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Old 05-18-2016, 08:08 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Route to Grand Canyon

We are planning a trip west for summer 2017 and while plotting out our routes I found that there really isn't a direct way from Salt Lake City to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon with out taking smaller state roads. I don't normally mind that because you see some of the best scenery. My only conern is the grade and steep curves on some of these roads. Has anybody exited I-15 south in Utah near the AZ stateline onto Rt 59 - 89A - 67? Any other suggestions other than staying on I-15 to Las Vegas area and coming back east then north?
We have a GMC Sierra 1500 pulling a Roo 21dk. Thanks for any help. While this will be our 3rd summer with our tt, this will be the longest trip we have made. Members of this forum have answered questions I didn't know I had and given us many ideas.
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Old 05-18-2016, 09:22 PM   #2
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We were just at the south rim from April 29 to May 2; The north rim road was still closed due to snow. I would recommend to go in late April or early May. There were alot of people there esp. foreign visitors. We have a Forester 3051 and we went up into all 5 of the national parks in Utah. While going from Capital Reef to Bryce Canyon we took rt 24 across the grand staircase and crossed a peak at about 9800' and had no problems. We started in South Jersey and took I-95, 70, 81. 40 and US 64 at Williams Az.
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Old 05-18-2016, 09:44 PM   #3
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As you said it is 2 lane roads but with your pickup and your Roo you should not have any issues. I would expect you to slow down and stay here and there because that is the most beautiful area north of the Grand Canyon as well as the North Rim. 89A and 67 are normal road for any traffic including semis and really don't have many large steep hills.
You are actually on the flats in the park.
You can Google map it and select the little man on the road and you will see what the road looks like. Here is a shot of 67 when you are getting close to the N Rim.

Hope this helps you.

PS I live in Arizona and have driven this road a few times.

Good luck
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:39 AM   #4
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No worries on your planned route. You will be going up to get to Jacob Lake but nothing real steep. The north rim is over 8,000 feet.


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Old 05-19-2016, 09:58 AM   #5
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We ventured out that way a couple of years ago leaving from Louisiana. Definitely some "OMG moments" on some of those steep grades! Needless to say we relied heavily on the engine brake!!
We stayed at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel Campground in Williams, Az. It is a nice campground walking distance across the street from the hotel. Guests at the CG can use the hotel pool and eat at the hotel buffet (fantastic food). The train will take you to the Grand Canyon and while it is a fun "western" type of day the train is slow so the trip there can really eat into your time at the Grand Canyon. At Christmas time they offer the Polar Express train ride (passengers ride in pajamas and meet Santa).
Enjoy your trip!
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:34 AM   #6
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Don't worry about 89 through Utah - it is a nice, beatiful road. Just relax and take it in - no need to bring the freeway in at all. 89 is my main road in the motorhome because that how you get to all the good stuff. It is relatively flat except for a few climbs and decents - nothing to be concerned about. Plenty of gas stations and services. Wave when you see me!
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:53 PM   #7
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We did that in 2013 coming from Yosemite, Mohave desert, Las Vegas, etc., F-150 EB pulling fully loaded Windjammer to Jacob Lake (Hwy 389), where we camped for a week. After coming into Yosemite from the west side nothing can scare me ever again! Roads, hills, curves, etc., were no problem. Some very beautiful country around there. Don't miss the Vermillion Cliffs east of GC. Makes me want to go back! Cheers!
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:43 PM   #8
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While you are in that area, you should see some condors!
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Old 05-19-2016, 07:32 PM   #9
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Iggy and the other are right on about the roads to the North Rim, you won't have any problems.

The North Rim gets a lot fewer tourists than the South Rim, but the south rim has more access to the canyon and you get to see more of it from that side.

Are you also going to Zion Nat. Park since you are taking that route to the Canyon? Coming in from Mt. Carmel the road to Zion is a little twisty and there are several switch backs after you enter the park and a tunnel.
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:36 PM   #10
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X3 what Iggy said. No worries. Nice drive.
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Old 05-20-2016, 07:29 AM   #11
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Be careful about the idea of driving THROUGH the ZION NP Tunnel on UT-9. There are RV Restrictions - Size / Guide Vehicle / Specific Times - all Summer Long.

And the rest of ZION has Vehicle Restrictions, too. Its restricted to Shuttle Buses past the Visitors Center.

BUT, it is an Absolute MUST SEE for the Scenic Value!!
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:33 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by seigell View Post
Be careful about the idea of driving THROUGH the ZION NP Tunnel on UT-9. There are RV Restrictions - Size / Guide Vehicle / Specific Times - all Summer Long.

And the rest of ZION has Vehicle Restrictions, too. Its restricted to Shuttle Buses past the Visitors Center.

BUT, it is an Absolute MUST SEE for the Scenic Value!!
The Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel


If your vehicle is 11”4 (3.4m) tall or taller or 7’10” (2.4 m) wide or wider, including mirrors, awnings, and jacks, you will need a tunnel permit.

The Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel
Construction of the 1.1 mile Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel began in the late 1920's and was completed in 1930. At the time that the tunnel was dedicated, on July 4, 1930, it was the longest tunnel of its type in the United States. The purpose of the building the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel (and the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway) was to create direct access to Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon from Zion National Park.

Tunnel Traffic Control for Oversize Vehicles
Before 1989, large vehicles, including tour buses, motor homes, and trailers, were involved in more and more accidents and near misses in the tunnel due to an immense increase in the volume of traffic and in the size of vehicles passing through the tunnel.

A study by the Federal Highways Administration in early 1989 found that large vehicles could not negotiate the curves of the tunnel without crossing the center line. To ensure safety, the National Park Service began traffic control at the tunnel in the spring of that year.

Rangers posted at both ends of the tunnel convert two-way tunnel traffic to one-way for larger vehicles, ensuring safe passage. This service, for which a $15 dollar tunnel permit fee is charged, was provided for over 27,874 oversized vehicles in calendar year 2011.

Large vehicles may only travel through the tunnel daily from:

  • March 9 to May 3 from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm
  • May 4 to September 6 from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
  • September 7 to September 27 from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm
  • September 28 to November 1 from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • During the winter months, drivers of large vehicles must make advance arrangements at the entrance stations for the one-way traffic control service at the tunnel. Winter hours of operations for the tunnel are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.




If your vehicle is 11'4" (3.4m) tall or taller or 7'10" (2.4m) wide or wider, including mirrors, awnings, and jacks, you will need a tunnel escort. Obtaining a Tunnel Permit

  • Have your vehicle measured at the entrance station when you arrive at the park. Any vehicle that is 7 feet 10 inches (2.4 meters) in width and/or 11 feet 4 inches (3.4 meters) in height or larger is required to have a tunnel permit.
  • Pay $15.00, in addition to the park entrance fee, for the tunnel permit at the entrance station before proceeding to the tunnel.
  • Drive to the tunnel during the tunnel hours of operation (posted seasonally).
  • Tunnel traffic control will be provided by friendly NPS rangers.
  • Your $15.00 tunnel permit is good for two trips through the tunnel for the same vehicle within seven days of purchase.
Prohibited Vehicles
Vehicles over 13 feet 1 inch tall, Semi-trucks, vehicles carrying hazardous materials, vehicles weighing more than 50,000 pounds, single vehicles over 40 feet long, combined vehicles over 50 feet long. All Bicycles. Pedestrians.

The Zion Tunnel Today
Today the tunnel is basically the same as it was upon its completion over eighty years ago. However, because of the softness of the sandstone through which it passes, much reinforcing has been done and concrete ribs now give added support to the the tunnel's entire length. Collapse of a sandstone pillar west of Gallery #3 in 1958 broke the top out of that gallery and flushed tons of debris into the tunnel, causing its closure for several weeks. Because of that collapse, the tunnel is now monitored electronically twenty-four hours a day to warn park officials to the danger of a reoccurrence.

Your Safety
The Zion Mount Carmel Tunnel is one of the busiest areas in the park. Through the years there have been major and minor accidents as well as many close calls involving pedestrians, oversize vehicles, tunnel ranger staff, and regular vehicle traffic.

When approaching the tunnel be aware of your surroundings and slow down. Watch for tunnel rangers, pedestrians and other traffic. DO NOT STOP in the tunnel. Please proceed beyond the tunnel kiosk before attempting to turn around at either side of the tunnel. Obey all traffic directions from the tunnel rangers.

BE AWARE that rangers at the tunnel are conducting traffic control operations.
Please DO NOT STOP in the tunnel or try to turn around at either tunnel entrance.
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:39 AM   #13
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See video

https://youtu.be/Ni_UcpyCaRY
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:01 AM   #14
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Thanks for the up close of the Zion tunnel...will be there this summer and looking forward to it. Your video most useful.
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