We just returned from a 24 days trip around the Rockies National Parks, slightly over 3300 miles.
It was our first big trip after a handful of smaller test trips done since we picked up our van in May. We have the EB-52, which is an extended van with 4 captains chairs up front and then the 50 style bench in back. The poptop sleeps the parents up and the foldout couch has the kids down below.
We have moved up from backpacking, then car camping when kids arrived. We wanted a reasonable ride, not really requiring a hard core 4x4 capability. I went with Quadvan for the 4x4 due to what I perceived was an easier ride. I have pictures in my gallery if you want to see more. At some point, I'll write up a review. On this trip, the ride was comfortable for all and we didn't use the 4x4 much.
We started in Seattle, and drove through Idaho, Craters of the Moon, to Jackson, WY and went north to Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, Waterton, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper and then Yoho, and Glacier in Canada. At this point, the kids ran out of steam and enthusiasm for more roadside stops so we headed home.
This route had advantages that we started with the Jackson where we thought the mountains were dramatic but they only got better as we moved north up into the Canadian Rockies.
Most of the campgrounds had a first come/first served policy so we didn't have any trouble getting campsites if we planned ahead to get to the park, get a site then go sightseeing or hiking. In fact, we were surprised how uncrowded the parks were given this is their highest season. Perhaps the silver lining on the gas prices.
We met four other Sportsmobile's along the way, probably fewer than I expected.
The gorgeous big skies of Idaho
The Grand Tetons
The spectacular colors of Yellowstone
Mammoth campground was an unexpected pleasure with Boiling River hotsprings just a short distance away.
Using our van in safari mode to spot animals or take pictures
The Beartooth highway has fires so while it was dramatic we didn't stay long with the smokey smell.
The Highway to the Sun in Glacier was worth the slow pace, we started seeing Mt Goats and Bighorn Sheep.
Waterton, just a short drive away from Glacier, is a cute little town with a winter population of 100.
Banff is a classic big ski town with quite a few services. it was the most crowded but the scenery lived up the high expectations.
You then use the Icefield Parkway to get up to Jasper with an opportunity to travel out onto the Columbia icefield. I offered my help if he got stuck
While I have thousand of mountain pics, I'll spare you the experience.
It was a great trip and I'd strongly recommend it to you. The Craters of the Moon are vast volcanic fields and worth the stop if they are along the way. We camped rough three times and none were memorable.
Given the timing, we were on the migration route for Sturgis and I saw more mototrcycles than I have ever seen in my life. We also went through Missoula MT while the Hells Angels had their annual get together. Fun to see all the bikes although it filled up the campgrounds that are along the route to South Dakota.
The van worked well, the nights were cold, the weather was generally good.
I do have a gps POIs if you have any interest.