There’s more to July than fireworks on the Fourth. This is the month to really celebrate your travel independence, and that means going where your desires take you in some of America’s most beautiful landscapes.
Southeast Idaho is a treasure trove of adventures. Roam otherworldly landscapes then go for a relaxing soaked in soothing hot springs.
Explore and Soak
Close to Fort Hall, the American Falls Reservoir offers 87 square miles of almost every imaginable type of water recreation. Go boating, waterskiing and windsurfing on the water, or explore the 100 miles of shoreline. Anglers will fill their fishing nets with cutthroat trout, crappie yellow perch and channel catfish.
Cruise Craters of the Moon
Ready for out-of-this-world adventure? Craters of the Moon National Monument to the northwest preserves three lava fields, more than 25 cones and 60 lava flows ranging in age from 15,000 to 2,000 years old. Big Cinder Butte is one of the oldest basaltic cinder cones in the world. To the southwest is the “Niagara of the West” At 212 feet tall, Shoshone Falls are even taller than their famed cousin back east. Experience the spectacular sight up close and personal. The best place is to start is at scenic overlook that extends from the opposing cliff face. There are also hiking trails and a swimming area, so you can easily spend an afternoon experiencing everything the falls have to offer.
Tired from all that adventures? Soak your aching muscles at Lava Hot springs, with five pools with naturally heated water in temperatures from 102 degrees to 112 degrees. More than 2.5 million gallons of water flow through the pools each day.
Stay: Buffalo Meadows RV Park, Fort Hall
See where Custer made his last stand and venture into Yellowstone National Park from the Montana side.
Drive From Billings to Yellowstone
This vibrant town bills itself as Montana’s Trailhead. Hike or ride your bike on some of the 47 miles of trails surrounding the city. Walk along the banks of the Yellowstone River or see the waterway from a distance on one of the bluffs on Swords Rimrock Park. Back in town visitors will find a wide selection of galleries showcasing Montana’s award-winning American West artwork. Check out the Yellowstone County Museum and see more than 15,000 artifacts representing the area’s history.
If you’re ready to hit the road, the Beartooth Highway leads motorists past spectacular vistas on the way to Yellowstone National Park. The route ascends 10,977 feet at the Beartooth Pass. The route travels 69 miles before reaching America’s first national park. If you prefer history, take the Little Bighorn Battlefield Loop and see where General George Custer met a grim fate at the hands of an army led by Crazy Horse in 1876.
Live the Cowboy Life in Ennis
This town is perfect for folks who want to catch a lot of fish and explore miles of trails. Cast a line in the Madison River, one of the finest trout fly-fishing spots the state. Explore an eerie ghost town at the abandoned Alder Gulch and then ride the rails on the Alder Gulch Short Line on a 1.5-mile guided tour.
Choose from the following Montana RV parks:
|Billings Village RV Park, Billings||Ennis RV Village, Ennis|
The Beaver State is known for its sweeping Pacific Coastlines and world-class wines. Immerse yourself in all of it for the ultimate Oregon experience.
Follow the Coast with the Most
Oregon’s 362-mile coast is dotted with charming towns and sweeping vistas. If you’re traveling close to California, check out Brookings, with bustling tide pools and coastal hiking trails with great vistas. At Newport, about halfway along the coast, check out the Oregon Coast Aquarium, with tunnels that take you through compelling marine environments. At the Northwest tip of Oregon, the town of Astoria has deep roots in its past with picture-perfect Victorian homes. Take a charter fishing cruise on the waters where the Columbia meets the Pacific to take advantage of some of the best sturgeon, walleye, and salmon fishing on earth.
Drink Wine in the Willamette Valley
Oregon’s vast Willamette Valley is home to scores of top-notch wineries. In the area around Salem, tasters can tour Honeywood Winery, Cubanisimo Vineyards and Orchard Heights Winery. With beautiful views and delicious food to accompany the beverages, these spots will make you want to stay put for a while. To the north, Portland enjoys a reputation as a forward-thinking town. Many of the city’s eastside neighborhoods are filled with cool bars, coffee shops, tattoo parlors and record stores, and the indie rock scene the little town has to offer is known around the world.
Rock Out in Central Oregon
Towering mountains and raging rivers make central Oregon a top place for lovers of rugged country. Hikers can climbers can tackle the Three Sisters, a trio of mountains that rise more than 10,000 above the surrounding countryside. Whitewater buffs should take a wild ride on the rapids of the Deschutes River — the waterway also attracts anglers for trout and steelhead.
Choose from the following Oregon RV parks:
|Bend/Sisters Garden RV Resort, Bend||Jantzen Beach RV Park, Portland|
|Seven Feathers RV Resort, Canyonville||Expo Center RV Park, Redmond|
|Logan Road RV Park, Lincoln City||Hee Hee Illahee RV Resort, Salem|
|Olde Stone Village RV Resort, McMinnville||Netarts Bay Garden RV Resort, Tillamook|
|The Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park, North Bend||Tillamook Bay City RV Park, Tillamook|
|Wildhorse Resort & Casino RV Park, Pendleton|
Washington is known for the lush forests and towering mountains that dominate the western third of the state. Smart travelers know that the eastern half has a dry climate along with epic waterways and wineries.
Paddle and Bike Around Seattle
The entire Seattle area is laced with terrific cycling paths; the Burke-Gilman Trail unfurls for 14 miles from Ballard to the northern fringes of Lake Washington. For urban kayaking, Lake Union affords great views of the Seattle skyline, and you can paddle alongside some restaurants and bars that line the waterfront. Park your kayak and grab a beer or other cold refreshments.
Kayak and Wine Taste in the Tri Cities
In southeast Washington, The Yakima and Snake Rivers flor into the Columbia river in the Tri-Cities region, meaning that watersports are a top draw. Anglers will find thriving populations of Chinook salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, bass and more in the Columbia, Snake and Yakima Rivers. Paddlers can explore the Columbia’s dramatic White Bluffs, watch for wildlife in the Yakima River Delta area or set out on a day trip to find white waters near the Cascades. The Northwest Discovery Water Trail includes 150 sites along a 300-plus mile route.
Go Touring in the Gateway Region
The stretch of Interstate 5 that runs from Vancouver to Olympia in Washington is a scenic journey through some of the state’s most stunning natural beauty. Take State Route 504 to reach Mt. St. Helens, the 8,366-foot tall volcano that erupted in 1980. Take the Lava Canyon Trail, a 50mile loop that weaves through waterfalls and a deep gorge near the mountain.
Choose from the following Washington RV parks:
|Lake Pleasant RV Park, Bothell||Maple Grove RV Resort, Everett|
|Toutle River RV Resort, Castle Rock||Brookhollow RV Park, Kelso|
|Elma RV Park, Elma||Horn Rapids RV Resort, Richland|
Northwest Wyoming has an unparalleled concentration of top national parks and forests. Take a vacation of a lifetime in this corner of the Cowboy State.
Wander Into the Wild West in Cody
Bison hunter and world-famous performer Buffalo Bill Cody helped found the town of Cody in the late 1800s. To this day, the town celebrates the Old West era, with museums and statues dedicated to the era of cowboys, western settlers and Native Americans. Many authentic Old West structures from the 1890s are preserved in Old Trail Town, a neighborhood complete with wooden sidewalks and Old West wagons.
Explore Yellowstone and the Tetons
You could spend a lifetime exploring the vast wilderness of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, as well as the surrounding national forests. In Yellowstone, a visit to the park’s explosive geyers is a must. Tackle the 2 miles Observation Point Loop Trail: Starting at the Old Faithful Visitors and Education Center, follow a course that includes boardwalks near mud pots and fumaroles. Follow switchbacks to Observation Point and see Old Faithful erupt with thick plumes of steam.
The Grand Tetons consist of iconic mountains with sharp peaks that tower over lush meadows. Get a great overview of the park by taking a drive up Signal Mountain. Get amazing views of the Teton Range and Jackson Lake.
Choose from the following Wyoming RV parks:
|Ponderosa Campground, Cody||Black-Footed Ferret RV Resort, Meeteetse|
|The Longhorn Ranch Lodge and RV Resort, Dubois|