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Favorite Truck Camping Roads

Get out your bucket list, and a pen.  Thirty-eight experienced truck camper owners have shared their all-time favorite truck camping roads.  We are very excited about these suggestions and can’t wait to check them out for ourselves.  Thank you to the readers who sent in their favorite roads.

“The Merced River, California, after exiting Yosemite State Park going west, is my favorite.  The road is very narrow, steep downhill, and crosses the bridge over Merced River where they collect rafts.  When you’re driving uphill, it’s as if you are driving towards clouds.” – Daniel Lignon, 2005 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, 2005 Northern Lite 8.5Q

“I was so surprised that my family’s favorite road is yours.  We stumbled upon the Moki Dugway by complete accident and we were immediately stricken by this road.  We were on our way to dried up Lake Powell via Hite Marina.  Expect to see some submissions of the Moki Dugway in the annual calendar contest.” – Chris Adams, 2010 Ford F250, 2012 CampLite 8.5

“I have three favorite roads; the Gallatin River Highway between Bozeman and West Yellowstone, Beartooth Pass, and the Escalante Staircase Highway in Utah.” – Philip Tron, 2009 Chevy 3500, 2012 Lance 1050

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“Our favorite road is the Trans-Labrador highway.  It’s a 1,600 kilometer trail in the tundra wilderness.  We love your magazine.” – Alain Larose, 2011 Ford F450, 2005 Lance 1181

“I’m a seashore person and I enjoy driving Route 12 between Nags Head and the village of Ocracoke in North Carolina.  There are miles of high dunes with the ocean on one side and the sound close by on the other.  But the weather can be ugly sometimes.  I’ve been through blowing sand and the ocean sweeping across the road, which can make things pretty interesting. There’s also a free forty-five minute ferry ride between the village of Hatteras and Ocracoke Island.  Be sure to take a break at Howard’s Pub in Ocracoke.  Note: If the driver in front of you is trying to make a left turn, be sure to stop and wait.  Passing on the right is illegal and it definitely helps generate some extra revenue from unaware visitors!” – Jack Pavie, 1995 Ford F350, 1987 Real Lite 950

“My wife and I spent thirty-seven years in Alaska.  We pulled a travel trailer up in 1971 and have had some kind of RV ever since.  Each Fall we would go up the Denali Highway.  This used to be the only way you could get to Denali National Park until the Parks Highway was built.  The Denali Highway runs from Paxson (on the Delta Highway) to Cantwell, Alaska (on the Parks Highway) and is 135 miles long.  It is all gravel and the word “washboard” comes to mind.  Driving slow is the name of the game.  Each Fall we would go up there to hunt caribou, or, if we didn’t draw a permit, just to spend some time in what I think Alaska really is.  There are no camp grounds, so it is all dry camping.  At that time of year, (end of August, early September), you can run into every type of weather from brilliant sunshine to a blinding snowstorm.  The scenery is awesome; tundra, mountains, lakes, rivers, wildlife, etc.  If you ever get to Alaska, be sure to keep this highway in mind.  You won’t regret it.” – David and Dora Donovan, 2007 Chevy 3500, 2012 Chalet TS116

“The Cassiar Highway in British Columbia is my favorite road.  I had to travel it twice because the Alaska Highway was closed because of a washout.  It’s very scenic with lots of black bears.  I didn’t mind doing it twice.  I drove through aftermath of a still smoldering forest fire on the way up.” – T.A. Berger, 2001 Dodge Ram 2500, Northstar TC650

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“It was difficult to choose a favorite highway.  We could submit several favorite highways that we have been on in North America.  One of our most favorite highways is a combination of two highways.  It’s the Chief Joseph Highway (Wyoming 296) in northwest Wyoming from Wyoming Highway 120 up to the connection with the Beartooth Highway (212) and then down into Montana to Red Lodge, Montana.  The Chief Joseph Highway and the Beartooth Highway are nice and curvy with lots of overlooks.  The Chief Joseph Highway is especially nice in the vicinity of the Dead Indian Pass at 8,060 feet.  Continuing northward on Chief Joseph, it meets the Beartooth Highway.  Head toward Montana to the Beartooth Pass at 10,947 feet and down the curvy parts of it into Montana.  The views are awesome and there will be snow there even into late June.  Red Lodge, Montana is a nice place to stop at the end of the day, and there are several USFS/BLM campgrounds in the vicinity.” – Buzz Merchlewitz, 1998 Dodge Ram 2500, 2007 Four Wheel Grandby

“I’m sure lots of folks will like the Going To The Sun Highway in Glacier National Park, and Trail Ridge Highway in Rocky Mountain National Park, but there are others I like as well.  I have always loved the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park.  Out West the drive through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is special.  Also the Bear Tooth Highway in Montana is stunning.” – Al Stebbins, 2006 GMC Sierra, 2005 Northern Lite 8′ 11” Queen Classic

“One of them certainly is the Going To The Sun Road in Glacier National Park in Montana.  Another is the one-way Fall River road that ends up at the Visitor’s Center at the top of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.  You have to go back down on Trail Ridge Road.” – Allen Brummel, 2008 Dodge Ram 1500, 2008 Northstar TC650

“Like you, our favorite road is the Moki Dugway, though we drove it in our 24′ Tioga Monterra class C five years ago.  Like you, we went up the Moki Dugway, which is probably the safest direction.  I don’t know if I would want to drive it going south!  The views are fabulous, but what’s incredible is the cliff face as you approach the base of the drive.  As you approach, you’re wondering where the road is.  I was disappointed that we couldn’t find, “I Survived the Moki Dugway” shirts!” – Charles Bradford, 2010 Dodge 1500, Jayco pop-up Sportsman 8′

“You really need to try the Shelf Road between Canon City and Cripple Creek in Colorado.  It’s similar to the Moki Dugway, but with one lane and two way traffic.” – Carl Isner, Flatbed Alaskan Camper

“It’s not a road I found by accident.  It is the only road connecting Alaska to the Yukon, the Top of the World Highway.  Once I crossed the border at Poker Creek, population of two, I was on the Canadian side and had a vista of 100 miles in all directions.  The road is above the tree line and the land falls away on both sides.  In a split second I went from thinking, “Wow, this is incredible” to, “Holy Crap.  If I have a breakdown up here, I’m finished.” – Joei Carlton, 2004 Adventurer

“My favorite road is Highway 191 between Clifton and Alpine (GPS coordinates – N32.47.549 W109.32.865)  It is a narrow two lane winding road that climbs from the desert floor in the San Francisco River valley at about 3,200 feet in elevation, and tops out over 9,000 feet in the big trees of the White Mountains.  Along the way you’ll pass the big open pit copper mine at Morenci.  You’ll see lots of wildlife; bighorn sheep, elk, deer, and turkey to name a few.  This is a great rock hound area with Blood Opals or Fire Agate, all the copper minerals, Azurite, Malicate, Iron Pyrite (fools gold), and many more.  Start east of Safford, Arizona at the Y 191/70 split, head north on Highway 191, and enjoy the ride.” – David Harker, 2004 Ford F350, 2004 Elkhorn Lite

“Pennsylvania Route 872, from PA 120 in Sinnemahoning, Pennsylvania traveling north to PA Route 6 in Coudersport, Pennsylvania is my favorite.  Start at 41.319849,-78.081565 and finish at 41.773104,-77.98448.  It’s a beautiful tour through the Sinnemahoning Valley including some absolutely gorgeous Pennsylvania mountain valleys, rivers, and streams.  There are plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities as well, as long as you don’t end up with a white-tailed hood ornament.” – John and Marylou Wells, 2011 Chevy 3500, 2012 Chalet Ascent S100F

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“After visiting over a dozen national parks and monuments in the Southwest last September, it’s difficult to choose a favorite road.  But the drive through Arches National Park and Capitol Reef National Park, and in between 191 and 24 is right up there.  There is fantastic scenery.  It makes it feel like you are driving on another planet.” – Jerry Klinken, 2004 Ford F350, 2007 Lance 1181

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“My favorite truck camping road is any road that leads out of town when my camper is on the truck!  Otherwise it’s Highway 61 up the north shore of Lake Superior or Highway 53 north from Duluth to Ontario.  Beartooth Pass ranks pretty high too.” – Dave Miller, 2012 Ford F350, 2002 Bigfoot 10.6E

“Really any road that I am on with the truck and camper is my favorite.  But the Kings Canyon National Park road in California is high on the list.  There are amazing views and very high cliffs along the roadway.  Fun drive.” – Barry Schoenwetter, 2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD, 2005 Lance 1030

“From Silver City, New Mexico, travel northwest on US 180 to US 191 northwest across the Apache National Forest to Alpine, Arizona.  Then turn south on US 191 to Clifton and then Guthrie.  Follow it to US 70 and then go northwest to Safford, Arizona.  It’s very scenic over the mountains and some valleys.  It crosses several forest ranges and mountains.  There are numerous switchbacks and they are very steep, but it’s all paved and beautiful.  We stopped at a shopping center in Safford and had lunch in the parking lot.  An equally interesting drive is from Apache Junction (east of Mesa, Arizona is Route 88) to Goldfield (Old West Village) on the Apache Trail out to Tortilla Flat (only generator powered) onto to Canyon Lake and then to Theodore Roosevelt Dam to visit Tonto National Monument.” – Bob Robinson, 2002 Chevy 2500, 2010 Travel Lite 960SBRX

“My favorite drive is in southwest Colorado from Durango to Ouray on the Million Dollar Highway.  There are high mountain passes (over 10,000 feet),  lots of dispersed camping by mountain lakes, streams, and thick forests.  There is lots to do including Jeeping, fishing, rock collecting, hiking, and relaxing.  You can go to Google to look at pictures, but they don’t do the area justice.” – Phil Rodacy, 2012 GMC Sierra, 2006 Okanagan 90W

“The North Canol (Canadian Oil) Road from Ross River, Yukon to the border of the Northwest Territories is my favorite because of the challenge of driving over 250 kilometers beyond the last town on an unmaintained, historical World War II road.  There is outstanding beauty in the vastness of the land.  We camped wherever we wanted with no neighbors and yet we ran into someone from Whitehorse who I worked with at the time who was out Moose hunting.  This is not a road for the faint of heart and, if you go, make sure you have a VHF radio and are self-sufficient.” – Steven Gasser, 2001 Dodge Ram 2500, 2003 Adventurer 90FWS

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“Beartooth Highway 212 in Wyoming and Montana going out of Yellowstone and into Red Lodge, Montana.  I just love the clean, clear country, and Beartooth lake.  I enjoy the scary turns, too.” – Gillery Fecher, 1998 GMC Sierra, 1980 Sunline

“My favorite road is the Great Basin Highway in Nevada.  Start at the intersection of Interstate 15 and Highway 93.  You go through ranching communities and the Pahranagat Reservoir.  Take left in Alamo.  You can go either to Caliente or along Extraterrestrial Highway to Rachel and Area 51.  It’s the gateway to wide open cooler temperatures of northern Nevada.” – Beth Sundberg-Leoni, 2005 Dodge 3500, 1997 Lance Squire 3000

“I have lots of favorite roads, but close to home the old McKenzie Highway 242 over the Oregon Cascades is pretty special.  It’s narrow, steep, and oh so scenic through the lava flows.  It’s only open in the summer.  It crosses at 5,300 feet and is length limited to 35 foot vehicles with an alarm sensor in the roadway if you’re over length.  So, no big rigs allowed.  There are campgrounds along the route.  The Highway 126 turn off is at 44°11’3.23″N, 122° 4’26.27″W.  Enjoy the journey!” – Gary Lech, 2007 Ford F350, 2004 Eagle Cap 1150

“I would like to travel on the Trans-Labrador Highway across Labrador from Quebec to Newfoundland.  It is 400 miles of dirt road with no facilities.  It would take a lot of planning.  They require you to take a satellite phone which you pick up at the beginning and drop off at the end, provided you make it.  If not, that’s what the phone is for.  I think this would be true adventure.” – Don Graf, 2008 Ford F350, 2013 Arctic Fox 865

“I travel around Western North Carolina mostly.  My favorite road is Highway 19 through Nantahala Gorge and Wayah Road to Nantahala lake.  It’s beautiful country going up Wayah Road.  Also Highway 64 to Highlands from Franklin North Carolina is nice.” – Jeff Hagberg, 2002 Ford F250, 2006 Travel Lite 800 SBX

“Just start in Southern California, go to the coast and get on Highway 1.  Travel it all the way to Northern Washington.  You will have to jump on and off as it stops and starts around San Francisco, but it is worth the trouble.  Do not travel Highway 1 through the Big Sur area using a long motorhome or trailer.  It’s too narrow and curvy, but it is fine in a truck camper.  Big Sur in California is the most beautiful ocean drive in the USA, and Highway 1 in Oregon is like going back in time.” – Constance Condit, 1997 Dodge Roadtrek Popular, but wanting a truck camper

“The Dalton Highway is the last great challenge in Alaska since they have turned Alaska into a tourist trap.  I traveled the Alaskan highway forty-five years ago with an Alaskan camper!  I don’t think they will ever make it bug proof.  If you travel the Dalton Highway, have CB radio and talk to the truckers.  The tanker trucks are the worst.” – Eugene H. Roth, 2007 Alaskan 8.5, 2007 Chevy Silverado

“Beartooth Pass and Pikes Peak make you feel like your on top of the world.  The Moki Dugway is definitely an E ticket ride I accidentally found.” – Charles Phy, 2011 Dodge 5500, 2010 Eagle Cap 1160

“Bear Tooth Highway in Montana is my favorite.  We’ve done it both directions many times.  It’s always an adventure and always beautiful.” – Dee Bartel, 2010 Chevy 2500HD, 2012 S&S Campers

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“My favorite road to drive is Highway 242, in Lane County, Oregon at the the Old McKenzie Pass.  It is narrow and winding and starts in a rain forest on the west and climbs via switchbacks to the lava beds.  The Dee Wright Observatory is at the base of the Three Sisters Mountains.  Along the way there are Black Tail deer, elk, bear, and other wildlife.  There are several trailheads that lead int the wilderness.” – Rod Fosback, 1999 Ford F350, 2008 Snowriver 10’8″

“Not sure if it is our favorite, but it is the one that we will never forget.  It’s Schnebly Hill Road near Sedona, Arizona.  Twenty years ago, before GPS, we made a wrong turn from the highway and ended up on this off-road trail down the mountain.  It was late at night and we were in this tiny rental car.  It was only after a white knuckle ride down the mountain did we see any warning signs.  All I can say is that, if we had our truck and camper, I wouldn’t be here to share this story.” – Paulette McCarron, 2013 Ford F350, 2013 Northern Lite 10′ 2 CDSE

“My favorite is Highway 395 in California.  It is interesting and beautiful any time of the year.  There are many different campgrounds with its distinct and unique surroundings and fauna.  It’s a playground for campers, hikers, and fisherman.  There are beautiful mountains, the desert, and alpine lakes and it’s not crowded.  There is boondocking, undeveloped campgrounds or private campgrounds with all the amenities.  It’s a photographer’s paradise as well as for artists who enjoy landscape art.” – Ronald Oh, 2008 Dodge Ram 2500, 2008 Six Pac D650

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“Mexico 1 either from Tijuana or Mexicali/San Felipe to my home in Mulege is my favorite road.  It’s paved 100% with potholes for effect.  It’s my favorite because it gets me home after a visit to the USA.  Do you like to fish?  Come on down!  Contact me for more information. Nine-tenths of what you read in the media is baloney.  Mexico is safe.” – William Enos, 1997 Toyota Tacoma, Shell Camper

“The McCarthy Road in Alaska is sixty miles of dirt road that is not always well maintained, which is fine, and I hope they leave it that way.  The spring run off can make the road even more fun to drive and, a few days later, it will look different because of different run offs.  It’s not a road to take if you are pulling a trailer, but it’s a great road for truck campers!” – Mark Turnbull, 1998 Chevy Silverado, 2011 Four Wheel Camper Hawk

“Anywhere in Utah.  I just moved here from Texas and I can’t wait to explore.” – Jim Dunlap, 2012 Lance 855S

“Wagon Wheel Gap in Colorado just west of South Fork Highway 149 is my favorite!  It’s a gravel road sometimes and higher up, plus there’s beautiful free camping and excellent fly fishing!  Also, west of Jackson Hole Wyoming, go west out of town and go up the gravel road.  There you’re in Gros Venture wilderness area.  Go up two miles and find a place to park your truck camper.  The scenery to the west is the Tetons with beautiful sunsets and sunrises.  There are no trailers because of switchbacks.  It’s quiet and you may hear a few wolves howling at night.” – Neil Steirer, 2008 Ford F350, 2008 Lance 1131

“So far it’s the Titus Canyon drive in Death Valley but there are many great drives I haven’t done yet.” – Michael Wolf, 2005 Dodge 2500, 2011 Outfitter Apex 8

 

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