6 Western National Parks That Are a Must-See

6 Western National Parks That Are a Must-See

Everybody and their aunt already has a Facebook album dedicated to their trip to the Grand Canyon. Not to take away from its splendor; it’s absolutely breathtaking.

However, for today, we would like to switch it up. There are many lesser-known western National Parks that are just as special to the appreciative eye.

Read ahead to learn more about some of the most beautiful national parks in the US.

Six Western National Parks You Need to See

Here are six of the best National Parks in the US that represent the west. They are great options for a visit!

  1. Olympic National Park

A quintessential west coast national park, this gem of Washington state has it all.

There are not many places in the world, let alone the USA, where you can enjoy mountains, forests, lakes, and the ocean in one place.

You can hike in the magical Hoh Rainforest, the largest temperate rainforest in the country.

  1. Mesa Verde

If you know Mesa Verde is Spanish for ‘green table’,  you are ready for a middle school-level Spanish class.

Jokes aside, Mesa Verde, located in Colorado, is home of the Ancestral Puebloan Cliff Dwellings.

These structures were essentially carved from the cliff well over 500 years ago. The cultural and anthropological importance is immeasurable. Thus, the area has National Park status and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  1. Petrified Forest

This park offers some of the stranger curiosities for travelers. Located among the desert badlands, the Petrified Forest consists of the remains of ancient trees that underwent a process known as petrification.

This chemical process resulted in the preservation of logs that were living with the dinosaurs.

The resulting ‘stone’ is beautiful but don’t be tempted to steal a piece. This can result in legal penalties and an unbreakable curse.

  1. Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park is one of the most unique US National Parks. Road trip enthusiasts must add it to their itineraries. Located in California, it gets its name from the tall rock formations that characterize its surreal landscape.

This park features many natural rock formations that are the result of multiple volcanoes that overflowed with lava about 23 million years ago. Those lava flows slid around and became the unique structures that populate this park.  This park is primarily for hikers and climbing enthusiasts with trails that will satisfy families looking for light hikes as well as adventurers that are looking for more strenuous trails. Check the park website for overnight options- since reservations are required at this time.

  1. Lassen Volcanic National Park

This is another California national park you might not have heard of but is more than worth the trip.

It is home to at least one of each of the four types of volcanos found on Earth, making it a science buff’s dream.

You can also enjoy the lakes, bubbling mud pits, and a large trail network.

  1. Channel Islands

It’s hard to find a more special place than the Channel Islands. Perhaps, its relative obscurity adds to its uniqueness.

It consists of an archipelago of tiny islands featuring idyllic hidden beaches sheltered by sheer cliffs. It is also home to many types of endemic wildlife and a massive underwater cave.

A Park for Every One

We believe everyone should get out there and find their favorite park! You can support these parks by visiting them, making donations, and promoting awareness.

Most importantly, we encourage you to make plans to go see these amazing natural treasures. Exploring the east? Check out our list of the Best East Coast National Parks.

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How To Optimize Your RV For Long-Term Travel

How To Optimize Your RV For Long-Term Travel

As the temperature continues to warm up outside, there’s nothing better than making plans to hit the road and find adventure. And we know many of you are looking on-line to determine what is open and where are the best places to go at this point.  Our friends at Campendium are keeping a list of what’s open available online. So whether you’re interested in National Park options or RV Park options, you can check their list to determine what your best options are.

It’s hard to beat traveling in an RV. After all, this is the perfect way to skip the hassle and expense of booking rooms along the way and keeping yourself safe. Your RV puts you in total control of where to go and where to stay.

This article takes a look at tips that will help you optimize RV for long-term travel. Keep reading to get the inside scoop that will make your trip as fun and pleasant as possible.

Plan Simple Meals

The fewer ingredients you pack for your extended time on the road the better. Keep in mind that complicated recipes will require extra ingredients that take up space and have special storage requirements.  Therefore, it’s good to have a set of recipes planned out ahead so you can make sure your pantry & refrigerator are stocked with what you’ll need.

The key is to keep your recipes simple yet delicious.

Maximize Your Storage Areas

RVs have limited storage space. That means that every inch matters. So do yourself a favor and pack as little as possible.

Or if you are going to be staying where laundry options are limited, you can always pick up a portable washing machine to help keep your clothes clean while on the road.

Also, be sure to buy supplies that can easily be folded and stored.

Take an RV Toolkit

A good toolkit is a gift that keeps on giving. After all, things will wear out and need to be repaired, and there’s always something that needs to be tightened. Thus you’ll never regret investing in an RV toolkit that is designed to help you manage little inconveniences.

Keep Your Fuel Topped Off

Try to resist the impulse to let your fuel gauge drop below half a tank. You never know when you might have to take a detour and stay on the road longer than planned. Plus, you may decide you want to pull over at a scenic view and idle in place for a while so you can take some awesome travel pictures.

So get in the habit of topping off your tank every chance you get. This is a simple tip that will help provide peace of mind no matter what the day throws at you.

Pack a Weather Radio

Weather changes can happen fast. That’s why it’s important to be ready for sudden spring thunderstorms. Investing in a portable weather radio and plenty of fresh batteries will give you the ability to stay updated on the weather so that you can react quickly and adapt your plans accordingly.

Clean & Treat the Awning

Taking the time to clean and treat your awning will help keep your RV looking great. It will also make your awning last as long as possible.  This means not only checking it for small nicks or tears, it means taking time to apply an RV silicone based lubricant to components that might not have been checked in a while.

Clean the Oven

You might not give much thought cleaning the oven inside your RV, but this is actually a very useful tip. The process takes only a few minutes and will help keep the interior of your RV from smelling like burnt food as you travel from place to place.

How to Optimize RV for Long-Term Travel

It’s almost time to pack your stuff and start exploring the highways and backroads of America. Fortunately, these tips will help optimize RV to make the most of your travel time in the future.

Click here to see 5 key benefits of owning an RV in 2020.

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6 Must-See National Parks on the East Coast

6 Must-See National Parks on the East Coast

When it comes to beauty, nature never disappoints. The United States is full of natural wonders that inspire travelers looking for adventure. This is especially true of the nation’s national parks.

If you’ve never experienced the national parks on the east coast, you’re in for a treat. After all, the east coast is packed with amazing natural scenery that will keep you exploring year after year.

This article takes a look at the best national parks to visit on the east coast. Keep reading to discover places that should be at the top of your list of destinations as you plan your next vacation.

1. Everglades National Park (Florida)

This is one of the most amazing destinations in the country, featuring wild and natural wetlands that will take your breath away. A vast 1.5 million acres of mangroves and sawgrass is like nothing you’ve ever seen. Everglades National Park also protects & provides an important habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther.

2. Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky)

Mammoth Cave National Park features 10 miles of caves that are open for public exploration. This park features a limestone labyrinth that slowly formed over billions of years. This park preserves the longest known cave system on earth (400+ miles), as well as 53,000 acres of beautiful forest.  With nearly a dozen miles of cave trail below ground, there are also nearly 70 miles of surface trails, 13 backcountry campsites, three campgrounds, and over 20 miles of navigable river for visitors to explore and enjoy. It really is two worlds in one.

3. Appalachian National Scenic Trail

If you love to hike, Appalachian National Scenic Trail ranks among the most fabulous hiking destinations anywhere in the world. This trail covers 2,190 miles across 14 states.

4. Statue of Liberty National Monument

This ranks as one of the smallest national parks on our list, and yet it’s also among the most historically significant. In May of 2019, Lady Liberty’s legacy expanded with the opening of the Statue of Liberty Museum. Housed within the Statue of Liberty Museum are three interactive galleries that tell the statue’s history in thought-provoking ways. Each gallery is designed to inspire visitors. And your National Park Pass is not needed here, National Park passes are valid at parks that charge an entrance fee. Liberty and Ellis Islands are fee-exempt by law. The price of the ferry ticket covers the cost of transportation by the concessionaire.

5. Shenandoah National Park

Located just outside Washington D.C., Shenandoah National Park offers the kind of beauty only great poetry could adequately describe. With over 500 miles of hiking trails, this is a destination you could easily spend a lifetime exploring. This fall-favorite is great to visit any time of year for lots of fantastic hikes, views, and memorable drives.  If you are looking for an RV park in the area, our friends at RVShare have a great list to get you started.

6. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains rank among the oldest mountains found anywhere on earth. Featuring over 100 species of native trees, this is the ultimate destination for any nature lover.  Did you also know that Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a world-renowned preserve of wildflower diversity? Over 1,500 kinds of flowering plants are found in the park, more than in any other North American national park! You can see where to find many of these flowers on the Species Mapper. In fact, the park is sometimes referred to as the “Wildflower National Park.” So blooming flowers can be found year-round in the park!

Trip-Worthy National Parks on the East Coast

Traveling the country by RV and exploring everything our national parks have to offer is a great way to create fond memories that will last a lifetime. This list of national parks on the east coast will help get your next trip started.

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Four Mississippi Parks You’ll Want to Visit in Your RV!

Four Mississippi Parks You’ll Want to Visit in Your RV!

The Southern US is home to some of the prettiest state parks in the U.S.  If you have not added a swing through Mississippi to your plans, you will want to after reading about some of these idyllic settings for outdoor fun!  Be sure to check out the on-line portals for these state parks to stay up to date on camp ground options & conditions.

1. Tishomingo State Park, Tishomingo

This breathtakingly beautiful park has won numerous awards, including being listed in Reserve America’s “Top 100 Campgrounds.”

This park offers seven hiking trails that range in length from ¾ to 3 miles and in difficulty from easy to moderate. The trails feature scenic natural springs, waterfalls, rocky creeks and streams, cliffs, rock walls and huge outcrops. Rock climbing, which requires a helmet and a free permit (available at the park office), is a popular activity on the trails, particularly at the formation known as Jean’s Overhang. Bear Creek crosses a number of points along the trail system and can be explored by canoe on one of the float trips offered at the park.

Three popular disc golf courses are also available, and an Olympic-sized outdoor swimming pool is open during late spring and summer. The park offers 62 developed RV campsites, which have both water and electricity.

The park’s Nature Center, which re-opened in 2016, offers displays of Tishomingo county heritage, nature, art, animals, arrowheads and memorabilia from the Civilian Conservation Corps.

2. Buccaneer State Park, Waveland

Buccaneer State Park’s beautiful restoration was completed in 2013, after hurricane Katrina devastated this area in 2005.  Located on the beach in Waveland, Buccaneer is in a natural setting of large moss-draped oaks, marshlands and the Gulf of Mexico. Use of this land was first recorded in history in the late 1700’s when Jean Lafitte and his followers were active in smuggling and pirating along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Today this area is centrally located to numerous family-friendly attractions such as Stennis Space Center / NASA, Old Town Bay St. Louis, Beauvoir Jefferson Davis Shrine, World War II D-Day Museum, Aquarium of Americas, and more!

3. Davis Bayou Area/Gulf Islands National Seashore, near Ocean Springs

Part of the national seashore, there’s never a shortage to see or do at this 51-site campground. From a two-mile nature trail that traverses the coastal forest to saltwater fishing, visitors to Davis Bayou are in for a real treat. This park maintains several facilities for visitors to enjoy. Such as the William M. Colmer Visitor Center which enables travelers to  explore indoor exhibits about the shore and the islands. There is also a Visitor Center Fishing Pier which is an excellent site to cast a line. There are also several short hiking trails through the area.
For a small fee, visitors may also launch their boat and park a vehicle for a day on the water.
Or if your crew just prefers to hang out, there is a large area for picnics including five picnic shelters.

Gulf Islands National Seashore officials announced plans to conduct small controlled burns within the Davis Bayou Area near Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The planned burns are scheduled to be conducted between early February and early March so be sure to check their website and/or call ahead for updates.

4. Sardis Lake Recreation Area, Lafayette, Panola, and Marshall Counties

Sardis was built as a flood control facility in the 1930s and recreation was not mentioned in the original plans.  Soon after the Dam’s construction, however, visitation skyrocketed.  Today, the employees of Sardis Lake take great pride in building and maintaining some of the top recreation facilities in the country.

Whether planning a one-day outing or an extended camping trip, you can find a wealth of activities to fill your days and nights.  Camp in one of the modern campgrounds, or picnic, or swim, or rent a pavilion for a family reunion or find a spot somewhere on our 98,000 acres to boat, hunt, fish, go birding, or walk a trail. There’s an abundance of natural beauty at Sardis Lake and plenty of activities for all campers to enjoy.

Mississippi is often referred to as “The Hospitality State” and with so many great parks to choose from we can see why!  If you haven’t visited Mississippi in your RV, you will definitely want to add this state to your travel plans.  With awesome parks, fantastic food, and friendly people, you are sure to make some marvelous memories in Mississippi!

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5 Must-Do RV Trips for Big Families in 2020

5 Must-Do RV Trips for Big Families in 2020

RVing is more popular than ever, and 1 million Americans are living in their RVs full time.

While having an RV as your only home might not be for everyone, you’d be hard pressed to find a soul who doesn’t dream of going on an RV road trip!

With so many awesome options for RV trips, where will you and your family adventure this year?

There are so many fun RV trip ideas, and some of them are better than others for big families. We’ve narrowed it down to the top 5 trips for big families to get your planning for 2020 started!

The Best RV Trips for Big Families

Whether you’re an old pro or this is your first RV road trip, it can be overwhelming to pick which direction to head in. Rest easy, fellow RV traveler, because there’s great stuff to do and see no matter which way you choose to go!

1. Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone was the first national park in the United States and is often considered to be the premier national park in the entire world. Located mostly in Wyoming, Yellowstone crosses into parts of Montana and Idaho as well.

Yellowstone has got all the perks of a great National Park, with endless opportunities for hiking, viewing impressive wildlife, gazing at gorgeous views, and simply relaxing at a campground.

Did you know that Yellowstone is also home to North America’s largest supervolcano? This is why half of the world’s geysers are located in Yellowstone. Don’t forget to check out all the awesome geothermal features, especially Old Faithful!

2. Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

It would be hard to make a list of family RVing without mentioning Walt Disney World. With six awesome theme parks, two of which are water parks, what’s not to love?

Plus, if your family somehow gets tired of frolicking around the magical world of Disney, Orlando is also home to Universal Studios and Sea World. It’s the perfect way to make your kids’ dreams come true!

Please keep in mind that the RV park at Disney World’s Fort Wilderness often has reservations scheduled a year in advance.  So while we do recommend adding this to your family’s list of ‘must see’ places, you will want to do additional research to see if staying at Fort Wilderness is an option, or if your family might benefit from one of the other near by RV Parks.

3. Grand Canyon National Park

Everyone’s got to visit the Grand Canyon at least once in their life! One of our most adventurous presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, visited the Grand Canyon several times and advocated for its preservation.

If you get tired of staring in awe at the masterpiece the Colorado River managed to carve over the course of billions of years, there’s a lot of fun stuff for you and your family to do. With rafting, mule trips, hiking, and educational opportunities, there are plenty of options to fill up an itinerary.

4. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

If you’re looking for an east coast destination and are not a Disney World type of family, head to Gatlinburg on the edge of the Smoky Mountain National Forest. A fun, touristy resort town, Gatlinburg is filled with Appalachian charm.

There’s a great amusement park and ski area called Ober Gatlinburg, and nearby in Pigeon Forge is Dolly Parton’s them park Dollywood!

5. Redwood National and State Parks

If you or your kids love to be in the woods, you’ve got to check out the home of the tallest trees on earth. Covering almost 140,000 acres in northern California, you won’t run out of forest to discover!  The National Park Service and state park service of California have teamed up to take care of this national treasure and you will want to check out several options for RV camping through California’s on-line reservation system.

The Road is Calling!

So where will your RV take you this summer? How many RV trips can one family  take in a year? No matter where you go and how long you’re traveling for, we believe the best RV trips are those you take with the ones you love!

If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more awesome RV life and trip information.

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Three of the Best National Park Camping Sites for Your Family’s RV Vacation

Three of the Best National Park Camping Sites for Your Family’s RV Vacation

There is no better way to see the country with your family then road-tripping in your RV. Better yet, you don’t even have to spend a lot of money!

Keep reading for a list of National Park camping sites you’ll want to visit on your next road trip adventure!

1. Rio Grande Village Campground

Located in Big Bend National Park, the Rio Grande Campground has 100 campsites for all types of campers. It doesn’t matter if travelers want to tent camp, park a travel trailer, or park a motor home (up to 40 feet).  Nestled in a grove of cottonwood trees each campsite has a full hookup, a picnic table, charcoal grill, and a storage locker to keep your food away from wild critters.

During the day you can explore Big Bend National Park by hiking, biking or fishing. There are plenty of spots to view wildlife and take fantastic photos of the scenery. Big Bend is also home to hundreds of bird species and is the perfect place for avid bird watchers. At the campsite, during your downtime, you can enjoy picnicking, boating and swimming.

The campsites are first-come, first-serve, but there are 43 sites that can be reserved between the middle of November and the middle of April if you plan accordingly.

2. Mammoth Yellowstone National Park Campground

This campsite can accommodate 85 single families who wish to either tent camp, park a trailer trailer, or drive their motor home (up to 75 feet long). It is located near Mammoth Hot Springs and the Gardner River and each site has a fire ring, grate, and picnic table. All these features make these sites perfect for roasting hot dogs and making s’mores.

Campers can enjoy the world-famous Yellowstone National Park geysers and take in all the beautiful scenery and wildlife. There are plenty of hiking and biking trails, photography spots and places to go fishing and boating.

The camp takes reservations on a first-come, first-serve basis and is open for year-round camping.

3. Colter Bay Village RV Park Campground

Grand Teton National Park is home to the Colter Bay Village RV Park campground which is just a quick walk from Jackson Lake. There are 103 full hookup sites for RVs and trailers, and most are shaded and have a picnic table.

Grand Teton National Park is the perfect place for outdoor adventures such as hiking, biking, exploring historical sites, kayaking and canoeing. The wide-open sky is wonderful at night for star gazing and photography. Jackson, Wyoming also is a short drive away for history lovers and there are also some quaint shops and restaurants to explore as well.

Colter Bay Village RV Park is a very popular campground and a reservation is needed. Sites fill up quickly so if you plan on visiting between June and September it is recommended to reserve your spot before January 1st.

Learn More About National Park Camping Today!

These are just a few of the many National Park camping sites in the country that your family could enjoy. So pack your bags, and prepare your RV for one of the best vacations your family can take.

To learn how to prepare for your big trip, visit our website today for more information!

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