I use Google Maps and Google Earth extensively when scouting for potential RV campsites or locating overnight parking. I’ve found that a little bit of online research before hand can either (1) help identify a new favorite boondocking spot or (2) identify a potentially bad campsite or RV park.
On day two of our visit to Zion National Park we spent the day experiencing Zion from the bottom looking up. While on the Angels Landing trail the day before, we struck up a conversation with a local resident who strongly recommended we stay another day to do the Narrows Trail. We heeded this advice and embarked on what was to be yet another spectacular day.
I'll just come out say it. Zion National Park is one of most amazing places on earth. If you ever get a chance to visit, GO and see it for yourself. Better yet, if you can handle a little hiking, DO IT. There are hikes suitable for everyone. We wanted to see Zion from the top. So, on our last trip through Utah, we decided last minute to spend a day at Zion and hike the world famous Angel's Landing Trail. However, on the morning of our hike, we heard people on the shuttle bus talking about the trail being closed. We decided to ignore the rumors and see for ourselves how far we could actually get up the trail. What happened next turned out to be a truly spectacular once-in-a-lifetime experience on top of Zion National Park.
While in Southern Nevada recently, we took a scenic drive up to Christmas Tree Pass located just North of Laughlin, Nevada. The road is around 16 miles long and winds through the mountains with scenic views of the valley below. In one area there are several desert trees decorated with Christmas ornaments.
The Embarrassing Truth
It's almost embarrassing to disclose the fact that neither Melissa or I have ever been up to Mount Rainier in the few decades we've lived in Western Washington. We look at Mount Rainier almost daily and admire it's beauty from afar. But have we actually ventured up to enjoy it up close? No. "We should head up there for a hike sometime..." I would say. Well that day finally came.
While Melissa and our Daughter dashed off to Spokane, Washington for a weekend race I could not sit at home and do yard work. I decided, instead to take a little road trip and explore the Columbia River. I wanted to visit as many of the Columbia River Dams as possible, but my secondary goal was to scout out new camping locations and attractions that Melissa and I could return to later and explore further.
We prefer to enjoy our beautiful Washington State parks in the off-season when advanced planning is not necessary. When the weather is nice, we can simply pack up and go. Our favorite State Parks are very popular and hard to get into during the peak season.