Southern Utah tour - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-06-2018, 01:29 PM   #1
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Southern Utah tour

So whats all the fuss about the Southern Utah tour?
I can can just go to those places by myself.....
Of course you can. If you can find Utah on a map you are golden.

But what you may miss is the spontaneity of sitting around in the evening and discovering what other folks did that day.
One thing leads to another. Some were crazy keen and hiked every trail within driving distance, before lunch.
Others discovered little known waterfalls, or lava tubes, some got up early for sunrise, or daybreak helicopter flights.
Some sat out stargazing. Others were spotted simply reclining under trees watching the birds.

Our brave leader, Don Taylor and his lovely navigator Betsy lead us on some great side trips that many folks would
never have dared to attempt - and we all survived!

A wonderful mix of folks from all over come together to share the outdoors, and we all learned a little bit from each other.
If you are curious about how it really works - or just want to see some photos,
take a look at this year's Facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1457835957677939/

If you want to sign up for next year's tour - look out for an announcement and follow the entry rules to be in for a chance.
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Old 07-07-2018, 10:07 AM   #2
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Back when we belonged to a travel club (the years of our Get-Away Van), I agree; advantages to being with a group, and advantages to travelling on our own.

Southern Utah--Canyonlands! Yes. A trip we will plan one of these times.

What time of year is best for temperature and crowds? Spring? Fall? Winter?

BEST
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Old 07-07-2018, 10:25 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Kai in Seattle View Post
Back when we belonged to a travel club (the years of our Get-Away Van), I agree; advantages to being with a group, and advantages to travelling on our own.

Southern Utah--Canyonlands! Yes. A trip we will plan one of these times.

What time of year is best for temperature and crowds? Spring? Fall? Winter?

BEST
Kai
Depends which part(s). Zion is the crown jewel, it gets hot, really hot, in the summer. I was there late last May, high temps were over 100F.

Then Bryce Canyon, a little over 100 miles away, was more like a high of 75F.

Sadly, Zion has gotten really crowded, off the charts crowded. Personally, the best months to go there would be January and February. But during those months, expect heavy snow at Bryce. I was at Zion last November, and they closed the entrance gates at 1PM because there was no parking left in the park. That time of year, there are no shuttle buses, so no parking = can't enjoy the park.

We've gone to Zion every year since 1979, as part of other trips, or as the destination. We've watched it slowly increase in popularity until it is now so crowded during popular times, it reminds me of Disneyland crowd wise. Packed trails, packed shuttle buses, serpentine lines just to get on a shuttle bus, etc.

Nice place to camp, make reservations six months in advance.

Its plenty hot at Zion, Arches, Bridges, Lake Powell, Capitol Reef. Cedar Breaks and Bryce are both at high elevation, so much cooler weather. North Rim Grand Canyon, pretty close to Zion, but high elevation, has a short season. One of my favorites as well (the South rim of the GC gets all the crowds).


Looks like 2018 will be the first year I won't visit Zion since 1979.


Several of the Utah State Parks aren't nearly as crowded, and offer good camping as well. Seems like the National Parks are on everybody's list. Snow Canyon in St George has some great scenery, hiking, and camping. But St George is basically the hottest part of Utah. Great in the fall, winter and early spring.
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Old 07-07-2018, 11:04 AM   #4
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bill, thank you! What a wealth of info. Sounds like planning an all-inclusive tour of these parks AND maintaining a comfortable temperature would be tricky. We can manage cooler weather; it's the heat that gets to us.

Your post, if you don't mind, is the first page of planning a tour of southern Utah parks.

BEST,
Kai
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Old 07-07-2018, 11:24 AM   #5
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Since you live out west, and the weather in SE Utah varies so much across the various attractions, I would break it into at least two trips.


Highway SR12, between Bryce Canyon and Torrey, UT, is the greatest single scenic drive in the USA IMHO. Good camping at Torrey, UT too, at the Wonderland Campground. Torrey is about 15 miles from Capitol Reef. There are other campgrounds on Highway 12, I just like the convenience of Torrey, UT.

SR 12 goes over multiple passes, up and down through the canyons. Parts are above the tree line, through the Aspen forests, its got it all. My favorite section is less than 1 mile long. It goes across the ridge of a canyon. The ridge is essentially the width of the road, its like you are floating in air, with beautiful canyons on either side. I used to motorcycle this road a lot!

I've camped here several times. Good restaurant across the street (Broken Spur Steakhouse), along with a bakery and coffee shop too (Castlerock Coffee & Candy). Capitol Reef tends to be less crowded, some good hikes there.

Here is a scenic side trip off highway 12. The Burr Trail slot canyon is a must see, still on the paved portion of the Burr Trail, and close to highway 12.


https://rootsrated.com/stories/utahs...urr-trail-road


http://www.capitolreefrvpark.com
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Old 07-07-2018, 12:00 PM   #6
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bill--have added this post and links to my planning "folder" now, too. THANKS! Paul and I even browsed the map at the RV park and were talking about which site we liked best...I see they even have a store and laundry. How nice!

That ROAD! Scenic is the word, all right! I'm guessing that although possibly impassible in the rain, it hardly ever rains there. I copied that page, too, but only for the computer because I saved the pics as well as descriptions.

Kai
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Old 07-07-2018, 05:00 PM   #7
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Yep - What Bill said.

On this years tour it only really got hot in Zion (early June)- and luckily we had electric there for A/C.
Much of the time leading up to that we were boon-docking.
So much to learn!

If you end up on the tour you will get to experience as much or as little as you want of:

Moab (Arches/Canyonlands/Dead Horse Point/Shafer Trail)

Comb Wash (Burning House/Natural Bridges/Moki Dugway/Muley Point/Valley of the gods etc)

Capitol Reef (Burr Trail/Cathedral Valley etc)

Escalante
Bryce Canyon
Cedar Breaks
Zion (Grafton/Flying Monkey Mesa/Peek-a-boo slot canyon)

SR12 in all it glory and as many hikes/views/photo ops as you can stand.
Most folks carry on to the North rim of the grand canyon at the end before dispersing.

It really is a lot of fun!
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Old 07-07-2018, 05:41 PM   #8
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widgetwizard: that sounds like quite a tour! Sounds amazing!

Kai
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Old 07-07-2018, 07:26 PM   #9
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Dont forget Goblin Valley State Park. Part of "Galaxy Quest" was filmed there.
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:54 AM   #10
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Goblin Valley State Park...yes, we've seen it then. All those big rocks? Adding it to list.

Kai
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Old 07-08-2018, 05:21 PM   #11
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Ditch the "Egg" and go get "Fried" building an "Overlanding" vehicle and Overland trailer to enjoy a whole new aspect of camping you have never considered.

Go deeper into the "Middle of Nowhere" Utah and all the other wilderness areas you have NEVER visited with your Egg trailer. Miss ALL of the crowds at the National Parks who are stuck looking for a parking place at the visitor's center. Tell stories about all those poor soles who are stuck "Glamping" in the campground or on fringes of that overcrowded National Park searching for a place to camp for the evening when they did not plan 6-12 months ahead and now have NO campground reservation and nowhere to camp.

Boondock camp all you want out "East of Nowhere" for FREE on BLM land and FORGET about important things such as is my campground electrical pedestal hookup wired safely so as not to kill me when I plug in? No more nasty black-water tank dumps and noisy/rude campground neighbor's to deal with. Your tough and don't need to mess with any of that sort of sissy regular camping stuff!

Still want to pull a trailer make sure it's an "Overland" type of trailer and you will be "Golden" in more ways than one out sightseeing and Boondock camping "East of Nowhere"!

You too can enjoy and whole nother level of "Glamping"!

Every guys dream and most Women's 'Nightmare"
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:12 PM   #12
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Ditch the "Egg" and go get "Fried" building an "Overlanding" vehicle and Overland trailer to enjoy a whole new aspect of camping you have never considered.

Still want to pull a trailer make sure it's an "Overland" type of trailer and you will be "Golden" in more ways than one out sightseeing and Boondock camping "East of Nowhere"!

You too can enjoy and whole nother level of "Glamping"!

Every guys dream and most Women's 'Nightmare"

Vintage, what is that trailer?
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:15 AM   #13
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I skip all 4 wheel adventures. A doctor removed the "shock absorbers" in the lower part of my spine.
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:12 PM   #14
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Back when Paul "jeeped" offroad, he had terrible neck pain problems and was considering surgery (I was agin' it.) Once he sold the jeep and quit going offroad 4-wheeling, imagine! His neck pain abated to the point where he mostly never thinks about it at all any more. Just as I suspected.


As for camping offroad, well, it's one of those luminous ideals that somehow I'm just not likely to do. Though reading Zane Gray does make me wonder how it would be, out there in the purple twilight, the black mesas looming above while the orange moon casts a gleam over the eyes of the watcing coyotes as the wind whistles across the barren lands where no human foot has touched for a couple hundred miles and a thousand years...


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Old 07-14-2018, 09:28 AM   #15
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That's a nice looking setup there Mike. Australian?

Don's SUT certainly isn't that hard core but its a pretty good compromise and does stretch the limits of what most on here are accustomed to. We attended in 2017 and found the camaraderie developed with our fellow campers to be just as enjoyable as the scenery.

Nightly stops on the tour in order of amenities: Watchman (Zion NP) - Electrical hookups, flush johns. Red Canyon (Dixie NF and Bryce NP) - No hookups, flush johns, pay showers, central water. Fruita (Capitol Reef NP) - No hookups, flush johns. central water. Horse Thief (BLM between Arches and Canyonlands NPs) - No hookups, vault toilets, no water. Comb Wash (BLM outside Natural Bridges NM) - No designated sites, no hookups, pit toilets, no water. Escalante Hole in the Rock (BLM) - No designated sites, no hookups, no johns, no water.

While none of these are very far off paved roads, Comb Wash and Escalante are remote enough to provide a reasonable feeling of isolation.

We sometimes backpack (becoming less and less frequent), Sometimes its the jeep and our offroad trailer (nothing like your's, just a 1/4 ton surplus Canadian military unit), Sometimes the Tacoma and our tent; But most often these days its the Scamp. Its all good.


Al
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:21 AM   #16
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Don't forget Hovenweep. Small but great. Anasazi ruins
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:31 AM   #17
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Four Corners book & map suggestion

We have been to the Four Corners many times for camping, hiking and backpacking. We own many books and maps of the area but our go-to favorite is Sandra Hinchman’s “Hiking the Southwest’s Canyon Country”. It’s a road trip book with all sorts of hints and information on driving, sightseeing, hiking and backpacking with good maps and clear writing. Also, the tourism bureau of Utah used to, and may still, have these very detailed maps of Utah divided into five sections. The one on SE Utah is a treasure.
Unless I’m going in the WAY offseason I avoid Zion and Arches. Both are too hot and there are too many people. It’s just not fun for me. But the tiny campground at Natural Bridges National Monument is a winner, but not for big rigs. It’s an international dark sky park and there’s great hiking and some ruins if you’re good at spotting ruins. Get there early, but if you don’t there’s lots of open area outside the park.
Hovenweep National Monument has a good size campground and wonderful ruins along an easy loop hike. Sunrise or sunset is the time to hike.
Lower Calf Creek has a nice campground, but it’s not large. The hike from there to the falls is very easy and one of my favorites. Look high on the walls to see if you can spot the ruins.
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Old 07-18-2018, 01:15 PM   #18
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try Goblin Valley National Monument N.E.Ut. ( before our legislature closes it.) hike a large loop. Been to the others, a lot of oohs an awes. try to get a permit to hike the wave out of Kanab Ut on the West boarder. International Lottery. Look for pictures on the web

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Old 07-18-2018, 02:09 PM   #19
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try Goblin Valley National Monument N.E.Ut. ( before our legislature closes it.) hike a large loop. Been to the others, a lot of oohs an awes. try to get a permit to hike the wave out of Kanab Ut on the West boarder. International Lottery. Look for pictures on the web

Later Kenny
A good friend tried, unsuccessfully, for 7 years to get a Wave permit, then for 2 consecutive years was granted one. If you don't win the lottery, or even if you do, you can visit Antelope Canyon. It's a tour you pay for but very reasonable and spectacular. Antelope Canyon is on Navajo Tribal land so you must have a guide. For reference, the Wave requires some physical effort, where Antelope Canyon is just a easy walk.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:07 PM   #20
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Jim left out

Hovenweep
Devil's Garden
Bears Ears

and if you are coming from the East on I70, Colorado National Monument is a special treat on the way.

Walt
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