It’s National Park Week (April 16-24, 2016) #findyourpark

Last summer we took as we’d like to refer to as “an EPIC trip” around the country. In two months we drove thru 20 states and camped in all of them but one. Slowly but surely I’m finally blogging about our adventures (first few blog posts can be found at www.wervtogether.blogspot.com). Well in honor of National Park Week I have decided to fast forward a bit and splice in our trips to Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Lake Mead and the Grand Canyon.

I still can’t believe we pulled off that trip last summer – we had bought our travel trailer in April of 2015 and set off on our cross country journey in July of that same year. We had camped about four or five times before we left to “get to know” the trailer and LEARN how to camp. I had never camped before and I don’t think Fer had much either and certainly not in an RV. I think if we had thought about it to much we wouldn’t have done it but we just did it. With lot’s of prep work and some planning we hit the road.

Stop 12 brought us to the Black Hills of South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore. We stayed at a KOA Resort the Mount Rushmore KOA at Palmer Gulch.

It was a pretty awesome to see Mount Rushmore in person, of course it seems like it would have been larger in person but it was still pretty cool seeing it with your own eyes. It costs $11 to park, which I believe that parking pass is good for the whole year so if you were in town for a few days you could go back a few times.

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Here’s a picture of our campsite at the KOA, I didn’t take enough pictures of this campground but it was really big and and very nice. There was a ton of amenities and things to do for all members of the family (even an onsite winery and coffee shop). I highly recommend staying here if you are planning to visit Mount Rushmore and spend some time in the area. IMG_1719one note: the only down side to this campground was do not plan on having any kind of internet reception or cell service.
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Our next National Park on our journey was Yellowstone National Park, (Stop 14) which as you can imagine was amazing. We were able to get a spot to camp with full hookups inside the park, which I think is not easy to come by but we lucked out. This park is HUGE, it is in the corner of three states (Wyoming, Montana and Idaho) we entered on the Wyoming side and exited on the Montana side. We really only had one full day to visit this park so we had to cover a lot of territory in a short period of time. The road that takes you around Yellowstone is one big loop that branches off in little sections well it took us a good 4 hours just to DRIVE around that loop and we hopped out a certain parts to check some areas out. There’s a lot of wildlife, just roaming the park so it’s pretty amazing to have the opportunity to be that close and see some amazing animals. We encountered a lot of buffalo and that was pretty awesome. It costs $30 to enter the park.

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old faithfulIMG_1806 IMG_1812 IMG_1818 IMG_1821 IMG_1823 IMG_1845 IMG_1859 IMG_1860 IMG_1864

truly breathtakingIMG_1913 IMG_1930 IMG_1931

We camped at the only full hookup campground in the park – Fishing Bridge RV Park – I want to say it was around $40 or $50 a night it was not to expensive or cheap – just right. They offer some ranger led activities but since were only there for a day and half we really didn’t have anytime to partake in anything like that. This campground is great because it allows you to be right inside the park but you are practically on top of your neighbor and it requires the fine the art of backing in to a really tight spot site, which Mr. Fernando is a master at now.

IMG_1936 IMG_1938 IMG_1941 IMG_1945 IMG_1948 IMG_1959 we had to pull over and take a quick photo shoot of Amelia.IMG_1974

After swinging thru California our next National Park Stop (Stop 23) was Lake Mead. This place is beautiful. It was hotter than heck but it is amazing for the eyes. We once again camped inside the park at a full hookup RV campground. It costs $40.00 to enter Lake Mead National Park – we really should have bought an America the Beautiful Park Pass last year. We stayed at the Lake Mead RV Village and it was really nice, just for the views alone. We were only there for one night and it was HOT! HOT! HOT! – did I say Hot? We like the heat but I guess this East Coast girl needs a bit of humidity lumped in with that heat. But I would go back here in a heartbeat it was just gorgeous. The campground staff was very friendly and the campground was nice and clean. IMG_2357 IMG_2362 IMG_2365 IMG_2370 IMG_2375 our setup for the night.IMG_2385 IMG_2389 on the way out we went over to the Hoover Dam to check that out before we left. IMG_2408 amazing to see how far the water has gone down.IMG_2409 IMG_2417

Stop 24 took us to THE GRAND CANYON! What a blessing this entire trip was, but to finally get to the Grand Canyon a place I have been wanting to see for along time was the best. It is just an amazing sight to see. It is so beautiful and peaceful and BIG it was definitely a major highlight on our trip. It costs $30.00 to get into the Grand Canyon and once again we camped at the RV campground with full hookups inside of the park. It was pretty cool because some animals would come right thru the campground that was fun to see.

I’m sure at all these national parks that we stayed at we could have found different campgrounds outside of the park, but we were only at each of them for a few days and I didn’t find any of them to be terribly expensive especially since you’re right there in the park. IMG_2426 IMG_2436 IMG_2437 such a blessing to have been able to see this grand site and I can’t wait to go back someday.IMG_2452 IMG_2457 IMG_2459 IMG_2464 IMG_2467 IMG_2471 IMG_2481 IMG_2509 IMG_2525 IMG_2526 IMG_2538 IMG_2540

Well that concludes our list of National Parks we saw in 2015, it was epic and we enjoyed ever second and can’t wait to do it all over again. 🙂

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