City of Rocks, Idaho

City of Rocks National Reserve

Nestled in the rural mountains of Idaho is every climber’s dream, The City of Rocks. With numerous campgrounds nestled throughout the rocky outcroppings, you should plan ahead and reserve a spot. It gets pretty busy. Aspen trees are nestled throughout this area offering bright green contrast against the stones. If you continuing driving through the campgrounds and up over the hill, there’s a gate. If you continue on through the gate, it will take you via dirt road back down the other side to Birch Creek Road that connects to the town of Oakley, Idaho. The campgrounds are clustered offering extra privacy. With interesting rocks scattered throughout the region, it feels pretty private. There are a lot of areas to explore. From I84, it’s a pretty easy drive along paved country roads through the towns of Malta, Elba, and Almo. There is a lot of history throughout this region as it was part of the California Trail. You can still find names and initials of emigrants written in axle grease still visible on Register Rock as well as ruts from wagon wheels in some of the rocks.

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Little Egypt Geological Site, Southern Utah

Little Egypt Geological Site

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Always looking for interesting things on the map, I noticed in small type “Little Egypt Geological Site” near the Henry Mountains in Southern Utah. There’s little to no cell service in the area, so you have to pay close attention to landmarks to find the correct road. There isn’t a sign until after you have turned off. If you like geological goblins, this is a must stop along this route.

There are areas to camp and a few fire pits. There isn’t any shade though, but once the sun goes down past the Henry Mountains, it is quite pleasant. The weather in the area can be finicky. Strong winds often blow here and I can’t attest to how protected you are in this area. The site is located off a pretty well maintained dirt road and it isn’t very far in from the highway if you are coming from State Route 95.

The formations at this site are in my opinion quite different than those at Devil’s Garden south of Escalante. They are more reddish in color and remind me more of mud/softer sandstone. There are a lot of interesting rocks in the are as well.

Directions: Heading south from Hanksville along State Route 95, it’s approximately 4.2 miles after (south) the Garfield County line, just past (south) mile marker 20, turn right (west) on the “Scenic Backway” road towards North Wash. There’s a sign just off the highway to “Little Egypt Geologic Site.” The site is less than two miles off the highway.

The Gate Keeper’s Castle, Washington

The Gate Keepers Castle Vacation Rental Front

The Gate Keeper’s Castle

From the website:

Description

“Designed and built from a dream. This medieval castle is the most enchanted castle in the area. Looking upon the structure, flights of pure fantasy and imagination dazzle the mind.  Feasting, sieges, bards, mystery and wonder grow when stepping into this magical world. An age of bygone kings, magicians, giants, dwarfs, sorceresses, elves and trolls. Through the doors, chivalry is born and romance has its origins in this magical world. The castle is extremely spacious and must be seen to fully appreciate. This is a dream getaway for anybody seeking a refuge from the mundane. The Gate Keepers Castle has a total of 5 full size bedrooms all prepared in the finest linens, rest easy in luxury. There are 3 bedrooms in the King Suite, as well as a full size Jacuzzi, steam shower and a decor unique in its own right. The main floor has a full restaurant style equipped kitchen, fireplace, and bathroom all with an elegant Victorian charm, with modern appliances. Meandering up the spiral staircase to the upper floor, one is drawn to the stained glass and antique decor. Here you will find two more spacious bedrooms and a bathroom.”

It’s about 15 minutes from the small towns of Sequim and Port Townsend.

Great Basin National Park, Nevada

The Majestic Basin and Range…

One of my favorite National Parks – a hidden gem.

From the website:

“In the shadow of 13,063-foot Wheeler Peak, 5,000 year old bristlecone pine trees grow on rocky glacial moraines. Come to Great Basin National Park to experience the solitude of the desert, the smell of sagebrush after a thunderstorm, the darkest of night skies, and the beauty of Lehman Caves. Far from a wasteland, the Great Basin is a diverse region that awaits your discovery.”

Driving east on the Loneliest Highway through Nevada (which is not so lonely and rather interesting), will lead you to the Great Basin National Park. Having visited numerous National Parks, I’m always surprised at how little press you hear about this amazing jewel. While driving along the highway to the park, I was treated to a huge heard of elk crossing the road. Upon entering the park, you are greeted by 13,000 foot mountain peaks covered with snow. Also keep an eye out for the semi kitschy but kind of cool local art along the fences leading into the park. There are numerous campsites and beautiful aspen trees to enjoy. This particular visit, I decided to drive to the top, which is around 10,000 feet. The parking lot at the end of the road has bristlecone pine trees. It was late May when I visited and the mountains were covered in snow. On the entire drive to the top, I didn’t come across any other cars and this was leading into a holiday weekend! There is something magical and majestic about these mountains towering over the Great Basin below. I can only imagine the stargazing opportunities along the viewpoints leading up to the high mountain parking lot. There is truly something special about this place.

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Shooting Star RV Park near Escalante, Utah

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From the website:

The Shooting Star RV Resort, formerly the Shooting Star Drive-In, is under new ownership and is now open to all RVs and campers in addition to the Airstreams.

Your hosts, Troy and Michelle invite you to vacation like a Hollywood star in one of our eight star-studded Airstreams with décor that will make you feel like you are on the movie set of films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Some Like It Hot, Viva Las Vegas, or Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

If you prefer, you can park your own RV in one of the large pull-through sites with full hook-ups or choose from the many secluded sites surrounded by oak and sage brush if you would like more privacy. RV sites can also be used for those that simply want to pitch a tent.”

Driving along one of my favorite highways in the entire US, Highway 12 in Utah, I came across another vintage RV park! Talk about the perfect setting! I wish I had been able to stop, but am definitely adding this to my list for my next visit.

Downtown Oakridge, Oregon

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I’m always surprised how much of small towns I miss on a regular basis. So often, main roads and highways run closely to a town, but it’s easy to drive past the best part – the main downtown core. For years I have been driving through Oakridge, Oregon on my way to Central Oregon. There are plenty of stops along the main highway route, but I had no idea what I was missing. Downtown Oakridge has a lot to offer. With a quick left turn off of the highway, you land in downtown. There’s a brewery, hostel, and an amazing coffee shop/bakery as well as other establishments. Here are some places to stop along the way.

Brewers Union Local 180

Out’n’About Treesort – Southern Oregon

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From the website:

“Out’n’About is a truly unique place. Part of it’s uniqueness has to do with that it is a home grown and based business. There are no locks on the treehouse doors. It is not a Ramada or Hilton in the trees, but is a genuine four star Treesort catering to both the timid and adventurous, locals and travelers. The Treehouses are only part of the 36 private acres of pasture and woods, right next to Siskiyou National Forest land & old growth wilderness close by. We have a Morgan Horse breeding ranch along with our riding horse stable, two rocking horses, 4 dogs, & 1 cat usually running around the property. Very family oriented and friendly you can find everything from a calm peacefull solitude, to a sceaming ride on the ziplines or giant Tarzan Swing.”

Out’n’About  Treesort – Southern Oregon

Caravan – The Tiny House Hotel in Portland, Oregon

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I cannot wait to visit this Tiny House Hotel located in Portland, Oregon. With 6 different houses to choose from, what a cool experience indeed. For someone considering joining the tiny house movement, this would be a great place to get the feel for it.

Caravan – Tiny House Hotel

From their website:

“Caravan- The Tiny House Hotel is the first tiny house hotel in the United States and is located in NE Portland in the popular and funky Alberta Arts District. Our tiny houses are built on trailers with wheels and range in size from 100-200 square feet.

The tiny houses are located in an urban lot and form a circle around a central gathering space. There is a BBQ, fire pit, Adirondack chairs, a hammock, and lots of funky, locally made metal, stained glass and recycled art. Caravan is located just steps from some of Portland’s favorite establishments for foodies, such as Radio Room, Bye and Bye, the Alberta St. Public House and the famous Grilled Cheese Grill.”

The Shady Dell Vintage RV Park – Arizona

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From their website:

“Nine lovely, fully restored vintage aluminum travel trailers await you at the Shady Dell in Bisbee, Arizona. Whether it is the 33 foot Royal Mansion built in 1951 and restored with leopard carpet, martini glasses, Diner-style breakfast booth and phonograph with a collection of 78rpm records, or the 1947 Tiki Bus Polynesian Palace, complete with hand-carved outrigger bar and your own Tiki God, the Shady Dell’s individual trailers will surely send you back to a time when freedom was just another word for jumping in your aluminum house on wheels, finding the Rat Pack on the radio and navigating the open road in search of your own slice of the American Dream.”

Palm Canyon Hotel and RV – Vintage RV’s

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Why not try “glamping” in a refurbished vintage RV?

“Guests can fully combine the camping experience of yesteryear with the comfort of today by staying in one of our newly refurbished vintage trailers. Choose between a sleek Airstream or a cozy Canned Ham, each redesigned to provide first-class amenities while retaining a retro charm. A unique place to rest in between enjoying the many activities and resort amenities that Palm Canyon has to offer.”

Hotel and RV Resort In Borrego Springs, California

Palm Canyon Vintage RV’s