Loveland, CO–Rocky Mountain National Park

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We entered Colorado for the first time as motorhome travelers.  Our first stop was Loveland, in order to visit Rocky Mountain National Park.  In Loveland we parked at Riverview RV Park.

Rocky Mountains National Park

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Bozeman, MT

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For a visit to Bozeman we parked at the Bear Canyon Campground a few miles east of town.  Bozeman has a rich history dating to the early 1960’s when the discovery of gold brought thousands of miners into the territory.  One of them, John Bozeman decided to lead immigrants to the gold fields via a series of old Indian trails, which soon became know as the Bozeman Trail.  Those who chose to forgo the mines settled in what became known as the town of Bozeman to establish farms and ranches.

When we visited Yellowstone National Park back in 2015 we explored almost all of the park but did not make it to the northernmost part, Mammoth Hot Springs.  From Bozeman it is a drive of about 1 1/2 hours to the town of Gallatin, MT, which is just outside the northern entrance to YNP. Continue reading

Columbia Falls, MT & Glacier National Park

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This is the first time in Montana for both of us.  Columbia Falls is located southwest of the west entrance to Glacier National Park.  We parked at the LaSalle RV Park.

Glacier National Park

I don’t attempt to rank national parks and other places of natural beauty since each place offers something unique and special.  But suffice it to say that Glacier National Park gave us many opportunities to feel overwhelmed with the sheer scale and beauty of what we were seeing.  This place that was carved and shaped by geological forces and glaciers occupies about one million acres in northwestern Montana.

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Eatonville, WA–Mt. Rainier National Park

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Eatonville is a bit southeast of Seattle in the vicinity of Mt. Rainier National Park which was the major purpose for our visit.  We parked at Rainbow RV Resort which is located on picturesque Lake Tanwax.  On a clear day, which we were fortunate to experience, you can see the peak of Mt. Rainier from the RV park.

Mt. Rainier

At 14,410 feet, Mt. Rainier is the tallest volcano in the Cascade Mountain Range and the most glaciated peak in the continental United States with 26 named glaciers.  We entered the park at the Nisqually entrance which is in the southwest corner of the park.  Near the Longmire area we stopped for a hike that took us up to a spot with a nice view of Mt. Rainier.  We continued on the main road stopping to check out waterfalls and other viewpoints.  We went as far as the Paradise area which is the most popular spot in the park.  It takes you to about 5,400 feet in elevation.  The National Park Service says that “Paradise is the snowiest place on Earth where snowfall is measured regularly.”  It has an average of 671 inches of snowfall per year with 1,122 inches recorded during the winter of 1971/72.  Mt. Rainier NP is a little off the beaten path but well worth a more extensive visit.

Next stop:  Portland, OR

Hope, British Columbia

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From Anacortes, we headed north and crossed the Canadian border at Sumas, WA.  Once across, we turned east to the town of Hope.  This small town is on the Frasier River at the southern end of the Frasier Valley.  This is a place of spectacular natural beauty.  Near vertical granite mountains rise up in all directions.  The Trans Canada Highway runs through the valley.

In 1848, Fort Hope was established by Hudson’s Bay Company at the trailhead for what is now known as HBC Heritage Trail.  This trail was originally developed as a way to reach inland bypassing Frasier Valley since the valley walls were too steep to navigate.  In the years following, the fur trade and the 1858 Frasier River Gold Rush supported Hope and its residents.

Hope and Frasier River Continue reading