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Old 12-27-2016, 06:03 PM   #1
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Grand Circle tour - Utah area

Has anyone taken the Grand Circle tour in the Utah/four corners area? We would love to see that area. I found a good subject matter book but it is not based on a RV point of view. That is, where to stay, set up base camps, etc. We prefer state and national parks over commercial campgrounds but most do not appear to offer hookups. Depending on the time of year we would like electricity and water since our TT does not have a generator and FR advises to tow with empty tanks. Any pointers to resources would be appreciated.

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Old 12-28-2016, 11:22 AM   #2
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I can't decide where to go this year. My original plan was the PNW, but the SW is really calling my name.

Here's a snippet of my "Interesting Places" map on RoadTrippers (which apparently limits you to 60 places!).

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Old 12-28-2016, 02:22 PM   #3
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We stayed in Page,AZ for 2 weeks and did the grand circle. We don't mind being in 1 place and driving to see stuff daily. Saw everything within about 160 mile circle. Would do it again in a heartbeat. My favorite? Antelope Canyon, surreal.
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvlcy View Post
We stayed in Page,AZ for 2 weeks and did the grand circle. We don't mind being in 1 place and driving to see stuff daily. Saw everything within about 160 mile circle. Would do it again in a heartbeat. My favorite? Antelope Canyon, surreal.
This is something that I wondered about. I was thinking perhaps 2 or 3 locations as a base. Did you return each night or stay in a hotel at times? Did you have a feeling of driving all the time (my fear)? Were you in a commercial campground or state Park?

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Old 12-28-2016, 09:06 PM   #5
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Grand Circle tour - Utah area

This was a commercial park. We as well prefer state parks but the price was right and and we were gone most of day anyway. We came back to trailer every night, like I said we don't mind driving, the scenery makes most drives less boring. We never felt rushed, and of course you always of a down day or two where you just hang at trailer and do laundry.
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Old 12-28-2016, 09:22 PM   #6
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Thanks for the response. This certainly has merit!
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Old 12-28-2016, 09:30 PM   #7
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Just to let you know most places were only 11/2 hours away, not a bad drive, Monument Valley was about a 2 hour drive.
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Old 12-28-2016, 09:40 PM   #8
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We go back to Utah again and again. You are correct, most State and National parks are not full hookup, so even in these locations you will be semi-boondocking. Summer can be crazy hot at lower elevations so a gen is needed for AC. If you can do without AC we have used solar panels for years. We also travel with empty tanks as a rule, but water is available at almost all parks-you may need a method of transferring from containers to your fresh water tank.
There is more to see and do in these areas than one can do in a lifetime.
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:31 PM   #9
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We took the Utah tour 5 years ago and missed Dead Horse state park near Arches. Found it this year when we toured again. Don't miss it. Good campground there as well.
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:54 PM   #10
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I would include Mesa Verde N.P. just across the border in Colorado.
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Old 12-29-2016, 02:05 PM   #11
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https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/sanjuan/home

We camped at the San Juan National Forest for 2 weeks at the Junction Creek Campgrounds near Durango CO and we travel out off there to all directions doing day trips and some days we stay in the area. It has electric and water with vault toilets, it is a quiet area and lot of other NF campgrounds. We would go back there.
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Old 12-29-2016, 02:39 PM   #12
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I do not know why FR would want you to travel with an empty water tank....I always travel with at least a half-a-tank for emergencies. Also, Most public campgrounds in Utah have water and sewer dumps available. You fill up with water when you arrive and dump when you leave. You should be able to stay 3 days that way at a park, which gives you time to see the whole park. And buy a small Honda generator for your AC.
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Old 12-29-2016, 02:52 PM   #13
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I have done the grand tour of Utah. Had some trouble entering Zion Natl Park, the guard didn't want to let me through the tunnel with my trailer, thinking it was too high, but there was a bus ahead of me that was certainly higher. He gave in and let me through. Zion is definitely for hikers, so in my older years I didn't stay very long. Definitely do not miss Bryce Canyon, the colors are magnificent. Also though Capitol Reef, Natural Bridge and Arches Natl Park. The tour is well worth it, and very beautiful. Along with the Wasatch Mountains
and Uinta Mountains. Stayed in National Forest campgrounds of which there are many. Have a good trip, you'll enjoy it.
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Old 12-29-2016, 04:47 PM   #14
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We did some of Utah last year - car/hotel/lodge (would love to do a full month in the spring). Photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cdrdwd...57666268493132

I cannot pick my favorite between Zion, Brice & Arches. Canyonlands and Capital Reef are also well worth it. We did Dead Horse State Park and the views are spectacular.

We took Route 12 from Capital Reef to Brice, SPECTACULAR drive, not sure about towing a trailer: Map ¬Ľ Utah's Scenic Byway 12 - Your Guide to Attractions and Activities on Utah's Scenic Byways
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Old 12-29-2016, 06:18 PM   #15
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Utah camping

Our family has been camping in So. Utah for the last 50 years. My uncle knew Butch Cassidy. We aren't much for campgrounds, and we typically dry camp on FS or BLM land with a 26 ft trailer and 4wd pickup.

Our favorite campground is in Capitol Reef N.P. It's an old orchard with a grassy base. You can pick the fruit when in season. Lots of friendly deer.

Watchmans C.G. in Zions N. P. is a big site with reservations. It is right next to the bus to take you into the canyon and the town of Springdale.

Natural Bridges N.M. (including the brand new Bears Ears!!) has a wonderfully scenic, middle on nowhere camping site, weak on amenities.

Kodachrome Basin S.P. is close to Bryce but it gives a real desert feel. See Natural Bridges.

If you have a small trailer, give Calf Creek S.P. a look. Stop anyway. The hike to the waterfall (3 miles) is a real highlight. The road S.R. 12, is also as spectacular as any in the U.S. Tight for big trailers.

Escalante has several commercial campgrounds, including a state park.

In Moab, there are lots of dry campsites on the river both upstream and downstream for minimal prices. Water and dumpsites are available in town. The campground in the middle of the town crams trailers too close together for my taste.

Further south, Squaw Flats in the Needles portion of Canyonlands is great. Amazing scenery. (see Nat. Brid. comments!0

Last, Lake Powell at Bullfrog has a lot of camping sites. (also Page Az) Full hookups to simple tent-type spaces. If you are in the area, RENT A BOAT! Fantastic canyons to explore.
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Old 12-29-2016, 09:44 PM   #16
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camp grounds Utah

Just spent 2 weeks in Eastern Utah. Dry camped at Corps of Eng. camp grounds and NF CG's. The ones we stayed at were bare bones and we loved it. There are camp grounds with water and elect. but you best reserve way in advance. The state park right near Canyonlands has
elec. and would be a great central base for that area. Would not try to see both eastern and western Utah from one base. Just too much to see. Recreation.gov has all the federal camp grounds that can be reserved.
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Old 12-29-2016, 09:50 PM   #17
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GrandCircle.org - Home. Get them to send you their travel planner. We have done parts of this route over the last 6 trips and we are heading down in the spring to do more of it. Stay at the Lake Powell Resort campground if you want full hookups. Antelope Canyon is worth every cent.
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Old 12-30-2016, 10:50 AM   #18
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Note: From Dead Horse Point you can do Canyonlands and Arches NPs. (Water is a problem at this state park. They have no wells or other source, and as such , they have to haul water in. You can fill a couple of five gallon containers, but won't be able to fill 30 gallon plus trailer tanks. )
Kodachrome Basin State Park has a gorgeous campground with some full hookup sights. From there you can access Bryce Canyon.
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Old 12-30-2016, 01:54 PM   #19
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Mesa Verde is my favorite. Been there many times. Good camping there also.
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Old 12-30-2016, 11:57 PM   #20
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Our Trip to Moab, UT

We went to Moab this spring (March) and absolutely enjoyed ourselves. This area is a "come back to" area. I understand the summers to be very hot and thats why we chose this trip for March. There are plenty of campgrounds around however, you need to make any reservations EARLY! Spanish Trail RV Park and Portal RV Resort are very nice. We went to Arches National Part and Canyonlands National Park multiple times, there are countless day trips available. The Jet Boat tour of the Colorado River was great. Don't forget to go to Dead Horse Park as well its know to be the darkest place at night great for star gazing! We spent a week in the area. We then went to Mesa Verde where we stayed at the Cortez/Mesa Verde KOA which was very clean and with large sites. We will be going back when I retire so we can catch the things we missed.

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