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Old 05-27-2009, 09:41 PM   #1
kwy
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Grand Canyon

Hi- My wife and daughter are planning a trip in late July, with the Grand Canyon as our destination. I would appreciate any suggestions as far as things to do in this area, as well as any input on a nice, well appointed campground. We have a 39' fw. Thanks, kwy
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:26 PM   #2
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We visited the Grand Canyon this April - it's fantastic! We stayed in Williams at the Circle Pines KOA and really enjoyed it there. Lot's of trees, a nice campground and just great for kids. The other parks in Williams just seem to be large ashphalt parking lots.

It's only about a 1 hour drive from the KOA up to the Grand Canyon and its a nice drive.
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:28 AM   #3
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kwy: G'morning from Tampa!!

Your visit to the Grand Canyon sounds great and it's a beautiful area.

There are a couple of options for visiting the area, either try to get a spot right up at the area around Tusayan on 54 just S. of the South Rim area, or, select a spot down near Williams or Flagstaff to do your touring from. Either would be GREAT although we really enjoyed staying in Williams, AZ and using our toad to take day trips up to the Canyon, and even driving the beautiful Oak Creek Canyon drive down South out of Flagstaff to visit beautiful Sedona. (REALLY recommend taking that Oak Creek drive!!). See....staying down at Williams gives you a MUCH broader access to the area you'll not regret, and, poking around Williams itself is fun. HAVE FUN!! Steve & Lynette
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:48 AM   #4
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We have been to the canyon twice. The first time we stayed in Flagstaff ant took the train to the canyon. We also drove up a second day. This year we stayed in Trailer Village in the park. While we highly recommend taking the train to the canyon from Williams, we really liked staying closer like we did this year.

It's probably too late to get into Trailer Village this summer, but there might be a cancellation. Trailer Village has wide sites and full hookups, including cable. You might also try the campground in Tusayan - I think it's called Camper Village.

Like I said, I highly recommend the train from Williams. It's a nice, leisurely to get to the canyon, and they have a mock train robbery on the way back. There is a campground right by the train station. If you take the train, you can also arrange for a narrated bus tour. Although most people travel from Williams to the canyon, you might also be able do it the other way around - stay near the canyon and take the train down to Williams in the morning and return to the canyon in the afternoon.

At the canyon, take the shuttle to Hermit's Rest. Get off at some of the overlooks along the way.

Go to the rim at sunset, and if you can get up early enough, go for a sunrise. Yavapai Point is a good spot.

Hike at least a short way down Grandview or Bright Angel Trail. Grandview is steeper, but fewer people. Take plenty of water. At Bright Angel, you will see the mules. Take either the 7-hour mule trip to Plateau Point or the overnight trip to Phantom Ranch if you have the time and money.

Also, drive to Desert View to the east. Be sure to see the Watchtower. Stop at Tusayan Ruins, an 800 year old pueblo, and at some of the overlooks.

Click the link below to check our blog. We just posted the 3rd of 3 segments on the Grand Canyon yesterday.
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:57 AM   #5
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A good place to start planning a trip to a national park is at the National Park website. Here's the one for the Grand Canyon: http://www.nps.gov/grca. Pay particular attention to the section, "Plan Your Visit." It even has a "Things To Do" section!

We've stayed at Mather Campground when we visited the South Rim. We were there in April or May and didn't need reservations to get in...a visit in July will probably require reservations unless you just happen to get lucky. Mather has no hookups. If you require hookups, then Trailer Village (a concessionaire-run campground) is the only full-hookup RV park within the Park.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:44 PM   #6
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Thank you to everyone for your comments to my question. I have not been to the southwest since I was a boy and am really looking forward to going down there.When we go home we are going northeast to Cortez CO ,then east through southern co to go home. What is the drive like between Williams and Cortez? Has anyone been to the Grand Canyon, Williams KOA? The website says new facilities will be done in late June. Do they seem to be on track? I am going to call them this weekend. Chicadee, we are newly minted Newmar Club members. Are you a member of any local chapters? Do you attend any rallies? All the rallys available to us seem to come when we can't get away. Thanks again for the replies, sorry for the long post....kwy
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:08 AM   #7
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kwy: No, we're not members of a "local" chapter of Newmar but have been members of Newmar Fulltimers since beginning our full time RV life. Haven't formally enrolled and attended any rallies yet, but ran into an ongoing rally at Garden of the Gods RV Park and that bunch just sort of adopted us and let us join in.

We're not big rally type of folks, but will likely join a few as we grow older in this fulltiming lifestyle. Steve & Lynette
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwy View Post
Has anyone been to the Grand Canyon, Williams KOA? The website says new facilities will be done in late June.
kwy, we stayed at the Williams KOA in 2007. The sites were narrow and dusty. Wind blew grit everywhere. You have to be careful driving to your site because the tall pine trees are very close to the road. I don't know what kind of improvements they may be making, but I hope they are paving and widening their roads and maybe even the sites.

In 2007, the price at the KOA was about the same as we payed in Trailer Village this year. IMO, Trailer Village, if you can get in, is the better choice. If not, Linda's suggestion of Mather Campground is a good one if you don't mind camping without hookups.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:40 PM   #9
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With your trip being in July it might be tough getting into any of the CG's inside the park especially if you need elec/water. If you can't get into the CG at the South Rim an option might be the GC Railway campground. It does not have much landscaping but is a very nice CG with lots of distance between sites. Walking distance to the Hotel, train depot and downtown Williams. They also have a kennel which worked out great for us since we took the train to the GC and did not get back until about 6:00 pm. Train was fun but driving is faster. Would still stay at the GC Railway and drive up to the park next time. I don't know about the KOA renovation but I'm not a huge fan of KOA but it is closer than Williams.
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:23 AM   #10
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Say, kwy:

You'd asked about the route between Williams, AZ and Cortez, CO.
I don't know what your rig is, but we drove from Williams East to Flagstaff, then North on Hwy. #89 up to just above Cameron taking Hwy. #160 NorthEast. Now, at Kayenta, AZ we did a little side trip up (North) on Hwy. #163 and visited Monument Valley just inside Utah staying at Gouldings RV Park. It was a terrific visit and would HIGHLY recommend it if ya have time. We then continued North and East on #163 and dropped back down on Hwy. #191 to Hwy. #160 again heading ENE to visit the 4 Corners Monument on our way to and through Cortez, CO to Mesa Verde Nat'l. Park. You'll have NO problem taking this route even if ya don't elect to stop up in Monument Valley.....it's a great, comfortable drive. (We travel in a 45' MH towing our little Honda Element and usually park the MH and tour an area w. the little car). Now we stayed at the campground inside Mesa Verde Park and took day trips to Durango and even up to the old mining town of Silverton N. of Durango.

Anyway, when ya head East from Cortez, and I'm assuming you're thinking of continuing on Hwy. #160, the only route consideration would be that just E. of Pagosa Springs you'll need to drive up and over Wolf Creek Pass. We did it fine w. our rig towing but it can be a pull as ya approach the top of the almost 11,000 ft. pass, and then gear down and use your engine brake for the decent on the E. side of the pass on your way into South Fork. Stop at the top of the pass (easy pull out) for a rest. Don't let this pass intimidate you, just take your time and enjoy. Once you're on into South Fork, you're home free as far as comfortable driving again. Hope this is helpful. Steve & Lynette
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:50 PM   #11
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We've stayed at Williams Circle of Pines KOA twice recently. The campground is under new ownership, and has been completely renovated. It is beautiful. Lots of big shade trees. Wide clean spots. Many spots have multiple dump and hookup locations, so that no matter how you are configured hookup is convenient. They just finished a satellite restroom during our last trip. This would be my first choice as a basecamp. The Train to Grand Canyon makes the trip a full day tour. Not my thing. It is an easy drive up in the toad, then mount the Park Run Shuttle to ride to all the viewpoints along the ridge. Other day trips include Sidonna, The volcanic park just outside Flagstaff. The observatory in Flagstaff. And for sure, head to Colorado through Monument Valley. We made the easy drive from Durango to Williams in one Day. A stop in Goulding would have been preferable, but was not an option for us at the time. The country is absolutely fantastically beautiful. Not to be missed if possible.
Great trip. Happy Trails.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:23 AM   #12
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Kwy
Whenever Chickadee, Steve and Lynette, recommend going somewhere write it down as I have gone to a few places they have talked about and they are right on the money.
As for joining a local chapter of Newmar KK you don't have to rush into a Local Chapter. If you get the Newmar Konection Mag go to the back and look at who is having a rally and if you know you will be in the area sign up, but let them know this is your first rally.
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