West National Parks Trip - Fiberglass RV
RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-18-2021, 01:03 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Name: Bill
Trailer: Lil Snoozy / Jeep Cherokee
Pennsylvania
Posts: 310
Registry
West National Parks Trip

Looking for recommendations for a summer trip west to see NPs, fun campgrounds, and other must see attractions. My wife and I would like to see NPs that we have not seen together west of the Mississippi which is basically all except Bad Lands and Glacier, which we have seen and bicycled together.
Our trip will commence towards the NW, then south through California, Arizona, NM, and Texas but can include detours.
As per campgrounds I play classic country and honky-tonk on mandolin. Music festivals, music centric camps, and Naturist camps are a plus but not priorities for this excursion. A fiber glass gathering would also be fun to schedule as well.
We are just now starting to plan an itinerary.
Any comments on North Dakota? We met a lady from ND two years ago in Slovakia that told us their Bad Lands (while not a NP) rivals many NPs for beauty.
I covered a lot of ground in this request but look forward to any and all recommendations.
(PS: Feel free to private message me if you are not comfortable commenting on Naturist Camps)
Thank you in advance for your recommendations and hoping the best of Social isolation to all.
Bill in Pittsburgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2021, 08:01 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Perryb67's Avatar
 
Name: Perry
Trailer: 2018 Escape 5.0
Lanesboro, Minnesota, between Whalan and Fountain
Posts: 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in Pittsburgh View Post
we have not seen together west of the Mississippi which is basically all except Bad Lands and Glacier, which we have seen and bicycled together.
.........................................

Any comments on North Dakota? We met a lady from ND two years ago in Slovakia that told us their Bad Lands (while not a NP) rivals many NPs for beauty.
You bike? Teddy Roosevelt National Park has one of the best loops for bike riding in North America! There is very little traffic on the loop road. We've ridden it 15+ times and always love the ride. Ride counter-clockwise, since the auto traffic drives clockwise 70 percent of the time. I'm assuming climbing hills doesn't bother you. From Cottonwood campground/picnic area it's about 22 miles, add about 15 if you start in Medora.

From Medora it's a one day drive to Yellowstone. Travel on Hwy 212 up Beartooth Pass and enter Yellowstone from the NE for the most scenic drive. Yes, you can pull your trailer up Beartooth Pass.
We've done it once with our Escape, once with our 16' Scamp, once with our 17' Casita, and once with our old 21' Aerolite sticky.

Let me know if you actually ride the loop and what you think.

Enjoy,

Perry
__________________
2018 Escape 5.0 TA - 2019 Ford F-150, 3.5 V6 Ecoboost,

Previous Eggs - 2001 Scamp 16' Side Bath, 2007 Casita 17' Spirit basic, no bath, water or tanks, that we regret selling, 2003 Bigfoot 25B25RQ, that we also regret selling
Perryb67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2021, 06:39 AM   #3
Member
 
Name: Jim
Trailer: Casita 17 SD - sold - Lance 1475
Tennessee
Posts: 76
X2 on Teddy Roosevelt NP. Watch out for bison on the road.
jimiller5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2021, 07:21 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
theresa p's Avatar
 
Name: theresa
Trailer: Outback (by Trillium) 2004
New Brunswick
Posts: 1,509
Registry
x3 for Teddy Roosevelt. We toured thru there---and stayed in the campground---on our way home from the 50th Boler celebrations in 2018. Wonderful experience except that they were in the midst of paving the main road from Medora into the park. Slooooooowwww traffic and long waits. We still have the black spray of tar on the trailer to prove it.
We did not have reservations but lucked out on getting a spot. We drove the loop road early in the morning and the sheer number of bison was incredible.

Medora itself, while very touristy, is very quaint and fun to explore. We also went for supper at the Pitchfork Steak buffet beside the Medora Musical (which we did not attend).
Scenery is really awesome!
theresa p is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2021, 10:59 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
Trailer: Casita
Pennsylvania
Posts: 7
We live in the east but have been all over. Stayed in Roosevelt a couple years ago. One big plus: unlike most NPs, it is not crowded, and the rangers actually encourage climbing around on the rocks etc. One big minus: the "drinking water" has an awful taste, the worst we have ever tried, and there is nowhere nearby to get anything else. Fill your fresh tank and/or buy store water before you get there.

Other parks - depends on what you like. Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, Bryce, Zion, Yosemite are all spectacular and crowded and you absolutely need reservations way in advance. Canyonlands, Crater Lake, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and Colorado National Monument are all equally spectacular but more "out of the way" and less crowded. We found all of them worth the effort!
Bob Smucker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2021, 11:39 AM   #6
Member
 
Name: Ken
Trailer: Scamp 16
Anchorage
Posts: 38
West National Parks

See the big ones like Yellowstone & Grand Teton, but definitely visit the less known parks & National Monuments too. Teddy Roosevelt in ND for sure, Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho, John Day Fossil Beds NM in Oregon, Dinosaur NM in Colorado, Olympic NP in Washington, Redwoods NP on the California coast. Mesa Verde & Hovenweep in the Four Corners of Colorado & Utah.
Ken Morton is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2021, 11:52 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
M Scott's Avatar
 
Name: Marilyn
Trailer: 13 ft 2005 Scamp Deluxe; 2002 Subaru V6 Outback
Oregon
Posts: 272
Camping in Western parks

Currently, there are restrictions for entry/camping in California National Parks due to California's Covid Stay at home restrictions.

For parks like Yosemite, Sequoia-Kings Canyon, Mt. Rainier, Crater Lake, you will need advance reservations in any year. For this year, it is unknown when they will open for camping, due to Covid. Best to check individual parks for their operating status.
M Scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2021, 12:10 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Jon Vermilye's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21
Oswego, NY
Posts: 2,116
Registry
While there are many National Parks & monuments, be sure to check out some of the excellent state parks along the way. I'll leave out the most popular National Parks, although they are all worth a visit. You didn't mention Utah, but the state has some of the best NPs & many state parks worth a visit.

Some suggestions with links to photos of my visits:
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
Joshua Tree National Park, CA
Canyon de Chelly, AZ
Capitol Reef National Park, UT
Caverns of Señora, TX
Devils Tower, WY
Goblin Valley State Park, UT
Joshua Tree National Park, CA
Kodachrome Basin State Park, UT
Lost Dutchman State Park, AZ
Picacho Peak State Park, AZ
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA
Valley of Fire State Park, NV
Whitewater Draw, AZ

If you are looking for a specific park or location, or campground, try using the Google search box on my home page. I've spent many years exploring the southwest & have documented visits in my trip journals.

Have a great trip!
Jon Vermilye is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2021, 06:48 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Name: John
Trailer: I started with a 2010 Casita Spirit Deluxe.I now have a 2015, Dynamax DX3-37RV Super-C diesel puller
Box Elder, SD (formerly of Long Island, NY)
Posts: 107
Other than "a summer trip", you haven't stated HOW much time you have for this trip. LOTS of driving involved leaving from PA. If both you & DW can drive, it will be a MUCH more enjoyable that just one person driving.

X4 for Theodore Roosevelt Nation Park. NOTE: there are TWO SEPARATE sections here. You must leave either the north or South Park in order to get to the entrance of the other (~ 1 hour drive). Outside the south entrance you'll find the Medora Musical. WELL worth it IF it's open when you're there.

The Moab, UT area has LOTS to do also. Just outside of Moab, you'll find Arches NP and two sections of Canyonlands NP. In general, you'll find more to do out west than you're likely to have time for. If you're a AAA member, contact your local AAA office for advice, routing and Trip-Tiks.
FlyGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2021, 06:48 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 3,366
Registry
I'd probably go the opposite direction. Some of the best southern parks get really hot in the summer, like Zion.

We did a similar trip like you describe, and we did it the same direction you chose. We saw 25F in Yellowstone, and 105F at Zion. Lesson learned....

+100 Huge fan of Utah. We've been going there every year since 1979. Missed one year, other years we visited as many as three times. All despite not living anywhere close to Utah. Visited Bryce Canyon in June where high temps were around 75F, Zion at the same time was 100F plus. Elevation matters!!

Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend were two surprises we drove by for years. Another surprise is Colorado National Monument, near Grand Junction, CO.

My overall tip is do several trips. So much to see out west, too much for any one trip for sure.
thrifty bill is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2021, 11:33 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
Posts: 982
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in Pittsburgh View Post
Looking for recommendations for a summer trip west to see NPs, fun campgrounds, and other must see attractions. My wife and I would like to see NPs that we have not seen together west of the Mississippi which is basically all except Bad Lands and Glacier, which we have seen and bicycled together.
Our trip will commence towards the NW, then south through California, Arizona, NM, and Texas but can include detours.
As per campgrounds I play classic country and honky-tonk on mandolin. Music festivals, music centric camps, and Naturist camps are a plus but not priorities for this excursion. A fiber glass gathering would also be fun to schedule as well.
We are just now starting to plan an itinerary.
Any comments on North Dakota? We met a lady from ND two years ago in Slovakia that told us their Bad Lands (while not a NP) rivals many NPs for beauty.
I covered a lot of ground in this request but look forward to any and all recommendations.
(PS: Feel free to private message me if you are not comfortable commenting on Naturist Camps)
Thank you in advance for your recommendations and hoping the best of Social isolation to all.
Mount Rushmore in S Dakota, Crazy Horse near Mt Rushmore, Sand Dunes NP in Colorado, Badlands in S Dakota, if you like trains the Durango & Silverton in Southern Colorado and the Cumbres & Toltec in Southern Colorado/Northern N Mexico, Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, both rims of the Grand Canyon since they are very different, Utah has numerous National and State Parks and Carlsbad Caverns in N Mexico. Make sure you have your America the Beautiful Lifetime Pass for Seniors to enter all Natl Parks for free, get 1/2 off of camping in Natl Parks and Natl Forests and free entry to many other government places. That is I'm assuming you or spouse is at least 65 to get the lifetime pass. Sounds like a fun trip.
Jann Todd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2021, 07:27 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Name: Bill
Trailer: Lil Snoozy / Jeep Cherokee
Pennsylvania
Posts: 310
Registry
TIME & DRIVING: We have not yet locked timing down but thinking about leaving our NY camp early to mid July and would like to return to our NY camp by mid to late September.
As per driving, I do all the driving. While my wife is an excellent driver, towing is not her forte. I really do not mind driving. I would prefer to keep my driving to a minimum and not exceeding 300 miles on a travel day, though four to six hundred is feasible when necessary. Three hundred mile days are a walk in the park. I have now towed our Snoozy approximately 50K miles and it is an easy tow.
Bill in Pittsburgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 04:09 AM   #13
Raz
Senior Member
 
Raz's Avatar
 
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
Posts: 4,850
Most National Park campgrounds are run by concessions. Public private partnerships . Most are reservable, many are going reservation only. As such, serendipity is all but gone. I'm sure the current RV trend is making matters worse. Many National Parks are surrounded by National Forests, which used to be first come first served. But even those are becoming reservable. Nothing more frustrating that pulling into a campground half empty but booked full. You'll have to do your homework.
Raz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 08:45 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Name: P
Trailer: Casita
Washington
Posts: 268
A good idea might be to look up the Traveling Robert channel on YouTube. He's been through a lot of National Parks including Olympic. He did not go through the North Cascades or Mt Rainier here in Washington the State. Rainier is busy. North Cascades is pretty much a hiking park. We also have the Mt St Helens National Monument. Actually, everything seems too busy to me, but I am a home grown Warshingtonian and have seen our population explode.

If you happen to be out here, and if the Covid thing dies down, there are some small Pickerfests not far off I-5 where dry camping is encouraged along with jamming. The Winlock Pickerfest is the first weekend in August at a park just outside of Winlock, WA. Then there is the Rainier Pickerfest in Rainier, WA a week or two later. They are both local and fun.

A large bluegrass event is the Darrington Bluegrass Festival, which is in July???Darrington is along one of the highways that access the North Cascades National Park. I've not been to it as I like the small festivals so well, but you might. They also have dry camping available during the festival.
slowpat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2021, 09:52 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escape— 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
NW Wisconsin
Posts: 4,410
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raz View Post
Most National Park campgrounds are run by concessions. Public private partnerships . Most are reservable, many are going reservation only. As such, serendipity is all but gone. I'm sure the current RV trend is making matters worse. Many National Parks are surrounded by National Forests, which used to be first come first served. But even those are becoming reservable. Nothing more frustrating that pulling into a campground half empty but booked full. You'll have to do your homework.
On three occasions last summer we arrived at public ( State / County ) campgrounds that had multiple open sites
Even though those sites were open & not reserved according to the park staff , in order for us to occupy those sites we had to get on the internet and make a reservation .
I see the day when all public campsites will require a reservation
I don’t blame the parks , we keep cutting their funding and staff so they are forced to find revenue sources
( Reservation fees)
Many want eveything to be funded off of user fees and not general taxes and this is the result IMHO
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2021, 11:08 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Name: William
Trailer: Scamp
Lakeville, CT
Posts: 104
If you get near Bryce Canyon please be sure to attend their night sky programs or visit the nearby Dark Rangers.
biw314 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2021, 11:46 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Name: Bill
Trailer: Lil Snoozy / Jeep Cherokee
Pennsylvania
Posts: 310
Registry
As I read these responses it becomes more apparent that advance registrations would be necessary for camping in National or State Parks. This would be very difficult for us as our itinerary is not anything more than an approximation.
We once left Pittsburgh for Maine and stopped at a camp about 70 miles from home. We met nice people and lots of activities and stayed two weeks with the original intention of staying one night. Returning home last year from Florida we stopped at a camp in North Georgia with the intention of staying 5 to 7 days. We left 12 weeks later. Moving on when we are having a good time to meet the obligation of a reservation is not my idea of travel fun. Thus the reason we hated the one ocean cruise we tried. So, with that type of travel plan is boondocking or private campgrounds a viable option? We are not picky as we once stayed five nights at a Cracker Barrel.
Bill in Pittsburgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2021, 12:26 PM   #18
Member
 
Name: Alex
Trailer: Bigfoot
Washington
Posts: 86
Registry
Use the USFS campgrounds

I recommend staying at a Forest Service campground in the Cowlitz River valley between Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier where you could do day trips to both.

Mt.St. Helens gets very little traffic on the east side, but the best views are there, and lots of hiking with big open views without being too hot. It is a several hour drive to the west entrance and the visitors center, but the presentation I saw from a local that became a Forest Service Ranger was excellent. The story that goes with the eruption is very compelling and the remnants of the damage are still quite visible. It is a National Monument, not a NP but whatever...

Mt. Rainier gets much more traffic, and you're probably more likely to see big mammal wildlife there if that's your thing. I find it too crowded for my tastes.

If you go to Olympic National Park, be sure to check out the Pacific Ocean beaches. The campgrounds there get booked up pretty bad, but a stop along the way to walk the beach for a couple hours is nice. If you're adventurous head out to Ozette Lake Campground. It is still FCFS, but if it's full, it's a long drive back to civilization (there is a private campground right next door that is intermittently open). While you're in the area, the Makah Indian Tribe Museum is excellent! Lots of artifacts from an excavation done in the 1980's on a settlement that got buried in mud about 500 years ago. Also, there is no road through Olympic NP, it is a long loop around with various spurs into the park.

So that's my report on the Southwestern quarter of WA State. Enjoy tour trip!
SnowballCamper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2021, 12:49 PM   #19
Junior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: Na
Washington
Posts: 5
Re 300 miles a day

The states in the West are much larger than the East. For example Idaho is twice the size of New York. Driving 300 miles means you will often be in the same state.
Grin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2021, 01:41 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Herb Sutton's Avatar
 
Name: El Viejo
Trailer: 2002 Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe
Florida
Posts: 236
The north rim of the Grand Canyon is quite different from the south rim.
From Page AZ go to Antelope Canyon. Some years ago we took a flat water raft ride south from the Glen Canyon dam to Lee's Ferry. They bring you back on a tour bus. From there north to beautiful Bryce Canyon. Then to Moab for a jeep ride that is very memorable. In the other direction Great Basin NP is a very pleasant park.
Herb Sutton is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
National Parks of the US, Do you like to visit them Adrian W General Chat 7 07-14-2009 05:06 PM
Who owns our National Parks? Randya General Chat 7 02-09-2009 07:50 PM
Our National Parks Robin G General Chat 6 02-09-2009 12:29 AM
Yellowstone / Grand Teton National Parks Victor Benz Camping, Campout Reports 3 08-30-2006 11:39 PM
ABC 20-20 Most Dangerous US National Parks Legacy Posts General Chat 8 08-03-2003 05:42 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:25 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.