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Old 12-31-2015, 06:09 PM   #1
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Who's been from Zion thru UT Highways 89, 12, 24 and CO 70 & 25?

Looking for input on highlights from your trips Campgrounds, places to see, places to skip, places to eat and drink and whatever else!

We are traveling in a FR Flagstaff. No kids and no pets for 4 weeks in early summer.

Thanks, you are awesome

Dow Jones

And, thanks for all the informative discussions I've enjoyed on this forum.
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Old 12-31-2015, 06:31 PM   #2
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I have. You will have an unbelievable time with unbelievable scenery. Lots of Utah info with Google search. You can't skip Moab since you will be driving right by. When I have more time will give you some highlights.

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Old 01-01-2016, 02:38 PM   #3
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As previously stated, the scenery is fantastic. After Zion you have Bryce, after Bryce you have Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. After GSENM, you have Capital Reef (and you drive right through it on Hwy 24), then if you decide to head into Moab you can do it one of two ways. At Hanksville turn south onto Hwy 95 then down through Blanding and up 191 into Moab. That way you can also see Canyonlands Needles district, and the Needles and Anticline overlooks.

In Moab you have Arches and Canyonlands Island in the Sky District. Then north on 191 up to I 70.

I have never camped at a commercial campground; however, there are plenty of UT state parks along that route. Kodachrome Basin outside of Cannonville, Escalante Petrified Forest outside of Escalante, Goblin Valley just north of Hanksville and of course, Deadhorse Point just down the fork in the road from Canyonlands Island in the Sky District.

Also, Capital Reef has a decent size campground, off Hwy 24, near the park headquarters. Since Capital Reef is almost never noted due to being overshadowed by Zion, Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands, it never gets too busy. And yet, with a 4x4, Capital Reef is fanstastic to visit and camp in. Problem is their best campground is accessed via a rather nasty trail and normally a test is needed.

Restaurants. Flying Monkey in Springdale, just outside of Zion. Great wood fired pizza and burgers aren't bad either.

Slackers (formerly Dave's) off Hwy 24, Torrey UT, just west of Capital Reef. Great burgers. Torrey actually has quite a few nice restaurants from the Chimney Rock on the western end of town to La Cueva Mexican on the eastern end of town.

When camping I'm more of a burger, sub, pizza guy than any inside sit down type restaurants, but spent some time in Torrey when at Capital Reef area so I did hit more than burger places.

I live in Moab for six years, so I know almost every restaurant there, and there area a heck of a lot; especially since it is one big tourist attraction.

Moab has quite a few good and even a few great restaurants, from Zak's in town with all you can eat pizza to Eddie Mcstiff's, Buck's and Sunset Grill on the high end. Can't beat the view from Sunset though.

Also, those areas get busy in spring and especially Moab after Easter week. (During the week before Easter you have the Jeep Safari week and everything books up quick. And restaurants are packed.)

Guess if you are that close, you might want to do a one-day visit to Monument Valley....
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:19 PM   #4
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We stay only at campgrounds with full hookups. For that trip we stayed at Bauers in Glendale for Zion and Cedar Breaks. Rt 9 is a spectacular drive. Stayed at the KOA in Cannonville for Bryce, Red Canyon and Kodachrome. There is RV parking at the forest service office in Red Canyon. At least stop in as you drive by. We did some great hikes there. We stayed in Escalante in a small park downtown. Burr Trail road is another must see, all the way to the end and down into Capitol Reef if you are so inclined. Did some good hikes at Kodachrome and Bryce. Hiking at Bryce at something you won't forget. We love Capitol Reef. The Grand Wash is a great hike there as well as Hickman Bridge. In Torrey we have stayed both at Thousand Lakes and Sand Creek. There is a real grocery store in Loa. Goblin Valley is pretty cool too and is worth a stop since you are driving by if you take 24. 95 is a pretty spectacular drive itself if you go that way. If you do go that way swing into Natural Bridges, it is a wonderful place. They have a spot to drop a trailer or unhook a toad so you can do the loop drive. Excellent hiking as well. Rt 12 will be an experience undo to itself. Mind numbing scenery. There is a hike on Calf Creek that is supposed to be good, but we didn't have time to do it. A couple of parking areas on top of Boulder Mountain with great views of Capitol Reef and the distant Henry Mountains. We spent two weeks in Moab by itself. Way too many things to list to do. The Colorado National Monument I would put on the must do list if you have the time. We have stayed at the KOA's in Grand Junction, Montrose and Gunnison, all decent. Ouray is worth a visit. The KOA in Central City is an experience at 8900 feet. We stayed at Riverview in Loveland for the RMNP and stayed at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. So far we have spent a total of two months in Colorado and three months in Utah and have barely scratched the surface. So many things to do and places to see. We rarely eat out so can't help with that one.

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Old 01-02-2016, 12:49 PM   #5
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Take the time and check out all the parks. Incredible scenery.
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:00 PM   #6
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Looks like you got good infor on NP, here are 2 State parks that are must see.
Dead Horse Point State Park
Goblin Valley State Park
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:09 PM   #7
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Have been here a few times via car and plane and longed to have our Sunseeker. One day... Might I add if you are an animal lover- Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanaab would be my detour. All orher duggestions are great. I could do 4 weeks just in this region.
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:47 PM   #8
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Dow Jones,
You didn't mention what type of Flagstaff trailer you have. I have a popup so noise is a factor. I stayed in the Hurricane/St. George KOA near Zion National Park. It sits near the freeway, Hwy 15 and is noisy all night. The Utah State parks provide very good campgrounds.
I always get one dinner at Cafe Diablo in Torrey, Utah which is near Capital Reef NP. Always good food.
There's lots to see and do in that part of the country. You will have an enjoyable trip.

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Old 01-02-2016, 02:04 PM   #9
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In the Kanab area, we stayed at Paria Canyon Guest Ranch. Reservations are a must, they only have a couple of full hookup sites. We will go back again.

Shady Acres RV Park in Green River was another good location. Did day trips to Goblin Valley, Capitol Reef. Really dog friendly. We were there during Watermelon Days (Sept). Best watermelon I've ever tasted - fun small town parade.

Moab - stayed at Canyonlands RV park many times. The first time we went it was on the edge of town, now in the middle of town. Spaces are pretty close together.
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Old 01-02-2016, 04:24 PM   #10
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Between Zion and Brice is Red Canyon Forest Service campground. Lot nicer than camping in Brice and not too far away. Also...2nd Goblin Valley State Park.
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Old 01-02-2016, 04:51 PM   #11
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Staying in Moab don't forget Dead Horse Point Utah state park.
Some of the best views of the upper grand canyon you will see.
All 3 Canyon lands, Arches and Dead Horse are easy drive from Moab.
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Old 01-02-2016, 05:12 PM   #12
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We stayed at Watchman Campground inside Zion National Park. Good location right on the creek. If you are so inclined, look into hiking the Narrows. Absolutely fantastic adventure with gorgeous scenery. Zion Adventure Company in town can outfit you for about $35. Oscar's Cafe in Springdale is a great spot for a meal. The Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel on Hwy 9 heading to / from 89 is also an experience. RVs are escorted through. Check out this link.
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:44 PM   #13
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Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands

While visiting Zion NP we have stayed several times at Zion River RV Park just SW of park entrance. Excellent RV Park with spacious pull-throughs, full hookups, extra friendly staff. Easy access to Zion. Make sure you make use of the free shuttles once you are there. I would recommend a minimum of three days. Have lunch at Zion Lodge, especially if they are serving smoked trout. All hikes are uphill on the way out, and downhill on the way home. Don't try Angels Landing unless you are really fit and brave!!

It is also an easy day trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, if you are so inclined. It is worth the drive just to have lunch or a cocktail in the Grand Canyon Lodge there.

Shady Acres RV in Green River UT is excellent. Large, spacious sites in a quiet, small town. Visit the museum there featuring the exploits of the Powell Expeditions. Outstanding. Easy access from there to Moab, Arches, and Canyonlands. Be sure to drive up along the Colorado River from Moab back to I-70 East of Green River. I think it is Route 128. Spectacular with several historic sites to see.
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:52 PM   #14
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I'd also note that you can leave from Zion and visit the north rim of the Grand Canyon and back in the same day if you leave early. Worth the drive if you have the time. Take the short hike out to Bright Angel point.
We prefer full hookup/full service parks & were generally happy with the accomodations near all the parks along your route as listed below. Full reviews can be found under my name on
Grand Junction CO KOA
Zion Canyon Campground & RV Park Springdale, Utah
Ruby's Inn RV Park and CampgroundBryce Canyon, Utah
Canyonlands Campground Moab, Utah
Thousand Lakes RV ParkTorrey, Utah (Capitol Reef )
Temple View RV Resort St George, Utah

I'd also note that there is a 2nd section of Zion that has its' entrance off I-15 called kolub canyon...little visited and no way to get to it from the regular park entrance. Takes about an hour to drive through and scenery & well worth the pull off from 15.
One out of the way suggestion for Utah is Dinosaur National Monument near Vernal (beautiful little town...use KOA there) ... in the N. East Corner of the state. The Visitors center is built into the side of a hill and you can see and touch the THOUSANDS of dinosaur bone fossiles embedded in the hill. Do NOT attempt to reach this from Grand Junction on 139 to Rangely. You'll think you're gonna die!
Do it from the Utah side. Zion... take the bus to the last stop and take the 3 mile round trip pretty easy hike to the narrows canyon if you are able.
Bring walking sticks'll need them for balance in the River (creek).

Have fun!

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Old 01-03-2016, 07:04 AM   #15
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From Camaradrie's post

"Do NOT attempt to reach this from Grand Junction on 139 to Rangely. You'll think you're gonna die!"
There are probably better routes, but we drove CO 139 with our Sunseeker 3100 towing our Pathfinder. The grades were steep and the curves were tight. It was slow but nothing scary. We spent a lot of time at 15 - 20 mph. Great scenery and a few places to pull over to enjoy it.
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:09 AM   #16
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There was a thread in October, 2014, about Zion, particularly concerning the tunnel in Zion. I posted some information about it in Post #5. You can search for other threads about Zion.
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Old 01-04-2016, 10:48 AM   #17
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I've been across all those roads but it was on my Harley, pulling a Bushtec trailer, and camping. Absolutely gorgeous from Zion up to Torrey.

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Old 01-04-2016, 11:32 AM   #18
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One comment about my previous post. CO 139 wasn't a problem with our 32 foot long Sunseeker towing our Pathfinder. The Pathfinder barely tracks inside the Sunseeker's tracks on tight turns. If someone is towing a 40 foot triple axle toy hauler with a long bed crew cab, that's a very different situation.
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:43 PM   #19
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Thanks to everyone who provided feedback.

So looking forward to this trip.

See y'all out on the road
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Old 04-04-2016, 05:30 PM   #20
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WARNING! I'm kinda late to this discussion, so I'm not sure if you've made your trip yet, but if not, do not try to enter Zion from the east side while towing your trailer; they have a length restriction. I made that mistake and had to turn around and drive for another couple of hours to get to Springdale. Springdale was probably just about 7 or 8 miles from that point, but over a hundred to make the loop around. Even if your rig is under the allowable limit, I wouldn't advise towing a trailer through that entrance. You can make it through the tunnel okay, but the switchbacks are pretty tough. Without a trailer though, that drive is beautiful! We camped at the Zion Canyon Campground and RV Park in Springdale and loved the location. It's right outside the entrance to Zion and within walking distance to several restaurants. There's a tour company right across the street that we booked a 4X4 tour with and loved it. Of course in Springdale, they have shuttles running all of the time that will take you from one end of town to the other with stops all throughout the town, plus take you into the park. From there, we made day trips to Bryce and the north rim of the Grand Canyon. After that, we went to Moab for a week and stayed at the Moab Rim RV Campark. It's a smaller campground just south of town, and for the price, you can't beat it. I would go back to southern Utah in a heartbeat; one of my favorite places! Safe travels!
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