2017 was the third hottest year on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). With the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicting more of the same this year, your RV is the key to avoiding soaring temperatures. Pack up your rig and get ready to roll to the coolest RV destinations to beat summer heat.
The Pacific Northwest
Go west, RVer, all the way to the Pacific Ocean where you’ll encounter big trees, desolate beaches, and the coolest temperatures in the continental U.S. between June and September.
While others are sweltering through July, you’ll be donning a jacket and jeans to go hiking in ancient redwood forests and exploring tide pools. Coastal skies can be gray and dreary on Independence Day but if you cherish comfort over heat, you’ll be pleased with the dramatic climate change. There are many places to stay cool at these destinations in California, Oregon, and Washington.
- Northern California: Redwood National and State Parks make great hideaways.
- Oregon: Cape Blanco or Nehalem Bay are two great options. Here are fifteen state parks that offer RV camping along the Oregon coast.
- Washington: The Olympic Peninsula, including Sequim Bay State Park and Olympic National Park, are among the prettiest spots in the state. You can visit both parks on this scenic road trip along the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The Colorado Rockies
The Centennial State isn’t known as “Cool-or-ado” for nothing. With hundreds of RV parks and campgrounds situated in gorgeous locations over a mile above sea level, the Colorado Rockies are a cool summer paradise for outdoorsy people.
The smartest visitors prepare in advance to deal with altitude changes. Gradually ascending to the highest peaks by making stops in lower-altitude destinations like Durango and Salida is recommended.
Avoiding alcohol, strenuous activity, and drinking lots of water upon arrival will go far in helping you acclimate and escape altitude sickness.
When you’re ready for the big peaks, a trio of great high altitude destinations are waiting in Western Colorado, specifically the heart of the San Juan Mountains.
The small historic mining towns of Silverton, Ouray, and Lake City are all great places to visit if you love fishing, hiking, and exploring the back country in a Jeep.
These three towns are connected by the epic Alpine Loop, a “Jeepers” bucket list item. Great local RV campgrounds include:
- Silverton: Red Mountain Motel, RV Park & Cabins
- Ouray: 4J+1+1 RV Park & Campground
- Lake City: Wupperman Campground
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
The “Yoopers” of Michigan know the secret to keeping cool in summer: don’t leave the Upper Peninsula. Average temperatures in “The UP” are generally below 80 degrees, even during August, making it one of the coolest places in the upper Midwest.
Dense forests, 1,700 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, and fewer than three percent of Michigan’s total population gives RVers endless choices of scenic camping spots to escape civilization.
A popular spot is Whitefish Point, located north of Paradise on Whitefish Bay. Main attractions include The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and Whitefish Point Lighthouse, which symbolizes the treacherous journeys made by sailors make on Lake Superior. Also popular is Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, a major stop for birds that migrate to and from Canada.
Three great UP home bases for your RV include:
- Paradise: Tahquamenon Falls State Park
- Grand Marais: Woodland Park Campground
- Munsing: Munising Tourist Park Campground
There’s just one drawback to planning a trip to any great RV destinations to beat summer heat, and that is many people have the same goal you do. Kids are on vacation and campgrounds can be booked all week so call ahead to confirm availability. Make your reservations online and have a contingency plan just in case you need to adjust your plans due to weather or unexpected events.Research Campgrounds, Plan RV Safe Routes & Turn your phone into an RV GPS.
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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.