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6 national parks perfect for RVers

We’ve been on the road six weeks and have already had so many amazing experiences at national parks around the western United States.

One of the reasons we’re loving these destinations is due to our RV, which makes shoulder-season travel comfortable. After a sometimes-rocky start, we're finally getting used to living in a tiny home on wheels.

As our tour of the West continues, here are the places we’ve loved best so far:

 

Craters of the Moon National Monument

You’d swear you were on the Big Island of Hawaii while wandering through the seemingly endless lava flows that cover this remote Idaho landscape. Explore the caves or scale a cinder cone for a stunning view. On clear nights, you'll be covered in the brightest stars you've ever seen in this International Dark-Sky Association location.

 

Dinosaur National Monument

This park has the distinction of sprawling across state lines -- Utah and Colorado -- and is one of the most under-the-radar finds in the country. After camping on the banks of the Green River, we took a hike near gorgeous Split Mountain in Utah, then visited the Dinosaur Quarry Exhibit Hall. At that remarkable site you can bear witness to a wall of dinosaur bones that is awe-inspiring.

 

Arches National Park

After a wonderful, snowy weekend in Aspen, we headed west on a whim, looking for warmer weather. We scored in this popular park near Moab, Utah. Because it’s sizzling hot in the summer, fall is a perfect time to gape at the spectacular rock formations. We even managed to squeeze into a sweet spot at the park’s lone campground. Rimmed by those rocks, it was truly magical. John took advantage of the sunny weather for a bike ride to the oft-photographed Delicate Arch.

 

Mesa Verde National Park

Home to the incredible cliff dwellings where Pueblo Indians lived for more than 600 years, this vast region might make you wish you’d paid more attention during anthropology class. Take one of the excellent park tours of these beautifully preserved ruins. We braved the steep ladders and crawled through a tunnel to be blown away by the Balcony House. After one night in the wide-open campground, we splurged the next night at the park's exceptional Far View Lodge. Simply furnished rooms and a super tasty restaurant were much appreciated.

 

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

If you’re afraid of heights, you might want to skip this astonishing park near Montrose, Colo., where visitors are invited to peer over the edge of one dramatic drop after another. The informative display that best sums up the plunge points out that if the Empire State Building sat on the floor of the canyon, it would reach only halfway up. Gulp. The campground gets a standing ovation for its nicely spaced spots and accommodating pull-throughs.

 

Great Sand Dunes National Park

This national park in the San Luis Valley of Colorado has he tallest dunes in North America. It's mind-blowing to walk up these ever-changing mountains of sand and gaze at the spine of the nearby Sangre de Cristo Range. The campground is exceptional, with fantastic views of the dunes in all their glory.

 

This week's Going Mobile question: What's the best commercial RV resort you've stayed at in the Southwest? Send email responses to GoingMobile@spokesman.com.



Leslie Kelly
Leslie Kelly is a freelance writer.