After a long few months of isolation and social distancing, everyone is itching to travel. RV sales are booming, and rental RVs are more popular than ever. In fact, RVshare reported a 650% increase in reservations since April.
We’ve compiled a list of some beautiful, remote destinations to ensure you’re keeping your distance while still getting to vacation this summer and visit somewhere new.
Remote destinations to visit this summer
1. Frank Church–River of No Return Wilderness, Idaho
If you’re looking to visit a state with wide-open space, Idaho should top your list. The western state is home to the Frank Church—River of No Return Wilderness, a protected wilderness area encompassing 2,366,757 acres of mountains, canyons, and wild rivers located in central Idaho.
Located within 6 national forests and making up the core of a 3.3 million-acre roadless area, the Frank Church is a dream for those looking to truly get away from it all.
There are numerous access points to this area as well as 87 different campgrounds to choose from. Recreation opportunities abound such as biking, fishing, hiking, and horse riding.
Those interested in whitewater rafting have their choice of four different rivers to ride—the Selway, the Snake, the Salmon, and the Middle Fork.
2. Big Bend National Park, Texas
Following guidance from the CDC and state and local public health authorities, national parks are increasing access and services in a phased approach. Before visiting any park, check the website to determine operating status. Big Bend begins its phased opening June 1 which will allow day-use access.
While many national parks are going to be crowded, Big Bend National Park is one of the more out-of-the-way national parks, meaning you’re less likely to run into others.
As one of the most remote areas of the lower 48 states, it’s important to plan your drive to Big Bend and getting around once you’re there. The park is 800,000 acres of river, desert, and mountains, all waiting to be explored.
The park also encompasses the largest protected area of the Chihuahuan Desert in the U.S. Enjoy the scenic beauty of blooming cacti, hundreds of bird species, as well as the only complete mountain range contained in a park—the Chisos. The Rio Grande Wild and Scene River also forms its southern boundary.
There are plenty of activities to do in Big Bend including biking, birding, golfing, hiking, horseback riding, river trips, sightseeing, and ziplining.
While the park is only open for day-use right now, camping is usually available at the park. Three campgrounds are available to stay at, as well as an RV campground:
- Chisos Basin Campground offers 60 campsites surrounded by tall cliffs near some of the more popular trails. Trailers over 20 feet and RVs over 24 feet are not recommended due to the narrow, winding road to the Basin and small campsites at this campground.
- The Cottonwood Campground is another NPS campground with 24 sites. Open year-round, this area is a nice, shady oasis with pit toilets, picnic tables, grills, and water, but no dump station.
- Rio Grande Village Campground is the third national park service site with 100 campsites set in a large grove of cottonwoods adjacent to the Rio Grande. There is a camp store and showers within walking distance as well as flush toilets, running water, picnic tables, grills, and a dump station nearby. The Rio Grande Village RV Campground is not run by the national park service and has 25 sites with full hook-ups.
3. Big Sur, California
This beautiful cliffside town is home to only about 2,000 residents, making for a sparsely-populated area with a whole lot to explore. Located about 150 miles south of San Francisco, this can be the perfect weekend trip for Bay Area residents or a great stop for those touring the California coast.
You can truly get away from it all in Big Sur where WiFi and cell reception are often spotty and you can go great lengths of time without spotting another person.
There’s a little something for everybody in Big Sur. From hiking in the mountains and the Redwoods to exploring the beaches and spotting California sea otters, you’ll love the natural beauty of this area. The area also has a number of local restaurants, art galleries, and shops to explore.
For camping opportunities, there are both privately-owned campgrounds and State Parks. All campgrounds are subject to current restrictions and closures so be sure to check each website for openings.
- Big Sur Campground & Cabins offers year-round RV camping in the Redwood trees along the Big Sur River with water and electric hook-ups and a dump station as well as access to the store, laundry, playground, and basketball court.
- Fernwood Campground offers tent and RV camping on both sides of the Big Sur River with access to hiking trails, horseshoes, volleyball, a restaurant, tavern, and espresso bar.
- Kirk Creek Campground is situated on a bluff with splendid views of Big Sur. 33 sites are available for tents or RVs and include a picnic table, fire ring, and pedestal BBQ. No water.
- Limekiln State Park has 33 sites with beautiful views of the coast. Trailers are limited to 15 feet and campers/RVs to 24 feet.
- Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park has 169 sites with no hookups but a sanitation station, picnic tables, hiking, and swimming. Plaskett Creek Campground is just south of Sand Dollar Beach, popular for surfing, fishing, and swimming. Flush toilets and sinks are in the restrooms and water spigots are located throughout the 44 sites in the campgrounds.
- Ponderosa Campground is located in the mountains along a stream with 23 sites. Utility services are not available but sites are paved. Sites come with a table and campfire ring with grill and vault toilets and drinking water are on-site.
- Riverside Campground & Cabins has 56 sites for RV and tent camping along the Big Sur River.