With about 50% of the American population living only a few miles from a camping location there is much to be said for the RV and camping options in the family vacation today.
With extraordinary dramatic peaks and pristine lakes, Yellowstone National Park has multicolored pools swirl around hot springs where verdant forests weave past expansive meadows. Additionally, volatile geysers launch streams of steaming water toward the sky. With such unspoiled natural beauty, it’s easy to believe that John Colter (a scout for explorers Lewis and Clark) and his first descriptions of Yellowstone’s geothermal curiosities in 1807. Among its 3,000-plus square miles of mountains, canyons, geysers, and waterfalls, the trails include residents like buffalo, elk, and grizzly bears.
With over 4 million visitors every year, most of them still spend most of their time at Old Faithful. Yellowstone’s 2.2 million acres range from northwest Wyoming into Idaho and Montana. Several days are needed to see even a decent amount of the park, like Yellowstone Lake and Mammoth Hot Springs. The trails are amazing too, like the hot springs of the West Thumb Geyser Basin and the untamed wildlife dotting the Lewis River Channel and Dogshead Loop. While the sheer number of trails and wildlife-watching opportunities may seem daunting at first, remember: You can always come back.
“Grand” doesn’t begin to do this canyon justice. Measuring approximately 277 river miles in length, up to 18 miles in width and a mile deep, this massive chasm in northern Arizona is truly a natural wonder. For six million years, the Grand Canyon has expanded with the help of the mighty Colorado River, and for centuries, people from all over the globe have traveled to gaze out over its red and orange grandeur. Managed by the National Park Service and officially designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Grand Canyon leaves its approximately 6 million visitors per year awestruck.
But if you’re seeking a secluded escape to Mother Nature, you should be prepared: The Grand Canyon can be very crowded. The South Rim – home to the Grand Canyon Village and the well-worn Bright Angel Trail – is particularly popular for sightseers and hikers. It is on this side that you’ll find the most amenities. For a break from the crowds, head to the North Rim. This is the place for backwoods camping and hardcore hiking.
One of California’s most formidable natural landscapes, Yosemite National Park features nearly 1,200 square miles of sheer awe: towering waterfalls, millennia-old Sequoia trees, striking, daunting cliff faces and some of the most unique rock formations in the United States. But despite its enormous size, most of the tourist activity takes place within the 8-square-mile area of Yosemite Valley. Here you’ll find the park’s most famous landmarks – Half Dome and El Capitan – as well as excellent hiking trails through the natural monuments. Even inexperienced hikers can enjoy Yosemite: Guided tours and climbing lessons are available from local adventure outfitters. Just don’t expect to experience it by yourself. Like so many other American tourist destinations, crowds are the biggest obstacles to an enjoyable Yosemite vacation.
With these and many other locations where you are able to rent that RV or other camper and head across the United States to one of these beautiful locations there is much to gain in that family vacation. If you are a family on the west side of the country there is something to be said for the easy trip to one of these beautiful locations without the cost of plane tickets and hotel rooms, things like that. Natural beauty is right there in front of you without the tickets for those many different parks and entertainment that are built by men. Enjoy one of these rides across the country!