Our second trip to SW USA- Advice please! - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-18-2019, 12:48 AM   #21
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yeah, you need reservations at panamint springs. they had closed the hookup part of the RV park to trench and redo all the sewer hookups because it was sub-optimal, but by now I'd hope they are back online.

lets see, lotsa stuff to see on paved roads in DV... I'd plan on a week there to see all the easy stuff. Drive down to Badwater, and see all the other stops along the main road. stop at Furnace Creek (gift shop/store... I'd not eat there, the restaurants aren't very good). Artists Palette, walk a few miles up Golden Canyon and back, drive around to Zabriskie Point (which, hah, is above the top of Golden Canyon, but gives a completely different view), take the road up to Dante's View, and if you have a 4x4, on the way back, take some of the dirt side roads like Hole in the Wall. the 20 Mule Team loop is car-drivable. On another day, drive to the nevada town of Beatty (cheap gas), and on the way back, detour and see the ghost town Rhyolite. IF you have a 4x4 or are reasonably adventurous, you can take the 1-way dirt road from near Rhyolite that takes you down Titus Canyon, its spectacular. If you're really adventurous and have an offroad suitable vehicle (again, a 4x4 SUV or truck with A/T tires and decent ground clearance is recommended, but it doesn't have to be some kinda insane jeep), you can take a rather long loop invoving Westside Rd, Warm Springs Rd, Mengel Canyon, stop at the geologists canyon, and the barker ranch where the Mansons hid out. For bonus points, and more serious 4x4'ing, head down Goler Wash and end up back at the south end of Panamint Valley.

yet more 4x4 adventures in the north half of the park including Saline Valley, where there's a hot springs, South Pass, North Pass (can be snowy int he other). Again, a 4x4 moderate SUV/truck with decent all terrain tires will easily get you through the worst of this, unless the snow is TOO deep.

Also to the north on pavement is Scotties's Castle, which is an odd piece of history, well worth the guided tours.... out that way, there's also Ubehebe Crater, worth a get out and walk around, and if you wanna do some more gravel roads, drive down to The Racetrack, which is a dry lake where rocks mysteriously move and leave tracks in the otherwise smooth surface. Lippincott Canyon is definitely more challenging, although my kid did get through with his lifted Vanagon that had beefy oversize all terrain tires, but was just 2x4. conditions vary wildly from year to year and season to season on ALL these roads so best to chjeck with the rangers before ANY back country adventires, also note the miles are LONG and there are NO services.

if you go in the spring, at just the right time, parts of the south end of death valley light up in wildflowers for just a few days if there has been sufficient rain in the winter.

winters are usually mild days albeit chilly nights on the valley floors, but flash floods are a distinct albeit rare possiblity, so best to keep on top of the weather via the ranger stations.

FYI Scottie's Castle in Death Valley is closed until further notice, possibly until 2021. Also, I suggest checking the National Park reservation system for Death Valley camping. I just booked a week in November at Furnace Creek campground for 36 a night with full hookup (my girlfriend's birthday week.) Dry camping sites show up for $16 a night.
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:17 AM   #22
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FYI Scottie's Castle in Death Valley is closed until further notice, possibly until 2021. Also, I suggest checking the National Park reservation system for Death Valley camping. I just booked a week in November at Furnace Creek campground for 36 a night with full hookup (my girlfriend's birthday week.) Dry camping sites show up for $16 a night.
i've camped at Furnace Creek a bunch of times, i prefer Panamint Springs. or stovepipe wells, for that matter.

plus, heh, at Panamint Springs, while you're drinking your morning coffee, you can birdwatch... F16's and FA18s and other such practicing dogfighting in 'star wars canyon'... great fun.

for sure, Stovepipe Wells is where you should fuel up. gas is expensive at Panamint, and positively OUTrageous at Furnace Creek. I've had to gas there when I was riding a motorcycle with a 6 gallon tank. ouch.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:24 AM   #23
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I would stop in Benson AZ and check out Kartchner Caverns State Park and tour the caverns. Amazing formations. Its also a short distance to Tombstone and quite a few other interesting day trips. My mother-in-law volunteered there for 13 years. Take the path less traveled!
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:27 PM   #24
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I would stop in Benson AZ and check out Kartchner Caverns State Park and tour the caverns. Amazing formations. Its also a short distance to Tombstone and quite a few other interesting day trips. My mother-in-law volunteered there for 13 years. Take the path less traveled!
Thanks for this. I've been circling suggested places on a map and realized there are no recommended sites in Arizona. This one is the first!
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:11 PM   #25
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good half day stop in Arizona is the Meteor Crater, just off I40. We did it in the morning, and we out of hteir before the hoardes arrived, and were glad for it.

another nice stop is the Flagstaff Observatory, we happened to stop when they were havin gan annual open house in celebration of their birthday, but its open year around.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:08 AM   #26
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:42 AM   #27
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Thanks for this. I've been circling suggested places on a map and realized there are no recommended sites in Arizona. This one is the first!

Well there is always the Grand Canyon, but also check out the petrified forest:


https://www.nps.gov/pefo/index.htm


Pretty much right off I-40
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:28 PM   #28
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Called the ranger at Petrified Forest. She said probably too cold and snowy in January, February, and March. She recommended we stay further south for the lower, warmer elevations. It's on the "sometime in the future" list as she said it was really lovely in May and October. She told me about calling 511 for up to date road conditions. Glad to know about that!
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Well there is always the Grand Canyon, but also check out the petrified forest:


https://www.nps.gov/pefo/index.htm


Pretty much right off I-40
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:17 PM   #29
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If you like to hike, check out Sedona. I can't stand the town, but there are some great hikes in the red hills around town. Take a short drive to Jerome on 89. An interesting town, but don't take your trailer.
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:07 AM   #30
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I have been fortunate to visit virtually every national park in the lower 48 and a few in Canada. Here is my 00.02. Here is a short list of my favorites. Yellowstone,
Banff, Zion (if you only see one park in Utah this would be it), and Death Valley (Dec or Jan best time, do not go in summer). Just about everywhere in southern Utah is scenic including I-70 which may be most scenic interstate drive in the US.
Speaking of drives Hwy 550 through Ouray, Co. is the most scenic drive in the state. If anyone here likes to backpack. Hands down Kings Canyon N.P./Inyo National Forest has no peer. You can get sometimes go for days and not see another person and the alpine lakes are beautiful.
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Old 09-21-2019, 01:33 PM   #31
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Northern NM in winter

I live between Santa Fe and Taos. Can be pretty cold and snowy even through April. Albuquerque can be much milder, and southern NM perfect. If you like bird watching, you can check out Bosque del Apache south of Socorro, NM. We camp often at McDowell Regional Park near Scottsdale in the winter.
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Old 09-21-2019, 03:08 PM   #32
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Things to do in Tucson

If you get over to Tucson on I-10 there are many great things to do. There is a tour of the Asarco copper mine which is south of Tucson about 20 miles. The ICBM missile museum is about four miles south of that which is the only remaining missile from the cold war days. In Tucson there are two Saguaro national parks, an east and a west, which are both worth driving through. The west one has a great visitor center to describe the desert and its habitats. Near there is the Desert Museum, one of the best in the state. Another day trip is to the top of Mt. Lemon. The Pima air and space museum is one of the largest aircraft museums in the country and is near the boneyard, where the military parks thousands of airplanes that are either going to be scrapped, sold or re-commissioned. You are able to drive by and see billions of your tax dollars just sitting in the sun.

Along with the San Xavier mission, Kitt peak observatory, the Zoo, botanical gardens, and four casinos, there are a lot of things to see and do in Tucson.

The Mexican border is about 50 miles south at Nogales and the border crossing is safe and easy, although at times not fast. Easiest to park at McDonalds and walk across. If you do this you need passports, not just a drivers license.

Yes I am a little biased, I live there.
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Old 09-21-2019, 03:28 PM   #33
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If you get over to Tucson on I-10 there are many great things to do. There is a tour of the Asarco copper mine which is south of Tucson about 20 miles. The ICBM missile museum is about four miles south of that which is the only remaining missile from the cold war days. In Tucson there are two Saguaro national parks, an east and a west, which are both worth driving through. The west one has a great visitor center to describe the desert and its habitats. Near there is the Desert Museum, one of the best in the state. Another day trip is to the top of Mt. Lemon. The Pima air and space museum is one of the largest aircraft museums in the country and is near the boneyard, where the military parks thousands of airplanes that are either going to be scrapped, sold or re-commissioned. You are able to drive by and see billions of your tax dollars just sitting in the sun.

Along with the San Xavier mission, Kitt peak observatory, the Zoo, botanical gardens, and four casinos, there are a lot of things to see and do in Tucson.

The Mexican border is about 50 miles south at Nogales and the border crossing is safe and easy, although at times not fast. Easiest to park at McDonalds and walk across. If you do this you need passports, not just a drivers license.

Yes I am a little biased, I live there.
2X on the Desert Museum. While there, stay at Gilbert Ray Campground near the museum. First come, electric only, bathrooms with water, but no showers.
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Old 09-21-2019, 04:24 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
yeah, you need reservations at panamint springs. they had closed the hookup part of the RV park to trench and redo all the sewer hookups because it was sub-optimal, but by now I'd hope they are back online.

lets see, lotsa stuff to see on paved roads in DV... I'd plan on a week there to see all the easy stuff. Drive down to Badwater, and see all the other stops along the main road. stop at Furnace Creek (gift shop/store... I'd not eat there, the restaurants aren't very good). Artists Palette, walk a few miles up Golden Canyon and back, drive around to Zabriskie Point (which, hah, is above the top of Golden Canyon, but gives a completely different view), take the road up to Dante's View, and if you have a 4x4, on the way back, take some of the dirt side roads like Hole in the Wall. the 20 Mule Team loop is car-drivable. On another day, drive to the nevada town of Beatty (cheap gas), and on the way back, detour and see the ghost town Rhyolite. IF you have a 4x4 or are reasonably adventurous, you can take the 1-way dirt road from near Rhyolite that takes you down Titus Canyon, its spectacular. If you're really adventurous and have an offroad suitable vehicle (again, a 4x4 SUV or truck with A/T tires and decent ground clearance is recommended, but it doesn't have to be some kinda insane jeep), you can take a rather long loop invoving Westside Rd, Warm Springs Rd, Mengel Canyon, stop at the geologists canyon, and the barker ranch where the Mansons hid out. For bonus points, and more serious 4x4'ing, head down Goler Wash and end up back at the south end of Panamint Valley.

yet more 4x4 adventures in the north half of the park including Saline Valley, where there's a hot springs, South Pass, North Pass (can be snowy int he other). Again, a 4x4 moderate SUV/truck with decent all terrain tires will easily get you through the worst of this, unless the snow is TOO deep.

Also to the north on pavement is Scotties's Castle, which is an odd piece of history, well worth the guided tours.... out that way, there's also Ubehebe Crater, worth a get out and walk around, and if you wanna do some more gravel roads, drive down to The Racetrack, which is a dry lake where rocks mysteriously move and leave tracks in the otherwise smooth surface. Lippincott Canyon is definitely more challenging, although my kid did get through with his lifted Vanagon that had beefy oversize all terrain tires, but was just 2x4. conditions vary wildly from year to year and season to season on ALL these roads so best to chjeck with the rangers before ANY back country adventires, also note the miles are LONG and there are NO services.

if you go in the spring, at just the right time, parts of the south end of death valley light up in wildflowers for just a few days if there has been sufficient rain in the winter.

winters are usually mild days albeit chilly nights on the valley floors, but flash floods are a distinct albeit rare possiblity, so best to keep on top of the weather via the ranger stations.
You forgot to mention the long ride out on the wash board dirt road, about 10 miles, to see the sailing stones on the Racetrack Playa in DV.
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Old 09-21-2019, 04:47 PM   #35
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Monument Valley is always a must for me when I'm in that area. Valley of The Gods is really nice too.
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:16 PM   #36
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Been to Sedona. Like the red rock formations and some of the art galleries.
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Originally Posted by Jon Vermilye View Post
If you like to hike, check out Sedona. I can't stand the town, but there are some great hikes in the red hills around town. Take a short drive to Jerome on 89. An interesting town, but don't take your trailer.
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:34 PM   #37
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I have been fortunate to visit virtually every national park in the lower 48 and a few in Canada. Here is my 00.02. Here is a short list of my favorites. Yellowstone,
Banff, Zion (if you only see one park in Utah this would be it), and Death Valley (Dec or Jan best time, do not go in summer). Just about everywhere in southern Utah is scenic including I-70 which may be most scenic interstate drive in the US.
Speaking of drives Hwy 550 through Ouray, Co. is the most scenic drive in the state. If anyone here likes to backpack. Hands down Kings Canyon N.P./Inyo National Forest has no peer. You can get sometimes go for days and not see another person and the alpine lakes are beautiful.
We love Yellowstone! But this is not the time of year for that.
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:35 PM   #38
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2X on the Desert Museum. While there, stay at Gilbert Ray Campground near the museum. First come, electric only, bathrooms with water, but no showers.
Got it!
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:39 PM   #39
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If you get over to Tucson on I-10 there are many great things to do. There is a tour of the Asarco copper mine which is south of Tucson about 20 miles. The ICBM missile museum is about four miles south of that which is the only remaining missile from the cold war days. In Tucson there are two Saguaro national parks, an east and a west, which are both worth driving through. The west one has a great visitor center to describe the desert and its habitats. Near there is the Desert Museum, one of the best in the state. Another day trip is to the top of Mt. Lemon. The Pima air and space museum is one of the largest aircraft museums in the country and is near the boneyard, where the military parks thousands of airplanes that are either going to be scrapped, sold or re-commissioned. You are able to drive by and see billions of your tax dollars just sitting in the sun.

Along with the San Xavier mission, Kitt peak observatory, the Zoo, botanical gardens, and four casinos, there are a lot of things to see and do in Tucson.

The Mexican border is about 50 miles south at Nogales and the border crossing is safe and easy, although at times not fast. Easiest to park at McDonalds and walk across. If you do this you need passports, not just a drivers license.

Yes I am a little biased, I live there. tu
Ok, you've sold me on Tucson! Temps in February sound good. It's circled on the map
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:42 PM   #40
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Monument Valley is always a must for me when I'm in that area. Valley of The Gods is really nice too.
So on our last trip we boondocked overnight at the base of Mexican Hat. Oh the stars! Driving away I saw on the map that we were right near Valley of the Gods. Can we just drive around in there pulling the camper? Are there maps so we don't get hopelessly lost?
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