Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-16-2019, 06:09 AM   #1
4 Rivet Member
 
2016 16' Sport
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 318
Southwest Great circle route

I am just starting to plan a road rip for August 2020. Is it possible to do the Great circle route without reservations? We have a 16 foot Caravell. My wife would prefer full hookups at least some nights. My son who will be 12 next summer will also be with us.
We would be starting in New Jersey but I am thinking about driving my Grand Cherokee and trailer out solo in July and leaving it somewhere. Then we could fly out in August and maximize our stay.

Thanks for any input !
__________________

Shiny16 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 10:46 AM   #2
3 Rivet Member
 
2017 25' Flying Cloud
west plains , Missouri
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 138
If you want to stay in or near national parks reservations are needed in summer. Otherwise, sites can be found, especially in mornings. Just call ahead the day of. We have traveled this area, in this season, with a Bambi and managed. It may be very hot, so electricity or generator is advised.
__________________

rjack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 11:06 AM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
2016 16' Sport
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 318
Thanks
When you say sites can be found in the mornings do you mean near the parks?
Shiny16 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 12:55 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 11,404
Guessing they mean something like the following . . .

At our local state park, which is very crowded in the summer, they have a daily "wait list" for folks without reservations. You have to get in line outside the office at about 7 AM, and wait in line until the office opens at 8 AM. The park ranger then comes out with a clipboard, and takes everyone's name and contact number [in order].

The park staff does their regular office work all morning, and looks in their computerized reservation system for sites anticipated to be available. Then, at 11 AM, they make the rounds of the CG to confirm the computer's list, and to double-check for empty sites. They usually find a few empty sites, which the computerized reservation system may not have disclosed.

The staff gets back to the office by noon [when you have to be there again], and announces the vacant sites available, and the number of nights open for each site. The first person on the wait list gets "first dibs" on the available sites/number of nights, and so on down the line.

A little archaic maybe, but if you know this system in advance, and if you are physically available to jump through the hoops, you can usually get a site for 1-3 nights during the week. Weekends are much more problematic.

Many other state/federal parks have similar systems during the busy camping season IMO. You have to call ahead and find out the particulars for each park. Yes, this is a lot of work . . . and very unpredictable!



Good luck,

Peter
OTRA15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 01:03 PM   #5
4 Rivet Member
 
2016 16' Sport
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 318
Thanks

So in the case where you don’t get a site are there generally commercial campgrounds available out side most parks? Is there a great chance of just “having no where to go”?

I remember doing this as a teenager with a tent and a Jeep one summer. Availability was never an issue but I’m sure things have changed.
Shiny16 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 01:07 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 11,404
That depends on where you are. We live near that SP. If we don't get a site, we come back home and do something else. Not a good option obviously if you are in the middle of a long trip. Out west you have more options, but WallyDocking may be one of them.

Peter

PS -- http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ing-13082.html
OTRA15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 11:09 AM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
2016 19' Flying Cloud
Newtown , Connecticut
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 33
You can probably get sites at commercial facilities near the highway, but for places of interest like Natl Parks and other scenic areas, I'd make reservations well in advance for the Summer months.
brundom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 11:34 AM   #8
Len and Jeanne
 
Len n Jeanne's Avatar
 
2005 16' International CCD
2015 19' Flying Cloud
Creston Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,708
Agreed. The "go where the wind takes you" trope was good maybe 20 years ago but not today. I would suggest you book very early. You will lose a small cancellation fee if you have to cancel, but that is probably better than not getting a site.

Expect crowds. Then we suggest you start your days early, to minimize both the crowds and the heat that time of year. The gateway communities will all have RV parks.

Zion NP is probably the tightest for reservations,, though, as the nearby communities sit in a rocky canyon with limited flat areas for development. You will have to take a free Park Service shuttle bus to get into the main part of Zion Canyon. The Watchman CG in the park has electrical hookups, but most NPS campgrounds have no hookups.

One place we've left the Bambi for several months with good results is the Temple View RV Park in St George, Utah. They have secure storage and helpful staff.
Len n Jeanne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 01:06 PM   #9
4 Rivet Member
 
2016 16' Sport
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 318
Thanks for the input.

Let me pose the question a different way. Maybe I donít need to do the entire grand circle route. Iíll try to explain what Iím looking for.

Iíd like to spend about 2.5 to 3 (not counting the drive to and from the east coast) weeks in the Southwest and visiting some but not necessarily all the iconic sites. My wife is not super adventurous when it comes to Boondocking so commercial parks with full hookups would be nice. Maybe some day trips from a few different centrally located RV parks. That way she could relax with AC ect.. while my son and I do somethingís she is not interested in.
Iíd like to make it a relaxing trip that offers an introduction to the Southwest without having to cram everything in.
Any suggestions for a few key destinations?
Shiny16 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 01:45 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
AirMiles's Avatar
 
2018 27' Globetrotter
Apollo Beach , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 949
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiny16 View Post
Thanks for the input.

Let me pose the question a different way. Maybe I don’t need to do the entire grand circle route. I’ll try to explain what I’m looking for.

I’d like to spend about 2.5 to 3 (not counting the drive to and from the east coast) weeks in the Southwest and visiting some but not necessarily all the iconic sites. My wife is not super adventurous when it comes to Boondocking so commercial parks with full hookups would be nice. Maybe some day trips from a few different centrally located RV parks. That way she could relax with AC ect.. while my son and I do something’s she is not interested in.
I’d like to make it a relaxing trip that offers an introduction to the Southwest without having to cram everything in.
Any suggestions for a few key destinations?
I would start at the Grand Canyon (Ten-X campground is FCFS), Hoover Dam, stay at Lake Mead (I didn't need reservations), I would go to Red Rock Canyon or Kyle Canyon outside of Las Vegas (several FCFS campgrounds there) take a daytrip to Las Vegas Strip, then on to Zion NP, daytrip to Cedar Breaks National Monument, then Bryce Canyon, Escalante, Capital Reef, Canyonlands, Arches NP, (State Highway 12 through Utah is AMAZING better reserve campgrounds through this stretch), stay a night at Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction CO (no reservation needed), Montrose CO (stay at South Rim Campground at Black Canyon of Gunnision no reservation needed), take a day-trip to Ouray CO, go to Rocky Mountain National Park North of Denver (stay at a FCFS campround on west side of park), maybe a daytrip to Pikes Peak. For me, this would be the best-of-the-best 2.5 to 3 weeks in the Southwest. I have visited all these sites and will return to see them all again. Many of the FCFS campgrounds have no electicity (best to have a quiet inverter generator that can run A/C).
__________________
2018 Globetrotter 27Q, 29 nights 4,435 miles, 600W Solar, PD4655L, Duracell EGC2 Batteries, ProPride, 16" Michelin's, Champion 3400W Dual-Fuel, 2019 F250
Sold: 2017 Flying Cloud 25FB, 316 nights 40,150 miles, 400W Solar
Sold: 2013 Casita SD17 89 nights 16,200 miles
AirMiles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 02:44 PM   #11
3 Rivet Member
 
2017 16' Sport
Canyon Country , California
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 221
it can be done without reservations, but risky and stressful for me. Sometimes we make reservations, but the obstacles happen, we can't make it on time for our reservations.

You can always call when you are on the trip to make reservations, or know which campground is available or full.
__________________
2014 Ford Explorer XLT with factory installed Tow Package.

2017 M16 Bambi
Halford1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2019, 11:26 PM   #12
Len and Jeanne
 
Len n Jeanne's Avatar
 
2005 16' International CCD
2015 19' Flying Cloud
Creston Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,708
I think it is wise not to cram too much into one trip. You can always come back if you love it.

One smaller (relatively speaking) area to consider would take in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks plus Deadhorse Point State Park. You could base your AS in the town of Moab, Utah, which has many RV parks, and then take off for multiple day trips. One day trip might be a commercial raft trip on the Colorado River. There is a lot of mountain biking, hiking, and 4WD driving in the area.

One RV park we've used a lot there is Spanish Trail RV park at the south end of town. It has shade trees (nice to have in August in the desert) and a nice swimming pool. We've also stayed in the Canyonlands RV park in town, which has mature shade trees and the added charm (for some people) of being right in town, so you can walk to restaurants and shops. But there are others to choose from.

If your son is interested in dinosaurs, there is a dinosaur theme park north of town. Also, on your way towards Moab, you could stop in Fruita, Colorado (on I-80 near Grand Junction) there is a dinosaur Imax there as well as the scenic Colorado National Monument.

If he is interested in ancient native American ruins, Mesa Verde is well worth a visit. But so are lesser-known national monuments. A few hours south of Moab is Hovenweep National Monument. It is pretty remote, but there is a campground there.

Come to think of it, maybe mention what the 3 of you really like to do.

You don't mention if a dog would be part of your party. It gets really hot in this area in the summer and dogs are not allowed on national park hiking trails, so this would be a consideration for some.
Len n Jeanne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2019, 04:35 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 11,404
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiny16 View Post
. . .
I’d like to make it a relaxing trip that offers an introduction to the Southwest without having to cram everything in.
. . .
Thanks for the update.

With your trip being centered on August 2020, the absolute pinnacle of summer camping in the Southwest, you should immediately start making campground reservations, to see if you can assemble the bare bones of a "relaxing" trip.

Your progress in this effort, or lack thereof, will inform your choice to continue with the planning IMO.

Good luck,

Peter

PS -- Carlsbad Caverns is an amazing place IMO. You can stay at the KOA in Van Horn TX, just off I-10, and make a day trip north on the local Texas 2-line highway.
OTRA15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2019, 05:36 AM   #14
4 Rivet Member
 
2016 16' Sport
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 318
Thanks to all. You guys have me thinking and rethinking. When I posted this I really was in the very first stage of even contemplating this trip. So if I sound like I’m all over the place it’s because I am but I’m getting lots of ideas with your help and will have it narrowed down.

To give a better idea of what my family enjoys. My son likes any kind of science history ect. So he is very easy to please. My wife the same but is the type that’s happy to look at the Grand Canyon from the observation areas but does not need to hike down into it. The boy and I are fine with that as we get to do lots of “real camping “ on our own.
Shiny16 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2019, 05:51 AM   #15
4 Rivet Member
 
2016 16' Sport
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 318
So a possible route. Subject to change and change.

Start in Denver or Chicago

Drive to The Black Hills and find an RV Park. Side trips to Mount Rushmour and The Badlands.
Days ?
Drive through Cody maybe one night in Cody.
Drive through Yellowstone to the west gate KOA and do day trips into Yellowstone.
Days?
Drive to Moab. A downtown RV Park would meet our needs to do day trips from.
Days?
Grand Canyon
Days?
Start to head back to the East coast.
If we are constrained on time we would again store the Airstream and fly but my son would like to drive through St Louie and see the Arch.

I’m flexible with the starting point as I would probably go out by myself prior and store the airstream ahead of time. So starting close to a major Airport would be key.
The rest I’m working on....
Shiny16 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2019, 07:20 AM   #16
2 Rivet Member
 
2018 26' Flying Cloud
Warner Robins , Georgia
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 34
Hi, We just spent two months wandering around from Georgia to Wyoming and back again. went to Jackson Center in July for some warranty work, then took a left. 5 states of corn fields and we made it to North Dakota to Theodore Roosevelt NP. Check your national parks sites carefully. Most have first come first serve sites. Like 50% are first come the others reservable. We walked into TRNP. From there it was Rapid City at Ellsworth AFB. Stayed a week at the base and drove all the sites for hikes. Summer is HOT in the badlands.Then Horsetheif lake campground NP (reserved in advance) 2 miles from Mt. Rushmore. Sturgis motorcycle rally was just beginning so Custer state park was booked, though they still have first come sites also. Stayed a week at the base and drove for day excursions and hikes. Next was Devils Tower. All first come, and though Sturgis was in full swing we rolled right into the NP no problem. 4 days there and we headed across Wyoming. Grand Tetons was easy to get into. Gran Venture campground was half first come. (if I remember correctly, it could have all been no reservations) Gran Venture was a really nice np campground. Great place to base out of to explore the tetons and jackson hole. Stayed a week and could have stayed another. It's big. Always call the big parks near when you're leaving. We got a week in Yellowstone at Grant Village three weeks before we left. There are always cancellations. Be nice and smile a lot to the campground people. It helps. Got questions, send a note. Hope this helps.
jrwayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2019, 09:32 AM   #17
2 Rivet Member
 
2016 30' International
1957 18' Wanderer
Everywhere , Everywhere
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 56
Some suggestions for "Do Not Miss": You're traveling with a Youngster. The most wonderful thing we did (and I would have loved to do this with a 12 year old), was the hike up the Narrows in Zion Np. You rent the funny shoes (which you need to protect your feet from the bounders you'll be walking on) and the walking stick to help you keep your balance. Do the rental the night before, so you can be on the tram line to take you up the canyon first thing in the morning....Don't wait till the middle of the day. It will get more crowded as the day goes on, and the risk of thunderstorms in the area go up as the day goes on, which makes the canyon a dangerous place to be (flash floods)......In August you can do this in a bathing suit. It will be hot, but the canyon is cool. This experience is on my top two things we've done in almost three years on the road. Your child will never forget it. You are hiking IN THE RIVER. Through fern grottos and pink and golden deep rock canyons. Pack a lunch and snacks and plenty of water. If you don't get a camping spot at the Watchman Campground (electric only sites), get a reservation at the Zion River Resort, not far from the park on the west side (full hookups) which is a lovely place, and has a pool for the kiddies and a Rolls Royce laundry room. Happy Trails.....
57Wanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2019, 09:51 AM   #18
2 Rivet Member
 
2016 30' International
1957 18' Wanderer
Everywhere , Everywhere
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 56
Addendum to my earlier post: The Grand Circle is HUGE and MAGNIFICENT. If you're staying in and around Utah, I would consider staying outside Bryce at Kodachrome Basin SP. No cell No WiFI. You will be knocked over by the quiet and dark skies. Bring your own provisions. Full hookups. Staggering scenery. Great hikes. 40 minutes to Bryce for the day.

Also over by St George, San Hollow SP is very beautiful, unless you stuck on the wrong side of the reservoir with the ATV crowd. Full hookup sites only.

If you're going over to southern Colorado the town of Durango has it all. Durango Riverside Campground is a great launching point to the Million Day Highway to Silverton and Ouray (don't take the trailer up there)......Hot Springs in Durango and Ouray, too. Keep your bathing suits and towel in the car at all times....Don't miss those.

ON the road from Durango to Cortez (which is a great place to take a day trip up to Telluride), is Mesa Verde. Don't miss Mesa Verde, if you can help it. Tours of the ruins are $5. Once again early in the day. There are campgrounds very close by. There is also a beautiful campground in Dolores on the river that is beautiful.

Page. Arizona is the jumping off point for Lake Powell adventures, and Antelope Canyon tours...... Kanab, Utah is the place to try and score a lottery win for "the Wave", although you may be able to score a place through the online lottery, since you are thinking this through a year in advance. Good luck and happy trails to you.
57Wanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2019, 10:04 AM   #19
2 Rivet Member
 
2016 30' International
1957 18' Wanderer
Everywhere , Everywhere
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 56
Sitting here with a map of the Grand Circle in front of me. I realize we have done most of it in 3 years of fulltiming, and I'm glad you're going to see some of this. I can see that you could experience a lot of it by starting in Denver and heading over to Salida (small town with a lot to offer), heading down to the Great Sand Dunes (San Luis Rec Area Campground right outside the park) then head across the bottom of Colorado (Pagosa Springs, Durango, Cortez, the Four Corners, Monument Valley, Kayenta, Page, Kanab, Zion, Bryce, Highway 12 to Canyonlands...... Just ideas.. All of these places are beautiful. Enjoy.
57Wanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2019, 11:02 AM   #20
2 Rivet Member
 
2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
Mesa , Arizona
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 39
Ahhh, the good old days! You, in a way, remind me of us 30+ years ago. We live on the NW coast and wanted to tour the east coast so we set out for a one year voyage from Maine to Key West - zero reservations more than a week ahead. It was the most memorable of all our travels (and we have travelled much of the world). We stayed as long as we wished in each state, visiting every attraction we could find, anD met many great people. Most of whom are no longer with us..
my best advice to you would be to not rush it. Explore the less travelled roads for the small pleasures that are everywhere. It’s not much fun standing in line at Disney 90 minutes for a 2 minute ride, but you can sit for hours gazing at Bryce Canyon. Like so many say - IMHO.
__________________

Moodywelman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Four Corners Grand Circle Tour ghatfield On The Road... 4 07-19-2015 08:00 PM
Utah Grand Circle Tour-Route Advice 4RXLA On The Road... 18 01-29-2011 11:20 PM
Lake Superior Circle Tour maxandgeorgia On The Road... 5 08-16-2006 03:58 PM
Looking:photos of half-circle dinette?? johnboy General Interior Topics 4 07-30-2004 11:18 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
×