Are they also one of your "Best-est", hope not your Worst One?
A true blue camping enthusiast, or say, even if you have the remotest interest in camping and hiking or maybe an “I-just-feel-like-going-camping-let’s-see-what-happens” type of camper, you’ll always have something to say about the place you just went camping on. I mean camping is a great adventure, imagine experiencing nature at its best and worst cases. It’s epic. And who doesn’t have any story to tell about their last camping trip, hmmm even sloths have stories in there slumber. And despite all things being equal, my best place to camp could be your worst one, whichever follows. So what criteria are you looking for? Or maybe you’re blessed with patience and anything goes even just the plainest campgrounds with no particular preferences. That’s bliss by the way. Here are some of the places that I’ve been through.
La Push WA is a small community located near Forks and houses the Quileute Tribe. People say that in here, you can experience the best of Mother Nature. Big evergreen forests, the mighty Pacific surf, huge monolith rock formations right at the beach. Just up the road are the Olympic Mountains and the Hoh temperate rain forest. The island is popular for surfing and whale watching, so if you’re an enthusiast of this kinds of sports and recreation then it is a must go place for you. There is a campground right on the beach and Olympic National Park is nearby. It is also said to be the main setting for the second book of Twilight Saga, New Moon, as it is home of Bella’s family friend Jacob Black. So it must be really awesome there that the makers of Twilight decided to shoot scenes there. And if you’re a Twilight fan, you can go there and check the place yourself. Check the video in the following link, it’s a slideshow of the different scenes in Forks and La Push. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfL5jU5pZp4&feature=related
Here are 12 guide questions to help you out in deciding which best suits your needs.
1. Are there drive in access (RV, car, 4x4, etc.)?
2. What type of RV Hookups (Wet or Dry)?
3. Is the running water potable and safe?
4. Restrooms (pit toilets or flush toilets)?
5. Any dangerous animals that have been reported?
6. Location (near a lake, stream, mountains, forest, etc.)?
7. Amenities (laundry, pool, cabins, store, etc.)?
8. Public or private campground?
9. Cost of campsite?
10. Reservations required?
12. Hiking Trails?
Note: Feel free to comment below if you feel you have something to add to the list, and help out our green campers, who are just starting out, and planning and looking for some tips from well experienced campers.
Hawaii. Hawaii has so many great state parks -- and camping is often Free! The best part is that you don't have to pay through-the-roof prices for Hawaii hotels when you choose to camp. So if you’re short on budget and plan on spending more than a week in camping, you could consider Hawaii.
Here is a great post from Heather Lanaye on how she got a Free Trip to Hawaii valued at $2,130 http://lanaye.com/2010/07/how-i-got-a-free-trip-to-hawaii-2130-value/
Yosemite National Park is a great place to camp, but getting a reservation for one of the valley campgrounds is not easy. You also have to deal with the thousands of other visitors to the park. Oh, and the park entrance fee is $20 no matter which campground you stay in. Sequoia National Park is a great place to camp....big trees, peace and quiet and lots wildlife. One of my favorite places is Patrick's Point State Park in Northern California. The campground is under a canopy of trees and the whole area is just green.
Another good consideration is the Devils Postpile National Monument and surrounding campgrounds run by Reds Meadow about 13 miles West of Mammoth Lakes, in a deep canyon containing the Middle Fork San Joaquin River. Nearby attractions and easy hikes are Rainbow Fall, 101 ft and if the sun is shining you're guaranteed a rainbow, the Postpile, an unusual columnar basalt formation exposed by glaciations, Minaret Falls, numerous lakes, hot springs, soda springs, and trails. Great place for fishing, hiking, and my favorite ~ rock collecting. The Pacific Crest and John Muir trails criss-cross there. Reds Meadow also has two pack stations in the canyon if you would like to rent a horse or a mule.
If you would like to escape the July / August heat, you can always try spending 1-2 weeks in the Colorado Rockies.
My favorite camp ground is Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. Whether you have small children or are an empty nester, you can find lots to do around Colorado Springs. Top 3 activities are: 1. Ride the Cog railroad to the top of Pikes Peak, 2. Hike to the top of Seven Falls and look out over the city, 3. take the kids to North Pole Santa's workshop. This is a great activity area for pre-teens.
And in the great southwest, places like Big Bend N.P. in Texas and The Gila wilderness of Southern New Mexico are great places to camp. But one that really stands out is the Bisti Badlands. It is known for its well off the beaten path, this unique place is full of odd formations and hoodoo's carved by wind,water and time. A must see, it’s highly recommended.
Lake of the Ozarks State Park is also a wonderful place to go and has over 17,000 acres and caverns. A kayak or canoe is a good thing to have on this trip, that is if you love boating or rafting. You can take your fishing rods and enjoy angling there. Take your bicycles if you ride. There are miles and miles of bike trails. If you are more ambitious you might make Branson but with limited time you will be pushing hard to make it that far.
If you are looking for some activities, you might consider Branson (lots of shows of all types, Silver Dollar City, shopping) and a day trip to Eureka Springs, AR (just a short distance from both Roaring River and Branson). It is a unique community with quaint shops, Victorian homes, entertainment, etc. Don't let the size of the town fool you if you look at the map. Carthage, MO has the headquarters for Precious Moments and is also a beautiful city with large homes built from the proceeds of the lead/zinc mining that took place in the area.
For a great Yellowstone/Teton experience for your family, you may want to consider Colter Bay Village which is located between Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks near Moran Junction. There are large family-style cabins, general store, very nice museum and dining options available. The setting is great and convenient to both parks. It is run by Grand Teton Lodge Co.
If you love wildlife then West Yellowstone is your go to place. It is teeming with wildlife as it is the largest intact ecosystem in the lower 48 states, the Greater Yellowstone Area is home to many wild creatures, from large mammals to tiny birds. Considering the habitat preferences and seasonal migration patterns around the park will really help your viewing success while you're in Yellowstone. Of course, luck and coincidence also play their role. To add to the perks, it has a Grizzly & Wolf encounter which the kids should enjoy. The little kids can sign up to hide food for the bears & then they let the bears out to go hunt for the food while the kids watch them from a safe distance. Lots of little shops, etc also, Island Park has a lot of trail for hiking. Some of our group rented 4 wheelers to ride on the trails outside Island Park so that is an option for the bigger kids.
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