Wichita is a city surrounded by the flatlands of the central region of Kansas. It's a city that extends its urban spread for more than one-hundred and fifty square miles into the prairies. When it was first founded in the second half of the nineteenth century, Wichita played an important role in North America's agricultural and cattle industry. That's a history that's proudly remembered in the city's Old Cowtown Museum. Commerce and industry changed over the years though, and the city is now more renowned for its involvement in the construction of aircraft. The Kansas Aviation Museum, housed in an old airport terminal building, exhibits many vintage models dating back to the 1920s that were manufactured in Wichita.
Explore Wichita on foot and you'll find the Arkansas and Little Arkansas Rivers meandering through its center. Many of the city's main attractions are located along the river banks or in green spaces nearby. In the Central Riverside Park, you'll discover a mini Stonehenge, a spray garden and a wildlife exhibition. The Mid-American All-Indian Museum, Wichita Art Museum, and the city's emblematic statue, the Keeper of the Plains, are all within a short walking distance from the park.
While everything being on one level makes walking around easier, sometimes it can leave you longing for a change of landscape from flat as a pancake to mountainous. If you're feeling that way, pack up your rig and make a three to five day RV road trip from Wichita to the Yellowstone National Park. It won't be long after you've crossed the state border between Kansas and Colorado that the rolling prairies turn to lush, pine forested alpine scenery. Stow your mountain bike on your rig if you have one as you'll have plenty of opportunity to use it along the way.
Leave Wichita on the I 135 northbound in the direction of Salina where you can join the I 70 westbound and keep motoring until you enter Colorado. Head for Denver and in the city's outer suburbs is the Cheery Creek State Park where you can pitch camp and enjoy fantastic mountain views from your campsite. You can reach the park by turning off the I 70 onto the US 225 through Aurora. The campground at Cherry Creek is open all year round, but make sure you reserve a spot before arriving.
At the center of the park is an eight-hundred-acre reservoir, but that's not the only thing that makes this state park a great place to visit. At Cherry Creek, there are thirty-five miles of multi-use trails for biking, hiking and riding with exceptional mountain views. Fish or go boating in the lake and you'll see the mountains from there too. If you want to try a different outdoor activity, Cherry Creek has a family shooting center and a two-runway aerodrome from where you can fly your model aircraft or helicopter.
To really get your fill of mountain landscapes there's no better place to spend a few days than in the Rocky Mountain National Park. From Denver take the I 25 northbound and after you've passed through the St Vrain State Park you'll be able to head west along the US 66 and the US 36 right into the center of this incredible mountain range. The Rocky Mountain National Park has several different campgrounds but as you'll be arriving at the Beaver Meadows entrance, you may find the Moraine Park Campground the most convenient.
As you're entering the park boundaries, take time to stop off at the visitor center and take a look around. Another way to get your fill of the mountains is to take a ride on the Estes Park Aerial Tramway which you pass on your way to the Beaver Meadows entrance. The tramway goes to the top of Prospect Mountain and on the way up, the awe-inspiring views of the Rockies will leave you breathless. To enjoy time outdoors in the mountains, other than sitting outside your rig, hike some of the many trails. There are trails that lead to waterfalls, around lakes and even up to the summits of some of the peaks.
Continue your RV road trip from Wichita to the Yellowstone National Park along the I 25 and you'll find yourself approaching the Colorado city of Fort Collins. Pull up there for a break from the road and have a browse around the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. The museum is in Mason Court and has an ample parking lot where you can leave your rig.
The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is an amazing installation with a multitude of diverse, interactive exhibitions to explore. Start with technology and its advances in the modern world, then progress to the Music and Sound Lab where you can do everything from finding out about iPads to playing a musical instrument.
There are several natural history galleries too, displaying fossils and dinosaur skeletons as well as live animals. From the exhibits on transport past and present to the in-depth presentations on food and farming, you're guaranteed to find something that will not only fascinate you but also increase your knowledge and understanding.
Not all experiences on an RV road trip from Wichita to the Yellowstone National Park need to be about history, mountains or the natural world. While you're in Fort Collins, why not make a visit to the Budweiser Brewery. You won't find any of the world-famous Clydesdale horses there – if you want to see those you'll need to make a road trip to Missouri or New Hampshire – but you will get an inside look at how the popular brew is produced. The brewery is to the north-east of Fort Collins and you can get there along either the Richards Lake Road or Mountain Vista Drive.
All Budweiser Brewery Experiences need to be booked in advance and all visitors must be aged twenty-one or over. Choose between a Bud Light tour that lasts forty-five minutes and takes you inside the brewing plant, or go for the two-hour Beermaster Tour which is a lot more informative and takes you down into the brewery cellars. Whichever you decide on, there's only one way to end your visit and that's with a bottle or two in the biergarten.
As you motor through Wyoming along the US 287 in the direction of the Yellowstone National Park, you'll come across a BLM managed recreation site called Johnny Behind The Rocks near the town of Lander. There is a parking lot at the recreation site and RVs are permitted to camp there overnight, but it is primitive camping with no hook-ups and there are no on-site amenities.
The closest alternative campgrounds, though they are also primitive, are in the Sinks Canyon State Park which is a few miles south of Lander. The Popo Agie Campground has twenty-five campsites located along a river where there is a waterfall and operates on a first-come-first-served basis.
The Johnny Behind The Rocks recreation site has been designated especially for mountain biking and there are twelve miles of trails running through the countryside. Steep in places with elevation gains of around a thousand feet, some of the dirt tracks are more challenging than others though there are plenty for novice riders too.
The Yellowstone National Park is acres and acres of natural wonders that are hard to imagine until you see them for yourself. Geysers spurting water and steam, waterfalls, a volcano, and glaciers are just some of the park's geological features. Wildlife abounds and there are wolves, bears, lynx, coyotes, badgers, and bobcats roaming freely, as well as at least sixty more different mammal species. The rugged, mountainous park is a wilderness so totally different to the prairies of Kansas you left behind in Wichita, you'll need to be prepared for it to completely shock all five of your senses.