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Old 03-08-2023, 06:39 PM   #1
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Looking for advice on taming The Wild, Wild West!

We're charted and set to leave around 4/23 for our western tour. I've pretty much routed ourselves (in pencil) and know most of the places we want to see. For those that have been there/done that and learned as you traveled, please feel free to share your adventures and places you would not want to miss. Our route starts at the beach through TN, AR, OK, southern KS, NM, AZ, UT, southern ID, WY, CO and up into SD. We may move on to MI...depends on Bugsie. We're looking more for the scenic tour in NP's more than the hiking and biking version. My knees can't take much walking and our lab Bugsie has very limited abilities. she's 14 with health issues and does best at rest. If you have any files you can send of your routes/journey or lengthy comments/dialog...I welcome them!! Feel free to email anything you wish to share to TheGritzCarlton@gmail.com. I can print these off and add/update our schedules as we go. I've seen so many posts on this forum before and can't seem to find them. Anyone that knows how to post a link to a previous post can add it to this one. Thanks so much in advance for your help and experience...maybe we'll cross paths out there!!


P.S. We are "sister traveling" with a very close friend of the family that is 82 and drives alone in a Winnebago Travado (The Granny Shanty) so her abilities play a role in what we will be able to do as well. She's a tough old bird but she is 82!!



Don, April & Bugsie

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Old 03-08-2023, 06:51 PM   #2
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Moab and those five parks are best driven through as are Zion and Bryce.
Painted desert and petrified forests are drive through as best.
Four corners is the worst site in America. It's a full pass no matter what anyone says.
North Rim of the Grand Canyon is a long boring drive to get to a boring overlook.
South rim is drive and bus and nicely developed.
On the 40 about 30 miles east of flagstaff is an odd off the norm place called two-guns. See on YouTube if you'd like to stop.
Wolf creek pass in Colorado just so you can say you did, Silverton train, newspaper rock.
That high pass in Utah(I forgot the name, it's just a road we travel)
Phoenix sucks, Heber is like Vermont, Sedona is meh so just look as you drive through. The town itself is useless.
Wapatki national park is mostly driven and the ruins are within 100yards of parking.
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Old 03-08-2023, 06:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
Moab and those five parks are best driven through as are Zion and Bryce.
Painted desert and petrified forests are drive through as best.
Four corners is the worst site in America. It's a full pass no matter what anyone says.
North Rim of the Grand Canyon is a long boring drive to get to a boring overlook.
South rim is drive and bus and nicely developed.
On the 40 about 30 miles east of flagstaff is an odd off the norm place called two-guns. See on YouTube if you'd like to stop.
Wolf creek pass in Colorado just so you can say you did, Silverton train, newspaper rock.
That high pass in Utah(I forgot the name, it's just a road we travel)
Phoenix sucks, Heber is like Vermont, Sedona is meh so just look as you drive through. The town itself is useless.
Wapatki national park is mostly driven and the ruins are within 100yards of parking.

April roared when reading this..she said..."that's exactly what we want and exactly how we want to hear it". Thanks for the input!!
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Old 03-08-2023, 07:16 PM   #4
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Ducksface:

Your comments prove the adage: “different strokes for different folks”.

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon and Sedona are two of my favorites.

David
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Old 03-08-2023, 07:36 PM   #5
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Zion and Bryce are 2 of my favorite places to visit from Las Vegas. If you pick either of the NP to camp, you can drive to the other in about an hour or so (each way). You can just do a day trip going to the other NP. There is a full hook up CG right by the gate of Zion NP. It is called Zion Campground. There are few spots that are back-in, and have access to the river. https://zioncamp.com/zion-canyon-campground/

If you decide to go to Bryce, we camp outside the gate. Full Hook-Up, called Ruby's Inn RVCampground https://www.brycecanyoncampgrounds.com/

Of course there are CG inside the parks. But mostly No Hook Up.

Have fun with your trip.
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Old 03-08-2023, 07:42 PM   #6
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Ducksface:

Your comments prove the adage: “different strokes for different folks”.

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon and Sedona are two of my favorites.

David
Why?
I told you why not on the north rim and why to drive through and nod at Sedona.
Is the town of Sedona an allure of some sort I should count?

Is the long drive to the North Rim a pleasant and productive one if you have limited time?
Is it valued so much over the south rim that the five hours to get there and away is a value of time?



Different strokes can mean using a chipper for a 400yard drive....
But tell me WHY you use a putter as a driver and I'll give it a try.
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Old 03-08-2023, 09:09 PM   #7
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Bent's Old Fort in Colorado is worth anyone's time. Even the historical stops on the Sante Fe Trail in Kansas, CO, NM are wonderful if you have 1/2 a mind to imagine what was there not just what you actually see.

In Utah/AZ Monument Valley is worth the effort. Spend the night in the park if you can.The valley straddles the borders.
WY has some excellent old forts, Oregon Trail stops and Cody. Our next trip is in AZ and NM. National Parks and Spanish Missions is our goal. Whatever you end up doing, give us a report.
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Old 03-08-2023, 09:34 PM   #8
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I forgot monument valley and Mexican hat.
We were one of the first 5 folks to stay at that koa.

Also look up;
Canyon de Chelle.
It's an all time favorite.
It's an easy diversion between Durango and the i40(there sure as hell isn't anything else between those two)
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Old 03-08-2023, 10:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by The Gritz Carlton View Post
We're charted and set to leave around 4/23 for our western tour. I've pretty much routed ourselves (in pencil) and know most of the places we want to see. For those that have been there/done that and learned as you traveled, please feel free to share your adventures and places you would not want to miss. Our route starts at the beach through TN, AR, OK, southern KS, NM, AZ, UT, southern ID, WY, CO and up into SD. We may move on to MI...depends on Bugsie. We're looking more for the scenic tour in NP's more than the hiking and biking version. My knees can't take much walking and our lab Bugsie has very limited abilities. she's 14 with health issues and does best at rest. If you have any files you can send of your routes/journey or lengthy comments/dialog...I welcome them!! Feel free to email anything you wish to share to TheGritzCarlton@gmail.com. I can print these off and add/update our schedules as we go. I've seen so many posts on this forum before and can't seem to find them. Anyone that knows how to post a link to a previous post can add it to this one. Thanks so much in advance for your help and experience...maybe we'll cross paths out there!!


P.S. We are "sister traveling" with a very close friend of the family that is 82 and drives alone in a Winnebago Travado (The Granny Shanty) so her abilities play a role in what we will be able to do as well. She's a tough old bird but she is 82!!



Don, April & Bugsie
In our many trips west, the most surprising place was Cody, WY. The museum is outstanding as is the " Queen's Bar" in the Irma Hotel. Nice to have the antelope and mule deer wandering through the RV park and "mowing the grass" around the RVs. We spent 6 day there in 2016 and never ran out of things to see and do.
If you are on a scenic trip, OMG hill on US-14A east of Lowell unbelievable. I would not try it in a typical RV, but is was doable in the UltraVan. Also Cody is on the road (US-14) to the east entrance to Yellowstone.
I am a rail fan, so all of the memorabilia surrounding the Denver and Rio Grand- Western NG including the two steam engine tours was on any western trip. I think we have ridden the Cumbers-Toltec Scenic RR at least 12 times. We usually stay in Chama, MN and have the RV park Sky Mountain Resort shuttle us to the RR depot
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Old 03-08-2023, 10:43 PM   #10
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Try Las Vegas New Mexico (KOA location). About 30 miles off of Interstate 40 up in the mountains. Beautiful location in the pine trees. The staff are great plus they serve breakfast(for a fee) that is great. It is off of the beaten path of Interstate 40. Another great place is at Bear Lake in Northern Utah in Garden City. There is a KOA and has so much to do(fishing/boating/off roading). It is a popular location in an extremely large facility. There is a State Park at the lake with the KOA next to it.

Paul
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Old 03-08-2023, 10:47 PM   #11
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I don't know why, but I enjoyed the area around Lamar, Colorado. Nice golf course, quiet campground, both Bent's Forts nearby. It was peaceful and a lot different than the terrain I'm used to. If you cut across the Texas Panhandle, Palo Duro Canyon SP has the Texas Outdoor Musical. The Dignity Statue on I-90 in SD is a nice stop. It is located in a rest area and has a small Lewis and Clark museum. The Crazy Horse Monument is pretty neat. It's a window into how Mt Rushmore was done as well as how the government messed it up.
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Old 03-08-2023, 10:56 PM   #12
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Guys...I am copying and pasting every bit of this to a word doc to review and adjust trip accordingly for the places that sound like us. I'm an old cowboy, six-shooter fan...love guns!! Wyoming is a big spot for me but Tombstone is where I can't wait to get to!! I have a saddle scabbard my wife had custom made for me that fits my 45 Colt Mare's Leg by Henry Arms. It was made in the leather shop in Tombstone and has the original Marshal of Tombstone Territory badge (at her request) tooled on the side. Keep the good stuff coming and thanks so much!!
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Old 03-08-2023, 11:05 PM   #13
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If you are in the Tombstone area try Kartchner Caverns(exit next to the Tombstone exit). It is a State Park RV location that runs about $40.00 per night. They have pull thru and back in with 30/50 amp service and a central dump station. It is very clean and next to the Kartchner Caverns where you can tour the caverns. It is a short walk from the campsites to the caverns. The camp grounds also have restrooms and showers. All sites are level. If you are towing a car, stay there and drive into Tombstone which is a short trip by car. In Tombstone you can go into the Silver Mine Tour. Just a bit further south of Tombstone is Bisbee. They also have the Queen Mine's tour that you ride into the mine on a small electric train. I have stayed in both Tombstone and Kartchner Caverns SP. The State Park is much easier to get into and out of with the motor home. The RV Campground we stayed at in Tombstone was just off of the main street which was easy walking distance to the town called The Wells Fargo RV Campground.

Paul
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Old 03-08-2023, 11:40 PM   #14
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Tombstone as few see it.
There wasn't 30 people there that day.
Last July(I think)
Prices were ok.
Food was ok.
I bought the hat, I bought the steak.
Quite a few antique guns(hundreds of them) available in the shops. Oddity type.
Absolutely, positively, do not fail...to stop at THE THING a few exits from tombstone exit. It's changed and they've done a fine(sadly)job at updating it.

We stayed at a rv park right in the middle of town when in tombstone.

I lived in Gleeson(closest ghost town to Tombstone) for a summer as a kid.

Our fun thing on trips:
Take every business route exit available.
Tiny tiny dead and dying towns, tamales out of the back of a sad sad pick-up truck, grocery stores that haven't seen a stranger in 15 years, an estate sale in Cairo Illinois, a gas pump behind the 400sqft grocery store, chasing cows with a farmer, so many things.
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Old 03-08-2023, 11:43 PM   #15
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I agree with Paul. Karcher caverns and the Queen mine were great. Both close to tombstone. Tombstone was lots of fun also. Tucson has the Pima air museum and airplane graveyard. You have to get a security check in advance for the graveyard. Imo not worth doing. Also in Tucson the Titan missile silo tour was awesome. We did the top to bottom tour, reserved 8 months before the trip. Only 8 people and we started 30 minutes before the facility opened. The normal tours are worth doing also .

Meteor creator east of flagstaff was an Interesting site and Winslow az is good for lunch especially if you're an Eagles fan. Everyone stands on the corner for a pic. Both right off the 40

I'll just agree with the others that zion and bryce is a must see and driving through is all you need to do. Lots of must see look out points. We stayed at zion ponderosa cg just outside the north zion entrance. Very nice place. We toured the red rocks caves in the small city north, not in zion, and they were incredible. But they do require a little walking in sand to get to one of the caves

We like Sedona also, take the jeep on some of the trails, and we also did the pink jeep tour. The town is small but Maria likes the shops and restaurants.

Cody was awesome, lots to see. We took a 4 hour river rafting tour. Very fun

Rushmore is a must. The koa was one of the nicest they have. If you stay there ask for the farthest section away from their office. Nice big sites with lots of room. Do the night ceremony at rushmore. Get there early!!! Very patriotic ceremony

For yellowstone try to get into yellowstone holiday cg. It's on the banks of Hebgen lake. Just beautiful


Jerry
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Old 03-08-2023, 11:53 PM   #16
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Old 03-08-2023, 11:58 PM   #17
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Antelope Canyon might still be closed. Call first.
The Navajo Nation is still covid freaked out.
(And it requires some walking and a lousy military type vehicle ride)
But if you can, do it.
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Old 03-09-2023, 02:33 AM   #18
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Great comments so far. Gritz is in for an epic adventure. We've been to the Rushmore area many times, and I would add that the KOA there is great IF you have kids. We have been there with and without kids. Without them, you will be happier at a different, quieter RV park. Don't miss the Iron Mountain road with 3 views of Mt Rushmore through tunnels. On that same road you'll see bison in Custer SP. Our favorite short drive is nearby, through Spearfish Canyon.

So much to see out West, never enough time!
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Old 03-09-2023, 02:48 AM   #19
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Just remember to check your distance between overnight stops. For example, Texas will take at least 2 - 3 days to cross from El Paso, TX to Marshall, TX. The adds that say everything is bigger in Texas is TRUTH. the other issue with Texas is that there are few campgrounds between El Paso and San Antonio along I 10. Other long-distance states are the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas. Add Colorado and Wyoming to that list as well not only for the distance but also for the Long Uphill climbs getting over the continual divide in both directions and the twisty roads leading up to the passes in Colorado.
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Old 03-09-2023, 03:18 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
Moab and those five parks are best driven through as are Zion and Bryce.
Painted desert and petrified forests are drive through as best.
Four corners is the worst site in America. It's a full pass no matter what anyone says.
North Rim of the Grand Canyon is a long boring drive to get to a boring overlook.
South rim is drive and bus and nicely developed.
On the 40 about 30 miles east of flagstaff is an odd off the norm place called two-guns. See on YouTube if you'd like to stop.
Wolf creek pass in Colorado just so you can say you did, Silverton train, newspaper rock.
That high pass in Utah(I forgot the name, it's just a road we travel)
Phoenix sucks, Heber is like Vermont, Sedona is meh so just look as you drive through. The town itself is useless.
Wapatki national park is mostly driven and the ruins are within 100yards of parking.
X2 on thisÖ having lived in Phx for 10 years never found the appeal of Sedona or Prescott or some of those places. Nice to drive through but thatís about it. If all you are going to do at the Grand Canyon is look over the edge like Clark Griswold itís a lot driving for about 20 mins of looking. If you can get down to the floor of the Canyon or raft the Colorado thatís the best way to see it. After driving through west Texas, NM,AZ and Utah by the time you get to southern ID you will be over the desert and not much to see down there. Best part of Idaho is the northern part.
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