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Old 08-21-2016, 08:30 AM   #1
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Grand Canyon trip

I am planing a trip to Grand Canyon and zion national parks from Michigan. I have reservation at the Grand Canyon and Zion. I am hoping to find other CG on the way. I am pulling a 26vfks super V with a F150 3.5 ecoboost. Also what is best rout from the South rim to Zion.
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:41 AM   #2
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Well, Jed, there are literally thousands of CGs between Michigan and GCNP. This summer we drove from AR to the GC, and to make things simple, booked KOAs the whole way due to easy online booking, easy access to interstates, and full hookups. But that may not be what you're wanting. CGs run the gamut from primitive national forest sites all the way to $100+-night RV resorts, and you'll have to decide what level of amenities you want for the trip. That's why we decided on the KOAs. Normally we camp at COEs and SPs, which don't have full hookups. But we didn't want to rough-it for a 3-week, 4800-mile round trip. The KOAs, while more expensive, were worth it for us.

Once you've decided what you want out of your trip, sit down with your favorite online or paper CG directory and find appropriate CG'S reasonable distances from each other, and start planning your itinerary. Or alternatively, you could go the spontaneous route and drive until you get tired and stop at the closest CG. Obviously you wouldn't then get to be picky about where you stay.

If I could do it over again, I wouldn't let DW plan the trip. She's too intense for my liking. I would have a minimum 2-night stay at every stop and not drive such long distances. But of course that limits how far you can travel in any given time period. Good luck! Planning is part of the fun.

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Old 08-21-2016, 12:35 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input 😊
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Old 08-21-2016, 04:07 PM   #4
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For the best scenery, in my opinion is 89 to page, then continue on 89 skirting the Grand Staircase NM, then though Kanab to hwy 9 into Zion.
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Old 08-21-2016, 04:42 PM   #5
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Thanks how's hwy 9 with a camper?
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Old 08-21-2016, 05:54 PM   #6
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Thanks how's hwy 9 with a camper?
In the park you have some curves, then some switchbacks, but speeds are low since it is inside the park.

Just in case, there is the Mt. Carmel tunnel, here are the required specs and possible permit needed for them to close the tunnel. Not sure how big your rig is, I do things in a popup.
https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvis...mel-tunnel.htm

If you can't do the tunnel and don't like switchbacks (they are not bad really) you need to head over to the west/main entrance to the park via 89A to 389 to 59. Takes you through Colorado City AZ and Hildale UT.
Beautiful area, but very strange town. One time I stopped for fuel, went into a place to get some water and everyone was staring at me like I was an alien or my fly was open. Didn't hang around long. But no one bothered me, no one said anything other than thanks and the person in the store was quite friendly.

I won't say why, it might upset someone so do a google search for Colorado City AZ.
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:16 AM   #7
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Thanks I was worried on how to get there. My camper is 30 feet long. I think I will take your second rout camp in the park and explore with just the truck.
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:26 AM   #8
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From memory there is a minor set of switchbacks, nothing like Hwy 9 in the park. But I do recommend driving hwy 9 once you unhook; it's a beautiful ride and if you want to Visit Bryce while camped in Zion, that is the road to take over to hwy 89 north (to I believe) hwy 12 to Bryce. About 80 miles give or take.
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Old 08-22-2016, 08:09 AM   #9
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Great we do plan on going to Bryce. We are staying 3 nights in Zion and have reservation there. Did you make reservations at all your stops or did you wing it?
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Old 08-22-2016, 09:39 AM   #10
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Only once did I make a reservation at Zion and that was about four years ago at Watchman. Nice campground. However, I very seldom camp in NP campgrounds since the parks are not dog friendly and I take two with me. So it is usually dry camping in FS/BLM campgrounds or dispersed in FS or BLM areas.
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Old 08-22-2016, 10:33 AM   #11
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Ok thanks
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Old 08-22-2016, 01:20 PM   #12
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What size is your gas tank?
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Old 09-24-2016, 03:06 PM   #13
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Many people combine Zion and Bryce but if you really want to see both parks and have the time I would encourage you to camp at both parks. We took a 3 month camping trip concentrating on the Colorado Plateau and spent a week at each park. We visited a lot of other parks but we did want to stay in the parks so those sites were reserved. In between we winged it. If you carry bicycles, the shuttle buses can take your bikes to the farthest point and ride back. Zion was particularly fun as it was downhill, my kind of riding. Carry a lock so you can hike to and thru the Narrows and ride back. Most all of the N. parks we visited were very bike friendly but few have electric. Solar was all we needed. It barely rained our whole trip. Though it is hot during the day, only once did we feel that we needed ac and that was at Lee's Ferry campground where we stayed prior to our rafting trip thru the Grand Canyon. Everywhere else it was pleasantly cool in the evening.
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:39 PM   #14
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Thanks for your imput. We just got back and what you said is true. I wish we could have spent more time in each park. We put 5000 miles on our new camper. Great trip.
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:04 PM   #15
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Glad you had a good time. Now you know where you want to return to and where to spend more time.
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:27 PM   #16
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This is all good info for me as well. We are planning a grand canyon trip next year. Thanks everyone
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Old 10-15-2016, 01:55 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Dannimal View Post
This is all good info for me as well. We are planning a grand canyon trip next year. Thanks everyone

Same here! DW and I are in the planning stages now. Mapping out best roads etc. Going to take roughly a month and enjoy as much as we can take in.

Traded in our Forest River Surveyor SV291 for a new TT. New one is a Thor manufactured SportTrek 334 Touring Edition. I like FR Forums so much I refuse to find another forum😄.

We are really excited about going out west with the new TT. Reading as much as I can. Roads are definitely a factor as this new TT being 37',I really don't want to get in to roads that are too twisty. Can't wait!


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Old 10-15-2016, 08:40 AM   #18
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Thanks for the valuable information!
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Old 10-24-2016, 01:56 PM   #19
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We went to Zion/Bryce early this fall (2016). And we go to the Grand Canyon a couple times a year now.

Zion/Bryce - as has already been noted you can use the tunnel in the park. Check restrictions to see if you'll have to purchase a special tunnel pass for your rig. We didn't, but did get some minor grief from 1 park ranger on our way out (she just HAD to measure us). Bryce will be about a 90 minute drive from Zion, but bear in mind it's SEVERAL thousand feet HIGHER in elevation so it will be much cooler at Bryce. FYI - the Brew Pub across the foot bridge from the Zion campground has great craft beer. ;-)

Grand Canyon - we usually stay in the cheaper campground since we're a pop-up. The free WiFi in the laundromat/showers is iffy at best. But the Grand Canyon Library has PC's you can 'check out' and use for free for a couple hours. That worked just fine for checking emails and updating FB.

Enjoy ...
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Old 11-24-2016, 02:15 PM   #20
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Getting ready to make reservations and map out roads. Leaving from Chicago. Stopping at Little Big Horn first, then on to Glacier NP. I know I need to take 464 from Browning.

Going on to Yellowstone/ Grand Teton and staying at Headwaters Campground. So my first question. Route shows leave Glacier and go straight through, 89-287-15, has anyone taken this route, and how is the terrain through there?

Looks like we go right through the middle of these parks,our TT is 37',are these roads going to be too challenging? When we leave there we are going to Fort Collins Colorado. Does anyone have a good route for that leg?


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