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Old 12-31-2020, 04:11 PM   #1
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Yellowstone and Grand Canyon Campground Reccomendations

Hello all, I am planning on taking a 3 to 4 week trip from Massachusetts to Yellowstone, then to the Grand Canyon this coming July. I know it is hot but this is the time I can take until retirement arrives. I have a 32 foot Windsport, wife, 2 teenagers (one of each) and a dog.

I am looking for recommendations for campgrounds with hookups, but not opposed to a boon Docking some of the time. Also how far in advance I need to book. I am not worried about finding places to stay along the way and hope to follow the 3:30 guidelines.

We may also stop in Colorado as we head south so recommendations their would also be helpful.

Any and all constructive thoughts are welcome.
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Old 12-31-2020, 04:40 PM   #2
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Knowing what I do about the 40, and the disappointment the painted desert and petrified forest and meteor crater are, I'd go through
Denver aspen moab, down through Page to Cameron to the little grand canyon and then to the south rim.

The Koa on az64 is about 30 miles from the south gate of the grand canyon and is usable. Clean, younger planted trees, NO full time folks.
Do not stay at the campground in Valle. I've never seen their septic tank working correctly.
Other than the Valle campground being a toilet, campgrounds around the canyon within a fifty mile circle are just campgrounds. A spot with a hookup, not much else.
Boondocking on almost any forest service road outside of the canyon.
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Old 12-31-2020, 04:46 PM   #3
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For Yellowstone..GIT those Reservations in NOW!
NOTE! You are looking at roughly 2400 miles one way...
You will want to stay at least 5 days in Yellowstone and 3/4 days in the Grand Canyon areas..Might want to see if You can extend Your vacation by another week..
Be sure to have a "toad" to drive thru the parks..an RV is just too durn large, considering traffic and parking at the viewpoints..
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Old 12-31-2020, 05:12 PM   #4
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Private vehicles aren't allowed at the canyon lookouts that time of year.
You'll be on a bus, bike, or foot.

I think it's the original Family Vacation with Chevy Chase:
Sometimes the canyon is just a nod and you're gone.

The little grand canyon is a hellofa a hole that can be recognized as a hole.
The grand canyon is kinda like looking across a deep valley.
The north rim is a long deadly-boring drive to the other side of the canyon. It offers nothing except a view of the south rim(where you'll wish you were)
You'll be at 6,200ft(ish) altitude. You might not be the hiker/biker you think you are.

Four days there for an average teenager and they'd be considering arson....

For something impressive, check out
Canyon de chelly

https://www.nps.gov/cach/index.htm
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Old 12-31-2020, 05:56 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. We did Sturgis 2 years ago so I am not worried about the 2400 miles. I know it is almost a thousand from Yellowstone to GC and 2600 back home. We can always extend if we need/want to. Have not decided if we are bringing a toad or not, renting a car is always an option.
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Old 12-31-2020, 06:27 PM   #6
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I disagree about the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Everyone should see the magnificent view from the south rim once, but to camp, have a drink overlooking the canyon (admittedly not as steep as the south), hike and enjoy the brisk cool air (the north rim is a thousand feet higher), the north rim can't be beat.

It is a long boring drive up from the south. But if you are coming from Zion it is closer.

David
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Old 12-31-2020, 10:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
I disagree about the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Everyone should see the magnificent view from the south rim once, but to camp, have a drink overlooking the canyon (admittedly not as steep as the south), hike and enjoy the brisk cool air (the north rim is a thousand feet higher), the north rim can't be beat.

It is a long boring drive up from the south. But if you are coming from Zion it is closer.

David

I agree with you, which just shows that we all have different tastes. The South Rim is no doubt great, but I prefer the quiet and views of the North Rim quite a bit. Iíve driven from Zion a few times, but I enjoyed the drive from the east also. It may be boring for some, but to me it has great views. Maybe I just enjoy driving too much.

On different trips we have stayed at El Tovar on South Rim and also North Rim Lodge, in addition to camping, and again prefer the connection to nature of the North Rim. South Rim can be crowded.

Iíve lost track of how many times Iíve been there over the years, and canít say I have ever been disappointed. My favorite and most memorable trip was hiking Rim-To-Rim with my son in one day. We stayed at lodges on south and north rims, and took shuttle back to South Rim, which takes about 2 hours if I recall correctly. If I was a little younger, Iíd love to hike it again because itís the best view of the canyon by far. Talking about feeling small.

Anyway, I see duckís point of view, but for me, if I can only see one, I prefer the North Rim. Along with Zion and Yellowstone, I doubt I could get tired of visiting there.
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:04 PM   #8
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It's always hard to recommend places to go.
I like canyon lands, I found arches a bore after the first two or three arches.
I think Lake Powell is an awful hole of water(oh... Another cliff... And around the bend... Another cliff) but we love lake mead. We drive through monument valley any time we can.
Zion is nice, Bryce is great, Yellowstone meh, didn't care. I see bears and elk like a city guys see rats, just a thing. We love sequoia and kings canyon, Yosemite is now just a drive through after our first trip. In the east side out the front but we do drive through if we're headed that way. It's not unlike any other forested place except for seeing half dome.

El Tovar is the place we go for birthdays and anniversaries and such. Maybe 8 or so times a year.
We try to be there for the first deep snow of the year for lunch and dessert. Food is on the better side with a slight sophistication to the menu and desserts.

A parking secret at the canyon.
Drive past the Tovar entrance, count three drives on the right, turn right at the third one. It's at the little cabins lining the edge of the canyon. I don't think we've been there anytime of year and didn't find a spot.
RV won't fit.


Enjoy your trip.
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Old 01-13-2021, 07:50 PM   #9
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We went 2 years ago. Stayed in Williams and took the train to the Canyon. It was an hour ride with breakfast served. We stayed overnight to see sunset/sunrise at the Canyon. Won't ever forget the trip.
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Old 01-13-2021, 07:57 PM   #10
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Yes!!! Went last year, The grand Canyon Railroad is a must!
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Old 01-13-2021, 08:01 PM   #11
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In Yellowstone, se stayed 6 nights in Fishing Bridge RV Campground inside the park few years back, However, they are CLOSED for 2021 according to this website. Here is their link. They posted alternative CG.

https://www.yellowstonenationalparkl...ridge-rv-park/


For Grand Canyon, we always stay in Williams, AZ (50 miles outside Grand Canyon). Nearby is Sedona, AZ. Lot of attractions nearby.

RV Park Location | Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel

Colorado Springs, Co, we stayed 5 nights at this campground. Nice place.

https://mountaindalecampground.com/
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Old 01-13-2021, 08:25 PM   #12
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We stayed at Paradise Valley campground a couple years back. 30 miles from the north entrance to Yellowstone. It was a nice campground along the river. A good place to use as base camp for the Yellowstone area.
North Rim of Grand Canyon was really nice. We boondocked for 2 nights within 5 miles of the North Rim Lodge. Would do that again
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:00 PM   #13
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Thank you all. I booked the KOA Yellowstone West Gate just because I wanted to have someplace reserved. I am looking for other alternatives.

I would rather not tie myself to certain dates beyond the Yellowstone stay. Is there as much urgency to book for the Grand Canyon as Yellowstone, or are there enough campgrounds within an hours drive to be able to wing it?

Still have not decided if we are going to go through Colorado or Utah on the trip south so not sure where we plan on staying in between or how long.

I just know I have the time, my oldest will be heading to college in a year and this may be our last great vacation shot as a family of 4. Our trip to Sturgis was by far our best family vacation and we have taken many to all the family "must sees" on the East Coast.
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:34 PM   #14
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We usually stay between Cody and the East gate and drive the Toad. Nice quiet area and large camp sites at the Yellow Stone Resort, don't know about the new owners


They do fill up in the busy season but not early or late

We stayed there two years ago for a week and drove several hundred miles exploring all the area. Then camped out at the Tetons for a few days before heading SW

Sounds like a nice trip for you
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
Knowing what I do about the 40, and the disappointment the painted desert and petrified forest and meteor crater are, I'd go through
Denver aspen moab, down through Page to Cameron to the little grand canyon and then to the south rim.

The Koa on az64 is about 30 miles from the south gate of the grand canyon and is usable. Clean, younger planted trees, NO full time folks.
Do not stay at the campground in Valle. I've never seen their septic tank working correctly.
Other than the Valle campground being a toilet, campgrounds around the canyon within a fifty mile circle are just campgrounds. A spot with a hookup, not much else.
Boondocking on almost any forest service road outside of the canyon.
It sure don't take long to view the attractions you noted
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:38 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Mciampa99 View Post
Is there as much urgency to book for the Grand Canyon as Yellowstone, or are there enough campgrounds within an hours drive to be able to wing it?

The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel and RV Park I posted is not really busy. Best to book ahead though. This is also the place where you can take that Train Ride to the Grand Canyon.
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:39 PM   #17
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Grand Canyon and Yellowstone

I stayed at the full service campground inside the Grand Canyon at the south rom.
There are a couple nice KOA in west Yellowstone just outside the gate
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:51 PM   #18
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I was just checking out the Grand Canyon Railroad. That looks like fun. Being close to Route 66 would also hit my personal Bucket List.
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Old 01-13-2021, 10:05 PM   #19
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Williams,was the last hold out on the new I-40.
For,a taste of REAL rt 66 go to parks AZ.
Its between flagstaff and Williams.
The old
1,000sqft Post office/general store/meeting room/grocery store/gas station is still operating there. Its the only thing on that stretch of 66.
Its a lot like the one shown in the old movie
Bad day at black rock.
It is on an obscure stretch of the old 66 that loops from the 40 to the 40 on a five mile loop.

Another is the store at hackberry .

Exit 123 on the 40 and the old 66 goes to Kingman. About 60 miles of real 66.
Paved, nicely maintained.

If you're interested in a slightly weird stop right on the 40,
Type
Two Guns Arizona
Into
Youtube search.
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Old 01-13-2021, 10:09 PM   #20
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We stay at the Railside RV Ranch in Williams for the Grand Canyon and Grizzly RV Park in West Yellowstone, MT for Yellowstone National Park. Grizzly is only about a mile from the West Gate of the Park. Make reservations now, especially for Yellowstone
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