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Old 06-05-2008, 09:21 AM   #1
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Western trip advice

Getting ready for our trip west and just want to check on a few routes we are planning to take. After college visits in Chicago and Nashville, we are headed to the Grand Canyon. From there we plan to stay in Kanab. Is 89 a good road? From there we are off to Moab so would like to go 89 to 62 to 24 hook up with I70 and then 191 to Moab. Sound right? Plan on going to Mesa Verde before heading back to RI. How is 160 going east in Colorado? There are a few passes there right? We have the mountain directory book so we know there are some grades to deal with. Any advice on these roads would be great. We leave on the 15th of June and will be taking a month to fit everything in. Can't wait!!!
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Old 06-05-2008, 12:03 PM   #2
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You didn't mention Zion - is that the reason you're going to Kanab? If not, then I'd suggest heading over to Kayenta and then stay at Monument Valley. That's worth a couple of days, especially to us Easterners.

Then up to Moab - but first stop short and camp at the Needles District of Canyonlands. Then up to Moab for Arches and the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands. 160 is a great road - no worries. And you can stop over at Great Sand Dunes NM after Mesa Verde.

Just thinking about it makes me desperate to go.

Pat
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Old 06-06-2008, 07:26 AM   #3
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Thanks Pat. Yes we will be going to Bryce and Zion. Even with a month I know we won't get to see everything but we are trying to hit at least the main parks. Thanks for the reply!
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Old 06-06-2008, 08:02 AM   #4
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HWY 160 is an excellant road including the passes. Even the dreaded Wolf Creek pass has been extensively modernized and improved over the past few years. As with any mountain driving, use your gears to maintain a slow speed going down and to minimize, if not eliminate braking. Everyone always worries about going UP the passes when they should be concerned about coming DOWN and saving their brakes.

I think you are right on about staying in Kanab from which to visit the Grand Canyon. You have access to electricity and full services in its private RV parks. This time of year air conditioning is essential thoughout this area. At least it is for me. Kanab is handy to the park and in a beautiful area itself. I forget the highway number, but from Kanab, go over to Torey, Utah for your next stop. The scenery is tremendous with that road declared a National Scenic Highway. From Torey stop by the Natural Bridges National Monument. It is worth the stop and doesn't take that long to drive the loop and see the natural bridges located there.

At the eastern foot of Wolf Creek Pass you will find the town of South Fork. Take the time to turn left (north) in South Fork on 149 to Creede and take the time to tour Creede and the mining district just above Creede. The entire 20+ mile trip up to Creede is one wonderful scenic drive. A great place to stay in South fork is the South Fork Campground on the Rio Grande located about 4 miles east of South Fork on Hwy 160. On a trip such as this there are so many scenic opportunities just off the main roads. Take your time and enjoy.
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Old 06-06-2008, 08:21 AM   #5
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Hey...

Do you have a generator? You are severely limiting yourself on the time and energy spent to getting out to 4 Corners.

A few places....

Cortez, Colo.....RV park right across from the visitor center, Anasazi Culture Center, Mese Verde, day trips to Hovenweep and outlyers, great city park, real trading posts.

Duck Creek Campground, Utah..on the road from Cedar Breaks, NP...great fishing, convient to Zion and Bryce, and many natural marvels.

The north rim of the grand canyon......Make reservations

Bluff, Utah rather than Moab.......fewer tourists, fantastic rocks and bluffs, good food, Great float trip outfit, just up the road from monument valley......

Being from the east, perhaps you are not familiar with the national forest campgrounds; but they are frequent, safe, and in fantastic places. With a generator one can really get back in there, not to far from the pavement; but with peace and quiet where the "buses" cant get to. In the high country you really dont need AC.......Heat at night perhaps.......

On and on.......do you need someone to carry your bags and drive???.........let me know...............God Bless..............Dennis
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:57 AM   #6
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You can't go wrong with any State or National Park, or any scenic road in the west. But may I suggest a photo-voltaic solar panel for boondocking? Plenty of free sunlight out here, no fuel needed, no noise or fumes generated. Check out Camping World, or other on-line sources for the panels- they can be mounted to the roof, or just left portable, wired to the battery with a 12v accessory socket. Enjoy your trip- and if in south-west Colorado, be sure to spend a little time in Pagosa Springs. There's some great Nat. forest RV camping north of town by Williams Creek Reservoir, and a great hot springs right in town, on the San Juan River. Have fun! -tim
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GStephens View Post
HWY 160 is an excellant road including the passes. Even the dreaded Wolf Creek pass has been extensively modernized and improved over the past few years. As with any mountain driving, use your gears to maintain a slow speed going down and to minimize, if not eliminate braking. Everyone always worries about going UP the passes when they should be concerned about coming DOWN and saving their brakes.

I think you are right on about staying in Kanab from which to visit the Grand Canyon. You have access to electricity and full services in its private RV parks. This time of year air conditioning is essential thoughout this area. At least it is for me. Kanab is handy to the park and in a beautiful area itself. I forget the highway number, but from Kanab, go over to Torey, Utah for your next stop. The scenery is tremendous with that road declared a National Scenic Highway. From Torey stop by the Natural Bridges National Monument. It is worth the stop and doesn't take that long to drive the loop and see the natural bridges located there.

At the eastern foot of Wolf Creek Pass you will find the town of South Fork. Take the time to turn left (north) in South Fork on 149 to Creede and take the time to tour Creede and the mining district just above Creede. The entire 20+ mile trip up to Creede is one wonderful scenic drive. A great place to stay in South fork is the South Fork Campground on the Rio Grande located about 4 miles east of South Fork on Hwy 160. On a trip such as this there are so many scenic opportunities just off the main roads. Take your time and enjoy.
GStephens
Thanks for the info on Wolf Creek Pass and the reminder about gearing down. We're looking forward to some of those scenic highways that you referred to. Thanks for your time and suggestions.
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:05 PM   #8
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Dennis and Susan you don't have to carry our bags but you can meet us out there!!!!
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Old 06-07-2008, 03:13 PM   #9
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Dennis and Susan you don't have to carry our bags but you can meet us out there!!!!
GStevens just about has it covered, lol.. You will definately need AC no matter where you are out there this time of year, IMO. I just spent most of may there, it's beautiful, Try to fit Arches in, it was my favorite park out there besides Natural Bridges NM, both are great hiking parks. My wife liked Zion the best, because it had lots of ranger talks along with great sights.

I'm in Napa Valley right now, when i'm done out here in the west, i'll be visiting Dad in Mass sometime in Aug for a month or so. Newport will be on my list of places to visit, it's awesome there.


If you don't like switch backs, grades and dirt roads skip 261 from NB's to NM Valley. 10% grade with 3 miles of dirt road, drops 1k feet in 3 miles i think. I didn't think it was that bad but some might. Also, if you hike, bring lots of water, the sun and dry weather dries you up in minutes. George
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Old 06-07-2008, 05:08 PM   #10
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Thanks alot George. We are visiting Arches and Zion and are looking forward to it very much. Enjoy Newport when you're here. I think we'll skip 261.
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:05 PM   #11
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Sorry about the spelling GStephens, i've been on the road for a while.
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:41 PM   #12
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trippin' thru

If you are headed to Chicago and you need a place to land for a night or two, stop by and see us. Sounds like a great trip!!!
Lou and Larry...sw of Cleveland and near all the highways...easy access!
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Old 06-08-2008, 12:55 AM   #13
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Being a married man for forty years, I've long since quit worrying about what I am called or how my name is spelled.
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Old 06-12-2008, 05:03 PM   #14
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Brian & Donna, your first big road trip with the new Safari! Great.

When you are on I-70, and reach the cut off at Cisco to go to Moab via Utah 128, that road is a beautiful trip along the Colorado River. 18wheelers are not permitted, though nothing about travel trailers. There are some very narrow sections, no guardrails with the river below. We did that road last Fall when there was very little traffic. I wouldn't want to meet a MOHO coming the other way, but at least he can back up easily. The inside lane is right up against the wall of rock. So you are probably right in picking US 191.

Of all the Utah NP's, I love Canyonlands the most. Much of the park is only accessible by 4wd, bike or foot. There many more permits required than when we explored it 20 years ago, but try to see as much as you can. The Maze and the Doll House are wonderful, but only 4wd accessible and a long trip. I'm not sure the east entrance to Zion is ok for trailers (check on Internet). I think most of Zion requires taking the NP bus now just like the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Colorado National Monument is quiet, much like Utah and just south of Grand Junction. I'm unsure whether they have RV camping. The Colorado Welcome Stations on I-70 at Edwards (in the mountains) and Fruita (almost in Utah) have free dump stations. Colorado state parks often have good RV facilities.

We went to Newport last month for a short stay in RI. Now Barb has another state and 3 to go for all 50. Do Airstreams float to Hawaii? Newport was beautiful (all high desert dwellers try to get to the ocean annually) and we found a great restaurant there frequented by the locals, Salvation Café.

Gene
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