Beat the Late Summer Heat: RV Camping in Medicine Bow National Forest

There’s a place just three hours north of Denver that beckons RV travelers to escape late summer’s oppressive heat.  The deep-forest and lakeside campgrounds of Wyoming’s Medicine Bow National Forest are ringed by snowcapped peaks, steeped in Native American lore and perfectly positioned for maximum outdoor recreation.

Medicine Bow National Forest

Medicine Bow National Forest

Sound like the kind of place you’d like to spend late summer experiencing? Don’t hesitate to make plans, as most campgrounds in this national forest are only open through mid-September.  But there’s still time to park the RV beneath the trees and absorb the cool, green wonders of Medicine Bow.

If that sounds too sedate for your active RV camping crew, never fear. There are so many different ways to experience Wyoming’s Snowy Range!  Here are just a few ideas for spending time while RV camping in Medicine Bow National Forest:

  • Camp at Vedauwoo Recreation Area, just twenty miles east of Laramie, WY on I-80. The campground is surrounded by enormous granite formations, with unforgettable views of the Snowy Range.  The National Park Service has taken great pains to create a comfortable campground that manages to seem wild and remote.

What to do while camping at Vedauwoo?  Go mountain biking on Turtle Rock Trail, hike the more than twenty miles of trails through high meadows and subalpine forests (not to mention taking in the rock formations all around you), or take a quick drive over to the Ames Monument “Pyramid” on the other side of I-80.

  • Did we mention that Medicine Bow NF stretches out for a million acres in southern Wyoming? That’s why it’s possible to camp at places like Silver Lake Campground, eighteen miles east of Centennial on WY-130 (also known as the Snowy Range Scenic Byway) and feel like you’ve left civilization behind. This small, well-planned campground at just over ten thousand feet elevation is only open July to September, making it the perfect late summer refuge.

If you choose Silver Lake as your Medicine Bow RV camping base, the sky’s the limit for outdoor recreation. Hikers will enjoy the short but awesomely scenic trail around the lake and trails to special places like Lake Marie Falls.  There’s also a trail up Medicine Bow Peak, where you can hike as far as your expertise allows (snow and ice even in mid-June, some scrambling across boulder fields near the summit), with magnificent views of the Smoky Range at every level.

Silver Lake itself is popular with ‘belly boat’ fishermen and kayakers, too, so bring the watercraft if that’s your passion.

  • Speaking of fishing, the small Sugarloaf campground tucked into the spruce and pine forests on Libby Lake offers campers the chance to fish two clear, snowmelt lakes—Libby Lake and Lewis Lake—for brook trout and splake.

Popular trailheads in the Sugarloaf area invite hikers to explore the forest or hike the slopes of Sugarloaf Mountain. Great vacation photos guaranteed!

Whether escaping the late summer heat for you means relaxing in a quiet forest campground, hiking to a mountain summit or fishing and paddling your way across an alpine lake, Medicine Bow National Forest is the place to be.

Pick up a Denver RV rental and head north to Wyoming. The Smoky Range is waiting to fulfill your late summer, RV camping dreams.

Posted in Wyoming RV Camping, Wyoming RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

An Autumn RV Adventure in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Take an autumn trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to enjoy the awesome fall colors all around. Splendid views are only a part of the thrill of an RV vacation to Jackson Hole. You have the gorgeous valley landscapes that hold a multitude of outdoor recreational opportunities as well as some educational sites from the Old West.

In the fall, the weather is great. You don’t have to leave your shorts at home, but definitely you will need to bring some warmer clothes, like long-sleeved shirts and jackets. Getting out into the outdoors around Jackson Hole is an adventure. You will see wildlife everywhere you go. Catch glimpses of elk, moose, buffalo and antelope.

RV camping is abundant in the region. You can stay in Jackson at the Jackson Hole Campground or stay at Grand Teton Park RV Resort east of Grand Teton Park. All will provide great amenities and friendly service. An RV, of course, is a great place to relax between all those fun adventures, such as ballooning, whitewater rafting or golfing.

Head north to Grand Teton National Park once you have settled in. You will be able to take in all the fall colors of yellow, orange, red and gold as you drive past. The aspens, cottonwoods and willows all change to brilliant hues. The park itself is a panorama of color, with mountains, lakes, trails and rivers offering tons of outdoor fun.

With more than two hundred miles of hiking trails, you will find plenty of fascinating places to explore. The scenery and the wildlife will fascinate the whole family. The trails are of varying length and are ideal for many levels of capability. Short hikes of a little over three miles long or the longest at 15.8 miles – take your pick!

While in the park, make your way to the Laurance Rockefeller Preserve where there are more trails to hike. In fact, this preserve is the starting point for a whole network of trails. View the beautiful Phelps Lake and stop at some rest areas for views of the Teton Range.

Float trips on the Snake River will make your trip extra-special, with views you could have gotten no other way. Watch for beaver and see if you can spot some of their dams built along the tributary rivers. Otters are also a favorite to see swimming the waters. The best time to see wildlife is around sunrise and at dusk.

Another must-see in Grand Teton is the Cunningham Cabin. Step back into the past and get the true flavor of the Old West as you tour the old homestead with its fascinating stories. Also be sure to include Menor’s Ferry on your itinerary. This was the perfect place to cross the Snake River and a ferry operated here until a bridge was built in 1927. It is possible a replica will be operating when you visit in the fall. (You will have to check dates and times before you arrive at the National Park Entrance.)

Before you leave to go back to Jackson, check out the fun available on Jenny Lake. You can discover plenty of inspiring activities by stopping by the Visitor’s Center. Take a ranger-led hike to Inspiration Point or watch a film on how the Teton Range was formed. If it is chilly outside, you can simply sit and warm up by the fire.

Once back in Jackson Hole, you can have many more adventures before heading home in your RV. Browse the art galleries, walk the boardwalks of downtown and stop in the National Museum of Wildlife Art for a magnificent view of art collections from more than 500 artists. This is also a history lesson in wildlife art.

Take your camera and go to the National Elk Refuge to photograph the elk population in their natural habitat. They are migrating in the fall and this is a sight not to miss! With about 10,000 elk wintering there, it is a splendid opportunity for young and old to witness this yearly event. Then you should make your way to Granite Hot Springs to take a wonderful warm soak in the hot springs.

The trip to Jackson Hole is a wonderful opportunity to see how the Old West really was and how present day recreation can please and relax the whole family. Always end your visit with a cheery goodbye to all the good friends you’ve made, with plans to return again another day.

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

See Wyoming from the Centennial Scenic Byway

Picture of a Winding River Along the Centennial Scenic Byway in Wymoing

Beautiful Scenery Abounds Along the Byway

The Centennial Scenic Byway crosses a stretch of 162 miles, from Dubois to Pinedale, Wyoming.

Recreational Vehicle accommodations are available in Dubois at The Longhorn Ranch, Lodge and RV Park. Make sure to call in advance – the outstanding beauty and recreational opportunities in this region can make peak season quite busy.

An ideal starting point for this part of your motorhome vacation would be the Wind River Historical Centre in Dubois. Here you can learn about the Mountain Shoshone people who were the first inhabitants of the area, the European settlers who came in the 1880s, and the Scandinavian loggers, called “Tie Hacks” who came to work and provide lumber to build the nations railroads.

Setting out on US 26, the route will take you to the Northwest past the eastern flank of the Wind River Range, up through Togwotee Pass. Be ready for the extensive wildlife viewing opportunities along the highway, as the area is heavily populated by moose, elk, and bears. Look upward, as well, as there’s a good chance there’ll be eagles and hawks hunting overhead. You’ll drive across the lush flood plains of the Buffalo Fork River on your way into Grand Teton National Park.

At Moran Junction, the Centennial Scenic Byway turns south across gently rolling terrain toward the Snake River Overlook, which affords a great opportunity to see Grand Teton, standing nearly 14,000 feet high. You’ll pass through the valley of Jackson Hole on your way to Jackson, Wyoming, a bustling town with approximately 9,500 occupants. Jackson is home to many ski resorts, the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and some very interesting arches that are constructed from antlers shed by the large elk population in the region. South of Jackson, at Hoback Junction, the road bears east onto US 189. You’ll drive up the Hoback Canyon, and descend into the Green River Valley. The Wind River Range will again be in view up ahead. Take US 191 to the end of the Byway, in Pinedale Wyoming. If you’ve taken your time, the day should be just about at its end. RV Camping is available at Lakeside Lodge, on the shores of Lake Fremont. Featured activities here are swimming, boating, and fishing.

While in Pinedale, consider visiting the Museum of the Mountain Man to learn about how the fur trade opened up the American west to commerce.

The Centennial Scenic Byway is open year-round, but is subject to local closure due to weather conditions. Make sure to check the status before journeying out in questionable weather. There are recreational opportunities available in all seasons, with excellent skiing at the famous resorts in the valley of Jackson Hole. Also of interest is the National Elk Refuge, also located near Jackson. Every winter it becomes home to 10,000 elk, which can be viewed by a sleigh ride taken from the refuge headquarters.

If you’re visiting Grand Teton or Yellowstone National Parks, the Centennial Scenic Byway affords excellent opportunities for RV Campers to experience the beauty of the West. Don’t miss it!

Picture credits: The picture in this post is from the National Scenic Byways website. Use is allowed if the user displays the copyright and credits with the item. The image is copyright © 1997 The Wagner Perspective.

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

The Beartooth All-American Road into Yellowstone

Picture of the Beartooth HighwayVisitors to Yellowstone National Park can approach from the northeast via one of America’s most scenic routes, the Beartooth All American Road. This stretch of US 212 runs from Red Lodge, Montana, through forested mountains, Alpine tundra, and lush valleys to the park entrance in Wyoming, just past Cooke City. All American Roads are, in the judgement of the U.S. National Department of Transportation, the most scenic of the National Scenic Byways. The Beartooth is the final 70 miles of US 212, which originates in Edina, Minnesota, 950 miles to the East. Please remember that much of the Beartooth is closed during the winter.

Have your camera handy, as this drive features some of the most scenic country on the continent. Plateaus offer fantastic views of sharp peaks dramatically rising up to meet the wide western sky, and the hundreds of small lakes you will drive past can glint in the sun like diamonds or moodily reflect the beauty of the surrounding landscape, depending on the light and how you look at them. A trip along the Beartooth is officially estimated at 2-3 hours, but we’d suggest leaving plenty of extra time to soak up the views, and to enjoy at least one meal at one of the many places you’ll want to stop along the way.

You might want to keep the binoculars at the ready, too. Wildlife viewing opportunities are plentiful here, as the Beartooth highway provides access to one of the last complete ecosystems in North America. At any time during your trip, you might encounter grizzly bears, mountain goats, gray wolves which were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995 and are gaining a foothold, as well as countless species of birds.

The Beartooth begins in Red Lodge and consists of a 69 mile drive into the northeast Entrance of the park. The drive will climb into Alpine tundra at nearly 10,000 feet, and take you past three national forests (Custer, Shoshone, and Gallatin) and through the beautiful Beartooth pass. Winter conditions here are so harsh that only a few hardy mammals stay year round, and the pass is closed to all wheeled traffic. Summertime, however, allows the RV traveller exceptional views of the surrounding scenery. The switchbacks leading up from the head of the valley offer dramatic outlooks, and culminate at Vista point, which has a short walk out to overlook Rock Creek Canyon and Hellroaring Plateau. There are many turnouts along the route that provide breathtaking views of the unspoiled glacial lakes below. These are very narrow and require extra care, especially if you’re driving a rental motorhome that you’re not intimately familiar with.

Driving down from the pass, you will motor through scrubby softwood forests and wildflower meadows. Several large peaks in the Absaroka Range will be visible, including Pilot Peak which is slightly over 11,000 feet. Continuing to descend, you’ll travel through some denser pine forests before emerging at the highway’s namesake, Beartooth Lake. Watch for a great view of Beartooth falls. Just about a mile before going into Yellowstone via the northeast entrance, you’ll pass through the historic mining camp of Cooke City.

Be careful to reserve camping in advance, or to secure your site early in the day, because Yellowstone can be quite busy in mid-season. The National Park Service has information about camping sites available in or near Yellowstone. For camping in Red Lodge, Montana, we’d suggest the Red Lodge KOA.

Also be sure to check the weather, either with the Park Service or the Montana and Wyoming weather services before setting out. Summer snow isn’t unheard of along the Beartooth!

Picture credits: The picture of the Beartooth Highway is from the Wikimedia Commons. It file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Posted in Montana RV Camping, Montana RV Camping Vacation, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, Wyoming RV Camping | Tagged | Leave a comment

RV Camping – The Hunter’s Best Lodging Option

Whether you spend hunting season up a tree in a deer stand or tucked into a duck blind sipping coffee, a comfortable place to call home at night is essential. If you’re planning to travel in search of game this year, why not consider comfortable, affordable RV camping close to the action? Let’s see what RV campgrounds around the US are offering hunters this year:

Twin Creeks Campground in Buffalo, Wyoming features game racks, a hunters’ lounge and quality campsites close to Big Horn National Forest. That’s where hunters will find pronghorn antelope, wild turkey, elk, moose and deer in abundance. If you’re heading for the Big Horn Mountains this year to hunt, reserve your campsite in Buffalo before you go.

Hunting in Colorado this season? Mt Princeton RV Park in Buena Vista really caters to hunters, with space to process and hang game and affordable campsites every hunting season. A couple of hours south of El Monte RV Rentals in Denver, it’s a prime spot to set up camp while hunting elk and mountain goats in the Buena Vista area.

Picture of the Lincoln National Forest

The Lincoln National Forest from Crest Trail

Big game hunters will find state-managed hunting right next door to the RV campsites at Gillespie Ranch RV Park in Mayhill, NM. Elk, deer and wild hogs are just three of the big game species found regularly near the campground. You’ll find this first-rate hunters’ campground four hours south of Albuquerque in the heart of Lincoln National Forest.

If you’re headed for Oklahoma’s Kiamichi Mountains this hunting season, book your campsite now at Honobia Creek Store and RV Park. About three hours north of McKinney, TX El Monte RV Rentals, this RV campground hits the bulls eye for excellent wilderness hunting accommodations. Wild hog hunting is popular in this southwestern Oklahoma region, so ask the RV park owners to schedule a guided hunt. Keep an eye out for Bigfoot!

One more premier hunting and RV camping experience can be found on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at Sherman’s Resort on South Manistique Lake. Not only do they offer first-rate RV camping amenities, they also have a guide service for hunters hoping to find black bear or white-tail deer. Duck hunting is another star attraction for this area, so be sure to reserve your campsite early.

Haven’t hit your style of hunting with our suggestions? No worries – any style hunting expedition is made easier with deluxe RV accommodations. Pick your favorite hunting spot this season and then contact us to book your RV rental. We look forward to helping make your hunting trips memorable!

Posted in Colorado RV Camping, Colorado RV Camping Vacation, Hunting, Michigan RV Camping, Michigan RV Camping Vacation, New Mexico RV Camping Vacation, New York RV Camping Vacation, Oklahoma RV Camping, Oklahoma RV Camping Vacation, Wyoming RV Camping, Wyoming RV Camping Vacation | Tagged | Leave a comment