Explore Underground Caves in Iowa

Did you know that the state of Iowa has several caves? Iowa has more than 1,000 caves, hidden out of sight, protected by their ruggedness. Many are open for exploration by the public. Here are some of the most popular in Iowa:

1. Spook Cave

Caves in Iowa: Spook Cave, McGregor

Photo courtesy Spook Cave

The only way to explore this cave is by boat! Guides explain the discovery, development and history of the natural limestone cave and surrounding area near McGregor. There are plenty of opportunities to photograph natural formations inside the fully-lighted cave. The temperature inside is always 47 degrees.

2. Maquoketa Caves State Park

Caves in Iowa: Maquoketa Caves State Park

Probably Iowa’s most unique state park, the Maquoketa caves vary from the 1100’ Dancehall Cave with walkways and lighting system to Dugout Cave. A trail system connects the caves, formations and overlooks. Trail highlights include the dramatic “Natural Bridge” and “Balanced Rock.”

3. Ice Cave State Preserve

Caves in Iowa: Ice Cave, Decorah

This cave in Decorah is famous for its rare ice deposits that exist until late summer. The ice is formed when the chilly air of winter lowers the rock temperature. Surface water seeps into the cave in the spring and freezes upon contact with the still-cold walls. The ice reaches its maximum thickness in June.

4. Crystal Lake Cave

Caves in Iowa: Crystal Lake Cave, Dubuque

Miners discovered this cave near Dubuque in 1868 while drilling for lead. Crystal Lake Cave was opened to the public in 1932. Tour guides lead visitors on a 30-45 minute adventure inside the cave where the temperature is always 52 degrees.

5. Wapsipinicon State Park Caves

Caves in Iowa: Wapsipinicon State Park Caves, Anamosa

According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, a trip to Wapsipinicon State Park near Anamosa isn’t complete without visiting bowl-shaped Horse Thief Cave. Legend has it that two horse thieves used this cave for their camp. There’s also the Ice Cave, which offers cool temperatures in the heat of the summer.

 

Ride Worthy Bike Trails in Iowa

Headed to Iowa for Grand National Rally? Check out these great bicycle trails all over Iowa!

1. Cedar Valley Trails

Cedar Valley Trails

Cedar Falls, Waterloo

Choose your own adventure on more than 110 miles of trail loops in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area. Mapsprovide information on 11 trail loops ranging from 2 to 16 miles. The trails also connect to both the Cedar Falls and Waterloo downtown districts, museums, hotels, restaurants and bars. More than 75 wayfinding signs help direct you to points of interest on the trails. Need to rest for a bit? Then head to Cedar Falls’ Main Street for a sweet treat at Scratch Cupcakery, a tasty brew from SingleSpeed Brewing, and an overnight at the Blackhawk Hotel.

2. Fairfield Loop Trail

Fairfield

Fairfield Loop Trail

The Fairfield Loop Trail circles the southern Iowa town of Fairfield, making each mile of your ride different from the last. Cycle 15.9 miles through local parks and wetlands and over Louden Bridge, which features 171 ceramic plaques created by local art students. After making a loop of town, bike your way to Fairfield’s downtown square to dine at one of the town’s adventurous restaurants like the Istanbul Grill or Green Gourmet. Or stop at Jefferson County Ciderworksfor a glass of hard cider, brewed in-house. Too early for a drink? Try the coffee at Café Paradiso; it has been voted Iowa’s best coffee for seven years straight.

3. Great Western Trail

Rideworthy Routes: Great Western Trail, Des Moines Area, Iowa

Des Moines, West Des Moines, Cumming, Martensdale

The asphalt Great Western Trail is built on Chicago Great Western’s abandoned rail bed. In 16.5 miles you’ll cruise from the urban landscape of Des Moines to rural countryside near Cumming and Martensdale. Several picnic shelters along the way offer great stretch breaks. Be sure to stop at the Cumming Tap, a popular watering hole at the halfway point of the trail.

4. Heritage Trail

Dubuque, Durango, Dyersville, Epworth, Farley, Graf

The scenic 26-mile-long compacted limestone Heritage Trail passes through eight towns and spans all of Dubuque County. The gentle grade is less than 1%, making it suitable for use by all ages and abilities. Most of the trail is tree-covered but the further west you go the more exposed the trail becomes as it is surrounded by open swaths of native prairie grasses.

5. High Trestle Trail

Rideworthy Routes: High Trestle Trail, Central Iowa

Photo by Lee N.

Ankeny, Sheldahl, Slater, Madrid, Woodward

Art and nature collide on the beautiful 25-mile High Trestle Trail between Ankeny and Woodward. A canopy of trees shades you from the sun as you cycle to the iconic and award-winning Trestle Bridge. Standing 13 stories tall and half a mile long, the bridge offers a grand view of the Des Moines River Valley from beneath angular steel frames. Although the bridge is the focal point of the trail, there are plenty of places to eat, drink, shop, and camp along the route. Rider favorites include the Flat Tire Lounge in Madrid and the Whistlin’ Donkey in Woodward.

6. Raccoon River Valley Trail

Rideworthy Routes: Raccoon River Valley Trail, Central Iowa

Waukee, Adel, Redfield, Linden, Panora, Yale, Herndon, Jamaica, Dawson, Perry, Minburn, Dallas Center

The 89-mile Raccoon River Valley Trail loops through several small towns and the Des Moines suburbs – meaning you can start and end your ride from almost anywhere along the trail. Must-stops for refreshments include Bunkers Dunkers Bakery in JeffersonEthel’s Restaurant and Bar in YalePJ’s Drive-In in Panora and the bike-friendly Hotel Pattee in Perry that doubles as a perfect overnight stop. Many rides are held on the trail throughout the year, but the most popular is the annual BACooN Ride in June which features bacon food items at stops along the trail.

7. Sauk Rail Trail

Rideworthy Routes: Sauk Rail Trail, West Central Iowa

Photo Courtesy Sauk Rail Trail Facebook

Lake View, Carnarvon, Breda, Maple River, Carroll

The Sauk Rail Trail takes you 33 miles from Lake View to Carroll in western Iowa, with the opportunity for stops every few miles at local watering holes. Check out rider favorites The Angry Beaver in Maple RiverRed’s Place in BredaThe Bar in Lake View and B&S’s in Carroll. A two-day ride is easy to achieve with bike-friendly hotels like Boulders Inn & Suites or the Carrollton Inn on either end of the route. Check out Thursday nights on the trail for the weekly “T.H.I.R.S.T.” ride.

8. Three Rivers Trail

Rideworthy Routes: Three Rivers Trail, North Central Iowa

Photo Courtesy Three Rivers Trail Facebook

Rolfe, Bradgate, Rutland, Humboldt, Dakota City, Thor and Eagle Grove

Named for the fact that it crosses three area rivers, bikers on the Three Rivers Trail can view the west branch of the Des Moines River, the east branch of the Des Moines River and the Boone River. The 33-mile trail is a lovely mix of woodlands, grasslands, marshy areas and open prairie – and seeing wildlife is common.

9. Trout Run Trail

Rideworthy Routes: Trout Run Trail, Decorah Iowa

Decorah

The 11-mile Trout Run Trail provides a scenic trip around the city of Decorah. Much of the trail is flat, but you will find some sharp switchbacks and hills to challenge you as well. The trail crosses trout streams five times and runs next to the Decorah Trout Hatchery (where you can stop and feed the fish for just a quarter). The trail also passes by the world-famous Decorah Eagles nest. When you’re ready to take a break, head to the Whippy Dip for ice cream or Toppling Goliath for an ice cold beer (home of some of the best beers in the world, according to RateBeer). Stay overnight at the historic Hotel Winneshiek for a perfect end to the day.

10. Wabash Trace Nature Trail

Rideworthy Routes: Wabash Trace Nature Trail, Southwest Iowa

Council Bluffs, Mineola, Silver City, Malvern, Imogene, Shenandoah, Coin, Blanchard

The Wabash Trace is a converted railroad right-of-way that runs from Council Bluffs to Blanchard on the Iowa/Missouri border. A scenic adventure through Iowa’s countryside, this 62-mile trail creates a memorable experience. It’s one of Iowa’s longest and most popular rail trails as it travels through the unique Loess Hills and connects with the city trails in Council Bluffs. Every Thursday night, riders can join the Taco Ride from Council Bluffs to Mineola’s Tobey Jack Steakhouse and back.

 

Post originally seen on TravelIowa.com

Experience the Best℠ at Lichtsinn RV, the #1 Winnebago Dealer in North America for the last four consecutive years. Lichtsinn RV is located 1 mile north of Winnebago Industries in Forest City, IA and we proudly sell new Winnebago motorhomes and pre-owned RVs from various manufacturers. While at Lichtsinn RV, you can expect no delivery miles on new RVs, a complimentary half-day educational orientation of your RVexcellent guest reviews, an assigned support team from sales, parts, service and the business officesuperior accommodationsno-hassle pricing and competitive financing. See our extensive new and used inventory here.

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10 Hiking Trails in Iowa

Are you planning your trip to Forest City, Iowa for WIT Club’s Grand National Rally? If you are planning on taking the scenic route, make sure to check out these 10 hiking trails in Iowa and enjoy the beauty of our great state!

1. Wapsipinicon State Park

Wapsipincon State Park

Named by Fodor’s as one of the “10 Best Spring Hikes in the U.S.,” Wapsipinicon State Park is located just south of Anamosa. The 1.4 mile trail “provides the perfect touch of nature along the Wapsipinicon River bank,” according to Fodor’s. Streams throughout the park provide opportunities for kids – and adults – to indulge in some splashing. Visitors can also check out the park’s small caves.

2. Ledges State Park

Named for the sandstone “ledges” that rise up to 100 feet around Pea’s Creek, this popular park near Boone is home to 13 miles of scenic hiking trails. While most of the trails are steep, a fully accessible interpretive trail around Lost Lake is located at the southern part of the park. In addition to hiking, check out the Des Moines River Water Trail that goes through the park as well as the Central State Park Bike Route (along county roads) connecting Ledges to Big Creek State Park and Springbrook State Park.

3. Backbone State Park
Dundee State Park

Located near DundeeBackbone State Park is Iowa’s oldest state park and boasts more than 20 miles of multi-use trails. The Backbone Trail is less than a mile but provides rocky terrain unlike anywhere else in Iowa. Many park facilities were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s including cabins, a boat house, bridges and trails.

Pine Lake State Park

Located in EldoraPine Lake State Park offers more than 10 miles of trails. The southern shore of Lower Pine Lake boasts 250-year-old white pine trees. A self-guided nature trail runs between the Hogsback Picnic Area and the beach area. Trail brochures available at trail heads, the campground and the park office correspond to marked areas of interest on the trails.

5. Waubonsie State Park

Take a Hike: Waubonsie State Park, Hamburg Iowa

Located on the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail near HamburgWaubonsie State Park’s trails feature scenic overlooks with views of four states. The popular Sunset Ridge Interpretive Trail gives visitors the chance to learn about native plants and trees as well as enjoy some of the best views in the park. For a true outdoor adventure, rent a camping cabin located in the park. If you are on the way up from Kansas, Missouri or south east Nebraska, Waubonsie State Park is the perfect stop for you!

6. Yellow River State Forest

Take a Hike: Yellow River State Forest, Harpers Ferry Iowa

Photo Courtesy Iowa DNR

The “Backpack Trail” at Yellow River State Forest in Harpers Ferry was once named Iowa’s best hiking trail by Outdoor magazine. Open year-round, the trails range from relatively easy to moderate. The Paint Creek Unit includes more than 25 miles of marked and maintained trails.

Harper’s Ferry is 2 and a half hours directly east on Highway 9. When you enter Forest City on Highway 9 make sure to stop by and say hi! Lichtsinn RV is located on the corner of highway 9 and 69.

7. Hillview Recreation Area

Take a Hike: Hillview Recreation Area, Hinton Iowa

In addition to a 6-mile network of hiking trails, this park near Hinton offers a little bit of everything for the outdoor enthusiast. Kids will enjoy visiting the resident elk herd and butterfly garden. After hiking, cool off at the beach at Hillview Pond or try dropping a line for a fish. The park also allows horseback riding, hunting, cross-country skiing and both campground and cabin camping. Visit in winter to try the snow tubing hill.

8. Hitchcock Nature Area

Take a Hike: Hitchcock Nature Area, Honey Creek Iowa

Explore some of the last remaining prairie remnants in Iowa with the 10 miles of trails at the Hitchcock Nature Area near Honey Creek. The trails range from easy ridgeline walks along the hilltops to steep climbs among rugged prairie terrain. The network of trails allows you to choose the length and difficulty you desire. The trails are open to hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. In the winter, Chute Trail is converted to a popular sledding hill.

9. Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt

Take a Hike: Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt, Maxwell Iowa

Chichaqua Bottoms is the perfect place to bring young or beginning hikers. With their short, easy (yet scenic) hikes along the Skunk River near Maxwell, you’re never far from shelters. You’ll be able to view natural habitats including oxbow river channels, marshes and wetlands as well as native prairie remnants. Don’t miss the 100-foot-long Warren pony truss bridge – one of only 17 remaining bridges in Iowa of this unique design.

10. Pilot Knob State Park

Pilot Knob State Park is one of the oldest units in the state park system. It was dedicated in 1923. Standing atop the tower on “Pilot Knob,” visitors have a spectacular view. From the tower built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, one can see great expanses of some of the most fertile farmland in the world. After glaciers leveled the prairies of north-central Iowa, they deposited the rocks and earth that formed the hills and valleys that are now Pilot Knob. In earlier times, pioneers used the Pilot Knob as a guide as they traveled west in covered wagons, thus giving the park its name. An open air amphitheater, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, is surrounded by scenic woods.

Pilot Knob is located outside Forest City and is a great location for camping, hiking and bicycling.

Experience the Best℠ at Lichtsinn RV, the #1 Winnebago Dealer in North America for the last four consecutive years. Lichtsinn RV is located 1 mile north of Winnebago Industries in Forest City, IA and we proudly sell new Winnebago motorhomes and pre-owned RVs from various manufacturers. While at Lichtsinn RV, you can expect no delivery miles on new RVs, a complimentary half-day educational orientation of your RVexcellent guest reviews, an assigned support team from sales, parts, service and the business officesuperior accommodationsno-hassle pricing and competitive financing. See our extensive new and used inventory here.

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Experience the Best – #1 Winnebago Parts Department in the Country

You will Experience the Best at Lichtsinn RV! Starting when you pick up the phone or chat with us online, you will see why the Lichtsinn RV Experience is the best.

WATCH OUR VIDEO ON OUR #1 WINNEBAGO PARTS DEPARTMENT IN THE COUNTRY

Lichtsinn RV is America’s closest RV dealer to Winnebago Industries, located just one mile north of the Winnebago and Winnebago Touring Coach factory in Forest City, Iowa. We have the largest Winnebago Parts Department in the Country and with the proximity to Winnebago we are able to provide you with same-day Nationwide shipping on in-stock parts from our warehouse and Winnebago’s. We offer Winnebago, Itasca, Workhorse and Winnebago Touring Coach Parts at competitive discounts with fair shipping quotes, and you can avoid sales tax on out-of-state shipments! We also offer a 10% Discount on all Winnebago Factory Parts to all Winnebago International Travelers Club (WIT) Members.

Experience the Best℠ at Lichtsinn RV, the #1 Winnebago Dealer in North America for the last four consecutive years. Lichtsinn RV is located 1 mile north of Winnebago Industries in Forest City, IA and we proudly sell new Winnebago motorhomes and pre-owned RVs from various manufacturers. While at Lichtsinn RV, you can expect no delivery miles on new RVs, a complimentary half-day educational orientation of your RVexcellent guest reviews, an assigned support team from sales, parts, service and the business officesuperior accommodationsno-hassle pricing and competitive financing. See our extensive new and used inventory here.

 

Experience the Best – RVDA and RVIA Certified Technicians

You will Experience the Best at Lichtsinn RV! Starting when you pick up the phone or chat with us online, you will see why the Lichtsinn RV Experience is the best.

WATCH OUR VIDEO ON OUR RVDA & RVIA CERTIFIED TECHNICIANS HERE.

All of our RV technicians are factory-trained, RVDA and RVIA Master Certified Technicians. This certification provides you the assurance that the technician working on your RV has the specific skills needed to do so. Our Flying W Customer Satisfaction Index Scores rank in the best of class for Winnebago Dealers! We have recently expanded our Service Department which has allowed us to increase our services offered, now including full tire service.

Experience the Best℠ at Lichtsinn RV, the #1 Winnebago Dealer in North America for the last four consecutive years. Lichtsinn RV is located 1 mile north of Winnebago Industries in Forest City, IA and we proudly sell new Winnebago motorhomes and pre-owned RVs from various manufacturers. While at Lichtsinn RV, you can expect no delivery miles on new RVs, a complimentary half-day educational orientation of your RVexcellent guest reviews, an assigned support team from sales, parts, service and the business officesuperior accommodationsno-hassle pricing and competitive financing. See our extensive new and used inventory here.

Feature Teacher: SuperShell Sleeper Deck

SuperShell Sleeper DeckWinnebago’s exclusive SuperShell composite hull is produced in a closed mold with injected urethane foam sandwiched between the fiberglass outer shell and an interior panel. This design and manufacturing method is similar to how a high-end cooler is constructed. This superior design strengthens the the cab over area and improves sound and thermal comfort while also reducing the weight and the potential for leaks and squeaks. The design also reduced the number of parts and processes necessary to build the cab-over, improving quality and durability for our owners.

The SuperShell Sleeper Deck is available in the Winnebago Vita, Porto, View and Navion

Experience the Best℠ at Lichtsinn RV, the #1 Winnebago Dealer in North America for the last four consecutive years. Lichtsinn RV is located 1 mile north of Winnebago Industries in Forest City, IA and we proudly sell new Winnebago motorhomes and pre-owned RVs from various manufacturers. While at Lichtsinn RV, you can expect no delivery miles on new RVs, a complimentary half-day educational orientation of your RVexcellent guest reviews, an assigned support team from sales, parts, service and the business officesuperior accommodationsno-hassle pricing and competitive financing. See our extensive new and used inventory here.

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6 Winnebago Motorhome Models without Slideouts

Want to RV, but want the flexibility of going where you want when you want, with the option of not bringing a tow car? A small sized RV 26’ or less allows you to park and camp almost anywhere. AND…if you also want to keep it simple by avoiding slideouts, Winnebago has a number of options for you to choose from! Whether you want to use your RV to travel across the country, tailgate, as a traveling office, or to just park it while you enjoy the great outdoors, a small RV may be the answer for you. This is a growing category in the RV market, whether it’s a Class C or a Class B Van, that offers a great deal of versatility to the owner.

Winnebago Offers 6 models that include 1 or more floorplan under 26’ without a  slideout.

These models include:

The Winnebago Minnie Winnie/Winnebago Spirit 22R and 25B Floorplans

The Class C Gas Motorhomes, the Winnebago Minnie Winnie and the Winnebago Spirit, are fully equipped with a private rear bedroom and cabover bunk for added sleeping flexibility. They come complete with new interior options and stylish exteriors. Plus add in a long list of standard features, a variety of available upgrade packages AND Winnebago’s legendary build quality, and the Winnebago Minnie Winnie and Winnebago Spirit are an outstanding value for families of all sizes.

The Winnebago Minnie Winnie/Winnebago Spirit 22R is compact measuring at only 23’10” in length. It has a Rear Corner Bed and a U-Shaped Dinette to offer plenty of sleeping and seating capacity.

The Winnebago Minnie Winnie/Winnebago Spirit 25B top out the length in Winnebago RVs without slideouts at 26’2” in length.  The 25B has a rear corner bed, a full bathroom, and a dinette and sofa/bed.

To learn more about the Winnebago Minnie Winnie/Winnebago Spirit 22R and 25B CLICK HERE.

The Winnebago Outlook 22E and 25J Floorplans

Winnebago Outlook 22E

Winnebago Outlook 25J

The Class C Gas Motorhome, the Winnebago Outlook, is Winnebago’s newest Class C gas motorhome. Each Winnebago Outlook floorplan is fully equipped and priced to fit almost any budget. The floorplans feature a full galley, overhead bed, and a long list of standard amenities at a friendly price point. The Winnebago Outlook 22E and 25J, each without a slideout, are built on Ford®’s proven E350 chassis.

The Winnebago Outlook 22E measures in 24’2” in length with a rear corner bed. It has a full bathroom, a dinette and well-appointed kitchen area. The Winnebago Outlook 25J measures in at 26’2” in length. It offers a rear corner bed and exceptional storage for an RV of its size with a large wardrobe. The dinette and sofa are on the same side of the RV offering an extensive seating area.

To see Winnebago Outlook 22E and 25J Inventory CLICK HERE.

The Winnebago Travato

Questions from the Winnebago Travato Webcast

Available in 4 Floorplans, all without slideouts and measuring in at a compact 21” in length, the Winnebago Travato Class B RV has been at the forefront of the Camper Van Revolution since its launch in 2014. Thanks to premium features such as the energy-saving Truma Combi™ eco plus heating, the Deluxe FROLI® sleeping system and Corian® countertops, the new Travato is better than ever. With significantly upgraded standard features like 200-watt solar panels and new interior décor colorways, alongside several options, you can tailor the Travato to suit your needs.

The Travato also is available with the most powerful, durable and easy-to-use lithium energy system in the RV industry. The Pure3 Energy Management System comes standard in the Travato 59GL and 59KL. This best-in-class system is U.S. built in partnership with Volta Power Systems, helping RVers “cut the cord” to go off road and off the grid.

To learn more about the Winnebago Travato Pure3 Energy Management System: CLICK HERE.

To see Winnebago Travato Inventory CLICK HERE.

The Winnebago Revel

Exercise Blog

Designed specifically for active outdoor enthusiasts, the Winnebago® Revel, measuring in at only 19’5” in length, takes a no-nonsense approach to adventure, with a straightforward design and function-driven features. Taking full advantage of the proven 4×4 Mercedes-Benz® Sprinter chassis, the Revel’s 3-liter turbo-diesel puts 325 lbs./ft. of torque through an on-demand 4WD system, complete with high/low range mode for added off-road capability. Inside, the Revel’s unique features start with a floorplan designed around a 140-cu. ft. gear garage with a power lift bed and an all-in-one wet bath and gear closet. It boasts a full galley, including a 2.5-cu. ft. compressor refrigerator,a standard 200-watt solar power system, diesel-powered heating and many more innovative features and the result is the Revel: quite simply the most off-road capable RV Winnebago has ever built.

To see Winnebago Revel Inventory CLICK HERE.

The Winnebago Era

Winnebago Era

All 3 Floorplans of the Winnebago Era come without slideouts and measure in at 24’3” in length. Built on the Mercedes-Benz® Sprinter chassis, the Winnebago Era® is available with a 4WD option and other enhancements. Each Era floorplan offers a variety of seating, sleeping, bathing, and cooking options, accented by premium contemporary interior styling, sumptuous Ultraleather™ furnishings, and dimmable LED lighting. Full galleys feature stainless steel appliances and a compressor-powered refrigerator for optimal cooling performance. Outside, a powered patio awning, LED lighting, and exterior speakers make it easy to relax, while the expandable solar power system helps keep the power flowing, even when you’re off the grid. Tour in style and camp in luxury: see the world in your Winnebago Era.

To see Winnebago Era Inventory CLICK HERE.

The Winnebago Boldt

Winnebago Boldt

The newest introduction to the Winnebago Class B lineup, the Winnebago Boldt comes in 2 floorplans, each without slideouts and measuring in at 24’3” in length. Winnebago leads in innovation with the Winnebago Boldt, the first fuel-efficient, Mercedes-Benz VS30 van partnered with the Pure 3 Volta Power Systems Lithium energy system, providing users a generator-free #VanLife experience. The Boldt has numerous comfort versatility features including: extensive 4-Season Insulation, a Flex Bed System and RAM Tough-Track Mounts. The Winnebago Boldt is available in two floorplans – the 70BL and 70KL.

To see Winnebago Boldt Inventory CLICK HERE.

Experience the Best℠ at Lichtsinn RV, the #1 Winnebago Dealer in North America for the last four consecutive years. Lichtsinn RV is located 1 mile north of Winnebago Industries in Forest City, IA and we proudly sell new Winnebago motorhomes and pre-owned RVs from various manufacturers. While at Lichtsinn RV, you can expect no delivery miles on new RVs, a complimentary half-day educational orientation of your RVexcellent guest reviews, an assigned support team from sales, parts, service and the business officesuperior accommodationsno-hassle pricing and competitive financing. See our extensive new and used inventory here.

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Experience the Best: 5-Star Guest Reviews

You will Experience the Best at Lichtsinn RV! Starting when you pick up the phone or chat with us online, you will see why the Lichtsinn RV Experience is the best.

Watch our video on our 5-Star Guest Reviews Here.

Guests throughout the US and Canada come to Lichtsinn RV for their RV purchase, many traveling thousands of miles. We have been a Winnebago Circle of Excellence Award Winner for over 25 Years and our Flying W Customer Satisfaction Index Scores rank in the best of class for Winnebago Dealers! See what our guests have to say about their experience with us with our 5-Star Reviews on Facebook and Google.

Entrance Fee-Free Days at the National Parks

Whether you’ve already got a national parks passport chock full of stickers and stamps or you’re just getting ready to take your first Grand Circle tour, the national parks are some of the most popular destination for RVers and campers of all stripes — and for good reason. These landscapes are so undeniably moving that we as people have made a dedicated effort to set them aside, to consecrate and preserve them for future generations. As someone who’s visited about a dozen, I think it’s safe to say you want to see as many of them as you possibly can.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the limited number of fee-free days the National Park Service offers each year to encourage people to get outdoors and spend time with their friends and family.

 Here’s what you need to know about the fee-free days at the National Parks in 2019, as well as some more general tips and guidelines to help you make the most of your national park RV camping adventure.

National Park Fees

First things first: what are the national park fees in the first place, and which parks assess them? How much might you expect to pay at the entryway to, say, Arches National Park or Yellowstone National Park?

Well, each park’s entry fee varies, ranging from absolutely nothing, as at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, all the way up to $35 per vehicle or more in places like Glacier National Park. What’s more, the exact cost to you will depend on what sort of vehicle you’re bringing into the park as well as how long you wish to visit; you might be charged a lower fee if you arrive by motorcycle, or pay more for a pass that’s good for three or seven days.

Because there’s so much variability when it comes to specific national park entry fees, the best way to figure out how much your target park costs to enter is to check out this comprehensive and up-to-date list, managed by the National Park Service itself. Keep in mind that these fees might not cover additional services or activities, like cave tours or camping costs.

How to Get Free Entry to the National Parks

Now that you know what you’ll pay to get in on most days of the year, let’s talk about those special ones where you don’t have to pay anything. Each year, the National Park Service hosts a few specific days where entry fees are waived to encourage more people to get outside and explore these unique landscapes. These change on an annual basis, but here are the official national park fee-free days in 2019, per the National Park Service.

  • Monday, January 21 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Saturday, April 20 – Start of National Park Week/National Junior Ranger Day
  • Sunday, August 25 – National Park Service Anniversary
  • Saturday, September 28 – National Public Lands Day
  • Monday, November 11 – Veterans Day

As you can see, while one of these dates has already passed (and one is soon approaching), you still have ample opportunities to take advantage of this offer and gain free entry to national parks across the country. (That said, always be sure to double check that your destination park is participating if you don’t want to face an unpleasant surprise when you arrive at the gates!)

National Park Annual Pass

Can’t make any of those dates for your national park trip this year?

No worries. There are lots of other ways to save money on your excursion in the great outdoors — such as investing in an annual park pass (or taking advantage of a free or discounted one, if you fall into certain demographics!)


The National Park Service offers its America the Beautiful Pass, which gets you into more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the country, for a standard fee of $80 per year. The pass covers entrance, standard amenity fees and day use fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas, or up to four adults at sites that charge per person. (Children age 15 or under are admitted for free!)

If you have a permanent disability, or you’re a current active duty military member, you can get one of these annual passes for free, as can students for the duration of their 4th grade school year. And seniors aged 62 or older can get a lifelong annual pass for the same $80 the rest of us pay for a single year — or choose to pay $20 yearly instead.

These annual passes are invaluable for those who spend lots of time traveling around between multiple national parks, such as full-time RVers. But if you tend to stay in a single area and revisit the same park again and again, you could also purchase a park-specific annual pass, which usually runs more along the order of $50 or so.

It’s also important to note that many very famous parks and attractions are not actually managed by the National Park Service, but are rather privately owned, and thus may charge you for entrance on an entirely different fee schedule. For instance, Monument Valley Park is actually tribally owned, as is Meteor Crater, which lies just outside of Winslow, Arizona. That means that your annual national parks pass won’t get you entry to either of these locations — you’ll still have to pay the regular entry fee!

National Park Camping

Camping inside the national parks is a travel bucket list item for many RVers, and it’s a great way to get front-row access to all the action without sacrificing convenience or comfort. Of course, because this way of experiencing the parks is so popular, the national park campgrounds do tend to fill up quickly, so it’s a good idea to make your reservations well in advance. Furthermore, some parks don’t actually offer reservations and must simply be utilized on a first-come, first-served basis. If that’s the case at your destination park, be sure to arrive early!

If you’re bringing an RV to the national parks, it’s important to understand that the entry fee doesn’t necessarily cover the cost of your campsite. What’s more, that campsite may or may not have modern amenities like water and electrical hookups. Each national park has its own array of campgrounds to select from, some of which include services and some of which are primitive only. You may have to pay a nightly campsite fee ranging from about $5 to $25, or you may be able to boondock for free. It all depends on the individual park! So again, be sure to check out the information available directly from the Park Service (or one of our helpful National Park Guides!) to get the full details about the camping options at your destination.

National Parks Near Me

Although we often tend to think of the national parks as being mostly concentrated in the wide-open west, no matter what part of our beautiful country you call home, chances are, you’ve got a federal recreation site in your area. Along with actual National Parks, there are also National Monuments, National Historic Sites, National Battlefields, and lots of other amazing landscapes and attractions to discover.

Post originally seen on RVShare.com

Experience the Best℠ at Lichtsinn RV, the #1 Winnebago Dealer in North America for the last four consecutive years. Lichtsinn RV is located 1 mile north of Winnebago Industries in Forest City, IA and we proudly sell new Winnebago motorhomes and pre-owned RVs from various manufacturers. While at Lichtsinn RV, you can expect no delivery miles on new RVs, a complimentary half-day educational orientation of your RVexcellent guest reviews, an assigned support team from sales, parts, service and the business officesuperior accommodationsno-hassle pricing and competitive financing. See our extensive new and used inventory here.

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Experience the Best℠ at Lichtsinn RV, the #1 Winnebago Dealer in North America for the last four consecutive years. Lichtsinn RV is located 1 mile north of Winnebago Industries in Forest City, IA and we proudly sell new Winnebago motorhomes and pre-owned RVs from various manufacturers. While at Lichtsinn RV, you can expect no delivery miles on new RVs, a complimentary half-day educational orientation of your RVexcellent guest reviews, an assigned support team from sales, parts, service and the business officesuperior accommodationsno-hassle pricing and competitive financing. See our extensive new and used inventory here.

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