Five Memorable Mountain RV Campgrounds

Follow a winding road to find a mountain campground way back in the forest. Hike wooded trails to the secret places where wildlife abounds. Hike back to share your stories with new friends at the campground. America’s state and national parks in mountain locales provide memorable settings for your RV camping adventures. Pick one from our suggestions, and be sure to let us know what you discover!

Rocky Mountain National Park – Moraine Park Campground – Colorado

You’ll find this mountain RV camping paradise off Hwy 36 near the Beaver Creek entrance of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. Elk and deer will greet you as you wake to the splendor of immense Moraine Park and the surrounding Rockies.  

Moraine Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Moraine Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

This Colorado mountain campground puts you close to hundreds of miles of hiking trails, plus scenic Trail Ridge Road, mountain lakes and waterfalls and the mountain village of Estes Park.

Details: Paved roads into the campground. No hook-ups at campsites, but toilets and drinking water are available. Bring your solar shower bag to use in the designated shower enclosure to save RV water/power. RMNP shuttle takes campers to nearby trailheads. Campground is close to Estes Park and Moraine Park Discovery Center.

Black Rock Mountain State Park – Hickory Cove Campground – Georgia

The Blue Ridge Mountains within Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest are home to wonderfully scenic Black Rock Mountain State Park. Waterfalls, a mountain-top visitor center and scenic vistas surround RV campers who make the trip up this park’s winding roads. Black Rock Lake Trail is popular with hikers of all ages, while two more-strenuous mountain trails lead hikers to unforgettable views.

Details: Winding two-mile drive up to campground. Standard water/electric sites, some 50-amp available, showers, toilets, dump station available in campground. Shaded, gravel camping pads. Close to trails, some ranger-led activities available.

Coolidge State Park Campground – Vermont

Located in Coolidge State Forest, we rate this as a mountain campground thanks to the Green Mountain views that surround it. A small, rustic campground nestled in the forest, it’s close to hiking trails well worth discovering. Throughout the state park you’ll find original stone structures built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, adding to the park’s vintage feel. Bonus—park fees also provide access to nearby Camp Plymouth State Park for boating and swimming.

Details: No hookups, dump station is available. Flush toilets and coin operated hot showers. Nature center should be a stop for all visitors. Easy access to hiking trails.

Painted Rocks State Park Campground-Montana

Where Montana’s Bitterroot Range wraps itself around Painted Rocks Reservoir, you’ll find a valley campground that speaks to the heart of those who love wildlife, remote pine forests and mountain fishing. Two hours south of Missoula, Montana, this small lakeshore campground is the perfect spot for a fishing and camping vacation. Moose, black bear, peregrine falcons and great blue herons call the Bitterroot Valley home, so bring your binoculars and your favorite fishing gear to catch cutthroat trout and whitefish.

Details: No hookups, vault toilets, first come, first served campsites. Motorized fishing boats, kayaks and canoes allowed on reservoir, boat ramp available.

Mount Hood National Forest—Spring Drive RV Campground—Oregon

You’ll find this photogenic spot two hours east of Portland on US-26. Located on the southeast edge of Mount Hood National Forest, Spring Drive Campground combines woodland beauty with RV convenience by offering full hookups for self-contained RVs. Rock climbing, mountaineering, hiking and fishing venues surround the campground, with spectacular views of Mount Hood and other area peaks. Reserve your site before you go, as this is a small, secluded campground popular with hikers and nature photographers.  

Details: Full hookups, no dump station, separate drinking water or toilets available. RVs must be self-contained. Large, private back-in sites in a forest setting.

Why not make it a goal to go RV camping in one of America’s mountain ranges? State and national park campgrounds throughout the country offer scenic campsites, easy access to outdoor recreation and a deeper appreciation for the people who saved these special places for future generations.

Let us help with an RV rental reservation close to home or in a city near your alpine destination. The mountains are calling—isn’t it time you answered?

Posted in Colorado RV Camping Vacation, Georgia RV Camping Vacation, Montana RV Camping Vacation, Oregon RV Camping Vacation, Vermont RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

AAA Members-Look Skyward! 2017 Eclipse RV Travel Savings

You may have noticed our earlier discussion about the singular celestial event that’s coming to America in 2017. To refresh your memories, we’ll be enjoying a total solar eclipse over America on August 21, 2017. A special reason we’re highlighting this opportunity for RV travel again is that AAA members can save big when renting an RV to view the solar eclipse.

AAA members always enjoy RV rental discounts through El Monte RV Rental & Sales as part of their active membership. For this year’s total solar eclipse experience, the nationwide auto club is encouraging members to hit the road in an RV to find the optimal eclipse viewing sites.

This article on the 2017 eclipse in AAA’s April member newsletter offers information on where, when and how to view the eclipse. If you aren’t currently a AAA member, this link offers you the opportunity to join so you can take advantage of the RV rental discounts.  

Solar eclipse

Solar eclipse

Haven’t started making plans to see the moon’s shadow completely block the sun from Earthly viewers? Here are the details you’ll need to plan your 2017 total solar eclipse RV vacation:

When Will the Eclipse Occur?

The shadow of the moon will align to blot out the sun from our view for approximately two minutes at 10:15 a.m. PDT on the Pacific Coast near Newport, Oregon. That will be the North American debut of the 2017 solar eclipse. The moon’s shadow will then block the sun from sight in an arc across the US, moving back over the Atlantic off the South Carolina coast at 2:48 pm EDT.

Where Will the Total Eclipse be Visible?

This excellent map of the eclipse trajectory shows the fourteen states (from Oregon to South Carolina) crossed by the “path of totality”. On that path, there’s a sixty-mile band of optimum viewing of the entire eclipse event. Outside that band, you won’t be able to see the total eclipse and will have to settle for partial eclipse memories.

To help you plan your eclipse-viewing RV vacation, here are some of the cities within the path of totality:

Oregon: Newport, Corvallis, Madras, Salem

Idaho: Stanley, McKay, Idaho Falls

Montana: No cities within optimum viewing band, eight miles of remote mountain terrain only

Wyoming: Grand Teton National Park, Casper, Thermopolis

Nebraska: Scott’s Bluff, Hastings, Grand Island

Kansas: Troy, Atchison, Leavenworth

Missouri: St. Joseph, Columbia

Illinois: Carbondale, Chester

Kentucky: Bowling Green, Hopkinsville

Tennessee: Nashville, Gallatin, Clarksville

Georgia: Blairsville, Clayton

North Carolina: Andrews, Clingmans Dome area of Great Smoky Mountain NP

South Carolina: Anderson, Orangeburg, Columbia

Why Rent an RV to View the Eclipse?

As any experienced RV traveler can tell you, weather changes occur when you least expect them. Viewing the eclipse in all its glory will require staying ahead of cloud cover or storms. Two planning steps can help you win the race:

  •         Watch local forecasts for the area where you plan to view the eclipse. If heavy cloud cover or storms are predicted, have a Plan B viewing location in mind.
  •         Traveling by RV allows you to change plans quickly. The flexibility to move to a better location as the event approaches may make the difference between awesome eclipse viewing memories and traveling home disappointed.

AAA and El Monte RV Rental & Sales can help you plan the perfect eclipse viewing RV vacation, but you’ll need to act fast. Campgrounds are filling rapidly, so don’t delay any longer making your plans.

Where will you be when the sun goes dark on August 21, 2017?

Posted in Georgia RV Camping Vacation, Idaho RV Camping Vacation, Illinois RV Camping Vacation, Kansas RV Camping Vacation, Kentucky RV Camping Vacation, Missouri RV Camping Vacation, Montana RV Camping Vacation, Nebraska RV Camping Vacation, North Carolina RV Camping Vacation, Oregon RV Camping Vacation, South Dakota RV Camping Vacation, Tennessee RV Camping Vacation, Wyoming RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

Climbing, Hiking, Riding and Camping-Oregon’s Smith Rock State Park

Travel about three hours straight north of Reno, NV and you’ll find a place the most active of RV campers won’t want to leave.  Smith Rock State Park in Central Oregon has it all—challenging rock formations to climb, miles of trails for mountain bikers, hikers and horseback riders and dramatic rock spires to spice up your vacation videos.  Best of all, there are RV campgrounds surrounding the park to make it easy to explore in comfort.

Sound like your dream RV camping vacation? Let’s start planning!

Where to Camp Near Smith Rock State Park

You won’t be able to RV camp within the state park, but no worries—you’ve got plenty of options a short drive away.

  • Redmond/Central Oregon KOA near Madras is popular with families and about twenty miles from the park.
  • Crooked River Ranch RV Park north of Terrebonne is also a twenty-minute drive from Smith Rock.  It’s loaded with amenities and adjacent to a golf course, for even more outdoor recreation.
  • Skull Hollow Campground is twelve miles away in Crooked River National Grassland. Fill the fresh water tanks before you come (no hook-ups) and get ready to experience dazzling views of Gray Butte when you come home to rest from your Smith Rock adventures.
Smith Rock State Park, OR

Smith Rock State Park, OR

What to Do at Smith Rock State Park

The real question is, “What not to do at Smith Rock?”  The short answer is, “Don’t plan to be bored!”  With more than six-hundred-acres of volcanic rock formations soaring above the Crooked River, there’s enough room for everyone to play.   Just a few ideas:

Climb! Sport climbing, crack climbing, aid climbing, you name it, there’s a perfect place to climb a rock face at Smith Rock.  You’ll even find those gravity-defying slackliners walking the ropes high above.  The walls and spires here go as high as five hundred feet, with multi-pitch routes, rim rock and sheer drops to be experienced.  Pick your favorite climbing area, or better yet, hire a local climbing guide to show you the ropes at Smith Rock. Either way, you’ll be challenged and you simply can’t beat the views!

Ride! Mountain bikers from around the country have discovered Smith Rock State Park, thanks to the network of hard clay trails with enough switchbacks and gravel to keep things plenty interesting.  Routes like the heart-pumping, seven-mile Summit Trail skirt enormous boulders, scoot along the river gorge and pound downhill from elevations above three-thousand feet.

If you like to take your trails on horseback, you’ll find two multi-use trails within Smith Rock SP that offer gorgeous scenery and the chance to connect with longer trails on adjacent BLM land.  Local trail ride outfitters can provide an unforgettable experience of Smith Rock, as well. 

Run, Hike, Wander!  With so many epic trails to indulge your trail running, hiking or leisurely strolling yen, you’ll soon be scheduling your return camping trip to Smith Rock.  Run the Summit Trail to give your lungs a real workout (and reward yourself with panoramic views at the top.)  Hike the Misery Ridge Trail for a stunning view of the river valley and Monkey Face. Follow the Rim Rock Trail on the edge of the Gorge for heart-stopping vistas and a chance to watch the climbers in action.  These are just three of the trails to follow on foot at Smith Rock. Pick one or combine several to discover this marvelous place from the ground up.

Plan a Trip Soon to Smith Rock SP

There are few spots as memorable for outdoor recreation as Oregon’s Smith Rock State Park. If RV comfort is your preferred mode of camping, by all means bring it along—there’s a pretty place to park the RV nearby.  Plan your adventure, pick a campsite and get moving.  It’s time you, too, discovered the fabled wonders of Smith Rock.

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RV Rentals for 2017’s Total Solar Eclipse

Astronomers, photographers and people who are fascinated by astronomical wonders are going to want to gear up now for the first total solar eclipse visible in America since 1991. On August 21, 2017, the shadow of the moon will begin eclipsing the sun until it completely envelops the sun’s brilliance for more than two minutes. Even more amazing, it will be the first time in ninety-nine years that the eclipse will move from west to east across the US. It’s a sight worth planning for!

Fortunately for eclipse enthusiasts, there are many places along the US viewing trajectory where a full eclipse can be seen, but it will take some planning to be in the right place at the right time! Renting an RV will keep you mobile as you move around weather patterns and other interference, giving you the best chance of seeing a sight most people will never get to see-the entire solar eclipse.

Solar eclipse

Solar eclipse

When and Where Can I See the Total Eclipse?

Thanks to excellent eclipse viewing maps already created (see links below) we can plan our best viewing locations early. Here are the basics for following the path of the Pacific to Atlantic total solar eclipse:

  1. The ‘path of totality’ is an approximately sixty-mile-wide band of optimum viewing space along a trajectory from Oregon to South Carolina.
  2. The moon’s shadow will come between the earth and the sun at 10:15 a.m. PDT on the Oregon Pacific coast, traveling across America on a diagonal until it is visible from the South Carolina Atlantic coast at 2:45 p.m. EDT.
  3. People outside the path of totality may be able to see partial phases of the eclipse, but not the entire celestial event.
  4. Each location along the path will have approximately two minutes of optimum eclipse viewing.
  5. Clouds and weather patterns may interrupt eclipse viewing late in the game, hence the need to stay mobile.
  6. Eclipse followers from all over the world will be coming to America for this amazing event.

How Can We Start Planning?

This unusual event is sparking plenty of interest among astronomy clubs, foreign visitors, schools and homeschooling groups and government agencies. That doesn’t even take into account the average Jane or Joe who hopes to watch in an unfettered location along the eclipse trajectory. 

Fortunately, plenty of folks in the know have created websites, maps and guides to help you start planning. Here are just a few of the places to find complete information on the 2017 total solar eclipse:

  1. com
  2. org
  3. NASA Eclipse Website
  4. Eclipsophile Climate and Weather Guide

Use these helpful websites to determine where along the eclipse viewing path you’d like to set up camp. If you plan to do dispersed camping on BLM or Forest Service public lands in the West, be sure to contact the local office to determine where camping is available. Plan to arrive early, as interest is truly unprecedented and campsites will fill fast, especially in open locations.

If you plan to set up camp in a developed campground and then use your toad or tow vehicle to follow the eclipse, be sure to make reservations early, as eclipse mania will fill campgrounds fast along the best viewing routes. This is especially important for groups hoping to camp together for the event. Here is a helpful link to campgrounds in many states.

Tip: Keeping checking Community Eclipse Viewing Pages such as this one for updates on what plans are being made to welcome and encourage eclipse viewers along the ‘path of totality’.

You’ll also want to reserve RV rentals as early as possible for your family or group. Use this RV rental guide to determine what configuration recreational vehicle works best for you, where the closest RV rental location is and what the budget needs to be for your eclipse-viewing trip.

What’s left to plan? Here’s a quick checklist to get you started:

  • Transportation to the US from other countries
  • Transportation to RV rental location
  • Best route to eclipse viewing location and other attractions along the way
  • Purchasing protective eyewear certified for full solar viewing during the eclipse
  • Packing the equipment, clothing and food supplies appropriate for your length of stay
  • Planning an eclipse viewing party to celebrate this singular event!
  • For teachers and homeschoolers, prepare lesson plans around the science, history and mythology of eclipses

August 21, 2017 could well go down in history as one of the best documented and most viewed total solar eclipses ever. Renting an RV to follow the eclipse puts you in the best possible place for playing your own part in this memorable occasion.

Posted in Oregon RV Camping Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas | 2 Comments

RV Camping Along Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway

When we hit the road this Spring and Summer, let’s find something fascinating to explore! One of the most unusual geological regions in America can be found between Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California and Crater Lake National Park in Southern Oregon. Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway connects the two parks and offers ample opportunity for RV camping along the way.

Where to Start

No matter which end of the Byway is your starting point on this 500-mile round trip journey, it’s going to be extraordinary. California visitors will find Lassen Volcanic National Park, the southern terminus, about two and a half hours north of Sacramento on I-5.

If you’re starting at the northern end of the Byway, you’ll find your starting point at Crater Lake National Park northeast of Medford about 80 miles on OR-140.

What You’ll See & Where to Camp

Whether it’s waterfalls, volcanic lava fields, sparkling mountain lakes or the stunning sight of Mount Shasta, following the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway won’t disappoint. Scenic campsites along the way are an added bonus.

Here are just a few premier points of interest to discover on your route.

  • Pelican Bay on Upper Klamath Lake in northern Oregon is a stop you’ll definitely want to make. Paddle a water trail, fish for record-breaking trout or simply take in the view made famous by John Muir’s writings. RV campgrounds near Klamath Falls will let you camp close to the Bay.
  • Castle Crags State Park – Pick a campsite and then hike the trails for unforgettable views of massive granite crags and Mount Shasta.
  • Lava Beds National Monument/Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge – Lava tube caves, Native American rock art and RV camping in the nearby towns of Tionesta and Tulelake can make this a special stop for Byway travelers who like the unusual. The wildlife refuge is one more reason to make this side trip, with an auto tour through marshes and grasslands for bird watchers.
  • Dunsmuir, CA – History buffs will love this vintage railroad town in the shadow of Mount Shasta. Bring your fly fishing gear—the trout stream in town is legendary! Save time on your trip to admire the waterfalls between Dunsmuir and Mount Shasta, too.
  • Lake Almanor – Located near the southern end of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, Lake Almanor in Lassen National Forest is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Hundreds of forest campsites are available and a shoreline hike promises spectacular views.
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park – Mudpots, a bubbling hot lake and the scenic remnants of volcanoes are only three of the attractions RV travelers will find at this park at the Byway’s southern terminus. Primitive and developed campgrounds within the national park make it easy to extend your stay as you hike and drive through thousands of acres of natural attractions.
  • Crater Lake National Park at the Byway’s northern entrance is a remarkable place to begin or end your journey. The view of the lake is worthy of many vacation photos,
    Crater Lake, Oregon

    Crater Lake, Oregon

    so why not hike the rim trail once you’ve set up camp? See how many of the lake’s ‘wizard islands’ formed by cinder cones you can spot. Speaking of campgrounds, the park’s Mazama Campground has both primitive and developed sites. 

Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway provides RV travelers the chance to experience stunning views and exciting outdoor recreation. You’ll also learn about the history of northern California and southern Oregon with intimate side trips into the countryside, visiting quaint towns and historic attractions.

Let us help with a California RV rental and feel free to use our handy list of California campgrounds to plan your trip. We can’t wait to hear about the memories that RV camping along the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway creates.

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

Oregon’s Honeyman State Park-Four Tips for RV Camping Fun

School may be starting, but there’s still plenty of time for a weekend of R&R on the Central Oregon Coast. Load up the family and go RV camping to Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park.  This coastal wonderland offers dozens of ways to relax and enjoy the weekend. We’ve narrowed it down to four top tips for making the most of your Honeyman State Park RV camping vacation.

Reserve an Awesome Campsite

With the second largest camping area in Oregon, Honeyman State Park has plenty of options when it comes to scenic campsites. Close to the park’s famous dunes, Lakes Cleawox and Woahink and plenty of hiking trails, the campground becomes the center your Oregon RV camping weekend.  Book one of more than three hundred campsites before you come, to make sure you have the services you prefer.

Jump, Boat or Fish in a Lake

Not only will your campsite be a quick drive to the beach, you’ll also be just down the road from two breathtaking, tree-lined lakes. Cleawox Lake is a highly-praised swimming spot, with tall, Pacific Ocean dunes on one side and a forest of pines on the other. It’s a great place to paddle the shoreline in a kayak and watch for wildlife, as well.

Woahink Lake is also within Honeyman State Park’s boundaries, and offers a different experience for Oregon RV travelers. Much larger than Cleawox, Woahink is the perfect spot to enjoy a day on jet skis or behind a ski boat. Fishing here for largemouth bass and yellow perch is also popular among anglers, so don’t forget your gear!

Hike the Dunes!

Did we mention the presence of two-mile-wide sand dunes that lead to the Pacific while providing a backdrop for Lake Cleawox?

Oregon coast

Oregon coast

Many park visitors spend a day or two learning the joys of dune hiking, or for more adventurous souls, sandboarding, up and down these windswept formations. Either way, the views are awesome, so you’ll be glad you reached the summit. Don’t own sandboards? Look for local outfitters in nearby Florence, OR who’ll be happy to supply what you need.

Take an OHV Adventure

One of the main reasons people come to the Central Oregon Coast is to embark on an off-highway vehicle (OHV) adventure at Honeyman’s dunes and adjacent Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. With miles of dunes designated for OHV use, you’re sure to find an area suited to your level of riding skill.

Just off Highway 101 and filled with possibilities, Honeyman State Park is ready to help your family relax and rejuvenate before school is back in full swing! Take time right now to book your campsite, pack your RV or set up an RV rental and get ready to unwind at Oregon’s Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park.

Posted in Oregon RV Camping Vacation, State Parks | Leave a comment

Oregon Caves National Monument – a Novel RV Vacation Experience in the Northwest!

If you’re looking for a fun and unique RV trip to take before the end of summer, but have no idea to which destination you want the road to take you, then this article may provide the perfect solution to your dilemma!  There’s so much to explore in this vast and beautiful country, so we didn’t have to search too far to discover this little RV vacation gem in the Northwest.  The Oregon Caves National Monument is one of the best outdoors vacation destinations in the Pacific Northwest, and an RV vacation is the perfect way to get there and enjoy your visit!

Gorgeous Nature Path at the Oregon Caves National Monument

Gorgeous Nature Path at the Oregon Caves National Monument

To start off your trip, pick up your RV in Sacramento, and you’ll be rolling towards the caves in less than a day.  On your way to the monument, make sure you pause to take in the redwoods of northern California.  These giant trees have to be seen to be believed.  The redwoods get so big that some have roads running through them!  Your RV probably won’t fit through one of these natural wooden tunnels, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a great spot to stop and stretch your legs during the drive.

Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll need a good RV campground, and Lone Mountain RV is well-liked by visitors to the area.  After setting up, head down to Cave Junction and grab a bite to eat.  Lots of visitors enjoy the jerky at Taylor’s Country Store, but if you’re in the mood for something a bit more upscale (and historic) consider stopping at the “Chateau at the Oregon Caves.”  This lodge is one of several that were built in Oregon in the 1930’s, and it is on the list of the Great Lodges of the National Parks.  You can just get coffee if you like or stay for a whole meal in a dining room that has a stream running through it!

If there’s one thing you can count on in Oregon, it’s rain, and it was the effect of rainwater sinking through the forest floor that created the caves.   The rain eroded the underground marble to the point that it created these rare and beautiful caves full of awe-inspiring formations.   Exploring these caves is a great way to cool off from the summer heat.  Kids love to go exploring and these caves are sure to bring out the kid in you as well.

Oregon Caves National Monument

Oregon Caves National Monument

The best way to visit the caves is by means of a park service guided tour.  The professional park rangers can teach you all about the long history of these stone chambers.  In addition to exploring through formations like the “Throne Room” and the “Ghost Room,” visitors can also walk along a creek that disappears into the ground and then flows through the cave itself.  In all, the cave passages are more than 15,000 feet long.  The park that surrounds the cave also boasts eight smaller caves.

During the summer you can take a tour that is guided by candlelight in order to get a feeling for the way the first explorers saw these natural wonders.  Also, later in the year during October, guides deliver “Haunted Candlelight Tours” where you just might hear a few local ghost stories mixed in with the history of these spooky caverns!

Whether you decide to go now or to wait till later in the season, the Oregon Caves National Monument is fun trip for getting the whole family outside and exploring underground.  Start planning your RV vacation today!

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE! or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo credits:  Nature path by James Chang and the Oregon Caves National Monument center by James Wellington both are licensed under Flickr Commons.
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Experience Vineyards Fall Color on an RV Trip to Oregon

A top pick for an RV trip this fall is getting up to Newberg, Oregon to see the autumn leaves turning. Beginning in mid-October, you’ll see great colors as the leaves change to amazing displays of different hues. Only about 25 miles southwest of Portland, you will be in the rural forests of Yamhill County and get to view the region’s fall color glory.

Autumn Driveway in Newberg, Oregon

Autumn Driveway in Newberg, Oregon

All around Newberg is the gorgeous Willamette Valley, with more than 170 wineries. The best part of spending time touring this valley is that the leaves in the area’s vineyards add to the color as their leaves also change color during the fall. In addition to the vineyard colors, you will also be able to discover other great things to do on this Oregon vacation.

Willamette Valley Wineries offer many opportunities for special wine tasting experiences, as well as fall celebrations with music and food. Wine country fun awaits you here – the perfect place to get away and enjoy nature, delicious food and lots of friendly folk.

Now to get into the outdoors and get some scenic views that are enhanced by autumn colors. Bald Peak State Park is only nine miles north of Newberg and offers some outdoor fun for the whole family. On those fall days that are clear, you will be able to see Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood and other magnificent peaks in the distance. Have a picnic and let the kids play in the play areas.

Champoeg Park is another spot where you can hike among fall brilliance on the banks of the Willamette River. There are many hiking and biking trails and picnic sites. Visit and learn more at the visitor center and see an 1860-style garden right next door. A guided walk is always fun so you can learn all about the pioneers who settled this region.

Also in Champoeg Park you can get a taste of history. See the Historic Butteville Store which was founded in 1863. There is also camping for RVs in the park, with more than 67 sites with water and about 8 full hookup sites. They also have an RV dump station.

Roger’s Landing is the place to go if weather will permit boating. You don’t have to get out on the water in a boat however. You can just explore the docks or engage in some bird watching. Fish for salmon or go hiking. There is plenty to do here!

When you are an aviation buff, you will want to travel ten miles to McMinnville to visit the Evergreen Aviation Museum. They have a world class collection of various aircraft, including the famous Hughes flying boat. Enjoy a show at the IMAX Theater while you are here.

Yes, Oregon has it all in the fall or at any time of year. But when you want a fascinating and colorful autumn trip in an RV, you will find it all south of Portland at Newberg and the surrounding valley.

Picture credits: The picture of a driveway in Newburg, Oregon is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Posted in Fall Foliage, Oregon RV Camping Vacation, RV Vacation | Leave a comment

Travel the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway in an RV for a Unique Experience

Lassen Peak as seen from the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway

Lassen Peak as seen from the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway.

Get ready for an adventurous journey in an RV to see the legacy left us by the volcanic activity of yesteryear.  This is one trip that not only takes you into the beauty of the Shasta Cascade area, but affords you the opportunity for an unlimited amount of outdoor recreation. You will travel through forests, wetlands and farmlands to come to a sense of peace and pleasure in Northern California and the southern part of Oregon.

Start your trip near California’s Lake Almanor and stay awhile to enjoy boating, fishing and sailing. Numerous trails provide summertime hiking and the chance to explore the lake and forests. When you reach Chester, you should visit the statue of the famous logger, Paul Bunyan. Take a short side trip to Susanville and perhaps hike on the Bizz Johnson National Recreational Trail.

Only a few miles away you will come upon the famous Lassen Volcanic National Park with its unique geothermal features such as hot springs and fumaroles. You must be sure to include Bumpass Hell on your itinerary when here. This is where a man named Kendall Bumpass stepped through the thin crust of the earth and burned his leg so badly he had to have it amputated. His tragedy has become immortalized here.

When you reach Old Station as you drive north, you will have the opportunity for more hiking on the trails in the area, including Lassen Trail and Nobles Emigrant Trail. Also a must-see is the Subway Cave where you will walk through a lava tube. You’ll need a sweater or jacket, as it gets quite chilly inside. Don’t forget your flashlight either as there is no lighting. If you want to get in some fishing, nearby Hat Creek is one of the best places to go for trout.

As you enter Butte Valley, you will be traveling through the only National Grasslands in the state. Particularly known for the wide variety of wildlife, this area is an incredible place to fit in some bird watching time. This is a High Desert plateau with many lovely communities to pass through. Drive along Highway 97 and catch views of many natural sights. Butte Valley’s Wildlife Refuge is definitely a place to explore.

When reaching Tule Lake, more water sports are waiting for you. Take another side trip to Lava Beds National Monument for more unusual volcanic features such as cinder cones, lava tubes and more! This is a place of wonder for any traveler to enjoy!

As you approach the end of your journey, you can stop in Klamath to look around and also perhaps take time out for some golf at the Running Y Ranch. You will officially end your trip at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon where the violent volcanic activity of years gone by is evident and will show you some of the mysteries of our earth. What an educational and recreational RV trip this has been, and you wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

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

Traveling Along the Columbia River Highway on an Autumn RV Adventure

Columbia River Gorge from Crown Point

Columbia River Gorge Looking East from Crown Point

Jump into an RV motorhome and drive the Columbia River Highway for a unique adventure. This is one scenic excursion that will provide some amazing views. Fall is a wonderful time to go because you will miss the summer vacationers and the parking problems. You’ll also experience beautiful autumn colors as the trees turn.

Yes, Columbia River Gorge during autumn is something to see. And the trip in late fall is one not to miss. The drive takes about one and a half hours, however you will certainly want to allow more time for this 90-mile drive as there are plenty of places to stop along the way. Begin the trip in Troutdale, OR and spend some time there seeing the sights.

Remember, you won’t find a lack of RV camping on the drive. In fact, a great place to stay is the Bridge RV Park and Campground across from the Hood River Bridge. It has quiet and peaceful accommodations with great views.

First stop should be the Lewis and Clark State Park at the western gateway to the gorge. This is also the entrance for the Historic Columbia River Highway. A public boat launch will allow you to get in some boating time. What a great way to soak up some autumn sun! Next stop – on a bluff above Columbia River you will find Corbett Station. Go to View Point Inn to see where the movie “Twilight” was filmed.

At Crown Point State Park, your next stop on your scenic route, you can stop at the Vista House to see a wonderful historic structure. Then you will want to get out and do some hiking in the great outdoors. Mirror Lake hiking couldn’t be better. Then when you reach Guy W. Talbot State Park you can throw out a blanket and have a secluded picnic.

Now for some cascading waterfalls to inspire you to bring out your camera gear. At Shepperd’s Dell State Park you will see the falls that roars over steep cliffs into the creek and rushes on out to the Columbia River. And believe it or not, Oregon has ghost towns! Stop at Bridal Veil to experience a real one! Surrounded by forests, you will find lots of outdoor recreation nearby.

When you want to enjoy the power of nature, visit Multnomah Falls! There is parking right off of Interstate 84 and you just need to walk for five minutes to get to this amazing waterfall. Want to try your hand at fishing on this vacation? You can fish the lake at Benson State Recreation Area and perhaps catch a nice-sized rainbow trout.

Moving on, you will soon come to John B. Yeon State Park where you can hike to your heart’s content. The gentle trail leads you to more lovely waterfalls, and you’ll find the fresh, crisp autumn air makes hiking a pleasure.

Mayer State Park is worth a visit, particularly when you love a little solitude. This time of year won’t have the crowds of summer and you can have a wonderful picnic or enjoy fishing or boating. Don’t neglect to stop at The Dalles, the end of the Oregon Trail. Get another taste of history by visiting the Fort Dalles Museum. Head to Sorosis Park for some incredible views of the area! And you will want to stop at the oldest bookstore in Oregon, Klindt’s. It has the original wood floors and display cases from when it was established – 1870. You can’t beat that for getting the flavor of life in those times.

Families love the Deschutes River State Recreation Area! Go rafting, mountain biking, hiking or fishing. Park at the trailhead near the entrance and take off on a wide trail that goes along an old railroad bed. In the fall you won’t find horses on this trail so you’ll own it!

When you get to Biggs Junction, after a long and leisurely trip along the Columbia River, you will cross the river and head to Maryhill, Washington. You will want to stop in Maryhill State Park to enjoy the natural beauty and take in some cultural history. Walk along the waterfront of the Columbia River.

This brings an end to your Columbia River Highway RV adventure. You can now head home with the knowledge that you have at last experienced the beauty and wonders of Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge. This is one place you can return to again and again and always get a little more enjoyment from your trip.

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