Our winter 2021-2022 snowbird season was our our biggest mileage and most diverse extended trip to date. We spent roughly two months in Arizona and one month in Southern Nevada enjoying mostly warm and sunny days. After a couple decades of enduring five months of cold and snow every year, nothing makes us happier than escaping winter in the Pacific Northwest. During our three month trip, average daytime highs were 60-70 degrees (great hiking weather), we only had a handful of rainy days, and we didn’t receive any snow. It felt like paradise. In this post I share our trip statistics and travel related costs followed by a photo album of trip highlights. Thanks for joining us.

Trip By the Numbers

  • Total miles driven: 6,107 miles
  • Miles towing RV: 3,464 miles
  • Nights out: 87
  • Nights at private RV parks: 3
  • Nights free camping (BLM and National Wildlife Refuge): 8
  • Nights in state park campgrounds: 39
  • Nights in National Park System campgrounds: 36
  • Coldest night: 20 degrees (Cathedral Gorge State Park, Nevada)
  • Warmest day: 81 degrees (Quartzsite, Arizona)
  • # of trails hiked: 41
  • # of photos taken: 6,280
  • States visited: Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and California
  • State Parks visited: Cathedral Gorge (NV), Kartchner Caverns (AZ), Patagonia Lake (AZ), Catalina (AZ), Picacho Peak (AZ), River Island (AZ), Buckskin Mountain (AZ)
  • National Park Units visited: Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Fort Bowie National Historic Site, Chiricahua National Monument, Coronado National Memorial, Saguaro National Park (both districts), Tumacacori National Monument, Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
  • Trip Favorites: Kartchner Cavern tours, biking around Tucson and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, hiking at Chiricahua National Monument and Sabino Canyon, kayaking in Black Canyon, camping at Catalina State Park and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
One of many gorgeous desert sunsets
Diesel + DEF$2,061
Eating Out$1,027
Sightseeing (cave tours, museums, entrance fees)$142
Indy loved all the sun too

Photo Album

Leaving home, we spent nights at Spring Recreation Site, Winnemucca, and Illipah Creek Reservoir before arriving at our first destination at Cathedral Gorge State Park
Moving on from Cathedral Gorge, we spent Thanksgiving week at Lake Mead and then a couple days at Quartzsite before heading to Kartchner Caverns State Park
Two night layover at Quartzsite to visit friends
With basecamps at Kartchner Caverns, Catalina, and Picacho Peak state parks, we spent all of December exploring Tucson and the southeastern corner of Arizona
Basecamp at Kartchner Caverns State Park for 12 nights. From here we explored Patagonia Lake State Park, Fort Bowie National Historic Site, Coronado National Memorial, Chiricahua National Monument, the Dragoon Mountains, and, of course, Kartchner Caverns State Park.
Kayaking at Patagonia Lake State Park
Learning about the Apache Wars at Fort Bowie National Historic Site
Following in the footsteps of Cochise and the Chiricahua Apache in the Dragoon Mountains
From Kartchner Caverns State Park, we moved to Catalina State Park on the NE edge of Tucson. Catalina was our favorite campsite of the trip and served as a great 10 night basecamp for exploring Saguaro National Park Rincon District, Sabino Canyon, biking the Tucson area, and exploring the beautiful trails right there at Catalina.
Fall colors lingering into mid-December at Romero Pools above Catalina State Park
Enjoying the fantastic biking trails around Tucson
Hiking in stunning Bear Canyon
Enjoying the fall colors in Sabino Canyon
Hiking at Saguaro National Park Rincon District
On Christmas Eve we moved from Catalina State Park to nearby Picacho Peak State Park. Here we were joined by our nephew and his girlfriend for the last week of 2021 and the last of our Tucson area adventures.
Celebrating Christmas on the trail to Wasson Peak in Saguaro National Park Tucson Mountain District
After driving over 1,300 miles, our nephew and his girlfriend were welcomed by a gorgeous sunset at Picacho Peak. Dinner around a fire with family was a welcome event after being gone from home over the holidays.
Jason and Max summited Picacho Peak
Checking out the US-Mexican border
Tumacacori National Historic Park, one of many missions from the Spanish colonial era
Ending 2021 and our time in the Tucson area
We started 2022 with a move to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument along the US-Mexican border in remote southcentral Arizona
Sunset above our campsite at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Looking south into Mexico
Biking Ajo Mountain Drive at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
We loved walking around nearby Ajo, Arizona
We loved Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and can’t wait to go back!
From Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument along the US-Mexican border, it was time to make our way back north. Our next stop was a week at River Island State Park along the Colorado River where we enjoyed hiking, kayaking, and more gorgeous weather!
Kayaking at Lake Havasu and Bill Williams Wildlife Refuge
Loved the clear, blue water of the Colorado River
Continuing our travels north, we spent a week at Willow Beach in scenic Black Canyon of the Colorado River
Kayaking the Black Canyon National River Trail
From Willow Beach we moved north into Nevada to Las Vegas Bay Campground on Lake Mead where we were joined by RVer friends D&L.
Hiking stunning Rainbow Canyon in Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Indy soaking up the Nevada sun at Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Exploring Lake Mead’s Bowl of Fire with friends D&L
Dueling cameras through a sandstone window at Bowl of Fire
From Lake Mead we moved north to this gorgeous campsite at Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge. From here, we went in search of petroglyphs at nearby Basin and Range National Monument.
White River Narrows petroglyphs, Basin and Range National Monument
From Pahranagat we made our way home. We had good weather and roads, but we did see a little of the white stuff through portions of central Nevada. Here we are camping above frozen Illipah Reservoir near Ely.

The Adventure Continues

Be sure to join us on our next adventure as we visit some sites close to home. And don’t forget to check out our Amazon RV and Adventure Gear recommendations. We only post products that we use and that meet the Evans Outdoor Adventures seal of approval. By accessing Amazon through our links and making any purchase (even things as simple as toothpaste!), you get Amazon’s every day low pricing and they share a little with us. This helps us maintain this website and is much appreciated!

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