There is so much to do and see in one lifetime. Even just a short drive away, there are all manner of sights to be seen. So as you start de-winterizing and getting your RV road-ready, don’t think you have to wait for summer. Before the crowds and heat set in, here are a few great Spring trips to begin the year.
Borrego Springs, California
If you are desperate for some warmth and flowers, the desert oasis of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park® could be your first destination of the year. Known best for its astounding desert blooms, Borrego Springs is also California’s first and only International Dark Sky Community. Along with Citizen Science projects and a biosphere reserve to visit, there is also a thriving art community associated with the Borrego Art institute.
So if you’re craving that first beautiful hit of sunshine for the year, this would be a great first stop on your travels. For more information, go to either https://www.springsatborrego.com/ or http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=638.
Grand Canyon National Park
Yes, we know, everyone goes there. But most go there in the heat of high summer. So if you want to see all the beauty and experience the wonder without losing a pint of sweat every hour, spring is the best time to go.
You’ll also have a chance to see all the newborn calves, fawns and kits in among the more than 650 species of herbaceous wildflowers and flowering cacti. Spring is when this glorious canyon is at its most colorful. Don’t miss out. For more information, contact the Trailer Village RV Park at https://www.visitgrandcanyon.com/trailer-village-rv-park. They offer full hook-ups and easy access to the canyon rim.
Long Beach Peninsula, Washington
If you’re looking for something closer to home, remember that the Pacific Ocean keeps our shores warmer and spring comes all-the sooner. And we have the world’s longest beach, Long Beach.
Okay, the name is not very creative, but if you’re a fan of delicious seafood, you’ll find all you could want here. There’s plenty of room for cycling and horseback riding as you pass the dramatically beautiful seamounts and coastal cliffs. At the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center (http://capedisappointment.org/lewis-clark-interpretive-center/), you can explore the history of Cape Disappointment and the entire peninsula.
There is one signature activity only at Long Beach: kite flying. Home to the World Kite Museum (http://worldkitemuseum.com/), there are family-oriented events from mid-March through mid-April. Make your own kite while you learn about kites throughout history: from bat-hunting kites in Bali through WWII soldier’s use of kites. Plus, you can see the largest collection of Japanese kites outside of Japan.
Yakima Valley, Washington
For more adult fun, you can visit the more than 120 wineries in the Yakima Valley. Best of all, in April you can take part in the Spring Barrel Tasting event. The valley’s wineries will have samplings of their new vintages straight from the barrel.
If you’re more of a beer drinker, you won’t be left out. Yakima is also known as the “Hop Capital of the World. The valley hosts a spring celebration of craft beverages with its Roots and Vines Festival, featuring nationally touring Americana, Folk and Bluegrass bands.
Backyard Glamping Blowout
Sometimes the best adventure starts right in your own back yard. It’s certainly the safest place to shakedown your RV for the year. So use your RV to throw a party! Test out the grill and the satellite dish and all the RV camping luxuries. Show a double feature on the outdoor TV, a stargazing event, or have a spooky story contest around a cozy fire pit.
Do you have a favorite First Spring Adventure? Let us know where you like to go. And as always, travel safely.
For many of us, Summer’s wiles are nothing compared to the beauty of Autumn. Its cooler temperatures and luscious colors make it a wonderful time to camp or travel. Also, with harvests just coming to an end, farms and vineyards are often welcoming guests as well.
So if you’re looking for that last trip before winterizing your RV for the year (or taking her down to warmer climates), here are a few ideas we find enticing:
After the fields have been cleared, Pacific Northwest farms and wineries are often delighted to welcome guests and show off the best they have to offer. Field & Vine Farm Dinner Events helps farmers put together all manner of dinners and tastings extending through the eighth of December. Their chefs are able to work with the very freshest ingredients available. Ciders, wines and beers are all served with pride by their makers. You’ll be able to wander lush gardens and farmyards, meet the barn animals (including alpacas and wild elk on some farms), then settle in for a splendid feast.
Dinner functions happen all throughout the region. To reserve your place at the table, contact Field & Vine Events at 971-258-8389, check out upcoming events at http://alliumoregon.com/farm-dinners/, or email them at email@example.com.
Trips to the Trees
New England claims to have the best leaf peeping – and to be sure, there are certainly beautiful sights to be seen there – but the Pacific Northwest can claim beauty that exists nowhere else. The trees here are ancient and enormous: inspiring.
Camping is one way to make the best of them in all their autumn glory. But that is far from all you can do:
Just an hour from Seattle, Canopy Tours NW will help you experience the adventure of a lifetime. After ride in an historic Unimog forest vehicle, a short trail walk, and a log bridge, there are six different zip lines to safely bring you all the way back down to the forest floor.
Family owned and operated, you can contact Canopy Tours NW at 360-387-5807, or go to canopytoursnw.com to see all they have to offer.
Old Growth Forest
So many of the forests we’ve hiked and camped were beautiful and fun…and not quite what they should be. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have the privilege to visit forests as they once were. An ideal destination to see these untouched places is the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest near Blue River, Oregon.
Established in 1948, scientists have been busy studying and preserving this pristine environment. They have also set aside an intermediate difficulty hiking trail of about 3.5 miles. Lookout Creek Old-Growth Trail meanders through a vein of Douglas Firs, Cedars, and Hemlock Trees as it follows the creek.
To find out more, contact the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest site manager at 541-822-6303, or the McKenzie River Ranger District at 541-822-3381.
Camp grounds are available at the Mona Campground. For reservations call 877-444-6777, or go to www.recreation.gov.
For those who love the trees so much that staying on the ground won’t do, you can literally take it to the next level with Pacific Tree Climbing in Oregon. Pacific Tree Climbing Institute is a guide service/outfitter dedicated to the propagation of tree climbing as an activity. Their staff is made up of educators, biologists and arborists who will teach you how to climb, and show you the wonders of their daily world.
They provide several levels of climbing lessons available, from beginner to an overnight stay in the canopy! Eat lunch and dinner in the trees and sleep in the wild. This is definitely bucket-list material.
For more information or reservations, call them at 866-OLD-TREE (653-8733), or go to pacifictreeclimbing.com to find out more.
Avenue of the Giants
If you want to stay on the ground, but still want to experience the grandeur of the forest, there is nowhere in the world that can compare to the ancient redwoods of old Highway 101 in Northern California, better known as the Avenue of the Giants.
This is not a single attraction, but an entire region with over 50,000 acres of massive redwood groves. In addition, there are plenty of RV parks and campgrounds, restaurants, art galleries, and even the Trees of Mystery Museum & Sky Trail. There’s so much to see and do in this region, you’ll want to come back again year after year.
For more information on the Avenue of the Giants and surrounding services, go to avenueofthegiants.net. There you’ll find maps and links to everything you’ll need.
To find out more about the Trees of Mystery, you can contact them at 800-638-3389, or go to treesofmystery.net.
While You’re There…
For some, the crowning glory of Autumn is Halloween. The perfect place to get yourself in that spooky mood is right in the heart of Redwood country: “Old Town” Eureka, California. “Old Town” is known for its concentration of old Victorian mansions and 19th century storefronts. There are plenty of cafes, galleries, and restaurants that you can ride to in a horse-drawn carriage.
But the highlight of “Old Town” is the Haunted History Tour. The town has a colorful past (to say the least), and the 2-hour walking tour will let you relive “Eureka’s Other Side of History.” Stay overnight…if you dare.
For reservations, call 707-672-5012, or to learn more go to oldtownhauntedhistorytours.com.
If there’s a Fall destination you feel should be on this list, then please let us know at www.poulsborv.com/contact-us. We’re always delighted to hear from you.
Americans love their pets. Increasingly, pets are found in stores, parks, on hikes, and at lakes. Everyone seems to want their pet around no matter where they go. When you take your pet on your RV trips, be polite and follow these pet etiquette tips.
The most important tip to follow is to pick up after your pet! No one wants to take an evening stroll and step in a pile of dog doo…no one. We don’t look forward to Fido taking care of business on one of our walks, but it happens. Be responsible and dispose of the waste appropriately.
There’s so many incredible beaches in Olympic National Park! The rugged coast is filled with sea stacks jumping out of the water ready for you to photograph or just take in the moment. But which one is the best? Like most things in life, there isn’t a one size fits all and we recommend visiting them all!
We wanted to test out how many beaches can be realistically explored in one day, and this is what we came up with…
Located in La Push, it’s the least secluded beach but if you enjoy vampires you may find some (twilight was filmed here).
There’s a campground that overlooks a great spot to go surfing.
It’s also a great beach to go fishing. Does anyone else think this HUGE fallen tree looks like an eagle?
If you’re just going for a day trip there’s plenty of parking to enjoy the day at your camper before heading out to your next destination.
This is often the favorite of people looking for a rugged and secluded beach. The hike in is in a dense forest with a beautiful and flat path.
Once the trail opens up and offers a view of the sea stacks you’ll understand why this is such a sought after beach.
The views are world class and it’s a large expanse so you can find an area all to yourself to relax.
This is very similar to second beach. The hike in is a dense forest on a well maintained path.
You’ll feel like you’re running when the ocean appears on the trail because it will take your breathe away.
The sea stacks here are very prominent. There’s a lot of beach-combing and exploring available on this beach.
This is on the other side of La Push from First Beach. Easy access from the parking area and offers a long stroll on the beach with expansive views.
This might be our favorite and it’s especially popular for people catching the sunset. The hike in is extremely short from the parking area.
Explore by walking along this incredibly beautiful beach. The size of these cliffs and sea stacks will leave an impact on you and puts in perspective how small we are.
Make sure you allow time to hang around for the sunset. Too often people leave right when it’s getting good and remember that often the crazy sunsets where the sky lights up actually happens up to 30 min AFTER the sun dips below the horizon.
What about you? What’s your favorite beach in Olympic National Park and what beach would you suggest we visit next?
Essential Apps for RV Travel
Whether you’re a full-time RVer or just take the rig out when you can, there are certain apps that you need to have. Here is our list of essential apps for Rvers.
- Allstays: Camp & RV
This app does a great job of helping you find RV campgrounds and other resources. With close to 30,000 listings, the app provides help to RVers nationwide. In addition to the campgrounds and dump stations, hazards of the road such as road work and low clearance bridges are also included. There is a one-time purchase fee, and the app is available on both iOS and Android devices.
InRoute is an app that will help you plan which roads to take. Free to download, this app shows elevation changes, curviness of each road, and upcoming weather conditions to help you avoid those paths you’d rather not take your RV on. Unfortunately, if you have a device that runs Android, InRoute is only available with iOS.
RoadTrip was created to help RVers track their maintenance, fuel costs, efficiency and more. With RoadTrip, you can see your day by day expenses and can even create custom images of expenses you may be able to write off on your taxes.
Created by an RVer, this app will help you locate the nearest dump station. When your tanks are full, SaniDumps finds where your RV can go!
- State Lines & Legal Heat
Another super helpful app is State Lines. This app shows important changes in the law as you move from state to state. Find out whether gas will be cheaper, whether you can buy alcohol on Sunday, etc. If you carry a gun, the app Legal Heat will help you determine the variance in state gun laws.
This is a free app that gives you a lot of great reviews on campsite and is a fantastic resource for boondocking!
- Weather Channel
Make sure you know what you’re going to be dealing with on your outdoor adventures! While there are many apps that offer the weather, the Weather Channel is easy to navigate and pretty accurate in the hourly breakdown.
There are thousands of useful apps available to RVers. These are a few of our favorites. Which do you never leave home without?
Have you heard of Glamping (Glamorous Camping)?
There’s a wave of people who are going out and enjoying nature in comfort and style. While there are many companies who are providing Glamping experience with Yurts and tents, many RVs are designed with all the comforts of home and added luxurious amenities for the Glamper at heart.
Glacier National Park is considered by most as one of the most scenic National Parks in the country. If you’ve never been, it’s tough to describe the beauty and amazement here.
When to Visit
Due to the incredible amount of snow it’s only something that can be explored in the summer. However here’s a huge tip; it can get very busy in the summer with so many people trying to experience this place with limited time to do it. If you go at the very beginning of the season before June and even in the first week into June, you will feel like you have the place all to yourself! The downside, is that there most likely will be some roads that are still closed off due to snow and avalanches.
Make sure you stock up on supplies before you head here. Although they have supplies in the park, you’ll pay a premium for the remote location you’re in and since you’re traveling with a home on wheels, it’s best to come prepared.
We also recommend that if you’re going to be doing any hiking or leaving the condensed areas that you pick up some bear spray. There are a lot of Grizzly Bears and the last thing you want to do is to run into one on the trail with cubs and not be prepared. If you’re not looking to buy it you can rent it from a number of local outfitters at a reasonable rate.
Where to Stay
There are a number of campgrounds in the National Park but unless you’re looking for a primitive stay, you’ll want to stay just outside the Park at one of the many RV Parks. We highly recommend the West Glacier KOA. It’s newly remodeled and even one an award last year as one of the top KOA’s in the country (we’re surprised it wasn’t #1).
It’s located just outside the West Entrance to the park. It has a huge amount of beautiful full hookup sites for all size RVs, lots of amenities, a restaurant on site, the pool is breathtaking, and probably the best part is that the entire campground is surrounded by an electric fence so you won’t have to worry about Grizzly Bears wandering in where your kids play.
What to Do
Go River Rafting
One of the most popular activities in Glacier is to go river rafting. There are a lot of great outfitters that will take you down and there’s all different levels of aggressive rapids. It’s very much a choose your own adventure situation.
Walk Along the River
Take a nice leisure stroll along one of the many river trails. You may even be surprised to find that there’s cell phone coverage on a few of the trails so you can snap that selfie and get it posted.
This is a hiking mecca. There’s hikes of all kinds, all skill levels, in all parts in Glacier National Park. Make sure you break in your hiking boots before you come, cause you won’t want to blister up the first day and miss out on these secluded scenery spots!
There is a small window where you can experience one of the best bike rides in the world, on one of the best roads in the world, with NO CARS! The Going to the Sun Road opens up to bikers a few weeks before it’s open to cars. Make sure you’re ready though, it’s a VERY steep ascent up the mountain but it’s worth it when you’re able to scream down the mountain for 30 minutes without peddling on your way back down.
The biggest decision you’re going to have is do you want to fish at one of the scenic lakes or one of the scenic rivers! The fishing is spectacular here.
Visit the Lodge
The Lake McDonald Lodge is an old famous lodge that we recommend swinging in, grabbing a bite at the restaurant and even renting a boat!
Are you ready for the best part? You don’t need to bring your boat. They rent out boats at both West Glacier and at Lake McDonald Lodge!
Have a Picnic
It’s easy to get in a routine of eating inside your RV since it’s so comfortable. But we encourage you to break this routine and get out and enjoy the outdoors to the fullest. Glacier offers million dollar views for picnics!
Pull Over and Soak in the View
Have you ever wanted to pull over and spend a few hours at a scenic spot? Well if you visit during the non-busy time of the year you’ll find countless areas where you can do just that!
If you’ve never had the opportunity to camp among these giants, you have on idea what you’re missing out on. They are the tallest trees in the world and also some of the oldest.
When to Visit
I hate to say it but it depends.
If you’ve got kids in school you’re probably going to want to take a summer vacation with your RV.
If you love seclusion you’re going to want to go in the off season.
The winter can get chilly so spring and fall might be the best option if you like it to warm up in the day and want to feel like you have the entire forest to yourself.
If crowds don’t bother you and you really want to enjoy this incredible place when it’s warm, summer is going to be best for you.
How to Get There
There’s two popular options and there’s two major factors you’ll want to consider:
If you’re in a time crunch or want to be efficient, the 5 Freeway will take you most of the way and you can be there in around 9 hours.
If you’re looking for incredible scenery the entire way along the coast, the 101 can get you there in around 13 hours. However that’s probably not going to be accurate because if you’re taking the scenic route, you’ll probably stop often to see the sites.
Where to Stay
There’s A LOT of options of RV Parks and Campgrounds in the Redwoods.
If you have an RV or Travel Trailer under 30 ft, staying in one of the four Redwoods Parks is a great option. They usually have pretty basic setups and won’t offer full hookups, but the views are usually the best.
If you have a larger rig or prefer to have full hookups, there are many fantastic RV Parks.
We highly recommend Klamath Camper Corral for these reasons:
- The Redwoods have groves spread out in quite a large area, this Campground is centrally located so you can easily explore all areas of the Redwoods.
- It’s right on the Klamath River with excellent fishing.
- It’s just a couple miles from the ocean and beautiful secluded beaches.
- Full hookups, many amenities and can handle rigs of any size.
What to Do
There is so much to do here that unless you have a few months, you’re going to have to prioritize.
One of the best mountain bike trails in the world is the Last Chance Section of the Coastal Trail. It’s the only trail in the Redwoods and gives you the rare opportunity to pedal through multiple old growth groves. It also turns into a single track trail on a ridge along the coast with waves crashing below just before it shoots you down a mountain at lightning speed.
There’s a number of spots to go surfing but one of the best is in Crescent City. You’ll often find Elk roaming the beach alongside someone riding in the shallows on horseback. It’s known for having long consistent waves for all skill levels.
Klamath Beach is a fairly unknown rock climbing spot. However the people who do know about it claim it’s one of the best. There’s a big variety of rocks to choose from and you’re able to climb with some pretty insane views. Can you see the rock climber in the above picture?
Take a Scenic Drive
There’s 3 drives that are so scenic, you may put your vehicle in park and never leave…
The Howland Hill Road
The Coastal Drive
Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway
Take a Hike
There are way too many incredible hikes to list. But if we had to pick just one to recommend it would be the Stout Grove trail. It’s a short smooth trail that anybody can do, through large old growth groves.
Walk Through Jurassic Park
Ok so you wouldn’t actually go through Jurassic Park. But you’ll feel like it in Fern Canyon because it’s where they filmed it. Many locals consider it the best of the Redwoods.
Go Through the Drive Through Tree
Directly across the 101 from the Klamath Camper Corral is the famous drive through tree.
The Klamath River is the 2nd largest river in California and boasts incredible Salmon fishing among other species.
Hang out with Elk
There are a lot of herds of Elk in the Redwoods. Some are in the forests, some in the fields and some on the beach. If you’re lucky, they’ll come visit you at your camper. Just make sure you keep your distance and don’t get too close like this kid.
Gray Whales migrate up and down the coast, hugging the shoreline to avoid killer whales. You can sit on the beach and watch them swim on by.
Sometimes the best time, is when you sit back and relax…
If you want to truly experience the beautiful Northwest, you need to check out these four campgrounds. In great locations for exploring the best Washington has to offer, you’ll want to spend some time staying in each!
1. Elwha Dam RV Park
Elwha Dam RV Park is just a few minutes from the Olympic Peninsula. Get back in touch with nature and lose yourself in these beautiful forests. Hiking, biking, lakes to fish in, bird watching, and any other outdoor activity is just a short drive away. Get your fill of the beach and the ocean before heading back to this peaceful RV park. Once you find your way here, you won’t want to leave!
People who spend time outdoors have to love nature. The good – beautiful views, glimpses of shy wildlife, exploring somewhere few people have been; The bad – days without a shower, pesky insects, inclement weather. While we share this love of exploration and wilderness, there are definitely different categories outdoorsy people fit into. Which one are you?
The Trendy Adventurer
This person has all the best and latest gear, while still making sure it coordinates and fits in with the current hipster look. They are the safe adventurer, never quite losing cell service, and always having their Smartphone ready to capture that next great Instagram photo. They like camping spaces that are well defined and close to civilization, while still getting the outdoor experience they can blog about when sitting by the fire.