Riverside to Idaho Falls Road Trip Guide


A family RV trip is a great way to get the kids out of the house, and with a motorhome, you will be able to go exploring places that you may otherwise overlook. Riverside is a city near Los Angeles within the Inland Island area that features plenty of activities to enjoy as you make your way out of the hustle and bustle that is part of the charm of living in Greater Los Angeles.

The city is widely known for being the birthplace of the citrus industry in California, but there are also plenty of other things to do with the family in California's 12th biggest city. There are many parks and trails in the city limits, and since you are just over 50 miles from the center of Los Angeles you can make the trip in and back within a day.

Choosing where to travel to on an RV trip that is a little longer than a weekend can be tough, especially departing from Riverside since there are so many routes that you can take. One direction to consider is heading northeast where you and the family will be able to experience the incredible desert landscapes throughout Nevada and Utah and the open spaces of Idaho. Make sure to pack your hat and sunscreen because it gets very hot in this part of the country if you aren't traveling in the dead of winter. This journey will give you the chance to see stunning constellations with no light pollution, gargantuan mountain peaks, and enjoy many recreational activities.

Once you reach the end of your trip, the city of Idaho Falls will be waiting for you. Located along the Snake River, Idaho Falls is the perfect place to relax, chill out, and reflect on your journey. While you are visiting the city you can check out the calming Idaho Falls Greenbelt Walk, the Museum of Idaho, or check out the cities downtown.

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Max RV length
Max trailer Length
Road trip length: 3-5 days
Recommend rig: motorhome
audience: family

Point of Interest

California Citrus State Historic Park

Since Riverside is the home of the Californian citrus industry you have to visit the California Citrus State Historic Park before you set off on your RV road trip out of the state. First established in 1993, this is an open-air museum that chronicles the history of the citrus industry that began way back in 1873.

Operated by the Californian Department of Parks and Recreation, there is plenty to do during your visit that will entertain the whole family. The visitors center contains some interesting and informative exhibitions and there are also free guided tours held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday where you can tour a citrus grove that is onsite. If you are visiting on these days there are also complimentary sample bags that you are welcome to take with you. Please note that there are no dogs allowed within the California Citrus State Historic Park.

There are plenty of campgrounds in and around Riverside that you can stay at, including the Rancho Jurupa Park and the Mission RV Park.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

The most direct route to Idaho Falls takes you through Sin City, but if you don't think it is suitable for the whole family there are plenty of great recreational opportunities near Las Vegas.

The Lake Mead National Recreation Area was the first and is also the largest National Recreation Area in the country, with over 128000 acres within its boundaries. One of the major benefits of visiting the Lake Mead National Recreation Area is that there is a large diversity in environments that isn't common throughout the desert. Along with towering mountains, there are also the two lakes where you can enjoy some freshwater fun. There are 15 hiking trails and over 240 species of birds that visit during the year, so bring your binoculars if you or any members of the family love to bird watch.

You won't have to travel far to find a place to stay near the recreation area since there are many campgrounds within close proximity. Some of the best include the Boulder Beach Campground or the first-come, first-served Echo Bay Campground.

St. George

Located in the Mojave Desert, the city of St. George is a great place to stop when you enter Utah. Named after Mormon apostle George A. Smith, St. George is a modern city with plenty of great restaurants and cultural attractions, along with being a gateway to many incredible outdoor activities.

The main attraction near St. George is the incredible Snow Canyon State Park. Featuring a distinct red and white canyon, lava tubes, sand dunes, and 11 hiking trails, if you feel like doing some exploring with the family, this is a great place to spend a day. Other popular areas to explore are in the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Sand Hollow State Park, and Quail Creek State Park.

While there are many RV campgrounds in and around St. George, if you want to get a head start on travel the next morning you should consider staying at the Red Cliffs Campground or the St. George / Hurricane KOA since they are in close proximity to the Veterans Memorial Highway.

Fishlake National Forest

As you continue on your RV adventure along the Veterans Memorial Highway you will be parallel to the Fishlake National Forest after driving for two hours from St. George. Featuring over 1.5 million acres of land within its boundaries, the Fishlake National Forest is the most remote park that you will visit on the way to Idaho Falls.

The forest has so much to do that you could spend a week and not experience it all. One of the must-sees in the forest is the forest's namesake, Fish Lake. This is the largest mountain lake in Utah that has fresh water, so water-based recreation is absolutely on the cards. You will also get to experience a range of different landscapes within the forest if you take to the roads and do some driving, including seeing grasslands and forests.

A convenient place to stay along the banks of Fish Lake is the Mackinaw Campground. Featuring water views, all of the sites in the campground are primitive, but you will have the luxury of showers, flush toilets, and water collection points.

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah and the largest city in the state, so it makes sense for you to take the family to the city during your RV trip. No matter what time of year you visit Salt Lake there will be plenty of fun to be had.

Your time in Salt Lake is the perfect opportunity to indulge in some city comforts, such as going to the movies, eating out, or walking the grounds of Temple Square, which is the most popular tourist attraction in the state. If you and the family are interested in basketball you should also consider attending a Utah Jazz game since Salt Lake is where you can find their arena. Other family-friendly activities include the Clark Planetarium, Discovery Gateway Children's Museum, and Hoggle Zoo.

If you want to experience a little luxury while staying in Salt Lake City check out the Salt Lake City KOA Holiday. Here there are full hookup sites, WiFi, cable TV hookups, and even a pool to enjoy.


At the end of a trip that has lasted over 850 miles, the calmness of Idaho Falls will be appreciated by all members of your family. The city is located right near the Snake River and has many scenic attractions if you are wanting to do more exploring.

The most popular outdoor activity in Idaho Falls is the Idaho Falls River Walk on the Greenbelt Trail. This is a five-mile green area that is very well maintained and features some scenic trails that overlook the city, so if it is the first time in the city it is a must-do activity. If you and the family want to stay indoors you can check out the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho and the Museum of Idaho.

To round out your visit to Idaho Falls you can stay at one of the many highly-rated RV campgrounds within the city limits, including the city-operated North Tourist Park and South Tourist Park.

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