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Old 01-31-2015, 06:34 PM   #1
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AZ, UT, & CO. Help Plz?

Hey folks, trying to plan out our trip to AZ, UT & CO in May. Can anyone in the Phoenix area recommend a CG that has awesome views plz? We will be attending our nephew's graduation the 2nd week in May from ASU. We are not too hip to staying in downtown Phoenix, we want the best views where we camp. Suggestions please?

On to Utah... I understand we will need plenty of H20! How full do the campgrounds get in May? Not seeing too many of them. Not sure if I have waited too late to reserve a spot. Hope not.

Can we get by w/o a generator when visiting the SW in May? I'm thinking a gen-set is a must, but experienced voices, please reply.
Any must-see places in Utah besides the 5 parks?

Colorado....We are wide open after Utah, but we have friends in Denver that we would like to visit. Any must-see places in Colorado coming from Utah?
Your help is greatly appreciated, and if our paths cross, your first drinks are on us! (Hope to meet up with MandolinDave & Westcoasta's too! TY for your help.)
Thank you my fellow AS'ers.
It's all about the ADVENTURE.
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Old 01-31-2015, 07:42 PM   #2
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Are you going to Moab, UT? If so, there is a pretty active BASE jumping community there. If you're interested, there's a very popular spot about 5 minutes from town on a gravel road where there's pretty steady activity. Just look up and you'll see bodies flying off of the 400' cliffs... then opening parachutes.

I'll be spending roughly August thru November there if anyone is in town during that time, I can provide quite the show.
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Old 01-31-2015, 07:42 PM   #3
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The only nice campgrounds with views are on the outskirts of the entire metro area of Phx., all about 30+ miles from ASU. Lost Dutchman at the base of the Superstitions has the best views and access to mountains and lakes. Cave Creek has a nice county park.

Utah and Colorado are big states with a lot of big views. You need to check out allstays.com for campground descriptions depending on your preferred route. You will encounter warm weather in southern AZ and parts of Utah in May but you can find parks with hookups for AC if the weather gets hot.
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:02 PM   #4
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May might be a tad early for the high country. But I would recommend the 4 corners area. There are RV parks near Durango, Mancos and Cortez that are open year round.
A person could spend a month in southwest Colorado and not see it all.
I highly recommend the Alpen Rose RV park just north of Durango on Hwy 550. Nice people nice place. I believe they open in late April but you should check.
If you are traveling further north the James M. Robb State Park in Fruita, CO. Is a nice place.
Be aware that traveling in the HIGH country in May you will experience night time freezing temps and may encounter snow albeit short lived. It does mean that the roads may be snow packed and icy at elevations above 7,000'. Spring snow storms are relatively common in the mountains that time of year.
There are web cams on most major highways in Colorado which will give you an idea of the road conditions. Especially over the mountain passes.
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:32 PM   #5
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Lost Dutchman State Park

I second Lost Dutchman State Park at the Apache Junction at the east end Metro Phx for a base...far enough out to be scenic yet close to groceries and gas and easy access to Phoenix and Tempe. We were there over Christmas for a week.
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:35 PM   #6
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Lost Dutchman State Park in AZ, Phoenix area will fill your bill very well for views, and it is a fast and straight shot into ASU on 60 from Apache Junction.
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Old 01-31-2015, 11:47 PM   #7
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It depends upon what you want to do in Utah and where you want to go. Moab has become so popular that even the more remote BLM campgrounds are filling up early. Arches and Zion National Parks take reservations for their campgrounds-- highly recommended.

Zion's Watchman campground has the advantage of electrical hookups. The South Campground is first-come, first serve, and we got in there once in April by dint of lining up at the entrance at 9:00 am.

Bryce Canyon's campground is also first come, first serve, but there are several RV parks just outside the main park entrance. We've stayed at Ruby's Inn a few times, and thought it was nice-- space between the sites is good.

The campground at Fruita in Capitol Reef National Park is often open-- if you can arrive in the morning.

We thought of Horse Thief Campground near Moab (near Dead Horse Point State Park) as our go-to campground, till even it started filling up. The BLM does allow some dispersed camping in the desert beyond this CG, but this isn't the kind of place where you'd want to leave the main roads after dark without a clear destination. There are nice RV parks in Moab. We recently stayed in the Spanish Trail RV park there.

There is a fun private Airstream park in Escalante, Utah: the Shooting Star Airstream Resort. It has an RV park, an Airstream "hotel," and old cars in which you can sit at their drive-in as you watch an old movie.

If you have a clear idea of where you want to go hopefully we can be more helpful.

Besides the major Utah national parks, I would recommend the Escalante area, Dead Horse Point State Park, Natural Bridges NM, and if you have a 4wd high-clearance tow vehicle, dropping your trailer and exploring some of the better-maintained dirt/gravel roads. We also like the north San Rafael Swell (Wedge Overlook and San Rafael Bridge CG), but I don't know if you wish to go this far north. If you are interested in ancestral Puebloan ruins, and like more remote places, try Hovenweap NM.

If you like to boondock (which is mostly what there is, outside of the RV parks,) a generator or solar panels are a good idea.
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Old 02-01-2015, 01:46 AM   #8
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Hi from AZ. . . Lost Dutchman SP is our favorite in AZ, as well as everyone else, apparently. regards, Craig
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Old 02-01-2015, 03:16 AM   #9
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Arizona/Utah boarder near Monument Valley has Gouldings campground with about the best view I've ever woke up to see.
About half way between Grand Canyon and Moab.
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:44 AM   #10
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Gavin, just realized you have a MH and a trailer.

Tough call on which to take. MH would be great for getting there. BUT…….

I am not sure, but it REALLY seems like obstacles were left, or obstacles were installed to keep RVers from getting very far off of the highway, especially in Utah. Upon arriving at most of our destinations, I would say, " You really had to want to get here".
Being able to unhook the trailer and go off road, would be a plus. Please do not stress about the decision, as you will have a great time no matter what. My brother thinks it would be foolish to bring my trailer at all, and that I should just do the van thing. His RV is a beat up, reinforced Toyota Corolla, with skid plates.

Above Mexican Hat and The Valley of the Gods, is a road called, The Moki Dugway ( translation; The white man's road ) It has a STEEP section with hair pin turns . RVs are simply NOT ALLOWED. No big deal, back tracking and driving the long way around for 2 hours, is a very nice scenic drive. I would make a note of that on your map.

Travel time in Utah is like a time warp, that doesn't translate. While a four hour trip can be a nightmare some places, it is a dream in the Southwest.
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:46 AM   #11
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Oops, my bad

Just realized that you don't have a motorhome
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post

Above Mexican Hat and The Valley of the Gods, is a road called, The Moki Dugway ( translation; The white man's road ) It has a STEEP section with hair pin turns . RVs are simply NOT ALLOWED. No big deal, back tracking and driving the long way around for 2 hours, is a very nice scenic drive. I would make a note of that on your map.
Not true. The state suggest that vehicles over 28 feet do not negotiate the 10% grades and hairpin turns. However, with a TV and trailer, it is very doable with the articulation. Have done it twice. Have seen small semis as well.

However, I would not suggest it unless you have some experience with mountain passes and are not afraid of 1000' drop offs without guard rails. It is one of the scariest grades you'll find
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:47 AM   #13
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I second Lost Dutchman State Park at the Apache Junction at the east end Metro Phx for a base...far enough out to be scenic yet close to groceries and gas and easy access to Phoenix and Tempe. We were there over Christmas for a week.
We stayed there about 10 years ago and say the northern lights. we were all a but drunk and thought is was a hallucination but the papers the next days said is was seen as far as Mexico

Very nice place
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Old 02-01-2015, 12:14 PM   #14
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If your coming this far you really need to do the Grand Circle in Utah which is all of the Utah National Parks. (Also Mesa Verde in Colorado) Many other places to see including Monument Valley. My Wife and I agree that this was one of the best trips we have done in the Airstream!
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