When John Denver wrote the song Rocky Mountain High in Colorado forty-five years ago, he wasn’t predicting the legalization of cannabis. No, he was sharing the euphoria of being elevated in the mountains and the beauty they offer.
Many across the country have been suffering through an extended heat wave. Red Flag warnings, air quality alerts, and excessive heat warnings have dominated the national maps on most weather websites.
How does an RVer escape the heat when all the popular campgrounds and RV parks with hookups to run the AC are booked up for the summer? Well for those states with significant mountain ranges, especially in the west, take a cue from John Denver and find your own mountain high!
You may recall from a long-ago school lesson that for every thousand feet of elevation gained the temperature will be approximately 3.5° F cooler. Example: Your home is located at an elevation of 1,000 ft with a predicted high temperature of 90°, you load up your RV and drive up to a stream in the mountains at 5,000 ft (4,000 ft higher than your home), upon arriving you should expect to enjoy a high temperature of 76° ( 3.5° X 4 – increments of 1,000 ft = 14° cooler).
If there are no available campgrounds in the mountains near you, consider finding a boondocking spot to enjoy within the boundaries of a national forest. Typically forest service roads that run along mountain streams offer numerous boondocking opportunities.
How do you find these in advance and know where it is legal to camp? Motor Vehicle Use Maps listed as MVUM Maps on most forest service websites will show you which forest service roads allow dispersed camping (aka boondocking) along them. Click here for a short tutorial on using finding free boondocking sites via MVUM maps and other online resources.
If you can’t get high enough in the mountains to find a daytime temperature that is cool enough for your liking, hike to a still higher mountain peak or alpine lake to enjoy lower temperatures and the scenery, and return to your RV in the evening after the temperatures drop.
And oh, don’t forget to take some friends with you, as John Denver sang about, “friends around the campfire and everybody’s high.”
Enjoying the coolness of a mountain high—just another great adventure in RVing!