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Old 10-12-2019, 03:32 PM   #1
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Need help planning trip out west!

We’re finally planning a trip next summer to head out west (from Kentucky). There are three places we absolutely want to visit: The Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, and Yellowstone. Has anyone made a similar trip, and if so, where are the best RV parks to stay in these areas? Any advice, tips, info, pointers, etc are very much appreciated! GO!
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:46 PM   #2
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I just took it out of my phone, but close(ish) to Zion is a campground with two names, like Ed and Alice's or something like that.
Absolutely delightful.

The Koa on AZ64 45miles south of the grand canyon is about as close to grand canyon as you can get in a comfortable fashion without camping in the park is nice enough.

There is now a new Koa north of keyenta. It has new and clean individual bath and showers(like a home bathroom) easy drive through and hook Ups, a great view, and nothing much else. It is plopped on a scraped off patch if a huge desert plain. This is part of the reason to stay there. It is, really truly, in the middle of nowhere. A walk into the desert that dinosaurs and the wild west roamed, is. Right. There.

Don't miss monument valley if you find a way to swing through there.

Painted desert can be seen from the i40 at 75mph, just fine, but there is a nice road through it. No reason to stop, but the side road comes out at petrified forest. One stop and a short walk... Otherwise petrified forest is a 55mph drive through park.

Meteor crater? Unless you have a deep seated interest in such things, save the high admission fee and watch the PBS special.

In Winslow AZ, if you need a picture of 'standing on a corner, flat bed ford' the other thing to do is to tour the restored Harvey house hotel, La Posada. Excellent restaurant, excellent hotel restoration, running trains on major transnational railway that you can walk right up to.
Otherwise, some of the neighborhoods you'll pass through in that town will make you cry due to the humanity involved.

Canyon de chelle is one our favorite destinations ever. Look it up.

The north rim of the grand canyon is a long homely drive... Just to get a view of the south rim...that looks like the view from the convenient and modern south south rim. Punchline: don't go to the north rim. I believe the recommendations for the north rim are a 'misery loves company' conspiracy.

El Tovar, a Harvey house hotel, right exactly on the south rim has an upscale(ish) restaurant with a cosmopolitan menu. Great tables with perfect views of the canyon.
Food is good at the canyon, and the food at old faithful in yellowstone is memorably, like you won't believe how good, good.

I'm going to suggest making Mesa Verde a must do destination. Dramatic, more interesting than Zion, and they used to have a kind of secret little restaurant on the second floor of the visitor center that was world class.

Work moab into the plan even if you have to give up Zion to do it.
Five the the most beautiful national parks are there. Arches, canyon lands... Not to be missed. Do a comparative against your Zion goal. Zion is just a half day west of moab, so you can do both.

The' four corners monument' is the most complete waste of time ever.
It's concrete and trinkets and all the ugly you can muster in culture, location, and disingenuousness. Punchline: mlc. (misery loves company)

Dinosaur national park has a great bone pit you won't believe until you see it.
Its been closed 9 out of 10 times we've been through. We're always trying to go back, but construction, weather, open hours, we just can't make it back.


Just some heads up about the area, from a local.

(If you're interested in aviation history, pm me and I'll arrange a quick 15minute off the beaten path trip that you'll remember the rest of your life. It's 8 miles from the south gate of the grand canyon and two miles off the hiway.)

The picture is from Southern Utah. Tap the picture, then tap the pop up, and the picture goes full screen size.
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Old 10-12-2019, 04:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by LockChuck92 View Post
We’re finally planning a trip next summer to head out west (from Kentucky). There are three places we absolutely want to visit: The Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, and Yellowstone. Has anyone made a similar trip, and if so, where are the best RV parks to stay in these areas? Any advice, tips, info, pointers, etc are very much appreciated! GO!
Good advice above but I would add Kodachrome Basin SP as a must visit. If I am in the Zion area we try to stay at the Zion River resort about 13 west on Route 9 in Virgin. In Southern Utah and Colorado you can not go wrong just wondering and around an seeing the sights.
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Old 10-12-2019, 06:07 PM   #4
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Thank you SO much!! GREAT information!!
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:13 PM   #5
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We’re in Colorado now (Fruita) west of Grand Junction after just leaving Utah and seeing the “Mighty 5” National Parks as our trip destination from Georgia. Arches (Moab) was our favorite of the 5, followed by Capitol Reef. But they’re all beautifully stunning in their own way. If planning a stay at Kodachrome Basin, I would suggest early reservations as they were booked full when we were passing through. Many of the campgrounds will be closing at the end of October and some are closed now. Watchman campground inside Zion is a great place to stay but early reservations are needed there also. Lines can be long getting into some of the parks if arriving late in the morning. It was fairly crowded at Zion and Arches last week . The others not so much.

Enjoy your trip. Our first time here and we were amazed at all the beautiful landscapes, majestic peaks, and canyons.
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:31 PM   #6
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I just booked Zion Ponderosa, Ruby inn at Bryce, Colter Bay in Grand Tetons and Yellowstone Grizzly in west Yellowstone

Heading out the day after memorial day. Three weeks to do these four places. After that maybe Cody, Mt Rushmore or we turn west and do Idaho, washington Oregan. Havent decided yet

Jerry
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Old 10-13-2019, 12:53 AM   #7
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We stayed this year at Zion River Resort, ok camp with excellent access to shuttle into the park. Ruby's at Bryce, the new area up on the hill and the sites were the nicest we have ever stayed in outside of class A only private parks. At Grand Canyon we stayed in the park at Trailer Village, nice park and walking distance to the south rim visitor center, shops, and shuttle stops. At Yellowstone we prefer Fishing Bridge inside the park, but alas is closed this year and next for refurbishment. We will dry camp at Bay Bridge next year.
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:14 PM   #8
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We were through there a couple years ago. At Zion we stayed at the Zion Canyon camping and RV Park. As I recall it is also a comfort inn. It is right in Springdale. There is a shuttle stop right in front that will take you into the park, or around town.
We would not hesitate to return there.
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:43 PM   #9
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I just sent you a private message.

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Old 10-16-2019, 01:44 PM   #10
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We stayed this year at Zion River Resort, ok camp with excellent access to shuttle into the park. Ruby's at Bryce, the new area up on the hill and the sites were the nicest we have ever stayed in outside of class A only private parks. At Grand Canyon we stayed in the park at Trailer Village, nice park and walking distance to the south rim visitor center, shops, and shuttle stops. At Yellowstone we prefer Fishing Bridge inside the park, but alas is closed this year and next for refurbishment. We will dry camp at Bay Bridge next year.
MIke
Oops, we stayed at Zion Canyon Campground on the Virgin River.
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Old 10-19-2019, 11:35 AM   #11
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You may already know this, but sometimes the National Parks are so big, they don't have cell phone service and/or TV reception. However, I found the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone to be the 2 most amazing spots I have seen in the U.S. so far. Enjoy!
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