Today’s blog comes from our roadtrippn’ extraordinaire Sophie Lott, she’s a pro on all things campervan. Here’s her take on the best places for parking up your campervan in good old USA….
Fancy an adventure filled with campfires, starry nights, great company AND the freedom to roam wherever you want, whenever you want? Then going by camper is for you. The States was made for road trips with its vast open roads and beautiful scenic routes. We have handpicked the top 7 locations we think are a must see on any West Coast road trip!
1. Death Valley
If you thrive in hot weather, Death Valley is a must on your Californian road trip. Even if the heat is not for you, you can always cool off in the shade of the High Country’s pinyon trees and just soak up the jaw-dropping views. Death Valley holds 12 campsites with a first-come first-serve basis. Furnace Creek is the most popular for campervans and group camping, making it the ideal spot to meet other back packers. As well as being perfect for camping all year round, most of the campsites are open-aired, so it’s just you and the clear night’s sky – a proper authentic experience of the valley!
2. Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park
Completely in ‘the middle of nowhere’, Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park boasts a magnificently spooky ghost-town, inhabited by the fossilized sea monsters – get the ‘Ichthyosaur’ name now? This old mining town, is one for the history buffs with over 70 historic buildings and sites. The best way to visit this mysterious city is by stopping over in one of the 14 camp sites, as most other hotels can only be accessed on foot. BUT, fuel is sparse, so be sure to fill up before you visit. You don’t want to be stranded with only those giant dinos for company!
3. Las Vegas
It would be a crime to skip out the entertainment capital of the world when visiting West Coast USA. With its promise of first-class performances, fabulous shopping, scorching weather, and of course, casinos, how could you say no? What’s more, there’s loads of cheap or even, get this… FREE parking for campers! Casinos, pubs and taverns are all competing for business – so luckily for you, they will be showering you with offers on food, drinks, parking, the works! So make the most of these absolute bargains. Wait, it gets better, you can stay in this amazing city for as long as you want by simply moving from free parking to free parking – the student dream! Tip: call up in advance to check for reservations, just in case.
4. Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
Just outside the scorching boarders of Las Vegas, is a much cooler, refreshing alternative. You can cure your Vegas hangover in the fresh forest air. The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is breath-taking with many exciting, beautiful and wide-open spaces waiting to be explored. The park is around 6.3 million acres and is the largest Forest in the lower 48 states. woah. There’s loads of campsites in the area that offer access to campervans, the Hilltop Campground has 35 campsites at 2,500m high – just think of those mountain views!
5. Black Rock Desert
Every August, more than 50,000 people descend on Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for the annual Burning Man art and music Festival, a 100% must see if you’re visiting at the same time. But if you’re not partying in the desert, then you’ll have the lava beds and salt plains all to yourself – not your everyday campsite! The park is ideal for hiking, biking and off-road vehicles. In particular, McMullen Valley has spectacular views and easy access to thousands of acres of breath-taking Arizona Desert. It also acts as a major home away from home, welcoming its campers to stay for a day, a week, a month, or even all season if you fancy it!
6. Palm Springs
Whether you want to rough it in the rugged wilderness or enjoy a luxury full-serviced motorhome, Palm Springs has a variety of campsites. Either way, you’re bound to fall in love with the Palm Desert’s immaculate views and outrageous desert scenery. Known for its hot springs, stylish hotels, golf courses and spas, Palm Springs is a stunning stop on your road trip. Shop til you drop along Palm Canyon Drive with vintage boutiques, hip interior design shops and trendy restaurants to indulge in. More of a thrill seeker? You’ll be blown away by Coachella Valley, offering activities such as hiking, biking and horse-riding!
7. Santa Barbara
Why splash out on an expensive Santa Barbara resort when you can step straight from the comfort of your camper onto glorious sandy beaches? Campgrounds are dotted all over the Santa Barbara South Coast – making it cheap and easy to set up camp on some of California’s most stunning shorelines. Over 300 days of sunshine each year makes this location the perfect paradise to park up with your mates. Most campsites are close to town, but still far enough away from the hustle and bustle. So kick back, relax and start Californian dreamin’.