Hoff's Aliner Travels
A Travel Blog for US and Canadian Parks with Geological Notes

Introduction

By the time I retired in 2012, I had visited 12 national parks. That year I decided it would be fun to visit more of the internationally known national parks in the U.S. and Canada. I created this website to share my experiences, hoping it might entertain and perhaps be helpful for those thinking about exploring these two countries. Several hundred pictures give a hint of what is out there. I created a website instead of a linear blog because a website allows people to look more easily at specific trips. With hyperlinks you can click on the parks that most interest you.

My first choice of parks to visit were those with natural scenic beauty or uniqueness, but I also planned my trips to stop at many places with interesting geology, ecology, paleontology or archaeology along the way. For a change, I occasionally stopped for museums if I was close enough and had time.

Historical parks like Gettysburg can also be interesting but I had to prioritize since there are so many parks I wanted to see. I did not go out of my way to see Las Vegas, giant shopping malls, or the world’s largest ball of string.

Wanting to be as close as possible to the park experience and to avoid the expense of motels, I bought an A-frame pop-up camper called an Aliner in 2013. This camper is small enough to fit in almost any site that is not restricted to tents. My choice was not luxurious but is warm and dry and more comfortable than much of the camping and backpacking I have done over the years.

By the end of 2019, I had towed the Aliner for over 39,800 miles, driven through 47 states, and slept in it in 43 of them. In the US, I visited 20 national parks, 14 national monuments, 2 national lake shores, 2 national recreation areas, 2 national scenic areas, 2 national land marks, and 39 state parks. Temperatures ranged from below freezing to 100 degrees (38 degrees Celsius) and altitude varied from near sea level to 9,100 feet (Rainbow Point, Bryce Canyon Nat. Park). I have stayed at 99 different camp sites in the U.S. and 48 in Canada.

In Canada, I have slept in 10 provinces (counting Newfoundland and Labrador as 1 province), and visited 15 Canadian National Parks and 16 Provincial Parks.

After camping and backpacking in six states (including Colorado, Montana, and Alaska) before I bought the camper, the outdoors still calls me. I was able to reuse my outdoor clothing and some items from these trips. I have been to 14 other national parks without my Aliner.

More details about myself can be found in “My Life History” below, if you are interested. All my Aliner trips have been solitary except for sometimes sharing the trailer with my wife or my brother, Larry. My wife accompanied me for 2 days in Rhode Island and two days in Vermont. My brother, Larry, was with me for 3 days in Pennsylvania, 7 days in New Mexico in 2015 and 8 days in Washington in 2016. Sue prefers to meet me on my trips and we stay in hotels while I store the Aliner. In 2016, we spent a week in Portland, Oregon and a week in the Grand Tetons while the Aliner was stored. In 2017, she met me in Calgary, Alberta and I stored the camper while we toured Banff, Jasper and adjoining parks for 12 days. In 2019, she met me for 3 days in St. Johns, Newfoundland.

I have also added information about my trailer, trip planning, safety, and my own mishaps for those people thinking of doing it themselves. Perhaps some of it might be useful.

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My Life History