Snow Canyon Campground at Snow Canyon SP

Snow Canyon State Park is a 7400-acre park tucked amid lava flows and sandstone cliffs in Southwest Utah. Within the park is the 31-site Snow Canyon Campground.

Campground Info:

Address: 1002 Snow Canyon Drive, Ivins, UT 84738

Phone Number: (435) 628-2255

  • 14 Sites with Electric and Water and 4 Sites with Electric Only ($25/night)
  • 13 Sites without Hookups ($20/Night)
  • Restrooms with Flush Toilets
  • Showers (Free)
  • Dump Station
  • Water Spigots for Drinking Water
  • Group Campsites
  • Park Office Located within Campground
  • Recycle/Trash

We stayed in site 14, which is at the end of the row of 14 pull-through sites in the middle of the campground. These 14 sites are tight and even though they are paved, are not very level. Each one of the pull-through sites has a covered picnic table and a grill. If we were to return to Snow Canyon, we would try to get site 15A or 15B, which offer more privacy and nicer views.

Site 14 – It looks large enough, but this photo was taken when the site next to us was empty. A second rig fits in the spot to the left of the shade structure on the right side of the photo.
It’s hard to tell from the photo, but there are 5 sites pictured here. They are quite narrow and the website warns that you may not be able to use your slideouts in these sites.

Park Info:

We checked in late Tuesday afternoon and left early Saturday morning, so we really only had three days to explore the park. Seeing as those three days were week days and we need to work most of the time during the week, we didn’t really explore this park as much as we could have. There are more than 38 miles of hiking trails, a three-mile paved walking/biking trail, technical climbing and more than 15 miles of equestrian trails. However, dogs are only allowed on two trails, so this park isn’t as dog-friendly as other state parks.

We were able to get in a few different hikes:

Cinder Cone Trail: 1.5 miles. Difficult. Steep slopes, loose uneven surfaces. Hike among “lava clinkers” as you corkscrew 500 feet to the top of an extinct volcano where you can view a volcano crater and panoramic scenery.

The cinder cone wasn’t as impressive as we were expecting, but it was still interesting to see. The Cinder Cone Trail is accessible from outside the north end of the park.

Petrified Dunes to Butterfly Trail to Lava Flow Trail:

  • Petrified Dunes: 1.2 miles. Moderate. Some steep slopes, uneven surfaces. This route crosses massive Navajo sandstone outcrops and sand dunes frozen in time.
  • Butterfly Trail: 2 miles. Moderate. Some steep slopes, steps and uneven surfaces. Winding along the west side of Petrified Dunes, this trail leads to West Canyon Overlook and lava tubes.
  • Lava Flow Trail: 2.5 miles. Moderate. Uneven surfaces. Hike through a jumbled lava field, the vivid remains of a long-ago volcanic eruption.
Petrified Sand Dunes
Petrified Sand Dunes
At the intersection of the Butterfly Trail and Lava Flow Trail is a lava tube, which was formed during the most recent eruption (more than 27,000 years ago) of the now extinct volcano to the northeast.
The entrance to the lava tube. The tube is fairly long and fun to explore — just remember to bring your headlamp as it’s very dark inside!
Lava Field

Johnson Canyon: Closed annually from March 15 to September 14 – 2 miles. Easy. Level with some rocky slopes and steps. Leads to a sheltered canyon of willow and cottonwood, winding through lava flows and red rock to an arch spanning 200 feet.

Along the trail to the canyon…
The entrance to the canyon…
The arch from a distance. I really enjoyed this trail because it was a nice departure from the trails we’d been experiencing in the Southwest. There were trees, and a small stream, and toads croaking — it was just nice to hear nature.
The Arch (and this is as close as you can get)

In the Area:

The city of St. George (population 82,000+) is about a 20-minute drive from the campground. You’ll find grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, a post office, movie theatre, shopping, and basically anything you could need. There’s a cute, downtown historic area where we ate dinner at a fantastic restaurant called The Painted Pony and got delicious cupcakes from TwentyFive Main. There is also an airport in St. George, which is the second busiest airport in Utah after Salt Lake City.

Just south of the south entrance of the park is the Red Mountain Resort that has a spa where I got massage one day. It was nice to get a little pampering after being on the road for so long!

Zion National Park is less than 60 miles away — about an hour and fifteen minute drive.

Atlatl Rock Campground at Valley of Fire SP

Campgrounds Info:

There are two campgrounds within Valley of Fire State Park: Atlatl Rock and Arch Rock. Both are first come, first served and Arch Rock, the more primitive of the two, is open seasonally. We chose to stay at Atlatl Rock because the sites are bigger, easier to maneuver, and more suitable for RVs, although we did see some people squeeze some fairly large rigs into spots at Arch Rock. We scored a nice pull through spot in the RV section! The RV sites are $10 more per day than the other sites, which are $20 per day. A lot of people seem to leave in the morning around 8-8:30, so the best time to arrive is around 9am. We showed up about 1:15 on a Wednesday afternoon and there were a couple of RV sites available, but the weekends during mild-temperature months are likely pretty full. There are amazing views at every turn throughout the park, and the campgrounds are no exception. They are clean and quiet and a lot of the sites are pretty private. We were blown away by the beauty of this park and we will definitely be back!

Address: 29450 Valley of Fire Road, Overton, NV 89040

Phone Number: (702) 397-2088

Amenities at Atlatl Rock Campground:

  • 44 Campsites – Half are semi-primitive (water spigot, shaded picnic table, fire ring, grill) and half are RV only (electric and water hookups, shaded picnic table, fire ring, grill).
  • Bathrooms with Flush Toilets
  • Showers (Free)
  • Self-Service Pay (Cash or Check Only)
  • Dumpsters
  • Ash Cans
  • Dump Station
  • Onsite Camp Hosts
Distant view of our site in Atlatl Rock Campground
Our site (#44) was a pull-through and had water and electric hookups.
Each site has a shaded picnic table, fire ring, and grill.
The view out our window of the moon rise.

Park Info:

There’s a $10 entrance fee to get into the park that can be put towards your campground fee. The park itself is doable in one day, but I’d allow at least two days to see the sites. The visitor center has little cards titled “What to Do & See in Valley of Fire…” …if you have two hours, …if you have half a day, and …if you have a full day. Recommendations for a full day are:

  • Drive White Domes Road and Fire Canyon Road; stop and take in the scenic vistas at areas such as Rainbow Vista and Fire Canyon
  • Hike the 1.25-mile roundtrip White Domes Trail, the 1.5-mile roundtrip Fire Wave Trail, and the 3/4-mile roundtrip Mouse’s Tank Trail
  • Check out the Native American petroglyphs at Atlatl Rock picnic area
  • Visit Arch Rock
  • Stop at the “Cabins” to see the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollees who built the park’s infrastructure in the 1930s
  • Do the 1/8-mile walk to see Elephant Rock
  • Spend some time checking out the displays in the visitor center. Learn about Valley of Fire’s geologic history, human history, and flora and fauna
  • Stop at some sites along the main road, such as the 1/4-mile Petrified Logs Loop Trail and Seven Sisters picnic area
Slot canyon on the White Domes Trail, which was our favorite trail.
The remains of a movie set along the White Domes Trail. The 1965 movie was called ‘The Professionals’.
The Fire Wave at the end of the Fire Wave Trail.
Petroglyphs in Petroglyph Canyon along Mouse’s Tank Trail.
Sunset at Arch Rock
Petrified log at Petrified Logs West — Almost 225 million years old!
We were fortunate to see a herd of Desert Bighorn Sheep while driving along White Domes Road!

In the Area:

The city of Overton is less than a half-hour drive from Atlatl Rock Campground, or less than 20 minutes from the East Entrance of the park. There’s a grocery store, a gas station, a post office (that accepts general delivery), a McDonald’s, and a couple of local restaurants. Hoover Dam is about 60 miles away and is accessible through Lake Mead Recreational Area, which is six miles from the East Entrance of the park. Las Vegas is about an hour drive to the southwest.

We weren’t sure what to expect at Valley of Fire before arriving, but a handful of people that we had spoken to in the Las Vegas area said it was spectacular, and they were right! We were totally awed by it’s beauty and will definitely be back!

Furnace Creek at Death Valley NP

Furnace Creek Campground is the perfect home base for exploring Death Valley!

First, about the campground…

We knew more than six months in advance that we’d be staying here as Travis and a friend of ours had signed up for the Death Valley Half Marathon and Marathon respectively. Because of the advanced notice, I was able to book the exact site we wanted as soon as it became available through We chose site 76 because it had full hookups and was a pull through. It was also extremely long and level and was the easiest set up we’ve had to date. The Furnace Creek Visitor’s Center was about 100 yards away and a restroom with flush toilets was about 20 yards away. There’s also a sink area near the restroom where you can wash dishes. Each site has a fire ring and picnic table, and the pull throughs are blacktopped.

The Furnace Creek area is also home to The Ranch at Death Valley which has a couple of restaurants, a golf course, a hotel, a general store, the Borax Museum, a swimming pool, restrooms, laundry facilities, sport courts and a gas station. Although there are not showers in the campground itself, The Ranch has shower facilities that you can use for $5, which also gives you access to the swimming pool. The pass is good for 24 hours, so if you time it right, you can get two days’ worth of showers out of one pass.

Exploring Death Valley…

Just like any National Park, you have to drive a little to take in all of the sights. Luckily, many of the most recommended sights Death Valley has to offer are short drives from Furnace Creek. We got to Death Valley on a Friday afternoon. After unhitching the trailer at the campground, we still had plenty of daylight left to explore. Our first stop was Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America.

Next, we did the easy 1-mile-roundtrip hike to Natural Bridge.

After the hike, we went back to the campground for dinner. After all, the guys had a race to run in the morning and here’s something I didn’t think about — when the sun goes down, it gets dark. Really dark, fast — so don’t forget your headlamps. Death Valley is a Gold-Tier International Dark-Sky Association park, meaning that the skies there are affected by only the smallest amounts of light pollution, classifying it at the highest level of IDA designation. We grew up in a small town in Wisconsin where there are many open areas free of heavy light pollution, but never in my life have I seen such a dark sky and such bright stars — so amazing!

Our second day in Death Valley started with the marathon/half marathon. While the guys were running, the ladies took a drive along the nine-mile Artist’s Drive that passes through Artist’s Palette, with mineral-rich rocks displaying an array of colors.

We had a lazy afternoon involving some pool time, showers, and naps, but then decided to catch the sunset at Zabriskie Point before getting dinner at the Date Grove Diner.

On our final full day in Death Valley, we opted to do the moderately-difficult 4-mile Mosaic Canyon hike, just past Stovepipe Wells. The polished marble narrows made this hike a little interesting, but all in all I would say it’s on the low end of moderate for difficulty.

After the hike, we stopped at the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes but only looked on from afar.

As we passed back through Stovepipe Wells on our way back towards Furnace Creek, we stopped at the gas station/general store to fill the gas tank and pick up a few supplies and souvenirs. **Important Tip** The gas in Stovepipe Wells is almost a $1.50 cheaper than in Furnace Creek, so fill up there! Our last stop for the day was the Salt Creek Interpretive Trail to see if we could see the rare pupfish (we did).

We bugged out fairly early on Monday morning as we had to drop the trailer off in Pahrump and then take our friends to Las Vegas, and then head back to Pahrump. Death Valley was very cool and we’re looking forward to exploring it again in the future. Dante’s View and Scotty’s Castle were both closed while we were there and we didn’t get the chance to drive over to Racetrack Playa to see the ‘sailing stones’.

Wine Ridge RV Resort and Cottages

We spent five weeks at Wine Ridge Resort in Pahrump, Nevada. If you’ve never heard of Pahrump, don’t worry — most people haven’t. It’s located between Death Valley National Park (to the west) and Las Vegas (to the east), and it takes about an hour to get to either one.

The resort is very nice and the monthly rate is more than reasonable. We were there for 36 nights at $9.63 per night plus electricity, which, for the five weeks, was $53.82. Our grand total was $400.52.

Address: 3800 Winery Road, Pahrump, NV 89048

Phone Number: (775) 751-7805

Amenities include:

  • Full Hookup
  • Two Pools and a Hot Tub
  • Individual Bathrooms with Showers (So great!)
  • Laundry
  • Pickle Ball, Bocce Ball and Horseshoes
  • Fitness Center (Pretty decent, actually)
  • RV/Car Wash
  • Clubhouse with Pool Table, Shuffle Board, and a Lending Library with DVDs, Board Games, Books and Puzzles
  • Complimentary Breakfasts Most Mornings
  • Weekly Activities including Poker, Bingo and Karaoke
  • Mail Service
  • Cottages

Located next door to the resort is the Pahrump Valley Winery (voted #1 in Nevada) that offers free tastings and the Symphony’s Restaurant, which, according to locals, is the best restaurant in Pahrump. The wine is excellent and the food was pretty good.

Pahrump Valley Winery

Pahrump itself doesn’t have a lot going on, unless you’re really into smoky casinos and fireworks stores, but we tried to take advantage of everything it did have to offer:

  • Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area: About a 40-minute drive from Pahrump, Red Rock is home to a 13-mile, extremely scenic drive with multiple overlooks, parking areas and picnic areas. There are also 26 different hiking trails of varying length and difficulty — our favorite was the Calico Tanks Trail. Rock climbing is allowed but you need a permit. Definitely a must see if in the Pahrump area and it’s only about a 20-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip.

    View along the Calico Tanks Trail
  • Death Valley National Park: While there are places to stay in Death Valley, the campgrounds fill up fast and the hotels are crazy expensive. Pahrump is a decent location for making day trips to the park. As we had friends visit to run the Death Valley Marathon, we did hook up the Airstream and tow to Death Valley to spend three nights at the Furnace Creek Campground.

    Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America (-282 feet)
  • Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge: Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the refuge protects threatened and endangered species, many of which occur nowhere else in the world, such as the Devils Hole pupfish.

    Crystal Spring – A true oasis in the desert!
  • China Ranch Date Farm: A family-owned date farm and bakery that serves the regional delight, date shakes. There are also a handful of trails and a cute little gift shop.

    China Ranch Date Farm (The date vanilla chip cookies were delicious!)

There are a few other attractions in the area that either didn’t interest us or we didn’t have time for: Dumont Dunes, Tacopa Hot Springs and the Amargosa Opera House.

For the most part, we enjoyed our time in Pahrump, although five weeks was too long; however, five weeks is probably too long to spend anywhere. It was nice to be able to have visitors, which we did on two different occasions. And it was very convenient to be stationary for a little while so we could get our mail sent to us regularly and be able to do some shopping on Amazon. Also, Travis had to make a business trip at one point, so being close to a large airport was important. We’d stay at Wine Ridge Resort again, but probably just for a few nights.



Sam’s Family Spa

After Champagne Lakes, we were supposed to spend three nights at Joshua Tree National Park. The day we were supposed to check in, the government shut down. There was very little information available as to if the campgrounds within the park would still be open and what services would be available, so instead of risking it and driving all the way into the park, we found an alternate place to stay for those three nights. We ended up at Sam’s Family Spa after I had seen a post from another full-time Airstreamer in which she raved about the facilities. It was a pretty place to stay and the pools were very nice, but one major drawback was the size of the sites. They were VERY difficult to back into, and not just because we were newbies. We ended up next to a couple in which the gentleman drives a truck for a living, and he said he attempted three different spots before settling on theirs. Sam’s allows you to choose an open spot (there are no reservations), get hooked up, and then let them know what spot you chose and pay, which worked out well with the difficulty of their spots. Desert Hot Springs is right outside Palm Springs, so we were able to grab lunch there one day.

Address: 70-875 Dillon Road, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92241

Phone Number: (760) 329-6457


  • 175 Full Hookup Sites with Free Cable
  • Motel Accommodations
  • Wifi
  • Hot Mineral Spring Water Pools
  • Coin Laundry
  • Bathrooms with Showers
  • Volleyball, Basketball and Horseshoes
  • BBQ and Picnic Area
  • Dog Run
  • Store
  • Playground
The view from our site (site 329) was pretty great!
The four hot mineral spring water pools with varying temperatures.
Even with the government shutdown, we were still able to visit Joshua Tree.


Champagne Lakes RV Resort

We decided to stay somewhere ‘close to home’ for our first week of being full-time Airstreamers. Champagne Lakes is in Escondido, California in North County San Diego, which is just one city over from where we owned a house for three and a half years. Home Depot, Target, Walmart, Camping World, PetSmart and many other stores are all within a 25-minute drive, making it a great home base while we figured out what we were doing and what we needed. Even though most of the people that were staying here seemed to be permanent residents, it was very nice, very clean and just what we were looking for for our first week.

Address: 8310 Nelson Way, Escondido, CA 92026

Phone Number: (760) 749-7572


  • 140 Full Hookup Sites with Phone & Free Cable
  • Wifi
  • Swimming Pool
  • Coin Laundry
  • Bathrooms with Showers
  • Mini-Market/Deli
  • Propane
  • Dump Station
  • Dog Run
  • Playground
  • Catch and Release Fishing
  • Mail Service
  • Vehicle Wash
Our site was in an area called Spillway South. I think it’s typically used for tent campers, but we were pleased with the view and seclusion it provided.