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Month: July 2018

Zane Grey RV Village

Zane Grey RV Village

We discovered a shaded gem in the Verde Valley to park our fifth-wheel for two months this summer. It’s not a secret gem, as the park was bustling all season with short term guests as well as monthly residents who call Zane Grey RV Village home for half the year. Several of the long term residents created magical spaces with plants and rugs and laser lights that shine up into the trees at night. It makes the park truly enchanting.
Zane Grey RV Village sign

Zane Grey RV Village Camp Host

Zane Grey RV Village is sporting a new sign at its entrance to reflect new ownership just last year. The meticulous managers and camp hosts work hard daily to groom each site and to meet the campers’ needs. They sell propane, camping supplies, even quarters for the laundry room. Every Saturday they host a coffee and donut social and potlucks on special occasions. Friendly folks stop often to chat about anything. We felt at home here from day one.

Zane Grey RV Village Campsites

The Zane Grey’s location at about 3,200 feet elevation is surrounded by mountains. On most days, the temperature here was about 10 degrees cooler than in the Phoenix Valley. The greatest relief came from the afternoon rains of the monsoon season. On warmer days, it was easy to relax in the shade of giant sycamore trees that line the center of the park. Coveted shade provided by huge black walnut trees, red alder, and pines, create a serene beauty.

Sundown on the West Clear Creek Trail

Our parked RV nestled next to a row of mature mulberry trees providing us afternoon shade from about 2pm on. I found my favorite method of relaxation at Zane Grey was to watch the tall cottonwood trees rustle in the afternoon breezes. Its hypnotic effect allowed us to enjoy what we termed, “full camp mode.” In this mode we often strolled along the trail by the West Clear Creek disturbing the lizards from their perch.

Americana at Zane Grey RV Village

On our first early morning walk we came upon a half a dozen deer having breakfast in the field. Several evenings we cooked on the BBQ at the ramada and played a few games of corn hole. Full camp mode also allowed us to have long conversations with other campers creating friendships that will last long after we go home.

Moon rise on the West Clear Creek trail

Verde Valley bursts with a variety of places to explore. We toured several of the valley’s wineries and discovered wonderful varieties of wine as well as a few friendly locals who love where they live. We uncovered the nightlife of Old Town Cottonwood where motorcycle riders cruise the streets with their goggle-wearing dogs riding on the back in a basket.


Merkin Italian RestaurantMotorcycle Dog wearing goggles


Day trips to Sedona and Prescott filled our weekends along with surprising discoveries such as the little town of Cherry and Mortimer Farms. We even had time to take in a couple games at the bowling alley in Cliff Castle Casino called Shake, Rattle, and Bowl. We listened to the tales of Park Ranger Brian, a man passionate about the history of Fort Verde and its preservation. On several occasions, we traveled less than an hour to Flagstaff to visit some of our favorite pubs. Our adventures only scratched the surface of many more places to go begging us to return here again soon.

Mortimer Farms gardenMortimer Farms sunflower

The park’s name sake wrote several descriptive western novels reflecting his love for Arizona’s magnificent geography. During the 1920s, the American author spent time fishing and hunting around his family’s cabin located in a remote area on the Mogollon Rim. Outdoorsy folks continue to visit this area to hunt and fish as well as hike and ride their ATVs which makes Zane Grey RV Village the perfect base camp.


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Our Surprising Discovery of Bluff, Utah

Our Surprising Discovery of Bluff, Utah

The Cottonwood RV Park sits on the edge in the small community of Bluff, Utah. This quaint 12 acre park with 22 full hook-up spaces is rustic but well cared for. The location makes it easy to get in and out of including several extra large and wide pull-through sites. We were given a choice of sites and chose space C7 because it is flanked by two large trees on each side providing us with some relief from the summer sun.

5th wheel trailer at Cottonwood RV Park in Bluff, Utah

This charming park is nestled at the bottom of a colorful sandstone bluff that runs along the San Juan River, lush with trees. The beautiful landscape of southwestern Utah entices you to go on a photo shoot with your camera. Quiet nights are dark with an amazing star show in a clear sky. In the morning when you pull up the shades you feel as if you just woke up on the ranch.

Bluffs surround the Cottonwood RV Park in Bluff, Utah

I have driven through Bluff about a dozen times in the past decade always noting its charm but never stopping. Last night we pulled into the Cottonwood RV Park and immediately settled into the peace and quiet of the small historic community. Our long drive up from Arizona was rewarded with a fabulous roast beef sandwich assembled on warm fry bread served up at the Twin Rocks Cafe. This meal was big enough to share. 

Twin Rocks Cafe and Trading Post in Bluff, Utah

Before we continued on our road trip the next morning, we drove up the street to tour the free museum of Bluff Fort. Our experience at the fort left an indelible impression of the Mormon pioneers that settled in Bluff in 1880. Their tenacity, bravery, and commitment have been well represented by the local residents who created a experience that immerses you into the past.

Fort Bluff Cabin in Bluff, Utah


Fort Bluff pioneer cabin and bed

Although our stay in Bluff was short, it enhanced our Ramble Dog experiences and has been logged as a place to visit again.


Related links:

The Cottonwood RV Park:

Bluff Fort Museum:

Bluff Community:

Twin Rocks Cafe: 913 East, Navajo Twins Drive Bluff, UT


View Ramble Dog Photos of Bluff, Utah


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