Hit the Road and Camp America!
Hit the Road -
Ready to answer the call of the open road? Then you've come to the right place. Here you'll find great ideas for finding the best camping and RVing road trips. We'll show you which routes to take, which exits have a "don't miss attraction and profile great campgrounds along the way. So grab your gear, pack the car or the RV and get ready to hit the road.
Salt Lake City to Steamboat Springs, CO
Start your next road trip at the Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, Utah. After a few days, or more, exploring the many attractions in Salt Lake City, hop on US-40 and road-trip your way to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Along the way you will find many attractions to keep even the most difficult traveler interested. Once you reach Steamboat Springs, you can enjoy snow sports in winter or hot air balloon rides, hiking, and fabulous fly fishing in summer.
Begin your trip in Salt Lake City. Here you will find many modern attractions and lots of history. Art enthusiasts should visit the Maurice Abravanel Hall, where you can see the Dale Chihuly sculpture, Olympic Tower, or attend a concert by the Utah Symphony and Opera. Visitors to Salt Lake City should make sure to spend some time at the Historic Temple Square. This square is the home to the Tabernacle where you can see free rehearsals and concerts by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
The Pioneer Memorial Museum has exhibits and artifacts all about the Utah pioneers. You can enjoy the Red Butte Garden's eleven botanical gardens. Take a trip to the Tracy Aviary where you can see over 400 birds. Utah also has a zoo and aquarium in Salt Lake City, Hogle Zoo and The Living Planet Aquarium. Another great aspect of Salt Lake City is its history as the host of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. You can visit the Olympic Oval, and even enjoy the athletic training center. During your stay in Salt Lake City you can also take a dinner cruise on the Great Salt Lake or enjoy a carriage ride starting at the Temple Square.
There are all sorts of great places to stop at along your way to Steamboat Springs. Ashley National Forest is right outside of Salt Lake City and US-40 runs parallel to the forest for a great part of the road-trip. Ashley National Forest includes over 1 million acres of National Forest System land. Within this land you will find Kings Peak, the highest peak in Utah, as well as the beautiful Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.
Golfers should stop to golf at the courses at Wasatch Mountain State Park. You will find great trout fishing at Strawberry Reservoir, where you can even ice-fish during the winter. Starvation State Park has year-round fishing as well as tent and RV camping. You can arrange for a hiking trip with llamas at www.rosebudllamasutah.com. Take a detour through Nine Mile Canyon, where you can view the petroglyphs. You can also hike and mountain bike through Nine Mile Canyon. If you decide to take this detour you should drive south to Wellington, and after you drive through Nine Mile Canyon you will return to US-40 in Myton.
Vernal, Utah is the home of the headquarters to Ashley National Forest. In Vernal you can visit the Daughters of the Utah Pioneer Museum. You can also access the Dry Forks Petroglyphs ten miles outside of Vernal. Stop for a while at Dinosaur National Monument. You can see fossils, hike, and river raft through the river canyons. Take the Tour of the Tilted Rocks in Dinosaur National Monument. After your visit to Dinosaur National Monument, stop for a bite to eat in Dinosaur, Colorado. Check out Juniper Hot Springs where you can enjoy the warm waters of the springs, which contain 24 minerals. You can only find a similar combination of minerals at a hot springs in Europe.
Finish your road-trip in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. You will find all sorts of recreational opportunities all year round. During the winter you can enjoy great skiing, snowboarding and many other winter sports. In the summer time you will find all sorts of outdoor recreational activities like hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing and camping. Aside from the usual outdoor activities, try the alpine slide, gondola rides and hot air ballooning in Steamboat Springs. You will also find many natural hot springs. These hot springs are relaxing and many believe the minerals in the warm waters of the hot springs have medicinal properties. Visit Strawberry Park Hot Springs a little way out of town for a more rural feel. For greater convenience, visit Old Town Hot Springs, located right downtown, where your kids can slide right into the hot springs.
Steamboat Sprigs is the ultimate year-round alpine destination. The road-trip from Salt Lake City provides you with a great view of parts of Utah and Colorado. You will find history and beauty in the city of Salt Lake City as well as throughout your road-trip to Steamboat Springs.
Beautiful Western Montana
Western Montana is a great place for the adventurous traveler to take an amazing outdoor vacation. While summer reveals some of the greatest treasures of Western Montana, the area also has its own special beauty in winter. You will find massive lakes, powerful rivers, high peaks and places full of adventure and natural beauty.
If you enter Western Montana from the north through Idaho on Highway 2, take a scenic detour along the Yaak River Road. During the summer stop for a few days and camp at the Yaak River Campground. From your campsite you can hike along numerous trails or, for a more exhilarating adventure, go whitewater rafting on the Kootenai River.
After stopping for a little recreation along the Yaak River continue on to US-93, heading south straight into Whitefish. Whitefish is a small but thriving city. During the winter, visit the Whitefish Mountain Resort at Big Mountain for skiing. You don't have to visit during the winter to have fun in Whitefish, though. You can take a ride down the Alpine Slide or glide through the sky on the zip line tour. Whitefish is also a great jumping off point for mountain biking and hiking.
Continuing on your journey, follow US-93 south along the western shore of Flathead Lake. Before you reach the lake you will pass through Kalispell, the largest city in the area. You can stop and take a trip out to the state park on Wild Horse Island, where you will find plenty of recreation and the wild horses the island is named for. After you pass through Polson, on the southern end of Flathead Lake, get on to Route 35 and head north following the eastern shore of Flathead Lake. You will find plenty of opportunities to camp, fish, hike and recreate on Flathead Lake. If you brought your boat on your road trip you can boat up to the Raven Restaurant and Bar for a Caribbean style dinner and cocktails. If you are a connoisseur of beer, visit the Flathead Lake Brewing Company in Woods Bay. At the northern end of Flathead Lake you will find the city of Bigfork, where you can stop and walk along its quaint streets, stroll through its galleries, and grab a bite at El Topo for great Mexican food and margaritas.
Glacier National Park
Continue north along Route 35 until you reach Highway 2, then follow Highway 2 into Glacier National Park. Glacier is one of America's most beautiful parks. Take a scenic drive to see the park's wild interior along the Going-to-the Sun Road. This road is 50 miles and winds through the interior of the Park, giving you the opportunity to see Glacier without hiking to the interior. Glacier also has beautiful lodges throughout the park including Many Glacier Hotel, Lake McDonald Lodge, Granite Park Chalet and Sperry Chalet. The two chalets are backcountry accommodations, which are great for a luxurious backcountry hiking experience.
Lolo Hot Springs
If you enter Western Montana from southern Idaho along Lolo Creek Rd, stop in Lolo Hot Springs. Here you will find the soothing hot springs as well as miles of hiking and horseback riding trails. During the winter you can snowmobile during the day before taking a relaxing dip in the waters of Lolo Hot Springs. You can stay at the Lolo Hot Springs Resort and explore the Bitterroot Mountains.
Western Montana is the perfect area to take a long road trip. There are miles of wilderness to explore. Montana still has untamed wilderness that is unlike any other place in the world. You can enjoy the scenes of wild beauty as you drive by and spend your day adventuring along the trails at Glacier National Park.
Sequoias to Death Valley
When you start planning your next road trip, consider a trip to California to see Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park and Death Valley National Park. You will have the chance to see some of California's greatest natural wonders and enjoy a nice road trip during the travel between the two.
The Blue Ridge Parkway
Winding its way between the Shenandoah National Park in the north and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the south, the Blue Ridge Parkway has some of the most beautiful terrain in the country. But the Parkway is more than a scenic drive -- it's a national park that features hiking trails, scenic overlooks, superb fishing holes, and plenty of natural beauty. Many visitors enjoy biking and bird watching on the Parkway, or they spend their time behind a camera's lens, capturing the colorful beauty of the hills and valleys.
Founded in 1935, the Parkway has long been popular with summer travelers. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited park in the nation, and many of those guests also take a jaunt along the Parkway. The road is dotted with unique and charming communities, set in dramatic stretches of wilderness.
The Parkway is 500 miles long and encompasses some of the oldest settlements of both pre-historic and early European times. Visitors can trace much of the history of Appalachian culture by observing overlook signs, visitor center exhibits, restored historic structures, and developed areas. Don't miss the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center museum in Virginia, the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center and Mountain Farm exhibit, and the Yankee Horse Ridge Parking Area near the Irish Creek Railway. A number of historic farms and homesteads dot the Parkway.
Sites Along the Way
The Blue Ridge Parkway runs from Virginia to North Carolina, connecting many famous attractions. The park begins in the north at Shenandoah National Park and travels through Roanoke, Virginia, past the Booker T. Washington National Monument, and into the North Carolina. There it passes near the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site and the beautiful mountain town of Asheville. As you drive the Parkway, you'll past through four national forests: the George Washington and Jefferson forests in Virginia and the Pisgah and Nantahala forests in North Carolina. Mount Mitchell State Park is another popular North Carolina side trip.
For many people, the summer blooms along the Parkway rival the flowers found anywhere else. Meadows of black eyed Susan, coreopsis, queen Anne's lace, and the bright orange butterfly weed brighten up any drive along the road. A few Catawba rhododendron may still be visible in the higher elevations of the Parkway in North Carolina.
The Parkway is particularly famous for its autumn displays, as the mountains put on a show of red, orange, copper, and gold. The first leaves to change are those of the deciduous trees on the highest elevations. Throughout the month of October, the leaf color changes gradually, beginning in the high mountains and concluding at the lower slopes and valleys.
Great Lakes - Lake Superior
The stunning Great Lakes lie in eight U.S. states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and New York. Outdoor recreation is a way of life along the lakes, and camping is a wildly popular activity. On this driving tour, we'll trek from the great north woods of Minnesota to Apostle Islands in Wisconsin, following the shores of beautiful Lake Superior. Lake Superior is the largest, deepest, coldest, and most pristine of all the Great Lakes.
Begin your tour in the dramatically hilly lake town of Duluth, Minnesota. Duluth is close to Canada, and if you have the time, this makes a great jumping-off point for day trips to Thunder Bay or Quetico Provincial Park. On the Minnesota side of the border, this is a great chance to do some canoeing and kayaking in Voyageurs National Park or to explore the quiet community of Grand Marais.
From Duluth, take Highway 2 south and east along the southern side of the lake. You'll pass through dozens of charming lake communities that are dotted with vacation homes, cabins, and retirement communities. Fishing is a popular sport on every Great Lake, and if you visit in winter you're sure to see the frozen lake dotted with ice fishing shacks and cabins. In the summertime, boating takes center stage. You'll find plenty of sandy beaches, sailboats and power boats, and fishing charters that are ready to take you out in search of the day's catch.
Wisconsin doesn't have as many miles of lake front as some other states, but what it has is particularly spectacular. Take a side trip to the breathtaking Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The Apostle Islands are an archipelago, set off a large spit of land in the western part of Lake Superior. Each of the twenty-one islands is different. Some are purely wild with sandy beaches and woods that look like they've never seen a human footprint. They have names like Cat Island, North Twin, Devils, and Rocky. Madeline Island is the only island that's reachable by car. From there, you can plan a kayak trip to tiny Hermit Island and its bigger brother, Stockton Island.
Heading east, you'll pass into Michigan's spectacular Upper Peninsula. In Wakefield, Michigan, take Highway 28 past Craig Lake State Park to the lake shore town of Marquette. Continue on to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, lakes, forest, and shoreline beckon you at this stunning national park. Hiking, camping, sightseeing, and four season outdoor opportunities abound. The Lakeshore hugs the Lake Superior shoreline for more than 40 miles.
This area is filled with picturesque lighthouses, lake shore trails, and plenty of wildlife. After your tour of Pictured Rocks, continue east to the Tahquamenon Falls State Park and the aptly-named town of Snug Harbor. This is the second largest state park in Michigan. In his "Song of Hiawatha," Henry Wadsworth Longfellow described the Tahquamenon Falls area as undisturbed forests, tranquil rivers, and abundant wildlife. This is still true today. As a state park, it is managed as a wilderness area, dedicated to preserving its natural beauty and recreational opportunities.
From Tahquamenon, continue east to Sault Ste Marie, the eastern-most American stop along the shores of Lake Superior. From here, you can continue your tour of the Great Lakes, or head north into Canada to see Lake Superior's northern side. Whatever you choose to do, you're sure to find more breathtaking views and plenty of wild open spaces. From fishing and boating to hiking, photography, and bird watching, you'll find more than enough to fill your time when you tour these incredible lakes.