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Old 01-03-2008, 12:52 AM   #1
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Grand Canyon Vacation suggestions

Hi experienced campers
We are planning our first 2 week Airstream vacation. So far we've taken 2-4 day weekend outings staying at KOA campgrounds. We want to take the boys (8 and 9) to the Grand Canyon! We're in Northern California 20 min north of SF.
We need help planning where we stay, (we want to make a couple of stops/stayovers) what to see on the way there and back, best route to get there, etc.....
Any ideas on how to make this our first dream vacation?
Thanks
Dennis
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Old 01-03-2008, 02:29 AM   #2
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Come in thru Vegas at night...
Cross over Hoover Dam (hope you can still drive over it)
Down to Kingman and onto Route 66...
Over to Williams, then up to the Grand Canyon.

Try to plan lots of daytime driving thru Utah....
Zion, Moab...so much more.
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:14 AM   #3
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Most people go to the South Rim. The North Rim is less traveled and crowded 1000 feet higher, harder to get to and my favorite. Don't forget to make reservations.
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:22 AM   #4
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Been there... done that

Last summer we went from Tempe (near Phoenix) to Flagstaff then to the North Rim, Bryce, Zion and then Monument Valley - in July. I would have liked it more in a more temperate time of the year but...

North Rim is spectacular and "less touristy". Lots of hiking - worth a visit where you have three days to spend in the park. North rim is more rustic but has nice amenities.

If you are coming from Northern California, plan to stay at Zion. Three days in the park are almost not enough. The in-park trams take you to all of the trail heads and the trails are really great. We're going back to Zion - our favorite of the Utah/Arizona border parks.

Bryce and Monument Valley are worth seeing but we don't intend to go back.

That's our story and we're stick'in to it.
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millvalleyca
We want to take the boys (8 and 9) to the Grand Canyon!
When?
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:11 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies and suggestions.
It will have to be during summer vacation. Too hot?
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millvalleyca
Thanks for the replies and suggestions.
It will have to be during summer vacation. Too hot?
Ah, well. We're heading to GC (Trailer Village) on Jan 15th... first time, too.

I'll keep monitoring the thread for any good tidbits others may throw in

Cheers,
-jd.
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Old 01-03-2008, 02:11 PM   #8
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I'm looking for places to see on my first adventure. I don't know if it's possible, but there is aJeep tour of the GC that travels Diamond Creek Rd. The road looks pretty smoth, the Burb can do it, I'm not sure about a 25'SS. I'm nutty enough to go find out...
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Old 01-03-2008, 02:46 PM   #9
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We went and stayed on both sides.
If I was to do it again . . . I should say when I do it again, we'd go to the North Rim and stay for a week (and yes, it's not very convenient to get to, unless you live in St. George, Ut) and then hit the South Rim on our way home - maybe stay one night there just so you could comfortably schedule a day of activities - like the mule ride along the rim, which the boys would probably enjoy quite a bit (I don't remember anything like that available on the North Rim - could be wrong though).

Basically my impression was: The North Rim was very peaceful and beautiful, lots of trees . . . the South Rim was more desert like and very crowded.

Hoover Dam was great too.

Lastly, we were in a small motorhome at the time so I can't tell you what it would be like pulling your 27' trailer - although it has been awhile, I do remember feeling a bit like dropping into Yosemite feels when going to the North Rim . . . I'm sure someone will/can respond to that.

Sounds like fun.
Mark
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:01 PM   #10
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Moab/Zion

You mentioned Moab. We spent three nights at the Riverside Oasis RV Park at the north end of town. Just off the highway, clean and quiet. Very near the entrance to Arches National Park. We spent one day at Atches, and the other at Canyonlands National Park. Both worth a day. Very different from each other. Food at the Moab Diner is good and reasonable. Their green chile sauce is to die for.

We attended an Airstream Rally in Hurricane UT, not far from Zion. Nice RV facility. Hurricane is about 16 miles east of St. George and close to Zion. We dry camped one night at Snow Canyon, near St. George. They have some hookups if you desire.

Take I 15 south to St. George, then to Hurricane to avoid the tunnel at the east end of Zion. The tunnel is narrow, there is a wait and a fee for over-width, which you probably are.
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Old 01-03-2008, 06:40 PM   #11
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From Mill Valley you have two general ways of getting to the Grand Canyon: the Northern route over I-80 or the Southern route thru Bakersfield. For a more scenic and interesting trip, my suggestion would be to cross the Sierras at Donner Pass and then pick up 395 southbound along the Eastern side of the Sierras. Relatively few people go that way but the scenery worth the extra distance and ups and downs. Don't risk either the Sonora or the Tuolumne Passes just to shorten the trip because they are much too steep, especially downhill.

At Lone Pine head East to cross Death Valley heading for Las Vegas. Try to get an early start to avoid the heat but also to have time for the amazing dunes and solitude. From Las Vegas its and easy ride up I-15 to St George and then Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Arches, and Monument Valley. In this direction you can take in both the North and South Rims of the Grand Canyon and be on a good course back to California via I-40 thru the Tehachapis and the Central Valley.

Enjoy!!!
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Old 01-04-2008, 04:02 PM   #12
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that's exactly what i would recommend . . . and that would be your 500th (in case anyone was keeping track)
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Old 01-04-2008, 04:58 PM   #13
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Good eye Mark

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Old 01-04-2008, 05:44 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the information. It is greatly appreciated. Now we can start planning our vacation and making reservations.....it's gonna be a loooooong winter and spring!
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