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If you are visiting the National parks, and are anything like us, we love to know what’s up and fast! Most of the time we don’t have too much time to spend at each one, so here is a breakdown with quick tips for visiting 10 of the most popular National Parks

Family at Arches National Park

Arches National Park 

Utah 3.5 hrs from Escape Campervan – Salt Lake Utah Depot

Where To Get Coffee:

“Moab Coffee Roasters”

Where To Eat:

“Moab Brewery” is open year-round or “Moan Garage co.”

Tips:

*If you are able to go in the off-season do! You won’t have lines to the biggest attractions.
*While mapping out what you’ll be hiking will help with this park. While all the hikes seem short on the map, you’ll get stuck at a few of these attractions with lines to get a picture. 

PERMITS NEEDED: Between April 3, 2022, and October 3, 2022 reservations are required for your vehicle to enter Arches National Park every day between 6 am and 5 pm. Reservations allow visitors to enter the park during a one-hour window. For example, a 7 am ticket allows an entry between 7:00 and 7:59 am. Once you are inside the park you can stay as long as you like. You can exit and re-enter the park on the same day once your Timed Entry Ticket is validated.

Best Hikes/Vistas:

  • Balanced Rock 0.3 mi 
  • Delicate Arch Trail 3.2 mi or 0.2 mi
  • Sand Dunes Arch 0.3 mi
  • Landscape Arch 1.9 mi
  • Park Avenue 1.8 mi
  • Windows Primitive Loop 1.2 m

Best Camping:

  • Devils Garden (year around – no hookups)
  • Sun Outdoors Getaway (year around – electric hookups)
  • Goose Island Campground

Kids at Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park – Utah

Utah 4 hrs from Escape Campervan – Salt Lake Utah Depot 

Where To Get Coffee:

“Bryce Canyon Coffee co.”

Where To Eat:

“Canyon Diner” or “Ebenezer’s Barn and Grill”

Tips:

*Learn about all the history of this place before you go. It’s fun to learn about why things are called what they are. Be sure and do the Jr. Ranger program with the kids!
*You can see so much of Bryce Canyon’s main views with hikes under .3 which is great for any season!

PERMITS NEEDED: Only the “National Parks Pass” you’ll need for all the parks for entering.

Best Hikes/Vistas:

  • Fairyland Point 5.5 mi
  • Sunrise Point 0.4 (5.5 mi hike option)
  • Sunset Point 0.4 (3 mi hike option)
  • Inspiration Point 0.3 (1.5 mi hike option)
  • Bryce Point 0.2 

Where To Camp:

  • Sunset Campground (open year-round, no hookups)
  • North Campground

Grand Canyon South Rim

Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona 

Utah 2.5 hrs from Escape Campervan – Arizona

Where To Get Coffee:

“Mather Point Cafe” 

Where To Eat:

Check out the cafeteria-style food or a nice restaurant at the lodge. 

Tips: 

Pending what you are doing this park may need more planning than other parks. There are three entrances to this magnificent park, over 30 miles apart from each other. You can just drive to different vistas or make the 10-mile hike down to the bottom. This park has something for every level!

PERMITS NEEDED: Whether or not you are hiking, climbing, or camping there are many things you need permits for in this park. Go to the website below and search for “permits’ for a list of what you will need. For most of the vistas below, you’ll just need a regular NP parking pass. 

Best Hikes/Vistas:

  • Hopi Point
  • Mohave Point
  • Powell Point
  • Yavapai Point
  • Desert View 
  • Bright Angel Point 
  • Cape Royal 
  • Point Imperial.
  • Bright Angel Trail (15.3 mi in and out)

Where To Camp:

  • Bright Angel Campground (no hookups- hike in)
  • Indian Garden Campground (no hookups, hike-in)
  • Mather Campground (some hookups, open year-round)
  • North Rim Campground (no hook-ups but fire pits and restrooms) 

Joshua Tree National Park Campervan

Joshua Tree National Park – California 

Utah 3.5 hrs from Escape Campervan –Las Vegas Depot

Where To Get Coffee:

“Joshua Tree Coffee Company”

Where To Eat:

Cross Roads Cafe” or “Joshua Tree Saloon”
Olympic National Park – Washington

Tips:

*There are two entrances to this park. One side is about a 45 min drive until you’ll actually see a Joshua Tree. We suggest going in at the ” North Side” entrance.

*Higher does not equal better. I heard a park ranger telling others “We aren’t known for our difficult hikes, we are known for the views & vibes.”Rocky National Park – Colorado 

PERMIT NEEDED: A permit is not required for day hiking in the backcountry. To backcountry camp, you must park and register at a backcountry registration board. There is no fee. Your registration is your permit.

Best Hiking/Vistas:

  • Hidden Valley Trail 1 mi
  • Barker Dam 1.5 mi
  • Split Rock Trail 1.9 mi
  • Skull Rock Nature Trail 1.7

Best Camping:

  • White Tank campground (year-round – no hookups) 
  • Indian Cove Campground (year around – no hookups)
  • Goose Island Campground

Joshua Tree Campervan Super Bloom

Rocky National Park – Colorado 

Utah 1,5 hrs from Escape Campervan – Denver Colorado Depot

Where To Get Coffee:

N/A

Where To Eat:

N/A

Tips:

*If you are going in the off-season you WILL need 4×4 to get to most of the trail heads. Watch the weather.
*Rocky Mountain is one of the highest National Parks! Take into account Safty while hiking over 300 miles of hiking trails as well as driving. 

There’s something here for everyone!

PERMITS NEEDED: To enter the park during the summer season will require two things: A Timed Entry Permit or a reservation with a service, such as an in-park camping reservation, horseback riding reservation, or commercial tours (Service Reservation) Plus a Park Pass or Entrance Fee for your vehicle.

Best Hikes/Vistas:

  • Forest Canyon Overlook 
  • Bear Lake 0.6 mi
  • Chasm Falls 0.6 mi
  • Moraine Park Loop 3.4 mi
  • Holzwarth Historic Site 1.3 mi
  • Old Fall River Road (not to drive 10.5 mi hike) 

Best Camping:

  • Odessa Lake Campground
  • Upper Mill Creek
  • Olive Ridge Campground 

Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park/Kings Canyon – California

Utah 4.5 hrs from Escape Campervan –Los Angeles Depot

Where to get coffee: 

” Sequoia Coffee Co.”

Where to eat:

“The Peaks Restaurant” or “Sequoia Cider Mill”

Tips:

*It’s important to know to visit  Kings Canyon on this adventure as well. You will find the second largest “Sequoia Tree” along with beautiful trails of these trees as well. Along with mind-blowing vistas & National Forest for free, and beautiful camping. 

PERMITS NEEDED: No permits are required besides a regular national park pass.
You will find the second largest “Sequoia Tree” along with beautiful trails of these trees as well. Along with mind-blowing vistas & National Forest for free, and beautiful camping. 

Best Hikes and Vistas:

  • General Sherman Tree Trail 0.6 mi
  • Big Trees Trail 0.8 mi
  • Congress Trail 2.7 miles.
  • Moro Rock 0.5 mi 
  • Crystal Cave 0.83 mi
  • Tokopah Falls & Trail 4.0 mi
  • Big Baldy Ridge. 6.5 mi drive 

Best Camping

Lodge and Camping (closed for 2022) 

  • Horse Creek Campground (outside of the park a bit, hook ups and open year-round)

Campervan at RV Park

Campervans with kitchens makes it easy for beginner campers to prepare meals and store food.

Smokey National Park – Tennessee 

Utah 9 hrs from Escape Campervan – Orlando Depot

Where To Get Coffee:

“The Coffee Shack”

Where To Eat:

“Smoky Mountain Trout House” or “The Park Grill” 

Tips:

*If you are able to go in the off-season do! You won’t have lines to the biggest attractions. 

*While mapping out what you’ll be hiking will help with this hike. While all the hikes seem short on the map, you’ll get stuck at a few of these attractions with lines to get a picture. 

PERMITS NEEDED: Backcountry permits are required for each person, at each campsite or shelter in the backcountry. There is a fee of $4 per person, per night, with a maximum of $20 per person. Also, a regular National Park Pass is needed. 

Best Hikes and Vistas:

  • Laural Falls 2.3 mi
  • Gatlinburg Trail 3.9 mi
  • Little River Trail 4.9 mi
  • Chimney Tops Trail 4.9
  • Alum Cave 11 mi 
  • Cades Cove 11 mi drive
  • Vistas along 441 Bypass

Best Camping:

  • Smoky Mountains Campground
  • Crazy Horse Campground
  • Cataloochee Campground

Yosemite National Park Tunnel View

Yosemite National Park – California 

Utah 6 hrs from Escape Campervan – Los Angeles Depot

Where To Get Coffee:

Curry Village Coffee Corner”

Where To Eat:

“Degan’s Deli” or “Base camp eatery”

Tips:

*The drive into the park is a steep, long one. We’d suggest camping in the park to be able and have time to do everything.
*You’re going to want to plan ahead for this park even during the off-season. Download the park app they’ve made as well to help! 

PERMITS NEEDED: A reservation is required to drive into Yosemite National Park during peak hours (6 am – 4 pm) from May 20 through September 30, 2022.

If you have another reservation in the park, you may not need a peak hours reservation and can pay the entrance fee at the park entrance station. You will also need special permits to climb and for some hikes during peek season. See info on the website. 

Best Hikes/Vistas:

  • Top of Vernal Fall 2.4 mi
  • Yosemite Valley Loop .08 mi- 20 mi
  • Bridal Veil Fall Trail .05 mi 
  • Tunnel View drive/vistas
  • Glacier Point 10.5 mi drive
  • Glacier Point 1 mi hike

Best Camping:

Yosemite Creek Campground (no hookups, outhouses)

  • Upper Pines Campground White Wolf Lodge (lodge, glamping options) 
  • Climb and pitch a hammock tent on the side of the mountain 🙂

Zion National Park

Zion National Park – Utah 

Utah 4.5 hrs from Escape Campervan – Utah Depot

Where To Get Coffee:

“Deep Creek” or “Perks!”

Where To Eat:

“Red Rock Grill”, “Spotted Dog.” or “Zion Canyon Brew Pub”

Tips: 

*Most of the year free trolleys run to most of the trailheads to save on parking. See the blog for more details on this!
*Be as flexible as possible with this park. Have a few days you could visit here and be able to switch it up (with Bryce NP or Capitol Reef/etc.) This way you can get in all the things you want to do at this incredible park!

PERMITS NEEDED: You do not need a permit for most of Zion NP. You do need to enter into the lottery & get a permit for “Angels Landing.” You will also need a regular NP park pass for parking and regular camping passes for camping.

Best Hikes/Vistas:

  • Zion Overlook Trail 1 mi
  • Hidden Canyon Trail 1.3 mi
  • Emerald Pools 2 mi
  • Weeping Rock Trail 0.3 mi
  • Zion Narrows Riverside Walk 1.7 
  • Angels Landing 4.4 mi
  • Zion Narrows 1 mi – 16 mi

Best Camping:

  • Watchman’s Campground (open year-round – Some sites have electric hookups.)
  • South Campground (seasonal availability)
  • Zion Canyon Campground 

Rear of Campervan at Zion National Park

Get Out And See One Of The Most Popular National Parks

We hope this gets you on your way to some of the best National Parks in the United States!  Book a campervan and hit the road!

Enjoy!

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