In 2013 my wife and me travelled to the United States of America for the very first time. It really was a dream for me. As a student I came to the decision that I have to see this country in the near future.
Unfortunately it lasted a lot of years unless we finally did the trip. And we both are sure, that this won’t be the last time we went there.
In Los Angeles we met our wonderful family and rented an RV to start our tour to San Francisco, which was 2.400 miles long and took us to the following destinations:
- Joshua Tree National Park, California
- Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
- Navajo Bridge, Arizona
- Lake Powell, Arizona
- Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
- Zion Nation Park, Utah
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Lake June, California
- Yosemite National Park, California
- San Francisco, California
1. Joshua Tree National Park, California
Most of the people we talked to couldn’t understand why we wanted to visit this National Park. They said: “Okay, it’s the desert. So what?” As a middle European guy I never saw a real desert, so it was new to me and it was a very good experience I will never forget.
I never thought, that hiking in the desert at above 100º F (38º C) is fun. Before the trip I was convinced that this is only exhausting and hard.
2. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Everybody knows about the Grand Canyon. Some say it is the most popular tourist attraction of the United States. For sure you can read anything about it and see almost every picture of it, but when you are really standing in front of this gigantic hole in the ground for the first time you will be paralyzed.
Here we learned to love US National Parks. Although there were thousands of tourists, it didn’t feel very crowded. The park rangers and the park infrastructure were very well and so you can go on several hikes, explore the park with your car, with the free bus shuttles or you can join the park ranger program.
3. Navajo bridge, Arizona
A bridge above the Colorado River… a gigantic view which will let you know how difficult it might be to build a bridge connecting both rims.
4. Lake Powell, Arizona
It is a little bit bizarre, when you leave the desert and drive to this lake. Almost everybody wants to do water-sports there and the lake is surrounded by the aridity of the desert. Nevertheless it was quite refreshing to stay a couple of days there.
5. Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Who hasn’t heard about this Canyon? When we started our journey I thought, that Antelope Canyon will be one of the main attractions on the route. As we were there, we made the experience that indeed it is an especially beautiful cave/ canyon but it was very crowded, too crowded. A photo tour through that Canyon was too short and very stressful. But nevertheless it was really amazing.
6. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
I have never seen comparable landscape shapes. You walk or drive through this national Park and think that you are on another planet. A hike to the ground of the Canyon is highly recommended.
7. Zion National Park, Utah
Zion National Park has some impressive rock formations and a lot of hiking trails. If you want to drive through the Mount Carmel Highway Tunnel with an RV you have to drive very carefully. Stay on the middle of the road, otherwise the roof of your RV will crash against the inner surface of the tunnel! I will never forget this tour (Fortunately it was very easy to drive there and nothing happened to the RV’s roof :-) ).
8. Las Vegas, Nevada
Nothing to say about Las Vegas, everybody knows it. There is no place in the world which feels more artificial. After a night or so, you lose the feeling of time and you flow with the most people there… just gambling. You have to love it or hate it… I love it ;)
9. Lake June, California
This place on the east boundary of Yosemite National Park reminded me of the alps. Beautiful lake June was too cold to go swimming there, but it is located in a terrific scenery with snow-capped mountains all around.
10. Yosemite Nation Park, California
Another Planet. The first thoughts I had on the first miles of the Tioga Pass: The landscape looks like a picture book. Everything is so beautiful and looks perfect. We spent almost a week there and I still have the feeling that this was much too short.
Yosemite National Park was the last destination of our RV-tour. After that we had to drop off our motorhome in San Francisco. We traveled 2.400 miles within 22 days, burned 190 gallons of gas, visited four US states and six national parks. Going that tour by RV was really great, I think it was the best way to do the trip.
11. San Francisco, California
After all those lonesome places (except Vegas) we visited San Francisco. What a city! We have to come back there. I never thought that walking on the Golden Gate Bridge was so affecting. I couldn’t believe it, but it was so moving. This is only one fact why San Francisco is so cool; the people, architecture, the climate… everything was perfect. I think San Francisco has become my favorite city of the world.
Unfortunately San Francisco was the last destination on that journey. There are a lot of things to see in this country, and we will come back. That’s a promise.