Visiting the USA in a motorhome. West Coast - Route
In this part, I will tell you what our route on the west coast of the USA looked like, I will tell you where we stopped, what we saw. And if you are interested in how much exactly the rental of a motorhome and other costs related to this trip cost us, then I invite you to the first part of the article: How to rent a motorhome in the USA? Costs, advice, information
According to the map, we have 3024 miles to travel, that is 4838 km, we have 20 days for that. We travel by passenger car for 3 days, but you can read about it in the previous article.
It's time to start your camper adventure. We are looking for a Walmart store to buy the most necessary things, drinks, food, etc., we had a plan to spend the night in the parking lot somewhere at the end, I read that there is such a possibility, unfortunately, security came and chased us away, it was not possible to get along.
So we are looking for something too Free in various wikicamps USA, Free campsites applications.
We park by the highway for free, there are also a few motorhomes at night a bit noisy, but it was possible to sleep.
We get up at 7, unfortunately it is still dark outside, eat breakfast and head towards the Valley of Death.
We have about 100 miles = 160 km to drive in Stovepipe Wells, we take a break to buy an entrance card to the parks, it costs $ 80 valid year includes car and passengers, the list of parks is available at www.nps.gov . According to a previously prepared plan, we visit the most important viewpoints.
Annual entry card for most national parks:
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes:
Artist's Palette (motorhomes limited to 25ft):
Unfortunately the sun at this time of year disappears quickly behind the horizon at 5 p.m. it gets dark, we head to Las Vegas to our destination, we still have about 110 miles = 175 km where we have ordered the Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort Campground . It is a five star campsite with all connections, swimming pool, cafe and shop for $ 47 per night.
The cleaning company polishes the motorhome:
In the morning, we order an Uber, because it's hard to move around the city with a camper, not knowing the area, so we go on foot from Downtown, to the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Hotel which is located at the other end of the Strip, the whole thing takes us 12 hours, we go to the casino, we go to Stratosphere Tower to admire the panorama of the city, we enter most hotels to admire their interiors, each has a different style you will find Venice, New York, Paris etc.
Stratosphere Las Vegas can be reached by elevator and enjoy the view of the city:
Lunch at the Denny's Restaurant, tasty food at a decent price:
Fountains in front of Hotel Bellagio - a beautiful show:
At night the city looks even better everywhere full of colorful neon lights, we end the day tired, unfortunately not everything has been seen so in the morning we are dying the motorhome and looking for a parking lot and here a surprise at the very entrance is a large free car park with several motorhomes I think you could sleep here the prohibition did not see we take the most important photo with the words Las Vegas.
Cruise America Rental is also in Las Vegas:
On this day we are going to the dam on the Colorado River Hoover Dam, unfortunately we arrive late and we cannot visit the center where the turbines are. We admire the landscape and go further, it is getting dark so we go towards the national parks and look for accommodation. We stay in the parking lot next to Hoover Dam Lodge.
The weather is good for us, the sun shines daily, but the temperature in LV was not always high, it was only 7 degrees. Today we can say that it's warm around 18 degrees, we're going to the Valley of Five state pan, admission is separately paid $ 10 does not include the card, which we have views worth spending this amount. We have 140 km from the place where we slept to the park.
In the park, we covered an additional 50 km with stops to visit attractions, it took us about 3.5 hours, we were with a 7-year-old child, so the pace is adjusted to her. Hot day I can't imagine visiting the park in summer. We go back to road 15 and we go towards the Zion National Park, 200 km ahead of us, we are looking for accommodation in the wild or in a camping, unfortunately some places for free are about 8 km from the main road and we are a bit afraid to go with a camper on these bumps, residents of the USA love such places and you can see it everywhere from the main road. This time, we also stand in such a place that we go to the park as early as possible in the morning.
Accommodation near Zion in the field:
We have such views in the morning from the window, absolutely free.
The morning is cold and windy, you can enter part of the park only with special buses, so we leave the camper in the parking lot and head towards the park's transport stop, it stops at some of the most important attractions, and what I think is important, it is for free.
The Narrows can be rented appropriate clothes and walk along the riverbed. We were supposed to climb the Angels Landing Trail, unfortunately the route was closed, the rock collapsed, so we go back to the camper and go further, to get to the next park we have to go through a tunnel in the rock it is payable at the entrance to the park you get a receipt, which is shown before through the tunnel, the guard stops the traffic on the other side and we continue in the middle of the road towards the next Bryce National Park, there we also want to stay overnight, as it is already November, most of the campsites are closed. After driving 120 km, we reach the town of Panguitch, a small town, very nice, out of 3 camps, only one active one runs it, an elderly couple very nice, today we want to have a barbecue, so far the sun is shining, we walk in short sleeves, but the owner says that we have to drain the water from the tanks because it will be -6 degrees at night.
Campsite www.hitchnpostrv.com - $ 41 (Bryce area) Panguitch. At the campsite, each pitch has a water connection and a sewage connection.
The forecast was correct - the night was very cold, we eat breakfast quickly and to the next point of the program we follow Bryce National Park to the park, we have 37 km, at each entrance to the park the fees are checked, i.e. the card that we bought earlier and you get maps with viewpoints.
Bryce Canyon National Park / Natural Bridge:
Navajo loop trail:
There are places in the park where you can make a barbecue, we cook in the motorhome because we do not have time for a longer stay, which is a pity. To visit the park, we cover 65 km from the Visitor Center and back.
We leave the park around 3:00 p.m. heading towards Arches National Park, we take road no.12 it is a landscape road that takes more time but it is worth it, we had an adventure with a motorhome, we stopped for a moment to rest, we come back and here the silence the motorhome does not ignite and what is bad luck Zero range on the phone, no car, with all the stress I forgot that motorhomes have such a clever button that allows an emergency ignition of the engine, well done and the stress is over. Oh and of course you have to remember about fuel because sometimes there is no station for 200 km.
Viewing road no.12:
After driving 180 km we get to the village of Torrey, it is dark, hard to find something to sleep on, you just can't see anything on the left or right. Finally, at the end of the road, we find the Camping, due to the late hour there is no service anymore, the doorbell on the door of the owner has a house above the reception. He came down to us, we paid 50 $ for the stop, he told us a lot about what is worth seeing nearby. For this we would need a week and we have 1 day.
Sand Creek RV camping 48 $ Torrey in front of the Capitol reef:
From Torrey we go through Capitol Reef National Park to Arches National Park, unfortunately we throw out the Capitol Reef tour, we have not enough time to visit both parks we decide to visit Arches to the gates of the park we have 250 km so we reach around 11 as always we take the map and tick off the most important points, in the park we did 72 km, we also had a lunch break at the only stop there are special shelters with tables and barbecue prepared at 4 pm we go to the Visitor center for souvenirs.
Turret Arch / The Windows:
After an intense day, we go to the town of Moab to do some shopping, refuel and refill the gas in the tank, unfortunately there was a problem with it nowhere, until in the morning we found a campsite where we could refill it. And we had an overnight stay in nature on the Colorado River for $ 20 without a service field, you take an envelope from the locker, write down the data and put the money into an iron box, around midnight a patrol rode around and checked fees.
UPPER BIG BEND CAMPING AREA $ 20 no electricity or water, money is left in such an envelope in a special box.
We have a 130 km winding road from Moab to Canyonlands, so we also drive snails, we reach the Big Spring Canyon Overlook viewpoint and unfortunately we have to return to the main road 50 km.
Road to Mexican Hat:
We are going towards Mexican Hat somewhere along the way we want to find a place to sleep in front of us 180 km, unfortunately, there are no campers everywhere, we found a place by the river but the fear was that something would happen at night, we decided, so we go further to Monument Valley, another 40 km is already getting there when dark you can hardly see anything. We admire the beautiful sunset, unfortunately the darkness is a bad adviser, then we can not see absolutely nothing there is no lamppost cities the sky is completely dark, we do not notice any stop and we reach the town of Kayenta, which is another 45 km away, there we sleep in the shop parking lot to in the morning we return to Monument Valley, there we have an entry fee of $ 21 per car.
Sunset Monument Valley:
The road is partially closed for motorhomes, you can only go to the Visitor center and then buy a Jeep tour between the monuments.
We take a picture of ourselves in a place known from the movie Forest Gump:
Around noon we set off in the direction of Page about 200 km, the first stop is Horseshoe Bend, the Colorado river bends 270 ° here creating a beautiful vantage point, from the parking lot, which is charged $ 10, you have to take a small walk to the edge.
then we cross the town of Page to go camping on Lake Powell we only have one night here we regret it, but well. There are barbecues at each stand, the view of the lake is gorgeous sunset and sunrise, you can rent a boat or take a boat trip, I recommend staying there for the second day. The next day we had already bought admission to Antelope Canyon X, we made the reservation half a year earlier and it was also paid in advance per person of $ 40, so we leave our seat in the morning, we stop at the dam built on the Colorado River to reach the designated destination at 12.30 the point of the trip, from where the guide takes us by Jeep to Canyon X.
Sunset over Lake Powell:
Wahweap RV & Campground $ 30 (excluding electricity and water)
Glen Canyon Dam:
Descent to Canynon X:
Around 3 p.m. we go on a further route towards the Grand Canyon. There is a long distance of 240 km ahead of us, from time to time we stop to take photos, stop in Cameron, refuel our dragon, go to the Indian souvenir shop and we were going to stay here for the night, but we decided to drive a dozen more kilometers and stop at Kempinu in Grand Canyon, but a surprise awaits us, unfortunately, it is closed from October 31 to the end of March 2020, so from Desert View we have to get to the town of Tusayan 45 km.
Sunset over the Grand Canyon:
There is a large campsite in the town, the cost is $ 65. We park the camper and go for a delicious steak in a stylish restaurant, I recommend trying it at least once, it was prepared there in several ways.
Campsite www.grandcanyoncampervillage.com $ 57 Grand Canyon:
After breakfast, we go to explore the Grand Canyon with a small town we have about 14 km to the parking lot where we leave the camper. As always, we have at our disposal a map that we got from the guard at the entrance to the park, we do some of the points on foot, then we pass the park bus to the next points, we do not go downstairs, we would need about 10 hours and unfortunately it gets dark and cold quickly, hello GC is not accessible for cars as well as for pedestrians, you need to use the bus that stops at viewpoints where you can get off and on the next one.
In the afternoon, we head to the next town we planned - Sedona - a mountain resort for 250 km. Coming from the town, we were supposed to find accommodation on the way, we use the freecampsites.net application, but as is often the case, the data is not always true, yes, we found two places, but there was a massacre in the forest, due to the fact that we rented the cameras, we were afraid to enter there in order not to break something so we go to the center, but both campsites are bursting at the seams, broken by the whole situation, we do not know what to do, fortunately, on the campsite one girl explains to us where we can park safely in the wild, of course the road was not interesting but they want to visit Sedona in the morning not we could go further, it is a waste of time and fuel.
We spent the night in such a place Sedona somewhere in the field below our neighbor:
Sedona malenia, and beautiful, you can take advantage of local tourist offices trips, a jeep ride, helicopter ride around the area, if you have time, stay there for two days is what to do
At around 2 p.m. we leave the town and take the historic road 66, known and liked mainly by motorcycle fans. We are 165 km to Seligman. The town is full of old cars (known from the fairy tale Cars) and souvenir shops at good prices.
Seligman Town Route 66:
Interior of Delgadillo's Snow Cap bar where we ate delicious buritto and burger. The natives are very nice to talk to.
Trains in the USA are gigantic, they have 100 wagons stacked in containers and 6 locomotives.
Today we still cover the road 66 - 140 km to reach the town of Kingman for the night, we stop at the campsite to do the laundry and empty the toilet facilities laundry costs $ 2 plus drying a second $ 2.
Camping www.ftbealerv.com Kingman $ 48
Route 66 also leads through the mountains through winding streets, we go 46 km to Oatman, a mountain village where donkeys reign, walking on their way doing nothing to anyone.
Around 11:00 we get to Topock66 Colorado River, it is a restaurant on the Colorado River, I read the recommendations of this place somewhere on the Internet, good food, great atmosphere, and the interior arrangement is interesting.
After a nutritious breakfast, we go 260 km to the Joshua Tree National Park destination, we reach the place around 4 pm, we take maps from the guards, we get information that the park is very warm, almost 30 degrees Celsius, and it's November, today only refueling and looking for accommodation, we stop at in the area belonging to the park, it is a free seat in the middle of the field. The ground is dry and totally dry. The next day, an early breakfast and on the way, we have a lot of customers to overcome.
We enter the park looking for Jesuit trees, a few photos and further towards Palm Springs. Due to the idea of traveling the entire park instead of 50 km, we do 170 km, honestly not worth it, the best views are at the beginning of the park below the map and then 70 km are saved, but well, it's hard to say.
Joshua Tree township in the field the area belongs to the park for free / Cholla Cactus Garden Trail
We leave the park on the highway towards Palm Spring, it is hot 34 degrees and we were already minus 6 degrees. We stand in the shop parking lot, we do shopping because today the bonfire is almost farewell, we make dinner and unfortunately we visit the city with a car because it's far 210 km to San Diego and there we have an accommodation and paid for there, so we choose a place around 7 pm, the campsite is full, no vacancies, we wanted to stay yet one day, but unfortunately there is no option without a reservation, from this place you can see the whole panorama of the city.
A lot of second-hand caravans and caravans can be found in almost every city:
San Diego panorama at night:
Campsite www.sdparks.org $ 35 San Diego (steam bath paid separately):
After breakfast, we pack our bags and look for another campsite closer to the ocean, it's a seat reservation for $ 90 a night, but it has a heated swimming pool and jacuzzi, a shop, restaurants and an ocean behind the fence.
Camping Sun RV Resorts $ 96 San Diego by the ocean (we got a 20% discount the next day for the next night but didn't take advantage of it). The campsite has a special area for cleaning fish and barbecuing. Each place is concrete, has its own bench and all connections.
We are going to visit San Diego, we have 1.5 days for it, we managed to park in the city parking for a fee of $ 10 for the whole day, due to the fact that it is small 20 Ft. (6m) with a bigger problem, after reading a few guides, we choose top attractions to see. If you go there, I recommend at least 4 days. Unfortunately, we didn't even have time to laze by the ocean, and we still didn't see everything.
Balboa Park, you can spend almost the whole day walking between greenery and pavilions with plants, the park also borders the ZOO, we did a 4-hour walk in the park at the Zoo, not enough time, then on foot we go to the ocean where the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum is moored.
Midway aircraft carrier, unfortunately, we didn't manage to visit it until the museum was open until 4pm, and the next day we didn't have time. At 5 p.m. it got dark and terribly cold, and we had 4 km to the motorhome.
The next morning, a quick breakfast, a swim in the pool and on your way to the first punk beach and ocean so fast.
Then Old Town right next door is also $ 12 parking lot. A district styled on the years of the old era, mainly Mexicans trade there, after sightseeing we go to a Mexican restaurant for lunch and further along the coast towards Los Angeles.
La Jolla grotto cliffs, you can meet pelicans there, seals amazing view, beautiful town, you could easily stay there for one day. There are still many places to see, such as SeaWord park for children, but we are already leaving road no. 1 all the time by the ocean, I recommend spending at least ½ a day on the ride.
La Jolla Tide Pools:
La Jolla Cove:
We stay at the campsite for the night, we have to wash the camera inside and pack our bags until 11 we should be in the rental shop we arrive at 11:40 you come to write down the meters, check the generator and cleanliness, food residues and equipment, e.g. bedding can be left with them. Then we go to the office to settle the differences and the deposit. The difference returned to the account in 5 days.
Then we ordered an Uber that is cheaper than a taxi. And unfortunately it's time to come back to reality.
Waterfront RV Park campsite - $ 60 Huntington Beach (long Beach direction)
The three of us slept in the alcove and it was not a problem to get enough sleep.
Campsites in the USA visited:
- www.hitchnpostrv.com - $ 41 (Bryce area) Panguitch
- Waterfront RV Park campsite - $ 60 Huntington Beach (long Beach direction)
- www.lakepowell.com/rv-camping/wahweap-rv-campground - $ 30 (excluding electricity and water)
- www.oasislasvegasrvresort.com - $ 48 Las Vegas
- www.grandcanyoncampervillage.com 57 $ Grand Canyon
- www.sunrvresorts.com/resorts/west/california/chula-vista-rv-resort 96 $ San Diego by the ocean
- www.sandcreekrv.com $ 48 Torrey in front of the Capitol reef
- www.ftbealerv.com Kingman $ 48
- www.sdparks.org $ 35 San Diego (bathhouse paid separately)
- Los Angeles overnight stay in the wild by the highway
- road no.9 in front of the Zion national park in the field
- parking in front of the store near MD Kayenta
- Sedona in the field
Motorhomes are my life. I make my dreams come true visiting all corners of Europe and the USA with my camper vans.