Camping at Utah Nat'l Parks and Grand Canyon - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-15-2010, 12:38 AM   #15
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I was surprised at the need for reservations, is it just because you were selecting some of the most popular campgrounds?
This was true for a couple of our destinations -- Arches National Park and Grand Canyon North Rim Campground. For both of these we were forewarned that the campgrounds were small, popular, and filled up very early. And it was sure nice knowing we had a reservation when we pulled into those two places mid-day and saw the "Campground Full" sign already displayed. I also reserved the spot at Goblin Valley since there was a real possibility that we would arrive very late. And once I filled those spots on our itinerary, I decided to reserve other destinations so there wouldn't be any snafus with getting a site in locations where I was less sure about availability, such as Lake Powell. It turned out that Lake Powell wasn't terribly busy and walk-ins were easy to get. Although Zion and Bryce filled mid-day, there were private campground options nearby that weren't filled until late (if at all). We wanted to stay inside the National Park when possible, so that also drove our decision to go the reservation route for this trip.

Someday, when we are footloose and fancy free, I dream that there will be more travel with less itinerary



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Old 06-15-2010, 01:37 AM   #16
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Wonderful report. Only wish you had put campsite numbers on some of those sites. One never knows which site to reserve.

Nancy from MN
Maybe we wanted to keep those to ourselves . . . . <evil grin>

I wasn't sure if that was useful information, but apparently it is! So here goes, with a quick reminder that [b]these represent Lynne's opinion of what a nice campsite is (privacy, views, and location-location-location):
  • [b]Goblin Valley: We were at site 13. Sites 13, 14, 15 all backed up to the cool rock formations and were more private than other sites in the campground.
  • [b]Arches Devil's Garden: We were at site 1. I thought we might come back so I marked the following sites as the better sites: 1, 7, 11, 13, 18, 21, 22, 24, 33, 36, 46, 52, with 18, 21, 24 and 33 as the very best. I also noted that the following sites should be avoided: 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 23, 25, 38, 39, 40, 50, 51. These sites are a 'shoulder' along the roadway which is fine for tenting but bad for trailering.
  • [b]Canyonlands (in Moab): We were in site 83. Most sites were wide enough to park our truck next to our Scamp. This allowed us to fit in a smaller site. Ask for a site away from the road as recommended by the reviewers at; we heeded this advice and it worked well for us.
  • [b]Gouldings at Monument Valley: We were in a tent site directly across from RV site 45. Tent sites aren't numbered at this park. Tent sites were very small we had to park the truck next to the Scamp in order to fit. Some of the tent sites looked very hard to get a trailer into, but at least the park personnel were gracious about allowing us to use any site we could squeeze into.
  • [b]Lake Powell Wahweap Campground: We were in Loop 1, Site 12. I wasn't able to book a specific site, it was assigned and thank goodness it was pretty nice. Loop 1 Sites 1 - 12 have good water views. Some of Loop 2 and 3 sites could have good views (depending on the site) as these are higher up on the hill.
  • [b]North Rim Grand Canyon: We were in site 72. I had read that sites along the rim (site 14 - 19 I think) and sites around the campground edges are preferred. I didn't find that to be the case, however. The sites on the campground edge felt exposed, and the sites by the rim were filled with big rigs running their generators nonstop from 7-9am and 6-8pm (the only allowed hours). The generator noise could be heard quite a ways, unfortunately. My opinion was that sites 45-51, 52-61, and 62-72 were nicer. Due to the odd layout of this campground, half of the sites would cause your trailer door to face the road instead of your picnic table. Select a site carefully if this matters to you.
  • [b]Zion Watchman Campground. We were in A loop, site 6. Great for us as the weather wasn't hot, but this site wouldn't be so good during heat spells as it lacked shade. If you go in July/August, be sure to get a shady site -- ReserveAmerica site has thumbnails and descriptions to guide you. My recollection is that B Loop sites 9-17 and 45-56 were fairly shady but PLEASE check as I'm going by memory here.
  • [b]Bryce North Campground. We were in A loop, site 8 (I think, according to the map, no reservation for this one). I think we would have preferred B or C loop but these were getting pretty full by the time we arrived. Bryce has a 2nd campground, Sunset, available as well. North Campground has the advantage of being within walking distance of the visitors center (and shuttle) and very close to the rim walk for a stroll at sunrise or sunset.
Happy trailoring!



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Old 06-22-2010, 06:05 PM   #17
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Great stuff - Great place to visit. You got me scrambling to remember the name of the campsite we stayed at when in Moab a few years ago. Was on the south side outskirts of main drag into Moab. We left Burro there and spent three marvelous days wandering about Arches and Canyonlands. Found a place nearby to board Ben for a day because we thought dogs wouldn't be welcome on the trails. He made a lot of new friends.

Magical place!
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:25 PM   #18
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Thanks for the info. I'm hoping to do the loop tour (North Rim, Zion & Bryce) next June. I've just started to look into the details - but can you make reservations a year in advance? So far one site said 6 months. Also -and this is a stupid question - when it says no hook ups, does that mean that they don't even have water? I have a 13 footer - I probably could get by without electricity, but not so sure about water...

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Old 06-27-2010, 07:52 PM   #19
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nice report, we just did the same trip but being retired we were out 9 weeks, we didn't organize our trip near as well as you as far as reserving sites as we like to wander to get there and not try to meet a schedule, one of the things we found was that even though the signs read "camground full" or were told at the gate we needed reservations we would check and ask the folks at the registry office or shack and more times than not we were able to get sites, usually before 11:00 am. The downside is you don't get the best sites but we don't spend that much time in them anyhow as we're out sightseeing. We did stay at a lot of state parks and a private park every now and then for wifi. Thanks again for the excellent report, a good read
Love being Inneggsile
heading sloowly up the eastcoast to our next 2 month (Aug and Sept) camp hosting gig at Camden Hills State Park in Maine
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:43 AM   #20
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Myron -- beautiful picture, I couldn't get enough of those red rocks!

Jenny -- For national parks, you can only reserve six months in advance. See for reservation policies for federal recreation sites. For state parks, it seems to vary depending on the state and the park. See for state park reservation policies.

When national and state campgrounds say "no hookups", it means no hookups of any kind (including water) at the campsite itself. However the campground will have dispersed water spigots that you can use. When you register, ask where they suggest you fill your tanks as some campgrounds have a preferred way for you to fill up . . . . or a non-obvious, easy to access water fill station.

For the rare national or state campground that has no water available, that info appears to be pretty prominently displayed on the campground informational pages.

Enjoy your loop tour. So much to see, so little time!

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Old 07-14-2010, 09:56 AM   #21
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Another really nice park you might try in Southern Utah is Cedar Breaks National Monument. I think it's as beautiful as Bryce, although it's not as large. Also, the nearby town of Cedar City has the Shakespeare Festival in the summer, and the Cedar City canyon is quite a nice trip in itself.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:52 AM   #22
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Terrific Pics!


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