Winter RV Adventure to National Parks: Utah, Wyoming and Arizona

When thinking about where to go for a super fun winter getaway, remember Utah, Wyoming and Arizona. These scenic jewels are often overlooked when planning a winter RV camping excursion. Begin your journey around Salt Lake City where you can rent an RV from El Monte’s RV Rentals. You would travel from Salt Lake City, perhaps driving north first to visit Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Fossil Butte National Monument in Wyoming. Dinosaurs once roamed in Dinosaur National Monument and their remains are still visible embedded in the rocks today. The mountains, desert and untamed rivers flowing in deep canyons, support an array of life. Petroglyphs hint at earlier cultures. Later, homesteaders and outlaws found refuge here. Dinosaur offers much to explore. There are several campgrounds in Dinosaur and nearby.

Fossil Butte National Monument is nicknamed America’s aquarium in stone. The world’s best preserved fossils are found here in the flat-topped ridges of southwestern Wyoming’s cold sagebrush desert. Fossilized fish, insects, plants, reptiles, birds, and mammals are exceptional for their abundance, variety, and detail of preservation. Most remarkable is the story they tell of ancient life in a subtropical landscape. While camping is not available in this park, there are many choices of places to camp nearby.

As you travel south through Utah, be sure to stop at Arches National Park and Zion National Park before heading south to Arizona and Grand Canyon National Park, celebrating its 100thbirthday this year.

Arches National Park

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

Zion National Park

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

Grand Canyon National Park

Unique combinations of geologic color and erosional forms decorate a canyon that is 277 river miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and a mile deep. The Grand Canyon overwhelms our senses through its immense size. The South Rim is open all year but the North Rim is closed now until May of 2020. Be sure to take advantage of the National Park Service Trip Planner for planning a successful trip to this icon of National Parks. Also check out their calendar of events to commemorate the centennial anniversary of this park’s creation

Camping Spots

In your RV you can discover some of America’s best outdoor experiences in the West.

Here are just a few choices:

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

  • For Arches National Park, you can camp at one of 51 campsites among slick rock outcroppings at Devils Garden Campground18 miles from the park entrance. You can reserve standard campsites up to 6 months in advance for stays March 1-October 31. All sites are usually reserved months in advance. Between November 1 and February 28, sites are first-come, first-served. Facilities include drinking water, picnic tables, grills, and both pit-style and flush toilets. For Arches National Park reservations, check out the link above.

 

  • For Zion National Park, there are three on-site campgrounds plus at least five off-site if the ones in the park are full. You should make reservations to get in Zion as it fills up quickly especially in the summer. To make Zion reservations, contact the park directly.

 

  • For Grand Canyon National Park camping, find all the information on their website. There are four developed campgrounds where vehicles are permitted plus RV hookups can be found at Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim. The Desert View Campground is closed for winter but when open, it is on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

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

And just to remind you, you can still take advantage of our Season of Thanks Special offer– from now until December 15th, you get a 7thnight free with a 6 night rental from any El Monte RV location. Check all our locations to find one that is nearest you.

Posted in Arizona RV Camping Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, Utah RV Camping Vacation, Wyoming RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

Awe-inspiring RV Adventures to State and National Parks in Utah

Are you up for a real RV adventure? If so, start in Salt Lake City! This is the place to launch an exciting trip to see several national parks and some amazing state parks as well in Utah.

Here are just a few of the national and state parks and monuments that are located near Salt Lake City, Utah. To get more details on each park, see the link. These are some really remarkable places that you won’t want to miss. The scenery in Utah’s National and State parks is just breathtaking!

Wasatch Mountain State Park only 30 minutes from Salt Lake City – This Park offers year-round activities including golfing, hiking, biking, camping, horseback riding and much more.

Timpanogos Cave National Monument – only 37 miles south from Salt Lake City, this is a treasure of many dazzling formations found within 3 spectacularly decorated caverns. The strenuous climb to the cave entrance, a hike gaining over 1,000 feet in elevation, offers incredible views of American Fork Canyon.

Some of Utah’s more spectacular National Parks are located within a 4 hour drive (or so) of Salt Lake City. Here you can visit:

Arches National ParkVisit Arches to discover a landscape of contrasting colors, land forms and textures unlike any other in the world. The park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, in addition to hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks. This red-rock wonderland will amaze you with its formations, refresh you with its trails, and inspire you with its sunsets.

Glen Canyon and Lake PowellEncompassing more than 1.25 million acres, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area offers unparalleled opportunities for water-based & backcountry recreation. The recreation area stretches for hundreds of miles from Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs of southern Utah, encompassing scenic vistas, geologic wonders, and a vast panorama of human history.  Rainbow Bridge National Monument and Lake Powell are found within the boundaries of Glen Canyon.

Canyonlands National ParkThe Canyonlands invites you to explore a wilderness of countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries. Rivers divide the park into four districts: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers themselves. Find out much more about this amazingly diverse park at the NPS website.

Hovenweep National MonumentHovenweep National Monument protects multiple 700+-year-old archeological sites spread over a large area along the Utah-Colorado border. Sites can be reached by car on paved or unpaved roads, but most require walking to fully explore.

A visit to Hovenweep may inspire many questions such as how were the multi-story towers built? Why? What was life like here 700 years ago?

Natural BridgesThis is Utah’s First National Monument. There are three majestic natural bridges here that invite you to ponder about the power of water in a usually dry landscape. This is actually a true testament to the power of water and time, etching a majestic landscape you won’t want to miss.

Driving between the parks in your RV gives you the best views imaginable and an opportunity to see what the ancient Native Americans found so captivating about this country.

There is also a Free Admission Day to many national parks on Sunday, August 25th to commemorate the National Park Service Anniversary.

In addition to these remarkable sights, you can also visit numerous state parks near Salt Lake City.

Some of the State Parks in Utah include Palisade, Antelope Island and Green River. For much more information about the abundant Utah State Parks, please see their website.

And don’t forget that just a 4.5 to 5 hour drive north of Salt Lake City on I-15 is Yellowstone National Park. You can enjoy a leisurely drive through the Grand Tetons where you will find numerous places to stop and take captivating photos or even camp along the way. If you are not in a hurry to arrive at Yellowstone, take your time and savor the beauty of southern Wyoming. It generally takes longer to experience the Yellowstone area than a day. If you allow 4-5 days, you should have plenty of time to pursue some leisure time activities there such as fishing, hiking, bird-watching, etc. Take your time to see some sights off the beaten track and enjoy your freedom to roam the outdoors knowing you can come back to the comfort of your RV in the evening.

To rent an RV for this awesome Utah adventure, contact El Monte RV Rental in Salt Lake City. Here you can find all the information about your Class A or Class C Motorhome for an outstanding summer vacation.

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RV Adventures – Winter Gives a New Look to Western National Parks

Have you thought about what you might do to get out and adventure this winter: is cabin fever getting to you? Well in winter, the drop in temperatures and snowy landscapes will mean a different preparation for national park trekking, but the adventure is well worth the extra effort.

Just a few of our most scenic winter park picks are highlighted here:

Mt. Rainier, WA in winter
  1. Mount Rainier National Park, WA – At Mount Rainier you will find all the snow one could ever ask for in winter.One area known as Paradise averages 54 feet of snow each year and held the world record for most annual snowfall in the 1970s at 93.5 feet. Mount Rainier also has all the winter recreation you could wish for with sledding, skiing, sliding, snowboarding, snowshoeing, climbing and camping. Just be sure to prepare well for the weather and check local conditions before your trip. Note: All vehicles, including 4WD and AWD vehicles, must carry tire chains in the park during the winter season (November 1 – May 1) and be prepared to use them when tire chain requirements are posted.    
  • Crater Lake National Park, OR – Winter is the reason that Crater Lake exists. The high elevation and proximity to the Pacific make climatic conditions that cause Crater Lake to receive more than 44 feet of snow on average each year. Without all that precipitation the lake would not exist. If you would like to explore this snowy wilderness, it’s recommended that you try skiing or snowshoeing, plus there are ranger-led interpretive hikes each weekend.

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

Note: Not only do RVs need to be winterized for freezing temperatures, but it’s good to check the park’s webcams website frequently as updates such as this are posted there: “Winter road closures are now in effect. You can enter year-round from the south or west on Hwy 62. The road to Rim Village is also open year-round, except during periods of heavy snow. At Rim Village, you can enjoy views of the lake, weather permitting.”

  • Bryce Canyon National Park, UT – It may be hard to imagine Bryce Canyon’s spectacular earthly spires covered with ice and snow but this park is truly amazing in winter. There are ideal skies for stargazing which due to the cold, dry air makes them even more amazing with a weekly Saturday astronomy program to take advantage of these awesome views. The annual Winter Festival is usually held on President’s Day weekend. Bryce Canyon is even more beautiful in the winter! In the cold, crisp air, it’s thrilling to hop in and out of the warm car at the various overlooks to see the striking contrast of white snow, red rock, and blue sky.  Feeling more adventurous? Bryce offers many opportunities to enjoy its entire snowy splendor.

There are many dangers here in this season, however, so if you do visit, be sure to follow park regulations and get up-to-date weather information at the visitors center before venturing out. Boots are mandatory and traction devices are highly recommended for trail hikers, and back country permits are issued to only the most prepared and experienced. 

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

Holiday Special:

Whatever you do for the holidays, this is a special time to enjoy visiting with family and friends. To make the season even more fun, take advantage of our Holiday Special.

All this month we’re offering a free Monty Christmas night to help you with your holiday travel plans or accommodations! Whether you’re traveling to see relatives, needing extra beds for those visiting you or just getting away from the Christmas hustle and bustle, get a free extra day!

Rent any Class C or Class A model motor home, pick up any day in December and rent for a minimum of 6 nights and get 1 extra night FREE!  Plus you get 50 free miles per night! Get 7 nights for the price of 6!

Use Coupon Code: HOLIDAY

You can easily rent one of our RV’s at our various rental locations from Salt Lake City to Denver or near Vancouver ,CANADA.  Check out our Where you can Rent RV’s page for a location that’s convenient for you.

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Winter RV Trip: Five Stunning National Parks

Feeling the shorter days and colder temperatures creeping up on you? Would you like to plan to get away, have fun and stay warm while you enjoy some of our national treasures? Here are five stunning National Parks you can visit during the coming months to lift your spirits and allow you to commune with nature.

If time allows, combine a few of these adventures while traveling in your RV so you have everything you need with you.

  • You can enjoy dog sledding at Snow Mountain Ranch, near Rocky Mountain National Park in Winter Park, CO. What an unusual experience and so much fun! See more information about it here.
  • Visit Olympic National Park and watch a winter storm travel across the Pacific from a luxurious hot tub. Olympic National Park has 73 miles of coastline that turns into a wave-crashing show in the winter. From November through February, storms coming in from the Pacific Ocean have wind gusts up to 60 miles-per-hour, not to mention the rain, sometimes accumulating six inches in 24-hours. The wind and rain combined can make it look like it’s raining horizontally.  The best time to watch a storm is when the tide is coming in and at high tide. In between storms, use the sunny time to explore the beach with its tide pools and tossed, teetering wood.
  • And at Yosemite, try and experience the Winemaker Weekend- Jan. 25-27, 2019, where you can join Napa’s Elizabeth Vianna, winemaker and general manager of Chimney Rock, at Rush Creek Lodge. Vianna is well-known for her estate-grown wines from Chimney Rock’s green-certified Napa Valley winery. Here you can sip wine paired with a gourmet prepared meal with one of Napa Valley’s renowned winemakers.

    Yosemite Valley

    Yosemite Valley

    Or come and visit the Yosemite landscape by going on a guided excursion. Winter provides a whole different view at Yosemite.

  • Go to the Grand Canyon on the Polar Express! Yes, really! Families looking to capture the awe of the holiday spirit in their children’s eyes will love Grand Canyon Railway’s Polar Express. Chris Van Allsburg’s classic book, The Polar Express, comes to life starting annually in November and ending in early January. Families board the special 1930s-era train at the depot in Williams, Arizona for a roundtrip-ride that lasts about 90 minutes. Passengers will ride through dark and quiet wilderness to The North Pole, where Santa and his reindeer wait. Aboard the Polar Express the spirit of Christmas is passed on to every boy and girl from Santa himself with their own special gift. The train departs at 5:30, and 7:30 p.m., and on some days at 3:30 p.m. Tickets sell fast, so don’t wait to book.
  • The Olympic Park in Utah is a wonderful place to fight the winter blues. Take part in this epic experience and feel more energized after you do it. Have you ever wondered how it would feel to climb on a bobsled and race down the track? In winter, the bobsled travels on ice, just as the Olympians do. You can head to Olympic Park in Park City for this ride on the 2002 Olympic Sliding Track.

Each of the National Parks has RV campgrounds for your accommodations. Check the one(s) you will be visiting for schedules due to inclement weather, but most have some winter operating times and there will be fewer people visiting, so winter can be an ideal time for a quiet getaway.

You can start your RV camping trip near Salt Lake City and rent an RV from El Monte RV there, or if you wish to rent at another location see our Where to Rent RV’s page here. And to make planning your trip even better, check out our RV Rental Deals page for current specials to help you get on your way!

Posted in Arizona RV Camping Vacation, Colorado RV Camping Vacation, Utah RV Camping Vacation, Washington RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

RV Trip: More to See in Moab – Three National Parks

While Wyoming is probably the most visited of all the states with National Parks due to Yellowstone, Moab, Utah is worth including in your National Park RV camping plans. Here you can visit several exceptionally scenic attractions around southern Utah. In the area near Moab, you can see some amazing sights including Capitol Reef National Park, Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. Visitors from around the world come to the town of Moab to experience sunrise over the towering depths of Canyonlands National Park and then follow it up with sunset in the other-worldly red rock scenery of Arches National Park. Moab’s year-round access to thousands of square miles of amazing red rock landscapes, along with the cool waters of the Colorado River, has made it one of the most sought-after outdoor recreation destinations in the American Southwest.

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park preserves 337,598 acres of colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires in the heart of southeast Utah’s high desert. Water and gravity have been the principal architects of this land, sculpting layers of rock into the rugged landscape you see today.

Canyonlands allows you to explore a wilderness of countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries. Rivers divide the park into four districts: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers themselves. These areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, but each offers different opportunities for sightseeing and exploration and adventure. For maps and more information, see their website.

Capitol Reef National Park

Located in south-central Utah in the heart of red rock country, Capitol Reef National Park is a hidden treasure filled with cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline (a wrinkle on the earth) extending almost 100 miles. Capitol Reef’s rich cultural history dates to archaic hunter-gatherers, the prehistoric Fremont Culture, and pioneer homesteaders. Capitol Reef is really a hiker’s dream. Trails here are plentiful and provide views of the red rock landscape as well as this unique geologic feature.

Arches National Park

We discussed Arches National Park in an earlier blog but just to recap:

Most visits to Arches involve traveling by vehicle along the scenic drive, which provides access to many viewpoints and trailheads. Arches National Park has the highest concentration of natural arches in the world. Over 2,500 of these unusual rock formations can be found here. Towering spires, fins and balanced rocks complement the arches, creating a remarkable assortment of landforms in a relatively small area. The park is within an arid, high desert environment with hot summers and cold winters. Parking is limited at all destinations. More information is available at the NPS website.

Where to Camp:

  • Canyonlands National Park: There are two campgrounds in Canyonlands,

    Canyonlands National Park

    Canyonlands National Park

    Island in the Sky Campground and The Needles Campground. Both are open year round but there is no water at Island in the Sky campground. You can get drinking water outside the visitor center from spring through fall. There are toilets, picnic tables and fire rings in the Needles Campground. There are also available public and private campground sites outside of Canyonlands which you can see at visit discovermoab.com or utahscanyoncountry.com.

  • The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) operates many campgrounds in the Moab area. Some accommodate large groups and may be reserved in advance. For more information, visit the BLM’s Utah Recreation Page.
  • Capitol Reef National Park: Camp inside the park at The Fruita Campground which is often described as an oasis within the desert. Adjacent to the Fremont River and surrounded by historic orchards, this developed campground has 64 RV/tent sites and 7 walk-in tent sites. Each site has a picnic table and firepit (walk-in sites have a grill instead of a firepit), but no individual water, sewage, or electrical hookups. There is a RV dump and potable water fill station near the entrance. Restrooms feature running water and flush toilets, but no showers. Accessible sites are located adjacent to restrooms. The Fruita Campground is open year-round, and is the only developed campground in Capitol Reef National Park. To make a reservation, visit: recreation.gov.
  • Arches National Park: Camp among slickrock outcroppings at Devils Garden Campground, 18 miles from the park entrance. You can reserve standard campsites up to 6 months in advance for stays March 1-October 31. All sites are usually reserved months in advance. Between November 1 and February 28, sites are first-come, first-served. Facilities include drinking water, picnic tables, grills, and both pit-style and flush toilets. For more information about camping in Arches National Park, see their website.

You can start your RV camping trip near Salt Lake City and rent an RV from El Monte RV there, or you can start further south around Las Vegas and rent an RV from El Monte RV rentals in Henderson, then head north and east to Utah. You can even pick up your RV at one of these locations and return it to the other if you like.

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

Summer RV Trip to our National Parks: Utah to Montana

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

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

Arches National Park

Double Arch in Arches National Park

Double Arch in Arches National Park

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

Zion National Park

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

Glacier National Park

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

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

Camping Spots

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

Here are just a few choices:

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

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

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

Posted in Montana RV Camping Vacation, National Parks, Utah RV Camping Vacation | 2 Comments

Salt Lake City—Your First Stop for RV Camping Adventures

You may have passed through Salt Lake City on your way to California camping or a Rocky Mountain vacation, but did you know that there are dozens of places to play within a few hours’ drive of Utah’s largest city? From mountain-studded national forests to the starkly beautiful national parks of southern Utah, it’s all easy to access when you start in Salt Lake City.

You probably already know that the city is bordered on the east by the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, stretching two million acres, from northern Utah into Idaho and Wyoming. Plenty of national forest RV camping is available in the Wasatch National Forest closest to our starting point, so pick a place to explore and get started.

Another beautiful spot for RV adventures near Salt Lake City is just an hour southeast, at Wasatch Mountain State Park. With a nice mixture of modern campground amenities and outdoor recreation possibilities, this is a prime spot for RV campers new to the Salt Lake City area.

While camping at Wasatch Mountain State Park, you’ll have the chance to play a round on one of the state park’s four golf courses, enjoy scenic drives and hiking trails and visit historic sites, all within the park’s boundaries. You can reach this outdoor wonderland by following I-80 E from Salt Lake City to the junction with US-189 and then south forty miles to the park entrance.

When you’re ready to venture farther south of the city for national park RV camping, you’re in for a treat. Within a five hour drive south of Salt Lake City are a half dozen national parks, each with its own special appeal. From the green and crimson canyons of Zion National Park to the hundreds of natural stone arches in Arches National Park, campers will find unforgettable landscapes in every direction. Here’s a list of the national parks south of Salt Lake City that you’ll want to add to your camping vacation itinerary.

  • Arches National Park – near Moab, UT, with more than one hundred square miles of red rock arches to discover by scenic drive, hiking or canyoneering.
  • Zion National Park – four and a half hours south of Salt Lake City via I-

    Zion National Park

    Zion National Park

    15, waits to amaze RV travelers with the sight of enormous sandstone cliffs turned shades of pink and red by time.

  • Bryce Canyon National Park – tucked between I-15 and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, promises memorable views and once-in-a-lifetime hiking through gigantic sandstone ‘hoodoos’ and spires.
  • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument – just east of Bryce Canyon, is a vacation in itself, an area the size of a small state filled with slot canyons, plateaus swooping upward from the desert floor and wilderness areas filled with hidden waterfalls and streams.
  • Capitol Reef National Park – north of Grand Staircase, is a completely different experience for RV campers Visit the Fruita Historic District to learn about Southern Utah’s early settlers and then plan time to hike or take a scenic drive to see the multi-colored canyons formed by this giant ‘fold’.
  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Lake Powell – in far southern Utah, has outdoor recreation opportunities for everyone. Scenic drives, trails and the blue, blue water of Lake Powell will lead you to red rock canyons, historic sites and impossibly tall rock formations. Don’t forget to make the trip to Glen Canyon Dam; the tour is worth the drive! 

Southern Utah travel tip: RV travelers to southern Utah may find it easier to make reservations at private RV campgrounds that surround these national parks, as the campsites within most parks fill early. Fortunately, quality RV parks abound in Southern Utah, so just remember to make reservations before you come. 

Didn’t we say there’s a lot to see and do when you begin your RV camping adventures in Salt Lake City? Pick one or two or stretch out RV camping season and see them all. The state and national parks spread across the Beehive State are sure to become a part of your favorite RV travel memories.

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Nine State Park Campgrounds to Kickstart RV Camping Season

What plans have you made for camping on Memorial Day Weekend and beyond? With the beauty of America’s state parks just waiting to be enjoyed, there’s no time like the present to find your favorites in the comfort of a motorhome or travel trailer.

If you need some help deciding where to go first, why not use our list below of nine state park campgrounds that RV campers love to visit? Then build your own list and be sure to let us know in the comments section where you plan to go RV camping this season.

Nine State Park Campgrounds for RV Camping

  1. Salt Point State Park – California

“Camping by the rocky Pacific shore, just off iconic Highway 1 north of San Francisco”. Doesn’t that sound like a splendid way to kick off camping season? With coastal trails, an underwater park for divers and coves just waiting to show you the best views of the summer, there’s no reason not to add Salt Point State Park to your camping itinerary.

  1. Pocahontas State Park – Virginia

Fishing, paddling and more bring RV camping families to this state park near Chesterfield, VA. Besides the many miles of hiking, mountain biking and multi-use trails, you’ll find an Aquatic Center for swimming with the kids, Beaver Lake where you can rent canoes, kayaks and paddleboats and Swift Creek Lake, where the largemouth bass can be legendary. It’s just three hours north of Roanoke, VA and easy to access from Richmond and Norfolk, too, so why not make this park a goal for this summer?

  1. Grayton Beach State Park – Florida

Sugar sand beach, a scenic coastal dune lake and a pleasant RV campground—that’s what you’ll find at Grayton Beach State Park on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Not only can you play on the beach and hike the trails through coastal forest and dunes, you’ll also enjoy Western Lake, a prime spot for paddling and fishing.

  1. Golden Gate Canyon State Park – Colorado

Why not kick off the summer camping season by picking up your Denver RV rental and then heading west (and a little north) just thirty miles to Golden Gate Canyon State Park? Your camping party will find twelve-thousand-acres of rocky, tree-lined trails, be surprised by clear mountain lakes and, in the midst of all that, enjoy modern, convenient RV campsites.

  1. Elk Neck State Park – Maryland

About an hour and a half northeast of Baltimore, jutting out into Chesapeake Bay, is a wonderful place where hiking, lighthouse viewing, swimming and RV camping are just the beginning of the adventure. Elk Neck State Park, on the peninsula between Chesapeake and the Elk River, offers a whole vacation full of interesting things to do. Bonus: Nature photographers are going to love the trails, the seaside cliffs and the wealth of wildlife this gorgeous state park promises.

  1. Mills Norrie State Park – New York

What if you could pick up your RV rental near New York City and then drive north a couple of hours to a wooded paradise on the Hudson River? Would that help you jump into summer RV camping season? Then a visit to Mills Norrie State Park is in order! Wooded, no-hookups campsites with views of the river, trails through forests and to state historic sites, a legendary public golf course, a river marina and an on-site environmental center round out the perfect spot for a summer vacation on the Hudson.

  1. Clear Lake State Park – California

Just a couple of hours northwest of Sacramento is the chance to camp on the shores of California’s largest freshwater lake. Clear Lake State Park is a bass angler’s dream that also promises shaded campsites, hiking and interpretive trails and a visitor’s center. Bring the boat and plan to stay awhile!

  1. Shabbona Lake State Park – Illinois

Drive an hour straight west from our Glen Ellyn El Monte RV Rentals location and you’ll find Shabbona Lake, the “Muskie Capitol of Illinois”. Besides great fishing, your crew can rent kayaks and discover the lake’s scenic shoreline, hike the woodland trails and enjoy the amenities at the state park’s well-managed campground.

  1. Palisade State Park – Utah

A place to play for everyone—that’s the best way to describe the playground two hours south of Salt Lake City. Palisade State Park, home to Palisade Reservoir (great trout fishing here!), is also home to a public golf course, an expansive campground, miles of hiking trails and OHV trails in a high desert canyon. What could be better for kicking off summer camping season?

These are just nine of the places people like to play when they go state park RV camping in America. Let us know where you like to go, and as always, let us know if we can help with an RV rental.

Posted in Colorado RV Camping Vacation, Illinois RV Camping Vacation, Maryland RV Camping Vacation, New York RV Camping Vacation, State Parks, Utah RV Camping Vacation | 1 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 | 2 Comments

Six Spectacular RV Camping Trips to Find Fall Color

Chase a splash of red up a mountain road, and be rewarded by an endless valley filled with autumn colors. Wake up in your RV campground to the blaze of red and gold glory all around. That’s the beauty of an RV camping trip to find fall color.

These six spectacular trips offer a banquet of autumn beauty to RV travelers. It’s not too late to plan your itinerary!

  1. Gatlinburg, Tennessee:  Located on the northern boundary of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and half a day’s drive from Louisville, KY, Gatlinburg is one of our favorite autumn destinations. Use it as your starting point for one of the many scenic drives through the National Park to net a camera full of autumn color.
  1. Bristol, Rhode Island:  There’s never a bad time of year to drive Rhode Island’s coastal highways, and autumn there is particularly memorable. From the grounds of the Blithewold Mansion to the autumn wonders of Colt State Park on Narragansett Bay, RV travelers will find their fill of fall color in Bristol. RV vacation bonus—it’s a short drive via I-95 from Boston!
  1. Park City, Utah:  If you find yourself RV camping near Salt Lake City this autumn, take the time to visit Park City, less than an hour east on I-80. That’s where to start your journey through miles and miles of golden aspen as you follow the Provo Canyon Scenic Byway, with a side trip up the Alpine Scenic Loop “Backway” through Sundance. Don’t miss this Western wonder of nature!
  1. Grand County, Colorado:  The county and forest roads around the Rocky Mountain towns of Granby, Grand Lake, Winter Park and Fraser reveal some of

    Fall Foliage

    Fall Foliage

    Colorado’s best fall foliage. About an hour and a half from Denver, Grand County RV campers can find hours of autumn color along byways like County Road 50 (Church Park Rd) west of
    Fraser and Hwy 34 from Grand Lake to Granby. Autumn travel extra—keep an ear open for elk bugling during fall mating season!

  1. Tioga County, Pennsylvania:  Here’s an RV traveling family’s chance to see the PA Grand Canyon, as well as unforgettable autumn vistas! Tioga County, PA, a couple hours’ west of Kingston, boasts charming towns like Wellsboro, where quaint shops and homes are surrounded by glorious hardwoods in full autumn blaze. Follow the county roads between Ansonia, Wellsboro and Colton Point State Park for your best fall camping trip photos.
  1. Galena, Illinois:  As your motorhome rolls into Galena, Illinois, be prepared to be charmed! This Mississippi River town along the Great River Road blends abundant autumn leaves, streets winding up scenic hillsides and Victorian homes and shops galore. About three hours west of Chicago, Galena is one of the finest places to find fall foliage in the Midwest.

Admit it, you’re hoping to make an RV trip into the countryside to witness the beauty of autumn foliage. Use these suggested itineraries to start your trip planning, and don’t forget to give us a call if you’re in need of an RV rental. This autumn promises to be spectacular! Don’t miss the chance to see it for yourself with an RV camping trip to find fall color.

Posted in Colorado RV Camping Vacation, Fall Foliage, Illinois RV Camping Vacation, Pennsylvania RV Camping Vacation, Rhode Island RV Camping Vacation, Tennessee RV Camping Vacation, Utah RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment