This Alabama state park offers so much to the camping outdoors family. It is located atop Monte Sano Mountain in Huntsville, Alabama. You will find wildlife, mountain top views, hiking trails, spacious RV sites with full hookups, and primitive tenting sites to connect with the wooded beauty of nature. The park provides restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities.
Nearby at the base of the mountain, you will find all the resources you may need for supplies, repairs, or restaurants. The city of Huntsville offers all the amenities and medical services you may seek. The mountain top park returns you to the peaceful connection to nature, which you came to enjoy.
Check out the website for all the details.
The campground at Ft. Toulouse Nat'l Historic Site has 39 sites with water and electric, bath house with showers, and a dump station. The facility was built the Corp of Engineers, so initially it was well outfitted like the COE parks of today. However the Alabama Historical Commission, which oversees the park, has no interest in the maintenance of the pavement of the site pads nor the bath house. The showers have had sloppy attempts to repair the leaks around the shower handles and several of the shower heads need replacement. A few of the showers have had the handles removed, so they are out of service. The camp hosts are very helpful and personable people. They have been frustrated for years with the lack of commitment from the Historical Commission. The park has a boat launch, a replica of the original French fort, the remains of Ft. Jackson (built during Andrew Jackson's campaign in the War or 1812.
We enjoy the peace and quiet of the natural surroundings, except for the football tailgaters on some Saturdays. There several areas and trails for hiking. Walmart is about three miles away. The sites are first come-first served, so it would be advisable to call the Park office to check availability. The campground is rarely (if ever) full; but one could have to settle for a less than desirable site, if the occupancy rate is high upon arrival.
The Lower Antelope Canyon near Page, AZ is like a cave without a roof. It is a narrow slot canyon formed by flash floods eroding a crack in the sandstone. Lower Antelope Canyon is known for the colors formed by the sunlight reflecting back and forth on the canyon walls. The sharp edges and wave shapes containing distinct lines are surprising. The changing colors combined with the angles and edge shapes produce a fascinating trail of amazing views of the narrow passageway ahead and behind you.
The exit and the entrance are equipped with steel stairways to enable access to the 30-40 feet depth of the floor below.
We were fortunate to be able to purchase the "photographer's self guided tour," which afforded us twice the time limit without the burden of keeping up with a tour group and not having to wait for people to vacate and area to enable a natural scene.
Antelope Canyon is a "Must-See" if you are in the area!
Main Monument Valley Rd, Oljato-Monument Valley, AZ 84536, USA
Photo by Tim Goode
PEOPLE ARE SAYING:
The formations before us did not really prepare the mind for the beauty of the landscape spread before us as we entered Monument Valley.
We were fortunate to obtain a campsite overlooking the classic scene of the Mittens. Cairns and dirt roads marked the areas allowed to travel through the park.
After driving the scenic loop, we settled in for a night of stars and silhouetted beauty. You could detect the Milky Way with the naked eye above Mitchell Mesa. Unfortunately, it was in the opposite direction from the Mittens. I wanted to get a timelapse series of the stars silhouetting them. Clouds moved in and changed the effect. But God still paints pretty pictures. And the morning sky was alive.
The wind that brought in the clouds was evidenced by the way it blew my camera strap like the tail of a kite behind me.
The desert formations in the valley were formidable. The beauty cannot be captured in words or pictures.
This rugged and worn pinyon pine is indicative of the harsh defiance of the desert required to survive in this environment.
It is little wonder that this valley was the favorite location of John Wayne and John Ford. Many western movies were made here.
The towering sheer cliffs and mesas of red Navajo sandstone provide a contrast to enhance the beauty of the desert vegetation.
As we left Monument Valley we encountered a Navajo Hogan and a small herd of free range goats on the side of the road.
From Zion National Park, we drove to Bryce Canyon National Park. Upon entering the park we encountered prong-horned antelope, which was a delightful surprise.
We also found the first stand of aspens for the trip. We camped in the Sunset Campground, inside the park. I attempted to create a night sky time-lapse looking up through the tall pines, but someone kept circling our loop with bright vehicle headlights and blew out my exposures. You could purchase 8-minute showers at the camp store, which felt really good after our boondocking.
The first sight of Bryce Canyon’s hoodoos was astounding. The rich orange and yellow colors of the rock formations juxtaposed against that of the surrounding countryside was unlike anything we had seen. The sheer number and magical shapes of the hoodoos certainly testified to God’s creativity.
From Bryce Canyon National Park, we drove through the Escalante National Monument on one of Utah’s scenic byways, where the landscape before us changed around every curve it seemed.
The La Sal Mountains were visible as we approached Moab, Utah and Arches National Park.
Even on a moonlit night, the stars were amazing. I drove into Arches late at night for some night photography. The drive was eerie. The park was totally dark. Even with bright headlights, there were places where you could not see beyond the pavement of the road. It felt disorienting. You could not tell what was nearby or if there was a precipice at the side of the road.
Arches National Park is outstanding. The many and varied formations in the park provide amazing views and many opportunities for hiking.
The area around Moab is rich with prehistoric rock art from the Anasazi and Fremont cultures. We visited 6 locations. From Anasazi cliff ladders to a boulder near the Colorado river with petroglyphs on all four sides.