Hiking and RV Camping in Joshua Tree National Park

Camping in the surreal landscape of Joshua Tree National Park is unlike any other American camping experience. The huge, uniquely shaped boulders, the distinct silhouette of thousands of Joshua Trees marching along the desert floor and the abundance of desert plant and animal life make coming to this place where the Mojave and Colorado Deserts meet fascinating. It also provides an amazing place for hikers to explore, stretching twelve-hundred square miles through Southern California near Palm Springs.

Where to Camp at Joshua Tree

RV Camping at Joshua Tree National Park

RV Camping at Joshua Tree National Park

Camping at Joshua Tree NP is fairly easy, if you prepare ahead for ‘dry camping’ conditions. There are actually five developed campgrounds within the park, with two equipped for RVs. There aren’t any electrical, water or sewer hook-ups at these campsites, but two campgrounds—Black Rock and Indian Cove—have drinking water available within the campground. Reservations are highly recommended from October to May, as the mild winter temperatures in this desert national park make it a popular place with campers.

Here are some tips to help make your Joshua Tree National Park camping experience a good one.

* Generator use is limited to 7-9 a.m., 12-2 p.m., and 5-7 p.m., so plan electrical use accordingly.

* Pets must remain leashed at all times outside your RV.

* Only small campfires, within fire rings or grills provided by the park, are allowed. * If no campsites are available on your desired dates, use this link from NPS.gov to locate other local options.

* Always practice Leave No Trace camping etiquette.

Where to Hike at Joshua Tree NP

You’ve set up camp and you’ve laced up your hiking boots, but which way to go? You could start at one of the park’s three visitor centers to get an overview of the unique ecosystems and the trails that wind through them.

Or you could use this handy guide to Joshua Tree NP hiking trails at NPS.gov. Either way, you’ll find plenty of information about popular destinations within the park. Here are just a few suggestions for places to discover from the park’s nearly three dozen trailheads.

Keys View is a rocky promontory with views of the Coachella Valley. The short loop trail is accessible via a twenty-minute drive from Park Boulevard.

The seven-mile hike into Lost Palms Oasis leads to a palm-filled canyon.

Making the hike up to Mastodon Peak is a must if you’re in good condition, as you’ll never forget those views of the Salton Sea.

Older kids would love the one-mile hike into Hidden Canyon, where enormous boulders are said to have once hidden cattle rustlers.

These are only a few of the dozens of trails that you’ll encounter as you begin to explore Joshua Tree National Park on foot. Keep in mind that, even in winter, this is a place of sudden weather changes, so always be prepared. You’ll also want to carry plenty of water in this desert environment and respect the plant and animal life that makes this place so special.

Consider hiking and camping at Joshua Tree National Park on your next visit to Southern California. If lack of an RV is keeping you at home, give us a call and we’ll help you find the rental location and RV model that suits your plans. It’s going to be a trip you’ll talk about for years!

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

Celebrate National Parks Week with an RV Camping Trip!

With America’s National Parks Week just around the corner, it’s time for RV camping fans to start planning for national park camping. For one hundred years, the National Park Service has managed our country’s most beautiful destinations. In honor of their centennial, from April 16-24, 2016 they’re waiving entrance fees for all national park visitors.

With more than four hundred destinations to choose from, finding the perfect national park for your April camping adventure might seem difficult. Never fear! We’ve gathered tools to help our readers locate national park campsites and attractions from Acadia NP in coastal Maine to California’s Joshua Tree National Park. Ready to plan?

How to Pick Your Next National Park Camping Destination

One of the things we like best about America’s National Park Service is their visitor-friendly attitude. Since 1916, they’ve been refining their outreach to national park visitors to make it easy for anyone to access information on NPS-managed locations.

Finding a park that suits your interests, travel schedule and camping style is simple, with several ways to search and access national park information. The first is through the FindYourPark.com website, a community-engagement resource where national park fans can share information, search for national park locations and learn about ways the NPS connects with communities.

National Park Service

National Park Service

Another excellent resource for national park RV campers is the National Park Service  website itself. You can search for NPS-managed locations, including national parks, heritage areas, historic sites and monuments, state by state, by using their easy-to-understand search tools. Once you’ve located one or more possible National Parks Week camping destinations, click on each park’s link to access information such as driving directions, things to do, places to see and campground amenities.

What to Expect RV Camping at a National Park

Never camped at a national park campground and wondering what to expect? National Park Service campgrounds run the gamut from no-hookups ‘dispersed camping’ to full-hookups, amenity-rich developed campsites. One note for those who plan to camp during National Parks Week—entrance fees are waived, but campground fees will still apply.

Here are some examples of national park campgrounds, to give you an idea of the range of amenities.

  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area, that water sports wonderland on the Arizona/Nevada border, offers both developed campgrounds run by concessionaires and NPS-run campgrounds with water and dump stations but no hook-ups.
  • The campgrounds at Everglades National Park also offer a range of possibilities, from sites with electric hook-ups only on Florida Bay to ‘dry camping’ sites in a pine forest.
  • Yosemite National Park’s ten campgrounds are located amidst magnificent scenery, but plan ahead because hook-ups aren’t part of the camping amenities.
  • Maine’s vast and scenic Acadia National Park gives RV campers the choice of primitive campsites, electric sites and electric/water sites.
  • The large campground at Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park is a beautiful spot without RV hookups but with easy access to the cave’s entrance and miles of above-ground hiking trails.

Ready to Go National Park Camping?

Keep in mind, no matter where you camp in America’s national parks, you can expect scenic wonders, outdoor adventures and interesting people you might never have met otherwise. Don’t those all sound like fantastic reasons to go RV camping during National Parks Week?

One more tool  for planning to camp in your RV at a national park—Recreation.gov offers a wealth of ideas and information on national park vacations, and for those campgrounds that allow reservations, this is the place to reserve your campsites before you go.

Let’s celebrate our country’s National Park Centennial by doing what we love best—camping in a motorhome or trailer.  And be sure to let us know about your national park camping experience in the Comments Section below!

Posted in Florida RV Camping Vacation, Kentucky RV Camping Vacation, Maine RV Camping Vacation, National Parks, Nevada RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

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!

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

What Will You Find While Camping in the Everglades?

Alligator in the Everglades

Alligator in the Everglades

Exploring the vast national park that encompasses the Florida Everglades is an adventure every RV camper should experience. The wildlife, scenery and enormous land and water mass of Everglades National Park  come together to create an unparalleled camping experience. If you’ve never been, you may be wondering if it’s all about ‘gators and airboats, but there’s so much more to discover when you come to South Florida’s ecological treasure.

Camping Opportunities You’ll Find in the Everglades

The National Park Service serves up top-notch camping facilities in all fifty states, and campgrounds at Everglades National Park are no exception.

Two campgrounds within the National Park can accommodate RVs—Flamingo Campground and Long Pine Key Campground. You may find portions of the campgrounds closed during wet season (May to October) but they are both wide open and welcoming campers every day from November to April.

If you choose to camp at Long Pine Key, you’ll be on the Park’s southeast side, near the Homestead entrance. The quickest route is through Miami, south on the Florida Turnpike to Florida City. This plan positions you to explore the Long Pine Key Trail (see below) and the wildlife-rich trails connected to the Royal Palm Visitor Center. This is a no-hookups campground but water and a dump station are available. Campsites are first-come, first-served.

Farther south, at Florida’s most southern tip, Flamingo Campground has developed campsites, dump stations and solar showers. It’s also accessed via the Homestead entrance by traveling about forty miles into the park past Long Pine Key and the Pa-Hay-Okee Overlook to the Flamingo Visitor Center. Camping at Flamingo puts you close to plenty of outdoor adventure, with easy access to water and hiking trails. We strongly advise reserving your campsite if you plan to stay at Flamingo Campground during the winter months.

Wildlife You Can Find in the Everglades

With more than a million acres covering the gamut from sawgrass prairie to mangrove swamps, you won’t miss out on wildlife watching opportunities when you visit the Everglades.

As you hike the trails, take a tram tour, paddle a canoe or take advantage of access points like the Shark Valley observation tower, you might just see not only alligators but also saltwater crocodiles, West Indian Manatees, bottle-nosed dolphins, several species of bats and an abundance of wading birds.

Depending on the habitat, you may cross paths with raccoons, grey fox, river otters and flying squirrels. Keep your eyes on the ‘River of Grass’ in all its forms—there’s always some kind of creature making its way through this one-of-a-kind sanctuary.

Outdoor Recreation You’ll Find in the Everglades

We’ve mentioned wildlife viewing and RV camping, but what else is there to do outdoors at Everglades National Park? Plenty!

The extensive paddling, biking and hiking trail system within the Park can keep you busy for weeks, so let’s talk about some of the most popular pathways:

  • Anhinga and Gumbo-Limbo Hiking Trails, Royal Palm Visitor Center: Anhinga Trail is a little less than a mile long, full loop, and is accessible. Lots of bird and wildlife watching along the way. The shorter, quarter mile, Gumbo-Limbo Trail is also paved and wheelchair accessible, offering a quick view of the coastal hammock habitat.
  • Bayshore Loop Hiking Trail: Two miles long and offering a view of Florida Bay, this trail can be reached via the Flamingo Campground.
  • Shark Valley Biking Scenic Loop: This fifteen mile bike trail is for experienced bicyclists able to make the whole loop, but it is also a terrific opportunity to observe wildlife, birds and the ever-changing landscape of the Everglades. If you’re not up for the bike ride, tram tours are also available for this loop.
  • Ten Thousand Islands Water Trails: Experienced paddlers will find the perfect challenge by following one of the water trails along the Gulf Coast of the Everglades. Start at the canoe launch at Everglades City and follow your chosen trail toward Big Cypress National Preserve. Not confident of your ability to paddle these backcountry trails safely? There are boat tours available, so you won’t miss out on the mystery and beauty of this vast wilderness area.

You can also indulge in saltwater and freshwater fishing at many spots throughout the National Park. Check the website for information on other activities such as birdwatching, kayaking and eco tours for an in-depth Everglades experience.

Setting up camp in Florida’s Everglades National Park can be the beginning of one of your best RV vacations. Make plans to visit now by reserving your Miami RV rental and planning your Everglades activities. The River of Grass is waiting to take you on the ultimate outdoor adventure.

Posted in Florida RV Camping Vacation, National Parks | 1 Comment

Where Will You Go on Your First RV Trip?

For millions of Americans, RV travel is the only way to go. They love the flexibility, convenience and economy of taking their home along on their excursions. If you’re ready to join the trend but aren’t sure which destinations work best, we’ve got good news! No matter whether you’re planning to hike the trails in a national park or spend your days gaming at a Vegas casino, there’s a campground close by. So the real question is…where will you go on your first RV trip? 

RV Camping at National Parks

Need wide, open spaces to occupy your brood, with plenty of choices for outdoor recreation? Our country’s national parks are a treasure waiting to be discovered. It’s easy to find information on campgrounds, special places and ranger-led activities, thanks to NPS.gov. Choose your region, pick a park and then use the park’s Plan Your Visit menu as your guide.

Need some suggestions for your first national park RV camping trip? Here are five to consider:

  1. Yellowstone National Park – hiking, camping, paddling and outstanding wildlife
    Yellowstone National Park

    Yellowstone National Park

    watching in the wilds of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

  2. Acadia National Park – come to Maine’s rocky Atlantic shore for climbing, hiking, scenic driving, ocean paddling and unforgettable campgrounds.
  3. Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area – Atlanta’s urban waterway, wild and free and filled with special places to hike, paddle and relax. Area campgrounds are abundant!
  4. Olympic National Forest – Washington’s Pacific coast is just the beginning of your camping adventure, thanks to this park’s lakes, rainforests and mountain regions.
  5. Yosemite National Park – The waterfalls! The famous peaks! The wildlife! There’s nowhere in this California High Sierra gem that isn’t extraordinary. Reserve your campsites early, it’s one of the most popular parks in America.

RV Camping in Urban Destinations

Think your first RV camping trip has to be to the great outdoors? Think again! Here are three ways RV camping in America’s cities is a best bet for your first trip.

  • RV Camping to MLB Spring Training: Love to watch baseball and can’t wait for regular season play? In both Florida and Arizona, Major League Baseball teams start warming up in early spring and play dozens of games at excellent local stadiums. Read our guide here to RV Camping to Florida Grapefruit League MLB Spring Training or Arizona Cactus League MLB Spring Training and go watch your favorite teams on your first RV camping trip ever!
  • RV Camping to Casinos: All over America, casinos are catering to RV travelers, so why not combine your first RV trip with a week or a weekend of gaming? Click here for our guide to finding RV-friendly casino accommodations.
  • RV Camping to Music Festivals: One more way to break in to RV travel is by camping at urban music festivals. Whether in a city park or around the town lake, these festivals are custom-made for your first trip. Here’s our guide to RV camping at music festivals.

Motorhome travel fits the budget of every newbie camper, thanks to the availability of RV rentals in most areas. Try on different floor plans and option packages before you purchase your own. You may even decide that renting is the way to go whenever you go by RV.

Use the suggestions to start your own trip dreams brewing and let us know where you go on your first RV camping trip. We’re here to help make it your best vacation ever!

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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

Through Utah’s Arches and Canyons on an RV Expedition

You haven’t seen true natural beauty until you’ve seen the arches and canyons of the American Southwest!  Years of erosion from wind and water have shaped the terrain of Utah into soft, flowing valleys and towering spires of rock.  Utah’s arches and canyons should be on your “must visit” vacation list, and you’ll need several days to take in every amazing sight.  In order to do this vacation right, pick up an El Monte RV in Salt Lake City or get an RV rental from a location closer to your home from one of the other numerous El Monte RV rental locations found throughout the U.S. and then get ready for the expedition of a lifetime!

Amazing Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah

Amazing Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah

Your first destination should be Dead Horse Point State Park.  Despite its name, the park is anything but dead!  The most famous feature of the park is the view from the top of a 2,000 foot prominence above a “gooseneck curve” in the Colorado River.  Over the millennia, the river has carved its way deep into the rock of the park, leaving layer after layer of fantastic, multi-colored rock.  The sight of the river’s slow and steady meandering journey through the landscape will take your breath away.

A short drive away you’ll find Arches National Park.  The name may be simple, but there’s a reason this is a world-famous destination for lovers of the great outdoors.  You have to see the natural arches to believe them.  The graceful arcs of stone look like they shouldn’t be able to stand on their own.  The longest, Landscape Arch, is an incredible 306 feet long!  After you’ve finished snapping pictures, take some time to sit back and simply enjoy the view!

If you’re ready to find an even more hands-on approach towards examining the arches, check out the Moab Adventure Center to sign up for some rock climbing and canyoneering.  At the Adventure Center, expert guides will help you suit up and scramble over hundreds of feet of red rock.  You can even rappel down into chasms or off a giant arch!

After getting up close and personal, the next best way to see the parks is from up high.  The best way to do that is by way of a hot air balloon!  Canyonlands Ballooning will take your group up, up and away over Moab, Utah, and all of the incredible surrounding countryside.  The expansive view of the landscape can’t really be comprehended until you take it all in slowly from the sky.

Incredible Capture of the Double Arches and MIlky Way, Arches National Park, Utah

Incredible Capture of the Double Arches and MIlky Way, Arches National Park, Utah

Another view you can’t get anywhere else isn’t just from the sky – it’s of the sky itself.  Far from bright city lights, take your RV out at night to meet up with Redrock Astronomy.  After arriving at a designated “dark sky site,” Redrock Astronomy will regale you with tales of how early Native Americans understood the universe and their relation to the stars.  You’ll get to examine those stars through a high-powered telescope and see them with a level of clarity that’s impossible to attain near towns and cities.

The arches and canyons of Utah are like a whole different world.  Pick up an El Monte RV motor home today and you can head out on an expedition you’ll remember for your entire life!   Remember to plan ahead and reserve your camp site inside the Arches National Park HERE!  For information on locating other RV campground locations CLICK HERE.

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For information on renting a motor home CLICK HERE!

Picture Credits: Panoramic Arches National Park by Bruno Monginoux and Double Arches under Milky Way by John Fowler, both licensed under Flickr Creative Commons
Posted in National Parks, Utah RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

An RV Trip to Death Valley

An ideal winter vacation is to head for Death Valley in an RV.  You avoid the crowds and find incredibly hot weather.  You can enjoy the desert landscape with the natural phenomena you’ll only discover in these desolate spots here on our great planet Earth.  Explore and explore some more.  There is nothing quite like Death Valley for a unique experience!

Death Valley is a Winter-time Wonder to Warm Up the Body

Death Valley is a Winter-time Wonder to Warm Up the Body

Don’t forget to carefully pack for your adventure.  You’ll want to ensure you bring the following items:

• Sunscreen

• Sunblock

• Sunglasses

• Wide brimmed hat

• T-shirts, tank tops, shorts

• Light jacket or sweater

• Hiking boots

Get to Death Valley National Park by starting out in Olancha, California and driving to the Death Valley Junction.  It should take around three hours for this section of the trip depending on how many stops you make along the way.  This is a huge park with more than 3 million acres with plentiful wildlife. There are numerous RV campgrounds in the area which will give you a comfortable and convenient home base from which to operate.

Don’t miss Darwin Falls in the Panamint Springs area and stop to see ten kilns which were built in the late 1800s to help in the processing  of silver and lead ore.  These are called the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns.  All while you venture into these desert landscapes you will be making fascinating memories to share with those back home.

There are three other areas of Death Valley National Park, each with their own unique attractions.  The next one to see is the Furnace Creek area.  This area has a number to things to do and places to see, such as the scenic drive called Artist’s Drive, hiking in the Golden Canyon, and a terrific overlook at Dante’s view.  You’ll also want to learn of the history of Borax in the valley at the Borax Museum. Another famous view is available at Zabriskie Point.

When you make time to see the Stovepipe Wells area you will discover some amazing sights. See the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at night with the moon shining down for a very eerie view.  Marvel at the shiny marble walls of beautiful Mosaic Canyon.  Enjoy a stroll along the wood boardwalk when you go to Salt Creek.

Head on over to the Scotty’s Castle area where you can explore a Spanish-style mansion at Scotty’s Castle & Visitor Center.  Also be sure to visit the highest and most colorful dunes in California, the Eureka Dunes.  You may have heard about the mysterious sliding rocks.  This occurs at the Racetrack, and you’ll want to stop here and see if you can be the one who solves this mystery.

Natural Bridge in Death Valley

Natural Bridge in Death Valley

Remember, hiking in this area can be quite rigorous, but winter is probably the best time as the weather is cooperative.  Some trails to take while here are the Natural Bridge Canyon, the Desolation Canyon and Gower Gulch Loop.  One great trail is the Golden Canyon Interpretive Trail, an easy two-mile hike.

The desert is always a fascinating place, and you can enjoy the best of it in Death Valley.  Make your trip the best of all in an RV and stay awhile!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

Picture credits:  Death Valley with suntanning feet by Brainsik and Natural Bridge by Mike Baird are licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.  Thank you!
Posted in California RV Camping Vacation, National Parks | Leave a comment

Head to Redwood National Park for an RV Adventure

Whether you are in Southern California or in its northern counterpart, the current weather should be very cooperative for a little getaway up the coast.  You may run into some rain, but since you’ll be travelling in an RV on this adventure, finding a beautiful place to pull over and stop to wait out the storm will not only be very easy but cozy as well!  Pull out your favorite cold-weather movie, warm up the hot chocolate on the RV stove, start popping that tasty microwave popcorn and you’re all set!  There’s hardly any travelling setbacks due to weather while vacationing in a motorhome.

El Monte RV motor home at the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

El Monte RV motor home at the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

You can rent your RV in San Francisco and start out driving up Pacific Coast Highway.  This is one drive that has some of the best scenery in the country.  Stay alert for curves and take your sweet time if the highway is wet, knowing that the drive itself is the best part of the trip and is well worth any effort made due to the amazing sights you will be seeing.  The best thing about traveling up through Northern California is viewing the beautiful Redwood trees.  Some of these trees are the largest and tallest trees anywhere.  You are going to have a true nature experience on this trip!

The Humboldt Redwoods State Park has thousands of acres of trees and many of them are the coastal redwoods.  You will discover fascinating exhibits at the visitor center and you can get directions on taking the auto tour (or we should say RV tour) which is 32 lovely miles.  Don’t miss Avenue of the Giants and don’t fail to get out and do your own exploring of these forests.

When you reach Humboldt Bay, stop and visit Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum and learn a lot about maritime history.  Do you love birds and wildlife?  You’ll also want to stop at Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge.  This is a great place to fit in some bird watching and see many ducks, geese, swan and other birds.

As you move closer to your destination at Redwood National Park, you will come upon a coastal town called Eureka.  You can enjoy many galleries, the boardwalk along the waterfront and the restored homes.  Then continue on to Big Lagoon in Dry Lagoon State Park where you might want to fish.  You can get more bird watching done here too, with lots of osprey and herons.  Throw in a line and catch some fish as well.

Exploring Humboldt Lagoons State Park is the next adventure on your itinerary.  You’ll discover this marshland is a wonderful place to see wildlife of all kinds.  Hike and get some exercise in.  You’ll want to be in shape so you can hike throughout Redwood National Park when you arrive.

Family of Redwood Trees

Family of Redwood Trees

So when you reach Redwood National Park you will be in an ideal location for whale watching, believe it or not!  Although migration was over in December, you could still spot a whale or two off the coast.  The forests here are some of the most gorgeous anywhere in California.

Spotting a Redwood National Forest Elk

Spotting a Redwood National Forest Elk

You may spot some black bears or elk in this area.  For the perfect hike, take off along Lady Bird Johnson Grove.  You will love checking out all that Mother Nature offers you here at Redwood National Park.   Take your family on this California road trip not only once, but go back again and again in an RV to maximize this amazing awe-inspiring vacation experience!

For information on renting an RV in California – CLICK HERE or to rent a motor home outside of the state of California –  CLICK HERE.

Picture credits:  El Monte RV in San Francisco is a company media stock photo and the photos of Redwood trees and Redwood elk by Arkansas shutterbug and Jeffery Delfiscio respectively are licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.
Posted in California RV Camping Vacation, National Parks, State Parks | 2 Comments

Scenic Drives around Palm Springs for the Ultimate RV Adventure

Palm Springs, California, is a wonderful winter destination, particularly in an RV!You have all the comforts of home AND a great way of getting around to see the sights.  The scenic drives in the area are enough reason to come to Palm Springs, not even taking into consideration the amazing shopping opportunities and outdoor recreation.

Palm Springs Tram Ride

Palm Springs Tram Ride

One of the first things you should do upon hitting town is to ride the Palm Springs Tram.  From the top of the San Jacinto Mountains you can look out over some incredible vistas of the Chino Canyon and the desert valley.  Hiking around in these mountains is always a treat of nature with lovely pines and great weather.

A section of the Pines to Palms Scenic Byway is California Highway 74 and 371 and 79.  This highway climbs high up to a maximum of four thousand feet.  As you drive down into Temecula Valley you have the opportunity to enjoy a stop at one of more than thirty wineries to get in some wine tasting.  You will fall in love with these premium wines.

Temecula Wine Vineyards

Temecula Wine Vineyards

When you continue on Highway 74 and take Highway 243, you will come to the lovely mountain town of Idyllwild.  It is fun to experience the eateries in this town, and there are outdoor recreation opportunities for you too.  Pick up a special gift for a loved one back home.  The friendly folk and ambience will have you contemplating moving here.

If you want to take a unique day trip, drive to Joshua Tree National Park.  Remarkable plant and animal life are abundant here, on hundreds of thousands of acres.  You will see both high and low desert landscapes.  The winter months are also the ideal time to visit as the weather in the summer is impossible to tolerate.

Not too far away is the Salton Sea, one of the largest inland seas in the world.  This makes a very interesting side trip from Palm Springs.  You’ll see a lot of bird life and animal life that make their home in this place.  Hiking is one of the most popular pastimes in the area, but some people also like to kayak or fish.

Deep Creek in Lake Arrowhead, CA

Deep Creek in Lake Arrowhead, CA

Head east out of Palm Springs to Coachella Valley’s Thousand Palms Preserve.  This area is a bit cooler than the regular desert landscapes you just left.  You can bring along a picnic, and don’t forget your camera as you’ll want to shoot some photos of the wildlife in the region.  Another place to put on your list of spots to visit is Lake Arrowhead.  This mountain resort offers plenty to do even in winter months.  Right now the mild winter allows you to hike, fish, bike or simply enjoy wildlife watching.

Yes, Palm Springs is a great place to make your base of operations as you travel around and enjoy the sights.  There are several RV Campgrounds to choose from as you travel from place to place.  You will have all kinds of adventures on your RV vacation, ones you’ll remember forever!

For information on renting an RV  near Palm Springs, California – CLICK HERE or if you need to rent a motorhome outside the state of California – CLICK HERE.

Picture credits:  Top photo of Palm Springs Tram by Scott Ableman, middle photo of Temecula Vineyards by Renee Silverman, and the bottom photo of Deep Creek by Logan Brumm, all were found on Flickr Commons. They are licensed under the Explore/Creative Attribution Commons license.
Posted in California RV Camping Vacation, National Parks | Tagged | 1 Comment