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louisetustin
Hello oh wise ones! We are a small family in a small camper who want to travel to the Grand Canyon from Orange County CA next Easter. We are thinking of spending the first night in Manadalay Bay and using the pools, and have been told to head north to King City through Bryce and Zion, go through the Aspens, down to Monument Valley, drop down to the interstate at the New Mexico/Arizona border, and take a day and a half shot back to AZ. The above info came from a travel buff acquaintance, and sounds great. However, we have no earthly idea how to do this in an RV!!! Anyone have any ideas????? We would so appreciate them - our 15 and 9 year old have never RV'd out of CA!!

Thank you so much for your help.... looking forward to your replies!
Jerry S.
luisetustin,

You need to give the folks here a little more info on your trip. Most importantly, how long do you have for this trip. If I understand the itenerary you outlined in your post (Los Vegas - Mandolay Bay, southern Utah - Bryce, Zion, and Monument Valley, central Colorado - Aspens, New Mexico, and Arizona), you're talking about several thousand miles. Even if you have 2 weeks, you will spend most of it driving. There is also the question of time of year. March and April can be very iffy weather-wise in Colorado and New Mexico. Additionally, RV parks and some tourist areas will not be fully operational thst early in the season.

By giving as much information about your plans and wants/needs as you can, the folks here can give you better guidance.
louisetustin
Thanks Jerry - clearly, we have the RV equivalant of eyes bigger than our stomach! Here's what we REALLY want
1 - A ten day trip with 2 kids, age 15 and 9. Our speed is about 200 - 250 miles a day unless there is great scenery, in which case we can of course plant for a day or two.
2 - We are not hikers, so we would really want to be in spots where we can do beautiful drives.
3 - We love great food especially if it is small local favorite spots. Our kids prefer Italian and American.
4 - Our kids love water and were intrigued by a description we heard of Slide Rock State Park -
5 - We really want to drink in the beauty of the Grand Canyon. Initially, my eldest was intrigued by the Glass Skybridge, but after reading posts here I am not sure if that is a top priority.
6 - Our original idea was to drive to Vegas, hit the skybridge, and then head up to better spots of the Grand Canyon.

Clearly we need to scale back on our original idea - any suggestions are highly appreciated!
The last thing we would want is a teeth clenched I'm sick of driving experience. We are looking for FUN!

Louise
Kirk
So what do you plan to do that is fun? One can only look at scenery for so long, especially if you are only 9 or 15. A great deal of the enjoyment of most national parks, Grand Canyon included, is walking some of the short trails to features that you can't see from a car.

I think that your children will not enjoy things for long if you don''t plan to get out and do at least some walking of the trails. You should also plan to build a few campfires and roast dinner and smores a few times, perhaps even let everyone put together one of those all in one foil pack dinners to cook in the coals. That can be lots of fun.

Check into the ranger programs at the parks as they often have some excellent programs that both adults and kids can enjoy. Get out in the woods and watch the animals, see some things not found along the roads. At Grand Canyon, there is not much to see from your car. There are buses that will take you to areas to get out and look. Nearly all of the sights require at least a short walk. If you spend most of your time in the car, the kids will be bored in a very short period. One thing that you might consider is the train from Williams, AZ that goes up to the canyon for a day.

As I recall, there is not one location where you can actually see into the canyon without leaving the car. And the area near the south rim is not really scenic to drive through but tends to be much the same arid country with scattered sage and timber. We enjoy it, but it is not the breath taking views like when you look into the canyon.

Now if you are willing to walk some distance, just to the south of Flagstaff, and not far from the Grand Canyon is Walnut Canyon Natl. Monument which is a canyon filled with cliff dwellings from past civilizations that is really great. But like the GC, it will require that you walk. In both canyons, you don't need to be the serious hiker with boots and packs, but just a way to carry some drinking water and a camera and wear a good pair of tennis shoes or walking shoes. These are well maintained trails, many even paved, but you need to get out and be willing to make walks of at least a mile at times. In our experience, you don't see a very great share of most national parks if you don't do walks of at least 1/2 mile in length.
louisetustin
Kirk, Your point is VERY well taken - they are used to beach camping in CA where they literally walk across the beach to surf but this will not be this type of trip. Forewarned is forearmed - they are great kids and will do fine on shorter hikes - I am thinking a mile or mile and a half would probably be fine. I appreciate your honesty!

The train and Walnut Canyon sounds really fun - I will definitely look into that. I think the key for kids is diversity - a little hiking - a little water fun - a little train - I am getting excited! And who camps without S'mores? Isn't that against the law?? smile.gif

Anyone else have any suggestons? I'm really looking forward tohearing them!

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