We “finalized” our list of places that we are going to visit on our way North this year. We are going to record video and upload as much as we can. Uploads will probably be a little bit sporadic, but we will do our best to keep a good pace of at least three videos a week. Sometimes we will have good WiFi signals, sometimes not. As always we would love to read your thoughts and recommendations! Here is our list!
Fort Stockton– Overnight stop to keep the hours shorter between Canyon Lake, TX and Carlsbad, NM. Most likely we will be pretty exhausted from driving and go to sleep shortly after arriving!
White’s City, NM:
Carlsbad Caverns is an area that has guided tours through a massive cave system. The caves were carved by sulfuric acid dissolving away the limestone and giving way to tunnels we can now enjoy and tour. They have several different areas to hike so if you love caving, you can spend a week or more hiking the different caves and routes.
“High ancient sea ledges, deep rocky canyons, flowering cactus and desert wildlife – treasures above the ground in the Chihuahuan Desert. Hidden beneath the surface are more than 119 known caves – all formed when sulfuric acid dissolved the surrounding limestone leaving behind caverns of all sizes.” – U.S. National Parks Service
Roswell is best known for their history with UFOs and tourist attractions that have come about since. John and I are pretty excited to learn more about this type of subject. It has always been sort of a curiosity ever since we watched all 10 seasons of X-Files! We are also going to check out Bottomless Lake, NM
which also looks like it will be a neat place to explore!
“The International UFO Museum And Research Center is located in Roswell, New Mexico, United States, in the down town district and is focused largely on the 1947 Roswell Crash and later supposed UFO incidents in the United States and elsewhere.” – Wikipedia
Albuquerque, NM: Hang out with the fam! John has lots of family members in New Mexico that we are really looking forward to seeing. Our stay in Albuquerque will be brief but were really looking forward to it.
Angel Fire, NM: John also has family who live near Angel Fire. They were able to help us find an RV Park nearby so we can go and enjoy exploring and being with them!
Cortez, CO: Mesa Verde is an area we have both wanted to see for a long time! We are really glad that we can go visit this area and share it with our subscribers as well. These ancient cliff dwellings are preserved by the desert and maintained by the National Park Service.
“Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from AD 600 to 1300. Today the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.” – U.S. National Park Service
Page, AZ: Lake Powell is a destination for anyone who loves being in or near the water! The breathtaking landscape surrounding the resevoir creates a relaxing and fun environment in the middle of the desert.
“Lake Powell is a reservoir on the Colorado River, straddling the border between Utah and Arizona. It is a major vacation spot that around 2 million people visit every year.” Wikipedia
Torrey, UT: Capitol Reef National Park
More hiking and incredible photography opportunities arise when you visit Capitol Reef National Park.
“Capitol Reef National Park is in Utah’s south-central desert. It surrounds a long wrinkle in the earth known as the Waterpocket Fold, with layers of golden sandstone, canyons and striking rock formations. Among the park’s sights are the Chimney Rock pillar, the Hickman Bridge arch, and Capitol Reef, known for its white sandstone domes. In the north are the towering monoliths of Cathedral Valley.” – US National Parks Service
Moab, UT: Arches National Park
Arches is really close to Capitol Reef, we are still going to move RV Parks while we are visiting so that we can get up and out hiking sooner. There area several RV Parks in this area but they fill up pretty quickly. I would recommend reserving your spot quickly. Later we will add recommendations for accomodations.
“Arches National Park lies north of Moab in the state of Utah. Bordered by the Colorado River in the southeast, it’s known as the site of more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, such as the massive, red-hued Delicate Arch in the east. Long, thin Landscape Arch stands in Devils Garden to the north. Other geological formations include Balanced Rock, towering over the desert landscape in the middle of the park.” – US National Parks Service
Rifle, CO: Overnight stay to break up the long drive between Moab, UT and Dinosaur CO. Since our maximum planned driving time is 5 hours, when that time is exceeded we find a place inbetween the two to stop overnight. This not only reduces travel and driver fatigue so that we can continue doing what we love with less downtime, but it also gives us and the dogs breaks to stretch our legs!
Dinosaur, CO: Many fossils scattered over the ages have been found and collected in Dinosaur National Monument. This monument has a large building built over part of a large rock wall containing several really well preserved and exposed fossils for the public to see. You can take a tour of the area with a national parks guide and see many more that are still being discovered or have been cleaned and exposed.
“Dinosaurs once roamed here. Their fantastic 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. Whether your passion is science, adventure, history or scenery, Dinosaur offers much to explore.” – U.S. National Parks Service
Colter Bay, WY: When Laura was very young, her Grandfather took her and her family up to Grand Teton National Park. There were many stops they took in the RV but the most special place that she remembered was Colter Bay. We were able to find the place that she stayed as a child and reserve it to go back. The Grand Tetons have always been her favorite national park above all of the others.
“Grand Teton National Park is in the northwest of the U.S state of Wyoming. It encompasses the Teton mountain range, the 4,000-meter Grand Teton peak, and the valley known as Jackson Hole. It’s a popular destination in summer for mountaineering, hiking, backcountry camping and fishing, linked to nearby Yellowstone National Park by the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway.” – US National Park Service
West Yellowstone, MT– Yellowstone National Park is a park that needs no intro. We are super thrilled to be able to go to this park, this year! When planning to visit this park, we advise to take a lot of time during the trip so that you can actually go hiking and enjoy what it has to offer. Reserve places you want to stay very early. There is only one rv area that allows large rigs (40 feet or more including tow vehicle), and that is Fish Bridge Lake. They actually only have 17 spots for this size of RV and none of the other sites have any. If you want to stay in one of those spots, I would call them and ask when they are available next, and take that date. Make sure to pay attention to warnings and cautions from the National Park Service, this park can be very dangerous if unaware.
“Yellowstone National Park is a nearly 3,500-sq.-mile wilderness recreation area atop a volcanic hot spot. Mostly in Wyoming, the park spreads into parts of Montana and Idaho too. Yellowstone features dramatic canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs and gushing geysers, including its most famous, Old Faithful. It’s also home to hundreds of animal species, including bears, wolves, bison, elk and antelope.” – U.S. Natonal Parks Service
Glacier National Park:
This is another area we recommend reserving well in advance. There is a very limited season for seeing this park given the elevation and weather. If you are planning on taking a trip to Glacier, it might be another place to call and see what is available, and take your vacation then, to make it easier on you.
“Glacier National Park is a 1,583-sq.-mi. wilderness area in Montana’s Rocky Mountains, with glacier-carved peaks and valleys running to the Canadian border. It’s crossed by the mountainous Going-to-the-Sun Road. Among more than 700 miles of hiking trails, it has a route to photogenic Hidden Lake. Other activities include backpacking, cycling and camping. Diverse wildlife ranges from mountain goats to grizzly bears.” – US National Park Service
Bison National Range- This is not a typical stop that most people hear of when they talk about Glacier National Park, however it is very close by. We are planning on spending a day or so here seeing how well the bison have been doing.
“The National Bison Range is a National Wildlife Refuge located in western Montana established in 1908 to provide a sanctuary for the American bison. The NBR is one of the oldest National Wildlife Refuges in the United States.” – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Spokane, WA: Overnight stop on our way to Washington!
Lyman, WA area: End if our trip West!
We are planning to stay in Texas until the first week of April and we will have more on that soon. We will be in Washington before July to move the truck and trailer registrations over to a cheaper state.
Planning tips for these locations: Many of these parks have a small town near them with a few options for RV Parks. If you have a large rig you may have trouble finding a place to stay during the summer season. They are usually closed in the winter as well. It is difficult to find parks in the national parks with a site large enough for a 40′ rig. They advised us to plan trips to the areas 6-12 months in advance. Also, make sure you plan rest days with nothing on the itinerary. You can rest, or if there is poor weather conditions, hopefully you can use the extra day to flex the schedule.
We look forward to sharing this journey of a lifetime with you. And we hope that you enjoy it.