Grand Canyon - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-06-2019, 01:04 PM   #15
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We’re planning a trip to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone too in May and are looking at routes and camping options. Lots of great information here.

We intend to camp with no hookups but need to use a small generator for a short time each day to recharge the battery. I haven’t found info on restrictions for using gas generators. Has anyone had an issue?
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Old 03-06-2019, 01:19 PM   #16
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Williams is a quaint kind of town. We stayed there (hotel) and took the GC Railway up to the South Rim.

If you're staying on the South side of the Canyon, there are a couple of other sites worth visiting. Bill Williams Mountain is about 4 miles South of Williams, and is about 9200' high - high enough that a sea-coaster like me could really feel the lack of oxygen. The "road" up is rough and twisty - good for a 4WD/AWD vehicle with good ground clearance. No good for a trailer. And watch out for hikers, there are hiking trails that intersect the "road". There's some sort of electronic facility - a relay station, maybe ? - up on the peak. When we were there it seems to have been breeding season for ladybugs, because every bush was absolutely covered with them.

Another place recommended by a local was Sycamore Canyon, which we were told is second in size only to the GC itself. It's an easy drive, mostly graded and forest roads. We were there during the rut for elk, and could hear them bugling Unfortunately that's also elk hunting season, so Blaze Orange is in order.

No matter where and when you go out there, give yourself an extra day or two at the start, to acclimate to the reduced partial pressure of oxygen. (Unless you live in Denver, or Lima.)
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Old 03-06-2019, 01:59 PM   #17
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There is also a campground where the spontaneous way of life is supported.

https://www.recreation.gov/camping/poi/258825
I stayed at Desert View (the linked campground) in mid May, 2011. Snow & below freezing. The place where I learned how the tank switchover indicator works on a dual tank system in my brand new Escape 17 - I ran out both tanks, expecting more of a red indication on the readout. A 30 mile drive on snow covered roads to get 2 tanks of propane @ $4.75 per gallon.

I really felt for the couple sleeping under a tarp stretched between two motorcycles next door, but once I had heat (and a working refrigerator) it was a beautiful location a short walk to the canyon edge.
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Old 03-06-2019, 03:04 PM   #18
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Just remember, hiking down is optional. Hiking back up isn't.
But it wasn't as nasty as I had feared. The two main trails on the south side are wide. The hard part climbing back out was all the "steps" that are part of the trail. I have short legs and some seemed pretty high. We backpacked with hiking poles. The poles are quite nice for using kinda like crutches, because everybody, except those who live and work in the canyon, gets sore from hiking down and down and down...There is a distinct hobble amongst the people at Phantom Ranch. We also pushed hard to get down as my hiking friends are not morning people and we got a late start and had made reservations for dinner at Phantom Ranch. It was the first week of March so was still cool. In fact, it snowed while we were there.

I checked into a motel afterwards, requesting a room on the first floor. The desk clerk not only did that, but I got a handicap accessible room. The soreness went away after a few days. Mind you, I'd trained by hiking trails in our mountains for this, but all that downhill is hard on the legs.


I'd like to go back and look at stuff on the top. Both previous trips have been hiking in the canyon with no time to look at the attractions at the top.
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:28 PM   #19
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Grand Canyon campgrounds

Jacobs Lake on the north side and 10 X on the south side. Both National Forest campgrounds. Note: There is no lake at Jacobs Lake Campground.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:27 PM   #20
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[QUOTE=slowpat;735091) I'd like to go back and look at stuff on the top. Both previous trips have been hiking in the canyon with no time to look at the attractions at the top.[/QUOTE]

The visitor center at the top is a fascinating place and should not be missed. To fully grasp how the many canyon layers formed, the upheaval that disturbed them, the various seas at various temperatures that caused the differences in the layers, how the geological picture was developed including the missing layers and the lowest solid rock that the river is now cutting through. All very interesting. Then as you head south toward Flagstaff and somewhat lower elevations, picture the ground below in the same layered configuration as the canyon. Without the canyon, we'd never know.

The Valley of the Gods is all part of the same formation, it seems. But instead of looking down into a canyon, your looking up at tall layered formations from a flat desert floor. These "harder" formations gradually emerge as the cliff erodes away over millions of years, leaving giants standing miles away from where the cliff is now.

Then, if you want to stretch your imagination a bit further, visit the Bristlecone Pine forest where trees 4,000 years and older, are growing in a dolomite soil, complete with fossils, at 10,000 ft elevation. Trees that began life about the time the pyramids were being built, growing in an ancient sea bottom, formed millions of years before the Sierra Nevada rose to the elevation it is today. By aligning and counting tree rings from the living trees, dead but standing trees, and dead trees on the ground, they can reach back nearly 12,000 years to learn about the conditions there over time. That record even provided a correction factor for the carbon dating system by comparing carbon dating with actual counted tree rings.

Finally, tours of Glen Canyon and Hoover Dams are a real treat for those who appreciate giant civil engineering feats. Especially Hoover. It has now become kind of a circus, but when you look past that aspect, it is mind blowing.

The Southwest is a fascinating area full of geological wonders related to plate tectonics. The record of its development is right there to reach down and pick up. When you visit, time seems to be standing still, but it's only on our scale of measurement. A seemingly calm, dry and quiet place formed by violent water flow, subduction and volcanoes.
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:45 PM   #21
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While the parks may have fire rings or charcoal grills fire restrictions may make them moot. When we were out there last spring if it didn't have an "off" switch it could not be lit outside. Gas grill fine, charcoal not fine. Private park or national park or national forest same rules.

We stayed at the Flagstaff KOA on the north side of the city a little spendy but a great location and a nice well shaded park, decent showers. Had a fenced in off leash dog area too if that is of interest. A food wagon that sold hot breakfasts was also available if one wanted to grub and get going with less hassle and clean up.

Sunset Crater Volcano national monument off of 89 and the Wupataki National Monument made a very nice day trip and were well worth it. I think there was camping both dispersed and in the park near the visitor center park office where we bought a day pass. I didn't camp there or really inquire on what was available so you would have to do your own checking to confirm availability, costs, or amenities. I know there were some sites going into the Crater national monument that were just cleared spots off the road typical of national forest camping.

Short drive up 89 to 64 west to get to the south rim from there if one didn't want to stay at the KOA and didn't managed to get reservations at the canyon proper.

I liked the north rim better but the south seemed to have a great deal more overlooks and pull overs by far. The elevation of the north rim made for cooler summer temperatures and it had forests when I was there many years ago. Went horseback riding through them to a couple of overlooks. South rim is pretty arid with a lot of people and many places worth stopping at. One can spend a day just working ones way along the drive through the park.

Yes push come to shove I can always Walmart camp or whatever but if I'm going to drive 2000 miles each way to get to a destination I just might want to make a reservation in order to insure being in the location I want to be at. If I end up having to wing it I'll survive but for that much gas money and effort I like to tilt things in my favor.

I often do not make reservations for the travel days until later in the day of. If we are feeling like driving longer or tired early that determines when we start going online and locating a campground. Get some real winners and loser that way but none have been so bad I didn't survive it. Worst case I sleep in a truck stop and get a hot breakfast or coffee on my way back to the road in the morning.

Traveling with brother in law I'll do a rest area for the night, traveling with wife I tend to avoid them. He is ex airborne ranger, good solid backup to any trouble. Wife has some street smarts but doesn't provide his level of "second thoughts" to people up to no good. To petite and not at all intimidating, unless you forget to put the dirty clothes in the hamper.... where they DO belong after all.

BTW - be advised the moose that seem like tall cows are not. They can have a temper and are fast.
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Old 03-06-2019, 09:06 PM   #22
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If you are visiting the South Rim, another option that is halfway between Desert View and the South Rim Village is the Grandview Lookout. Located 1/4 off the pavement, it's just barely on USFS ground so if free to camp at-large. Dirt road, few people, but high elevation so it will be colder in May than the village. Plus, a tower to climb and get an awesome view of the canyon that most won't get!

Here's a nice description of it: https://www.annestravels.net/grandview-lookout-tower/
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:22 PM   #23
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BTW - be advised the moose that seem like tall cows are not. They can have a temper and are fast.
That is funny. Tall cows. While we were there, one was hanging around just outside the trailer and very close to the water faucet. I was definitely intimidated and expecting him to spring into action at any second as I passed by.
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:28 PM   #24
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If you are visiting the South Rim, another option that is halfway between Desert View and the South Rim Village is the Grandview Lookout. Located 1/4 off the pavement, it's just barely on USFS ground so if free to camp at-large. Dirt road, few people, but high elevation so it will be colder in May than the village. Plus, a tower to climb and get an awesome view of the canyon that most won't get!

Here's a nice description of it: https://www.annestravels.net/grandview-lookout-tower/

Molly,

Thanks for the link and description! Nice find!
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Old 03-07-2019, 08:13 AM   #25
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...............We intend to camp with no hookups but need to use a small generator for a short time each day to recharge the battery. I haven’t found info on restrictions for using gas generators. Has anyone had an issue?
We haven't had any problems topping off our batteries within the permissible generator use hours at any of the public campgrounds out west. Just watch out for the 'no generator' loops when selecting a site. We'll be about a month behind you in getting to Yellowstone; hope you have fun.
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Old 03-13-2019, 10:39 PM   #26
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Boondocking at Grand Canyon

If you are going in at the south rim main entrance, About 3 miles south on Hi Way 64 there is National forest outside of the park. It is first come first serve. Turn of on the Forest service road that are marked with 3 foot tall flat brown fiberglass markers with forest service road numbers on them. Any area in the national forest that has a driveway or road on it will have pull outs with fire rings where you can camp and leave your rig/trailer/tent there. Make sure that you lock it up and don't leave things outside to tempt someone. Most National parks have forest service land that borders the parks and you can camp with some minor restrictions, like so many miles from the park entrance, so many feet of on the forest service roads. These roads are usually dirt but are well maintained as the forest service will use them if the have to fight a fire in the area. Go the the national forest service website to see what the restriction are. It is free to camp on forest service land unless it is posted no camping or if there is a fee it will be posted.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/kaibab/maps-pubs
Go to the bottom of that page and click on the map to see the area and click on satellite to see the area.

These are 2 of the sites The first one I have not been in to but the second one we have stayed at several times.

TEN X CAMPGROUND

Fire Road 688 it is on the east side of 64
Fire Road 686 it is on the west side of 64


You can call the ranger station in whatever area you want to go and ask for locations of areas to camp in the forest and they will tell you if there is a fee and if campfires are permitted. You should get a permit to use a stove if require and that is free and is good for one year.

Happy boondocking.
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