When it comes to getaway destinations, Flagstaff is without a doubt one of the best in the country. Located in the high desert of Arizona on Route 66, Flagstaff is known for its gorgeous ponderosa pine forests, towering mountains, and for being one of the closest cities to the Grand Canyon.
Starting off your RV road trip in Flagstaff means that you can enjoy some of the most unique natural attractions in Arizona, and due to this, the city is nicknamed The City of Seven Wonders. Whether you choose to visit Oak Creek Canyon, the Grand Canyon, Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater National Monument, Wupatki National Monument, or the San Francisco Peaks, you won't be disappointed. The city is also famous for being the first designated dark sky city, so if you love to stargaze you will love your visit.
Since Flagstaff is in northern Arizona you have many options for a weekend RV road trip, including heading northwest up the west coast of California. During this journey, you can experience sparse deserts, enjoy cultural experiences in cities you may not have visited before, and stay at some top tier RV campgrounds.
Around 14 hours away from Flagstaff right near the sun, sand, and surf of Glass Beach is Fort Bragg. Replacing the mountains around Flagstaff with the beach, Fort Bragg is the perfect place to kick back and relax after spending the weekend exploring. RV camping near the beach is also possible at Fort Bragg, so it makes sense to make it your final destination on your RV road trip.
Flagstaff is one of the premier destinations in the country for sky gazing, and taking the time to visit the Lowell Observatory is an absolute must. Opened way back in 1894 and designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1965, the Lowell Observatory is famous for being the place where Pluto was discovered, but did you know that it is also for public visits?
The observatory has plenty of things to do, including going on a tour of the campus, viewing various exhibits, and attending both sun and stargazing in a safe way. If possible, try to time your visit to the observatory with a clear night on the weather forecast so you can also experience the evening programs at the observatory. Tickets can be purchased prior to your arrival to avoid disappointment and it is open all year round.
Spending the night in Flagstaff will be a wonderful experience with the Flagstaff KOA being only seven miles away. Featuring full hookup sites, WiFi, Cable TV, and a dog park, the campground will kick off your RV road trip in the best way possible.
Located on the border between Arizona and California, the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge is a very important preservation area that also makes for a great second stop as you continue your RV road trip. Most notable for containing one of the last Colorado River stretches that is still in its natural state, the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge also contains the Topock Gorge, which attracts thousands of boaters each year.
Upon your arrival at the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, you will notice that it stands out from the surrounding environment. Located in the desert, the Colorado River is a unique site, and animals from the area flock to it to drink and hunt. Some of the most popular activities for visitors include fishing in the river, canoeing, kayaking, hunting, or doing some nature photography.
Since you will be in the Mojave Desert remember to keep up your fluids and consider doing your exploring in the early morning or evenings to minimize your exposure to the sun. The city of Needles is located close to the refuge and here is where you can spend the night at one of many campgrounds, including the Needles KOA Journey.
Bakersfield is another Mojave Desert location that is worth checking out and the chance for you to enjoy some major city luxuries. Known as the country music capital of the West Coast due to many country musicians coming from the city, you have plenty of options when it comes to spending your third day here.
If you are feeling up for some cultural insight there are multiple museums in the city that you can pay a visit to, such as the Bakersfield Museum of Art, Kern County Museum, and the unique California Living Museum. At this location, you can learn about the plants and animals that are native to the Kern County area, along with being able to visit a reptile house and see a touch tank that has many sea creatures.
Bakersfield also has plenty of outdoor recreation activities, most notably at Hart Park. Containing 370 acres, two lakes, and three canals where you can go fishing, boating, swimming, or have a picnic.
It's time to trade the desert surroundings for some classic Californian redwoods now that you are moving towards the conclusion of your trip. The Big Basin Redwoods State Park is located west of San Jose and is a place that you will never forget.
Big Basin Redwoods State Park is the oldest state park in the country and was established back in 1902 to protect the jaw-dropping old-growth forests that the park is known for. The towering redwood trees are near indescribable and their beauty has to be seen to be believed. These will most likely be the biggest trees that you will ever see so get ready to be amazed.
Along with containing over 10,000 acres of redwood forests, Big Basin Redwoods State Park also has over 80 miles of hiking trails, multiple visitor centers where you can learn more about the park, and top tier birdwatching and picnicking locations. You can stay in the park at one of the three primitive campgrounds or head to San Jose for an urban RV camping experience before ending this amazing trip.
You won't feel like ending this trip, but when it comes to places to have a conclusion, Fort Bragg has to be up there as one of the best in California. Once you arrive the beach will be calling your name after you have spent the trip away from the coast, and you will have the chance to visit the well-known Glass Beach.
Located within MacKerricher State Park, Glass Beach is famous around the world for being quite unusual with thousands of glass pieces lining the three beaches. The glass makes for some out of this world photo opportunities, but remember to leave everything as you found it. Fort Bragg is also home to the unique Sea Glass Museum, Guest House Museum, and the Skunk Train that offers a throwback train ride experience.
Although Fort Bragg is on the smaller side there are still multiple RV campgrounds that you can choose from to complete your stay. Consider the Harbor RV Park or Sportsmans RV Park to spend your final night on the road.