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11 Ways to Get Teens Onboard for Your RV Travels

How to Get Teens Onboard for Your RV Travels

As teenagers enter the time in life when they start pulling away from family to spend more time with friends, RVing can be a great way to stay connected. However, if you want your teenager to engage in your travels, you should be mindful of their lives and preferences.

We started RVing when our sons were 11 and 14. Over the next few years, they grew a lot taller, got involved in school activities, started their first jobs, and then one of our sons went off to college. These changes in their lives affected many aspects of our travels! However, we continued to look for ways to keep them involved without giving up on our travel dreams.

Here are 11 tips for traveling with your teens:

1) Include teens in the RV travel process

Photo: Kerri Cox

Kid with red hair and man with dreadlocks kayak on tranquil waters.
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Woodland Park Campground, one of Ontario’s Premier 10/10*/10 Good Sam Parks

Woodland Park Campground is located a short walk from a unique 7- mile stretch of natural sand beach on the clean blue shallow waters of Lake Huron, famous for excellent swimming and spectacular sunsets.

Woodland Park Campground is one of Good Sam’s Top-Rated 10/10*/10 parks. The Park has over 770 total sites, with 155 being overnight/transient sites, plus tenting sites. Each site includes a large cement patio, paved roads, free cable TV, picnic table and fire ring. High-speed WiFi is available. The indoor heated pool and hot tub provide family fun – rain or shine.

Woodland Park.

For those who do not have a camping unit, the family can still enjoy the camping experience in one of Woodland Park Campground’s 2- or 3-bedroom Trailer rentals. Trailers include all dishes, plates, pots, pans, glasses, cutlery, microwave, toaster, coffee-maker, TV, and FREE CABLE.

There are supervised children’s activities and two playgrounds for the younger members of the family. If you have some spare energy, hit the courts to enjoy a game of basketball, get some sun playing sand beach volleyball or play a game of ping pong or billiards.

Clear waters lapping against the shore.
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March Regional Travel — Take a Spring Break in the Sunny Southwest

Spring Break. Those two words conjure up images of travelers waking up from winter hibernation and hitting the road for fun in warm weather. Some places get crowded very fast, but savvy travelers can avoid the chaos and take a spring break at their own pace in these spots. Discover family-friendly getaways or peaceful spots for couples.

Northern Arizona

See our Regional Travel Calendar for more year-round destinations.

Early spring is an ideal time to explore northern Arizona. The peak crowds haven’t yet descended on local attractions and the temperature is cool and crisp — perfect for outings in places like the Grand Canyon and towns like Flagstaff.

Grand Canyon Hiking

Don’t settle for sweeping views of the canyon from the lofty observation point on the South Rim. Take a hike deep into the canyon and see the 277-mile-long marvel from a different perspective. Hit the South Kaibab Trail to Ooh Ah Point, a 1.7-mile out-and-back trail, which leads hikers past beautiful wildflowers and leads to some stunning views (as the name implies). Prefer to let someone else do the walking? South Rim Mule trips are offered year-round, but make reservations early: spots fill up quickly.

Biking the red rocks of Sedona. Getty Images

Travel trailer driving through thick lush forest.
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Surf Fishing 101: Your Guide to Angling on the Beach

Close your eyes and picture it. You’re lying on the beach with your hat shielding your eyes. In the background, you hear seagulls and the crash of waves slapping off the sand. All of a sudden you get hit with a jolt of adrenaline as you hear the drag on your conventional reel going. An 18-pound striped bass has started pulling on your line. You jump up, grab your rod and prepare yourself for the surf fishing fight of your life.

While this might all sound a little dramatic, surf fishing is an exciting way to wet some lines. The problem is very few people understand how to get started. It seems more difficult than other methods of fishing, and while it’s not necessarily true, there are a few things you need to know. 

By the end of this guide, you will be equipped with the knowledge necessary to gather up the right gear and head toward the coast in search of some awesome fishing. 

What is Surf Fishing?

Fishing at sunset. Getty Images

Surf fishing is exactly what it sounds like. It’s fishing along the beach and casting into the surf using a large rod and rig. While it mostly takes place on the sand, you could also surf fishing on a pier or along the rocks. 

Golden pompano isolated on white background
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Fun on Land and Water at Riverbend RV Park of Twisp in Washington

Sitting in the western foothills of Washington’s Cascade Mountains, Riverbend RV Park puts guests within reach of a slew of fun activities in one of the most ruggedly beautiful regions of the U.S. The park’s location on the banks of the Methow River means that fishing, kayaking and swimming are just steps away. Venture further into the Methow Valley, and guests can go rock climbing and hiking in the mountainous terrain. Outfitters in the area can arrange horseback riding on trails that lead to spectacular views.

You’ll also find plenty of attractions for sightseeing and shopping. Buy some fresh, locally sourced food by visiting the Methow Valley Farmers Market, put on every Saturday. Grab a seat in a restaurant on the bank of the Methow River, or peruse one of the galleries in town. The local Merc Playhouse hosts music concerts, dance performances and guests speakers throughout the year. Learn about firefighting when visiting the Smoke Jumpers Base in Winthrop, Washington, just eight miles to the north. Take a tour of the base and learn about the firefighters who parachute into remote areas to combat aggressive blazes. Exhibits and tours showcase the history of these highly skilled public servants.

Winthrop, Washington

After a busy day of sightseeing and fun, relax back at Riverbend RV Park, which keeps guests comfortable with 56 full-hookup sites powered by 30- and 50-amp electricity. The roomy sites allow plenty of room for slideouts and also include tables and fire pits. A campground store with RV supplies keeps guests stocked up and ready for the next adventure. Riverbend also has propane, laundry facilities and a dump station. Dog owners can let their pets burn off energy on the 1/2-acre dog park.

During your stay, check out some of the local attractions:

A woman spreads her arms as she gazes out over a vast mountain view.
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The Ultimate Arizona Road Trip

Though Arizona might be best known for its giant crack in the earth, the Grand Canyon State offers boundless opportunities to experience some of the most unique landscapes in the country. From towering saguaros, colorful canyons and ancient cliff dwellings to kitschy Route 66 attractions and relics of the Old West, Arizona is chock-full of places to explore.

Page and Marble Canyon

The Navajo Bridge crosses the Colorado River near Lee’s Ferry.

Situated along Arizona’s northern border, the town of Page provides the perfect basecamp for exploring this region of the state. Take the scenic drive south from Page to Marble Canyon, home of the Navajo Bridge that spans the Colorado River. While there, explore Lee’s Ferry, the principal launching point for Grand Canyon rafters, and hike along the interpretive trail featuring ruins from the old settlement. For a longer trek, hike the Cathedral Wash Trail that takes you through a beautiful slot canyon with spectacular geology. While in Page, stop at Horseshoe Bend for an iconic view of the Colorado River and explore the Lake Powell area.

Prescott and Jerome

Not far from Sedona and along scenic 89A, you’ll find the historic mountaintop town of Jerome. This former copper mining town-turned-artist colony is also known for its haunts and ghost tours. Explore the place once regarded “Wickedest Town of the West” on guided trips that allow exclusive access to several historic buildings. While walking around the community, peruse the quirky galleries and boutiques that line the streets and drop by the Mining Museum. Because of the winding nature of this high-elevation segment of 89A, with 127 curves in 12 miles, it’s fair to say this is a destination where the trailer is best left-back at camp.

Frankie the goat takes in the views at Watson Lake in Prescott

A goat rests on a rock and surveys a lake with a rocky shoreline.
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Palm Canyon and RV Resort — High Desert Luxury With a Western Theme

Pack your bags and plan to stay a while in the beautiful high-desert town of Borrego Springs. Located just 90 miles Northeast of San Diego, there is so much to explore and do in Borrego Springs. Experience the adventure of hiking in the desert, gazing at the night sky, visiting area attractions or just enjoying the amenities of this breath-taking resort!

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is no more than a mile away. Which means it is easy to spend your days roaming badlands and enjoying the views.

View Sky Art inspired by Fossil Treasures of the Anza-Borrego Desert. View the whimsical metal sculptures scattered about on permanent display in the city of Borrego Springs.

Borrego Night Sky Tours — Located in an International Dark Sky Community, Borrego Springs can bring out the astronomer hidden in you. Or if you are a bona fide stargazer, you can bring your spyglass and gaze to your heart’s content. For the novice, local astronomer Dennis Mammana will take you on a guided tour so you can learn firsthand from an expert about the cosmos!

For some good exercise along with enjoying desert flora, take the Cactus Loop Nature Trail for a 0.7-mile walk appropriate for all skill levels.

A bed with a classic rock poster hung over the headboard.
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10 RV Spring Maintenance Chores to Tackle Now

Late winter and early spring are the perfect times to take care of the RV maintenance chores. Before you know it, weather conditions will be perfect for the first trip of the season. Don’t get caught off guard. Use this time to pamper your RV and get it road-ready for spring.

Here are 10 spring RV maintenance items to tackle now:

Do a Deep Cleaning of the Interior and Exterior

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home. After being closed up for a few months and, possibly, enduring some winter storms, your RV is ready for thorough cleaning inside and out. Pull everything out of your cabinets and exterior storage, so you can wipe down the surfaces. Check carefully for signs of pests. Wash and wax your exterior.

As the first shoots of spring arise, it’s time to prep the RV. Photo: Kerri Cox.

Get Your Wheels and Tires Ready to Roll

Your tires have likely lost some pressure over the winter months. Properly inflate them and check the lug nuts and tread. If you haven’t had your wheel bearings packed in over a year, it may be time to tackle that task, whether you do it yourself or have a professional take care of it. 

Performing general engine maintenance.
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SLO CAL’s Highway 1 Is Best Seen by RV

There’s nothing like the iconic Highway 1 road trip in California, especially when you do it by recreational vehicle.

Whether you know it as PCH or Highway 1, the scenic route snakes along undiscovered beaches, rolling green hills and quaint communities in SLO CAL (San Loius Obispo, California). This bucket-list journey can’t be made in one day, so don’t miss out and plan your multi-day stop in SLO CAL to see it all.

While you drive through Ragged Point, take time to enjoy the stunning coastal views and listen to the waves crashing below. As you head south, you’ll find the beaches occupied by a SLO CAL favorite, elephant seals. These mighty animals claim the beaches of San Simeon. The elephant seal viewing area has plenty of parking, accommodating vehicles of all sizes, no matter your RV’s size.

Watching the sunset from Ragged Point. Photo: SLO CAL

Next, it’s time to set up camp. There’s an array of coastal RV Parks waiting for you to check in. Morro Strand RV Park has sites ranging from 20×30 feet all the way up to 40×70 feet to best accommodate whatever your needs may be. Enjoy fire pits and BBQs with Morro Rock standing tall as a backdrop. Forget the firewood? There is also a convenient general store onsite, stocked with all your needs to make your stay as stress-free as possible.

A mom looks on as her husband and daughter wax surfboards with ocean in the background.
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Lake Pines RV Park in Columbus, Georgia: The Perfect Holiday Getaway

Lakes Pines Campground and Event Center in Columbus, Georgia, has become more than just a campsite that is shared among friends and travelers; it has grown into a legacy for generations of outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy and love. The Peach State welcomes travelers with modern cities and relaxing towns that echo the Old South.

Situated on 20 acres of pine forest, Lake Pines RV Park & Campground has welcomed visitors with a family-centered retreat away from the busy world for over 50 years.

Lake Pines RV Park & Campground

Lakes Pines has grown from a local summer neighborhood into a hidden gem for the city of Columbus, and it is still growing. Columbus is the third-largest city in Georgia. This historic city that was once a Confederate Stronghold continues to ooze the Southern antebellum charm. Fine museums and artfully restored 19th-century mansions framed by majestic oak trees showcase the heady days of the city’s cotton boom.

Lake Pines RV Park & Campground

Sign indicating Lake Pines Campground & RV Park
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11 Reasons to Escape to the Florida Keys

Looking for an island getaway? The Florida Keys constitute that rare tropical island destination that can be reached without a plane ticket or cruise ship fare. Just follow the 106-mile Overseas Highway from mainland Florida to the chain of islands that stretch far into the ocean and light-years away from your troubles. 

Camp at a Good Sam Park where palm trees sway in cool breezes and turquoise waters lap against unspoiled beaches. Enjoy iconic bars that serve up tropical drinks and join one of the quirky events, like Key West’s famous Ernest Hemingway Look-alike Contest. Hit the gas for these 11 Keys getaways. We’ve included the Overseas Highway Mile Markers, so you know how far to go. 

Dive in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park • Mile Marker 102.5

The Christ of the Abyss statue in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Getty Images

Sixty-four miles south of Miami and located in Key Largo, the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park entices snorkelers and divers. Established in 1963, the first state park under the sea covers a 25-mile-long and 3-foot-wide swath of ocean and is home to a stunning diversity of plants and animals. Take a diving tour and go deep to see the Christ Under the Sea statue, which stands on the seabed about 25 feet below the surface. Prefer staying dry? Take a ride on a glass-bottomed boat and witness fantastic flora and fauna beneath your feet. Bird watchers can feast their eyes on gray kingbirds, short-tailed hawks and mangrove cuckoos.

Stay: Fiesta Key RV Resort

White-sand beach curls around a tranquil ocean cove.
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See the Sea From Your RV in Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island is a favorite destination for RVers from across North America. Located on the east coast of Canada, Prince Edward Island is known for its natural beauty, miles of sandy shoreline and delectable culinary scene. This is the place for an adventure-filled vacation or a relaxing retreat at a slower pace.

The Island, as it is affectionately named, always leaves a big impression on visitors. Its size and shape mean you can plan your tour to begin at one entry point and end at another. Arrive via the Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick anytime or sail with Northumberland Ferries from Nova Scotia across the Northumberland Strait from May to December.

Equestrian adventures on Prince Edward Island.

Prince Edward Island has so much to offer RV vacation enthusiasts, including eight provincial campgrounds. Brudenell River Provincial Park is the largest campground in the eastern region, with scheduled children’s programming each day as well as a marina and river beach for all ages to enjoy. Horseback riding, kayaks and paddleboards are available for a fee on the premises. Within walking distance is a resort with two championship 18-hole golf courses and a spa.

Also in the east, Red Point Provincial Park offers a supervised beach nestled on the Northumberland Strait and only 10 minutes to the seaside town of Souris. Local beaches are well known for digging clams and beachcombing for sea glass.

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Otter Lake Resort Is the Year-round Camping Destination in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania

Centered around a glistening 60-acre lake, Otter Lake Resort is a 300-acre getaway located in the beautiful Pocono Mountains, just 10 miles from the Delaware Water Gap, Interstate 80 and Stroudsburg. We offer easy access from both Interstate highways 80 and 84, yet with all the seclusion and quiet of a remote Pennsylvania camping retreat. Probably the best part of camping at Otter Lake is our direct proximity to so many of the most popular Pocono attractions, many only minutes away!  We are family-oriented, meaning we have something for all ages and interests.

Recreation in Otter Lake Resort.

Otter Lake Resort Offers Many Features and Amenities

Otter Lake Resort’s sandy beach offers a swimming area and a place to play in the sand. We offer rowboat, canoe and paddleboat rentals. Otter Lake provides a great fishing experience. We sit close to many hiking trails for the enjoyment of the area’s magnificence. Pavilions are available for group events.

Otter Lake Resort

There is also an outside pool with a grassy lawn for sunning, a diving area with a diving board, a slide and a separately enclosed kiddie pool. Our new attraction is a splash park for children. And if that’s not good enough, we have a heated indoor pool open all year, a sauna and two whirlpools!

Large rectancular pool framed by green trees.
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Savvy City Driving: Tips for RVing Through Busy Metro Areas

Traveling by RV on the highways and byways is a great way to see the country. The sense of freedom and beauty of the scenery makes this the only way to go. But if your route requires traversing a major metro area, that freewheeling feeling may disappear. City driving in an RV poses several challenges, especially if you’re driving through a large downtown city core.

Some travelers might say that they never route through large cities, opting to circumnavigate big towns by using ring roads or other bypasses. But the fact is that several major attractions — from sports stadiums to renowned museums — lie within major cities. The same goes for some Good Sam Parks, which give RVers the advantage of staying close to metro attractions. Although some of these sites are close to major highways and interstates, RVers still have to navigate the dense urban traffic to reach these destinations.

Southern California Freeway. Getty Images

Wrong Way

In addition, drivers can inadvertently end up in downtown centers. It can happen if you miss a turn, get rerouted because of an accident, receive inaccurate directions from your GPS or pass through the city because it’s the only route. I can speak from firsthand knowledge. I ended up in downtown San Francisco after missing a single lane offramp with a sign displaying, “G.G.B.” I also have been routed through Chicago’s core. Once, I squeezed my way through the narrow streets of Old Quebec City, thankfully with a 96-inch-wide motorhome instead of today’s standard 102-inch vehicle. And there’s always the possibility of a technical issue — say, a flat tire — that forces a driver to pull off in a big town. Believe me, it can happen.

Twists in Big Towns

So, let’s look at some of the challenges that drivers face in cities and cover some of the skills and best practices needed for a trouble-free trip.

RV on a body of water facing a large metropolis
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3 Southern States for Fantastic February Travel

Take a memorable Valentine’s Day road trip. The second month of the year is a great time to fall in love with RV travel. The following locations will make you get back in touch with your passion for hitting the road.

North Carolina

Nothing could be finer than a trip to the Tarheel States sweetest attractions.

Escape to the Great Smoky Mountains

See our Regional Travel Calendar for more year-round destinations.

Take a romantic escape into the mountains. Hikers can follow hundreds of miles of trails, like the four-mile Appalachian Trail to the Charlies Bunion route for jaw-dropping mountain views, the two-mile Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest Loop Trail to explore old-growth forests, and nine-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail for exceptional wildlife viewing. There are more than 100 scenic waterfalls in the Smokies, from the elegant Grotto Falls to the 100-foot-high Ramsey Cascade.

Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. Getty Images

Individual riding a zip line over water.
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Picking a Fantastic Campsite in Colorado

With so many campground locations, it’s easy to find a tranquil spot to get back to basics and revisit the simplicity of nature. Once you set up camp, you’ll soon realize that birdcalls, meandering trails and lazy afternoons are welcome distractions from everyday life. Read on and discover strategies to picking the perfect campsite in Colorado.

There are thousands of campsites in Colorado’s state park and public land systems and hundreds more private sites. You simply need to find the part of the state you want to visit, choose a site with the amenities you need and make a reservation.

Colorado State Parks

Colorado State Parks Camping

Forty-two parks with amenities all over the state are administered by Colorado Parks & Wildlife. The system boasts more than 4,000 campsites. Amenities at many parks include visitor centers, reservoirs, restrooms, full electrical hookups and shower facilities. Some even have laundry facilities and playgrounds. Yurts and cabins available for rent offer comfortable, year-round alternatives to traditional camping.

Federal Lands

The US Forest Service manages 14 million acres of land in the state’s 11 National Forests and two National Grasslands, while the Bureau of Land Management oversees an additional 8.4 million acres. Both agencies have campsites that range from developed areas with restrooms, fire rings, water and other amenities to remote areas, with no amenities, that are reached only by horse, mountain bike or backpacking. Reservations can be made at

A blue dome tent on the banks of a lake.
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Key Differences Between Diesel- and Gas-Powered Motorhomes

For many RV travelers, a new year brings dreams of buying a new vehicle. And folks who are in the market for a Class A motorhome must decide between two types: diesel pushers and gas-powered vehicles.

The diesel RV features an engine mounted at the rear of the vehicle (hence the term, “pusher”). Gas-powered vehicles are powered by engines more conventionally placed in the front. Gas-powered Class A coaches are limited in overall length of about 38 feet while diesel pushers are made up to 45 feet.

Diesel pusher motorhome. Photo: Peter Mercer

For many new to Class A motorhome travel, one question often comes up: Why are diesel motorhomes so much more costly than their gas-powered cousins? Indeed, the difference is quite dramatic: Pusher prices can exceed their gas-powered counterparts by $100,000 and more. How can you justify such a huge gap? After all, a combustion engine burning diesel fuel cannot cost that much more than a gas unit, right?

Well, the engine difference is not the only big-dollar item here. The fact is, they are totally different vehicles.

Motorhomes sit near a copse of trees.
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Experience Arizona Adventure at Rain Spirit RV Resort

Rain Spirit RV Resort, new in 2019, is located in Clarkdale, Arizona. The big-rig-friendly resort has 63 full-hookup sites, back-ins and pull-throughs, with paved roads and compacted gravel sites. Enjoy the centrally located pool and spa, rec room with library lounge, fitness center, private tiled shower rooms, laundry facilities and enclosed dog run. Rain Spirit RV Resort overlooks the Verde River and has views all around of beautiful mountain ranges as well as Sedona and Sycamore Canyon red rock formations.

Rain Spirit RV Resort

Historic Clarkdale and Outdoor Fun

Clarkdale is a well-preserved and historic turn-of-the-century mining town, just a few miles away. The town boasts the largest copper museum in the Grand Canyon State. Also near the RV park are hiking and mountain bike trails along the river as well as hundreds of miles of ATV and jeep trails. The Verde River also is easily accessible for fishing, bird watching, swimming and kayaking. There is a 3-mile stretch of river for kayaking rapids with a launch park upriver and a pick-up site just below the park.

Kayaker on the Verde River.

From the river overlook to toward the east, the Tuzigoot National Monument can be seen in the near distance. It is a large, 1,200-year-old Sinaguan pueblo, semi-restored with tours and a gift shop. Adding to the appeal, Rain Spirit RV Resort is located away from light or noise pollution, which makes for a restful experience after a busy day enjoying the area. Don’t forget the Verde Canyon Railroad round-trip excursion that starts in Clarkdale and runs along the river. Guests can enjoy spectacular views while wining and dining in classic custom rail cars.

A kayaker navigates fast-moving waters fringed by reeds.
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Winter Road Trippin’ in Southern Utah

During winter, southern Utah’s famed red rock country becomes a land of contrasts as the vermillion cliffs, hoodoos and colorful monoliths get dusted with stark white snow. In this desert winter wonderland, visitors can enjoy some of the most pristine landscapes in the country without overwhelming crowds that flood the parks the majority of the year. Find solace on the trails, drive roads that are usually closed to private vehicles and take advantage of the off-peak prices. However, exploring in winter comes with its own share of challenges; park services are limited, not all sites are accessible and temperatures can get frigid. Before you set off on your adventure, be mindful of the weather forecast; pack plenty of layers and winter hiking gear, and research road conditions to ensure your trip is fun and safe.

Zion National Park

Bighorn Sheep were reintroduced to Zion in the 1970s and are frequently seen between the Mount Carmel Tunnel and the East Entrance.

Considered one of the most majestic national parks in the nation, Zion’s most prominent feature is Zion Canyon, nearly 15-miles long and up to 2,640-feet deep. One of its less attractive features is the crowds, as it’s the third most visited National Park in the country. To beat the 20,000-per-day summer visitors, head to Zion during the winter, where you’ll find plenty of solitude while out on the trails. The other bonus about visiting between December and February is the fact that you can drive to almost all of the trailheads along Zion Scenic Drive, which is closed to private vehicles and only accessed by shuttle buses the majority of the year.

Though evenings are chilly, daytime temps hover in the 50s, providing comfortable weather for strenuous hikes. Luckily, Zion Canyon’s low elevation means snow rarely makes it to the floor, and if it does, it quickly melts. However, on the peaks and higher elevations, expect snow and ice.

Lake Powell

Frankie, our faithful watch goat, stands guard at our trailer parked at Lone Rock Beach on Lake Powell.

A colorful RV parked on a desert lakeshore.
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Getting the Ice Fishing Edge With Angling Flashers

It took me a long time to purchase an ice fishing flasher because I thought they were way more complicated than they are. The good news is, they’re actually simpler to use than a fish finder in a lot of ways. You just need to understand what the various colors and dials mean.

In this guide, I am breaking down all the finer details of ice fishing flashers so you can understand if buying one for your ice fishing trips is the right choice.

Vexilar Ice Fishing Flasher

What is an Ice Fishing Flasher?

Ice fishing flashers can be difficult to understand. When I first looked at one, I thought they looked like some type of engineering device or something used to read the water quality. In reality, once you understand what every little dial and color means, they’re actually quite simple to use.

An ice fishing flasher is a piece of fishing technology designed to help you identify fishing opportunities beneath the ice. Using the flasher, you can figure out where the fish are, where the bottom is, what the total depth is and what type of structure or vegetation is scattered throughout the water.

Picture of hands manipulating dials on ice flashing equipment.
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