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adamabz
HI, As you can see i'm new to this site, i am hiring a 40' RV from B & B rv in Denver for 2 weeks at the end of July. We are planning to do a round trip leaving Denver and heading south to Santa Fe, then along to the grand canyon, then vegas, then Zion national park then making our way back to Denver.
Can people please recommend places to visit and parks to stay at, i am assuming i will need to pre-book the park!
open to all suggestions as this is the first RV trip we have done, and would appreciate any tips that will help us on our trip. thanks in advance. Adam.
edcornflake
QUOTE(adamabz @ Mar 6 2013, 09:55 AM) *

Can people please recommend places to visit and parks to stay at, i am assuming i will need to pre-book the park!


Unfotunately, I have not been out west (yet). I did drive to FLA from NJ last year and I used this site to determine my waypoints along the way - I figured out where a good stopping point would be by distance, or near something I watned to see (or in Georgia so I could color the state in on my map!) and then went with the place with the best overall ratings. I was not disapointed in either of my stopover campgrounds. Beyond that, i'm sure there are folks here that can make specific recommendations for scenic routes, places to visit, things to see, and possibly areas to avoid (low bridges, narrow roads or steep grades).
Jerry S
Hi Adam,

From your post I am guessing 2 things: You are flying into Denver to pick up the RV you will be using on your trip and you are coming from overseas (Australia?, NZ?, Europe?).

The first thing you should decide is how long you are going to want to spend at some of the places (Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, etc.) you mentioned in your post. Your general route outline (Denver - Santa Fe - Grand Canyon - Las Vega - Zion - Denver) has plenty to see all along the route. If, however, you plan on spending multiple days at places like the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, you will have to by-pass some scenic and/or intersting sights.

If I am right about you flying into Denver, you won't be able get very far on your first day. Even without any sightseeing between Denver and Santa Fe (or Albuquerque), it is over a trip of over 400 miles. I'd allow 2 days to get that far south. There are plenty of things to see and do in this area but, again, that is your decision and it will effect how much time you have for other sights later. From Albuquerque to Flagstaff, AZ is over 300 miles and has numerous intersting scenic areas (El Malpais National Monument, Petrified Forest National Park, Meteor Crater) along Interstate 40.

From Flagstaff, it is about 2+ hours to the Grand Canyon. If at all possible, spend at least 2 full days here. Then it is an hour plus back south to I40 and the 200+ miles west and north to Las Vegas. This is another possible multiple day stop. From there it is only 3 hours to Zion and the begining of a national park a day trek across southern Utah. The parks you can see are Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Arches. Just north of Moab, UT is Interstate 70 and a 300+ mile drive to Denver. This route goes by the Colorado National Monument and goes by or through many ski towns like Aspen and Vail as it crosses the Rocky Mountains.

As you can see, this is just a slightly expanded version of the route you outlined in your post. If you can give folks a better idea where you want to stop, they can give you better RV park suggestions.
adamabz
QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Mar 7 2013, 04:14 AM) *

Hi Adam,

From your post I am guessing 2 things: You are flying into Denver to pick up the RV you will be using on your trip and you are coming from overseas (Australia?, NZ?, Europe?).

The first thing you should decide is how long you are going to want to spend at some of the places (Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, etc.) you mentioned in your post. Your general route outline (Denver - Santa Fe - Grand Canyon - Las Vega - Zion - Denver) has plenty to see all along the route. If, however, you plan on spending multiple days at places like the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, you will have to by-pass some scenic and/or intersting sights.

If I am right about you flying into Denver, you won't be able get very far on your first day. Even without any sightseeing between Denver and Santa Fe (or Albuquerque), it is over a trip of over 400 miles. I'd allow 2 days to get that far south. There are plenty of things to see and do in this area but, again, that is your decision and it will effect how much time you have for other sights later. From Albuquerque to Flagstaff, AZ is over 300 miles and has numerous intersting scenic areas (El Malpais National Monument, Petrified Forest National Park, Meteor Crater) along Interstate 40.

From Flagstaff, it is about 2+ hours to the Grand Canyon. If at all possible, spend at least 2 full days here. Then it is an hour plus back south to I40 and the 200+ miles west and north to Las Vegas. This is another possible multiple day stop. From there it is only 3 hours to Zion and the begining of a national park a day trek across southern Utah. The parks you can see are Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Arches. Just north of Moab, UT is Interstate 70 and a 300+ mile drive to Denver. This route goes by the Colorado National Monument and goes by or through many ski towns like Aspen and Vail as it crosses the Rocky Mountains.

As you can see, this is just a slightly expanded version of the route you outlined in your post. If you can give folks a better idea where you want to stop, they can give you better RV park suggestions.
many thanks for your replies, we are looking it staying for 2 day at both the grand canyon and las Vegas.
Your right in thinking we are flying in to Denver (from Scotland) we pick up the RV at 09.00 and are hoping to be leaving Denver at lunchtime once we have stocked up with food etc.
We are thinking maybe first stop Colorado springs or somewhere close to that so we don't have a long drive on day one. We are only planning on driving for an average of 3 hours a day. We are open to suggestions of places to visit on the route we are planning to take. All suggestions welcome.

Luvtheroad
Here are the places we've stayed in the past - we liked them all:

COLORADO SPRINGS - Fountain Creek RV - tight spots but very convenient to everything. Walk to Old Colorado Springs, short drive to Manatee Springs, Pike Peak's railway, Garden of the Gods (wowza!!!).

ZION NATIONAL PARK - Zion Canyon Campground and RV Park in Springdale. Unbelievable scenery, on the Virgin River, and best of all you can WALK to the national park headquarters or take a free shuttle (very important as the parking lots fill up FAST in the summer). From there you take shuttles to all points of the park. You can walk or take shuttle to downtown Springdale, too, for what it's worth. Has a small pool or you can swim/tube/kayak in the river (very cold).

GRAND CANYON - Trailer Village, which is run by a concessionaire in the national park (do not confuse this with the Camper Village down in Tusayan). Catch the shuttle bus system at the front of the campground or you can walk (1/2 mile) to the canyon. Shuttle busses run all over the park. Walk or shuttle to national park grocery store and restaurant (expensive but at least it's there). Elk and deer wander through the campground. At night it's pitch dark and you can see more stars than you've ever seen. Bathrooms, but no showers or laundry (you have to go over to the Mathers campground and everything is coin-op), no wi-fi, but you can't get better location. You'll need to make reservations NOW as spots fill up fast in the summer.

LAS VEGAS - Circus Circus KOA. Expensive and nothing but a parking lot, but very large level easily-maneuvered sites and you can walk through Circus Circus and you're on the strip. There are nicer parks in Las Vegas but this is the only one that close to the strip. Has a nice pool and a sauna.

Fitzjohnfan
Hello, as you can see, we live in Denver, and made a similar trip as yours just two years ago (good choice in using B&B RV for your rental, they will treat you well!). Our first day we left in the evening and stayed the night at the Wal Mart parking lot in Alamosa. On I-25 you turn west at Rout 160 at Walsenberg. I'm not sure if you are familiar with the free parking options here in the US, but many Wal Mart (discount stores), Flying J (gas stations) and other places allow you to stay for free.

From Alamosa we drove through Durango (check out the narrow gauge steam train that operates there) and drove to Grand Canyon. Route 160 is more scenic than going south to I-40 and you will end up being closer to the entrance to Grand Canyon. You also go by 4-corners which is an interesting stop (the only place in the US where 4 states meet). There are lots of small intian shops which sell interesting items there.

DO spend 2 days at Grand Canyon and take lots of photos and video. The campgrounds there are nothing spectacular, but you are there for the park, not the camping. There are several shuttles there which will take you to most areas of the park so you will never have to move your motor home. Try to watch a ranger program at night as they are very educational.

In Vegas, you might want to call ahead and see about any deals the casinos have. The problem with Vegas is that the hotels many times are cheaper than the RV parks, so you may actually save money getting a room. My wife gambles occasionally in Central City, Colorado and she had built up some "points", so we were able to stay at a casino hotel for $18.00/night and we were able to park our motor home for free in their covered parking. DO plan on staying up late and walking the strip. It's not to be missed.

On our return trip we visited Zion National Park. Very scenic, but if you shoose to drive through the park, check their website for RV restrictions. There are some tunnels that require you to pay an extra fee to have them close the tunnel to allow you to drive through the center due to the small size. Some vehicles are too big to fit through at all, so check before you go.

On the way back, Moab, UT has many nice campgrounds as well as Grand Junction, CO. On I-70, also make a plan to stop in Glennwood Springs, CO. There is a very large hot spring pool that is a great place to rest. Also lots of history here, such as Doc Holiday's grave.

As far as pre-booking your campgrounds/RV parks, I would only make advanced plans for Grand Canyon. All other parks may fill up, but I like to just call the day before to make sure they have a space, but not make any advanced reservations. This way, I have flexibility as far as how long we will drive each day.
Jerry S
I AM EDITING THIS POST TO LET FOLKS KNOW THAT THE POSTS FROM Fitzjohnfan and jamaryann1 WERE NOT POSTED WHEN I STARTED WRITING THE FOLLOWING POST.

Hi again Adam,

Now that you have clarified some of your trip plans, I can try to give you some more specific advice. However, let me make some general comments on your plans.

Without many side trips, your itinerary (Den-SFe-Alb-GCNP-LV-ZNP/UT-Den) is about 2,000 miles. While I appreciate you idea of only driving 3 hours a day, you are not going to be in a car cruising along at 70mph on an interstate. In a big RV, you will be lucky to cover 200 miles in 3 hours.

Since it appears that you do not plan to do anything in Denver other than land, pick up the RV, and shop, going south to at least Colorado Springs is a good idea. There are numerous sights in the Colorado Springs area. Pike's Peak (there is a cog railway up to the 14,000' summit) and Garden of the Gods (interesting, colorful rock formations) are two of the most popular. The trip to the top of Pikes Peak would take up most of a day and reservations are a must in the summer. There are maybe 5 RV parks in the immediate Colorado Springs area that are very convenient to these sights. Unfortunately, that also mean they are in the congested urban area that is Colorado Springs (population around 400,000). I am not sure you want to be driving in this type of traffic as a novice in a 40' RV. If you don't want to see any of the Colorado Springs attractions, there is a decent KOA about 20 miles south of the city in Fountain, CO. It may be a bit expensive ($40+), but it is a full service RV park and very convenient to I-25 at exit 132. You can be there in less than 2 hours after leaving Denver. If you have been making good time and want to go a little farther your first day, there is another KOA 20 miles south of Pueblo, CO at exit 74 in Colorado City, CO. (Notice the exit numbers 132 and 74 - these are the mileage markers on the interstate and indicate that the exits for these two KOAs are only 68 miles apart and that you are only 74 miles from the colorad/New Mexico state line). From either of these KOAs, you can easily make it to Sante Fe (the New Mexico state capital with an interesting "old town" section. Sante Fe has several RV parks. If you don't want to stop in Santa Fe, Albuquerque is only and hour to the southwest. There are numerous RV parks in the Albuquerque area. When I am heading west on I-40 from Albuquerque, I prefer to stay in one of the RV parks west of the city. That way you don't get involved with rush hour traffic as you leave the area.

I'll end here as I can't remember the name of the park 10 miles west of Albuquerque we stayed at back in 2011. I do have one other question for you. Most RV renters do not have a car with them for their trip. Is this your situation.? The reason I ask is so that anyone else who tries to give you advice realizes that you DO NOT have a car with you. Not having a car means you have to drive the RV to every place you want to go. This can limit your ability to sightsee in some instances.
adamabz
QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Mar 8 2013, 06:10 AM) *

I AM EDITING THIS POST TO LET FOLKS KNOW THAT THE POSTS FROM Fitzjohnfan and jamaryann1 WERE NOT POSTED WHEN I STARTED WRITING THE FOLLOWING POST.

Hi again Adam,

Now that you have clarified some of your trip plans, I can try to give you some more specific advice. However, let me make some general comments on your plans.

Without many side trips, your itinerary (Den-SFe-Alb-GCNP-LV-ZNP/UT-Den) is about 2,000 miles. While I appreciate you idea of only driving 3 hours a day, you are not going to be in a car cruising along at 70mph on an interstate. In a big RV, you will be lucky to cover 200 miles in 3 hours.
Since it appears that you do not plan to do anything in Denver other than land, pick up the RV, and shop, going south to at least Colorado Springs is a good idea. There are numerous sights in the Colorado Springs area. Pike's Peak (there is a cog railway up to the 14,000' summit) and Garden of the Gods (interesting, colorful rock formations) are two of the most popular. The trip to the top of Pikes Peak would take up most of a day and reservations are a must in the summer. There are maybe 5 RV parks in the immediate Colorado Springs area that are very convenient to these sights. Unfortunately, that also mean they are in the congested urban area that is Colorado Springs (population around 400,000). I am not sure you want to be driving in this type of traffic as a novice in a 40' RV. If you don't want to see any of the Colorado Springs attractions, there is a decent KOA about 20 miles south of the city in Fountain, CO. It may be a bit expensive ($40+), but it is a full service RV park and very convenient to I-25 at exit 132. You can be there in less than 2 hours after leaving Denver. If you have been making good time and want to go a little farther your first day, there is another KOA 20 miles south of Pueblo, CO at exit 74 in Colorado City, CO. (Notice the exit numbers 132 and 74 - these are the mileage markers on the interstate and indicate that the exits for these two KOAs are only 68 miles apart and that you are only 74 miles from the colorad/New Mexico state line). From either of these KOAs, you can easily make it to Sante Fe (the New Mexico state capital with an interesting "old town" section. Sante Fe has several RV parks. If you don't want to stop in Santa Fe, Albuquerque is only and hour to the southwest. There are numerous RV parks in the Albuquerque area. When I am heading west on I-40 from Albuquerque, I prefer to stay in one of the RV parks west of the city. That way you don't get involved with rush hour traffic as you leave the area.

I'll end here as I can't remember the name of the park 10 miles west of Albuquerque we stayed at back in 2011. I do have one other question for you. Most RV renters do not have a car with them for their trip. Is this your situation.? The reason I ask is so that anyone else who tries to give you advice realizes that you DO NOT have a car with you. Not having a car means you have to drive the RV to every place you want to go. This can limit your ability to sightsee in some instances.

Thank you everybody for your comments and recommendations above they are very helpful.
Jerry, you are right in thinking we don't have a car with our rental,should have said that above!
If needs must and we have to park the RV up for a couple of days i.e. Grand canyon and hire a car then that wouldn't be a problem if it lets us see a lot more.
Keep the comments and recommendations coming please they are very helpful and informative.
Thank, Adam.
RV Camper
Adam.

Having lived along the Colorado front range for 20+ years and traveling by motorhome for many years, I think that your idea only to Colorado Springs is a very good plan. That is especially true if you have not driven an RV as large at this before. The drive you have planned is over mostly multi-lane highways, once you get on the road and nothing very mountainous for your first day. You will probably find a 40' motorhome to be pretty limiting for sightseeing as there will often be problems in parking in some of the best places to visit.

I like short driving days with plenty of time to see things. You may be able to find RV parks that have shuttle service to some of the more popular tourist attractions so consider that was you select places to stay.
Jerry S
And again,

I'll start where I left off yesterday - the Albuquerque area. If you want to stop north of Albuquerque, there is a nice RV park in Rio Rancho at I-25 exit 242 a few miles north of the city. It is called Stagecoach Stop RV Park and is a full service park. The nice thing about this park is that you are within walking distance of a Super Walmart and several fast food places. If not, there is American RV park to the west of the city at exit 149 of I-40. In the 150 miles from there to the Arizona border, there are decent RV parks in Acoma (Sky City RV Par), Grants (KOA), and Gallup (USA RV Park). On this stretch you may want to take a side trip through El Malpias National Monument, Bandera Volcano and Ice Caves, and El Morro National Monument). These are nothing earthshaking but are all (more or less) on side roads that are 10-30 miles south of I-40. This side trip might cost you 100 extra miles and couple extra hours.

Heading west out of Gallup, you will be crossing into Arizona in less than half an hour. Another hour west on the interstate and you will be at Petrified Forest National Park. This park includes part of the Painted Desert and can be seen from 30 miles of in park roads. There are also numerous walking trails in the northern section of the park. You can see this park in a couple hours and there is no reason to by-pass it when it is this convenient to the interstate. Just 25 miles west of PFNP, is Holbrook. There are two good parks (OK RV Park and the KOA) here at exit 286. OK is cheaper but KOA has a pool. Another 50 miles to the west, at exit 233 is a attraction called Meteor Crater. This is a private enterprise and they have a decent RV park right at the exit. The actual crater is about 10 miles south of the interstate.

You are now within reasonable driving distance (5-6 hours) of Grand Canyon National Park.

As for suggestions from others here, I do want to second jamaryann1's recommendations concerning:

1. The Trailer Village at Grand Canyon. This is the one park you should really try to get reservations for because it is in the park and there is a free shuttle at the trailer village entrance that takes you everywhere in the park. Once you get set up in your site, you don't need to drive the RV until you are ready to leave.

2. Zion Canyon Campground and RV Park in Springdale, UT. There is a shuttle that will take you to the national park's visitor center where you can pick up a ntional park shuttle to tour the part of the park that doesn't allow privately owned vehicles. Last fall when we were there, we walked from our RV to the Visitor Center in about 15 minutes.

3. Circus Circus KOA, Las Vegas. This is the only RV park on "The Strip". It is at the north end of The Strip" and about a mile south of the Stratosphere Tower which is south of old downtown Las Vega (Freemont Street). If not for the heat in Las Vegas in the summer, you could walk much of the strip from this park.

With the exception of the Circus Circus KOA, I have stayed at all of the RV parks noted in this post the last two years.
adamabz
QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Mar 9 2013, 05:21 AM) *

And again,

I'll start where I left off yesterday - the Albuquerque area. If you want to stop north of Albuquerque, there is a nice RV park in Rio Rancho at I-25 exit 242 a few miles north of the city. It is called Stagecoach Stop RV Park and is a full service park. The nice thing about this park is that you are within walking distance of a Super Walmart and several fast food places. If not, there is American RV park to the west of the city at exit 149 of I-40. In the 150 miles from there to the Arizona border, there are decent RV parks in Acoma (Sky City RV Par), Grants (KOA), and Gallup (USA RV Park). On this stretch you may want to take a side trip through El Malpias National Monument, Bandera Volcano and Ice Caves, and El Morro National Monument). These are nothing earthshaking but are all (more or less) on side roads that are 10-30 miles south of I-40. This side trip might cost you 100 extra miles and couple extra hours.

Heading west out of Gallup, you will be crossing into Arizona in less than half an hour. Another hour west on the interstate and you will be at Petrified Forest National Park. This park includes part of the Painted Desert and can be seen from 30 miles of in park roads. There are also numerous walking trails in the northern section of the park. You can see this park in a couple hours and there is no reason to by-pass it when it is this convenient to the interstate. Just 25 miles west of PFNP, is Holbrook. There are two good parks (OK RV Park and the KOA) here at exit 286. OK is cheaper but KOA has a pool. Another 50 miles to the west, at exit 233 is a attraction called Meteor Crater. This is a private enterprise and they have a decent RV park right at the exit. The actual crater is about 10 miles south of the interstate.

You are now within reasonable driving distance (5-6 hours) of Grand Canyon National Park.

As for suggestions from others here, I do want to second jamaryann1's recommendations concerning:

1. The Trailer Village at Grand Canyon. This is the one park you should really try to get reservations for because it is in the park and there is a free shuttle at the trailer village entrance that takes you everywhere in the park. Once you get set up in your site, you don't need to drive the RV until you are ready to leave.

2. Zion Canyon Campground and RV Park in Springdale, UT. There is a shuttle that will take you to the national park's visitor center where you can pick up a ntional park shuttle to tour the part of the park that doesn't allow privately owned vehicles. Last fall when we were there, we walked from our RV to the Visitor Center in about 15 minutes.

3. Circus Circus KOA, Las Vegas. This is the only RV park on "The Strip". It is at the north end of The Strip" and about a mile south of the Stratosphere Tower which is south of old downtown Las Vega (Freemont Street). If not for the heat in Las Vegas in the summer, you could walk much of the strip from this park.

With the exception of the Circus Circus KOA, I have stayed at all of the RV parks noted in this post the last two years.

Thank again for taking the time to write the above recommendations. You have been very informative and has been a great help. After reading everybody's input i can't wait until July now. Thank you all again.
nedmtnman
My personal opinion is you are trying to do too much in too short a time. I have found from conversations that most folks from overseas don't realize how big the US is. I have roughed out a driving schedule that will show you won't have much time to do anything but drive.

Day 1 Denver to Colo Spring ( Broadmoore Hotel, Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, US Olympic Training center and so on ).

Dat 2 CO Sp to Santa Fe ( You could spend a week in the Santa Fe area. At lest 2 days just to do the downtown and area )

Day 3 Santa Fe to Albu ( Albuquerque old town ).

Day 4 Albu to Gallup ( Sky city is a must )

Day 5 Gallup to Flagstaff ( Petrified forest and painted desert )

Day 6 Flagstaff to Grand Canyon ( ok drive )

Day 7 Grand Canyon to Las Vegas ( 1 whole day at the Grand Canyon and at least 2 days
in Vegas )

Day 8 Vegas to Zion ( 1 whole day in Zion )

Day 9 Zion to to I 70 ( You have to go back out to the interstate as the tunnel is closed to long RV's )

Day 10 I15 & I 70 to Grand Junction ( A really great trip across Utah )

Day 11 Grand Junction to Denver ( Over Vail pass and through the Eisenhower tunnel )

Day 12 sightseeing along the trip

Day 13 clean motor home and turn in.

Day 14 catch flight. home

As you can see this is a pretty aggressive schedule.


Florida Native
In general, we have found it is much better to go very slow and always stay two nights in the same place. Drive the toad around to see the sights and then go less than two miles to the next place. We never schedule where we will sleep next becasue you never know what interesting you will run across. We have never not be able to find a place to sleep. It is about the journey, not the destination.
Jerry S
And again,

While I certainly agree with the opinion voiced by nedmtnman in his post, we have to realize that visitors from overseas want to see as much as they can in their limited available time. We have time and availabliity they don't. Plus, they may never be here again. As Adam has mentioned, this is their first RV trip to the U.S. I can't blame him for wanting to see as much as possible in the two weeks he has. Since his starting and ending point is Denver and he wants to see the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, we have to work with that.

My previous post had us approaching Flagstaff on the way to the Grand Canyon. I was a bit surprised that nedmtnman's post didn't mention all the attractions around Flagstaff. Within less than 40 miles of Flagstaff, you have Walnut Canyon National Monument, Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, and Wupatki National Monument. Two of these (Sunset Crater and Wupatki) can be seen via short side trips on the way to GCNP if you go via U.S. 89 and AZ 64. Besides getting a chance to see the two aforementioned national monuments, you will also travel through more of the painted desert and be able to see the east side of GCNP on the way to the main area of the park. There is a decent RV park on U.S. 89 as it leaves the northeast edge of Flagstaff. It is called J & H RV Park. It calls itself "adult oriented", but I don't think it means children are not allowed. You (Adam) have never mentioned the composition of your party (just you and the wife?, friends?, kids?). There is also a KOA just north of J & H, but I seem to remember review comments stating that the KOA's sites are not good for large RVs.

If you have made it this far (GCNP) and not taken too many side trips, you could be here in less than 7 days. I think it would be best if you got to this point on your 5th night. That would give you your 2 days at GCNP, 2 days in Las Vegas, a day at Zion, and 4-5 days to get back to Denver from southwestern Utah.
adamabz
QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Mar 11 2013, 02:37 AM) *

And again,

While I certainly agree with the opinion voiced by nedmtnman in his post, we have to realize that visitors from overseas want to see as much as they can in their limited available time. We have time and availabliity they don't. Plus, they may never be here again. As Adam has mentioned, this is their first RV trip to the U.S. I can't blame him for wanting to see as much as possible in the two weeks he has. Since his starting and ending point is Denver and he wants to see the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, we have to work with that.

My previous post had us approaching Flagstaff on the way to the Grand Canyon. I was a bit surprised that nedmtnman's post didn't mention all the attractions around Flagstaff. Within less than 40 miles of Flagstaff, you have Walnut Canyon National Monument, Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, and Wupatki National Monument. Two of these (Sunset Crater and Wupatki) can be seen via short side trips on the way to GCNP if you go via U.S. 89 and AZ 64. Besides getting a chance to see the two aforementioned national monuments, you will also travel through more of the painted desert and be able to see the east side of GCNP on the way to the main area of the park. There is a decent RV park on U.S. 89 as it leaves the northeast edge of Flagstaff. It is called J & H RV Park. It calls itself "adult oriented", but I don't think it means children are not allowed. You (Adam) have never mentioned the composition of your party (just you and the wife?, friends?, kids?). There is also a KOA just north of J & H, but I seem to remember review comments stating that the KOA's sites are not good for large RVs.

If you have made it this far (GCNP) and not taken too many side trips, you could be here in less than 7 days. I think it would be best if you got to this point on your 5th night. That would give you your 2 days at GCNP, 2 days in Las Vegas, a day at Zion, and 4-5 days to get back to Denver from southwestern Utah.

many thanks for your feed back yet again.
we are meeting this weekend to go over our route and hopefully finalise a few things.
Jerry S
Just a quick note before you finalized your route:

I checked the Zion National Park website concerning the "too big for the tunnel" problem. The site says that RVs over 40' long and/or over 13'1" tall cannot fit through the tunnel at all. So, if your rental RV is "only" 40' long and less than 13'1" tall, you may be able to fit through the tunnel. Personally, I'd error on the side of safety.

Even if you can't take the more direct route from Zion to Bryce Canyon National Park due to the size of your RV, you should still take the longer route (UT9 to UT17 to I15 to UT14 to US89 to UT12) and visit Bryce. You should be able to do the longer route in about 3 hours unless you take a 1-2 hour side trip through Cedar Breaks National Monument. There are 3 fantastic viewpoints from above 10,000' elevation. CBNM is just off UT14 about 20 miles west of Cedar City, UT.
Jerry S
Hey Adam,

You haven't posted in a couple weeks. Are you still making plans for your summer trip? Do you need any more suggestions and/or advice?
adamabz
QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Mar 28 2013, 0:42 AM) *

Hey Adam,

You haven't posted in a couple weeks. Are you still making plans for your summer trip? Do you need any more suggestions and/or advice?

Hi Jerry, the other guys that are coming with me are away on vacation, so planning on hold for a month.
If i need more advice which Im sure i will i will post.
Thank Adam.
Luvtheroad
QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Mar 13 2013, 11:30 PM) *

Just a quick note before you finalized your route:

I checked the Zion National Park website concerning the "too big for the tunnel" problem. The site says that RVs over 40' long and/or over 13'1" tall cannot fit through the tunnel at all. So, if your rental RV is "only" 40' long and less than 13'1" tall, you may be able to fit through the tunnel. Personally, I'd error on the side of safety.



You want to be darned careful that you're within the length and height restrictions, because if you get up there to the mouth of the tunnel and the attendant won't let you through, there's no place to turn around. I don't know what they do when that happens. I was talking to a lady in the park who said that the guys at the park entry told her that she was OK to go through, and she paid the fee (you must pay a fee because they have to stop traffic coming from the other direction, as you have to drive down the middle of the tunnel) and when she got to the mouth of the tunnel, the attendant refused her entry. She argued with him and showed him her permit and he reluctantly let her through. She said she was sweating bricks at the fear he'd refuse to let her go. We're 39' long and 13'1" high and there's NO WAY we'd try that. It's fun driving through in a truck, though.
Jerry S
Hi Adam,

Even though you are not in need of any more advice/suggestions right now, I'll just continue with my ideas while I have the time. By the end of this month, I am hoping to be busy with my own planning.

Three weeks ago we had you at the Grand Canyon. Hopefully, you will be able to get an RV site at the Grand Canyon Trailer Park in the national park. From there you should be able to make it to Las Vegas in 5 hours or so. That will allow you enough time to stop and see Hoover Dam on the way. As previously suggested, I think the Circus Circus KOA is your best bet in Las Vegas for somebody without a car. From Las Vegas it's on to Zion National Park. Again, if you can, try to get into Zion Canyon Campground and RV Park in Springdale, UT. It is just outside ZNP and withing walking distance of the ZNP Visitor Center. If you go from ZNP to Bryce Canyon National Park, I would suggest you try to get a reservation as Ruby's Inn Campground a few miles outside BCNP. During the summer season there is a shuttle bus that goes from Ruby's to the national park and you can use it to see the entire park. Again, you won't need to be driving the 40' RV through the national park trying to find parking in the often full overlook parking lots.

If you decide to go east from Bryce to Capital Reef NP and then further east to Canyonlands NP and Arches NP, I have RV park suggestions for those areas also.
nedmtnman
QUOTE(jamarynn1 @ Apr 1 2013, 08:01 PM) *

You want to be darned careful that you're within the length and height restrictions, because if you get up there to the mouth of the tunnel and the attendant won't let you through, there's no place to turn around. I don't know what they do when that happens. I was talking to a lady in the park who said that the guys at the park entry told her that she was OK to go through, and she paid the fee (you must pay a fee because they have to stop traffic coming from the other direction, as you have to drive down the middle of the tunnel) and when she got to the mouth of the tunnel, the attendant refused her entry. She argued with him and showed him her permit and he reluctantly let her through. She said she was sweating bricks at the fear he'd refuse to let her go. We're 39' long and 13'1" high and there's NO WAY we'd try that. It's fun driving through in a truck, though.



When you enter the park the gate attendant has a set of lines drawn on the road that measures the length of your rig. That is how they determine if you are legal. If you are within the lines you are ok. If over the lines they tell you you can't go and put a sticker on your windshield.
edcornflake
I really like reading all the collaborative planning being done here. In a few years when my kids are old enough to appreciate it, I'm hoping to drive from NJ to Yellowstone with plenty of historic/scenic stops along the way (I mentioned this as a possibility in another thread) and will be looking for similar support from my RVParkReview friends!

Adam,
When you finish with this trip, i'd love to see a link to pictures! Congrats on your decision to take such a splendid vacation in the US.
rkw99
QUOTE(edcornflake @ Apr 2 2013, 11:12 AM) *

I really like reading all the collaborative planning being done here. In a few years when my kids are old enough to appreciate it, I'm hoping to drive from NJ to Yellowstone with plenty of historic/scenic stops along the way (I mentioned this as a possibility in another thread) and will be looking for similar support from my RVParkReview friends!

Adam,
When you finish with this trip, i'd love to see a link to pictures! Congrats on your decision to take such a splendid vacation in the US.


Ed, when you plan your trip make sure to post your route. because we too are waiting till our kids are old enough to appreciate Yellowstone (but not too old to be bored with it). And we are in NJ also! We stay pretty local for now.
edcornflake
QUOTE(rkw99 @ Apr 2 2013, 05:00 PM) *

Ed, when you plan your trip make sure to post your route. because we too are waiting till our kids are old enough to appreciate Yellowstone (but not too old to be bored with it). And we are in NJ also! We stay pretty local for now.


RKW, I absoluty will do that. I think we're going back to WDW in Florida next year (pretty straight shot down 95). I'm hoping that the year after that will be the time to take 2 + weeks off and see a whole big bunch of the country (as much as a non retired RVer can see in 2 weeks, anyway).
adamabz
Hi Again everybody,
Just over 3 weeks until we fly to Denver.
We have decided to stay in colorado springs for 2 nights, can any of you recommend a good RV park to stay at thats close to the attractions, i have looked at the garden of the goods but have seen bad reviews and also fountain creek!!
As i have stated above we do not have a car so will be relying on public transport, walking or hiring a car if we like the look of something that is a little to far to walk..
After Colorado springs we have a rough route but are not pre-booking any RV parks so we are not tied to getting places at a certain time, just in case we see something on route that we like the look of, all we know is we are heading towards sanat fa after the springs.......
Jerry S
Hi again Adam,

I'm glad to hear that your trip is still on. Unfortunately, I cannot give you a recommendation for any of the parks in Colorado Springs. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have stayed at the KOA 10 miles south in Fountain and the Pueblo South KOA at Colorado City another 60 miles to the south. These parks are too far away from any Colorado Springs attractions you may want to see considering your "carless" situation. You could try contacting some of the Colorado Springs parks (Garden of the Gods, Fountain Creek, etc.) to see if they have any type of shuttle to these places or know of convenient public transportation to any sights you may want to see. It is possible that they could advise you on how to get to places like the Pike's Peak Cog Railway, Garden of the Gods, etc. without a car.

Are you still planning on going all the way out to Las Vegas and then back to Denver?

Good Luck.
adamabz
QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Jun 26 2013, 05:03 AM) *

Hi again Adam,

I'm glad to hear that your trip is still on. Unfortunately, I cannot give you a recommendation for any of the parks in Colorado Springs. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have stayed at the KOA 10 miles south in Fountain and the Pueblo South KOA at Colorado City another 60 miles to the south. These parks are too far away from any Colorado Springs attractions you may want to see considering your "carless" situation. You could try contacting some of the Colorado Springs parks (Garden of the Gods, Fountain Creek, etc.) to see if they have any type of shuttle to these places or know of convenient public transportation to any sights you may want to see. It is possible that they could advise you on how to get to places like the Pike's Peak Cog Railway, Garden of the Gods, etc. without a car.

Are you still planning on going all the way out to Las Vegas and then back to Denver?

Good Luck.

hi Gerry
Have spoken to garden of the God's and they have advised that there is local transport but I have heard mixed reviews about this place. If the attraction are within a few miles we would walk. Even using a taxi would be an option
yes we are still heading to Las Vegas.
Adam.
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