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Open Roads Forum  >  Roads and Routes

 > Travel Help needed for Grand Canyon area in Sept.

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ORbiker

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Posted: 02/01/10 05:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am in the planning stages for a 2 week vacation in the Grand Canyon, Zion, Brice and other National Parks in that area. I will be taking the wife, pickup camper and Harley (toad) in the enclosed trailer.
I;m pretty sure I can find that great big hole, but there are so many other things I might miss. Any guidance would be great. Some tips on finding some good places to stay would be nice ( RV Parks and Boondockin').
Also; what are some of the DO NOT MISS places?
We will be base-camping at a campsite for a few days, seeing the sights from the Harley and then moving to another camp and see some more sights.
Should be fun, KEN


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DesertHawk

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Posted: 02/01/10 11:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some very neat things up in those areas, remember there are two sides to the big hole, really a big ditch by the way. Ha!

As for Grand Canyon both sides are really nice, each have their own campgrounds which would be neat to stay in, but are often filled. My daughter & her husband stayed in a tent at the one in the South.

We have always stayed in campgrounds out of the park. We found the park on south side by Flagstaff is close enough to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument with camping nearby where we have stayed to see the area. There is no camping in the monument. However, Bonito Campground , operated by the US Forest Service, is located across from the visitor center at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument which is on the loop road which goes by the Wupatki National Monument. This campground is generally open from late May through mid-October. There are no hook-ups. There are nice campgrounds on the north side at the park and if full in the Nat'l Forest just before getting into the park. We stayed outside the park when there in summer and park cg was full.
Sunset Crater

But to see Bryce and Zion, we did the North side of the Canyon, which is less crowded than the South. But we had to stay at a forest service camping area, campground was full in the park. Not a bad place and not far to the canyon. We had gone by Monument Valley on our way to the Canyon with a stop at Page which was so hot at night we had to go to a higher elevation, Grand Canyon. Cool there. But in Sept, no hot weather to worry about. Maybe cold at times instead.

If coming from Oregon, it might be easier to see Zion and Brice then the Canyon, then to Monument Valley & Navajo National Monument, Canyon de Chelly and maybe points East. [emoticon]

Here is a good Link to other Utah Sites. We went to Fish Lake and Panguitch Lake and to Capital Reef Nat'l Park as well as Bridges Nat'l Monument. All very neat. And not too far on to
Mesa Verde Nat'l Park * Camping * Nearby Attractions

A trip over to see Monument Valley from Grand Canyon (208 miles from Williams to Mon't Valley). Also Canyon de Chelly by Chinle is great with a free campground and showers. Been there want to go again. Nat'l Park

Navajo National Monument is located at the end of State Highway 564 off of US Highway 160. We have not been to this one, but sounds very interesting. Two campgrounds, one open all year, somewhat isolated but no fees are charged. NPS Site - Visit
Navajo

Navajo NMon is on the way to Mon't Valley, about 170 miles form Williams. Maybe 50 miles or so to Mon Valley.

We drove by the turn off to Goosenecks State Park in Utah when we went to Mon't Valley. It seems like one to see. Goosenecks added info ** Primitive camping *** How Far To____

Utah BLM

Wow! So much to see and so little time.[emoticon] What to see? No time for Fish Lake and Panguitch Lake. Some places may only take a day to see. It will take some busy times to see them, some are pretty far apart. May only have time for the North Grand Canyon this trip. But you have some time to plan. Have a great trip. Happy Travels!

* This post was last edited 02/27/10 09:24pm by DesertHawk *   View edit history


">DesertHawk- Las Cruces, NM USA
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cruiserjs

Mesa AZ/ openroad

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Posted: 02/04/10 09:07am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote- "Also to really get a feel for the SIZE of the Grand Canyon, it can only be done from the south rim. You will be looking down 5,000 feet to the river below, which you can not do at the north rim. "

I beg to differ! Along with Aloha Utah - Toroweap, on the North Rim, is by far the most exciting view of the Canyon. You literally can drop a rock onto the rafters in the river below! And the last time we went - a few years ago- the road was not as bad as Aloha makes it sound. Turn south at Fredonia UT - and take the short side trip to Pipe Spring Nat. Monument. WEll worth the trip all around!!


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Aloha Utah

Southwest Corner of Utah

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Posted: 02/03/10 09:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'll toss in an idea off the beaten path. Take the pickup camper and go to Toroweap (some call it Tuweep).

As the referenced website will tell you:

"A trip to Tuweep is not for everyone, but for those who do not mind driving for 2.5 hours on a washboard dirt, tire ripping, primitive road to the very edge of the Grand Canyon, Tuweep is magnificent! Although think again if you have a fear of heights. Toroweap Point is the lowest viewpoint in the Grand Canyon, but the 3000' sheer unfenced cliff gives even those with no fear of heights an uneasy feeling when they step out to the edge to see the Colorado River flowing below."

There's a dry camp just a couple of hundred yards from the edge, too. Do an overnighter and say hi to all my favorite coyotes who will howl you to sleep.

Here's a starting point for the investigation: Toroweap


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ORbiker

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Posted: 02/03/10 07:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Deserthawk for all the info.
I don't think we will go to the south side of GC. There is so much to see, I'm sure we will run out of time.

Dr Quick

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Posted: 02/03/10 07:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are going to see Bryce and Zion, you will be about 120 miles from the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Last fall we parked in Kanab and made a day trip to the North rim. It is quite different than the south and not as crowded. Glad that we went.

Also to really get a feel for the SIZE of the Grand Canyon, it can only be done from the south rim. You will be looking down 5,000 feet to the river below, which you can not do at the north rim.

Take the time for both, you will not regret it.

* This post was edited 02/03/10 01:51pm by Dr Quick *


Dr Quick

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Posted: 02/04/10 07:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As mentioned earlier, the trip to Toroweep is an adventure all by itself. You will have to travel 70 miles down unpaved road, pass by small ranger outpost and final 6 miles over red rock terrain on road leading right up to edge of the canyon. Be sure to have GOOD tires. I had to replace the tires on my truck after I traveled there in July during the day (extremely hot surface for the final 6 miles). There was no moon that night and the sky was fabulous, as well as the views of the canyon and the rafters going over the falls below. You might also consider seeing Grand Staircase of Escalante area between hwy 89 and hwy 12. On my first trip, I camped at Cedar Breaks N.M. north of Zion and Posey Lake north of the town of Escalante. Driving the Burr Trail thru Logan canyon (east of Boulder) was also great. A lot of great places from the north rim of Grand Canyon to Capitol Reef N.P. Hwy 12 is worth the drive. Whatever you choose, have a great trip.

ORbiker

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Posted: 02/04/10 09:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Toroweep sounds like the ultimate boondock site. I don't know if I want to do 70 miles (one way) of gravel.
What is the scenery during the 70 miles of gravel?
Maybe the ranger could tell me when the road grading happens.
If I was just taking the camper, it would be first on my list. My main goal is riding the Harley to see the sights and using the camper as the lodging. The Grand Staircase of Escalante is on the list of places to see. 12 is also on the list.
How full are the campgrounds and RV parks in mid-Sept.?

Aloha Utah

Southwest Corner of Utah

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Posted: 02/04/10 10:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ORbiker wrote:

Toroweep sounds like the ultimate boondock site. I don't know if I want to do 70 miles (one way) of gravel.
What is the scenery during the 70 miles of gravel?
Maybe the ranger could tell me when the road grading happens.
If I was just taking the camper, it would be first on my list. My main goal is riding the Harley to see the sights and using the camper as the lodging. The Grand Staircase of Escalante is on the list of places to see. 12 is also on the list.
How full are the campgrounds and RV parks in mid-Sept.?


The scenery along the route is flat sagebrush, possible dust clouds, scrub and distant hills. But the end of the trail is worth it.

The condition of the road is...uh...let's say "variable". Earlier in the season it's usually OK because of grading. With budget cutbacks, I don't know if the road will be graded. Last year I went down the road at probably 50+ mph (truck only), except for the last miles which are slow going. You might check with the Bureau of land management on schedules. BLM is http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/st__george.html

This is not a Harley road. But Route 12 is a kickbutt Harley road as is the ride through the Zion tunnel, an event that can attract 100 riders. Might check with the Harley folks in Washington City for info on what poker runs and rides are going on and maybe you'll want to join in or at least get their 2 cents of advice. Look here.

Finally. mid-Sept is the start of prime time here. From mid-September through October is the finest time of year in this neck of woods, IMHO.

EDIT: Here, I found a website which has some great photos of what to expect although he approached from the St. George side rather than the Fredonia side. But you'll see what's up. Note the roads are a beechkitty when wet. Check it out.

* This post was edited 02/04/10 10:25pm by Aloha Utah *

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