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Old 02-22-2008, 10:12 AM   #1
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Trip Planning Help- Grand Canyon/Zion

I am flying my mother and her husband out to Las Vegas for 10 days at the end of May and need some local information so I can plan things out. The two must do items are going to be the Grand Canyon (north rim unless someone has a very good argument for the south) and Zion National Park.

We are inclined toward the non-LV sites but we do need a nice campground reasonably close to the airport. Any help you can provide is appreciated
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:39 AM   #2
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Rodney, I may smack my forehead as soon as you say it - but what is "Non-LV"?
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
Rodney, I may smack my forehead as soon as you say it - but what is "Non-LV"?
Las Vegas (the city)
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:51 AM   #4
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I suspect "Non-LV" means non Circus-Circus or Sam's Town.

I know others will disagree, but for first-time canyon viewers, the South Rim is better set up for viewing. And more accessible for folks of limited mobility. Yes, there are more people - but there are also more vistas of the canyon. North Rim is special, more remote, fewer people. A certain exclusivity, you know.

If your Mom is a road-tripper (as you obviously are) there is nothing much better than the round trip out of LV, through Boulder, Hoover Dam, Route 66 past Kingman to Flagstaff. Get the train deal from Williams up to the rim. Then continue East around to Page, Lee's Crossing, and then up to Zion.

This from a fellow road-tripper.

Pat
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Old 02-22-2008, 11:06 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
Las Vegas (the city)
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Old 02-22-2008, 11:52 AM   #6
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We have been to both rims of the Canyon and prefer the North Rim. The North Rim is about 1,000 feet higher then the South and IMO, offers better views of the Canyon. The crowd factor is also a big for me. Only 10% of the 4 million visitors each year go to the North Rim.

The North Rim opens on May 15th each year. Expect cool days and cold nights. A nice side trip from the Rim is to travel down to Marble Canyon / Lee's Ferry.
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Old 02-22-2008, 12:11 PM   #7
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Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmclemore
I suspect "Non-LV" means non Circus-Circus or Sam's Town.

I know others will disagree, but for first-time canyon viewers, the South Rim is better set up for viewing. And more accessible for folks of limited mobility. Yes, there are more people - but there are also more vistas of the canyon. North Rim is special, more remote, fewer people. A certain exclusivity, you know.

If your Mom is a road-tripper (as you obviously are) there is nothing much better than the round trip out of LV, through Boulder, Hoover Dam, Route 66 past Kingman to Flagstaff. Get the train deal from Williams up to the rim. Then continue East around to Page, Lee's Crossing, and then up to Zion.

This from a fellow road-tripper.

Pat
THIS IS VERY GOOD ROUTE.FIRST TIME GRAND CANYON VISIT SHOULD BE TO SOUTH RIM.I THINK GRAND CANYON RAILWAY GIVES YOU TWO NIGHT IN THERE RV PARK IN WILLAMS WITH TRAIN TRIP.THEN AROUND TO NORTH RIM.NORTH RIM CAMPGROUND IS ON RESERVATION SYSTEM AND IS OPEN AROUND 15TH MAY .NORTH RIM ROAD IS CLOSED IN WINTER DUE TO SNOW.THERE IS ALSO DEMOTTE CAMP GROUND AT NORTH RIM JUST OUT SIDE OF PARK AND A CAMP GROUND AT JACOB LAKE BOTH FIRST COME FIRST SERVED.YOU CAN ALSO BOONDOCK OUTSIDE OF PARK ON NORTH RIM.THEN ONTO ZION AND DO NOT FORGET BRYCE CANYON NATL PARK.
IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO STAY IN LAS VEGAS THERE ARE SOME CAMP GROUND AROUND LAKE MEAD .
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Old 02-22-2008, 12:13 PM   #8
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Rodney;

Call Ivette @ 702/283-6759, she is the General Manager of the Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort. She is an outstanding young lady.

WBCCI Region 12 held their fall rally there last October. We had almost 100 Airstreams and the resort did well by us and they like Airstreamers. We were getting a rate of $25.00. I don't know if she can go that low with the snow birds in town, but give it a try. This is a 5 star park at the south end of the strip.
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Old 02-22-2008, 12:39 PM   #9
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Zion

Since everyone is talking about the Grand Canyon I thought it was time to pipe up about Zion. There is a large very upscale RV place outside of Springdale (the gateway to Zion), Zion River RV Resort. We have driven past it for years and never stopped. It has grass, concrete pads, and all of that stuff, but it is several miles from the town and the park. In the town of Springdale is the Quality Inn/RVPark. This is a motel and RV place. It is not nearly as upscale as the Zion River Resort, but it is actually on the river. There is grass, but mostly dirt. It is in Springdale and there is a shuttle bus stop right out front. It is also walking distance to restaurants and such. Springdale is truly a tourist town, without any real services like a barber or pharmacy, but that is all about 20 minutes away in Hurricane. There are some eclectic places to eat like Oscar's (garlic burgers) and the Pizza Noodle.
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Old 02-22-2008, 01:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie M
Rodney;

Call Ivette @ 702/283-6759, she is the General Manager of the Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort. She is an outstanding young lady.

..the resort did well by us and they like Airstreamers.
They are a class A type of place, but will let vintage trailers in good condition in. They are far off the strip, but have buses to the strip and shopping. I like them when I'm there on business.

If you take the Hoover Dam (yes, you can take your Airstream over the Dam), Kingman, Williams route to the Canyon, there isn't a lot of boondocking opportunity. About 50% of the roadside to Kingman is BLM, but not many access roads. From Kingman it's almost all private until you get to the National Forest. The forest is great--it's high and there are several good exits into casual boondocking spots.

When you leave the south rim, if that's where you go, the first and best opportunity for boondocking is right out the east gate. This area, for about 8 miles, is national forest and there are many access roads into camps very close to the highway.

As you head up towards Marble Canyon (on your way to Zion), I also recommend Lee's Ferry. There is a campground right at the big loop in highway 89. On the other hand, if you take the alternate path through Page, you can see the Glen Canyon Dam. The dam also has a nice visitor center.

The road from Page to Kanab is also highway 89. Except for two small spots, the roadside is continuous BLM until 89 turns directly west to Kanab. Both of the BLM offices along here are worth visiting--Escalante and Paria Trailhead. From Paria you have access to one of the best known slot canyons, Buckskin.

DO NOT MISS ANTELOPE CANYON IN PAGE, WHICH IS RIGHT AT THE NAVAJO POWER PLANT, ALMOST IN TOWN! THIS IS AS NEAR A RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE AS A GUY LIKE ME CAN HAVE. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. YOU WILL FIND WONDERFUL PHOTOS, BUT MAY EXPERIENCE EXPOSURES REQUIRING FROM 2 TO 30 MINUTES! TICKETS FROM THE NAVAJOS ARE $15 (LAST TIME I WAS THERE) AND THEY DRIVE YOU UP THE WASH TO THE CANYON (10 MINUTES).

Once you get near Zion, there is a small RV park in Mt Carmel, right at the intersection of route 9--run down charming in a small town way. There are also RV parks just out the east entrance to Zion.

As you proceed west out of the park, there is a popular boondocking place along the river, I believe west of Rockville, so it's a couple miles down the road.

As you loop back to Vegas, you can boondock south of St George at the Black Rock exit. I recommend the northwest side about a mile back, but you can camp in the large flat just the other side of the exit. If you go further down into the Virgin River Gorge, you can camp at the Cedar Pocket exit/campground or boondock a little way up the canyon on the other side of the exit.

This is an overview map with notes to most of the comments above

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Road detail from Page to Zion:

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I would encourage you to consider some of the monuments near Flagstaff:

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Details on the public lands between Kanab and Page. Yellow is BLM and blue is state. You can see the private land east of Kanab along the highway:

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Zep
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:06 PM   #11
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For the most part, I am looking for campgrounds with showers available. The Trade Wind just doesn't have the tanks for 3 adults showering. Other than that, we will be staying as basic as possible. The last night does need to be close to LV though.

I'm also thinking fewer rather than more towing days to maximize the fun time. Would it be a bad idea to try and do more than Zion and the Grand Canyon on this one trip? How good is the hiking on the north rim?
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:47 PM   #12
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Here is the list...
North Rim Day Hikes

Bright Angel Point Trail 0.5 mi. / 0.8 km round-trip; 30 minutes approximate round-trip hiking time. A short walk on a paved trail to a spectacular view of the canyon. The trail begins at the log shelter in the parking area by the Visitor Center or at the corner of the back porch behind the lodge. Self-guiding nature trail pamphlets are available from a box along the trail.

Transept Trail 3.0 mi. / 4.8 km round-trip; 1.5 hours approximate round-trip hiking time. Follows the canyon rim from Grand Canyon Lodge to the North Rim Campground.

Uncle Jim Trail 5.0 mi. / 8.0 km round-trip; 3 hours approximate round-trip hiking time. Winds through the forest to a point overlooking the canyon and the North Kaibab Trail switchbacks. Begins at the North Kaibab Trail parking lot. This trail is also used by mules.

North Kaibab Trail Distance and hiking times vary. This is the only maintained trail into the canyon from the North Rim. Even a short hike to Coconino Overlook (1.5 miles round-trip) or Supai Tunnel (4 miles round-trip) can give you an appreciation for the canyon's rich natural beauty and immense size. A hike to Roaring Springs and back is extremely strenuous and takes a full day (7-8 hours) - begin your hike before 7 a.m. Roaring Springs lies 3050 feet /930 m below the canyon rim and is 9.4 miles/15 km round-trip. A day hike beyond Roaring Springs is not recommended. This trail is also used by mules.

Widforss Trail 10 mi. / 16 km round-trip; 6 hours approximate round-trip hiking time. Blends forest and canyon scenery. Even a short walk can be very satisfying. Take the dirt road 1/4 mile/0.4 km south of Cape Royal Road for 1 mile/1.6 km to the Widforss Trail parking area. Self-guiding trail brochure available at trailhead.

Ken Patrick Trail 10 mi. / 16 km one-way; 6 hours approximate one-way hiking time. Winds through the forest and along the rim from Point Imperial to the North Kaibab Trail parking area.

Cape Final Trail 4.0 mi. / 6.4 km round-trip; 2 hours approximate round-trip hiking time. A 2-mile walk from dirt parking area to Cape Final. This trail offers a view of the canyon.

Cliff Springs Trail 1.0 mi. / 1.6 km round-trip; 1 hour approximate round-trip hiking time. Meanders down a forested ravine and ends where a chest-high boulder rests under a large overhang. The spring is on the cliff side of the boulder. Please do not drink the water as it may be contaminated. Trail begins directly across the road from a small pullout on a curve 0.3 miles/0.5 km down the road from Cape Royal.

Cape Royal Trail 0.6 mi. / 1.0 km round-trip; 30 minutes approximate round-trip hiking time. An easy walk on a flat, paved trail providing views of the canyon, Angels Window, and the Colorado River. Markers along the trail interpret the area's natural history. Trail begins at the southeast side of the Cape Royal parking area.

Point Imperial Trail 4.0 mi. / 6.4 km round-trip; 2 hours approximate round-trip hiking time. This easy trail passes through areas burned by the 2000 Outlet Fire and ends at the north park boundary. From there connections are possible to the Nankoweap Trail and U.S. Forest Service roads.

Roosevelt Point Trail 0.2 mi. / 0.3 km round-trip; 20 minutes approximate round-trip hiking time. This trail is a short, secluded woodland loop with spectacular views. Offers benches for relaxed enjoyment of the canyon.
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Old 02-22-2008, 11:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmclemore
I know others will disagree, but for first-time canyon viewers, the South Rim is better set up for viewing. And more accessible for folks of limited mobility. Yes, there are more people - but there are also more vistas of the canyon. North Rim is special, more remote, fewer people. A certain exclusivity, you know. Pat
No disagreement here. We go to the caynon 3 or 4 times a year. We always go to the North Rim in the summer and we have no choice but to go to the South Rim in the winter.

But... on your first visit you have to see the South Rim. First of all, more of the canyon is visible from the South Rim. Most importantly the sunlight and colors of the canyon are much better from the South Rim. As for camping there is no comparison. The North Rim runs circles around the South Rim.

As for Zion... Zion is nice - Bryce is SPECTACULAR!!!! If Ihad to choose one it would be Bryce.

My 2 cents.
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