When you think of Wyoming, what comes to mind? Maybe Yellowstone National Park, or the ski resort town of Jackson Hole? There are endless places to visit in Wyoming and recently, Brittany took a trip with RVshare and Wyoming Office of Tourism to show you the beauty the state has to offer. If Wyoming has been on your travel list for a long time, you’ll definitely want to add these stops to your itinerary!
This article was contributed by Brittany Werkmeister, a photographer and avid adventurer.
Meeteetse | Kirwin Ghost Town Off-Road Adventures
Due to recent flooding in the area and snow still on parts of the trail, the actual ghost town was inaccessible. But there were tons of back roads in the area for us to explore that lead to lakes or beautiful mountain views. We spent hours getting lost in the mountains enjoying the wind in our hair and even sometimes a little rain.
Pick up and drop off of the ATV was super easy and Tom was incredibly helpful and made sure we had everything we needed for a fun trip! Coolers, tie downs, helmets, goggles, and even a Garmin GPS for when you are off grid and have no cell service were all included.
When we got to Thermopolis, our first stop was Hot Springs State Park. The park features a large colorful terrace where hot water flows 24/7 into the river below. There are trails along the terraces and even a swinging bridge over the river for a different vantage point. Another neat aspect of the park was the herd of bison in the pastures! There is a paved road where you can drive to see the bison roam. While the park has a free bath house for guests, we decided to check out the famous Star Plunge.
This waterpark is located in the state park and is accessible for a small fee. What caught our eye most was the large water slide looping in and out of the building. Not only does it feature waterslides, but star plunge has 2 warm pools, indoor and outdoor, a hot pool, a children’s area, and even a vapor steam cave. After exploring the park, we grabbed dinner at One Eyed Buffalo Brewery where I tried Rocky Mountain Oysters for the first time!
We stayed at Fountain of Youth RV Park in Thermopolis. This RV Park has a hot springs pool that is available to all guests. There are 2 sections in the pool, one warm, and one hot for those who prefer to soak in warmer temperatures. As a hot springs enthusiast this was a major perk.
Wyoming summers can be quite warm during the day but as soon as the sun starts setting, the temps drop with it, so we spent the evening soaking until our fingers were pruney. In the morning we had to stop and grab coffee at Dairyland & Hot City Coffee. We had passed this shop the day before and was intrigued by the mini golf course next to it. This local shop has all things coffee, sandwiches, and ice cream with the option of a little putt putt. The coffee was amazing and the mini golf was a fun way to start our morning!
South Pass City Historic Mining & Ghost Town
While getting gas in Thermopolis, I was chatting with a local who was curious about our RV. I told her about how we were renting it through RVshare and are visiting from Arizona. She had informed me about a historical mining town that is not too far out of the way from our next destination. One thing I have learned from all my road trips, always take advice from the locals and check out their recommendations. I have witnessed some neat places taking advice from a local and South Pass City is one of them!
I did some research, verified her directions on the map and we were on our way. This little town has a population of about 5 humans, roughly 3 cats, approximately 2 dogs and a ton of history. Thanks to local volunteers, this town has been restored to showcase how miners of the gold rush lived and worked. On weekends they take guests on guided tours of the infamous Carissa mine and English tunnel. There’s about 4 miles of trails to explore and a handful of historic buildings to discover. This was a nice place to stretch our legs, learn some history, and break up our long day of driving.
We came across the green river last minute while headed to our next destination. While it was much warmer than in the mountains, we found our own private beach on BLM land to soak up the sun and go for a swim. After inflating the paddle boards, we loaded up the dogs and paddled up the wide river along the tall cliffs. While originally just planning on stopping for a quick paddle, we couldn’t get over the views of the nearby North chimney rock and the neighboring towers, so we stayed a little longer and camped for the night.
Gap Lakes Trail
While the road to the trailhead was still closed to vehicles for the season, it was still accessible by foot. We hiked the closed road to the trailhead passing about 3 other beautiful lakes. In the late summer, there are campgrounds accessible near the lower lake. Much of the trail was still covered in snow, but I was able to stay on track by following the route on my Garmin GPS. The lake was still partially frozen over with small icebergs scattered through the melted areas of blue water. On our way back down to the RV, thanks to all the snow coverage, there were tons of great opportunities for glissading.
Vedauwoo was really something. Rolling hills with boulder stacks spread throughout the landscape. The area is best known for rock climbing, but you don’t have to be a climber to enjoy it. We spent our morning wandering up and around the rock formations, camp coffee in hand, for different vantage points of the area. From a distance we witnessed a baby and momma elk, as well as one curious little bunny.
South Fork Lodge | Horseback Riding in Bighorn NF
After checking in at the lodge, we headed to the stables to meet our horses. It was a small group, only 3 of us and 2 guides. Our guides took us on a fun ride through the mountains. There were many amazing look-out points where we would stop to view the surrounding mountains. The wildflowers were in full bloom and putting on quite the show in every meadow we passed through. After the ride, we stopped back at the lodge for a nice lunch before heading to find our next camp spot.
Crazy Woman Canyon | BLM Camping in Bighorn NF
After finding a nice camp spot, we met up with a friend and hopped in their 4X4 for a scenic drive through Crazy Woman Canyon. Though the signs recommend a high clearance and 4X4 vehicle, we did pass a Prius on the drive! (Drive at your own risk of course!) This beautiful canyon features a creek flowing throughout, tall cliff walls, and an abundance of green vegetation. We stopped in a few pull outs to explore the area on foot and let the dogs play in the creek.
After an amazing drive, we headed back to camp for dinner. Our camp spot was in a green meadow along the forest. Large purple clusters of lupine were growing throughout making for a perfect photo op.
Tensleep | Castle Gardens
Tensleep is a small town just outside the bighorn national forest. While the town is small, there are many places to grab a bite to eat, restock on supplies, or have a few beers. For lunch we stopped at a small burger joint, 1 Cow. The menu focuses on their specialty, Burgers. Similar to In-N-Out, they feature one type of burger which contains their signature sauce, and even a special slaw of onions, pickles, tomatoes etc.
Next, we headed to Tensleep Brewery to try some locally brewed beers. The two of us split a flight and ordered a cinnamon sugar Indian taco from the local food truck on the patio. All were delicious and worth the stop! After visiting Tensleep, we headed off to our next destination for the evening, Castle Gardens. I had seen pictures before visiting, but they do not do justice to how beautiful this place was in person.
I quickly understood why it was called Castle Gardens. Large rock structures appearing almost castle-like protruding from the ground all around. As soon as we finished setting up camp for the night, I couldn’t help but wander the trails scattered around the area. Many lead to neat alcoves in the rock, or even tiny little windows or arches. It was the perfect place for watching the sunset and concluding our little trip around wonderful Wyoming.
I am a photographer and avid adventurer based in Arizona. When I’m not behind the camera, you can usually find me off the beaten path with my boyfriend & two dogs. We are often hiking, camping, off-roading, soaking in hot springs or paddling the nearest body of water. Iceland has been my most favorite place to travel so far but road trips in my truck hold a special place in my heart.
Professional photo social: @wilde.wanderphotography
Professional Photo Site: wildeandwanderphotography.com
If you’re visiting Denver you’re lucky, there are tons of nearby places to see with one tank of gas! The hardest part of a one tank trip from Denver is picking which direction to explore. With so many national parks and forests nearby, you won’t be short on outdoor activities. But for this trip we’re heading south along the Front Range to visit some of the sights outside of Denver.
This one tank trip from Denver is 353 miles and takes approximately 7 hours and 46 minutes of drive time. As always, your mileage and time may vary depending on what you’re driving.
Denver is full of fun things to do in the city. Take a visit to the Denver Botanical Gardens, the Denver Art Museum, or the Denver Zoo. And there’s plenty to explore outside town as well, like hiking the Boulder Flat Irons or visiting the multiple nearby ski towns.
But before you leave Denver you have to take a side trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. While it’s an hour and a half north of Denver (and we’re heading south west on this one tank trip) we’d still recommend taking some time to visit this amazing national park! There’s over 300 miles of hiking trails throughout park and is full of beautiful views of lakes, mountains, streams, flowers, and woodlands.
Garden of the Gods
After you’ve explored Denver start your one tank trip south toward Colorado Springs. First up is Garden of the Gods Park. This incredible city-owned park is a popular place to hike, mountain bike, ride horses, and rock climb. The red sandstone formations tower over the landscape giving off an almost otherworldly atmosphere.
If you want to wander through the park, the main trail is the Perkins Central Garden Trail. This paved, 1.5-mile-long trail is wheelchair and stroller accessible, and it gives you views of the impressive red rocks. There are also miles of unpaved hiking trails throughout the park, as well as roads with bike lanes. Technical rock climbing is also allowed in certain areas of the park. It’s favorite place for rock climbers to test their skills.
The park also includes a living history museum and a visitor’s center with educational exhibits and a presentation about the park. There are even guided tours that you can reserve to learn more about the area.
The park is free to visit. It’s open November 1 – April 30 from 5 a.m. – 9 p.m. and May 1 – October 31 from 5 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Cave of the Winds
A short drive from Garden of the Gods is another natural landmark, although it’s hidden underground! Cave of the Winds Mountain Park is a great way to explore the wonders of underground caves. Take one of the guided tours like the Discovery Tour where you’ll learn about the history of the caves while you stroll past the geological formations or the spooky Haunted Lantern Tour full of ghost stories.
Back outside, visit the outdoor park with amusement rides, a zip line, a climbing wall, and the three story Windwalker Challenge course. If you’d rather stay on the ground there’s activities for everyone in the family, from panning for gemstones to sliding down the giant playground slide or even throwing axes.
Cave of the Winds is in Manitou Springs and is close to several other stops on this trip. The open hours vary throughout the year so check their website for times.
Pike National Forest
You’ll barely have to drive to this next place on your road trip. Pike National Forest is home to the highest summit on the southern Front Range – Pikes Peak. This mountain is one of 23 ‘fourteeners” (a peak over 14,000 feet tall) that are located within the national forest. Summit Pikes Peak, or spend your time hiking, biking, fishing, rock climbing, or just relaxing and enjoying the sweeping views.
One of the most icon things to do in the park is to take the Pikes Peak Highway. There are several ways to get to the summit. The first way is driving up the highway, which lets you go at your own pace and stop when you wish. If you decide to drive yourself in summer you’ll need reservations, and it’s a tricky piece of road.
If you want the driver in your party to also be able to enjoy the views, take a shuttle or guided tour. Several local outfitters offer tours up the mountain, giving you information about the area and letting you focus on enjoying the scenery instead of driving. There’s also the Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Buy a ticket a ride up Pike’s Peak in a cog railway car. The ride is three and a half hour round trip from Manitou Springs.
And of course you can also hike your way to the summit. However, this 14er is best done by experienced hikers who are prepared for the trek. It’s a 13.5 mile hike with an elevation gain of over 7,400 feet. This isn’t for beginners! If you’re not an experienced hiker, stick to some of the easier hiking trails in the national park and get to the summit by one of the other fantastic options.
Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
Next on this trip is the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. This 10-mile-long gorge is a 1,200-foot-wide canyon along the Arkansas River in southern Colorado. The bridge is one of the world’s highest suspension bridges as it crosses the gorge at over 1,000 feet in the air. You’ll definitely want to bring your camera or phone for some epic photos!
There are plenty of ways to explore the area. Take a gondola ride across the gorge for panoramic views, or if you’re brave go for a ride on America’s highest zip line or try the mountaineering experience. There’s also whitewater rafting down the river if you’d rather stay close to the earth instead of up in the air. You can also keep your feet on the ground by checking out the historic railroad, the kids play area, and the historic dinosaur experience.
The park is open throughout the year with varying hours. Check out their website for exact opening and closing times.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
The last stop on this one tank itinerary from Denver is a trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park. This national park in southern Colorado is home to a 30 square mile field with the tallest sand dunes in North America. One of the biggest draws is the opportunity to slide down the dunes on a sandboard or sled, but there’s more than just sand sledding at this park!
The rest of the park is filled with a mix of environments from grasslands to wetlands to forests. You can hike and even 4-wheel drive on trails throughout the park. There’s also the seasonal Medano Creek that runs through the park and offers a chance to swim and splash during part of the year. There are also ranger led activities throughout the year. And the park’s rural location and elevation makes it a perfect place to watch the stars at night. This International Dark Sky park is fantastic for stargazing and night photography of the sky. Check the calendar on nps.gov for summer nighttime activities in the park.
Since the park is a bit far away from other places, it’s a great place to camp and spend a day or two. There are campsites inside the park that you can reserve in advance, as well as several other private campgrounds within 20 miles of the park. There’s not a ton of other places around the park, so bring food, water, and anything you’ll need for a day of exploring the region.
The park is open year round but be aware of cold and freezing temperatures during the winter months.
Take a One Tank Trip
We’ve got a list of one tank trip itineraries for several other cities. Check them out below!
Salt Lake City
And don’t forget to head over to RVshare.com if you need an RV rental to start exploring!
Owning an RV means learning how to care for your RV! This might include gathering some new skills to keep up with maintenance, being prepared to have a running fix-it list, and, once in a while, taking your rig somewhere to have it worked on. Living full-time in your RV can make maintenance an extra challenge since you may have to reroute travel plans or find a place to stay while your home is in the shop. We’ve gathered a few tips and tricks for planning maintenance, and have learned a few lessons for when we unexpectedly had to leave our RV to have work done on it.
Repairs are inevitable
When you purchase your RV, you can expect to have issues come up. After all, you’ve got a home that rolls down the road, bounces through bumps and potholes, and withstands parking and moving repeatedly. Even if you buy a new RV, it will require you to use it for a little bit to see what happens during the break-in period. This is when your RV will need some careful attention, and likely a trip to the shop to take care of problems that may come up. For example, when we got our brand new Newmar Baystar and drove it up the coast of Maine, it wasn’t until after 300 miles that we found a leak due to a seal that had come loose during travel. Think of your RV as a new pair of shoes, sometimes you’ve got to wear them a while to see how they truly fit you. With our Keystone Alpine, we didn’t learn until our first winter that our furnace needed replacing! RV Life quickly teaches you how to go with the flow and be prepared to deal with the challenges that accompany this lifestyle.
Finding places to stay
Since we’ve established that problems will arise, the next question is, what to do to best address them? Some full-time RVers have a sticks and bricks home they can return to while their RV is in the shop, but some of us don’t…and that can make things tricky. Here are a few options for when your RV is in for repairs or maintenance:
At the repair shop
Ask the RV shop if you can stay in your RV while it’s at their location. Some repair shops even have some hookups available, and will let you stay overnight while they wait for parts or diagnose issues! This is a great option to consider that can save you some money, but also keep you in your rolling home. We stayed in our Baystar for 3 weeks at an RV repair shop, while waiting for a part to come in to fix that leaky bay! They even had full hook ups for us, so we were able to keep our daily routine during a potentially stressful time!
Plan a getaway
If you can’t stay with your RV, consider places to stay that might give you a “vacation” from RV life. We know this isn’t always possible with budgets and life commitments, but if you can, plan some of your maintenance around a birthday or an anniversary, and rent yourself an Airbnb with a hot tub or big kitchen…something you don’t get to access in your day-to-day RV life! We planned a five-year anniversary getaway to Lakeside, OR for when our RV was in the shop getting some annual maintenance done. We took advantage of the hot tub, big space, and high-tech movie projector!
Rework travel plans
If a getaway isn’t in the cards for you and your traveling family, but the RV won’t be accessible, consider doing an extended hotel stay and reworking some travel plans. We scheduled our RV to have some work done while we were close to Chicago and Vegas over the past few years because it gives us the opportunities to explore bigger cities by staying closer to the city center than we can when we’re in our RV. We were able to work from both places, and also got to experience a bit of the city life while waiting on our rig.
Check your insurance
If an unexpected problem arises and your RV needs immediate attention, call on your resources! We ended up purchasing RV insurance that includes a hotel rebate. This means that if our RV is in an accident OR has unexpected issues, we can book a hotel and get reimbursed for up to $750. This usually won’t cover the entire cost of a hotel stay, but it can help with the cost.
Reach out to your support system
We have also called on family and friends to host us while our RV was getting fixed. It isn’t always our first option, but we appreciate that our support system is there for us when we need it.
When all else fails, and the RV has a problem, we wait to take it to the shop until we can come up with a plan that works best for us. It’s one of the difficult and rewarding parts of this lifestyle. We both have to forge our own paths, but we also get to call the shots on how our lives look.
Wouldn’t change a thing!
Having an RV, and living in it full-time, means being adaptable. We say that to each other time and time again and it always rings true! We learned quickly in our RV journey that things will constantly be breaking, that maintenance is part of everyday RV life, and that there will likely always be a project list. Acknowledging these things makes us resilient and resourceful. We are constantly learning and understanding new parts of being full-time RVers. Maintenance and repairs are part of that learning. We know that it takes time to do things ourselves, like resplining our screens, installing stabilizing jacks, or replacing our toilet seal.
We have also come to understand that sometimes we need help, which means bringing our RV to a shop where they can service our AC units, fix our furnace, and stop a leak. No matter what maintenance needs to be done, or issues that come up along the way, living and traveling full-time in our RV is always a choice we are glad we have made.
When most people think of Nevada, they think of Las Vegas and hot deserts. The state does have these things, of course, but they are far from the only things found there. Some of the best things to do in the state? Nevada amusement parks.
There are quite a few excellent amusement parks in Nevada, and we think they are all worth visiting. In fact, the only problem we have when planning a trip to theme parks in Nevada is deciding which ones to see. That’s where this article comes into play.
Nevada Amusement Parks
In this section we will list the very best of the Nevada amusement parks. Pick and choose from this list and you really can’t go wrong:
Circus Circus Adventuredome Theme Park
Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas
Wild Island Family Adventure Park
Grand Adventure Land
North Valleys Water Splash Park
Of course, simply looking at a list and choosing at random probably isn’t the thing to do. Instead, you should read on and get the details on each park so you know which ones might be best for your family.
Circus Circus Adventuredome Theme Park
First, there is the incredible Adventuredome Indoor Theme Park at Circus Circus in Las Vegas. Because this park is indoors, it’s a fun place to visit no matter what the weather happens to be, and the park features so many different things to do that you will definitely be able to find options you enjoy.
Some of the best attractions in Circus Circus Adventuredome Theme Park include two different laser maze challenges, a rock-climbing and bungee-jumping area, and a mini golf course. The free clown shows add to the fun of the place, and the classic arcade and midway games give you an opportunity to test your gaming skills. Finally, we highly recommend paying a visit to the VR Room for a mind-boggling gaming experience.
Want rides? This park has those too. Roller coasters, bumper cars, a swinging pirate ship, and cute kiddie rides are all available. What’s more, even more family fun can be found in the 4D theater and extreme ride theater.
RV Camping Near Circus Circus Adventuredome Theme Park
You could of course stay in one of the many Las Vegas hotels. However, we much prefer staying in the comfort of a tiny home-on-wheels. For this reason, we recommend taking an RV to stay in during your time visiting Circus Circus Adventuredome Theme Park.
Circus Circus RV Park — Believe it or not, Circus Circus actually has its own RV park. This means you can stay right in the middle of all the fun! While this park isn’t much more than a parking lot with hookups, restrooms and showers are available and the location absolutely cannot be beat.
Planning Your Visit to Circus Circus Adventuredome Theme Park
Tickets to the Adventuredome are $60 for those 48 inches and taller, and $30 for those between 33–47 inches. Visitors under 33 inches can ride for free with a paying adult. Those with a military ID will receive $2 off.
Paid garage parking is available nearby, but we recommend staying in the onsite RV park to remove the need for this.
Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas
Cowabunga Bay in Henderson is one of two awesome Vegas-area waterparks. This particular park is an absolutely wonderful place to cool off during the summer months while still enjoying the Nevada sunshine. Best of all, because the park has so much to offer, you’re sure to find something everyone in the family can enjoy.
Buckaroo Bay is the spot for younger visitors. Here, little swimmers can get their thrills on three tiny slides, splash in the water, and have a wonderful time. Another great spot for kids? Piñata Falls. This area features a huge water playground with plenty of slides, interactive elements, and more. One of the main attractions is a gigantic tipping bucket that spills water on guests every few minutes.
For the thrill seekers out there, there are of course water slides. “Dust Bowl”, “Texas Tornado”, and “Boot, Scoot, and Boogie” are some of our favorites. Of course, you’ll also want to be sure to check out the Cactus Creek Lazy River as well as the Cadillac Shores Wave Pool.
RV Camping Near Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas
Of course, the best place to call home while on vacation is your home—your home on wheels, that is. That’s why we think you should bring your RV on your Vegas adventure and park it in the aforementioned Circus Circus RV Park or the park listed below.
Duck Creek RV Park — Another fantastic RV park in Las Vegas is Duck Creek RV Park. This park offers guests full hookups and a nice laundry facility, as well as a heated pool and a playground for kids. The price is beyond reasonable, and the location is fantastic. While the park is on the tighter side, we have to say, the pros far outweigh the cons.
Admission to Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas is $44.99. Discounts are available on certain days, so if you’re looking to save money, be sure to check before you go. Additionally, season passes are available for those who plan to visit often.
Parking is $8 per vehicle. Tubes and life jackets are provided free of charge, and rental lockers are available. Outside food is not permitted, but a picnic area is available outside of the park and food is available onsite.
Cowabunga Canyon Waterpark
Next on our list is Cowabunga Canyon Waterpark. As you might have guessed, this Summerlin waterpark is the sister park to Cowabunga Bay, and it is just as fun. In fact, we even recommend visiting both parks in one trip if you’ll be spending enough time in the Vegas area.
This park was formerly known as Wet’n’Wild Las Vegas, and many of its attractions remain the same. That said, everything has been updated, the staffing has been increased, and the theming has been changed to a Wild West theme. All slide names have been changed as well to reflect this change in theming, and we love it.
Some of the best attractions in Cowabunga Canyon include the many water slides, the kiddie play area, the wave pool, and of course, the super relaxing lazy river. All in all, we’d say this is a pretty solid waterpark in an excellent location, and the fresh new look definitely does the park some favors!
RV Camping Near Cowabunga Canyon Waterpark
Clearly, you will need a place to stay during your time at Cowabunga Canyon, and as we’ve mentioned before, RV camping is the way to go when visiting the area. Therefore, you’d better start packing up the RV!
Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort — This lovely RV resort is located in an excellent spot right by all that Vegas has to offer. Full hookups are available at the campground, and amenities such as a pool are available for added fun. The price is a little bit high, but it is definitely a luxury camping resort, so we think it’s a fair fee.
General admission to Cowabunga Canyon comes in at $44.99. There are discounts available on certain days though. Also, for those who will be visiting often, season passes are available.
Tubes and life jackets are available for free. However, there is a small fee for parking as well as locker rentals. Onsite food isn’t allowed, so be prepared to eat outside of the park or purchase food from the in-park eateries.
Wild Island Family Adventure Park
Located in Sparks, Wild Island Family Adventure Park is part water park, part family amusement center, and 100% fun. It’s the perfect place to spend an entire day with the family or a group of friends, and the huge number of things to do will keep you busy for hours on end.
The main attraction at this park is the water park. This area is open during the summer months and features a number of fantastic attractions. Some favorites include the Eye of the Dragon bowl slide, the super intense G-Force Slide, and the Zulu Mat Racer. Little kids love the Little Lagoon Kiddie Pool, and Hurricane Cove is fun for kids of all ages. Of course, you won’t want to miss the lazy river and the wave pool!
In addition to the waterpark, this amusement center also has a variety of dry activities available. Bowling here is tons of fun, and the High Ballocity playground is an absolute blast. Indoor mini golf is perfect for rainy days or super hot days, and the arcade is a fun time for those who enjoy a good game.
The Blacklight Go-Karts add a new level of fun to a classic ride, and the XD Adventure Theater is an immersive way to have an adventure from your seat. Finally, we highly recommend the laser tag here!
RV Camping Near Wild Island Family Adventure Park
Wondering where to stay? In your RV, of course! We think an RV is the perfect lodging option for any trip—especially those Nevada road trips, and a trip to Sparks is no exception.
Sparks Marina RV Park — Located just minutes from Wild Islands, Sparks Marina RV Park is actually part of a casino. Nevertheless, this is a lovely place to stay with the whole family. Unlike many casino RV parks, this one actually has some trees and grass. Full hookups are available, the restrooms are clean, and a pool and putting green are located in the park.
Planning Your Trip to Wild Island Family Adventure Park
Tickets to Wild Island Waterpark are $36.99. There are separate fees for all other activities, which vary based on 1) what you want to do, 2) when you’re visiting, and 3) how old you are. Deals are often available on the Wild Island website.
Outside food is not allowed in the waterpark. That said, there is a picnic area available right outside of the park and food is sold onsite as well. Lockers and private cabana rentals are available.
Grand Adventure Land
Looking for thrills? Grand Adventure Land is an excellent option. This park is part of the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, and is the ideal vacation destination for those who want an adrenaline rush.
The most popular attraction at this park is the action-packed go-kart course. There are options for driving a drift track or a twisting and turning road track. Another super fun option for thrill seekers? The slick track, which adds a new level of difficulty to driving.
Another awesome attraction at Grand Adventure Land is the Ultimate Rush thrill ride. Those who choose to brave this ride will be fastened into a sling and carried 180 feet into the air. Once there, riders pull a ripcord and are sent into an incredible descent that makes you feel as though you’re free falling.
Looking for something a little less thrilling? This park also boasts a great family mini golf course! A bowling center, driving range, cinema, escape room, ice rink, and more are also available in the resort.
RV Camping Near Grand Adventure Land
Another awesome thing about Grand Adventure Park? Grand Sierra Resort actually has its own RV park. This makes packing up the RV and taking it on your Nevada adventure a no-brainer and makes it super easy to stay in complete comfort without ever leaving the fun.
Grand Sierra Resort RV Park — This RV park offers a variety of spaces, including 50-amp and 30-amp pull-through spots. These campsites feature full hookups, Wi-Fi access, and more. Laundry facilities are available, as are clean restrooms with showers and a camp store. Guests also have access to the resort pool.
The cost of visiting Grand Adventure Land varies based on what you’d like to do. For instance, a 5-minute drive on the drift track or the slick track comes in at $9. Meanwhile, the same 5 minutes on the road track costs $8 for the driver and $4 for a passenger if they wish to join.
Mini golf is $12 for those aged 12 and older, and $10 for those 11 and younger. A ride on the Ultimate Rush will cost you $30 the first time and $20 for repeat rides while still in the suit.
North Valleys Water Splash Park
A super fun county-run waterpark, Reno’s North Valleys Splash Park has a unique aviation theme. It is an excellent place to cool off during the summer months, but is definitely geared toward younger kids. As long as you know that going in, you and your little ones are sure to have an excellent time.
This park features fun airplane sprayers, fountains that come up from the ground, a giant dumping bucket, and plenty of other spray and dump features. A tiny airplane slide is just perfect for teeny tiny swimmers, and the baby swings on the splash pad will help keep those little ones happy as well. The centerpiece of this park though? A medium-sized climbing structure which features lots of interactive sprayers and a small slide for kids to enjoy.
Parents appreciate the shaded seating to the side of this incredible spray park, and those looking to have celebrations here will love to learn that there is a rentable pavilion.
RV Camping Near North Valleys Water Splash Park
The aforementioned Grand Sierra Resort RV Park would be a great place to park your rig during a visit to North Valleys Water Splash Park. That said, there are other excellent options around. Read on to learn about another of our favorites.
River West Resort— River West Resort is another fantastic RV park in Reno. This park is located just minutes from the splash park and features full hookups, clean bathrooms, and is located right on the river. The location is perfect and within walking distance of many attractions.
Planning Your Trip to North Valleys Water Splash Park
One of the best things about visiting North Valleys Water Splash Park is that it’s smaller and easy to manage with little ones, meaning less planning is necessary. Still, there are some things you’ll want to know.
The cost to enter the spray park is $4 per person per day, and those aged 2 and under (as well as seniors) enter for free. Swimsuits are mandatory, so be sure you pack an actual bathing suit! There is no food available in the park and food and drink are not allowed on the splash pad, but there are picnic areas just outside of the spray park area where you can eat lunch or a snack.
Clearly, finding great amusement parks in Nevada is a cinch. These are our top picks, but we’re willing to bet you could find even more gems by searching “amusement parks near me” once you arrive at your Nevada campground.
Want other things to do in Nevada? You’re in luck because the state is chock-full of awesome things to check out. We recommend reading the articles below to get some great ideas:
Last updated on August 15th, 2022 at 03:22 pm. Originally published on August 8th, 2022
If you’ve watched the news or filled up your gas tank lately, you’re well aware that the price of gas has gone up significantly. While this may deter you from heading out on a road trip to cap off your summer, it doesn’t have to! Not only are there many ways to save on gas (such as getting gas when it’s cheapest, as opposed to when you need it), but you actually can take an affordable road trip by visiting local sights or having the RV delivered.
If your nearest state park or piece of Bureau of Land Management land isn’t on your travel to-do list not to worry, even with higher gas prices, the average trip will still only cost you an extra $35 more than it did last year!
That’s right, an extra $35.
Let’s break it down. The average RVshare traveler is driving less than 330 miles for their trip. With the average RV getting 15 MPG and the increase in fuel compared to last year being +$1.50, traveling 326 miles, divided by 15 MPG times $1.50 puts us at $32.60.
Compared to the price of a plane ticket, we’ll take the extra ~$35!
RVshare is Giving Away Gas Rebates to Ease Pain at the Pump!
If you’re still not feeling great about spending more on gas than usual, RVshare is giving away up to $500,000 in gas ahead of Labor Day travel! With gas prices likely to remain elevated throughout the summer travel season, we want to help ease your worries at the pump. The gas reimbursement is available to RVshare travelers through September 5. Renters that book a trip that starts before 9/5 will be entered to win an additional $1,000 visa card!
Click here to apply for reimbursement. Eligible applicants will receive $25 for trips five days or fewer and $50 for trips six days or more.
Air Travel vs RV Travel
Here we break down the cost of RV vs air travel. When you fly to reach your destination, you have to consider things like transportation, dining out and a hotel stay. All of those things can add up quickly. When you take an RV trip, you can buy groceries instead of dining out and stay at a campground, which can appeal to all budgets.
Tips for a Budget-Friendly RV Trip
Taking an RV trip can be achievable for any budget. Here are a few of our favorite ways to make your next road trip more affordable.
Join a rewards program like GetUpside. With GetUpside, you can earn up to $0.25/gal cash back on gas. (Use code RVSHARE20 to earn an additional $0.20 per gallon on your first gas purchase!)
Consider a one-tank itinerary. You can go on an epic adventure without traveling far from home! Check out the local attractions nearby that you’ve never visited, or try experiencing them in an RV for the first time.
Have the RV delivered or rent a stationary RV. If you have the RV delivered to your campsite, you won’t have to worry about filling it up with gas at all! Same with a stationary rental. This means you are renting an RV that will remain at it’s location, typically nearby a cool event or on a nice piece of land.
Plan to cook in your RV. Picking up groceries and cooking in the RV or over the campfire can save you a good chunk of money. Eating out for every meal can get really pricey. Instead, plan to go out one night and make it really special, then enjoy the rest of your meals at the campsite or packed up for your hike or other outdoor adventure.
Take advantage of “free” days. Most zoos and museums have a day of the week where entry is free. If you are hoping for an epic National Park trip, plan your adventure around one of their free entry days.
Don’t be thwarted by the high price of gas. Not only will it add less than you think to the average RV trip, but there are so many other ways to save costs for your next vacation.
Arizona is a popular RV destination, especially with snowbirds (those looking to escape the cold winter months). And because of its central location, Phoenix is the perfect base to start a trip with one tank of gas. The hardest part will be deciding which direction to go! For this trip we’re heading north to visit some of the iconic spots in Arizona.
This one tank trip is 286 miles from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon and takes about 5 hours and 45 minutes of drive time. As always, your mileage and drive time may vary depending on your car/rig and where you stop.
There’s so much to explore in Phoenix itself that you’ll want to plan a few days to see the sights in town before heading out on this trip. If you’re looking for a great hike, Camelback Mountain offers amazing views of the entire city. It’s centrally located and a favorite of locals and tourists alike. It’s a very popular spot so head there early in the morning to avoid both the heat and the crowds, And bring plenty of water along!
Another great outdoor location in Phoenix is Papago Park. It’s located right next to the Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Zoo, and has some great hiking trails like the iconic Hole-in-the-Rock Trail. And before you head north out of town, stop at the Sonoran Preserve with over 9,600 acres of desert and 36 miles of trail systems throughout it. You’ll be surrounded by mountains, saguaro cacti, and all those incredible desert views. Then fill up your gas tank, because we’re about to head out from Phoenix on this one tank trip.
After you’ve explored Phoenix it’s time to head north to Watson Lake in Prescott, Arizona. This desert lake is almost otherworldly looking with large granite boulders surrounding the blue water. Rent a boat and spend some time on the lake fishing, kayaking, or canoeing. Or stick to the land and hike or rock climb around the lake. The trails are even dog friendly as long as they’re on a leash.
There’s also a large park adjacent to the lake with places to picnic, horseshoe pits, and a playground. And there’s even a campground that’s open during the summer months so you can enjoy the lake for a few days. There’s also a private RV park next door that’s open all year. Just note that no swimming is allowed in Watson Lake – if you want to enjoy the water you’ll have to do it from a boat.
The lake is open during the summer from 7 am to 10 pm and in winter from 7 am to sunset. There’s a $3 parking fee.
After your time at Watson Lake, be sure to explore the rest of Prescott. Stop by the historic Courthouse Square in downtown, an area surrounded by buildings from the 1800s. It’s full of restaurants, hotels, and antique shops. And don’t miss Whiskey Row, the historical hang out spot of many icons from the old west like the Earp Brothers and Doc Holliday. This downtown block was once a line of saloons, but now there are restaurants, and shops, and even a few historic bars that have been restored.
While you’re here, also visit Lynx Lake Recreation Area in Prescott National Forest. Completely different than Watson Lake, Lynx Lake is forested and surrounded by hiking and mountain biking trails. You can swim in the lake or rent kayaks or canoes. Hikers can also head over to Thumb Butte Trail, a 2.5 mile loop trail and a popular hiking spot.
Montezuma Castle National Monument
As you leave Prescott and head to Sedona, don’t miss a stop at Montezuma Castle National Monument to see the ancient Native American cliff dwellings. It’s right off the highway and a great way to learn about the ancient Sinagua People that survived in the desert landscape.
This National Monument was the third to be dedicated to preserving Native American culture. Explore the visitor’s center to learn about the history of the Sinagua People. Then take the self guided walking tour past the homes built high into the cliff face and marvel at the culture that used to live there.
Then it’s on to Sedona, another one of Arizona’s breathtakingly beautiful locations. Take an iconic jeep tour, hike through the red rocks, or test your skills on the many mountain biking trails. Not sure where to start? Head to Red Rocks State Park or try a few of the top hikes in Sedona like Bell Rock, Devils Bridge, Cathedral Rock, or West Fork Trail. Many of the hiking trails in Sedona require a Red Rocks Pass to park at the trail heads, but these day passes can easily be picked up many places around town. You can find out more about the pass here.
Another top spot in Sedona is Slide Rock State Park. This state park was originally an apple farm and homestead. Today you can visit to learn about agriculture in central Arizona, but the real draw for kids and adults alike is the namesake Slide Rock. This natural rock water slide in Oak Creek is a popular place in summer where visitors can slide down the 80-foot rock slide and float downstream to the swimming area. It’s a busy place in summer so come early or be prepared to battle the crowds.
The next town on this one tank trip is Flagstaff. This historic city was once stop along the original Route 66 and is now a bustling college town with plenty of outdoor activities to explore. Visit the Arizona Snowbowl for skiing and snowboarding in winter, or a ride on the chair lift during the summer and fall for a beautiful view of the mountain and surrounding area. Also make sure to stop by Lowell Observatory to check out their telescope, workshops, exhibits, and the observation deck. Flagstaff is a designated Dark Sky city, so the night skies are incredible. And don’t miss a visit to the Museum of Northern Arizona to learn about local Native American culture through the exhibits and events.
If you’re looking to get outside, Coconino National Forest is right on Flagstaff’s doorstep. It covers over 1.8 million acres and contains everything from red rock canyons to ponderosa pine forests with plenty of hiking trails and dispersed camping areas throughout. And if you’re visiting in fall, make sure to see the aspen groves change colors! It’s one of the few places in Arizona that have incredible fall foliage. However, if you’re more of a cute town and brewery person, downtown Flagstaff is just the place with its historic old buildings, plenty of restaurants and shops, and a brewery trail.
Grand Canyon National Park
The last stop on this one tank trip from Phoenix is the incredible Grand Canyon National Park. This trip takes you to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, which is open all year. The north rim is also amazing, but it’s only open during the summer and it takes several hours to drive there from the south rim (you know, because there’s that giant canyon in the ground that you have to drive around). The South Rim is home to the visitor’s center, campgrounds, and Grand Canyon Village where you can grab food, gas, and souvenirs.
Once you’re in the park you’ll have to decide what to explore! There are multiple hikes down into the canyon. There’s also a paved walking trail along the rim with a shuttle service that takes visitors to several lookout points. This trail is wheelchair and stroller accessible and is even pet friendly as long as your dog is on a leash. (It’s also one of the only dog friendly trails in the park – pets aren’t allowed once you head down into the canyon).
Whether you want to just peer over the edge from the top or take a multi day hike down to the Colorado River and back, there’s plenty of options to explore the Grand Canyon. Outfitters offer hiking and rafting trips down the Colorado River or you can participate in ranger led activities. You can also take to the skies and see the Grand Canyon from a helicopter tour.
Take a One Tank Trip
Did you enjoy this one tank trip from Phoenix? If you’re looking for more local road trips you can take on one tank of gas, check out our itineraries for Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Houston, and Portland. And if you need a rig, visit RVshare.com for a fantastic selection of local RV rentals.
Being an RVer means theres a good chance you enjoy the outdoors. But have you ever considered a job in the outdoor recreation industry? Over the past few years people have been rediscovering their enjoyment of outdoor activities. And as we’ve seen, outdoor recreation economy like the RV industry keeps growing. If you’re thinking of switching careers, the outdoor recreation industry offers a variety of jobs to explore.
Career Opportunities in Outdoor Recreation
There are lots of ways to get into a career in the outdoor recreation industry. Some people choose to take the experience they already have and apply it to a company in the outdoor industry. For example, you can just as easily be an accountant for a dentist as you can for a company that manufactures mountain bikes. Other people want to change careers entirely and leave their current jobs to be seasonal employees like ski lift operators or trail guides.
Luckily, jobs in the outdoor recreation industry are many. These jobs fall into three categories – the public sector, the private sector, and the nonprofit sector. You can find plenty of options in all categories that might match your experience.
Outdoor Recreation Jobs in the Public Sector
The first type of jobs in the outdoor recreation industry fall under the public sector category. These are organizations and jobs that are run by the government like the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, state and county parks, and organizations that connect to economic development.
Jobs in the public sector are often directly for government agencies but are vast and varied. You can find office jobs like an administrative assistant or clearing trails outdoors as a forest technician. Many jobs that you can do for a private company like being a customer service representative, accountant, electrician, engineer, pilot, etc can all be done for government organizations as well. Plus, they have opportunities for more outdoor based jobs like archeologists and district rangers. Jobs can range from part time seasonal positions to year round full time work.
Listings for these types of jobs are typically on government websites. If you have a specific state in mind where you’d like to work, head to the state’s official website. Most states have a job board on their site where you can filter by type of position. Look for state and county parks or a category called “Parks & Recreation Division”. Looking for a national organization like the National Park Service? Visit usajobs.gov or head to the Forest Service Website to search by state.
Here are a few examples of jobs you can find in the public sector:
Nonprofit Sector Outdoor Recreation Jobs
The nonprofit sector of the outdoor industry helps to connect people to public lands, advocates for the environment and the recreation industry, and promotes the benefits of the outdoors. You can find nonprofit organizations for local towns all the way up to the federal level. This incudes conservation organizations for public lands, environmental justice and advocacy groups, and wildlife conservation organizations among others. If you’re interested in a job in the nonprofit sector, research organizations that have missions that align with your own and check out their websites. Most will have an employment or career section on their site that you can visit to find information on open positions.
These positions are often related to administration work, community outreach, project management, fundraising, grant writing, event management, volunteer management, accounting, and marketing. If your interests lie in these areas, the nonprofit sector is a great way to have a career while also giving back.
Here are some examples of jobs in the nonprofit sector:
Community Service Project Coordinator
Donor Relations Manager
Grant Proposal Manager
Social Media Coordinator
Private Sector Jobs
Outdoor recreation jobs in the private sector includes everything that’s not a nonprofit or government run organization. This means anything from manufacturing outdoor clothing and gear, to guides and outfitters, to sales reps and content creators – and everything in between! This is where much of the RV industry falls. Brands and manufacturers, rental companies like RVshare, and RV technicians are all included in the private sector. This sector has the most variety of outdoor related jobs, and you can find something that fits your talents and interests.
Outdoor jobs in the private sector are easy to find – head to any job board or even just Google “outdoor recreation jobs” and you’ll find an endless list of opportunities from ski instructors to clothing designers to photographers to RV technicians. Use the skills and job experience you already have and apply it to this industry!
Here are a few examples of jobs in the private sector:
Guides and Outfitters
Social Media Coordinator
Regional Sales Manager
RV Technicians: Job in High Demand
The good news for RV enthusiasts is that RV technicians are in very high demand right now! According to a PayScale report, RV service technicians were the third-fastest growing job in 2020. With the popularity of RV travel over the past few years, the need for RV technicians keeps growing. If you’ve ever been out on the road and had something break, you know how important it is to get your RV fixed quickly and how difficult it can be to get into a service center.
And that’s great news for people looking for a new career in the RV industry! Programs like the National RV Training Academy (NRVTA) trains RV owners to become experts of their RVs. They also offer training to become an RV technician or inspector. Not only does this give you the confidence and knowledge to fix your own RV (keeping you out of expensive and time sucking service centers) but you can turn that knowledge into a new career path in an industry you love. To learn more, visit our post on RV Maintenance with NRVTA.
If you are intrigued by RV life but are hesitant to start because you can’t afford to quit your job and take off just yet, then rest assured, there are thousands of RV travelers who are in your exact same predicament. Except they choose to continue to work while on the road to fund their lifestyle.
In this post, we want to share some of our top tips that we’ve learned while we work from our camper van. The work we do helps pay for our campsite fees, gas, and miscellaneous travel expenses. We hope that some of the information we detail below inspires you to hit the road while continuing to focus on earning an income.
Figure Out An Income Source Before Traveling
The number one piece of advice we like to give to those who are thinking of working while traveling is to figure out your income source BEFORE quitting your day job and setting off for the open road.
During our 3+ years in our van, a common issue we see is people who begin looking for online “nomadic” work only AFTER they’ve begun traveling in their RV. We think this is a mistake because finding online income that can support your new travel lifestyle can take months, or even years(!).
In our case:Our blog, AsoboLife, which teaches readers how to convert their own camper van, took over 12 months of painstaking work before we were able to begin monetizing our site.
Whether you plan to apply for online writing gigs or to set up a profile on one of the many freelance websites, like UpWork, it’s important to build up your work experience portfolio before starting your travels. This may even include agreeing to work on several projects at a significantly reduced pay rate in order to gain experience and positive employment reviews.
Find The Time To Sit Down And Work
One of the most challenging aspects of working while traveling in an RV is finding the time to focus and put in high quality hours of work. That’s because you’ll inevitably be surrounded by beautiful distractions all around you.
Whether it’s that gorgeous waterfall you wanted to see, or that stunning hike you want to do, or you simply want to take a peaceful afternoon nap under the sun, you’ll discover that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the things we “want” to do (for travel) and “have” to do (our work responsibilities).
When it’s time to work, you have to be able to set your mind straight and focus on nothing but the task ahead of you. This could mean finding a quiet corner in a cafe or simply shutting yourself away in your RV to avoid all distractions.
In our case: We like to set aside 1-2 hours of work first thing in the morning right after we put away our bed and before breakfast. We find that our brains are at their calmest and most focused early in the morning. And once our work is finished, we reward ourselves with a delicious breakfast (we love pancakes!) and enjoy the rest of the day.
A Good Internet Connection Is A Must
Regardless of if you’re a heavy user or just need a little bit of it, having a reliable Internet connection is an important part of working while on the road.
In our case: No internet means almost no work. We can’t send and receive emails, we can’t update our blog, and we can’t conduct research for future posts. So when we’re in an environment with ZERO connectivity, we’re almost never doing any work of any sort.
Below we list some of the most popular methods by RV travelers for connecting to the internet.
Unlimited Cell Phone Plans
If you haven’t already, consider upgrading to your cell phone provider’s unlimited data plan. T-Mobile has a fantastic unlimited data package that allows you to set up your cell phone as a mobile hotspot for your laptop. When we need to send emails, conduct research online, or edit our blog, we connect our laptops to the Internet through our phones. And because data is unlimited, we don’t worry about how much data we use.
If you have some extra money to spare, picking up a cell phone booster is a fantastic way to increase your phone’s cell reception quality while exploring the countryside. We personally have a cell phone booster and have seen our phone’s reception quality increase by 2 bars.
Starlink For RVs
If 100% reliable, high-speed internet is an absolute must for you, the best option may be Starlink. While Starlink for residential use is not new, the company recently released a plan for RV travelers that includes a smaller and more discreet satellite dish.
The initial setup cost will set you back roughly $700, but after that, the Internet service provider charges just $135/month for consistent, high-speed Internet ANYWHERE in the lower 48 states.
If you find that you do not need Internet every day to do your work or you don’t want to pay the exorbitant fees for an unlimited data plan or Starlink, just remember that WIFI is oftentimes available just around the corner.
When we’re in a pinch, we often locate the nearest Starbucks cafe to plop down and do some work on our laptops. At each Starbucks store, we’re almost always guaranteed working WIFI, a socket for charging, and a comfortable seat.
And with over 15,000 Starbucks cafes in the USA, chances are there’s a store near you.
Did you know? Many McDonald’s restaurants also provide free WIFI for customers. And if there’s one place that is more ubiquitous than Starbucks, it’s McDonalds! Sometimes when we’re long-hauling it across an Interstate Highway, we’ll stop at McDonalds for lunch and work for a quick hour at our table before getting back to our camper and setting off again.
Set The Right Mood/Environment
When we need to get work done in our RV, we like to ensure that our work environment is clean, inspirational, and comfortable. This helps get us in the right mood to concentrate on the work ahead.
Clean: Before sitting down to work, we wipe down our table top to clear it of dust and other small particles. We also like to open all our doors to allow sunlight to enter and clean air to circulate inside.
Inspirational: Once our table is cleaned and cleared, we like to set various objects on our table that help calm our minds and bring inspiration to our workplace. What we like to introduce to the work table constantly rotates, but some of our favorites include an air diffuser with essential oils, Bluetooth speaker playing calm background music, and even potted plants!
Comfortable: We like to make sure our work environment is comfortable. We keep plenty of throw pillows around to help support our backs and keep them straight. Lastly, our trusty laptop stand has helped keep our neck pain-free while we’ve worked countless hours in front of our computers.
Working and making money while traveling in an RV may seem like a dream situation, but there are many people out there doing just that! And with smart preparation and dedication, we’re confident that you can achieve that dream, too.
Taking a trip to Nebraska? You’re in luck, because this state has a whole lot of things to see and do! And some of the very best attractions in Nebraska? The many Nebraska amusement parks, for sure.
Yep, you may not guess it, but the Cornhusker State is home to a number of awesome theme parks. Each and every one of these is well worth visiting, and deciding which ones to add to your trip can be overwhelming.
That’s where this article comes into play. Below, we will talk about the very best amusement parks in Nebraska.
Let’s get started!
Nebraska Amusement Parks
Before we go any further, we want to give you a quick sneak peek of what we’re going to be talking about today. The list below includes our top 6 favorite Nebraska amusement parks, in no particular order:
Fun-Plex Waterpark and Rides
Island Oasis Water Park
Eugene T. Mahoney State Park Aquatic Center
Pawnee Plunge Waterpark
Boulder Creek Amusement Park
Knowing which parks are the best of the best is one thing, but deciding on one or two to visit during your vacation is another thing entirely. Read on to learn more details about each of these awesome amusement parks in Nebraska.
Fun-Plex Waterpark and Rides
First on our list of Nebraska amusement parks is Fun-Plex Waterpark and Rides. This Omaha fun spot has everything you need to have an entire day of fun. In fact, there are so many incredible things to do here, you might even want to give yourself a couple of days to fit it all in.
Let’s start with the waterpark. This section of the park features all of your favorite water park attractions. Several colorful slides ensure thrill seekers have an amazing time during their visit. Meanwhile, the lazy river gives folks a spot to relax. Young children will love the Makana Splash play structure and Lil’ Lagoon water play area, and the whole family will enjoy the wave pool.
Once you’re done with water play, head over to the ride park for even more excitement. Like go-karts? You’ll love the go-karts and the slick track in this area of the Fun-Plex. Families will have a ball riding the tilt-o-whirl and bumper cars together. Meanwhile, little ones will appreciate the many kiddie rides in the park, especially the super cute Go-Gator kiddie coaster.
In addition to the waterpark and the ride park, Fun-Plex is also home to a fabulous mini golf course, as well as an awesome swim-up bar. Clearly, there is something here for everyone.
RV Camping Near Fun-Plex Waterpark and Rides
Not sure where to stay during your Fun-Plex adventure? RV camping is definitely the way to go, as far as we’re concerned. Staying in an RV allows you to be completely comfortable wherever you land, giving you more freedom to explore the state.
Walnut Creek Recreation Area — As far as Omaha campgrounds go, we highly recommend the Walnut Creek Recreation Area. This city park is very well maintained and offers electric hookups. Water is available onsite (although not at the campsites), and there is no dump station on site. Still, considering the incredibly low price of $16 a night, this is a deal that really can’t be beat!
Planning Your Trip to Fun-Plex Waterpark and Rides
Admission to Fun-Plex Waterpark and Rides is $34.99 for those over 10 years old, and $29.99 for kids 9 and under. Seniors also pay only $29.99. Those aged 2 and under enter the park for free. Passes include the waterpark, rides, and a round of mini golf.
Want to save some money? Discounted tickets are available for those who visit after 4pm.
Parking is free, and changing rooms and lockers are available. Outside food and drink are not allowed, but food is sold in the park.
Next up is AquaVenture in Norfolk. As the name suggests, this is a waterpark. It’s a city-run park and is on the smaller side, but still offers plenty of watery fun. In fact, we recommend setting aside at least half a day in order to get the most out of your visit.
Features of this water park include a super cute blowfish-shaped slide for little swimmers, as well as dumping buckets, a water cannon, and a water play structure for kids of all ages to enjoy.
The Water Walk is fun for those who like a challenge. Meanwhile, the two large water slides keep older kids, teens, and even adults busy having a great time. Finally, we highly recommend spending some time in the wave pool!
RV Camping Near AquaVenture
As mentioned above, RV camping is an excellent way to explore the state of Nebraska. This allows you to hop from one part of the state to another without issue, and ensures you do so in comfort.
TaHaZouka Park — Of course, you will need a place to park your rig while you play at the waterpark. For this, we recommend a campsite at TaHaZouka Park. This lovely little city park campground has concrete electric sites. Water is available onsite, but once again, there is no dump station in the campground. Still, for only $18 a night, we think it’s a place worth checking out!
Planning Your Trip to AquaVenture
The fee to get into AquaVenture is $6 for ages 4–15, $8 for ages 16–54, and $7 for guests 55 and older. Military members also enter for $7, and toddlers and babies aged 3 and under enter for free. Have a group of six? Your whole party can get in for just $35!
Rental lockers and changing rooms are available at the waterpark. Parking is free, but outside food is not allowed. Concessions are sold onsite.
Island Oasis Water Park
Island Oasis Water Park is the perfect spot to cool off on a hot Nebraska day. This Grand Island waterpark is run by the city, and like so many other city-run waterparks in the state, it is a surprisingly fun spot to spend a few hours or even a whole day.
Attractions at Island Oasis Water Park include a lily pad walk and a log walk, both perfect for those who like to challenge themselves a little. The water basketball goals are super fun for those who enjoy a bit of competition, and the three large speed slides are ideal for those looking for excitement. Little ones love the otter side that was made just for them, and the wave pool and lazy river are fun for all ages.
Lastly, the sand volleyball court and sand play area are both excellent places to have a good time while you dry off a little.
RV Camping Near Island Oasis Water Park
Where will you stay? In your RV, of course! Taking your rig means you’ll have everything you need no matter where you roam. It could also save you the big bucks on lodging, making choosing RV camping a no-brainer.
Hall County Park — Wondering where to park the RV so you can be near Island Oasis Water Park? We recommend Hall County Park. This campground will put you near the water park as well as all the other fun things the city has to offer. You’ll have access to electricity, water, and a dump station, and the camping fee is incredibly affordable.
Planning Your Trip to Island Oasis Water Park
Day rates for visiting the park are $8 for ages 5–14, $9 for ages 16–54, and $8 for ages 55 and up. Kids under 5 years of age get in free, and families with up to two adults + up to 4 kids can enter for a $30 flat rate.
It’s important to note that children under 10 must be accompanied by someone 14 or older. Rental lockers and tubes are available, as are concessions. Outside food is not allowed.
Eugene T. Mahoney State Park Aquatic Center
A gem of a waterpark located inside of a state park, the Eugene T. Mahoney State Park Aquatic Center is definitely one of the best things to do in Ashland. This place offers opportunities for climbing, sliding, floating, and sunbathing, and is sure to leave your whole family smiling.
A favorite part of this water park is the kid’s climbing structure with slides and interactive water features. The large sun deck is ideal for those who just want to relax. Meanwhile the two large water slides and wave pool provide thrills for those who want them.
Want an added bit of fun? Head to the onsite ropes course for a little challenge, play a round of golf, mini golf, or disc golf, go to Venture Climb to try your hand at rock climbing, or watch a performance at the state park theater.
RV Camping Near Eugene T. Mahoney State Park Aquatic Center
The obvious thing to do when visiting a state park is to go camping. This is just as true at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park as it is anywhere else, so pack up the camper and get ready for an awesome Nebraska camping adventure.
Eugene T. Mahoney State Park Campground — This state park offers full-hookup, partial-hookup, and primitive sites, so you can choose your experience based on the type of camping you prefer. Modern restrooms with heated showers and coin-operated laundry rooms are available, and recreational facilities such as a playground and basketball court are nearby.
Planning Your Trip to Eugene T. Mahoney State Park Aquatic Center
Those wishing to visit any Nebraska state park must have a park permit. For non-residents, these permits—which are priced per vehicle—are $61 for an annual permit or $12 for a single-day permit. Once in the park, guests must pay $10 per person aged 13 and over, and $8 per person aged 3–12, to enter the waterpark. Those aged 2 and under enter for free.
Outside food is not allowed in this park, but concessions are sold onsite.
Pawnee Plunge Waterpark
Another fantastic city-run waterpark, Pawnee Plunge is located in the wonderful town of Columbus. This park is actually quite large for a city waterpark and is tons of fun for people of all ages. One could easily spend an entire day here, but it’s also worth visiting even if you only have a couple of hours.
One awesome attraction in this park is an interactive pirate ship water playground that toddlers and preschoolers absolutely adore. For older kids, there is a surf circulator as well as a climbing wall, both awesome ways to push yourself to your limits. The four huge water slides are tons of fun and can easily be enjoyed time after time, and the lazy river is a good place to chill out after your adventures.
Other attractions in this park include a sprayground for young children, a swimming pool to play in, a three-meter platform dive, a one-meter diving board, and a concession stand.
RV Camping Near Pawnee Plunge Waterpark
With so much to explore, you’re bound to leave this waterpark feeling worn out. For this reason, it’s definitely a good idea to bring your RV along. Not only will you be able to sleep better in a bed of your own, you’ll also be able to park your rig nearby so you can start resting sooner.
Lake North County Park — The best place to park your RV when visiting Columbus is Lake North County Park. This is a nice little campground that provides you with fresh water for your tank, as well as electric hookups. The best part? This park is free for up to 7 nights per month!
Planning Your Trip to Pawnee Plunge Waterpark
Admission to Pawnee Plunge is free for those 3 years of age and younger. Anyone 4 years or older should expect to pay $8 to enter. Those who wish to use the surf simulator will need to pay an additional $3. There is a group admission rate that allows groups of up to 6 people to visit for only $32 total.
Outside food is not allowed in the park, but as mentioned earlier, concessions are available. Toddlers must wear swim diapers, non-swimmers must be within arms’ reach of an adult, and those under 6 must be supervised at all times. The park does close when lighting is in the area.
Boulder Creek Amusement Park
Last but not least, we must mention Boulder Creek Amusement Park. This is another Omaha park, and is a great addition to a trip to the city. Unlike the rest of the parks listed here, this is not a waterpark, making it a good addition to a fall or spring itinerary.
This park features a variety of fantastic activities. Those who enjoy baseball will be happy to find the state’s biggest batting cage here. The putt-putt courses are of course lots of fun. Those looking to be challenged will enjoy the rock climbing wall, and folks who prefer speed will appreciate the amazing outdoor skating rink.
No matter what you choose to do, you’re sure to have a good time soaking up the sun and spending time with loved ones at this amazing spot.
RV Camping Near Boulder Creek Amusement Park
As always, we highly recommend staying in the comfort of an RV. As we already mentioned, this makes it easy to hop from spot to spot, gives you plenty of privacy, and ensures you have everything you need at any given time. Best of all, you’ll get to have camping fun in addition to your Nebraska amusement park fun!
Winsor Cove — Of course, you will need a place to park your trailer or motorhome while you explore Omaha. Winsor Cove is a great option! This campground offers water, electric, and a dump station. The sites are concrete and level, and the staff is friendly and helpful. Best of all, the rates at this park are excellent!
Planning Your Trip to Boulder Creek Amusement Park
The cost of visiting Boulder Creek Amusement Park depends on what you want to do while you’re there. You will pay for each activity individually, but prices are very reasonable, and special deals are posted on the park’s social media frequently.
There is a well-stocked concession stand available in the park, so be sure to arrive hungry and ready to enjoy some of your favorite treats while having a good time!
As you can see, Nebraska amusement parks aren’t too hard to come by, so you should have an awesome time on your amusement park adventure. Looking for more parks to add to your itinerary? Try searching for “amusement parks near me” once you arrive in the state to find some hidden gems.
Of course, the state has more than just amusement parks. We recommend taking some stops from the articles listed below and adding them to your Nebraska amusement park lineup in order to create the perfect list of things to do in Nebraska:
Montana, the Big Sky State…whatever you want to call it, this place is an incredible spot for hiking, kayaking, and pretty much any other kind of outdoor recreation. Some would even go so far as to say the place is an RVer’s dream come true. What many people don’t know is that there are also a whole host of fantastic amusement parks in Montana.
Yep, you can totally get your thrills in the same place you take an epic hike. In fact, we’d even go so far as to recommend doing so. Of course, that requires some planning.
Not sure how to begin planning your Montana amusement park getaway? You’re in the right place.
Amusement Parks in Montana
First, let’s talk about which are the very best amusement parks in Montana. Below are our top six picks. They’re all water parks, meaning you will likely want to plan a summer getaway!
Big Sky Waterpark
Reef Indoor Water Park
Electric City Waterpark
Ridge Waters Waterpark
Now, just knowing the names of the parks you want to visit isn’t enough by itself. You also need to know where to park your rig while you’re there, what you should budget for tickets, and important details about the park.
That’s where the rest of this article comes into play. Below, we share all of the info you need to plan an absolutely epic Montana amusement park getaway!
Big Sky Waterpark
The biggest waterpark in Montana, Big Sky Waterpark should be at the top of every thrill-seeker’s bucket list when they visit the Big Sky State. This Columbia Falls park is easily big enough to fill a whole day to the brim with fun, and you might even find you want to spend a couple of days exploring all the place has to offer.
The main attractions at Big Sky Waterpark are, of course, the ten incredible water slides. These include enclosed slides and open slides, and every single one will send you zipping along at an exciting pace.
Other attractions at this water park include a carousel, a rock climbing wall, bumper cars, water wars, and volleyball. Don’t forget to get in a round of mini golf before you go!
RV Camping Near Big Sky Waterpark
The best way to visit Montana is definitely in an RV. This is just as true for Big Sky Waterpark as it is for anywhere else. Of course, you will need a place to stay. This is where the park below comes into play!
Columbia Falls RV Park — This RV park is easily the most popular in the area, and there’s a reason why. The campground features everything you might need to be comfortable on an RV camping trip, including full-hookup sites, clean restrooms, a laundry room, and more. Best of all, it’s only minutes from both the water park and Glacier National Park.
Admission to Big Sky Waterpark is only $22.99 for those under 48 inches tall, as well as seniors. Those over 48 inches can expect to pay $27.99. There are twilight passes available for those who want to save money. These are only $17.99–$22.99, but you must arrive after 3pm to get the discount. Mini golf is an additional fee.
Lockers are available for rent, life jackets are available free of charge, and parking is free. You may bring your own food and drink into the park, but there is also food available for sale at the concession stand.
Next on our list is Splash Montana. This is another fabulous water park that is well worth visiting if you find yourself in the Missoula area. Kids absolutely adore this particular park, but adults can have an awesome time playing here as well!
Some of the best features of this park are the three different three-story waterslides to give you all the thrills you’re searching for. The floating play structures include a log walk, a floating otter, and a water snake, and they all add to the fun of the place. If you have little kids, you’ll appreciate the zero-depth entry pool as well as the interactive spray features and small Grizzly slide.
Once you’re done checking out all of these amazing water play areas, be sure to hop into the lazy river so you can float your cares away.
RV Camping Near Splash Montana
Obviously, you will need a place to stay while visiting Splash Mountain. Bringing your RV is the perfect solution, as it allows you to stay in total comfort no matter where you land. Still, you will need to seek out a place to park that RV. Try the campground below!
Missoula KOA Holiday — We love KOA campgrounds. They are clean and offer fun activities for families. The location in Missoula is no exception. Missoula KOA Holiday offers full hookups, mini golf, a lovely swimming pool, and more. To top it all off, the staff here are absolutely incredible!
(As a side note, residents can receive discounted admission by presenting their CityCard.)
There are two restaurants onsite, meaning getting a bite to eat during your fun day will be a cinch. There is plenty of seating for spectators, and locker rooms are available.
Reef Indoor Water Park
Want to play in the water but need to escape poor weather conditions? Reef Indoor Water Park in Billings is the place to go. This awesome park is totally enclosed and heated so it’s fun even in the winter, and it offers plenty of fun for people of all ages, making it the perfect family activity.
The centerpiece of Reef Indoor Water Park is the enormous interactive water playhouse. This includes a 250-gallon dump bucket, four small sides, and lots of climbing fun. It’s the perfect place for kids to play, and will likely be where your little ones disappear for hours during your time here.
Older kids and adults will appreciate the Barracuda Blaster. This is a three-story tube water slide that can accommodate one or two riders at a time. They’ll also love the Tropical Twister, a three-story body slide. Other attractions include a wave pool, a huge hot tub, an arcade, and more!
RV Camping Near Reef Indoor Water Park
The Reef is a part of the Big Horn Resort hotel. It might seem like this is the place to stay. However, we actually recommend RVing over a hotel stay. Staying in your rig means you’ll have privacy and all the comforts of home.
Billings Village RV Park — Not sure where to park your home-on-wheels? Billings Village RV Park is a great spot. This park is located near all the Billings area attractions and offers full-hookup sites. It’s clean and well kept, and the staff are happy to help make your stay comfortable.
The cost to visit Reef Indoor Water Park as a day guest is $16 for those over 48 inches tall. Kids under 48 inches will only be charged $14. Military discounts are available. Day passes are good for the entire day and we recommend planning to stay as long as you can.
No outside food is allowed in this park. A snack shack is available in case you get hungry. Retail lockers are available, and you will want to make sure to bring your own towel!
Another great Billings attraction, Oasis Waterpark is a good pick for those looking for laid-back fun in a smaller park. This park is super easy to navigate and ideal for parents who need to keep up with multiple children and are nervous about letting them out of sight. That said, despite its size, Oasis does a wonderful job giving guests a ton of fun things to explore.
The water slide tower with two large water slides is a favorite attraction at this park. Kids and adults alike love slipping and sliding on the swirling slides before plopping into the water. Once they’re done, sliders love to float around the lazy river or play a game of water basketball.
Another popular feature? The kiddie play area. Here you’ll find interactive water features, a dump bucket, small slides for little swimmers, and more.
RV Camping Near Oasis Waterpark
We already said we recommend RV camping when visiting Billings, and we stand by what we said. You could stay in the aforementioned Billings Village RV Park, but if you want another option, you might want to check out the park listed below.
Billings KOA Holiday — Yes, we are recommending another KOA park. What can we say? We like these resorts! Billings KOA Holiday offers a variety of great full-hookup sites, awesome staff who are happy to help families have a great time, and plenty of amenities such as mini golf and a pool.
You will of course need to pay to enter Oasis Waterpark. That said, rates are totally affordable! Those under 42 inches tall can expect to pay $6 for a day of fun in the sun. Meanwhile, swimmers who measure over 42 inches will pay $10. Visitors aged 3 and under enter free of charge, and there are discounts available for seniors, military, groups, and those who visit after 5pm.
Outside food is not allowed in this park. Therefore, you will need to visit the concession stand if you need a bite to eat. Fortunately, the stand offers a variety of great options!
Electric City Waterpark
Located in Great Falls, Electric City Waterpark is another great Montana amusement park option that will keep you nice and cool during the hot summer months. This park is large enough to keep you entertained, but still small enough that it doesn’t feel overwhelming. If you ask us, it’s just the right size!
Power Tower Plunge is one of the best attractions in the park. This is a 20-foot-high tower with two slides that start at the top. RipTide Slide is also popular with guests and is a great way to get your thrills while cooling off.
Looking for a challenge? You might try climbing the rorck wall before dropping into the water or surfing on the Flow Rider, a super fun surf simulator that adventurous visitors are sure to love. Meanwhile, little ones will appreciate the Squirt Zone where they can climb, slide, and splash.
Of course, everyone loves swimming in the large pool and bobbing along in the lazy river!
RV Camping Near Electric City Waterpark
You will definitely want to rest up after playing at this amazing park, and an RV is the perfect place to do just that. You’ll have all the comforts of home as well as the privacy and space you need to really relax. Of course, you will need a place to park!
Great Falls KOA Holiday — Great Falls KOA Holiday is our top campground pick in the area. Here, you can park in level, full-hookup sites and enjoy amenities like a playground, a water play area, a dog park, and more. It comes with the usual friendly KOA staff and quick and easy access to all the Great Falls area has to offer!
The fee to enter Electric City Waterpark is $5 for kids and $8 for adults. Discounts are available for those who buy package deals. Tubes to float the river and ride the slides are complimentary.
Ridge Waters Waterpark
Last but not least, we have to mention Ridge Waters Waterpark in Butte. This is Montana’s newest waterpark and it’s chock-full of fun things to experience, and whether you’re a toddler, a kid, a teen, or an adult, you’re sure to enjoy checking them out.
Two large water slides are the first things most people notice when entering this park. These are both totally fun and well worth a ride (or several). When you’re finished there, make sure to hop in the lazy river for a lovely float in the cool water while enjoying the sunshine.
Have smaller swimmers in tow? They are sure to adore the water play structure which includes two small slides, a large dump bucket, several smaller dump buckets, and more.
Diving boards and a number of water challenges complete the waterpark experience at Ridge Waters, but there is also plenty of fun waiting on the dry side of this city park as well!
RV Camping Near Ridge Waters Waterpark
Wondering where you’ll stay during your visit to Ridge Waters? Not to worry! There are tons of great RV parks around, meaning you’re sure to find a fantastic place to put your rig while you explore.
Fairmont RV Park — One of the best RV parks near Butte is Fairmont RV Park. This park offers full-hookup sites and several amenities such as a playground and clean bathhouses. The best part about this campground though? The beautiful views that guests are treated to every day!
Admission to Ridge Waters Waterpark is $3 for those aged 3–17, $6 for adults, and $4 for seniors. Toddlers aged 2 and under enter free of charge. The fee allows the swimmer entry for one three-hour session, so you will want to be sure to arrive at the beginning of your session in order to get the biggest bang for your buck.
No outside food is allowed in the park, but a concession stand is available. Rental lockers are available and tubes are available free of charge.
Yes, Montana is definitely an excellent place to have some water park fun. Hoping for even more Montana amusement park adventures? Consider searching “amusement parks near me” once you arrive at your RV park. You might just find some hidden gems!
Of course, there are plenty of other things to do in Montana as well. If you’re on the lookout for more things to add to your trip itinerary, consider checking out the links below. These articles will provide you with all kinds of information on what there is to do in the Big Sky State:
RVing is the absolute best way to vacation as a family. And really, that’s not just our humble opinion. In a recent survey of ours, we discovered not only do the majority of kiddos get a seat at the table for vacation planning, over 80% like to explore new places and go on adventures – basically RVing in a nutshell! Cool, right?!
RVing and camping also means being outdoors quite a bit (another major plus!), so proper sun protection is an absolute must. Want to know all your options? We’ve got you covered.
Easy Sun Protection for Kids
Before we get into some protective products and gear, we have some tips on preventing sun damage in other ways. You’ll want to be sure to use these in conjunction with our other suggestions in this guide for optimal coverage.
Opt for Naturally Shaded Trails
If you’re planning a hike or nature walk, consider the available shade. A walk through the woods will provide more natural protection from the foliage than a field where you risk being exposed to direct sunlight. The same goes for other outdoor activities – if you’re picnicking, a covered pavilion may be most comfortable, and so on.
When you head back to the RV to cool down or grab some lunch, you may want to limit the amount of sunlight coming into your rig. We’re not saying you need to cover all your windows, but adding sun shades or pulling down the blinds can help with reducing the temperature inside your RV as well as exposure to certain UV rays.
Time Your Outing
Avoid midday outings when possible. Try to get out and explore early in the day or plan an after-dinner adventure to avoid peak sun and high temps.
Sun Products for Children
If you’ll be hanging outside, it’s best to use a combination of the products below for the best protection. Yes, even on overcast days, too!
We’ll start with the obvious way to safely play in the sun – sunscreen. Applying it to excited kiddos isn’t easy, but this mineral spray sunscreen has amazing reviews, especially for ease of use and effectiveness. (Here’s a great non-spray mineral sunscreen for babies. Check with your pediatrician before using ahead of the six-month recommendation.) And since it’s mineral, it’s better for the environment, too. Win-win!
A secret summertime staple: SPF clothing. Clothing, in general, helps to block some harmful UV rays because of the additional layer between your skin and the sun, but some do a better job than others. Most bathing suits and rash guards for kids have SPF built in. You can also find SPF onesies and shirts for everyday wear. Easy protection without needing to reapply? Yes, please!
Are babies in sunglasses beyond cute? Yes. But they are very practical, too! Young babies and kids have sensitive eyes and eyelids, and adding a pair of sunnies to their outfits offers needed protection, as well as an adorable fashion statement. We’d recommend sunglasses for babies that come with a strap, and for older kids, get a variety pack of three – perfect for picking a color of the day or having an extra pair on hand.
For hikes to the beach, days at your campsite, or exploring new towns, babies can tag alongside their older siblings. Pack a poppable tent or a stroller cover to create a comfortable, safe space anywhere you go.
Being out in the sun is good for us all – it helps us naturally get needed vitamin D and boosts our moods – but it can also be really damaging, especially for kiddos. Don’t forget our tips to stay safe on all your adventures!
For more family camping tips and outdoors safety, check out these articles:
The next one tank trip in our series is from Portland, Oregon. If you’re visiting the Pacific Northwest, you might notice that there’s a ton to do in this area. In fact, the hardest part is figuring out which direction to head in for a day trip! From Portland you can easily visit the beach, lush forests, wine country, waterfall hikes, or head east to the high desert. But where to visit?
For this one tank trip, we’re going to head east and south from Portland to explore the Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Hood, and beyond to Crater Lake National Park. This trip is 321 miles and takes about 6 hours and 40 minutes by car. As usual your mileage and times may vary depending on where you stop, your car or rig, and other factors. But if you’re ready to see spectacular waterfalls, dense forests, and sparkling lakes, it’s time to explore outside of Portland!
As with our other one tank trips, this one starts in a large city – this time Portland! Plan a few days to explore all the fun things there are to do here. Need some ideas of places to check out? How about seeing why Portland is called the City of Roses at the Portland International Rose Test Garden? Or visit the highly rated Portland Japanese Garden to wander among the beautiful cultivated plants. Don’t miss the Portland Saturday Market for local art and crafts. And if museums are your thing, stop by the Portland Art Museum or Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Then it’s time to fill up the gas tank and head out on the adventure!
Columbia River Gorge
The first stop after Portland is a drive through the Columbia River Gorge. This incredible stretch of land is only 30 miles east of Portland. Check out some of the 90 different waterfalls, explore the area on the many hiking and mountain bike trails, and stop at the scenic overlooks for sweeping views of the gorge. You can drive along the Historic Columbia River Highway and stop at the trailheads or pullouts along the way.
There are many great places to stop along the route. One is Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in Oregon. Bridal Veil Falls is another fantastic waterfall hike. And be sure to walk or bike along the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail that is made up of several paved paths along the historic Highway 30.
Many of the waterfalls and trails in the Columbia River Gorge are open all year. During the summer months, timed permits for each vehicle are required in certain parts of the area to manage crowds. You can find more information on the permits and reserve one if needed at recreation.gov.
As you drive east through the Columbia River Gorge, you’ll eventually get to the town of Hood River. This scenic town is situated right along the river and surrounded by rolling hills dotted with orchards. It’s a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts and it’s easy to see why with all the outside activities it offers. If it’s a nice day, spend some time on the river kiteboarding, windsurfing, or stand up paddleboarding. With all the wind that funnels up the gorge, Hood River is actually one of the best places for kiteboarding and windsurfing! If you don’t want to try it yourself, head down to the river to watch the colorful kites and sails of those on the water. And if you want to try it out, several local outfitters offer rentals and lessons.
If you’d rather stay on land, explore some of the waterfalls and cliff views that surround the town. Visit the Vista House, an octagonal shaped observatory and museum that sits on the top of a basalt cliff and offers visitors sweeping views of the area. Or take the Mount Hood Railroad for a scenic ride through the surrounding countryside and woods.
And if you’re looking for a little detour outside of town, head to the Fruit Loop. This stretch of 35 miles traverses the nearby rolling hills and orchards. It takes you through the small towns and farms where vendors and farmers sell locally produced goods such as cider, jams, flowers, fruits and vegetables, and more. Depending on what time of the year you visit, some vendors may be closed for the season, with summer and fall being the most bountiful.
Mt Hood National Forest
After the town of Hood River, it’s time to visit the majestic Mt. Hood. So far, we’ve technically been following part of the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway – a 100 mile stretch of roads that follow the Columbia River Gorge and then head south and west to circle around Mt. Hood and back to Portland. From the town of Hood River, we’ll head south on SR 35 and continue on the Scenic Byway for woods, orchards, and mountain filled views as we make our way into Mt. Hood National Forest.
There’s tons to do in this national forest year-round. If you’re visiting in winter, it’s known for all sorts of skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing opportunities. But summer is just as great! With many hiking and biking trails throughout the forest, you can easily spend a week here exploring the area. Be sure to take the Trillium Lake or Mirror Lake trails to get some amazing photos of peaceful water with Mt. Hood in the background. Or visit the iconic 1930’s Timberline Lodge for lunch and to view the interpretive site to learn about its history and preservation.
This is also a fantastic place to camp for the night (or a few days)! There are almost 100 camping area inside the national forest that are run by the Forest Service. Many of these offer RV camping, and primitive camping is also available in some areas.
Instead of driving back to Portland on this one tank trip, next we’re going to head southeast to Deschutes National Forest and Bend, Oregon. Deschutes National Forest covers almost 1.6 million acres (yes, million) so don’t worry about not finding something to see! And nestled right smack in the middle is the outdoor adventure destination of Bend.
Hiking and bicycling fans will have plenty to explore. There are hundreds of hiking trails that cross through Deschutes National Forest, and there are over 300 miles of singletrack trails outside of Bend. In fact, there are 14 biking regions in the area for you to explore. And if you haven’t seen enough waterfalls, Tumalo Falls is located 10 miles west of Bend. It showcases a 97-foot plunge waterfall for visitors to view from an observation deck.
And don’t forget to check out the city of Bend itself! Don’t miss a visit to the High Desert Museum, a forested nature preserve that offers exhibits and live animals. There’s plenty to keep both kids and adults entertained. If you want to get some hiking in but don’t want to leave town, head up Pilot Butte for a sweeping view of the city and Cascade Mountains. (You can also drive up there if you just want to see the view). Then spend the afternoon checking out some of the shopping and local restaurants and breweries in the Old Mill District and downtown.
If you’re visiting during the warmer months, be sure to take advantage of the Deschutes River or any of the mountain lakes in the surrounding area. There’s everything from whitewater rafting to tubing to leisurely stand up paddleboarding to choose from and plenty of local outfitters to offer lessons, guided tours, and rentals.
Crater Lake National Park
Last on our one tank trip from Portland is Crater Lake National Park. This is the only national park in Oregon, and the lake itself is actually the deepest lake in the USA! The lake was formed by a collapsed volcano over 7,700 years ago and the national park preserves the pristine beauty of the surrounding area.
Explore the lakes, forests, mountains, and peaks throughout the park by hiking over 90 miles of trails or on the 33-mile bicycle route. If you’re looking to spend time on or in the water, you can swim, boat, scuba dive, fish, or even take a boat tour on the lakes. Local outfitters offer boat tours of Crater Lake that are both full of gorgeous scenery and informative. And if you visit during the winter months, skiing, snowmobiling, and ranger-led snowshoe tours are all great activities.
Feel like staying in your vehicle? Drive the scenic 33-mile Rim Drive that circles Crater Lake with over 30 different overlooks and trailheads to check out. It’s often been called one of the best scenic drives in the US! Or take a 2-hour narrated trolley tour around the park during the summer months to learn about the local area and history. here are plenty of places to camp in the park if you’d like to turn this into a multi-day stay (and we recommend you do!) on your trip.
Take a one tank trip
That’s the end of this one tank trip from Portland, but be sure to check out our others like this beach filled trip from Houston, a nature filled adventure in Salt Lake City, and a desert drive from Las Vegas. Need a RV for your trip? Head over to RVshare.com to check out the great selection of local RV rentals.
Believe it or not, you can do a lot of traveling on one tank of gas. It might seem like a challenge, but you would be amazed at what you can discover if you prepare and plan your next trip accordingly. In this article, I want to give you my guide on how to plan a one-tank trip without breaking the bank!
Pick a Theme
Before planning a one-tank trip, it’s important to narrow down what you would like to do. Are you in the mood to go out in nature, do you want to explore a new town or city, or maybe a little bit of both? Picking a theme for your trip will help you narrow down your options and make it easy to find a trip close to you.
You can find what you are looking for on Google maps by typing “(Your theme, i.e camping spots) near me” in the search bar and see what pops up. You can also zoom in on Google maps to see a more detailed map and what else is going on in the area. You might find a cool town or something interesting and add it to your trip list!
Plenty of Nature to Explore!
One reason the United States is a unique place to travel is our abundance of protected land. Every State has protected land you can explore. The United States has over 6,600 state parks that cover over 14 million acres of land. No matter what part of the country you are in, you can plan a perfect one-tank trip by discovering our unique and abundant protected land. What makes discovering our parks so wonderful, is no two parks are the same, you can spend a lifetime discovering all the beautiful land our country has to offer.
Prep Food Ahead of Time
The best way to save on a one-tank trip is to bring your meals with you to avoid deviating from your route. Plan it out and make sure to pack what you love to eat. For me, when I’m doing a one-tank trip, I like to make my food the night before. It’s also good to have plenty of snacks on board!
One meal I love making is Chicken Salad Sandwiches from scratch. It’s simply made with chicken (you can substitute this with chickpeas for a delicious vegetarian version), avocado mayo, diced onions, celery, cilantro, herbs (I love adding thyme to this meal), and lemon juice. Mix it all together and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, I’ll make my sandwich with whatever bread or bagels I have, and add lettuce, tomato, and cracked pepper! Pair with some fresh seasonal fruit, chips, and ice-cold water. I usually pack several sandwiches that I can eat throughout the day.
Don’t forget to pack this!
Now that you have your trip mapped out, it’s important to do a checklist and make sure your rig is ready to hit the open road! I always make a checklist so I don’t have to buy something I forgot while traveling (saves time, money, and gas!).
Before you pack, do a quick maintenance check. Make sure your tires are fully inflated, and everything is clean and good to go. (Check out my RV maintenance checklist here.)
Extra Water: Investing in a couple of extra 1-gallon water jugs can be handy, especially on a hot day. You can even find places on your one-tank trip to refill your water jugs just in case you need more.
Phone Battery Chargers: Make sure you have an extra phone charger or two with you just in case. It’s not fun forgetting to pack it and running out of battery juice! Believe me, I’ve been there.
Snacks: One can never have too many snacks! Make a list of your favorite snacks and make sure to bring plenty with you. While driving, I like to have my lunch box full of my favorite handheld snacks close by.
From City to Nature: My Favorite One-Tank Trip Memory!
One of my favorite one-tank trips was from Santa Fe, New Mexico to the Valles Caldera National Preserve, a total of 50 miles.
During the first part of my trip, I took the day to explore the beautiful artistic city of Santa Fe. In Santa Fe, I knew I’d want to find a place to grab a coffee, explore galleries within walking distance, and find a safe spot to park my RV.
Searching on Google maps, I discovered a worldly coffee shop called: “The Travel Bug Book Store, a Coffee Shop and Taproom.” This unique coffee shop was full of travel books and delicious coffee. It was also within walking distance to the famous Canyon Road Arts District, home to so many unique art galleries and craft shops. With plenty of safe street parking around the district.
After my exploration of the city, I made my way up to the Valles Caldera National Preserve. My heart was set on this spot, and it checked all my boxes of what I wanted to do in nature. It was only 50 miles from the city of Santa Fe, and after reading reviews on the Free Roam app, I discovered a breathtaking Boondocking spot in the preserve. It was an area tucked away in the forest, with gorgeous mountain views and perfect cell phone service.
This was just one of many one-tank trip areas that checked all my boxes. There are so many places to discover all across the country and you don’t have to go very far to discover them. I hope this article gives you the inspiration to create the perfect one-tank trip for yourself!
Till next time, Vanna Mae
About the author: Vanna Mae is a visual artist and influencer, traveling around the country in her 19ft Class C RV with her cat Indigo. Keep up with their adventures on Instagram @artistontheroam and on YouTube.
RVshare recently hosted an RV owners meetup webinar alongside Director of Education and head trainer at NRVTA, Todd Henson. NRVTA trains RV owners to become experts of their own vehicles, as well as provides training for those wishing to become an RV technician or inspector. We’re thrilled to work with Todd, and to offer RV owners 5% off a course with code RVSHARE.
The goal of this meetup, as well as NRVTA, is to empower RV owners to conduct their own maintenance on their RVs whenever possible, as opposed to relying on pricey visits or long wait times at a service center.
We covered topics such as:
What does the RV repair industry look like right now? A lot of our owner’s are having trouble finding a service center.
How can learning a few simple repair tricks help RVshare RV owners?
How often should RV owners get their RV serviced?
A lot of our RV owners have issues with their fridge – what is the most common cause for the fridge not working properly?
The most common thing that is broken on an RV is the retractable awning – any tips on how to repair or prevent damage?
What is the most common AC issue on RVs?
Plus a few more quick hits that are always up for debate amongst RV owners:
Interior and exterior damage repairs
Todd shared that 80% of things that go wrong, we can repair ourselves, we just need to be taught how. Knowing basic maintenance and repair can help owners be more successful with their rental business.
Why is it So Hard to Get into a Service Center?
There are 11 million households in the RV space, with only about 2,500 certified technicians. There simply aren’t enough service centers for how many RVs are on the road, meaning you could be waiting months for repair. NRVTA trains people to work on their RV themselves, or create a mobile RV technician business to help other RVers.
Common Problems RV Owners Can Fix Themselves
Most RV refrigerators are propane or electric, absorption style, which is different than residential style (in a house). Absorption style does not defrost like a residential.
RV refrigerators have drip tubes that connect to the outside to get rid of moisture. They have caps on the end that sometimes fall off or are removed unknowingly. It’s important to keep those on to keep the tubes closed and sealed. You also can’t push food against the wall, as air needs to be able to circulate.
RV freezers simply do not perform as well as conventional, so never put warm food in the freezer, cool it first.
Quick tips: After a rental, unplug the fridge and open the door to allow it to defrost. Or, place something on the back of the freezer wall (saran wrap is a great option, or a very thin cutting board) and the ice will build up there instead and you can just pull it off.
There are many different types of awnings, and some are easier to fix than others. Think of them as huge kites and be mindful of wind gusts. The way they are made, if they are set up nice and level, a gust of wind will come in and take it off. It’s better not to set an awning perfectly level, instead tilt it down.
Don’t leave awnings out if it’s raining, if you roll them back in wet, you will get mold. Also, if you’re at an RV park and you’re the only one with the awning out, chances are you’re doing it wrong and in this case, follow the crowd. Never keep the awning out if you plan to leave your campsite. The weather can turn quickly and you won’t be there to roll it back in.
Quick tips: If there is any gust of wind, bring them in. Awnings should only be used on a still day.
Hydrogen peroxide + water gets rid of mold.
Insects and Rodents
Remember that while camping outdoors, we’re in their territory. Part of nature is dealing with these critters. For bugs, keep them out to begin with. They like the smell of propane. There are screens that go over your propane devices that keep bugs out and help you avoid bugs building their nest inside. If you are under warranty be mindful that manufacturers will void your warranty if you put the screens up.
Don’t use the furnace until winter and you’ve had a chance to clean it out. Start vacuuming and cleaning it out in the fall. A telltale sign of an insect/rodent being in your furnace is soot. Soot means there is an obstruction of some kind. Clean and service the furnace before you need it.
Ants are a big problem. If your RV is under an RV and a tree limb touches it, ants will likely come down. They’ll come up water hoses and power lines, anything on the ground. You have to put down poison or another preventative measure.
Quick tips: Lights help prevent rodents (under the frame lighting). There’s no foolproof way to keep them out.
Place poison or other ant deterrent at any site that connects nature to your RV (ie hoses) and don’t let any tree limbs rest on your RV.
When RV rentals are getting turned over quickly, you’re bound to have scratches, dents, etc. that you want to fix before the next rental.
If the side is fiberglass, find a buffing agent to take it out. Use suction cups to pull out the dents a bit. Suction is much more effective in the heat than cold.
Quick tip: Make note of any dings or dents before and after your rental takes off, so you know whether the renter is responsible for damage or if it was already there.
Airflow is king. That means clean out/change filters more often than you would at home. It’s better to change them out than clean them. Old filters are flimsy and stretch out when washed. If you replace often, it will take longer for the coils to get dirty. When the coils get dirty it negatively impacts air flow, and the compressor is working harder. Do not double up the filter or use a HEPA-style filter. Clean the coils 2x a year by spraying them clean.
Quick tips: Park in the shade when possible.
Never double up filters or use a HEPA filter.
Make sure your renters know that generators are not as powerful as being hooked up to electricity. Also note that they burn a lot of oil. It’s important to check the oil levels, as generators drink it up quickly. There is a float valve that will shut the motor down if there’s not enough oil. If it starts and stops that’s a telltale sign there’s not enough oil.
Make sure the AC is not already on when you start the generator. Let the generator run 15-20 seconds before adding on any heavy load. That will help extend the life and not flip the breakers.
Quick tips: Keep oil on hand.
Let the generator run before adding a heavy load, like AC.
Thank you to Todd and our owners for participating in our meetup. Empowering RV owners to maintain their vehicles not only saves a lot of time and money, it can help you be even more successful in your rental business.
RV Owners Home Study Course
This program is perfect for RV owners who want save time and money by learning how to maintain and repair the majority of issues on their own RVs. The RV Owners home study course comes in two options.
Online & USB
The USB version is $297 and includes booklets, a tweaker screwdriver, and a USB Drive with all of the HD videos. It also includes a copy of the online version. This is perfect for RVers who may not have access to good wifi or likes to have a physical copy.
The Online version is $197 and includes all of the same videos laid out in chapters using our online portal. It’s good for RV owners who have good wifi, doesn’t want to wait on UPS, or likes to keep everything digital.
If you’re interested in learning more about NRVTA courses (and 5% off!) visit here and use code RVSHARE.
This blog post was contributed by Joe Coleman, a writer for Campspot.com.
There are few summer activities more memorable than time spent at the waterpark. Whether you want to stay local or trek across the country, an RV resort can be the perfect place to satisfy all of your summertime desires. If you want to maximize the luxury during your next trip, leave the tents at home, pile into the RV, and head to any of these 10 RV resorts with on-site waterparks!
Whether you’re living the ‘it’s-5 o’clock-somewhere’ lifestyle or not, there are few places more relaxing and synonymous with summer than a trip to Margaritaville. Settle back while lakefront or at the water park soaking up some rays. After plenty of time in the sun, cap off your day with a trip to the on-site tiki bar or waterfront restaurant.
Nearest Airports: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport, Chattanooga Airport
Nearby Attractions: Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, Treetop Quest Gwinnett, Lanier Islands Beach and Waterpark
The Mt. Gilead Jellystone location is one of the most popular and well-acclaimed in all of the U.S., voted the Eastern Region Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort of the Year twice in the last five years.
If you want your summer stays to revolve around time on the water, you’ll love the on-site waterpark and lake. If you’re looking to stretch your legs, you’ll have 76 acres of north Ohio woods to explore!
Nearest Airports: John Glenn Columbus International Airport, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
Nearby Attractions: Mt. Gilead State Park, Little Buckeye Children’s Museum, Legoland Discovery Center Columbus
Family-Related Amenities: Beach, canoeing/kayaking, fishing, hiking, playground, pool, volleyball, waterpark, GaGa ball
Voted #8 in the 2022 Campspot Awards category Top Campgrounds in the USA and #5 in Top Campgrounds for First-Timers, this RV resort is a perfect spot to take your family outdoors, even for new campers.
Being that Carolina Pines is more resort than campground, you’ll get every bit of luxury during your stay, especially if you opt for a cottage rental. When you want to head into town, you’ll be just a short drive from the famous summer destination, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Nearest Airports: Myrtle Beach International Airport, Wilmington International Airport
Nearby Attractions: Alligator Adventure, WonderWorks Myrtle Beach, Hollywood Wax Museum
Family-Related Amenities: Arcade, basketball, dog park, horseshoes, hot tub, mini-golf, playground, pool, shuffleboard, waterpark, jumping pillow
Conveniently located less than one mile from the well-trafficked I-10, travelers won’t have to venture far off the interstate to find this Louisiana gem.
This RV resort offers a full suite of amenities, including high-tech options for those looking for extra luxury to immediately encapsulate you in comfort. With a massive 750-person clubhouse and a state-of-the-art theater, you can’t help but be entertained at Cajun Palms.
Among the list of RV resorts with waterparks, few are as unique as this Sun Outdoors location. With an Old West theme throughout, every day is an adventure as you traverse the Adventure Park’s high ropes or spend hours at the waterpark. If you’re looking for a slower pace, consider spending some time at their popular 200-foot fishing pier.
Nearest Airports: Salisbury Regional Airport, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
Nearby Attractions: Trimper Rides of Ocean City, Ocean City Boardwalk, Fenwick Island Lighthouse
Family-Related Amenities: Arcade, basketball, boat launch, canoeing/kayaking, dog park, fishing, hiking, mini-golf, playground, pool, waterpark, waterfront, arts and crafts, ice cream, volleyball, zip line
If you’re looking at RV resorts with waterparks that are in close proximity to incredible hiking trails, you’ll love this Jellystone nestled in the Shenandoah Valley. Just five minutes from its namesake Natural Bridge, you’ll have access to the outdoors almost as soon as you leave your RV or cabin. If you want to stay even closer, head to Yogi Bear’s Water Zone or spend some time at the fishing pond.
Here’s a highly-decorated campground if there ever was one. At the 2022 Campspot Awards, Jellystone Guadalupe River took home #9 for Top Campgrounds in the USA, #2 in Top Campgrounds for Families, and its Riverfront Red Carpet Site took #3 for Top Camping Sites. If that doesn’t convince you to stop here, the massive waterpark, 18-hole mini-golf course, and nearby Guadalupe River sure should.
Nearest Airports: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, San Antonio International Airport
Nearby Attractions: Stonehenge II at the Hill Country Arts Foundation, Louise Hays Park, Admiral Nimitz Gallery
Family-Related Amenities: Arcade, arts and crafts, basketball, dog park, fishing, horseshoes, hot tub, ice cream, jumping pillow, laser tag, mini-golf, pedal cart, playground, pool, volleyball, waterpark, GaGa ball
Here’s the #10 finisher for the 2022 Campspot Awards category Most Popular Campgrounds in the USA. Located on the pristine Lake Siskiyou, this RV resort with a waterpark will treat you to breathtaking views of Mt. Shasta and the Shasta Trinity National Forest. If you want to feel connected to nature while staying comfortable, the tree-lined cabin stays are the best choice.
Nearest Airports: Rogue Valley International Medford Airport, Sacramento International Airport
Nearby Attractions: Dunsmuir Botanical Gardens, Mount Shasta City Park, Shasta-Trinity National Forest
The Appalachian Trail isn’t the only thing bringing people to the scenic western foothills of Maryland. With a sprawling waterpark featuring 400-foot water slides alongside a ninja course and laser tag center, this RV resort experience might leave the whole family refusing to leave Jellystone Williamsport.
If you can pry the family away from the amenities here, you’ll be treated to beautiful Northern Maryland hiking and sightseeing.
Nearest Airports: Dulles International Airport, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
Nearby Attractions: Crystal Grottoes Caverns, Discovery Station at Hagerstown Inc, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Family-Related Amenities: Arcade, basketball, dog park, GaGa ball, hiking, horseshoes, hot tub, mini-golf, outdoor theater, playground, pool, volleyball, waterpark, arts and crafts, jumping pillow, laser tag
Taking fourth in the 2022 Campspot Awards category Most Popular Campgrounds in the USA, this west coast Jellystone has everything you’d want for a Golden State getaway. This RV resort boasts more than just its close proximity to wineries, but its Lodi location sure is convenient for those looking to try nearby vineyards.
If you aren’t traveling by RV, make sure to book one of their comfortable cottages or bungalows, so you’re well-rested for a day filled with watersports and paddle boats.
Nearest Airports: Stockton Metropolitan Airport, Sacramento International Airport
Nearby Attractions: Micke Grove Regional Park, Fairytale Town, World of Wonders Science Museum
Family-Related Amenities: Arts and crafts, basketball, beach, bike rental, boat launch, canoeing/kayaking, dog park, fishing, horseshoes, hot tub, ice cream, jumping pillow, laser tag, mini-golf, outdoor theater, paddle boat, playground, pool, volleyball, waterfront, waterpark, GaGa ball
If you haven’t already set your course for summer waterpark fun, what are you waiting for? Whether you stay on the west coast, east coast, or head towards the Gulf of Mexico, you’re sure to watch your troubles float away when you stay at any of these 10 RV resorts with waterparks.
Joe Coleman is a freelance travel and outdoor writer based in East Texas. His love for the outdoors started when living near Olympic National Park and has stayed with him ever since. Joe has been writing full-time since 2020 and has written for Campspot since early 2022. You can reach him exclusively at [email protected]
You might think Las Vegas is, Nevada surrounded by nothing but desolate desert for miles. And while that technically might be true, there’s actually a ton to explore in this part of the world. For this one tank trip itinerary, we’re heading from Las Vegas through this lesser explored area to see ancient petroglyphs, incredible red rock sandstone formations, and the largest reservoir in the U.S. (Who says you can’t enjoy a day on the water in the desert?) We’ll end up in one of the most popular national parks – all with a single tank of gas!
This one tank trip itinerary is 253 miles and takes just under 6 hours of drive time (in a car). You’ll have to adjust the drive time depending on your rig or vehicle.
One thing to remember before you head out. This area of the southwest gets extremely hot in the summer with temperatures in the triple digits most days. To fully enjoy the hiking and outdoor parts of this trip, it’s best done during the non summer months. If you do plan on traveling through here during the summertime, bring plenty of water and emergency supplies. So let’s see the itinerary for this one tank trip from Las Vegas!
Las Vegas offers visitors endless options of things to do between the casinos, shows, shopping, and dining. Before you head out on this trip, make sure you spend some time at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. This natural region sits just west of Vegas and a beautiful place to hike, rock climb, or view the scenery. It’s a great way to escape the crowds of the strip. But for this one tank trip, we’re leaving Las Vegas from the east and heading to Lake Mead.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
About 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas lies Lake Mead National Recreation Area. This reservoir on the Colorado River is one of the largest reservoirs in the United States. It’s also home to the Hoover Dam, one of the state’s engineering marvels. Stop by the free Hoover Dam museum, take a tour of the power plant, or walk across the top of the dam to see the impressive views.
Then once you’ve seen the dam, head to the lake itself. Spend the day on the water fishing, boating, water skiing, kayaking, or even scuba diving while being surrounded by rugged mountain terrain of the Mojave Desert. The Lake Mead Marina offers options for kayak rentals, boat cruises, and tours. There are even several options that include a Hoover Dam tour as well as a boat cruise on Lake Mead. Or drive along Lakeshore Road along south shore of Boulder Basin for scenic overlooks and picnic spots. There’s also plenty of camping opportunities if you want to stay a few days and enjoy the serene desert atmosphere.
When you’re ready to move on, you’ll take the scenic Northshore Road through the park to Valley of Fire State Park. As you drive along this 50 mile scenic route you’ll be able to view the incredible red and orange rocks. You can also stop at any of the trailheads if you’d like to stretch your legs as you make your way to the next stop.
Valley of Fire State Park
The next stop is the oldest state park in Nevada – Valley of Fire State Park. This park covers almost 46,000 acres with gorgeous red Aztec sandstone formations that shine red and orange like fire in the setting sun. One of the park highlights is the 2,000 year old petroglyphs carved into some of the formations, which can be seen on the beginner friendly Atlatl Rock Hike or Mouse’s Tank Hike. In fact you really can’t go wrong with the hikes here. The Fire Wave is another great hike with killer photo spots of the red and white striped rocks. And Elephant Rock (named because it looks like an elephant), Rainbow Vista, and the White Domes should all be on your list as well.
If you don’t have a ton of time and just want to drive through, the Valley of Fire Highway and Mouse’s Tank Road (also called White Domes Road) will take you past several impressive formations. But we’d recommend building in some extra time and taking a few of the trailheads that start at either of these roads for the full experience. Lastly, make sure to also stop by the visitor center to see the displays and exhibits of the local geology and ecology of the region.
Valley of Fire State Park is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. The visitor’s center is open daily from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Little Black Mountain Petroglyph Site
As you head north from Nevada, you’ll cross through the northern part of Arizona. Here’s where you’ll find Little Black Mountain Petroglyph Site, just south of the Arizona/Utah border. It’s a quick stop and an easy 1 mile hike through sandstone rock formations that are covered in ancient petroglyphs. There are over 500 individual designs that cover over 6,000 years of history. The art is from the ancients cultures of the Western Anasazi, Lower Colorado River, and Great Basin peoples.
The land around this area is run by the Bureau of Land Management, and dispersed camping is available in the area if you’d like to dry camp. Otherwise, it’s a great way to break up the trip between Valley of Fire State Park and St. George, Utah.
St. George, Utah
After a few outdoor and nature based stops, it’s time to visit civilization again. St. George, Utah is a fantastic base for all sorts of outdoor adventures. And there’s plenty to do in town as well! Check out the historic downtown area of St. George that’s full of art galleries, museums, historic homes and buildings, and plenty of shopping and food. View historic aircraft at the Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum or stop by Red Hills Desert Garden for all sorts of desert plants and species.
If you’re a fan of museums, a stop at St. George City Art Museum, the St George Children’s Museum, or the St George Dinosaur Discovery Site can entertain the entire family. St. Geroge was founded by the Later Day Saints in the mid-1800s, so you’ll find plenty of places to learn about their history like the St. George Utah Temple and Brigham Young Winter House. It’s a great base for a trip to Zion National Park, but before we head there there’s one more stop.
Red Cliffs National Conservation Area and Snow Canyon State Park
Just north of St. George lies Red Cliffs National Conservation Area and Snow Canyon State Park. This unique conservation area is a transition zone between the Mojave Desert, the Colorado Plateau, and the Great Basin. As a result, there are many plants and animals from all three regions (like the protected desert tortoise) that can be seen in this one area. The Red Cliffs National Conservation Area is split into several regions. The Upland area is great for off road exploring, horseback riding, hiking, and primitive camping. The Lowland zone is set aside to protect animals and plants so you’ll only be able to hike on established trails and it’s much more restricted.
Right next to the conservation area is Snow Canyon State Park (named for the early pioneers’ last name, not the weather). Here there are miles of biking and hiking trails as well as rock climbing routes. Several local outfitters offer climbing rentals and lessons if you’d like to try it for yourself. Explore the namesake canyon, check out the sand dunes, or view the lava flows and sandstone cliffs while visiting. Snow Canyon State Park is open between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily.
Zion National Park
We’re ending this one tank trip with a bang – a stop at Zion National Park! One of five national parks in Utah, Zion is an outdoor lovers dream. Wade through the iconic Narrows, hike up to Canyon Overlook for the perfect selfie, or head to the East Rim for a challenging hike through the ponderosa pines. Zion offers plenty of trail options here for beginners through advanced hikers. There are also educational and interpretive programs put on by the National Park Service to give you more information and history of the park.
Want to stay overnight? There are several campgrounds inside the park if you’d like to camp (and we’d recommend it!) South Campground is open March through October and Watchman Campground is open year-round. Both are located near the Zion Canyon Visitor’s Center at the south entrance to the park in Springdale. There are also plenty of RV parks and campgrounds outside of the park with easy access to Zion.
Ready to take this one tank trip from Las Vegas for yourself? Head to RVshare.com to view a great selection of local RVs to rent. And if you’re looking for more one tank trips, here’s our guide for Houston and Salt Lake City.
Looking for something to do when visiting Missouri? Don’t worry, you have tons of awesome options! Speaking for ourselves, one of the very best things to do in Missouri is visit the many amazing Missouri amusement parks.
That’s right, Missouri is an excellent place to do some amusement park hopping. In fact, there are so many of these parks scattered around the state that you might find yourself needing to take multiple trips in order to see them all.
Not sure where to begin planning your trip to see amusement parks in Missouri? That’s where this article comes into play.
Missouri Amusement Parks
As mentioned before, there are tons of great Missouri amusement parks. This is something many visitors find overwhelming. After all, how are you supposed to pick the best park with so many to choose from?
Not to worry! Below, we’ve listed the top 9 amusement parks in Missouri. Pick and choose from this list and you really can’t go wrong:
Worlds of Fun
Six Flags St. Louis and Hurricane Harbor
Silver Dollar City and White Water
Bigfoot Fun Park
Branson Mountain Adventure Park
Farmington Water Park
Jolly Mon Indoor Waterpark
Castle Rock Resort and Waterpark
The Water Zone at Mark Twain Lake
Now that you know which Missouri amusement parks are the best, let’s use the next parts of this article to help you plan the perfect theme park getaway!
Worlds of Fun
The largest amusement park in the midwest, Worlds of Fun is a must-see if you’ll be in the Kansas City area (and you absolutely should visit the Kansas City area). This park is enormous—meaning there is enough fun to fill a couple of days—and the variety of attractions ensures people of all ages can have fun while visiting.
Some favorite attractions at Worlds of Fun include the Boomerang and Mamba roller coasters. Families love the Scrambler and Skyliner. Meanwhile, young children will appreciate the many Peanuts-themed rides such as Sally’s Swing Set and the Kite-Eating Tree.
The Worlds of Fun property also includes a water park. This watery-fun spot includes such attractions as the Typhoon and Aruba Tuba water slides. The wave pool offers a fun time when you aren’t on the slide, and little ones will enjoy the Captain Kidd’s water play area.
RV Camping Near Worlds of Fun
Clearly, you will need some place to rest between fun days at Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun. This is where the onsite RV park comes into play. The is is easily the best place to rest, relax, and gear up for more fun after a day at the theme park.
Worlds of Fun Village — The Worlds of Fun RV park is known as World of Fun Village. This campground includes a swimming pool and hot tub, as well as a fully stocked camp store. Of course, the full-hookup sites are pretty nice as well!
Tickets to Worlds of Fun start at just $39.99 for a single day. Two-day tickets are available for $69.99 a person, and season passes are a good option for those who want to visit more than twice. There are discounts available for some individuals, including members of the military.
No food is allowed to be brought into the park. However, there are plenty of food options available for guests inside of both parks.
Six Flags St. Louis and Hurricane Harbor
Six Flags parks are some of the most well known theme parks in the country. This is for good reason. These parks are tons of fun and offer something for everyone in the family. Six Flags St. Louis and its water park Hurricane Harbor are no exception.
Some of the best rides in Six Flags St. Louis are Batman the Ride, the Boomerang roller coaster, and the new Catwoman Whip. Younger riders will love the many Looney Tunes-themed options such as the Foghorn Leghorn National Park Railway and Elmer Fudd Weather Balloons. Many family rides are also available.
As far as Hurricane Harbor goes, you can expect lots of splashing and smiling when you visit. Hurricane Bay is a large wave pool that is tons of fun for everyone, and Gulley Washer Creek is a great spot for floating and relaxing. Kids love the Pirate Ship Slides, and thrill seekers will appreciate the Typhoon Twister.
RV Camping Near Six Flags St. Louis and Hurricane Harbor
Wondering where to stay while you play? RV camping is always the best way to go, and St. Louis has plenty of awesome RV parks. One of our favorite places to park an RV in the St. Louis area is listed below.
DraftKings at Casino Queens RV Park — This park is located in east St. Louis, just minutes away from all the city has to offer. The sites are level and well kept, and full hookups are available. A laundry room makes washing your clothes a cinch, and the pavilion in the middle of the park is a great place to hang out and grill some food.
Planning Your Visit to Six Flags St. Louis and Hurricane Harbor
Day passes to Six Flags St. Louis start at around $40 when bought online. Special deals are almost always available, and season passes are an option for those who will visit multiple times in a single year.
Parking at these parks is $30 per day and is included with season passes, but not day tickets. Outside food is not allowed in the park, so plan on buying food from one of the many eateries inside of the parks. Meal passes can be bought in advance for this purpose.
Silver Dollar City and White Water
Step back in time and have an awesome experience at Silver Dollar City. This Wild West-themed amusement park is a totally fun way to spend a day with friends or family, and you’re sure to find something you love here, no matter what sorts of attractions you prefer.
Favorite rides at Silver Dollar City include the American Plunge log flume, the Mystic River Falls river raft ride, the Fire-in-the-Hole family coaster, the WildFire Steele coaster, and the Outlaw Run wooden coaster. Kids love the many different kiddie rides in the park, and families enjoy checking out the entertainment schedule and exploring Marvel Cave together.
Want some water fun to make your visit even better? Make sure to visit White Water, Silver Dollar City’s water park. This watery fun zone features a number of great slides as well as a wave pool and lazy river. Kids love the Coconut Cover water play area, as well as Splashaway Cay.
RV Camping Near Silver Dollar City and White Water
Another great thing about Silver Dollar City? This amusement park has its own RV campground! That’s right, you can stay right by the action, making it easy to jump into the fun as soon as you rise and shine each morning.
Silver Dollar City RV Camping — This awesome little campground is a lovely place to call home for a bit. It’s nicely shaded and has both 50-amp and 30-amp sites. Some are pull-through, some are back-in, and all are level gravel pads. Amenities include a playground, laundry room, clean bathhouses, a pool, and a shuttle to the parks.
Planning Your Visit to Silver Dollar City and White Water
Admission to Silver Dollar City starts at $70 per day. Meanwhile, tickets to White Water start at just $48. Special deals are often offered online, and some individuals are always eligible for discounted tickets. If you want to visit both parks, you can save with a combo ticket, and those who plan to visit often can buy a season pass.
You must pay for parking at Silver Dollar City and can choose to pay in advance. Front of line passes, meal deals, and a number of other add-ons are also available.
Bigfoot Fun Park
A different sort of amusement park, Bigfoot Fun Park in Branson has tons of ways to have fun as a family. Whether you prefer thrill rides, play areas, mini golf, or arcade games, you’re going to have a blast exploring this amazing place.
Let’s start with the rides. There are a number of ride-on attractions at this little park, and every single one of them is worth trying out. The Big Foot Gravity Bomb and Bigfoot Super Sling are both incredibly thrilling options that are perfect for adrenaline junkies.
The play area is another awesome feature of this park. Here you can navigate a maze, crawl through tunnels, climb up nets, swing on ropes, and more. At the end of the obstacle course, you have the option to jump from a 10-foot tower onto a giant airbag.
This park also offers an awesome adventure mini golf course that might just be the best course in the state, as well as an excellent arcade and an 8Di interactive action cinema experience.
RV Camping Near Bigfoot Fun Park
Clearly, Bigfoot Fun Park offers a lot to see and do. In fact, you might even find you need more than one day to fit it all in and you’ll definitely need multiple days to explore Branson. This is why we recommend you bring your RV.
Branson Lakeside RV Park — This is a pretty little campground located right in the middle of the city, making it easy to access all of the area attractions. Full-hookup sites ensure you’re comfortable, and the lake offers plenty of fun recreation opportunities.
The cost to visit this park depends entirely on what you want to do while you’re there. Most activities start at $7–$13 and booking in advance online is recommended, especially if you’ll be visiting during a busy time. Want a free activity while you’re there? Be sure to visit between 7:30pm and 10:30pm and catch the free light show!
Branson Mountain Adventure Park
Yet another Branson amusement park, Branson Adventure Park is an attraction you won’t soon forget. The unique rides found here are absolutely fantastic and perfect for the adventure seekers out there.
The main attraction at this park is the incredible mountain coaster. This thrill ride zips down the mountain at incredible speed. You can choose to ride alone or with a passenger, but either way you’re going to have an amazing time.
Other adventures at Branson Mountain Adventure Park include a super cool (and slightly terrifying) ziplining experience, as well as a chance to mine for gems.
RV Camping Near Branson Mountain Adventure Park
Once again, we highly recommend staying in an RV during your Branson getaway. You could choose one of the aforementioned Branson campgrounds, but if they don’t work for you, there are plenty of other options. The RV park below is a great pick!
America’s Best Campground — This is another Branson campground that is located very near all the fun. It’s well shaded, offers full-hookup sites, and has a variety of amenities such as a pool and hot tub. Best of all, the employees here are amazing and happy to help in any way they can.
Planning Your Visit to Branson Mountain Adventure Park
Each attraction at this park has its own admission fee. The cost to ride the mountain coaster is $18 for the first person and $10 for a passenger. After the first ride, you pay only $12 to ride again as a driver. Gem mining costs between $12 and $30, and the zipline is $35. Combo tickets are available for those looking to save a few bucks.
Keep in mind that both the zipline and the mountain coaster have height requirements, and the rides do close if there is inclement weather in the area.
Farmington Water Park
Prefer water park fun over traditional amusement park fun and want to skip the dry rides altogether? Farmington Water Park in Farmington, MO is the place for you.
A city-owned park, Farmington Water Park is not the biggest waterpark in the world. That said, it is packed to the gills (see what we did there?) with fun stuff to do. The park boasts large body slides as well as smaller slides for young children. Kids love the climbing structure and play area with a dump bucket, and parents appreciate the shaded seating. Of course, everyone appreciates a float in the lazy river on a hot day!
This park often offers special events such as evening swims, movies in the park, and even a day to swim with your dog. These events make a day at the water park even more fun, so be sure to look for them during your time in the area.
RV Camping Near Farmington Water Park
Not sure where to stay while in Farmington? Why not take your RV and set up camp in one of the lovely campgrounds in the area? This will allow you to rent in comfort after a day at the water park while also enjoying camping activities.
St. Joe State Park — This state park is an excellent place to camp while in Farmington. The park offers fresh water, a dump station, and electric hookups. It’s a beautiful, shaded place and there are plenty of hiking trails onsite for those who like to get outside and explore.
The cost to visit Farmington Water Park is $7.50 for kids aged 11 and younger, $8.50 for those 12 and older, and $7.50 for seniors. Special group pricing is available, and birthday party packages are an option. Additionally, many special events offer discounted pricing.
Outside food is not allowed in Farmington Water Park, but there is a well-stocked concession stand onsite keeping everyone well fed while they play.
Jolly Mon Indoor Waterpark
Another great place to get in some water park fun is the Jolly Mon Indoor Water Park. This park is located inside of the Margaritaville Lake Resort in Osage Beach, and because it’s indoors, it can be enjoyed all year long. This is excellent news for those visiting during the cooler months, as it means they can enjoy some splashing even when the weather is less than ideal.
The centerpiece of Jolly Mon is the three-story wilderness-themed treehouse. This awesome water play structure features water slides, bridges, water sprayers, tunnels, and best of all, a 600-gallon dump bucket.
Of course, the playground is far from the only thing in this awesome little water park. You’ll also find a huge 21-seat whirlpool, a lovely lazy river, and an activity pool with water basketball and other games.
RV Camping Near Jolly Mon Indoor Waterpark
You could stay at the waterpark resort if you wanted to. That said, we much prefer the privacy and comfort offered by an RV. Therefore, we recommend skipping the hotel room and taking a trailer or motorhome instead.
Osage Beach RV Park — As far as RV parking goes, we highly recommend booking Osage Beach RV Park. This campground is clean and well kept. It offers full-hookup sites, a swimming pool, clean bathhouses, and some of the friendliest staff around. Yep, this is definitely the place to stay when visiting Osage Beach.
The price for day passes to Jolly Mon is $25 per person per day. Those who don’t plan to stay can pay a small $5 spectator fee in order to hang out near the pools. Those aged 2 and under can enter for free.
Lockers are available for guest use, and a snack bar serves up a variety of treats to keep you going when the hunger sets in. Visiting during a birthday? Party rooms are also available for rent.
Castle Rock Resort and Waterpark
Looking for even more amusement park fun in Branson? Believe it or not, there is still more to be had. Castle Rock Resort and Waterpark is a fantastic Howard Johnson Hotel that features an awesome indoor water play space. Your family almost certainly won’t be able to get enough of this place!
The park features two large slides that are perfect for the thrill seekers out there. The kiddie play area offers little ones a chance to slide on smaller, animal-themed slides that are sure to delight them. Everyone loves the large dump buckets and waterfalls that live in the kiddie play area, and the water-spraying palm tree is a hit as well.
When the weather is nice, there is also a large outdoor area that offers even more fun. Be sure to leave yourself time to check this part out if you visit during the warmer months!
RV Camping Near Castle Rock Resort and Waterpark
This is yet another instance where we highly recommend skipping the stay at the water park hotel and choosing RV camping instead. So far we’ve mentioned three awesome Branson RV parks, but there are more. If you want another great option, check out the park mentioned below.
Musicland Kampground — We love this beautiful little family campground. Not only is it a friendly and welcoming place, it’s also right by all of the amazing attractions found in the city of Branson. The park offers full-hookup sites, a swimming pool, laundry facilities, clean restrooms, and excellent rates. What more could you want?
Planning Your Visit to Castle Rock Resort and Waterpark
Day passes are available for this park. Expect to pay $15 per person to enter for the day, but note that those aged 2 and under enter for free. Additionally, it is good to know that day passes can only be purchased the day of your visit, and sales are subject to availability.
Life jackets and towels are available for guest use. Outside food is not allowed, but there is an eatery onsite.
The Water Zone at Mark Twain Lake
Last but not least, we must tell you about The Water Zone at Mark Twain Lake. If you’re a camper (and we know you probably are a camper at heart), you’re going to love this Monroe City amusement park. You see, this park is located inside of a campground, meaning you can get your camping fix and your waterpark fix in one awesome spot!
The Water Zone features a large variety of fun attractions. The large water slides and space bowl provide tons of thrills and definitely keep the older kids and teens busy. Little swimmers love the kiddie pool, the folks who prefer a relaxing experience will love floating along the lazy river, and everyone will have a good time jumping waves in the wave pool.
In addition to the water park, this park also offers guests opportunities to play mini golf and take part in planned activities. This means you can easily spend an entire day at this attraction and never once feel bored.
RV Camping Near The Water Zone at Mark Twain Lake
As mentioned above, The Water Zone is located inside of a campground. Obviously, the best way to visit this water park is by staying in this campground. Pack up the RV, grab your swimsuits, and get ready to have an absolute blast!
Mark Twain Lake Jellystone Park — We love Jellystone Park campgrounds for their family-friendly atmospheres and fun family activities, Mark Twain Lake Jellystone Park is one of these great campgrounds! Here you’ll find clean, level campsites with full hookups, nice bathrooms, and the waterpark and mini golf mentioned above. There is also an onsite cafe, a camp store, a playground, and more.
Planning Your Visit to The Water Zone at Mark Twain Lake
General admission to The Water Zone and mini golf course is $34.99 for day guests. That said, those who are camping at Mark Twain Lake Jellystone Park receive complimentary admission to the water park, mini golf course, and all other attractions at the campground. There are also season passes available for those who wish to visit multiple days this summer but won’t be camping in the park.
As mentioned above, there is an onsite cafe if you happen to get hungry while playing. However, it’s just as easy to head back to your camper to make a quick snack.
As you can see, Missouri amusement parks are plentiful and each one is worth visiting. Want to find even more theme park fun in the state? Try searching “amusement parks near me” once you get settled into your Missouri campground to see what kinds of gems you can come up with.
Prefer to add some non-amusement park fun to your trip? There’s lots of that to go around as well. The articles below will help you find the very best things to do in Missouri:
RVshare is excited to debut our first annual campground awards program, “The Campies.” RVshare is dedicated to ensuring the best experience possible for renters, while also helping campgrounds around the country do the same. With a variety of submission categories, The Campies award recognition will allow campgrounds to not only highlight their commitment to excellence, but also lead travelers to book more confidently, matching them with what they value in an RV vacation, from the right features to valued amenities, and more.
Starting today through Friday August 19, RVshare welcomes all avid RV travelers, past renters, campground owners and travel enthusiasts to nominate their favorite campgrounds in a number of categories. For The Campies’ introductory year, RVshare will be highlighting the top campgrounds across the nation in 12 different categories including the best luxury RV resort, best pet-friendly campground, best wifi and remote-friendly experience, and many others. All categories and nomination forms for each can be found and submitted here.
What are The Campies?
To complement the Campground Partnership Program, RVshare is announcing the first-ever Campers’ Choice Awards, “The Campies” on July 19, 2022. This annual awards program will allow RVshare to get further involved in the RV and camping community, and give much-deserved credit to the many campgrounds across the United States in a number of categories.
Why is RVshare doing these awards?
RVshare is committed to ensuring the best experience possible for our renters and helping campgrounds around the country do the same. Winning a “Campie” allows campgrounds the opportunity to highlight their commitment to excellence and allows travelers to book with confidence knowing they are getting the experiences, amenities and features that are important to them, and heading towards the adventure of a lifetime.
What are the categories for this year’s Campies?
Best Luxury RV Resort
Best Boondocking Experience
Best National Park Campground
Best Family-Friendly Campground
Best Waterfront Campground
Best Pet-Friendly Campground
Best College RV Tailgate Experience
Best Motor Speedway RV Tailgate Experience
Best Festival RV Experience
Best On-Site Amenities
Best WiFi/Remote Friendly Experience
What will nominations look like?
Viewers can visit here to toggle through the categories and nominate their favorite campgrounds in each group. Each category will have a nomination form with spaces to include:
Name and Email
Name of campground
Location of campground
Campground’s contact information (if applicable)
Description of why this campground is getting your nomination
How are the winners selected?
Starting July 19, 2022, RVshare welcomes all RVers, including past renters, avid RVers, and campground owners, to head to https://pages.rvshare.com/campies/ and fill out nominations for their favorite campgrounds in multiple categories. The nomination window will close on August 19, 2022, and finalists will be chosen by a carefully selected panel of industry experts, influencers and thought leaders in the RV and camping industry. RVshare will then announce the 2022 Campers’ Choice Award winners by September 20, 2022. Campgrounds will be selected on criteria including traveler sentiment, testimonials, and reviews.
What do the campgrounds win?
To help the winning campgrounds show off their newest achievement, RVshare will provide each winner with RVshare recognition on our blog and social channels, a certified RVshare badge to host on their website, advertisements, social channels, media kits, etc, as well as a promotion kit and swag to show off their win.
Campgrounds will be selected on criteria including traveler sentiment, testimonials, and reviews.
Following the panelist debate and decision, RVshare will be announcing the 2022 Campers’ Choice Award winners on September 20.