Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Top Ten National Parks for RVers

going to the sun road

Going to the Sun Highway, Glacier Park

©Bert Gildart: Have a favorite national park?

As a mast-head “Contributor” to MotorHome Magazine that’s what editors asked Janie and me to come up with, but not just one, rather ten.

Our tally is in the July issue of MotorHome and it is now on the news stands.

Coming up with a list of top ten was difficult, but it was made somewhat easier as it had to accommodate RVers. What’s more, we also thought the parks needed to be family friendly, so that helped.

Here, then, is our list, and a little further down, an example of one of the write-ups we provided to substantiate our opinions.

Acadia National Park: Dawn’s First Light

Big Bend: Infinite Variety

Death Valley National Park: Land of Mystery

Glacier National Park: Home to America’s Most Beautiful Highway (according to Charles Kuralt)

Joshua Tree National Park: Plenty of Elbow Room

Mesa Verde National Park: World’s Most Extensive Archaeological Site

Redwood National and State Parks: World’s Tallest Trees

Shenandoah National Park: Hiker’s Delight

Yellowstone National Park: Amazing Wildlife

Zion: Geology Fit For The Big Screen

Zion park

Zion: Geology for the big screen

Here’s an example of one of the write-ups which suggests the rationale we used in making our selection. If you have other preferences, let us know. In the meantime, if you are an RVer, buy the magazine, for there is lots of good information in every issue! What’s more, you can then read our other nine write-ups.

Sub-Title: Mesa Verde National Park: World’s Most Extensive Archaeological Sites

RVers may appreciate Mesa Verde more than any other group of travelers. With us we have our homes and accoutrements that include microwaves, air conditioners, solar panels, and Wi-Fi Cards.

Now contrast that with what the ancient puebloans had and you can see how far our race has advanced. But keep in mind the wisdom these ancient people exhibited in selecting their sites to optimize warmth, grow various types of produce, protect themselves again enemies—and communicate.

If suddenly thrust back to years spanning AD 500 to AD 1300, I’m not sure I would have survived so well.

Theodore Roosevelt created Mesa Verde and did so in 1906, to “preserve the works of man,” About the same time, Congress passed the Antiquities Act, essentially to protect yet further the 4,000 some ruins that help attract the curious to what has since become a World Heritage Center (See explanation under Redwoods).

mesa verde spruce tree house

Mesa Verde Spruce Tree House

Because of its accessibility by auto and foot, RVers should never bypass this park. In fact, the best way of acquiring a feeling for the park is to follow the 6-mile Mesa Top Auto Loop Road, which traces 700 years of pueblo history at 12 overlooks or actual sites.

But for an intimate look at the kivas, and actual living accommodations you can’t beat the half-mile hike from the Visitor Center to Spruce Tree House. While in the area, consider, too, the 2.8-mile long Petroglyph Trail, which departs from same trail descending to Spruce Tree House.

Make these short hikes and follow the Auto Loop Road and your appreciation for the resourcefulness of these people will exceed casual curiosity, mandating you lengthen your stay from several days to several weeks (You’ll never want for things to do).

Children, in fact, become so fascinated that their visit often establishes a career path in archaeology.

Mesa Verde offers wonderful camping just 4 miles inside the park at Morefield Camppground. Because there are 435 sites, there’s always plenty of space. But if you want one of the 15 full-hookup RV sites, you’ll have to make reservations.

Now that you’ve seen our list, what’s yours? Again, we’d sure like to know.

3 Responses to “Top Ten National Parks for RVers”

  1. "Abe" Lincoln Says:

    Sure do enjoy your blog!
    We are heading up to Acadia the last of July. Any suggestions?

  2. Bert Says:

    Abe, Don’t fail to make the drive to 1,530′ Cadillac Mountain and watch as the day’s first rays strike the East Coast. Here, between the autumn and vernal equinox, is where they touch first. Then, if you can arrange a shuttle, hike the trail (about 4 miles,I believe) back to the Deep Woods Campground. The views are spectacular!

  3. Rich C Says:


    Loved my visit to Mesa Verde last year! I’ll be looking forward to another visit in the near future. I took the walk to Spruce Treehouse myself, and made a video podcast out of the visit last year as well!

    Have a great day!