February 9, 2018

You’ve heard the saying, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” We agree! At least, we believe that as long as you’re going somewhere, you might as well enjoy the scenery. The surging interest in camping and road travel means that now is the time to start booking your campsites and planning your routes for summer and fall. To help you, we’ve put together a list of 10 Road Trip Bucket List Ideas, plus tips on how to prepare your cargo camper trailer for the journey.

1. Route 66 – If you’re headed to the Southwest, you’ll want to spend at least a little time traversing this famous highway. From the North, it starts in Chicago and runs through Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before winding up in the Los Angeles area. Along the way, you’ll discover historic sites, artful signage on motels and gas stations, throwback tourist attractions, old time cafes and restaurants, plus gorgeous scenery and artist enclaves like Santa Fe and Flagstaff.

2. Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire – If you’ve always dreamed of experiencing New England’s fall foliage displays, cruising this road should be on your bucket list. The Kancamagus Highway is a 34.5-mile scenic drive along NH's Rt. 112 in Northern New Hampshire that is well known as one of the best fall foliage viewing areas in the country. However, there’s more to see than leaves. This scenic byway offers views of the White Mountains, numerous waterfalls, and Rocky Gorge. There are six campgrounds and numerous hiking trails to enjoy.

3. Park Loop Road, Acadia, Maine – If New England’s rocky coast is more your speed, it’s worth a trip to Acadia National Park to take in this scenic ride. The 27-mile road begins at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center on Mount Desert Island and connects the park’s lakes, mountains, forests, and coast. There are plenty of places to park and pull over to view the sights, including wildlife. Camping is popular in the park and a trip to nearby Bar Harbor is a must.

4. Pacific Coast Highway, California – On the other coast, the most scenic Bucket List drive is The PCH, also known as Route 1. San Luis Obispo to Ragged Point is only 50 miles—but it’s chock-full of unspoiled coastline and charming beach towns.

5. Black River Scenic Byway, Michigan – Looking for vast water views but you’re not near the coasts? Head for the Great Lakes. In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the 22-mile River Road National Scenic Byway extends westward from Lake Huron into the Huron-Manistee National Forests. It parallels the historic Riviere aux Sable (River of Sand) and offers unspoiled forests, waterfalls, camping, fishing, off-road vehicle trails, cross-country skiing, and much more.

6. Skyline Drive, VirginiaSkyline Drive runs 105 miles north and south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park and is the only public road through the park. Camping and cargo camping trailers are welcome, though low gear may be necessary in some spots. In fact, the park recommends traveling slowly so you can take in the views of the mountains and valley, stopping at some 70 overlooks.

7. Great River Road – The Mighty Mississippi sets the course for this trip. The Great River Road traces the course of the Mississippi River for 3,000 miles through 10 states, from Minnesota down through Louisiana. Music lovers will enjoy sites related to musicians, from Bob Dylan in Minnesota to artists like Muddy Waters on the Mississippi Blues Trail. However, there is much more to see and do on this drive.

8. Highway 50, Nevada – If you long for open roads and the feel of the Old West, make your way to Highway 50, known as The Loneliest Road in America. Running 285 miles from Carson City to Ely, you’ll find easy driving and peace and quiet, but also garnet mining towns, hot springs, and caves, plus many side trips including a wildlife refuge, an archeological area, and Great Basin National Park.

9. Hill Country, Texas – Another road trip bucket list idea with Old West flavor is through the Texas Hill Country. With wooded canyons, spring-fed rivers, quirky towns, and open roadway, the Hill Country runs from north of Austin, then west about 200 miles to where the landscape flattens out. You’ll want to make lots of stops along the way to explore, so plan your camping or lodging choices accordingly.

10. The Mighty Five, Utah – Many people who love the outdoors and power of nature say the ultimate bucket list trip is the Mighty Five, a tight cluster of national parks in Utah that includes Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands. Everywhere you look there is something breathtaking to see, from the rock formations to ancient petroglyphs, to meteor showers and the Milky Way. Plus, you can camp, hike, picnic, river raft, and ride motorcycles or mules.

Before you go: 

  • Make sure your vehicle and cargo trailer or camper trailer are in tip-top condition. Check all tires for wear, make sure your spares are up-to-date and accessible, lights are working, brakes are in good order, and vehicle fluids are topped off. 
  • In addition to your phone or GPS, invest in some road maps—many of these spots lack Wi-Fi and phone service. 
  • Be sure to carry extra water and non-perishable snacks, especially if you’re driving through the desert. And don’t forget the first aid and vehicle emergency kit. 
  • Check your routes beforehand to make sure your vehicle and enclosed cargo trailer can handle elevations, twists and turns, and clearances. Look’s enclosed aluminum cargo trailers come in a range of widths and lengths, offering lightweight construction that’s also sturdy and durable on rough roads.
  • Pack light for greater maneuverability and better mileage on the road. Focus on the sights and sounds you discover, not wardrobe changes and sporting equipment you can rent at your destination, rather than carry.

New to camping road trips or cargo trailers? For the versatility of a cargo trailer with the convenience of a camper, choose Look Trailers’ cargo trailer camper package. It comes with a queen or double bed and loads of options to make your road trip safe, fun, and comfortable.

Visit your local Look Trailers dealer who will help you put together the extreme cargo trailer of your dreams.