You could go to Miami, you could visit L.A. on your vacation, but we’ll be honest with you: Starbucks tastes the same no matter where you go. If you want a trip that really rewards you for completing a defensive driving course features a place with a personality all its own, away from the chain restaurants and supercenters, then small towns and wilderness trips are where it’s at. Here are some of our favorite places where you can have an outdoors adventure this Summer:
Cibola National Forest
The Cibola National Forest in Northwestern New Mexico is around one and a half acres of beautiful woodlands. Surrounded by the Southwestern desert, it’s a little surprising to see so much green, so many creeks and lush mountains were hidden away behind the small towns and rural communities of the Land of Enchantment. Visiting the forest is free, making it a great spot for an afternoon trip, while campsites range from five to ten dollars a night, and fifteen for RV hookups. There are plenty of spots for amateur and professional astronomers to set up stargazing or astrophotography camps. For such excursions, however, it is important to carry the proper equipment, such as a camera, a telescope, a light meter, and a portable weather station (click here) in order to keep track of cloudy or rainy skies. Interested parties could also take night walks and camp out in the desert, as long as it follows proper regulations.
Rafting the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is amazing, but honestly, it’s just a big hole in the ground, right? If you’ve seen photos then you know what it looks like, so essentially, you’re driving a thousand miles to look at a landscape. If you are looking for a way to get there, check out the top 20 RVs and campers for summer 2017 and Grand Canyon dot com will give you the tour for less than a night in a decent hotel. But it’s not just the landscapes that people go to the Grand Canyon to see and there are so many other fun activities that you can get up whilst you’re there. The mule rides are a wonderful way to explore the Canyon, but if you really want to turn that landscape into an adventure, you’ve got to go rafting. There are a few rafting groups in the area, so feel free to shop around, but we hear good things about Western River’s Canyon trips if you want a full three-to-seven-day vacation out of the deal. The best part is that you don’t need to be an expert rafter to go on one of these trips. Rivers are classified based on difficulty and you can read more about that over on the American Whitewater Expedition website, but this means that there are sections for beginners as well as professionals. Plus, you won’t be on your own. You’ll have an amazing rafting expert on board with you to help!
The Badlands and Black Hills
In the Western half of North and South Dakota you’ll find the Badlands National Park. The surreal, rocky landscape looks something like an alien planet come twilight, and was even used for just that purpose in filming the sci-fi action spoof Starship Troopers. Keep an eye out for roaming herds of bison in the area. The Black Hills nearby are a little more heavily forested, right between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians, this is where you’ll find Mount Rushmore and the in-development Crazy Horse Memorial. A seven-day vehicle pass at Baldands will run you fifteen bucks, and cave tours range from ten to thirty dollars.
The valley of Jackson Hole can be found right between the Teton Mountain Range and the Gros Ventre Range in the state of Wyoming. The term comes from early trappers and mountain men who compared the experiencing of entering the valley to that of climbing down into an enormous rabbit hole. The area puts you near Yellowstone Park, making it easy to begin a week-long outdoor adventure from the valley. You can rent a Jeep for $179 a day, while RV rates will vary depending on availability and time of year. Call (307)732-2267 for rates and availability on tent spots and cabin rentals.
The vast, green Everglades are simply amazing if you love fishing, boating, gators, camping, cabins and RVing. Private vehicle fees go for twenty-five dollars for a seven-day pass. Camping fees vary, but tend to be affordable at around ten, fifteen dollars a night.