We watched over 30 vehicles get towed at Zion. They’re serious about parking! But, parking aside Zion is one of our favorite hiking places, the views are incredible, the waterfalls are tall, and the canyons are more accessible than the Grand Canyon. Oh, and don’t forget the crazy long tunnel on the way into the canyon!
Check out our latest VLOG as we explore Zion Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and are pleasantly surprised by the unique geological formations at Cathedral Gorge.
The Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, and magnificent mineral deposits make this part of Arizona a rare treat. We found free RV dry camping on the south side of the park at the Crystal Forest Museum that gave us easy access to the park and didn’t cost a penny.
Walking among ancient trees from the dinosaur times is a unique experience. To imagine the ancient swamps, rivers, and colossal dinosaurs shared space with these trees is so fun. Now days it’s all desert, dry and hot desert, but the sweeping vistas and flowing colors is well worth the drive.
We knew it would be a long drive but we couldn’t pass up the chance to see the ancient ruins of the Native American Chaco people in New Mexico. And boy was it worth the drive! These massive “houses” date back to around 800AD, that’s when the Aztecs were building their pyramids, the Easter Island carvings were being made, and some of the great European citadels were being built.
This is also one of the few sites like this where you’re allowed to wander around freely throughout the structures giving you a chance to explore the vast interconnecting rooms at your own pace. Before you head out to the ruins be sure to stop at the excellent visitor center and learn about the people and their culture and the significance of some of the ruins as there aren’t any interpretive signs at the site itself.
There is a National Park campground just down the road from the ruins, but we didn’t even try to camp with our twenty nine foot travel trailer as it is a first-come-first-serve campground. We instead just made a day trip out of it.
It takes a lot to get us up this early, but we’re so glad we did. The slot canyon, hoodoos, and panoramic views at Tent Rocks made this our favorite hike! The wide open skies of New Mexico really are enchanting. Despite no visitor center or fancy programs here, it’s still pretty crowded. We had a tour bus pull up and hike the trail just after us, and we were there early! Oh, and did I mention, the trees smell great!