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 > routes to National Parks in AZ and Utah

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Sparty35

Lansing, MI

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Posted: 02/03/10 02:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Driving a 31' motorhome and towing a car. currently I am near Tucson, AZ. Want to visit Joshua Tree NP, the NP in Utah and the Grand Canyon in March, and then return to Michigan via I40.
Looking for information on the best/easiest routes (not a lot of traffic and least amount of driving in mountains) to take to get to all these parks. Would like to avoid driving too close to Phoenix. I am willing to find a base campground and drive to several different parks. Also looking for information on good campgrounds to stay at near the NP.

pulsar

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Posted: 02/03/10 02:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Moved from Forum Technical Support.

I am still wayne_tw

everywhere

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Posted: 02/03/10 04:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sparty35 wrote:

Want to visit the NP in Utah


There are 12 units of the National Park Service in Utah.

You should research www.nps.gov

You should also buy a membership to the American Automobile Association (AAA) and have them plan your trip for you.

Aloha Utah

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Posted: 02/03/10 09:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

North side of the Grand canyon is not accessible in March. The road usually opens around 15 May or so depending on snowfall.


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DesertHawk

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Posted: 02/03/10 05:27pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From Tucson take I-10 to Califonia to get to Joshua Tree NP exit 168 about 58 miles from Blythe or some 340 miles from Tucson. But to bypass Phoenix, you can take I-8 off the 10 at Casa Grande, then take Exit 119 at Gila Bend; take AZ 85 up to I-10. I took it once, but if you time Phoenix right (time of day) it has proven not bad at all. Not much road work on the 10 until out passed Goodyear now. Or you could take I-8 to Yuma instead, use Exit 12 and go to US 95 using Fortuna Rd. US 95 will take you to I-10 at Quartzite, follow I-10 to California and on to Joshua Tree. I have never traveled US 95.

From Joshua Tree, I believe I would head up to I-40 then to Kingman, AZ and on to Williams to get to the Canyon.

Some very neat things up in those areas, remember there are two sides to the 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 two years ago in March, got some snow.

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. But your rig may be much too long for this campground. But Sunset Crater is neat to see as well as the loop up to Wupatki and east entrance to Grand Canyon. A good day trip in the tow car from a base campground or RV Park by Williams perhaps.

Navajo National Monument is on the way to Monument Valley, about 170 miles form Williams using US 89 at Flagstaff then US 160. Maybe 50 miles or so to Mon Valley.

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

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

However, it might be wiser to go to the north side of the Canyon before going to Monuemnt Valley & Nav'jo Mon'ts, then on to Zion then Brice.

When we wanted to see Bryce and Zion, we did the North side of the Grand Canyon before going to them; 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 March, no hot weather to worry about. Maybe cold at times instead.

It seems, it might be easier to see Zion and Bryce and any other of the Utah National parks, then to Monument Valley & Navajo National Monument, Canyon de Chelly and maybe points East. [emoticon] Of course, The Moab Area has many national parks and a nice state park to see as well. Arches National Park - Canyonlands National Park & Dead Horse Point.

Here is a good Link to other Utah Sites.

We went to Fish Lake and Panguitch Lake because we had a canoe with us, 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

When wanting to leave the area, a quick & easy way would be to work your way over to the Cortez, CO and Shiprock, NM area take US 491 down to Gallup & I-40 and points east.

Not sure of how much time you have to spend in New Mexico, but here are a few more places.

This was a neat place to camp and visit (have not been to in it many years), even with a museum near by all close to Gallup at Red Rock/Churchrock just off of I-40 east of town.

Blue Water Lake State Park, by Grants, west of Albu'que on I-40. Bluewater not a bad area, but more of a fishing site.

El Morro National Monument is neat to see & has a small campground; there is a private campgound near by as well. Near Grants or can be reached from Gallup. We went from Gallup to Zuni Pueblo then to El Morro (we lingered too long at the Pueblo and didn't get to hike the trial at El Morro, got there too late in the day; its a neat trail too, we had hiked it before).
El Morro
Things to Do

It has a very small campground, but there is a private campground near by. Campground and RV Park The El Malpais Nat'l Conservation Area is also near featuring Grants Lava Flows.

Albuquerque has many neat and cool things to see there. As does Santa Fe but it is not on I-40.

Bandelier National Monument would be a nice place to visit near Los Alamos and not far from Santa Fe. It was a pleasent campground when we stayed there. Bandelier
Campground

* This post was last edited 02/22/10 02:35pm by DesertHawk *   View edit history


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Sparty35

Lansing, MI

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Posted: 02/09/10 02:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

thanks for all the information and links, really appreciate it

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