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Old 10-10-2010, 10:19 PM   #1
slk
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Planning a trip out west

Hi all.....

I am planing a trip out west. Will be leaving Minnesota wanting to go to Carlsbad caverns,painted desert, petrified forest, Grand canyon, Bryce canyon, Zion canyon, Mesa verde, and then back to Mn

Does anyone have/know any good places to stay in any of those places. Would like to have Electric,& Water hook-ups. I see most of the National Parks do not have any electric or water. Will be going next May 2011

Thanks
Steve
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:21 AM   #2
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Zion

In Springdale, UT, take a look at the RV Park at the Quality Inn,

Ferber Resorts - Zion Lodging, Camping, RV Resort

It is not real fancy, mostly dirt, but has trees, is right on the Virgin River, and has full hookups. It is close to the park entrance and if you are there during the "season" the shuttle buses stop right out front. I have tent camped there and it was fine. What it lacks in amenities it makes up for with location. HowardE might chime in here with first hand experience.

Tom
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:06 AM   #3
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Palo Doro Canyon in Texas near Amarillo is fantastic, second largest canyon in the USA. It has a Texas state campground with nice sites. Don't miss White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. I've heard that the elevators at Carlsbad Cavern are closed down for renovation...it's a long hike down and up to get to the cavern floor but it's incredible when you get there. The campground in Carlsbad is rudimentary and not recommended. If your route takes you near Oklahoma City, see the Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Thunderbird Lake SP, south and east of Oklahoma is a fantastic campground. West Texas, including Midland and Odessa, are awful! There's nothing there. Swing west and drive to Carlsbad via the east half of New Mexico (Taos, Santa Fe, and Albequerque). If you want to see those towns you have to park well outside of town and spend a day or two. We made the mistake of taking the rig into town and could not park.
I don't know how old, healthy, or fit you are. Mesa Verde's campground is at 12,500 feet altitude. We got high altitude sickness there (short of breath and some cognitive dysfunction) and could not hike down into the ruins. Get well hydrated and consider Advil or Motrin (prostaglandin inhibitors may help with pulmonary vasoconstriction at high altitude...not proven but it's talked about).
We bypassed Zion because of road repairs and long delays and opted for Bryce Canyon, which was crowded but spectacular! There is a road in the Escalante National Forest/Capitol Reef area called the Devils Backbone. I'll leave it to you to guess why! Think about the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The meadows along the road in are beautiful and have herds of wild bison. Kanab, UT is a nice town with a good campground downtown. There's a great Mexican restaurant on 2nd Street.
Coming from MN you will have to go through Nebraska. Take the north-south road through the Sand Hills area, the most beautiful part of NE in my opinion. And stop at the Barlow (?sp) ranch at the south end of the road. Also, consider the Badlands in SD and the Little Bighorn NM in Montana. In season they have a guest speaker every Wednesday at 12 Noon. We heard Crazy Horse's grandson. When you are in Utah, camp in one of the campgrounds in Moab and see Canyonlands NP and Arches NP. They are just as beautiful as Zion and Bryce. We came through Salt Lake City and camped out on Antelope Island, six miles out on a causeway to the island in the middle of Great Salt Lake...dry camping but beautiful sunsets!
If you want to see my blog of out trip (Aug-Oct this year) go to http://web.me.com/rawiklund and send me an email at rawiklund@me.com to tell me if it helps.
You're right about the National Park campgrounds. They do not have water or electricity and many of them are in sad shape. State campgrounds out West are about $20-$25 per night and will have electricity and water, and some will have sewer. The best campgrounds we've found are those of the Army Corps of Engineers but they are mostly in the Mid-West along the major waterways (Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee Rivers and the dammed lakes of Missouri, Arkansa, Nebraska. They are clean, spacious, full-facilities, large campsites (mostly paved) on beautiful waterways. They put the National Parks to shame. They run $20-$24 per night but are only $10-$12 if you have a Senior Pass. You get free admission to all Federal recreational sites, such as Carlsbad, if you have a Senior Pass.
We have done 40,000 miles over the last 3 years with our Airstream and those included four trips out West. First to the International Rally at Bozeman MT, then a long trip to the Southwest, then to the Pacific Northwest including Alberta and British Columbia, then this year to Oregon, California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah (again).
Hope this helps. I could go on and on but will stop here.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:13 AM   #4
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Make reservations at Grand Canyon early. They have a limited amount of full hook-up sites that sell out quick. If you don't mind dry camping for a few days, they have lots no hook-up sites you can score this time of year with out reservations...

Have a great trip.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:08 AM   #5
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The closest to Carlsbad Caverns is White City. Some negative reviews because of disrepair, but it is now under new management. I don't remember any private campgrounds near GC, Bryce and Zion. There are 2 private campgrounds on the main road near Mesa Verde.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:14 PM   #6
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Steve, For Zion, the Zion Canyon campground in Springdale is your best choice. We usually stay there during a Fall photo shoot at Zion. When you make reservations be sure to tell them the size of trailer and tow vehicle so you get a big enough site. There are two campgrounds in the park - South and Watchman. Watchman has some RV sites with electric.

For Bryce there are 2 private campgrounds - Ruby's Inn ($$) and Bryce Canyon Pines (Good Sam park) near the National Park. I have only driven by them.

A couple of options for Grand Canyon are to:
1. Stay in Flagstaff and drive up.
2. Stay in Williams and take the Grand Canyon Railway up to the park and back.
3. Stay at the RV park that is part of the Cameron Trading Post in Cameron. That puts you within a mile of where AZ 64 turns off US 89 and goes to the East entrance of the park.

Depending on when in May you are there, the road to the North Rim may not be open yet.

Best of luck planning your trip!
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:29 PM   #7
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Painted Desert/Petrified Forest

Holbrook AZ is the closest town for the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest NP. 2 parks - a KOA and OK RV Park (big parking lot).

1 Hour East of Flagstaff is Meteor Crater RV park (about 10-15 mi. West of Winslow) - get the tee shirt.
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:45 PM   #8
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I stayed at the Hitch-N-Post in Kanab, UT. Small, shady clean and close to both Zion and Bryce Canyon. Park is across the street from a small independenr supermarket and within walking distance of several restaurants and watering holes. You can get a good seat in the park to watch the nightly rolling up of the sidewalks at sundown.
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:05 PM   #9
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Don't stop with the lower West come up to OR and WA ST and visit a whole new experience. The Land Yacht Harbor in Lacey, WA is a great place to "bunk" your AS and visit Western WA ST. jjustice
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:24 PM   #10
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We have stayed at ZION RIVER RESORT- it is swanky.. everything brand-new.. nice pool and hottubs. Take advantage of a million $$ RV park..
It is right on the river. 10-15 minutes to ZION entrance
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:02 AM   #11
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Agree with post about WA and OR

I agree wholeheartedly with JJJustice about the Pacific Northwest. We joined the Oregon Unit in 2009 for their rally at the Pendleton Roundup. What a great time! And what nice people.

We traced the Columbia River from the ice fields in Alberta/British Columbia all the way down to the Pacific Ocean. The Columbia River Gorge is beautiful. We also stopped in Joseph and Enterprise, OR for their annual Mule Days, not as big as Pendleton Roundup but very nice.
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:32 AM   #12
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Hi Dick :& Claire, Missed you at this years Pendleton round-up Rally. SLK, The Oregon Unit wbcci is having a Wally Birthday Party July 4th in Wally's home town of Baker, Oregon. The regional Museum in Baker is opening there new display on Wally and his Airstreams and we will be part of this. We will be dry camping in the park next to the Museum. I'm just working out the details but this should be a not to be missed event for every airstreamer.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:50 AM   #13
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Thanks Theresa. Check this out: AIRSTREAMING WEST 2010 http://web.me.com/rawiklund. We did southern Oregon this year including Crater Lake!
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:10 AM   #14
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Crater Lake

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Originally Posted by dick&claire View Post
Thanks Theresa. Check this out: AIRSTREAMING WEST 2010 http://web.me.com/rawiklund. We did southern Oregon this year including Crater Lake!
This was Crater Lake second weekend in July
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