Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

South of Yellowstone National Park is the majestic Grand Teton National Park. The park has one main road that provides access to the lower elevations of the park. The best way to explore the park is on foot. After securing a campsite for your campervan it is worth taking a hike to really take in the wonders of the park. 

Park Map

Cascade Canyon in the center of the National Park tends to get most of the attention so we recommend traveling south to the Death Canyon Trailhead which is just south of the Moose Junction. Park your campervan in the Death Canyon Trailhead and head up the Death Canyon trail. After 1 miles you will come upon a great viewpoint for Phelps Lake. If this is as far as you want to go then you will have some great views of the peaks and the lake. Continue further on to climb up into the Teton Mountains. Death Canyon is a magnificant U-shaped valley carved by glaciers. Climbing up the canyon you will come to a junction at 3.9 miles, from here you can continue to the right and climb up to Static Peak or continue up the canyon to Fox Creek Pass. 

Death Canyon Trailhead Map

Grand Teton National Park has a lot of campgrounds for campervans, but most are first-come-first-serve so you can not make reservations ahead of time. Reservations are accepted for group camping, the Colter Bay RV Park, and the Headwaters Campground & RV Sites at Flagg Ranch.

Jenny Lake campground has a length limit of 14ft so this campground should be avoided since our shortest campervan is 19ft long.

Campervan Campground List

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park has one of the largest intact ecosystems in the temperate zone of the rocky mountains. The park is over 1 million acres and has many different areas depending on what type of experience you want to have. While the majority of the visitors can be found around Lake McDonald and the Going-to-the-Sun Road this is only a tiny fraction of the park. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is the heart of the park and takes you over Logan Pass and is one of the most scenic campervan drives you'll ever take.

Glacier National Park Service

Park Map

Reserving Campervan Campsite:

Out of 13 campsites only 3 have reservable sites. These are Fish Creek, St. Mary, and some of Many Glacier.

Be sure to check the Campground Status Page for information on when campgrounds fill up.

Day 1-2: 

Explore the heart of the park on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Start your journey in West Glacier. Your first stop in the park should be at the southern end of Lake McDonald. After enjoying the lake continue on the Going-to-the-Sun Road taking advantage of the many pull-outs and scenic view points along the way. Some possible stops include Trail of the Cedars, Logan Pass Visitor Center, Jackson Glacier Overlook, Sunrift Gorge and Sun Point.

Fun Adventures:

  • Hike five miles round trip to Avalanche Lake.
  • Take a boat tour on Lake McDonald. You can buy a spot on a boat or rent one from Glacier Park Boat Company
  • Park your campervan. Take a bus tour if you want to let someone else do the driving for a change. This is a nice way for the driver to also be able to see all of the sites. Glacier National Park Lodges offers a red bus tour
  • Camping: Fish Creek, Apgar, Sprague Creek, Avalanche Creek

Day 3-4:

On your first couple of days you probably followed the line of cars up and down the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Now it is time to leave the crowds behind and explore the Two Medicine area. The Two Medicine Valley area is one of the more undiscovered areas of the park. Before the opening of the Going-to-the-Sun Road in 1933, Two Medicine was one of the busiest locations in the park. Now you will find a much quieter experience in the Crown of the Continent. Located a short drive from East Glacier Park, Two Medicine is easily accessible to all campervan travelers. The Two Medicine area does have a campground, but it is first come first serve so it might be wise to plan to swing through the campground by 11am if you plan to camp in the area. Make your first stop at Running Eagle Falls and take the short hike to the falls. Continue on to Two Medicine Lake and take a boat tour with Glacier Park Boat Company or rent a kayak, canoe or rowboat and take in the beauty of the area from the water. 

Day 4-5:

The next part of the park is one of the wildest sections of the park: the North Fork. Accessed by a gravel road, the North Fork is one of the most scenic and off-the-beaten path sections of the park that’s accessible by car. Be sure to take advantage of the stunning views into the park as you make your way up the Outside North Fork Road. Polebridge, a small electricity-free town (the community is powered by solar panels and generators) just outside the park’s border, anchors the area. Here you’ll find a historic mercantile, saloon, cabins for rent and a hostel. Be sure to stop into the Polebridge Mercantile for some of the best pastries in the West. After fueling up on goodies, rent a kayak or canoe (or bring your own) and head into the park to Bowman or Kitla lakes for a few hours of paddling on the clear blue waters.

Campground: Bowman Campground - This campground has limited services and you should come prepared with food and all essentials and expect at least an hour drive from the town of Polebridge. You are also allowed to collect any down timber for fire wood some a small saw and ax is a great option.

 

Late Fall Options for Campervans

Late Fall Options for Campervans

When the weather cools off it is nice to move to some lower elevation camping opportunities.

Southern Idaho:

Just two hours south of Boise is Banbury and Miracle Hot springs. Both have great camp spots with the Banbury being a little further from the highway and a little quieter. Banbury has more of kid focus and Miracle Hot Springs is focused more towards adults with private pools and deeper pools.

Near Miracle Hotsprings you will also find a lot of great destinations from massive water springs to pristine pools.

For something a little more unusual you can check out the Black Magic Canyon in Southern Idaho. This is a slot canyon with some amazing geology. Check out these two links for more info.

EASY DIRECTIONS: From Shoshone, ID, go north on Hwy 93 for 14 miles to "Ice Caves" (left) & "Bear Claw Trading Post" (right). Go 2 more miles north to turnoff (left) for Magic Reservoir west shore. Go about 200 meters and park in 12-space parking area on right. Kiosk describes Black Magic Canyon. Asphalt trail goes left from kiosk about 150 meters. At end of trail, continue about 100 meters to riverbed. Go left up riverbed about 200 meters to entrance into slot canyon fullof wondrous water-carved formations. 
When leaving parking area, go back to Hwy 93 and go straight across and follow dirt road beside river bed east about 400 meters to "Old Hwy 93". Turn left and park next to bridge over Big Wood River canyon. Walk onto bridge and look both ways - another deep carved black gorge.

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier is an excellent campervan destination, but the park has very limited camping so we defiantly recommend planning ahead and making reservations well in advanced. There is more campgrounds outside of the park if you don't get a spot in the park before your trip. Our favorite campground is the Ohanapecosh campground since the trees are just amazing. 

There are numerable trails in the park to explore. The trails on the west end of the park do tend to be more crowded so if you want a little more remote experience then travel to the west side of the park.

 

Anthony Lakes in Oregon

Anthony Lakes in Oregon

Just a short 2.75 hour drive from Boise is Anthony Lakes and lots of great places to camp. The drive is a very easy drive from Boise and is mostly freeway. The campgrounds are at around 7,000ft and are a perfect places to stay with your campervan. There are two campgrounds near Anthony Lakes. The main Anthony Lake campground has 27 sites for campervans on two paved loops. Many sites have good privacy and lots of rocks for kids to play around on. The Mud Lake campground is a little ways from Anthony lake, but still provides some great sites. 

From the Anthony lake campground you will find easy access to the lake on a number of trails. There is a trail that will take you all the way around the lake and there is a boat ramp to launch small boats or SUPs from. Kids will find lots of places to play along the lake. There are no sandy beaches at the lake so keep this in mind. We recommend water shoes for kids who plan on wading or swimming out in the water since the rocks and submerged logs can be slippery. Fishing is pretty good on the lake, but you will need a fishing license. A fishing license can be obtained in Baker City.

From Anthony lakes you will also find a large network of hiking and biking trails. Here are some helpful links to get you started.

Anthony Lakes Biking Trails

Regional Anthony Lakes Biking Trails

Campervans available for rent in Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT.

2016 Roadtrek E-Trek Luxury Campervan Part 2: The Camping Experience

2016 Roadtrek E-Trek Luxury Campervan Part 2: The Camping Experience

We just hit seven nights in the Roadtrek E-Trek campervan over the Eclipse weekend. Those seven nights have given us a real good introduction to the operation of the Roadtrek E-Trek and the Mercedes Chassis. The Roadtrek E-Trek is defiantly a big departure from our other campervans, but we have had enough interest over the summer from people looking for a campervan with a full bathroom and inside cooking that we decided to take the plunge on this van and see how it performs.

This is the second part of our thoughts on the Roadtrek E-Trek luxury campervan. Overall it is one of the most luxurious campervan camping experiances we have ever had. There is a lot packed into the 22 feet of van and it is a great way to travel. The biggest benefit with any campervan is being able to pull into to just about any spot and be setup in a matter of minutes. The Roadtrek E-Trek is an electric and diesel campervan with no need to worry about propane. The Roadtrek E-Trek has an impressive array of 8 AGM batteries and a 270W solar panel on the roof. While you are driving the engine has a built in generator that will also charge your batteries so you can run all of the conveniences. The Roadtrek E-Trek has the majority of items run off of 12V, but there is an inverter that will create 110V and run additional appliances.

The Roadtrek E-Trek has many luxury features and we will try to go over each one in a brief summary.

Seating: The Roadtrek E-Trek is equipped with 4 leather captains chairs that have a full set of adjustments. All four seats will swivel completely around for sleep or eating.

Beds: The Roadtrek E-Trek has a back bed and front beds. The back bed turns from a couch into a bed at a push of button. This button is located just below the TV. After the bed is completely flat you have the option of leaving it as two twins or you can place a piece in the middle to convert it into a full size king. The front two beds are created by turning each front seat so the back of the seat faces the wall and then you will place the mattress across the front seats to create two twin beds.

Dining: There are two tables that can be setup. The front table is setup when you swivel the four captains chairs around and then place the table leg in the center of the captains chairs and then place the table on top of the table leg. The table legs in the van tighten into the floor with a couple of turns. The back table is usually the one we setup since it allows the kids to get closer to the table for eating. The back table uses the back couch and then the two side benches. 

Heating: When you are parked in your campsite you will be kept warm by a diesel heater that draws fuel from the main fuel tank and uses electricity from the battery bank for the fans. No more need to fill up with propane to run the heater, since propane is a lot harder to come by than diesel fuel. The diesel heater is also a forced air system and will draw cold air in from the front of the cab and then pump the warm air our in the back of the van. If you are familiar with some of the classic propane heaters you will be happy to know that there is no pinging sound as the metal shrinks and contracts as the heater is running. In fact you won't hardly hear a thing at all as the diesel heater keeps you nice and warm. The heat takes about 5 minutes to come up to temperature if it has been off.

Hot Water: There are two hot water systems on the E-Trek. The first uses diesel to heat up the hot water to two different settings 40 degrees C or 70 degrees C. The 70 degrees C setting is a little to hot for our comfort especially with kids around. The hot water takes about 20 minutes to reach temperature which is fairly standard for most hot water heaters. If you need some more instant hot water then you can turn on the 110V side of the van and there is an instant hot water system next to the sink. This systems is best for making teas and coffee, but not dishes. To do dishes in the sink it is best to use the main diesel hot water system. 

Bathroom: There is a full bathroom in the van. There is a toilet with a foot pedal that controls the filling of the tank along with the flushing of the tank. There is a shower in the bathroom with a manual shut off on the head to conserve water. The bathroom doors can also be latched so they extend into the isle to provide additional room while using the toilet or shower. Hot water for the bathroom is provided by the diesel hot water heater that must be turned on ahead of time.

Cooking: Cooking is done using the main kitchen area. There is ample counter top space for food preparation and then there is an induction cooktop, convection oven, and a microwave. To use the induction cooktop, convection oven, and the microwave you will need to switch on the 110V system. The microwave is a very standard unit and can also be used as a convection oven. To use the convection oven we do recommend being plugged in or have the engine generator running. Having a microwave in a camper is a nice way to put toegther some quick meals. The induction cooktop is a single burner cooktop that does require special cookware, but it does a great job and cooks items well plus cleanup is easy.

Campervans available for rent in Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT.

Roadtrek E-Trek Luxury Campervan Part 1: Sprinter vs. Transit

Roadtrek E-Trek Luxury Campervan Part 1: Sprinter vs. Transit

We just hit seven nights in the Roadtrek E-Trek campervan over the Eclipse weekend. Those seven nights have given us a real good introduction to the operation of the Roadtrek E-Trek and the Mercedes Chassis. The Roadtrek E-Trek is defiantly a big departure from our other campervans, but we have had enough interest over the summer from people looking for a campervan with a full bathroom and inside cooking that we decided to take the plunge on this van and see how it performs.

We are going to do a two part post on the new campervan to give everyone a good perspective on the campervan. 

Part 1: Sprinter vs. Transit

First, we wanted to share our thoughts on the Ford Transit vs the Mercedes Sprinter. The E-Trek is only available on the Mercedes Sprinter Chassis so we did not have the option to go with a Ford Transit Chassis. Having driven both for many miles it is amazing how similar the diesel engines feel on the road and how similar the fuel economy is on the two engines. The Mercedes Sprinter diesel has a little more turbo lag than the Ford Transit diesel, but the Mercedes Sprinter diesel is quieter than the Ford under normal loads. The turbo in the Sprinter diesel is a little louder under heavy load. Both provide ample power on the hills and allow you to stay with traffic without issue. The Ford Transit transmission is defiantly more responsive to downshifts and the manual mode on the Ford Transit transmission does perform better. Steering and handling on both is very similar and the ride on both is very comparable. The radio and navigation system show the greatest differences during the initial setup and connecting a phone. In the Ford Transit system we can connect a phone in under a minute, while in the Mercedes Sprinter we spent close to ten minutes getting everything setup. Once the phone is setup in the Mercedes Sprinter the blue-tooth audio does connect up faster than in the Ford Transit and more consistently autoplays the last item listened too on your device. Mercedes Sprinter also allows you to easily turn on the rear camera. This is an amazing feature when you have bikes on the back and this is defiantly a feature I would like to see in the Ford Transit.

The Mercedes Sprinter does have the Ford Transit beat on driving safety features. The Mercedes Sprinter has blindspot assist, collision assist, high beam assist, and lane keeping assist. The blindspot assist is extremely valuable with such a long van and this is a great feature we would like to see in the Ford Transit. The high beam assist is a great feature for late night driving on two lane roads and this would be another great feature to see on the Ford Transit. The Mercedes Sprinter does have slightly better low beams, but the high beams on both are very similar. We do have one Ford Transit with a lane keeping system and it does perform very similar to the Mercedes system, but the blindspot system is much more useful in a large van.

The backup system on the Ford Transit is much better than the Mercedes Sprinter. My biggest issue with the sprinter is that the camera does not have a wide enough field of view. With the Ford Transit you get a much bigger field of view behind the campervan. Both systems will defiantly prevent you form running over something, but we can backup much quicker with the Ford Transit system.

The dashboard on each van is very different. The Ford Transit has much better and larger cup holders than the Mercedes Sprinter, but the cubbies in the Mercedes Sprinter give you a lot more dash storage space. Both vans could use a better place to store the much larger smartphones on the market. The Mercedes Sprinter has made it easier to move into the back portion of the van, but this came at the expense of the smaller cup holders. We are still torn on which one we would prefer. The glove box on the Ford Transit is larger and can hold more items and does a better job of preventing items from getting stuck behind the glove box. Within the first week in the Mercedes Sprinter I had lost an item behind the glove box and this was causing the light to remain on in the glove box.

Moving under the hood the first big difference is the location of the DEF filler. The Ford Transit DEF cap is right next to the drivers door and makes me less worried if I spill any fluid. The Mercedes Sprinter DEF cap is under the hood and makes it more likely you may spill DEF someplace you don't want to spill DEF. The Mercedes Sprinter hood does automatically lock open which is nice compared to the manual bar you need to use in the Ford Transit to keep the hood open. The hood opening on the Mercedes Sprinter is defiantly larger so it is easier to access items. The Mercedes Sprinter also makes the air filter more accessible and with the larger hood opening it should be easier to access items. 

My final thoughts between the two vans is the unlocking of the doors. In the Ford Transit all of the doors automatically unlock once you open the driver. The Mercedes Sprinter requires using the key fob or hitting the button under the radio. On a daily basis this is my biggest frustration with the Mercedes Sprinter. 

PART 2

Campervans available for rent in Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT.

Kid and Beginner Friendly Sun Valley Rides

Kid and Beginner Friendly Sun Valley Rides

Sun Valley is famous for miles of singletrack trails and this might seem intimidating for kids and beginners. Luckily there are a couple of good options. Also remember with any kid bike ride to take the pace easy and walk any section where kids are unsure of there abilities. Also make sure to bring along some fun snacks to eat along the way. Our favorite option are fruit snacks which provide a nice treat for kids.

Right in Sun Valley and Ketchum you will find a whole network of paved bike paths. These are the easiest options and are the flattest options. The Wood River Bike Path runs along the Wood River in Ketchum and will take you all the way to Bellevue. The path is about 21 miles long and there is lots of shade along the way along with benches and picnic spots. If you are looking for a harder option then the Harriman Trail runs from Galena Lodge to the SNRA Headquarters.

Are you looking for a kid friendly singletrack experience? Your first destination should be Galena Lodge. Park in the Galena Lodge parking lot and ride east on the main dirt road and you will come to the Galena View Trail. The Galena View Trail is a very mellow trail and has a great flow to the trail. A lot of the trail is like a little pump track with lots of little ups and downs. You will have some great meadow views all along the trail and some great views of the Boulder Mountains.

Once you have done Galena View and want a little more remote singletrack experience then Corral Creek is worth checking out. The trail is is about 3.3 miles in length and can be done with a beginner using the road to get back to the top. With kids you can descend the trail and then have the kids wait at the picnic table in the shade at the end of the trail while someone rides back up the road to get the campervan. From the top of the trail you will start in dense pine and Douglas fir forest with patches of aspen groves along the way. The trail is rolling and fun for all ages with a mellow grade. At mile 2 you will come to a section of the trail that has a steep drop off on one side. The trail is nice and wide, but some beginners might walk a couple of sections. The section with the steep drop off is short and is worth walking since the rest of the trail is so much fun.

Campervans available for rent in Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT.

Smokey Boulder

Smokey Boulder

Just north of New Meadows off of Hwy 95 is the Smokey Boulder Rd. This road will take you along the scenic meadows of Round Valley. You will have a good chance of seeing elk in the morning or evening along this road.

smokeyboulder map.jpg

Keep on driving on Smokey Boulder Rd. and you will want to bear right to stay on the Smokey Boulder Rd. toward Smokey Boulder Camp. Near Smokey Boulder Camp you will find ample primitive camping, but no official campgrounds so you simply choose a spot off the side of the road.

There are some great trail opportunities in the area for hiking and biking. The Pollock Mountain Trail and the Cow Camp Trail are both great trails and are usually well maintained. The Pollock Mountain trail is recommended as a downhill only for mountain bikers and the Cow Camp trail is a great trail for most intermediate riders up until mile 4.5. There are some great views along the Cow Camp trail and you will likely be the only ones on the trail.

Campervans available for rent in Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT.

Springtime Moab

Springtime Moab

Annually we make a trek down to Moab at the end of April to mountain bike and explore for a couple of days. This year the campervan came in handy for extra sleeping and some of the shuttling we did with our bikes. This trip was also the first time on a new mountain bike from Cannondale. You can read the full review here.

This trip we practiced a little more filming than in years past so we have a couple great videos to watch.

Campervans available for rent in Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT.

Spring on Washington's Palouse Prairie

Spring on Washington's Palouse Prairie

Over spring break we spent some time in Washington's Palouse Prairie and visited the small towns of Dayton and Walla Walla. Spring time on the Palouse is an experience as you drive through the verdant green hills of grass and sprouting green crops. 

Our first stop along our route was at Palouse Falls State Park, the state park has a spectacular 198ft water fall and many miles of trails. There is limited parking near the falls view point and you will need to purchase a Washington Discovery Pass. The view point is very spectacular year around as the river cascades over the cliff and into a massive canyon. The trail system at the state park is still under development and you do need to be careful on some of the user created trails since they can take you near numerable cliffs. We were not able to explore the trails as much as we would have liked since someone had fallen and emergency crews were on the scene assessing the situation.

After visiting Palouse Falls we headed to Historic Dayton. Dayton has a wide main street and many historic buildings. You can check out the old train depot just one block off of main street or check out the many well maintained historic building right on the main drag. There is a wonderful wine scene in town with many excellent restaurants. You will find many varieties of local wines at the restaurants in town. The dining options in town will defiantly keep you happy. There is the Petit Creek Restaurant, a four star french restaurant that attracts people from miles around to enjoy the delights. You can find a little more casual atmosphere at the Manila Bay Cafe, a quaint little restaurant with numerous dishes that will be sure to keep you happy and a great kids menu for the little ones. On busy weekends we defiantly recommend calling ahead for reservations since the restaurants are all pretty small with limited seating. Dayton is also home to Mule Mania days over Memorial Day Weekend. It is a fun and family friendly event that celebrates the often overlooked mule.

Just south of Dayton is Walla Walla and many more places to explore. Walla Walla also has a nice historic downtown area and some amazing dining options. Walla Walla is consider the capitol of Washingtons wine country and you will find numerable tasting rooms and wineries to visit. 

Walla Walla has a unique combination of climate and has become home to one of the finest wine regions in the US, boasting more than 100 wineries and 2,800 acres of grapes. To get started on your wine tour check out this list.

 

Campground Recommendations:

The campgrounds recommended below are open during the spring time. There are also numerous campgrounds in the nearby national forest, but many don't open until Memorial Day weekend.

Palouse Falls State Park- There is limited camping here with bathrooms and the sites are all first come first serve.

Lyons Ferry Marina KOA - Located on the Snake River and right across from the Lyons Ferry State Park. The sites here all have shade and trees like a more traditional campground. If you want to spend some time on the Snake River then this is a great destination to call home.

Lewis and Clark Trail State Park - In between Dayton and Walla Walla is this state park which offers and great spot to stay while exploring Dayton or Walla Walla. There are 24 sites and you have access to the river and some short hiking trails. 

Campervans available for rent in Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT.

Ruby Mountain Heli-Assist Backcountry Skiing

Ruby Mountain Heli-Assist Backcountry Skiing

Recommended Stay: 3 to 5 days

Distance from Boise 260 miles/Drive Time: 5 hours

Distance from Salt Lake 250 miles/Drive Time 4 hours

Trip Cost Estimate: $675 to $2675

Just 5 hours south of Boise and 4 hours west of Salt Lake is one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in Nevada. The Ruby Mountains are 80 miles long and run north to south with the highest peak, Ruby Dome, topping out at 11,388 ft. The Ruby Mountains get large amounts of dry fluffy snow, but access to the mountains can be challenging during the winter months since there are no plowed roads that go into the mountain range. Most winter recreation in the Ruby Mountains takes place from Lamoille Canyon. To gain access for Backcountry Skiing you have three options in the Ruby Mountains. You can drive up Lamoille as far up as possible to one of the many turnouts and park along the road. You can use a snowmobile to travel up Lamoille Canyon. If you would like to bring a snowmobile every wandervan campervan is equipped with a receiver so you can tow your snowmobile trailer. Another option is to get a ride from Ruby Mountain Heli-Experience. The route shown on Day 2 is easily accessed using a snowmobile by going up the canyon. The road up the canyon is not maintained so if there is a large snow storm it can be a challenge to drive up the road.

The Terminal Cancer Couloir is the most famous line in the Ruby Mountains and runs dead straight in between two rock walls at a consistent pitch of 30 to 40 degrees. Terminal Cancer is accessed near Thomas Canyon Campground, but it can be a challenge to get to the start if there has been a lot of low elevation snow. Terminal Cancer's popularity also means you might find some moguls inside the couloir so if there has not been a lot of recent snow then it might be best to explore some other lines.

During our trip to the Ruby Mountains we parked our campervan in Lamoille Canyon and then partnered up with Ruby Mountain Heli-Experience to help with our transport into the Mountains. The camping opportunities in the Canyon during the winter are limited to primitive sites and you will not always have access to a toilet so it is recommended to bring along a port-a-potty. To partake in the Ruby Mountain Heli-Experience you will need to have at least 8 people in your party and it will cost $1200/person. They provide a lift in on the helicopter in the morning and then a lift out at the end of day in addition to one guide per four people. 

Day 1: 

On our first day in the Ruby Mountains we met our guides at the Ruby 360 lodge just outside the town of Lamoille. We had to get all the usual forms out of the way and then get training on how to board a helicopter. As with any helicopter experience you are at the mercy of weather since the helicopter may not be able to fly depending on cloud cover. In those cases there is a snow cat available to shuttle you up into the mountains. The clouds finally cleared in the morning and we got our first lift. We were dropped off near the summit of Bald mountain and set to skiing the north-east aspect of the mountain down some long wide open slops. There were some nice aspen groves down in the valley and we ended up doing some laps on this slope for most of the morning. As the day went on we decided to try the western aspect and after working our way over some wind blown rock bands we dropped into a large aspen forest. We did one more run on the western aspect before working our way out among the aspen forest down in the valley. The terrain was fairly mellow today and snow conditions were excellent so we were ready to move onto some steeper aspects the next day. You can find the Route Map here or in the picture below.

Day 2:

Day 2 was our biggest day. We got picked up in Lamoille Canyon. This day's skiing is all accessible from a snowmobile or you could access it with about a 5 mile skin in up the canyon. After getting picked up we were flown to the saddle just below snow lake peak. From the saddle we skied down the southeast aspect toward Lamoille Canyon. We then did another lap on this aspect before dropping into Island Lake drainage. We dropped down a narrow rock chute that then opened into some vast bowls. There were lots of great options in this bowl and we did a bunch of runs, but left a great deal of terrain untouched and unexplored. This drainage is defiantly worth exploring more in the future. To finish out the day we climbed up to just below a cliff band on one of the surrounding peaks and then dropped in on a 2000ft run down into Lamoille Canyon. The snow was excellent until the last 100 feet above the valley floor. From the valley we got picked up and flown down the canyon. Our finish spot on the map would be a great place to park a snowmobile and ski up into the drainage. You can check our Route Map here.

Day 3:

On day 3 the group was a little tired after two hard days of skiing so we planned on taking it easy today. We waited for the weather to clear in the morning and then got a lift up into the mountains. The winds were a little fierce on the summits this morning so we ended up having two separate landing spots to start our days adventure. From the summit we decended down into a large basin before climbing up the other side to look down into Lamoille Canyon. We enjoyed one more big run down the mountain before working our way out to a good spot to be picked up and flown out. We had a great trip in the Ruby Mountains and will definatly be making plans for next year. You can check out our Route Map here.

ruby_mountain_heli_backcountry_skiing

Campervans available for rent in Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT.

 

Van Life Travel Tips

Van Life Travel Tips

Do you love camping? Do you love van life? Here are some tips we have compiled to help you on your next trip.

 

1)Do you love card games on the road? Tired of losing your cards on the road. How about a soap box holder. 

2) Tired of getting mud from your shoes inside of your van? Just bring along some shower caps.

3) Toilet Paper Roll Fire Starter. Place dryer lint inside of a toilet paper roll and then wrap in paper.

camping-hacks-wandervans-outsidevan-idaho-boise56.jpg

5) Tired of getting bugs in your cups. Try using some cup cake liners and a straw.

camping-hacks-wandervans-outsidevan-idaho-boise.jpg

4) Night light. Use a simple water jug and a headlamp to make a jug lantern.

Campervans available for rent in Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT.

Banff National Park

Banff National Park

Recommended Stay: 10 to 14 days

Distance from Boise 756 miles/Drive Time: 13 hours

Trip Cost Estimate: $1375 to $1675

 

Banff National Park is a classic destination due to the amazing scenery and wildlife all around the park. From Boise there are three ways that google recommends to get to Banff National Park.  To break up the drive we recommend allowing at least two days and camping along the way. We recommend travelers take Route 2(US95) on the way to Banff and then Route 3(US95,12,US93) on the return trip.

Route 1 (Fastest and Least Scenic I-84,I-82,U395,I-90,US95):

From Boise we recommend you make it to Kennewick/Walla Walla Area one the first day and then the Couer d'Alene area on the second day. Here are some campgrounds along the route.

Palouse Falls State Park - 10 first come first serve sites.

Lewis and Clark Trail State Park - 24 reservable sites

Blackwell Island Campground, Couer d'Alene-182 reservable sites

Farragut State Park - 222 reservable sites

ound Lake State Park - 51 reservable sites

riest Lake State Park - 176 reservable sites

Route 2 (+10 minutes but very scenic US95):

From Boise we recommend you make it to Winchester State Park the first night and then the Couer d'Alene area on the second day. Here are some campgrounds along the route. All of our vans have an Idaho State Parks pass so you get free admission to the park along with discounted campsites.

Winchester State Park - 68 reservable sites

Blackwell Island Campground, Couer d'Alene-182 reservable sites

Farragut State Park - 222 reservable sites

ound Lake State Park - 51 reservable sites

riest Lake State Park - 176 reservable sites

Route 3 (+1.5 hours but very scenic U95, HWY12, US93):

From Boise we recommend you camp you make it to a campground along Hwy 12 the first night and then Missoula area on the second day. Here are some campgrounds along the route.

Powel Campground USFS - 68 reservable sites

Glacier National Park - Apgar Campground

Banff National Park

Banff National Park is one of Canada's Premier National Parks. There are amazing sites and lots of places to view wildlife. During the busy summer season we recommend hiking some of the trails to get away from some of the crowds. Check out some of the recommendations from Parks Canada here.

Banff National Park Camping-  The camping around Banff National Park offers the most inexpensive way to stay in the park while providing amazing scenery and easy access to nature. There are 13 Banff National Park campgrounds which offer 2,468 sites at reasonable rates. 

Here are some recommendations around Banff:

1) The Cave and Basin National Historic Site - Here you will see an underground Cave, and bubbling thermal waters. 

2) Lake Minnewanka - Has an excellent multiuse trail system and many places to relax on the water at the beach or for a picnic. 

3) Banff Legacy Trail - A paved bike path from the east entrance to Bow Valley Parkway. 

4) Upper Hot Springs Pool - Enjoy a natural hot springs where travelers have soaked for generations. 

4) Johnson Lake - Hike around the lake our paddle on its waters.  

5) Vermilion Lakes - Perfect place to enjoy birds and wildlife.

6) Johnston Canyon - Do you love waterfalls? Then this is the ideal stop. You can hike anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and enjoy some amazing views.

7) Lake Louise - The most classic destination in the park and a must do.

8) Lake Agnes Trail - A very popular trail in the park that takes you to Mirror Lake and has some amazing views of Lake Louise.

9) Plain of Six Glaciers Trail - This is another popular hike around Lake Louise featuring glaciers, views, and lots of wildlife.

0) Moraine Lake - Hike around the lake our paddle on its waters.

 

 

 

Glacier National Park Map

 

 

 

 

 

Campervans available for rent in Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT.

Castle Rock State Park/City of Rocks Preserve

Castle Rock State Park/City of Rocks Preserve

Recommended Stay: 3 to 4 days

Distance from Boise 210 miles/Drive Time: 4 hours

Trip Cost Estimate: $375 to $675

Tucked into the Southern part of Idaho is Castle Rock State Park and the City of Rocks Preserve. The City of Rocks is a premiere destination for rock climbers, but can also be enjoyed by hikers and mountain bikers from spring to the fall. There are loads of hiking and biking trails in both areas and these also connect to trails on Forest Service and BLM lands.

Campervan camping can be found in City of Rocks or in Castle Rock State Park. The campervan sites in City of Rocks Preserve are all dirt sites with limited services, but you get to camp right among the rocks. Here is a link to the map and click here to reserve. You will want to try and reserve ahead of time since there are limited sites and high demand. Campervan sites in Castle Rock State Park have more services than those on the preserve. The Castle Rock State Park campground is call the Smokey Mountain Campground. The Smokey Mountain Campground is not located in the main State Park unit, but is instead just south of Almo, check out this map for details and click here to reserve. There is not a lot of shade so it is nice to have a campervan for hanging out at when you need a break from the sunshine. We also can provide a free standing awning if you need even more shade.

Castle Rock State Park Trail Map

Campervans available for rent in Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT.

Grand Targee Resort

Grand Targee Resort

About 6 hours from Boise is Grand Targee Resort and some amazing powder. Plus you can stay overnight in the parking lot with your campervan so you will able to score first tracks in the morning. In addition to life serve skiing there is also some great cat skiing.

Overnight campervan parking is allow in the lower lot at a cost of $20/night. The restaurants are open from 7am to 7pm and there is no bathrooms available outside of those hours. We do have a small porta-potty available for rent if you will need bathroom service outside of normal hours.

Resort Trail Map

Expert Riders and Skier Recommendations:

Mary's Nipple: For those willing to do a little bit of hiking you can explore the large powder bowl off of Mary's Nipple and some amazing views of the Tetons. To get to Mary's you will take Dreamcatcher Lift to the top and then head south along the edge of the resort to Scotty's Gate. At the gate you will find out if Mary's is open. Once you pass through the gate you will have a 1/4 mile hike and about 300ft of climbing. The skiing is well worth the effort.

Toilet Bowl and Das Boot: At the top of the Sacajawea lift you will find some expert lines to the north. These two bowls are steep and you will find yourself working around some cliff bands or launching off of them. It is a nice rowdy time for those with the skills to pull it off.

 

Campervans available for rent in Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT.

Tamarack Campervan Skiing

Tamarack Campervan Skiing

A two hour drive from Boise is Tamarack Resort and some excellent campervan skiing and snow boarding and some great views of Lake Cascade. One of the best parts of the resort is the lack of lift lines. Every time we have skied at the resort we have never had a line to get on the lift. The resort is ideal for intermediate skiers and riders. There is a great beginner area right near the lodge and you will find no line at all on most days. More advanced skiers and riders will find the most challenging runs off of the summit. 

It is possible to park a campervan overnight in the Aspen Parking lot right near the entrance, we recommend first checking in with the information desk since there may be a small fee. Otherwise Brundage allows overnight parking in there lot for campervans. If you need another place to park overnight you can try the West Face Snowmobile lot right across from the Bear Creek Lodge.

Tamarack Resort Ski Map

Recommended Routes Advanced Skiers and Riders:

Adrenaline and Funnel: Start off Canoe Ridge from the top of the Summit chair. You might have a drop off to get onto the ski run and then you will have a nice steep run in a large snow bowl. 

After You and Me First: To the south of the Summit chair you will find the other advanced bowl this one has some nice ski lines tucked into the trees down the center. These lines are often overlooked on powder days so you may find some fresh stashes.

Campervans available for rent in Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT.

Sun Valley Campervan Skiing

Sun Valley Campervan Skiing

Sun Valley has some amazing skiing at the resort, but also some astronomical priced lift tickets. Our campervans can be part of the solution. Instead of spending loads of money on lodging that you will hardly use since you will be out enjoying the slopes, why not rent a campervan and then ski all day and then go check out the night life before crashing on some amazing beds. 

While Sun Valley Resort does not allowed overnight parking in the ski lots and you are likely to get towed if you park on any of the downtown streets overnight.  For $25/night you can park at the Meadows RV Park. You will want to call ahead to reserve your spot. North of Ketchum there are some lots that you can park in off Hwy 75. The Baker Creek Lot is the first lot you will come to after you leave town. Be aware you can get plowed in during a big snow storm.

Resort Trail Map

Sun Valley Backcountry Skiing:

There is a lots of great Back Country Skiing around Sun Valley. Around the Galena Summit are or near the Bake Creek Rd. Check out this cool video on Peak to Van skiing.

Campervans available for rent in Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT.

Craters of the Moon

Craters of the Moon

Recommended Stay: 3 to 4 days

Distance from Boise 170 miles/Drive Time: 3 hours

Trip Cost Estimate: $375 to $675

Craters of the Moon is a lunar landscape dropped in the middle of Idaho. Craters of the Moon is currently a National Monument and we hope to see it designated as Idaho's first National Park in the near future. Craters of the Moon erupted between 14,000 and 2,000 years ago and is one of the youngest lava flows in the lower 48 states. The landscape looks very lunar from a distance and is even harsher when you get up close and personal. Hiking in the park is easiest on established trails near the park entrance or there are some old roads in the southern portions of park that are an excellent way to get away from the crowds. 

The only official campervan campground is right off of Hwy 20 at the main park entrance and is called the Lava Flow Campground. Spots are limited so reservations are defiantly recommended. The campervan campground is right in the middle of the Lava Flow which can be fun for kids to play on, but sections can be very sharp.

Hiking Suggestions:

1) Tree Molds Trail- The Tree Molds hike is 2 miles long and has some amazing scenery as you will get to witness the locations of trees as they were encased by the lava flows. Make sure to stay on the trail since it is easy to get lost in the flows. Here is a map with more information.

2) Broken Top Trail:  This trail is one of the most spectacular trails in the park and as you hike its 2 miles length you will experiance all of the different types of lava flows. Check out this map for some extra details. There are a number of caves along this trail, but you are required to get a permit at the visitors center before entering them so make sure to due this when you enter the park.

 

Campervans available for rent in Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT.

Southern California Adventure (Death Valley/Joshua Tree)

Southern California Adventure (Death Valley/Joshua Tree)

Recommended Stay: 9 to 14 days

Distance from Boise 936 miles/Drive Time: 14.5 hours

Trip Cost Estimate: $1375 to $1675

For the holidays this year we planned a campervan trip to see Death Valley, Joshua Tree, and the San Diego area. We had two weeks of time to accomplish our trip which worked out to be a good length of time for our campervan trip since we did not feel rushed at any of our destinations.

Day 1: Boise to Death Valley

On Day 1 we choose to make the drive from Boise to Death Valley National Park. The route recommended by Google will take you down to Bruneau and south on Hwy 51 and then into Nevada. We did not know what to expect on the drive, but was pleasantly surprised to enjoy some great canyon driving on NV225 and Hwy 51 in between Bruneau and Elko. The roads were snow covered in places, but our campervan did great in the snow and we were glad we were not in anything larger like a RV. The entire route is very sparsely populated so it is important to make sure you have plenty of gas due to the remote nature of the drive. We needed to drive almost 9.5 hours before things started to warm up and then an extra half an hour to our campground. There are three campgrounds in the heart of Death Valley National Park near Furnace Creek, these are the warmest campervan campgrounds in the park during the winter months. Since we pulled in late at night we ended up just pulling in Sunset campground which is basically a large and flat gravel lot and the easiest for just crashing and going to bed. 

Day 2: Death Valley National Park

On Day 2 we awoke in Sunset Campground and realized how barren Sunset Campground is during the day. We packed up and head to check out the other two campgrounds in Furnace Creek. The first option is Texas Springs which has a lot of great sites and was very full so we decided to check out the Furnace Creek Campground. We end up liking Furnace Creek Campground the best since it had some trees that shelter you from the afternoon winds and was right next to the visitor center. We parked our campervan in Furnace Creek Campground and made a plan for the day. We decided to head to 20 Mule Team Canyon and check out the short one way dirt road. The road weaves through some amazing formations and you can pretty much climb anywhere. The campervan did well on the dirt road and we did some great exploring. There is no way you could take a RV(recreational vehicle) on this dirt road and not get stuck. My wife had no problems negotiating the narrow turns. At the end of the road we had to make a trip to Palrump to visit the nearest grocery store, we though we would pass one in Beatty, but all they had was a convenience store. So on your drive from Boise if you need any supplies make sure to stop in Elko, NV. After returning from Palrump we drove our campervan to the visitor center and checked out the exhibits and got a status update on the roads in the park. There had been some flash floods in 2015 that did considerable damage to park roads and this means Scotty's Castle will not reopen until 2019. After the visitor center we headed to Borax Works and then drove through Mustard Canyon. Mustard Canyon was worth the short drive and it was a great place to explore on foot and we explored the yellow colored dried out mud. You can find some wide pullouts along the road and hike up on the mustard colored mud and witness the weird formations formed by water. Driving out of Mustard Canyon in the dark we headed for our campground and a well deserved meal.

Twenty Mile Canyon Road:

Day 3: Death Valley National Park

On Day 3 we awoke in Furnace Creek Campground in our campervan and sat down to plan our days adventure. After some deliberation we decided to go check out the ranger program at the  Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. The Sand Dunes are very large and there is lots of places to climb and explore or you can look for the the less seen. We wandered off from the crowds and went searching for some footprints of the animals of the desert. We found lot of tracks that orginated from the green islands among the sand dunes. Lots of fun can be had on the Sand Dunes, but we decided to heat to Mosaic Canyon for a long hike. We dug into the campervan cooler for some lunch before heading out on our 4 mile hike. The road to the trail head is again dirt and would be challenging in an RV(recreational vehicle), but luckily we had no problems as we bounced along on the wash board road. At the beginning the trail it was very busy, but then the crowds thin out as you climbed further into the canyon. Just as you leave the crowds behind the canyon gets wide. Keep on going because the best part of the canyon is about 3/4 of a mile ahead. The canyon then gets very narrow and we had a blast working our way up water chutes and around massive boulders. We had lots of fun to exploring this amazing canyon in the desert. It also worked up a good appetite for everyone as we returned to Furnance Creek for some dinner and a little relaxing.

Day 4: Death Valley National Park

On Day 4 we awoke in Furnace Creek Campground in our campervan to another nice and warm day. We were defiantly basking in the warmth as our family back home relayed pictures of the snow and frigid temperatures. After breakfast we got an early start and headed to bad water basin which is 252ft below sea level. There is a hike you can do out onto the salt flats, but with all the people on the trail we decided to try another spot. So we headed to Devils Golf Course which was just a short drive back on the park road and enjoyed a nice quiet spot as we climbed among the amazing salt formations. There were some spectacular sights to be seen and it was amazing to see what salt can do. After poking around we head to Natural Bridges and again the road to the trail head was dirt and would be challenging in an RV(recreational vehicle), but luckily we had no problems as we bounced along on the wash board road. There seemed to be a common theme in this park and the fact that any of the best hikes required some dirt road driving. We then hiked a short way to Natural Bridge. Unlike other arches I have seen that have been formed out of sandstone this one was a type of conglomerate rock that had been formed by flooding. It was quite the amazing sight. After three days of hiking we decided to take a scenic drive to Dante's Point and we were pleasantly surprised by the amazing view we behold on the summit. There is a short hike at the summit, but the views were just as spectacular from the campervan. We then spent the afternoon in our campsite relaxing and planning our adventure for the next day.

Day 5: Death Valley National Park

On our last day in Death Valley National Park we packed up and headed for the west end of the park and our last hike in the park. We drove towards Panamint Springs and came across some interesting Coyote activity on the salt flats. The Coyotes were sitting on the side of the road and waiting for a car to hit an animal and then they would run out and grab the road kill without needing to do any hunting. It is amazing how these animals have figured out how to survive in the desert. After driving through Panamint Springs we took our second left onto an unmarked road and drove on another dirt road to the Darwin Falls trailhead. The Darwin Falls trail is an amazing hike that starts in a very dry landscapes and then you enter into a desert oasis and will walk among trees and lush grasses as you pick your way to a natural spring and an amazing waterfall. After you enter the trees there are some mandatory creek crossings that you might get your feet wet and you'll also need to do some scrambling over some rocks as you work your way to the end of the trail. The trail is unmarked, but is easy to follow and worth the 2.5 mile hike. Everyone loved the waterfall at the end, but we were wiped out as we returned to the van and started our drive further south. We planned to make it to Silverwood Lake campground that evening and got delayed a little as we drove through a rare southern California downpour. We pulled into our campervan campsite and were so happy to not be sleeping on the ground as giant puddles formed all over the place outside. 

Death Valley Road Tour:

 

Day 6: Death Valley to Carlsbad, CA

On Day 6 we awoke at Silverwood Lake to some more showers and had a lazy morning before setting out for Carlsbad, CA and our campervan campsite in Carlsbad Beach State Park. We managed to avoid most of the traffic and cruised into Carlsbad Beach State Park with plenty of time to enjoy the beach. There are a couple of beach access points within the campground and we choose our site based on how easy it would be to get down to the beach. To access the beach you must descend down a steep staircase to the water. Once on the beach you will have a nice sense of isolation as the cliffs give a nice sense of solitude. 

Day 7: Legoland Carlsbad, CA

Having never been to southern California we had to check out the local sights and attractions. Our first stop was Legoland. We arrived in the parking lot at 9am and were ready to walk in as soon as the gates opened at 9:30. Getting such an early start meant we had very short waits at all of the rides we rode except for one. While the crowds were just entering the park we were in the back of the park getting in multiple rides and then we swapped places with the crowds as we looped back to front to catch those attractions after a late lunch. We were amazed at our good fortune since we got to do all of the rides in the park. Legoland is a great place for kids under 10 and the Lego structures inside of the park are just amazing a fun for all to enjoy.

Day 8: San Diego Zoo

A must do stop on our trip was the San Diego Zoo we had heard so many good things about the zoo and the animals inside that we decided to take a trip down to check it out. The scale of the San Diego Zoo is immense and you could easily fit 10 Boise Zoos into the San Diego Zoo. The exhibits were immense and there were actual bus stops inside the park to help you get around. If you have never been it is worth it to first take the bus tour near the front entrance so you get a good idea of the layout of the zoo. After the bus tour we decided to take the shuttle bus that makes 4 stops around the park and check out all of the animals. It was immense at the zoo and we stayed until 5 just so we could see the majority of the exhibits, we defiantly missed some stuff, but after 8 hours in the park we were exhausted and almost decided to just crash in the back of the camper van.

Day 9: Downtown San Diego

On Day 5 w decided to leave the campervan in the campground in Carlsbad, CA and head south on the commuter rail. A short 5 minute walk from our campsite we were at a train stop and boarding the train south to San Diego. We were a little confused at first since we could not find a ticket booth, but luckily we found tickets online and were on our way south. Once on the train we learned about the famous Holiday Bowl Parade and were glad we had taken the train instead of driving since downtown was going to be packed. We got off at the last stop at Santa Fe Station and walked over to the waterfront to get a spot for the parade. What an amazing parade it was and we were glad to have happened upon it. After the parade we ventured over to the USS Midway which is one of the top attractions in San Diego. The old aircraft carrier is a floating museum and had an amazing of this to see and experience and there was lots of walking. After a great tour we head back to the train for the 1/2 ride back to Carlsbad, CA. We then happened upon Pelly's Fish Market which had some of the most amazing seafood, everything was fresh and tender. There calamari was unlike anything we had tasted before. This was a tiny little gem tucked into a shopping plaza with limited seating so make sure to get there early.

Day 10: Carlsbad to Joshua Tree National Park

On Day 10 we made the drive from Carlsbad to Joshua Tree National Park. We ended up taking the scenic route and came into Joshua Tree National Park from the southern end at Cottonwood Guard Station. We immediately drove to the Cottonwood Springs campground and snagged one of the last campsites in the park. The Cottonwood Springs Campground has nice big sites and lots of pointy objects to run into! We settled into our campground and started to plan our destinations for the following day.

Day 11: Joshua Tree National Park

On Day 11 we started to explore Joshua Tree National Park in our campervan. We started the day with a bike ride out the Pinkham Canyon Road. This road was defiantly the territory of a short wheel base 4wd so we left the campervan back at the campsite while we explored on a bike. It was nice and peaceful out there and a great way to escape the crowds. After 15 miles on the bike we returned to get our campervan in the campground and set off to explore the park and make it to our campsite at Indian Cove. Our first stop was the Cholla Cactus Garden and we were amazed to see how concentrated the cactus were in this one spot. We climbed out of our campervan and walked the short loop hike to check out some of the amazing cactus. Afterwards we got back in our campervan and headed for our camp spot in Indian Cove. We arrived and got setup and then headed out for 49 Palms Oasis and the hike into the Oasis. The hike is a 1.5 miles to the Oasis and you will be rewarded with an amazing sight as you take in massive pine trees nestled in an otherwise dry landscape. We happened to catch the sunset at the oasis and got some great pictures and were glad to have some headlamps to allow us to get back on the trail in the dark.

Cholla Cactus Garden Panorama

Cholla Cactus Garden Panorama

Day 12: Joshua Tree National Park  

On Day 12 we got out for some more exploring we were a little tired from our previous days exploring so we decided to check out a ranger program at Skull Rock. We had a nice hike with the ranger and enjoyed his program. We learned a great deal about the Joshua Tree and the rocks in the park. It was fascinating to learn that before DNA sequencing the Joshua Tree was thought to belong to Lily family, once the tree had been sequenced they discover that is was a close relative of the Yucca. So in the National Park you will see lots of examples of plants from the Yucca family. The Joshua trees also will only grow at a high enough elevation where they can get a winter freeze so this limits there range. Finally the Joshua Tree does not have an animal that transports it seeds very far so its range is limited. After a great ranger talk we explored the rocks around Skull Rock and then drove further into the park in search of a nice place to eat lunch. Our plan was foiled a little bit as it started to pour so we ended up eating our lunch in the campervan and were glad to have space inside away from the rain. The rain finally let up so we decided to do a short hike to the Ryan Ranch and check out the home site of some brave folks that setup shop in Joshua Tree National Park for over 100 years. We stayed mostly dry on our hike to Ryan Ranch and then had some excitement on the way back as we watched a rescue helicopter attempt to land among the rocks and Joshua Trees, it appeared that someone was rock climbing and fell. We hope the person recovered from there fall and it was great to see the fast response. After that excitement we head back to our campsite in Indian Cove and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.

Day 13: 

On Day 13 we began our drive back to Boise and made a couple of stops in Mojave National Reserve. We wanted to stay a little longer in the reserve, but we had heard forecasts of snow in the Boise area so we decided to keep driving north. We are already thinking that on our next trip south we will plan to camp at the Hole in the Rock Campground in the Mojave National Reserve.

Mojave National Preserve

Mojave National Preserve

Joshua Tree National Park Road Tour:

Campervans available for rent in Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT.