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Tour the western states

by Carl Lundquist

Carl wrote this as a response to a question from a member of the RV forum regarding places to visit and points of interest, RV parks and national parks. Carl was specifically addressing the western states.

New Mexico

Taos, Santa Fe, Fort Union. This is best in the warmer months. Carlsbad Caverns any month.


Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Kingman, all in the warmer months since all are at 6000+ feet elevations. (Flagstaff gets serious snow as do the Canyon rims.) Tucson, Phoenix, and Quartzite are winter spots, unless you are into 100o+ temperatures. Bisbee,Tombstone, and Kartcher Caverns are either season.


Ah California, the mountains in the summer, the valleys in the winter. The coasts and the cities anytime.

Mountains: Bishop and the Owens Vally; Mammoth Mountain: Mono Lake and Bridgeport; Sequoia/Kings Canyon; Yosemite National Park; Lake Tahoe and Donner Pass (get off the freeway for a bit); Mount Lassen Volcanic Park (who would want to miss Bumpass Hell?); Mount Shasta.

Coast: In the summer only the redwood parks in the north and Big Sur and Mendicino coast CA-1 (drive the lonely sections northbound only); Monterey and Point Reyes - summer only.

Valleys: Death Valley and Anza Borrego Desert State Park (November through March only); Gold Rush Country on CA-49 summer or winter; the Central Coast of Solvang, the wine country, Los Olivos, San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, and the Hearst Castle, summer only; Sacramento. Napa, Sonoma wine country, summer or fall while you visit San Fracisco.

Cities: San Franciso any season, but you will want/have to stay outside the city - I like Petaluma across the Golden Gate which is near Napa and Sonoma. San Diego any season, some nice RV parks in the city - I like Chula Vista RV Resort. LA? LA is really, really big. There are RV parks in Orange County, in Van Nuys, and in Valencia. Avoid LA in September and October as it is hot and dry.


Ashland and the Shakespeare Festival combine with the Peter Britt Music festival in nearby Jacksonville and allow a week. The Oregon State Parks on the coast are all jewels: Cape Blanco and Honeyman are my favorites.


Mount Ranier National Park; Black Lake RV Resort near Olympia; Sequim and the Olympic Peninsula. Try La Push over on the west side for a spectacularly sited RV CG. Take in Mt. Helens on a day trip. Duck across the border to tour Vancouver and Victoria. If you don't want to haul the RV there, leave it at Bainbridge, WA. which is within day trip reach of Vancouver as Victoria is of Sequim.


Not to miss Zion National Park. Take in Salt Lake City, there is an OK RV park in the city. Capitol Reef National Park is a true gem, stay in the park at Frutia or just outside at Torrey, UT. The back country ride of the Cathedral District tour is absolutely stunning and lonely country. Since there is a river to ford, 4WD or, at least a centered vehicle is recommended. And then there is the nearby Arches and Canyonlands NPs around Moab UT. Moab is a good base for touring the area. Late Spring is recommended for all the Utah parks.

The Rest of the West

Yellowstone by all means. Galcier National Park, stay at the West Glacier KOA and use the public transport in the Park.