Hailing originally from the northeastern United States, Cody is a travel photographer currently based out of California’s Bay Area. Photography wasn’t always in his blood, but after some time in Philadelphia, he found his calling and has a portfolio of breathtaking photos to prove it!
Unfortunately, I’m not a great cook, but I’ve traveled with some great ones and have been spoiled on multiple occasions. If it was up to me, I do make a mean grilled cheese.
What is your all-time favorite place to campervan in the US?
My favorite place to campervan in the US has to be Yosemite. It was the place that changed my view on photography and ultimately landed me in California. There are so many amazing hikes to explore, incredible rock formations, and beautiful waterfalls to see; Yosemite has it all for adventurers of all ages and sizes.
What spot is on your bucket list to campervan in the US?
I always wanted to visit Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Grand Teton National Park. I think it would be the perfect 2-week road trip. From the wildlife and history of Yellowstone to the incredible lakes and mountains, this would be the ultimate campervan getaway for me.
What is the top tip you’d give to people who don’t campervan often or are headed out on their first trip?
My best advice is to do some planning. Know the route you’re looking to take, figure out some of the sites and hikes you want to do, and just enjoy your time on the open road. Because once you’re back to reality, you’re going to miss it a lot. Sometimes planning can be stressful, so depending on who you are, just do enough to have a general idea to set yourself up for the most epic trip possible. Alltrails.com is a great resource to learn about hikes and current conditions.
How we recommend you visit these places
Glacier National Park
If the mountains of the northern United States have been calling your name, Glacier National Park is a great place to turn those dreams into reality! Located in the rugged Montana range of the Rocky Mountains, not too far from the Canadian border, Glacier is one of the last remaining truly wild places in the US. So if you’re going to visit this homage to untamed nature, you’ll want to spend at least a couple of days there.
There is seemingly an endless number of trails to hike, but that also means there’s something for you no matter your level of hiking enthusiasm! If you’re looking for a nice morning walk or something like a warmup for a longer day, the Johns Lake Loop is a popular, scenic option. If you’re looking for a bit more of a challenge, the Iceberg Lake Trail will certainly present a fun challenge.
If you plan to drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road, you’ll want to note that it requires vehicles to be under 10 feet tall, so a minivan rental is the best option. If you don’t have a tent, you can rent one of those as well! You’re already in Glacier National Park, so why not sleep under the stars? Check out the Fish Creek Campground if you want something you can reserve ahead of time. If you want to live dangerously, McDonald Lake is a beautiful first come, first served campground option.
What else is in the area?
As Cody mentioned in his campervan bucket list, two of the most popular US National Parks are within driving distance: Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. Depending on which one you head to first, it will take between six and eight hours of driving through the western half of Montana while passing by national forests on the way. Alternatively, you can start in one of those two parks and work your way towards Glacier after seeing them!
Yellowstone National Park
If you’re planning to stop at Yellowstone, you can’t leave without seeing the famous Old Faithful geyser, as well as the other active geysers in the largest active geyser field in the world! If that’s not enough, check out the multi-colored hot springs, like the Grand Prismatic hot spring.
For hiking, Grand Prismatic Hot Spring has a trail associated with it, perfect for an easy hike with lots of photo opportunities! For more experienced hikers, the Avalanche Peak trail has a 2000-foot elevation gain with a picturesque peak at the end. While it’s only a bit under 5 miles long, this is a difficult trail where snow is very likely, so assess your skill level beforehand!
If you plan to see Grand Teton (and we recommend you do), you’ll be in western Wyoming between Yellowstone National Park and the famous ski spot, Jackson, Wyoming. The trifecta of Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier is a photographer’s paradise. While Yellowstone’s glaciers and hot springs leap to mind when one thinks of nature photography, Grand Teton isn’t exactly far behind. A 42-mile loop to take your campervan down has plenty of photo opportunities in the most beautiful parts of the park. As always, check for road closures, but during the summer months, the road is likely to be open and in your favor. If you like to fish, you can’t go wrong with either of these Wyoming parks!
If you want to fish in Grand Teton, you’ll need to acquire a Wyoming fishing license. However, in Yellowstone, you need a Yellowstone National Park fishing license but not a state license. Wyoming has some of the finest fly and lake fishing available, and both of these parks have something to offer for every level of fishing expertise!
If you plan to do any hiking in Grand Teton, a fairly easy trail to start on is the Hidden Falls Trail. It’s a 5 mile out and back trail, and if you don’t feel like the walk back, you can take a boat! Those looking for more of a challenge will be well served with the Cascade Canyon Trail.
If you need more time outdoors, the Bridger-Teton National Forest has 3.4 million acres of public land for you to explore! If you brought a drone along for your campervan excursion, now is as good a time to use it as any! Consider renting off-road equipment or taking a guide with you. This is definitely a great way to get out of the van and into the backcountry!
If you’re looking for a city, Jackson is just south. While mainly associated with winter and skiing, there are lots of great activities in the summer as well! Consider learning to fly fish if you don’t already know or playing a round of golf. If you want to relax, there are some museums and saloons that pay tribute to the culture of the Cowboy State! Catch live music at the Silver Dollar Bar and Grill or stop by the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum.
Good luck on your travels!
If any of the trips Cody talked about have you needing to head out on a road trip, consider renting a campervan in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Las Vegas and hitting the road! Thanks to Cody for taking the time to sit down with us! If you’re interested in learning more about Cody and his work, you can follow him on Instagram!
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