved campgrounds within this two-hundred-thousand-acre preserve, if you’re up for primitive camping (vault toilets, no utilities). If you prefer developed campsites, there are dozens of RV campgrounds near Carrizo Plain NM in Bakersfield, Santa Margarita or San Luis Obispo.

Or, you could drive farther south to where Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is also in full bloom through late April.

What’s Blooming? Ocotillos, desert sunflowers, many kinds of blooming cacti and spectacular indigo bush are just a few of the species waiting to delight the eye.

How to Get There? The State Park is two hours northeast of San Diego on Montezuma Valley Road, about an hour-and-a-half southeast of Temecula or a six-hour drive west from Tucson, AZ via I-8.

Where to Camp? Lots of options, but be sure to call ahead, as wildflower season may fill campgrounds. Borrego Palm Canyon Campground, The Springs at Borrego RV Resort and Tamarisk Grove Campground, an hour south in Julian, CA are three campgrounds to consider for your RV trip to Anza-Borrego.

We’ll leave you with a trio of other RV road trip ideas to find desert wildflowers. Pick one that sounds fun and get packing!

Have a four-wheel drive towed vehicle? Bounce along the 25-mile Quebradas National Backcountry Byway in southern New Mexico. You’ll find beautiful blooming cacti and desert plants in a rugged, undeveloped setting. Take I-25 south from Albuquerque, follow the Byway signs from Escondida, NM to Escondido Lake and beyond. This is on BLM land, and you can find developed campgrounds nearby in Magdalena, NM.

Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada is another stunningly scenic landscape that’s especially nice when brittle bush and cactus species are abloom. Find it forty miles north of Las Vegas on I-15 (northern end of Lake Mead), with campsites both primitive and developed within the park, or Las Vegas campgrounds close enough to make it a day trip.

Poppies, lupine and globe mallows dominate the slopes of Picacho Peak State Park in southeast Arizona. Located midway between Phoenix and Tucson off I-10, this wildflower haven is easy to access and features hiking trails surrounding the peak that gives the park its name. There are eighty electric-only campsites within the Park (fill those water tanks before you arrive) as well as a private RV resort near the I-10 park entrance.

What better reason to travel by RV in spring than to seek the desert places abloom with wildflowers? Pick one or more of these amazing desert settings and bring your hiking shoes. You’re going to want to get close to nature when you see what she’s offering this spring!

Posted in Arizona RV Camping Vacation, California RV Camping Vacation, Nevada RV Camping Vacation, State Parks | Leave a comment

Camping and Fishing at Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Imagine a place where you can enjoy RV camping, desert mountain views and first-rate fishing year-round. You’ve just caught the vision for Arizona’s Dead Horse Ranch State Park. This pleasant place in the Verde Valley draws RV campers in search of mild winter temperatures and exceptional places to play outdoors.

What You Need to Know Before You Go

Dead Horse Ranch SP is situated about an hour north of Phoenix in Cottonwood, AZ. If you’re renting an RV for the trip, fly into Phoenix for the ultimate in convenience. Once you’ve reached the state park, you’ll find three loops with a total of nearly one hundred developed campsites, all reasonably close to the water.

The park’s modern facilities make camping here easy. From hot water showers to friendly staff and easy access to trails and boat ramps, the campgrounds get high marks with veteran state park campers. Make reservations before you come; it’s a popular place!

It’s also a beautiful place, surrounded by desert mountain plant and animal life in abundance. At thirty-three-hundred feet elevation, you can expect to enjoy much milder temperatures than you’d find further south in the state. It can be as warm as the 60s in winter, coming down into the thirties at night. For a brief spell in summer you might encounter temps above one hundred, but the mercury’s normally lower most of the time.

Fishing at Dead Horse Ranch State Park

If fishing is your favorite part of an RV camping vacation, you’ll love the challenge waiting at Dead Horse Ranch SP. The free-flowing Verde River and the park’s three lagoons offer top fly fishing opportunities, with rainbow trout stocked often.

Fishing for catfish, also part of the stocking schedule, is popular in the lagoons. Nice-sized largemouth bass are pulled frequently from the lagoons, too, so bring along your favorite rigs if you’re a bass angler. The hiking paths around the lagoons add to the ease of access, just one more plus at this well-maintained park.

Here’s a link to more information about fishing at Dead Horse Ranch State Park.

Of course, you’ll want to purchase an Arizona fishing license before you put your lines in the water. One more tip: if you enjoy paddling your kayak to find the best fishing, these waterways where only non-motorized watercraft are allowed are the perfect place to indulge.

Take Time to Explore the Verde Valley

Camping by RV at Dead Horse Ranch SP keeps you centrally located for all Verde Valley adventures, whether that includes fishing, hiking, visiting the galleries and shops in Cottonwood or exploring the area’s many historical attractions.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Take a day off from fishing to visit legendary Sedona, just up the road. A twenty-minute drive will take you to Jerome State Historic Park, where the area’s copper mining history is on display for your discovery. And that’s just the beginning. The natural, cultural and historical treasures of the Verde Valley are well worth slowing down and getting to know.

Finding a state park where RV travelers are welcomed with open arms is always a pleasure. When you find that perfect spot also welcomes avid anglers, it’s a place to add to your annual camping schedule. Bottom line…when traveling through Arizona by RV, don’t miss the chance to enjoy Dead Horse Ranch State Park, where mountains, desert and fine fishing waters come together beautifully.

Photo attribution:  I, Murderbike [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
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US89 – An Epic Two-Lane RV Road Trip through Six National Parks

When you get the yen to slow things down and leave the interstate behind, America’s two-lane highways can lead to some pretty amazing places. US89 traverses the Western US from northern Montana to Flagstaff, AZ, with the chance to visit six of our country’s national parks along the way. Ready to find out why US89 is on many an RV traveler’s ‘got-to-drive-it’ list?

US89 RV Camping Itinerary

Let’s start our journey at the highway’s northern US terminus—Piegan, Montana. You’ll be skimming along the eastern side of Glacier National Park, so don’t miss the chance to experience the Northern Rockies by camping in Glacier NP and hiking at least one of the park’s seven hundred miles of trails. There’s nothing quite like topping a rise to be greeted by the sight of a glacial lake!

Bonus Glacier National Park RV travel tip: if you’re coming from the Pacific Northwest, swing through Seattle to pick up your RV rental as you come.

Let’s keep moving! Quaint mountain towns like White Sulphur Springs, MT will keep things interesting as you make your way south on US89 to Wyoming and the wonders of Yellowstone National Park. On the way, you’ll have passed through Lewis and Clark National Forest, another natural treasure worth spending time getting to know.

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Once US89 reaches Yellowstone at Gardiner, follow the Grand Loop Road south through Mammoth to Old Faithful (not clearly marked as US89 within the park). Take the time to visit as many of the national park’s scenic wonders as you can, including Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Camping in Yellowstone is also a ‘don’t miss’, so make your reservations before you come.

Get ready for the jaw-dropping splendor of the Teton Range as you follow US89 (marked as John D Rockefeller, JR Memorial Parkway) from Yellowstone’s southern border into Grand Teton National Park. The rugged beauty of this national park will lure you to hike one more trail, take one more photo and wonder why it took you so long to visit. Whether you prefer ‘dry camping’ in the forest or a full-hookups site at the foot of a mountain, there’s the perfect place to come RV camping in Grand Teton NP.

When you’re ready to roll south again, the scenic route continues to the famed mountain resort town of Jackson, WY, continuing along the spectacular Grand Canyon of the Snake River and through Star Valley, surrounded the entire time by national forests. You’ll cross over into Idaho and then swing south toward the bright blue waters of Bear Lake at the Utah border. If you’re ready to stop for the night, numerous campgrounds in the Bear Lake State Park area will be right along your route.

Keep following US89 south from Bear Lake as it becomes Logan Canyon National Scenic Byway and then south through iconic Utah towns like Brigham City and Ogden on your way to Salt Lake City. The Wasatch Range, Temple Square, the Great Salt Lake and Wasatch-Cache National Forest offer RV travelers along US89 in Utah plenty of places to stop and explore.

And then it’s south again along the Jordan River, through valley towns where Utah’s Mormon heritage is celebrated and the cool, green beauty of Manti-La Sal National Forest. Palisade State Park’s RV campsites come highly recommended, if you need a place to stop just off the highway.

From Palisade State Park to Utah’s southern border, your RV trip along US89 will be, in a word, “breathtaking.” Utah’s southern National Parks are unlike any other region in the country. Take the quick side trip east to Bryce Canyon National Park to photograph red rock hoodoos and spires and hike a canyon trail. Spend the night in one of this park’s inexpensive campsites before swinging back west to US89 and Zion National Park.

The canyon trails, waterways and multi-colored vistas that bring visitors to Zion National Park will encourage US89 travelers to stay awhile. Whether it’s a scenic drive through Kolob Canyons or a hike through The Narrows, there’s a way for everyone to experience the wonders of Zion. Campgrounds fill early in warm weather, so plan to arrive in the morning.

We’ve saved the best, or at least, the best-known, stop along US89 for last. Grand Canyon National Park north of Flagstaff, Arizona is the final stop on this itinerary. But before we reach the ‘big one’, enjoy the trip as US89 swings east through the magnificent cliffs and canyons of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to cross Glen Canyon Dam at Lake Powell/Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Your camera will be clicking as the blue waters of Lake Powell contrast with surrounding red rock formations for one-of-a-kind vistas.

Once you’ve made your way to the Grand Canyon, choose your favorite campground and set up camp, then let the convenient shuttle service transport you to the national park’s most famous attractions. From Yavapai Point to the Skywalk, there are trails, scenic overlooks and photo opportunities enough for a lifetime of exploration.

Ready to find your own treasured travel memories on US89? There’s no better way to experience the American West than with an RV camping trip from point to point, national park to national park, on this iconic roadway. You can even explore further south along the ‘traditional route’ of US89 all the way to Nogales, Mexico!

No matter where you choose to travel on US Route 89, there’s an RV rental nearby, so don’t let lack of a motorhome slow you down. It’s an epic journey and one every adventurous RV traveler should embark upon at least once. Let us know about your US89 adventures!

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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

Lost Dutchman State Park

Lost Dutchman State Park, east of Phoenix in the Sonoran Desert, offers 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.

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Winter RV Camping in the Desert-Arizona’s Catalina State Park

If the winter months have you longing for the great outdoors—but in a warmer setting—take the RV out one more time to Arizona. Catalina State Park, at the foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains, is a rugged, beautiful place to camp, where thousands of mesquite trees and saguaro cacti are the backdrop for your winter RV camping vacation.

Located just thirty minutes north of Tucson via Oracle Road, the state park is within Coronado National Forest.  The campgrounds there are accessible to the biggest recreation vehicles, so don’t be afraid to rent or bring your own big rig.

Once you’ve reserved your campsite, you’re going to want to plan your hikes, because that’s one of the best reasons to come RV camping in Catalina State Park in wintertime. Arizona State Parks provides this trail map for Catalina SP to help you plan.

Here are three well-recommended trails to try while you’re at the Park:

  • Romero Ruins Interpretive Trail (3/4 mile): Park visitors are fortunate to have the chance to visit an archaeological dig that unearthed the remnants of a Hohokam village, as well as structures from a late 19th century ranch. Pay special attention to the ‘ball fields’ where some type of sports were played by the Hohokam people.
  • Birding Trail (1 mile): Follow this loop through varied habitats to find many of the Park’s more than one hundred species of birds.
  • Canyon Loop Trail (2.3 miles): This trail travels up and down through the foothills of the Santa Catalinas, giving hikers the opportunity to watch for Desert Big Horn Sheep that have been reintroduced to the National Park, as well as black-tailed jackrabbits, javelina and other desert species.

Here are some tips for maximizing your Catalina State Park RV camping experience:

  1. Reserve your campsite before you come, especially during the winter months.
  2. Be aware of the restrictions for taking dogs on the Park’s trails, due to the recent reintroduction of Desert Big Horn Sheep in the area.
  3. Take plenty of water when you hike, even in winter.
  4. The Park has facilities for equestrian camping as well as an equestrian center for staging trail rides. There’s also a stable concessionaire on-site, if you’d like to rent horses on your trip.
  5. Check the park’s website for their calendar of events. There are concerts, scheduled ranger-led walks and other educational opportunities throughout the winter.

Arizona’s Catalina State Park is a scenic, natural wonder and a fantastic place to spend a winter RV camping trip. It’s an easy thing to pick up a Phoenix RV rental and drive a couple hours south to the state park.

Don’t sit home dreaming about RV camping one more time this winter. Catalina State Park is waiting to provide easy-to-access RV campsites next door to the abundant wonders of the desert.

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Scottsdale, AZ—So Much More than Desert RV Camping

Does cold weather have you camped out in your living room, when you’d much rather be RV camping? Take a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona, where you’ll find so much more than desert RV camping. An entertainment and cultural center that’s part of Metro Phoenix, Scottsdale offers RV camping fans the chance to play year-round.

To help our readers plan, we’ve collected some fun tips for making the most of your Scottsdale RV vacation.

Active Scottsdale Ideas

What better way to enjoy the surrounding beauty while in Scottsdale than to take a hike? Use this excellent list of Scottsdale area trails to plan your trip into the Sonoran Desert, around a city lake or over a rocky mountain trail. You’ll also find plenty of wide open space to bike and rock climbing is also a popular sport, thanks to the proximity of peaks like Camelback Mountain.

Here’s another way to get a great walk in while on your Scottsdale camping trip—take advantage of the city’s more than two dozen public golf courses. Pick the Scottsdale area golf courses that suit your style and don’t forget to bring your clubs!

Does your family like to see the great outdoors by four-wheel drive? Book a desert tour in the Scottsdale area—here are just two of the tour vendors ready to outfit your adventure:

Hoping to stay active, but prefer to stick to city streets while in Scottsdale? Take a Scottsdale Segway Tour through the town’s most popular attractions. Older teens will love it too!

Scottsdale Art Adventures

Did you know there are more than one hundred art galleries in Scottsdale? RV campers who love art will think they’ve gone to heaven! Stroll the streets of the Scottsdale Art District and check for special arts events before you go.

Scottsdale Great Eats

While you’re camping in Scottsdale, make a date to sample the excellent Southwestern cuisine for which this desert town is famous. Here’s a helpful link to some of the best Scottsdale local cuisine.

Traveling with kids? Make your way to Old Town Scottsdale and the Sugar Bowl, a legendary soda fountain everyone will enjoy.

And while we’re talking about good eats, if you’re in town on a Saturday, be sure to visit the Old Town Farmers’ Market for organic veggies and other tasty goodies.

Scottsdale Shopping Adventures

Superstition Mountains near Scottsdale, AZ

Superstition Mountains near Scottsdale, AZ

“Scottsdale” is synonymous with upscale shopping, so why not indulge while in town? If kate spade, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Barneys New York are music to your ears, make a trip to Scottsdale Fashion Square. 

If you’re hoping to score some cowgirl fashion out West, the outstanding shops in Downtown Scottsdale have it all, at shops like Scottsdale Pendleton and Saba’s. Drive down the palm-lined drive to The Shops at Gainey Village for one-of-a-kind finds at intimate boutiques and the chance to eat at some pretty amazing eateries.

These are just three of the many places you’ll find to shop in Scottsdale, but you’ll have plenty of room to take home your treasures when you travel by RV.

Hike, climb, bike, eat and shop your way around Scottsdale, and then go home to the luxury of RV camping every evening. With so many ways to play and near-perfect winter weather, it’s easy to see why so many motorhome travelers make their way to Scottsdale. Isn’t it time you joined them?

Posted in Arizona RV Camping Vacation | 1 Comment

Winter RV Holiday Getaways

Have you ever dreamed of saying, “we’ll be away for the holidays,” but haven’t managed to make that happen? RV travel offers real value for families hoping to hit the road for the holidays.

We’re always looking for ways to help our readers plan the perfect vacations, and this holiday season is no exception. Here are five memorable ways to enjoy the winter holidays even more, thanks to the convenience of RV camping.

Amelia Island Florida

Amelia Island Florida

Winter RV Camping Getaway #1 – Amelia Island, Florida

An RV trip to the northeast coast of Florida should always include a stop at Amelia Island. This gem shines with historical and architectural charm, thanks to spots like Fernandina Beach, where entire blocks are on the National Register of Historic Places. You’ll also want to tour Fort Clinch, where the battle over ownership has been waged for more than four hundred years. Beautiful winter weather means highs in the sixties and lows in the upper forties; the perfect holiday RV getaway for snowbound families!

Winter RV Camping Getaway #2 – Boulder City, Nevada

There’s an RV camping haven just thirty miles south of Las Vegas that’s a fantastic family-oriented destination. Boulder City, Nevada is not only the gateway to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead National Recreation Area, it’s also a winter wonderland of wildlife viewing, outdoor recreation and historical sites. Take the kids to the city’s Hemenway Valley Park to watch the bighorn sheep graze around the playground equipment! By all means visit Lake Mead and Hoover Dam—they’re both unforgettable—and while you’re there, hike the 3.7 mile Railroad Tunnel Trail, carved through solid rock for the railroad to use to build the Dam.

Winter RV Camping Getaway #3 – Port St Lucie, Florida

Love to paddle a scenic river trail one vacation day and play on a white sand beach the next? Port St Lucie is the place for you to get away for the winter holidays. The Indian and St. Lucie Rivers that run through this scenic southeast Florida city offer hiking, paddling and fishing opportunities to die for. You’ll also be within easy reach of Florida’s Treasure Coast, where spectacular beaches await.

Winter RV Camping Getaway #4 – Newport Beach, California

Winter break is the best time of all to hit the beach, and Newport Beach, California is a beach lover’s paradise. Park the RV at one of the many scenic campgrounds in the area and then soak up the sun on beaches like Corona del Mar State Beach and Crystal Cove State Park. Don’t miss the winter grey whale watching excursions and book your campground reservation in time to see the city’s annual five-day Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade.

Winter RV Camping Getaway #5 – Fountain Hills, Arizona

Want to camp where there’s scenic beauty all around, but big city attractions close by? Fountain Hills, Arizona, thirty quick minutes east of Scottsdale, is your perfect winter holiday location. Next door to McDowell Mountain Regional Park’s miles and miles of hiking and biking trails, this desert town will charm your family into coming back year after year. Hit the shops in Scottsdale, explore the attractions of Phoenix and then get out into the Sonoran Desert for hours of outdoor recreation. Have a golfer in the family? One more reason to stay in Fountain Hills! The Sonoran Desert Golf Trail will lead your golf enthusiast to some of the best public courses in the country.

Ready yet to plan this year’s winter holiday RV trip? We’re here to help! Let us book your RV rental and offer plenty of information on local attractions. This is the year to make your family’s best-ever holiday vacation memories.

Photo Credits: Amelia Island FL by Michael Kappel;
Posted in Arizona RV Camping Vacation, California RV Camping Vacation, Florida RV Camping Vacation, Nevada RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

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
Posted in Arizona RV Camping Vacation, National Parks | Leave a comment

Five RV Trips to Discover Fall Foliage

RV Camping in Gorgeous Fall Color 

As the last heat of summer wanes, the hearts of RV campers turn to planning RV trips to find fall foliage. Lucky for you, here at El Monte RV we work overtime locating fall color hotspots worth discovering.

Here are five fall foliage trips to tempt you out onto the road for Autumn RV camping. Pack your camera, a jacket and your hiking shoes – you’re going to want to wander through America’s gorgeous fall colors!

Fall Foliage RV Trip #1: New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania

If you’re picking up a New York City area RV rental, you can start your trip in nearby Sussex County, New Jersey. Snugly wrapped in the Kittatinny Mountains, this picturesque county offers leaf peeping opportunities to see oak, hickory and ash forests ablaze in color.

Head north on the New York State Thruway to Albany and then up to historic Saratoga Springs. Continue north into New York’s Adirondack Park for six million acres of fall foliage possibilities!

Once you’ve camped your fill in the Adirondacks, why not swing back south through Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains State Park? Mountain Vista Campground near East Stroudsburg, PA is convenient to hiking trails and scenic drives sure to reward you with fall color.

Fall Foliage RV Trip #2: Massachusetts and Vermont

What could be more scenic than Massachusetts’ Berkshire Mountains in the Fall? Roll through the forests and meadows of these ancient mountains and be on the lookout for fall color through early October. RV camping idea – Historic Valley Campground at Windsor Lake, just north of North Adams, MA, for comfort, convenience and a colorful woodland setting.

If you’d like to extend your leaf peeping trip, head your RV one hour north to Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont. This wonderland of scenic autumn vistas is also home to comfortable RV camping at Camping on the Battenkill in Arlington, VT.

Fall Foliage RV Trip #3: Peak to Peak Highway – Colorado

With a Denver RV rental from El Monte RV, you’re equipped for an unforgettable Rocky Mountain fall foliage tour.  The Peak to Peak Highway takes you north from Denver to historic Estes Park, with miles and miles of gold and orange aspens along the way. Other points of interest to explore as you’re leaf peeping on this route: Blackhawk – famous for its casinos, Rocky Mountain National Park and almost-ghost-towns like Nederland, CO.

Consider a stay at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park near Estes Park, close to plenty of fall foliage scenery.

Fall Foliage RV Trip #4: Northern Arizona

If you’re in the Phoenix area in late September or early October, you’re just a couple of hours away from spectacular autumn color!

Head north on I-17 toward Flagstaff, and plan to spend time driving the scenic routes inside Coconino National Forest. You’re sure to find many breathtaking miles of aspens, oaks and cottonwoods as you ramble along scenic drives or park the RV and hike one of the many forest trails.

All the way through Sedona and into Flagstaff, you’ll have plenty of places to stop and look to your heart’s content at the beauty of Northern Arizona in the Fall. KOA in Flagstaff is a friendly place to stay before you head back south to Phoenix.

Fall Foliage RV Trip #5: Tahoe National Forest, Northern California

Did you know that some of the best leaf peeping in the West can be done just a couple of hours east of Sacramento? Pick up a Sacramento RV rental and then point it east toward the Nevada/California border.  The views east of Nevada City on Hwy 20 (toward Truckee) and northeast along Hwy 49 into the National Forest are reported to be spectacular in late September and early October.

Campgrounds in Tahoe National Forest may close early, but RV campsites are available year-round at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, CA.

Fall Foliage RV Road Trips

Fall Foliage RV Road Trips

Doesn’t a trip through the countryside to find fall colors sound wonderful? See it all from the comfort of an RV – pick an itinerary from one of our five suggestions or plan one of your own. There’s no better time to travel by RV!

Posted in Arizona RV Camping Vacation, California RV Camping Vacation, Colorado RV Camping Vacation, Fall Foliage, Massachusetts RV Camping Vacation, Vermont RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment