The Ultimate Roadmap for Your 30 Days in Arizona!

Although Arizona has many RV resorts throughout the state, most of them are age-qualified (which means they’re for guests 55+), which is why the state is famous for the snowbirds who flock here every winter from Canada and the colder northern states. However, it is just as majestic and full of life in the spring, summer, and fall.

Regardless of when you visit, you’ll have more than enough to fill 30 days in Arizona if you plan your trip with our roadmap to the Grand Canyon state. Just remember that if you’re a young family ask if the campgrounds that you plan to stay at are age-qualified or family-friendly.

We’ll travel from the south east of the state, up through Phoenix, to the Grand Canyon, and then back down, stopping at a location that might surprise you, before catching the 3:10 to Yuma in the south west.

Tucson (Days 1-5)

We’re starting in the southeast of the state because this route is the best way to see the full variety of Arizona’s surprisingly diverse geography, but it also fits in nicely with a cross country drive. Coming from El Paso Texas you would take Highway 25 clear across the bottom of New Mexico to arrive in Tucson.

If you have your heart set on Albuquerque then it may be better to travel through Arizona from North to South, but we definitely recommend making the extra effort to see Tucson.

Why?

Well, at just over half a million people, Tucson has all the amenities of a big city while still maintaining a small town feel – all set in a stunning location.

Where to Stay

Voyager RV Resort is perfectly located to provide you with an opportunity to see everything Tucson has to offer, but you might find yourself reluctant to leave the resort. When they say ‘resort’ they mean it. Voyager has everything that an RVer could want and more including: a pool, bocce ball, billiards, golf, pickleball, a spa and sauna, and a clubhouse (just to name a few amenities)

What to Do in Tucson

The Black Hill

The name Tucson is derived from a Native American word meaning ‘at the base of the black hill’ and one look at Tucson explains why. The city is located at the base of what is now called Sentinel Peak which is primarily made of dark volcanic rock known as basalt. It not only makes for a great backdrop, but also for hiking and a view of the city as well.

Alpine Forests and Skiing

Yes, you read that right! Often when people think of Arizona they only think of barren desert, but Tucson is located high on a plateau and Mt. Lemmon which sits north of the city is so high that it is home to an alpine forest!

In the winter months there is even skiing in the Mount Lemmon Ski valley. This is also a good time to stress that, because of its altitude, it sometimes snows in Tucson so if you are looking for a mid-winter escape from the cold, look elsewhere in the state.

Explore Nature

Tohono Chul (a garden bistro), the Tucson Botanical Gardens, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and Saguaro National Park East and West (home to thousands of Arizona’s most famous cacti) make Tucson a nature lover’s paradise.

To escape the heat you might want to venture down below ground to explore Colossal Cave Mountain Park or Kartchner Caverns State Park.

Phoenix – Mesa (Days 6-12)

Less than two hours from Tucson is the capital and largest city: Phoenix.  Over 16 million people flock to Phoenix every year and it is no secret why: Like the mythical creature it is named after Phoenix is hot. If sunbathing is your goal then there is nowhere better in the US. and sits at the centre of what is called ‘the valley of the sun’.

Where to Stay

Mesa Spirit RV Resort is popular because of its large size – with over 1600 spaces and all the amenities of a traditional campground (including three pools, hot tubs, fitness, mini-golf, tennis courts and a banquet hall) there are lots of activities going on here. In fact, with event coordinators on site 24/7, this resort is a good place for a long-term stay.

Monte Vista RV Resort at the base of Superstition Mountains is one of the few all-aged RV parks in Arizona. This campground is huge, with its own coffee bar and lots of sports and activities to keep you busy. But with its spectacular mountain backdrops, it’s likely that you’ll want to sit back and enjoy the view.

ViewPoint Golf & RV Resort  is also located in popular Mesa, Arizona, and boasts a well-maintained golf and RV community set at the base of the Superstition Mountains. Just outside the Tonto National Forest, Viewpoint offers scenic views that can be enjoyed from your on site RV or mobile home.

What to Do

Montezuma’s Castle and Montezuma’s Well both provide a unique (and breathtaking) look into the lives of the native population that once dominated the area.

Lake Havasu is home to London Bridge…yes that London bridge, an entrepreneur named Robert Paxton McCulloch purchased the old london bridge, shipped it brick by brick and rebuilt it on the lake (a rumour claims that he thought he was buying the iconic Tower Bridge but locals deny this myth).

Phoenix is a sport lover’s mecca. You’ll find the Phoenix Suns (basketball), Arizona Diamondbacks (baseball), Phoenix Coyotes (NHL), and Arizona Cardinals (NFL) here. Tonto National Park is just a short drive away, as is Sonoran Desert National Monument.

Flagstaff Arizona (Days 14-23)

Flagstaff  is in close proximity to some of the most amazing sites in the entire United States. Not bad for a town of just over 70,000 in northern Arizona.

Where to Stay

The best place to stay near Flagstaff is definitely Verde Valley RV Resorts, best known for its expansive desert and mountain backdrops. Situated on the Verde River, this 300-acre oasis in the high desert of Arizona, this resort has it all – the majestic beauty of the Red Rocks to the north, Mingus Mountains to the west, the Hackberry Mountains to the south and it is adjacent to beautiful Alcantara Vineyards (perfect for an evening of wine-tasting)!

While you’re here make sure you take advantage of the kayaking and make time for a scenic drive through Sedona. It’s the perfect place to stop along I-17 whether you are heading south to the sunbelt or driving home. Temperatures range from 8C (46F) to 26C (78F) from early fall through to late spring. There’s plenty of sunshine and warm weather here to go around.

The Grand Canyon

Ask anyone what they know about Arizona and more often than not they will bring up the Grand Canyon. This natural wonder of the world is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide in places, and over a mile deep. Camping in Grand Canyon National Park is available and probably the best way to make the most of this amazing site.

The Pueblo considered the canyon a holy site, and even if you don’t share their beliefs you will immediately understand why. Seeing the Grand Canyon is a truly a once in a lifetime experience.

Meteor Crater

Often overshadowed by the Grand Canyon, Meteor National Park is relatively close to Flagstaff. Although not as big as the Grand Canyon, it is just as impressive in its own right. At over 3,700 feet wide and 560 feet deep this 50,000 year old impact site is remarkable to behold. The meteor which caused this massive impact is believed to have been made of nickel-iron and was over 160 feet across.

Lowell Observatory

One of the oldest and most important observatories in America, the Lowell Observatory has become a tourist attraction for scientists, science lovers, and people just passing through. Lowell is where Pluto was discovered, and despite first being established in 1894, it is still in operation as an observatory today.

Yuma (Days 24-30)

Yuma is in the far southwestern tip of the state of Arizona bordering Mexico and California, making it the perfect place to stop if you are headed to the Golden State. Yuma may not have the majesty of the Grand Canyon, the natural beauty of Tucson, or the big-city attractions of Phoenix, but if you came to Arizona for the weather then this is the place to be.

Yuma is the driest, the sunniest, and the least humid place in the contiguous US. It also boasts the most days with a maximum temperature of 90 degrees fahrenheit or more – 175 days a year to be exact – and claims to be the sunniest place in the world with sun during 90% of daytime hours.  

Where to Stay

Yuma’s weather and location make it a popular destination which is why there are so many RV resorts here. Araby Acres is one of Yuma’s most popular campgrounds because of it’s beautiful landscapes, but you’ll also find beauty and lots of amenities at Desert Paradise RV Resort; Foothill Village RV Resort and Mesa Verde Resort.

What to Do

The Imperial National Wildlife Refuge stretches along the Colorado River and offers sites of both desert and wetlands, making it a prime spot for anyone interested in hiking, bird watching, fishing, or boating.

Gateway Park offers beaches and a relaxing, lazy river environment for families who want to spend some time communing with nature. If you’ve got a dog, they’ll love spending some time here!

The Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area is a historical tribute to the Yuma Crossing, and also offers a number of beautiful parks and historic walking areas.

The Camel Farm is a great place to see camels, yes, but also a wide variety of animals. Kids will love the petting zoo, and nature lovers will enjoy a chance to see water buffalo in their natural habitat.

Whether you’re headed home after your stay in Yuma, or you’re off to explore Mexico or California, you’ll be glad you took the time to enjoy the beauty and weather of this historic location.

Make This Trip Your Own!

This itinerary is just a starting point. Whether you choose to follow it, or create one of your own, if you’re looking for tips about where and when to visit Arizona, give our customer service team a call at 1-877-570-2267 or visit RVontheGo.com for more information.

Meet Carlos From Capri RV Resort in Yuma, Arizona

Profile:
Name: Carlos Paredes
In position since: November 2016
Title: Resort Manager
Work Location: Capri RV Resorts
Favorite hobbies or sport: Talking & Listening to people

What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a Park Manager?
Turning my park into a “place called Home” for our guest.

What’s the most challenging aspect of being a Park Manager? How do you overcome these challenges?
Having guests trust you as you put your vision in place for the future of the park. I gain trust with action – I share what we have done and what we are doing to do in our monthly newsletter, showing our improvements and changes.

How do you help make guests vacations at Capri special?
By making sure they feel welcomed. I go out of my way to go meet them when they come in and continue with my park walks to insure each guest feels that we care.

Can you share something you’ve learned from your guests?
They appreciate someone that listens to them – they want to be heard. I started getting involved in their activities – I can get lots of information as we play or interact. If you listen, you can learn a lot about their needs and of course about future stays. They see me as one of them.

What accomplishment at Capri are you most proud of? Why?
Able to get separate groups of people to work together in activities with one goal in mind – having fun.

What does a typical day at Capri look like?
Lots of activities – walking around and talking to my guests and listening for issues that I can prevent from getting bigger. And run the office of course.

What’s your favorite funny story to tell from Capri?
First day on the job, I was about to open my new office and a customer came by and asked me what I was doing (he might have thought I was trying to break in). I took that and ran with it – security is very important. So I introduced myself as the new manager and we had a good laugh about it.

Can you share your favorite memory at Capri?
I was walking out of my office and next to our shuffleboard court – they were missing a player. I was asked if I wanted to play with a group. Even though I had never played the game, the team embraced me and showed me what to do. Everyone was surprised that I was doing pretty good! They asked me how long I had been playing and I surprised them by saying it was my first time. We ended up winning and beating our park’s best players.

Can you recall a time when the guests at your property surprised you?
I have a logo of mine – a face with a hand over his ear – my saying is “I’m here to listen.” One day a customer that engraves things came to my office and said “I have something for you.” He engraved the logo on a glass cup and now it sits on my desk.

Can you tell us about some of the friendships that have developed between guests at Capri?
There have been plenty of friendships developed Capri. Every Monday late afternoon, there is a group that waits on me to go to the Recreation Hall and participate in their card games. The “Tuesday Jammers” always invite me me to sing Feliz Navidad with them during the holidays.

I also have a special bond with the Morton family. Kathy Morton fell and broke her arm one day and they were having issues finding a place to get x rays they could afford. My wife and I met them in Mexico and were able to get them an appointment to get x rays at a very reasonable price. After that we went out to eat and now we have become close friends.

RV communities look out for each other. Can you share an example of how Capri exemplifies the idea of community?

We are starting a neighborhood watch program on our property – having each neighbor look after those that are out for the season and during the season for each other.Why do you think your veteran guests keep coming back to Capri?
It comes down to feeling like they are coming home not just to a park. as well as forming friendships here from different parts of the U.S.A and Canada. As I get involved with them they become part of a family.

Do you have any last words or thoughts for your guests?
As my staff and I continue to make improvements. I will never forget that I am here to listen and to continue to make Capri RV Resort “a place called home.”

Sights, Sounds & Sunshine in Sedona, Arizona

There’s something about Sedona sunshine that attracts people to this area. It’s the perfect place to stop along I-17 whether you are heading south to the sunbelt or driving home. Temperatures range from 8C (46F) to 26C (78F) from early fall through to late spring. There’s plenty of sunshine and warm weather here to go around.

Your Stop Along the Way

Verde Valley RV Camping is the perfect place to stop on your journey north or south. Wake up in the morning and gaze out at expansive desert and mountain backdrops. Verde Valley RV is on 300 acres in the high desert. To the north are the majestic Red Rocks; to the west, the Mingus Mountains and to the south are the Hackberry Mountains. If that isn’t enough, the RV resort is located next to the Alcantara Vineyards and Winery!

From Verde Valley RV, you are two hours north of Phoenix, and one hour south of Flagstaff. For a great day trip, take the two-and-a-half-hour drive to the Grand Canyon. Best of all, downtown Sedona is less than 30 minutes away.

Don’t have an RV? No worries, you can pitch your tent or rent one of their cabins or new cottages that sleep up to six people! Get settled in and then get out and explore the neighborhood.

Sedona by Foot

Explore Sedona with your feet and discover some exceptional finds. The internationally renowned Tlaquepaque (pronounced Tla-keh-pah-keh), Arts & Crafts Village is a must visit. Enjoy an extraordinary assortment of shops and art galleries surrounded by restaurants and a microbrewery.

Sedona by Air

Look down at Sedona from your hot air balloon and you’ll realize how amazing this land really is. Should you prefer your air adventures to have a bit more manoeuvrability, then a helicopter tour is the way to go. Rise above it all and see a Sedona in a way like no other.

Sedona by Rail

You’ll feel transported back in time the moment you set foot on these fastidiously restored train cars. Enjoy a leisurely train ride where you connect with people by simply saying hello. Sit back, relax, order a beverage and then drink in the scenery along on a 32 km (20 mi) journey through 100 years of history. All this in climate controlled comfort.

Sedona by Water

Yes, Sedona is in the desert, but there’s also plenty of water here. The Verde River offers up a myriad of fun things to do. Guided and self-guided tours are available. From the river, you’ll see limestone hills with pre-historic caves. There are gorgeous mountain views and the river is lined with Sycamore, Cottonwood and Willow trees as well as cattails, reeds, flowers and grasses. Make sure you pack what you need for the day, as there are no stores or restaurants on these river tours.

Sedona by Trolley

If you like the train, you’re sure to love the Red Rock Magic Trolley experience. There are several tours you can take. Enjoy a trip out to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which takes you by the Tlaquepaque shopping centre and beautiful desert scenery. Or take a tour that teaches you about western movies and Native American history. Another tour takes you out for some postcard worthy photo ops.

Ghost Towns and Ranches

There’s a real ghost town about a 30-minute drive NW of Verde Valley RV. Jerome, AZ is both America’s most vertical city and its largest ghost town. Once a thriving mining town, the place is now busy with visitors keen on seeing how folks lived back in the mining hey days. Not much has changed in 100 years, except now it houses artists, musicians, writers and fallen-down building landlords.

The Blazin’ M Ranch is one of those Sedona attractions that should be on your bucket list. Locals love it and visitors return time and time again. Step into the old west and try your hand at pitching horseshoes and shooting a Colt .45. When you’ve had enough fun, belly up to the bar in their western saloon for traditional salon beverages and some ranch style eats.

Get Your ‘Om’ On

Most people know of Sedona as the place where spiritual seekers come to gather. And it’s true. It’s here where you’ll find the most eclectic, unique culture in the USA. Come for a massage or a healing, get a psychic reading or experience the rush of an energy vortex where it is said you will experience heightened spiritual and metaphysical energies.

There are so many things to see, do and experience in Sedona, you’ll come back time and time again.

Yuma, Arizona – A Snowbird’s Best Kept Secret

Yuma, AZ, is an oasis in the middle of the Sonoran Desert that attracts visitors from all over the United States and Canada. Nestled in the southwest corner of Arizona between the Yuma and Gila valleys, the city lies just west of the Gila and Colorado River confluence. The warm climate, the endless sunshine, and the close proximity to Mexico makes Yuma feel like a snowbird’s best kept secret.

Yuma is the sunniest place in the United States. With 90% sunshine year round and temperatures that rarely drop below 25℃, Yuma claims the record for most hours of yearly sun by the Guinness Book of World Records. But it’s not just the record sun and warmth that keeps Canadians coming back here – Yuma’s close proximity to Mexico offers visitors the opportunity to experience authentic Mexican and southwestern culture.

With such a perfect desert climate, Yuma is also the date capital of the world and the largest date processing center in the world is located in Yuma. The dry, desert heat, also makes Yuma a prime location for outdoor events, like the Tunes & Taco Festival in April, the Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival in November, and the Somerton Tamale Festival in December.

poolTableIn addition to its desirable climate and plethora of cultural activities, many think of Yuma, AZ as a bypass on the way from Phoenix, AZ to San Diego, CA, but Yuma is so much more than just a rest stop. With endless desert activities, perpetual sunshine, and a thriving cultural scene, many Canucks are taking up residence at one of Yuma’s many affordable RV sites that Encore RV Resorts offer in this region. With a variety of resorts offering unique amenities and community sizes, you can escape the winter cold for the sunniest place on Earth no matter what lifestyle you like. Encore RV resorts like Desert Paradise RV Resort and Foothill Village RV Resort, have the same convenient amenities as other larger resorts such as fitness centers, pools, hiking and biking trails, and game rooms. And with a smaller community of residents, it’s easy to make new friends and be as active or relaxed as you want.

At the larger Yuma RV resorts such as Araby Acres and Cactus Gardens, residents have the opportunity to take up short or long term residence at hundreds of different sites and acres upon acres of activities to maintain an active lifestyle. Scenic roadways, friendly atmosphere, and a calendar chock full of entertainment and group activities, there is no shortage of beautiful desert scenery and space to enjoy everything Yuma has to lakeoffer. The nearby Colorado River and Imperial Dam give residents great opportunities for fishing and boating, two of the many activities that Encore guests frequently enjoy. Heading out for a day trip across the border? The convenient location of Capri RV Resort provides guests endless opportunities to experience authentic Mexican culture and still be close to the comforts of home. The Yuma Arts Center, downtown farmer’s market, and casinos are also close by to all seven Encore RV resorts.

No matter which Encore RV Resort you stay at, you are no more than 20 to 30 minutes from the West Wetlands Park, which sits on the northwest edge of Yuma along the Colorado River. This 110-acre public park features a Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden, an Owl Habitat, equestrian trails, disc-golf courses, picnic tables, boating opportunities and more. Not too far from the West Wetlands Park is the famous Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park where visitors can walk through actual cells and solitary chambers of Arizona Territory’s first prison. Visitors can view photographs and exhibits of those who were incarcerated here for the 33 years that the prison was in operation. In fact, there were inmates who were imprisoned here and also helped to build the prison itself. In cooperation with the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, the Prison holds activities every February to coincide with Yuma Crossing Day, a day mean to highlight the historical eras of Yuma’s past, from the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500s to the mid-1900s through living history re-enactments.

curlingWhether you’re looking for a smaller RV resort with those big amenities, or because you want to be within close proximity to casinos and outdoor activities, Encore RV resorts in Yuma are a snowbird’s paradise.

 

Araby Acres RV Resort, A Snowbird Oasis In Yuma, AZ!

Some places bill themselves as being in the ‘Valley of the Sun’. Yuma however is the ‘Home of the Sun’. Araby Acres RV Resort is located in the eastern outskirts of Yuma and is close enough to downtown to reach it easily. This Encore RV resort has 330 sites, including areas for park models. The people are very friendly and helpful in getting you settled in, plus a large number of guests are from Canada. Come see why hundreds of Snowbirds call Araby Acres their home away from home.

_15A8363-EditOne of the most pleasant areas in the park is the small lagoon surrounded by green grass and tall palm trees. Small water fowl puddle aimlessly, or pick insects from the grass. The wind in the palms sounds so much like the ocean surf. This is one of the nicest relaxation areas in Yuma. The ambiance of this area calls for a few park benches to relax on.

The two pools and hot tubs provide relaxing moments and also a cool-down opportunity if you’ve been sampling some of the more vigorous activities such as a good workout in the exercise room, or shuffleboard. Several guests enjoy participating in arts and crafts and wood carving.

Optional cable and WiFi access are available for a fee and a WiFi hotspot is located in the clubhouse. The ideal location in the park is south of the main office, where you’ll find a particularly quiet corner of the property to enjoy.

Many visitors are here to enjoy the sun and heat that they wouldn’t get back home in the _15A7665winter. Shopping is easy and abundant, and it’s an easy drive into Mexico at Los Algodones. There is plenty of paid parking so you can park and walk across the border for your shopping. The crossing of the border is hassle free on the way into Mexico. Leave early if you want to avoid long lines coming back.

Los Algodones is a medical oasis for thousands of visitors who hold their treatments until they get to Mexico where medical help is not only available, but at very low prices. Many also fill their prescriptions while there.

Yuma developed during the mid-1800’s taking advantage of the large amount of steamboat movement up and down the Colorado River. Settlers also took this route through Yuma to cross the river where it was narrower. Yuma is probably most famous for its Yuma Territorial Prison which didn’t need much fencing because, if you escaped, the desert would get you. This area usually gets about 3” of precipitation, and is blisteringly hot in the summer. Tours are available if you want to visit the State Historic Park. There are several quiet, easy walking or biking trails around town.

North and south of Yuma are massive acres of agricultural land. Vegetables, and hay grow several crops per year and drives along those fields can be very educational. Huge orchards of lemon, grapefruit, and oranges will provide scattered roadside stands for you ArabyAcresto pick up fresh fruit.

There are also date groves and stores for you to visit and purchase large packages of dates and enjoy the fabulous date shake whose sweet taste is amazing.

RVers will appreciate the flea markets and RV market places around town that have thousands of items piled hurriedly on shelves awaiting your discovery. There are all types of parts and pieces for the do-it-yourselfers.

The Imperial National Wildlife Refuge came into being after the Imperial Dam created scores of marshy areas which now provide good habitat for a wide variety of migrating birds. It is significant that this area has grown up a verdant attractive area, backdropped by the dry desert and mountains. This 26,000 acre preserve protects 30 miles of the lower Colorado River and can give you several days of entertainment as you explore. You will notice how quickly the plant varieties change as you move back from the river. Washes cut down to the water from the desert, and ironwood and smoke trees are home for the lizards and rabbits. On the higher ground the palo verde, creosote bushes, and ocotillo dot the landscape. Early in the day, or late, you could see the mule deer moving down for a drink, and sometimes the bighorn sheep from the mountains.

Araby_Acres_fire pit_rtmsYuma is a compact city with extensive spread eastward toward the mountains. The area has enough to interest you, whether for a month, or for the entire winter. Araby Acres RV Resort can provide an oasis to return to for rest and relaxation.

Canada 150: See How We Celebrated!

2017 marked the 150th anniversary of Canada! Encore RV Resorts celebrated Canada 150 by throwing several appreciation days across the Sunbelt to celebrate this major milestone!

All of our Canadian guests and US friends were invited to join us for a fun-filled day of activities, including bocce ball, petanque, shuffleboard tournaments, dancing, jam sessions and so much more.

Check out the recap video and let us know what you think!

Snowbirds will love Fiesta Grande RV Resort in Casa Grande, AZ

FG Cover

Between Tucson and Phoenix is the small community of Casa Grande. Surrounded by desert and agricultural lands Casa Grande does not have the hectic jammed in feeling of the larger cities nearby. It is because of this that snowbirds flock to the beautiful Fiesta Grande RV Resort, perfectly located near the outskirts of town.

When you first drive into Fiesta Grande RV Resort you will be impressed at the long, wide entrance driveway leading to the office. You will likely be surprised to see a long parking strip capable of holding several RVs that might be lined up for registration, so unlike places you may have been where you perhaps park on the street blocking everything.

Next you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the friendly staff who go out of their way to guide you through the packet of information about the park and its 767 sites. After this, you are guided to your site, and carefully parked in the proper place.

Some resorts make long lists of activities, which sometimes do not fully materialize when you arrive. At Fiesta Grande RV Resort you can find an active quilting club, two swimming pools, a hot tub, a billiard room, a computer center and active computer club, fitness gym, FGand craft rooms and many meeting rooms in two different sites in the park for a myriad of room-oriented activities. Outdoors are the shuffleboard and horseshoe courts, mini-driving range for golf, putting green, and pickle ball.

They have a shiny wood parquet dance floor and dancing plus a myriad of great entertainers. For whatever spare time you have left over, their full-time Activity Coordinator will fill it in with a wide programme of classes, dinners, tours, and other projects. This park is known for fun and activity. All day long, from early till late, people are walking, and biking, with stops to visit others along the way.

The park is full of mature trees of many species offering a shady break when required from the warm sun. They are just part of the relaxing atmosphere. Its quietness is not interrupted by jet planes and constant helicopter noise such as found in southern cities.

Aside from being a pleasant peaceful park, its location is great for explorations. South a few miles is Picacho State Park enclosing part of Picacho Peak, an ancient volcanic formation. The hiking trail to the peak, while a bit strenuous offers great views of the surrounding desert. Incidentally, Picacho is Spanish for peak, so the English name is really calling it Peak Peak!!

Drive northeast of Phoenix to the Superstition Mountains where ancient lore speaks of a gold strike found by a Dutchman and then lost. The Lost Dutchman Mine has drawn many, many people seeking the fortune reputed to be there, and many supposedly vanished. A rugged crooked mountain drive penetrates these mountains on a route called the Apache FG2Trail. This was the route of an old stagecoach trail from Apache Junction and running through the Superstition Mountains. It’s paved to Tortilla Flat, and there are some rugged camps there. The best reason for going on this trip is the magnificent scenery you will see as you enter steep canyons with high cliffs, and top out on higher country for great distant views.

Eventually the road becomes rough gravel and descends into a deep canyon and then curls back out of it to ultimately reach a large reservoir, held in by Roosevelt Dam. This reservoir traps mountain snows and lets water out for irrigation. On the west end of the trail is Goldfield, a well-kept historic mining camp, dating back to 1890. It is a great place to inspect close-up the mining machinery of days gone by at the Mammoth Mine.

On drives from Casa Grande you will see it’s a town surrounded by mountains and desert basins. Some areas are covered with prickly pear cacti, and the sharp needled jumping cholla which is a plant to stay away from. Its sharp segments are said to jump to grab on to you. Well, maybe not, but once they get on you they stay and unless you use a comb, or two sticks to remove them you will find them stuck on your fingers too.

Almost everywhere is the monumental, great saguaro. For some of the best saguaro forests, drive south from town on Indian highway 15 where you can see many multi-armed saguaros. Of course, you are not far from Tucson and the Saguaro National Park. While in that area, take time to visit the Old Tucson Studios and walk in the ghostly tracks of famous western movie stars such as the great John Wayne.

Casa Grande is a nice central place to be in, and Fiesta Grande RV Resort is great place to hang your hat for a while.

Have you stayed at Fiesta Grande RV Resort? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!

Araby Acres RV Resort, A Snowbird Oasis In Yuma, AZ!

ArabyAcresRVResort

Some places bill themselves as being in the ‘Valley of the Sun’. Yuma however is the ‘Home of the Sun’. Araby Acres RV Resort is located in the eastern outskirts of Yuma and is close enough to downtown to reach it easily. This Encore RV resort has 330 sites, including areas for park models. The people are very friendly and helpful in getting you settled in, plus a large number of guests are from Canada. Come see why hundreds of Snowbirds call Araby Acres their home away from home.

_15A8363-Edit One of the most pleasant areas in the park is the small lagoon surrounded by green grass and tall palm trees. Small water fowl puddle aimlessly, or pick insects from the grass. The wind in the palms sounds so much like the ocean surf. This is one of the nicest relaxation areas in Yuma. The ambiance of this area calls for a few park benches to relax on.

The two pools and hot tubs provide relaxing moments and also a cool-down opportunity if you’ve been sampling some of the more vigorous activities such as a good workout in the exercise room, or shuffleboard. Several guests enjoy participating in arts and crafts and wood carving.

Optional cable and WiFi access are available for a fee and a WiFi hotspot is located in the clubhouse. The ideal location in the park is south of the main office, where you’ll find a particularly quiet corner of the property to enjoy.

Many visitors are here to enjoy the sun and heat that they wouldn’t get back home in the _15A7665winter. Shopping is easy and abundant, and it’s an easy drive into Mexico at Los Algodones. There is plenty of paid parking so you can park and walk across the border for your shopping. The crossing of the border is hassle free on the way into Mexico. Leave early if you want to avoid long lines coming back.

Los Algodones is a medical oasis for thousands of visitors who hold their treatments until they get to Mexico where medical help is not only available, but at very low prices. Many also fill their prescriptions while there.

Yuma developed during the mid-1800’s taking advantage of the large amount of steamboat movement up and down the Colorado River. Settlers also took this route through Yuma to cross the river where it was narrower. Yuma is probably most famous for its Yuma Territorial Prison which didn’t need much fencing because, if you escaped, the desert would get you. This area usually gets about 3” of precipitation, and is blisteringly hot in the summer. Tours are available if you want to visit the State Historic Park. There are several quiet, easy walking or biking trails around town.

North and south of Yuma are massive acres of agricultural land. Vegetables, and hay grow several crops per year and drives along those fields can be very educational. Huge orchards of lemon, grapefruit, and oranges will provide scattered roadside stands for you ArabyAcresto pick up fresh fruit.

There are also date groves and stores for you to visit and purchase large packages of dates and enjoy the fabulous date shake whose sweet taste is amazing.

RVers will appreciate the flea markets and RV market places around town that have thousands of items piled hurriedly on shelves awaiting your discovery. There are all types of parts and pieces for the do-it-yourselfers.

The Imperial National Wildlife Refuge came into being after the Imperial Dam created scores of marshy areas which now provide good habitat for a wide variety of migrating birds. It is significant that this area has grown up a verdant attractive area, backdropped by the dry desert and mountains. This 26,000 acre preserve protects 30 miles of the lower Colorado River and can give you several days of entertainment as you explore. You will notice how quickly the plant varieties change as you move back from the river. Washes cut down to the water from the desert, and ironwood and smoke trees are home for the lizards and rabbits. On the higher ground the palo verde, creosote bushes, and ocotillo dot the landscape. Early in the day, or late, you could see the mule deer moving down for a drink, and sometimes the bighorn sheep from the mountains.

Araby_Acres_fire pit_rtmsYuma is a compact city with extensive spread eastward toward the mountains. The area has enough to interest you, whether for a month, or for the entire winter. Araby Acres RV Resort can provide an oasis to return to for rest and relaxation.

 

Visit the Mesa-Phoenix Area & Explore the Beautiful Southwest!

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Looking for a new winter home away from home? Well the beauty of the Arizona desert, its splendid colors, the unique flora and fauna, and the purple mountains will have snowbirds rethinking their tropical migration.

Winter temperatures in the Mesa-Phoenix region are comparable to the temperatures in Daytona Beach. Though Arizona also has a reputation for having the most stunning sunsets in the United States. But we’re going to cut the comparisons there because Arizona’s Mesa-Phoenix region has enough natural beauty and unique attractions to put it in a league of its own!

Golfing

Golf is a popular pastime in Arizona and Viewpoint RV and Gold Resort offers both an 18-hole championship course and a 9-hole executive course. The 18-hole course is a par 71, with hazards that demand strategic play, and four sets of tees to accommodate all skill levels.

viewPointWhat makes this course and resort special is its location at the base of the Superstition Mountains. So while you golf you will also be able to enjoy a breathtaking, panoramic mountain view.

Non-golfers can take in the scenery while hiking, biking, or walking along dry river beds through local parks. This age-qualified resort has it all, and is prepared to assist senior guests so they can fully experience all the perks that an active lifestyle has to offer.

Cactus League

In spring Major League Baseball comes to train across from the Mesa-Phoenix area. You can take in pre-season games between teams from the western divisions, including the World Series Champions the Chicago Cubs.

In fact, the Mesa Spirit RV Resort is less than a 20-minute drive from Sloan Park, which hosts the Cubs in spring. Mesa Spirit is also about a ten-minute drive from the Oakland Athletics springtime home: Hohokam Stadium.mesaSpirit

For sports fans it’s just a short trip into Phoenix to catch the Phoenix Suns play. Canadian hockey fans can travel a little farther if they want to catch the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale at the Gila River Arena. Keep your eye on the schedule —you may even be able to see your favourite Canadian team live in action!

Arts and Culture

The Seyenna Vistas RV Resort is minutes away from both downtown Phoenix and the Mesa Arts Center, which makes it a great home base for those exploring the rich culture of America’s southwest.

The area is home to a plethora of museums, galleries and historical sites where you can seyennaVistasabsorb the local culture and history. At the Mesa Arts Center, you can attend a variety of performing arts from music to comedy to theater, or visit the center’s museum which houses exceptional pieces of regional, national, and international contemporary art. Some snowbirds take advantage of their long stay and choose to take a class (or two) at the Mesa Arts Center.

Sports and Leisure

Arizona’s temperate winters make it ideal for active snowbirds who want to enjoy their favourite pastimes all year round. Monte Vista Village RV Resort has the facilities for you to swim, play tennis, pickleball, volleyball, shuffleboard, and horseshoes.

Nearby you will find opportunities to explore the natural beauty of the desert. Saguaro monteVistaCanyon, Roosevelt Lake, and Apache Lake are picturesque surroundings you won’t ever tire of exploring.

Monte Vista Village Resort is pet friendly, which means you can bring your faithful companion(s) with you to enjoy the scenic lakes and rugged mountains.

Enjoy all the attractions Mesa-Phoenix has to offer

Casino Arizona has all the excitement, food, refreshments, and games you’d expect and is located in Scottsdale, just outside of a number of Mesa-area resorts.

It’s hard to get a full sense of the beauty of the Sonoran Desert and Mesa-Phoenix area without visiting the Desert Botanical Garden. Along its trails you will discover the unexpected diversity of desert flora.

Another beautiful, but unexpected, attraction is Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights. This “jewel in the desert” is a local curiosity. Built in the 1920s, many people wonder why and by whom. The best way to learn the story behind this wonderful building is to visit, but be warned you will need to book your tour ticket well in advance.

There’s no doubt that this majestic desert has something for everyone, which is why it’s a popular destination for RV’ers and Canadian snowbirds.

If you’re interested in visiting the Mesa-Phoenix area, let us know in the comments section!

Tips & Tricks: Backing Up Your 5th Wheel

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There are a few parts of RV ownership – specifically, 5th wheel ownership – that are a bit intimidating. For one thing, it is a significant financial investment to purchase a 5th wheel, so that is an early hurdle that you will need to clear. Also, driving such a big rig down the road can be intimidating to those with no experience, as driving a truck and 5th wheel is a big departure from piloting a sedan. However, the biggest challenge to 5th wheel ownership for most people is going to be the issue addressed in the title of this post – backing up the rig.

Backing up a 5th wheel is a challenge on multiple fronts. For one thing, the rig is rather large, so you may feel nervous moving in backward into an area that you can’t really see. Also, the rig is going to move in the opposite direction as your vehicle, so you will have to learn how to ‘dance’ with the 5th wheel in order to place it in exactly the right spot.

If you are struggling to back up your 5th wheel successfully, or if you would just like to have some tips in mind before trying for the first time, review the points below.

It’s All About Opposites

As mentioned above, you have to think ‘opposite’ when you want to back up a 5th wheel. At first, the fact that the 5th wheel moves opposite of your vehicle is likely to throw you for a loop, but you will get used to this factor relatively quickly. Try to find an open parking lot or another safe place to practice backing up and you will start to naturally respond to the way the trailer moves in reverse.

Go Slow

You don’t need to be in a rush to back up your 5th wheel properly. Take it slow, especially at first, and only keep moving back when you are confident in the direction that you are going. Don’t worry if other people are watching or even waiting – it isn’t worth pushing your 5th wheel into a bad spot just because you are trying to get out of the way.

Have a Spotter

This is perhaps the most important piece of advice that you can receive. If you are backing up your 5th wheel into any kind of a tight spot, have a trusted spotter and use them to direct your movements. If necessary, pick up some two-way radios to communicate between the cab and the spotter with ease. Or, if you prefer not to use radios, develop a few hand signals that you can use to make sure you are on the same page. Of course, you don’t want to back up into your spotter, so make sure you can see them at all times while the vehicle is in motion.

Stay on Driver’s Side

If at all possible, work on backing into spots that are on the same side of the vehicle as the driver. It is more difficult to go to the other side, as it will be harder to see as you back up. An experienced 5th wheel driver may be able to go the other way without too much effort, but stick to the driver’s side until you have confidence in your skills.

Spend Time Practicing

Just like any other skill in life, the only way to master backing up in your 5th wheel is to practice on a regular basis. If you are willing to put in some practice time in a nearby parking lot (or even in your own driveway, if it is big enough), you should be able to develop your 5th wheel backing skills in short order.

Have any tips of your own? Feel free to share them in the comments section!

Story courtesy of Snowbirds & RV Travelers Magazine