RT69 Best Sights to See in America’s National Parks

With gas prices low and the National Parks Service celebrating it’s 100th anniversary in 2016 with special events, there’s never been a better time for RVers to visit a National Park. But what to see? In what order?

We talk about that a lot this week with Rob Bignell, author oa=f a new book called the Best Sights in America’s National Parks. Rob offers some bucket list suggestions and shares his favorite sites, as well a suggested trip RVers should take this year.

That’s just one of many interesting things in this week’s podcast.

Listen (00:57:37)
Get our free weekly RV Newsletter
We never spam you

Complete showotes for Episode 69 of Roadtreking: the RV Travel Podcast:

Sleeping in an RV Vs Sleeping in a Hotel Room

We begin with a discussion between Mike and Jennifer on their first excursion of the winter, an a lesson they learned about why sleeping in an RV is often much more preferable than staying in a hotel room.[4:08]

And we offer an invitation to join us for a Jan 23-25 winter campout at Tahquamenon Falls.[5:50]

Jennifer’s Tip of the Week – Trekking Poles

Like all RVers, we love to explore. And the best way to explore as we travel around North America, is by hiking. And so one of our Christmas presents to each other this year was something that will make that hiking and exploring a little esier on our knees and joints – Trekking poles. [6:54]

Trekking poles, like ski poles, allow your arms to help propel you forward and upward. Whether walking on flat ground or up steep hills, poles can help to reduce the impact on your legs, knees, ankles, and feet. This is especially true when going downhill.

In fact, I came across a 1999 study in The Journal of Sports Medicine that found that trekking poles can reduce compressive force on the knees by up to 25 percent.

Besides that, trekking poles and the two extra two points of contact they provide significantly increases your traction on slippery surfaces like mud, snow, and loose rock.

I found a whole bunch of reasons why trekkling poles are such a good thing to have in a n article by a website called Outdoor Gear Lab. We’ll link to it in the shownotes so you can check them out yourself.

So, what poles to buy? They start at around $20. And they go up to over $200.

Like anything, you get what you pay for but we knew we wanted good ones. We visited our local REI store and tried out several. We checked out the grips. They come in rubber, cork and foam. Some were comfortable, some not so much. Some poles are for women, some for men. They come in three sections, or two. Some twist lock – not so good, we learned – others have secure locking tabs.

Some are aluminum. Some are carbon. Carbon is lighter and tougher and that’s what we eventually chose, paging about $125 for a set.

We will link to a whole bunch of them at Amazon for you to check out. But we do recommend you do what we did…. Go to an outdoor store and try them in your hands. That’s the best way to assure you’re getting a set that is comfortable.

We’ll also link in the shownotes page to a helpful guide we read from REI on how to choose the right set of hiking poles.

Questions and Answers

We take listener questions about:

Do we have an itinerary for our planned trip out west? [10:07]

What’s our experience with Roadtrek’s solar power and lithium ion batteries?[14:20]

What should you know about winter camping in an RV? [18:58]

RV News of the Week

Gas princes are likely to remain the same or drop even lower in 2016, says the AAA[23:46]

gaspricesThe “Python Challenge” hunt for giant snakes starts Jan. 16 at the Everglades National Park [26:06]

RV Calendar

There are lots and lots of RV shows this weekend. [28:36]Here’s the full list – http://www.rvia.org/?esid=rvshows&all=1

Off The Beaten Path – Pioneer Village in Nebraska

pioneervillageTom and Patti Burkett report on Pioneer Village in Nebraska.[31:14]

Interview: The Best Sights in America’s National Parks

Rob Bignell author of Best Sights to See an America’s National Parks is our special interview this week.[36:56]

Rob is an avid hiker, long-time editor, and Wisconsin native who’s been day hiking with his son for more than NPBookeight years. Together they’ve scaled summits almost two miles high, crossed America’s driest deserts, and walked beneath trees soaring 15 stories over their heads. His book helps you make the most of your limited time. It lists the must-see wonders at our most visited national parks and details the best short hikes for enjoying them.
With the trails listed in this volume, you’ll never have to worry about missing waterfalls, inspiring mountain views, wildlife, incredible rock formations, or any of the other top sights at our nation’s great natural treasures.

This episode of Roadtreking the RV Podcast is brought to you by:

  • Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations
  • Leisure Time RV, a family-owned dealership in central Florida. Your vacation starts at Leisure Time RV



Click to see all of our Roadtreking RV videos!


  • Walt Huemmer

    Good to hear Pioneer Village get an off the beaten path report from Tom and Patti Burkett. I was there several years ago and it’s definitely a treasure worth stopping for. It can easily take all day but well worth it.