Whether you love him or not, RVers owe it to President Obama. Throughout his terms, President Obama expanded and designated more national monuments with awesome RV camping opportunities than any other President. By harnessing the executive authority written in the 1906 Antiquities Act, President Obama added 553 million acres into our national registry of significant cultural landmarks and natural wonders.
Furthermore, many of the national monuments created consist of vast stretches of terrain in the Southwest. With one stroke of his pen, the outgoing President has permanently protected these recreation areas from development. Additionally, from the Pacific Ocean to the Colorado Rockies and south to the Rio Grande River, countless scenic destinations with great RV camping are available. Most campsite areas are primitive but a few developed campgrounds have water and electricity. So, get ready to visit and explore these four Four National Monuments with Awesome RV Camping.
Visit These Four National Monuments with Awesome RV Camping
1. Bears Ears National Monument
Size: 1.35 million acres
RV Camping Tips: Named after twin buttes sacred to local Native Americans, Bear Ears protects a myriad of tribal lands and public recreation areas. It’s located near popular camping spots between the Colorado and San Juan Rivers along Highway 191. From the Manti-La-Sal National Forest west of Monticello and south to Mexican Hat, a vast collection of stunning recreation areas are now off-limits to development. Although you probably won’t notice anything has changed, you may notice more people visiting these areas now that the region has received special designation.
2. Browns Canyon National Monument
Size: 21,586 acres
RV Camping Tips: Experience epic fly fishing, hiking and white water rafting just three hours southwest of Denver along the Arkansas River. Although you can’t take your RV into this narrow canyon monument, you’ll find plenty of spectacular places to stake a base camp. For instance, The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation District manages the most RV-friendly public campground near the monument. Known as Hecla Junction Campground, this large primitive campground is located right at the river’s edge.
3. Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
State(s): Oregon, California and regions of Washington.
Size: 99,000 acres
RV Camping Tips: While there are many western National Monuments with RV camping, this attraction straddles three states with epic coastal mountain range where you can explore some of most pristine, rugged and solitary forests in the Pacific Northwest. If you have a smaller RV (and fearless about up steep grades), a spectacular detour west of Ashland, Oregon is worth taking. Also, be sure to set up camp on the shores of Hyatt Lake Campground where RV-friendly sites await. Another is highlight is the day hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail.
4. Rio Grande del Norte National Monument
State: New Mexico
Size: 242,555 acres
RV Camping Tips: Head south from Colorado along State Highway 285 and explore Northern New Mexico’s rugged terrain.
Although you can explore new National Monuments in Nevada and California, the Rio Grande in New Mexico is where you can hike along volcanic landscapes or raft picturesque canyons through the Rio Grande gorge. In addition, it’s one of the best places to escape New Mexico’s brutal summer heat. Several private RV campgrounds exist as well as the RV-friendly BLM campground called Rio Bravo, near the town of Pilar. Especially relevant for RVers is there are water/electric sites, flush toilets and hot showers that await campers.
While there are nearly a dozen more of Obama’s national monuments with awesome RV camping, future RV Life articles will definitely let you know about more of them. If you have any favorite national monuments, be sure to let us know!
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.