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Old 05-01-2013, 08:21 AM   #1
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Planning a Utah Trip from Oregon

Loretta and I are planning a trip to Utah this summer and meeting some old friends who are going to rent an RV and come with us. We are driving the new 27' AS from Oregon and they are flying from Virginia. Since we are new to the west as well as AS travel, we are looking for suggestions on the best places to hit on a 1 week trip. Boondocking will be fine interspursed with some full hookups and both couples are active and mobile.
I have read some wonderful threads on So Utah and the parks but not sure if 1 week will be enough. (Dammed work always gets in the way!).
Would appreciate any comments and BTW, really dont want to try the road with the sheer cliffs on both sided and no shoulder
We also dont want to wear ourselves out as it is vacation too.
Mike & Loretta

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Old 05-01-2013, 09:11 AM   #2
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It will be a quick trip if it can be done and with a lot of " oh we need to come back and see..."

We did Oregon to Moab, Canyon lands bryce, Grand Canyon. A very Rocky Trip. It was a great trip, too fast, and you know there was a lot of " oh we need to come back and see..." We had 10 days.

Some very cool back drops for the Airstream. We didn't have ours then. Will use it next time. Very high on list.

We went thru Klamath Falls, Lake View, Elko and then on to Moab.

Tony S
Rogue River, Oregon
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:37 AM   #3
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Probably two distinct options for a one week trip to Utah.

1. Moab. The Canyonlands, Arches and a bit of a stretch; Monument Valley.

2. Bryce, Cedarbreaks, and Zion. And perhaps Escalante and Capital Reef.

In both, you're probably shortchanging yourself with only a week.

Good luck!
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:44 AM   #4
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A week is really not enough time, but you already know that! Among many standouts, here are two quick suggestions:

* Kodachrome Basin State Park, near Bryce. It has four or five great pull thru sites with hook-ups. It's a gem - remote, quiet & scenic. Kodachrome Basin State Park | Utah State Parks

* Hovenweep National Monument. This is another remote but very interesting park that is closer to boon docking as there are no hookups. It is another little visited gem that is one of our favorites. Hovenweep National Monument - Hovenweep National Monument

Best of luck to you,

John S.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:31 AM   #5
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My vote is for Kodachrome. We stayed there last October with full hookups.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:39 AM   #6
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About seven years ago my wife and I went to Dinosaur National Monument, as part of a two week RV trip.

We saw petroglyphs, fossilized bones sticking out of the rocks, all the great stuff you might see on some TV documentary, but we were THERE. It seemed well off the beaten path. Some of the landscape the remote state highways pass through in that area was surreal, like out of a sci-fi movie. On one road I think we drove for well over an hour without seeing another vehicle.

There was a lot of oil drilling going on at the time and the dumpier RV parks had long term residents, roughnecks bunking in old campers. We stayed at the Vernal KOA, which was overpriced for what it was, but the nicest place in the area.

On that same trip we visited the Grand Canyon and Mesa Verde, both of which I had been to long ago. Dinosaur National Monument stands out because it was so different from anything I've ever seen before, or might see again unless I return.

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Old 05-01-2013, 12:36 PM   #7
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We have made several trips to Utah.
I would strongly suggest #1 in murrywalker's post, perhaps leaving Monument Valley as question mark depending on your time. If you want to stay in Moab, it is in a beautiful setting. Arches is right there, Canyonlands just a short drive. If you go to Moab, the Moab Diner green chile sauce is to die for.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
My vote is for Kodachrome. We stayed there last October with full hookups.
We must have missed each other - last October is when we were there as well. What a nice camp ground.

John S.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:05 PM   #9
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Well if your friends are flying in, the easiest location would be to meet in Salt Lake. From there you can go south to Zion NP and Snow Canyon. As said above, Bryce and Cedar Breaks are not far if you want to do a loop. You don't want to go east of Bryce or Kodachrome if you don't like drop offs, as Highway 12 has plenty.

The other option is to go east on I-70 to Moab as stated above, to Arches and Canyonlands.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:33 PM   #10
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So much to see ... We spent 2 weeks last year, and are going back to revisit some, and see new spots this year. For me, Kodachrome and Dead Horse Point were two of the many highlights.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:53 PM   #11
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Since you have only a week and are going to spend half of it driving back and forth to Oregon, I suggest Moab. It is close to I-70. It will be hot so you can spend one day floating down the Colorado River. There are a multitude of sights nearby for the other two days and Moab is a nice little tourist town with shopping and good eats. We like the Spanish Trail RV park 3 miles south of town on Highway 189. There is grass, shade trees, the sites are bigger and it is away from town noise.
I find it un relaxing to cover lots of miles towing my Airstream. If I had only a week, I would pick a destination within a days drive of my home.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:52 PM   #12
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My wife and I and our two dogs are heading for The Grand Canyon and then on to Utah, Zion, Kodachrome and Moab, then start working our way home. No big rush being we are retired. We are leaving on the 10th. We are heading south via the coast and the Redwoods then to Yosemite Park at the Dimond O campground which was the best I could do when I made reservations. We are planing to go south from there to Bakersfield and then east to the Grand Canyon. I plan on taking Highway 41 from Yosemite to Fresno. I wonder if anybody here knows much about that route. This is our first really big trip with our Airstream so this will be a learning experience for us.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:05 AM   #13
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One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of the camping places in and near the parks do fill up in the summer, which is high season. It would be sad to spend a long drive to see these amazing sights and then find "no room at the inn." If you want to stay in or close to the major parks, I would suggest you book now, via the NPS websites.

You can book ahead for the CG in Arches and the Watchman campground in Zion NPs. Bryce doesn't take revs, but we've stayed at a nice RV park near Bryce (with NPS shuttle bus service) called Ruby's Inn. You can also book for most Utah state park CGs.

Zion Canyon also requires you to take a shuttle through the canyon during the high season, but they are big buses that run nonstop.

One place I would recommend near Arches is the spectacular view at Dead Horse Point State Park. If you can get there at sunrise or sunset, so much the better. It has a small CG that does tend to fill up, but there is a BLM campground nearby called Horse Thief where you can generally find room.

Of course, many people prefer to go "where the wind takes them," but this could be you plus an awful lot of other people! Including lots from Europe.

The information center in Moab and the BLM district offices are other good places to check for camping on the Internet before you leave. There are a lot of BLM CGs in the Moab/Arches area, though some are not so RV-friendly.

We generally drop the Bambi at our campsite, and then explore by truck.

If you are interested in Native American ruins, I would also recommend Hovenweap NM, which is more off the beaten track.

We stayed at the Needles Outpost CG at Canyonlands a few years ago, but it was very poorly maintained. The one at Hatch Point in the BLM Canyon Rim area is further out, but maintained, nice, and quiet.

I would also recommend the Shooting Star drive-in & Airstream RV park in Escalante, Utah. OK, if you come in from the east, you do go over Hell's Backbone, but it isn't a long stretch and the slickrock is spectacular.

Another gem is Natural Bridges NM. The CG was full by noon the day we got there last year, but we found some good overflow camping in a BLM area the NPS had marked as suitable for tents.

If you take the long stretch of I-70 between Salina and Green River, Utah; yes, it is a 105 mile stretch with no services... but some spectacular scenery. Speaking of which, there is a nice state park CG in Green River along the river.

We would do a lot to avoid I-15 through Salt Lake City and the Wasatch front. Coming from Oregon, if your route to Arches takes you down I-84, you can bypass it near Ogden, then take HY 6 to Green River. The 2-lane federal highways in Nevada are long and lonely, but present few problems.

Happy camping!
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:50 PM   #14
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FYI Shooting Star is closed for much of 2013. we tried to reserve a date in July. Mark sent a note saying they are performing some infrastructure work and remodeling.

I booked into nearby Escalante Petrified Forest State Park instead.


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