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Camping in North America
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This is the land of well-setup, and often expensive, RV Trailer Parks/campgrounds. But there are also lots of National Parks, State Parks and forestry campgrounds which are a lot less expensive.
As such, we won't be listing general RV parks, but if we find a good camp ground, or bush camp, then we will list it on this page along with details.
Helpful CAMPING and travelling Information
The Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Forest Service manages public lands in national forests and grasslands. To learn more about the camping in the National Forests of the USA, passes and permits, then check out their web site at: http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/map/state_list.shtml
The America the Beautiful: National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass (Interagency Annual Pass)
Is honored nationwide at National Park Service, Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation recreation sites charging day-use or entrance fees.
Valid for 12 months from the month of purchase. Expires the last day of the month punched. Admits pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee sites.
An Interagency Annual Pass is well worth the cost, at $80 in 2012. It can be purchased on-line before you head to America, (http://store.usgs.gov/pass/index.html or http://www.discovernw.org/store_america-the-beautiful-2012-national-parks-and-federal-recreational-lands-annual-pass_17260.html ), or you can get a pass at the first gate entry into any national park.
Links to the five agencies that participate in the Interagency Pass Program are:
National Park Service U.S.
Forest Service U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Reclamation
US National Forest Campgrounds
Another good web site to look at to see what US National Forest Campgrounds are avaiable, check out their web site at: http://www.forestcamping.com/
Offer another alternate to the US National Forestry camp grounds. Each State has their own parks, and their own pass fees, both annual and one day passes. Your Interagency Annual Pass will not work in State Parks. If you intend on spending some time in one state, then you may want to consider an annual pass. Check out the America's State Parks web site for all the info you need: http://www.americasstateparks.org/Home
There are quite a few publications and apps which will help make planning and finding campgrounds along the way a lot easier. These are the most useful we found during our trip:
Woodall's - North America's Campground Directory (with Mobile phone app)
You can pick up a copy of this bulky and very extensive book at many camping stores and the like, such as the large chain called 'Camping World'. With over 12,701 RV parks, campgrounds, state and federal parks listed, it is the most comprehensive coverage of all that's available. Well worth the money, even thought it's not expensive. You can check it out on-line at:
The other book which we found extremely useful for northwest Canada and Alaska, was The MILEPOST - Alaska Travel Planner - it covers Alaska, Yukon Territory, British Colmbia, Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Around $20, you can order it online, or buy copies once you get into Canada. As the title suggests, this is a mile-by-mile highway log, covering 30 major routes, 60 side trips, plus over 100 maps. It also includes ferry travel, accommodation, camping, sightseeing and lots more. A must!!! We used it extensively. And you can get a digital edition.
Check out their web site at:
iPad and iPod Applications
There are a number of iPad/iPod Apps that you can download (many for free) - here are the ones we found the most helpful:
RV Park Finder App - Trailer Life Directory of 'Good Sam'.
Allstays Camp & RV App
For Canada Only: Campwhere App
The Hema USA RoadAtlas App was also very handy and worth the small cost - The HEMA Nav App quickly turns your iPhone or iPad into a digital USA Road Atlas, https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/usa-road-atlas/id420014622?mt=8.
LOS ANGELES Area
Birmingham RV Park - Van Nuys
7740 Balboa Blvd Van Nuys 91406; ph: (818) 785 0949; email: Birmingham7@yahoo.com.
Laundry Facilities; Restrooms; Wi-fi Internet; Recreation Hall; Full Hook-ups; Cable TV
Largest RV Park in Los Angeles.
We've inlcuded this park as there aren't many RV parks in the Los Angeles area, and the owner here, Steve, has been very helpful and although we had 'canvas' (which most RV parks don't allow), they found us a spot, and even better, had storage for our vehicle and camper.
The park has a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere, it's become a bit of a 'home away from home' for us at the beginning and end of our trips.
Kaweah River RV Resort - Three Rivers and not far from the entrance to the Sequioa National Park. Not cheap during the summer season ($53 for a spot right beside the river), but it was a beautiful spot.
Diaz Lake has a pleasant camp ground beside the lake at $25/night - near Lone Pine, California.
Tinemaha Creek (just off the main Hwy-395, eastern California north of Lone Pine) - an unexpected find with camp sites beside a tree-lined small creek that flows from the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada Ranges. It was fishing time, and fishermen were catching nice size trout up to 20cm long.
Muley Point - Glen Canyon NRA - Muley Point is a remote, scenic overlook in southern Utah near Mexican Hat. The view provides panoramic vistas of the desert landscape of southern Utah (Valley of the Gods) and northern Arizona. Monument Valley is visible in the distance while the San Juan River cuts into the canyon below. It has to be the most spectacular camp site we have ever had.
Great Sand Dunes NP (www.nps.gov/grsa) - campground in Colorado - The tallest dunes in North America are the centerpiece in a diverse landscape of grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and tundra. A good campground and great views of the sand dunes with a good 4wd trail into the mountains.
Angostura State Recreation Area - surrounds much of the waters of the Angostura Reservoir, about 15km south of the town of Hot Springs in South Dakota. Get a camp if possible right on the water (there are three large camping areas here along with a boat marina, swimming area, picnic areas, etc). We stayed in the Cascade campground at $14/night without power, or $18 with power.
Horsethief Lake State Park campground (South Dakota) - good base for looking around the Mt Rushmore/Crazy Horse monuments and area.
Buffalo Bill State Park campground - not far out of the town of Cody in Wyoming. Camp is on the shores of Buffalo Bill Lake.
Crazy Creek Reserve Campground, on the Bear Tooth Highway (Hwy 212) - a nice spot beside Crazy Creek and overlooking Clarks Fork Yellowstone River with The Pilot dominating the peaks all around.
Bridgeport Reservoir RV Park and Marina is located in Northern Mono County on the East side of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains (a good stopover once you exit Yosemite NP on the northeast site) - this small park is right beside the reservoir and while we were there (late Sept) the water was full of birdlife. Really enjoyed this little park - friendly guy running it and bathrooms were always clean - we stayed 5 nights!!!!
Frances Lake Reserve Campground (about 2km off the Campbell Hway, north of Watson Lake in the Yukon) - camp on the lake's edge, very pleasant.
Goldrush RV Park right in Dawson City, not far from the ferry crossing. There are a couple of RV parks in Dawson City, but this one is right in town, which also makes it VERY POPULAR with RVers. Good facilities.
Hi Country RV Park, Whitehorse - http://www.hicountryrvyukon.com/ on the southern side of downtown - set amongst trees, this is a very pleasant park with the cleanest and nicest bathrooms we've come across. Handy to downtown Whitehorse, it makes a good base for a couple of days
Telegragh Cove Resort Campground (Vancouver Island) http://www.telegraphcoveresort.com/ - a really nice little place and a great spot to go Killer Whale watching. The campground is open, no shade, but amenities were good and it's the only campground in Telegraph Cove.
River's Edge RV Park - Fairbanks - good facilities, car wash - get a site down beside the river if you can. A 10 min walk to two large supermarkets - Safeway and Fred Meyers, so very handy for supplies and the like.
Hatcher Pass Road (also the Fishhook-Willow Rd) parallels the Willow Creek - junction south of Talkeetna north of Anchorage. You'll find some great bush camps beside the river along this road, although it is very popular with locals on weekends. Wood is scarce, so bring some with you.
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