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Old 04-17-2016, 10:07 AM   #1
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Grand Canyon and Utah parks?

So I've finally nailed down a time I'm headed out west to monument valley,Bryce,Moab,arches,grand canyon. I'm going middle of September and have 2 weeks. Where and how long should I stay at each place?My rv is 38ft and will be towing my jeep. Should I make any reservations or will I be good in September?
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Old 04-17-2016, 03:59 PM   #2
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Jake, I would recommend reservations. We were out there in 2013 2nd 2 weeks in Sept. We have a 36ft 5th wheel and went to all the places you are planning to visit except for Monument Valley and we did that last year along with Capital Reef and Moab. We were surprised at how many people are out there in Sept. We did 3 days at Trailer Village in Grand Canyon, 2 days Zion and stayed in an Rv park connected to I think Quality Inn Hotel in Springdale. Very nice park and within walking distance to Zion or a shuttle runs by the campground every hour I believe. Then on to Bryce for 2 days, stayed at Rubys campground just outside the park,very nice. Then had planned on 2-3 days at Capital Reef but that was the time of monsoon rains and basically everything closed in Capt. Reef except main road thru park and it was a little tricky in places with water on the road. Actually Capital Reef is absolutely beautiful and a lot less crowded.
Last year we did Monument Valley and Stayed at Gouldings Rv park, very nice. We arrived in Morning and just stayed 1 day. Seen everything, then from there up to Capt. Reef and stayed 4 days in Torrey and stayed at Thousand Lakes RV park, and very nice. Then onto Moab and stayed in Portal Rv Park. Again very nice! We did the 2 weeks also but really not enough time to see everything but enough for a great trip! This year we are heading to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone for 2 weeks. Have a great trip, you will love it!!
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:53 PM   #3
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Jake, I would recommend reservations. We were out there in 2013 2nd 2 weeks in Sept. We have a 36ft 5th wheel and went to all the places you are planning to visit except for Monument Valley and we did that last year along with Capital Reef and Moab. We were surprised at how many people are out there in Sept. We did 3 days at Trailer Village in Grand Canyon, 2 days Zion and stayed in an Rv park connected to I think Quality Inn Hotel in Springdale. Very nice park and within walking distance to Zion or a shuttle runs by the campground every hour I believe. Then on to Bryce for 2 days, stayed at Rubys campground just outside the park,very nice. Then had planned on 2-3 days at Capital Reef but that was the time of monsoon rains and basically everything closed in Capt. Reef except main road thru park and it was a little tricky in places with water on the road. Actually Capital Reef is absolutely beautiful and a lot less crowded.
Last year we did Monument Valley and Stayed at Gouldings Rv park, very nice. We arrived in Morning and just stayed 1 day. Seen everything, then from there up to Capt. Reef and stayed 4 days in Torrey and stayed at Thousand Lakes RV park, and very nice. Then onto Moab and stayed in Portal Rv Park. Again very nice! We did the 2 weeks also but really not enough time to see everything but enough for a great trip! This year we are heading to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone for 2 weeks. Have a great trip, you will love it!!
Thanks for the reply. We did yellowstone,black hills and badlands last September and had a great time. It was a 2 week trip and really wish I would have had another week.
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:25 PM   #4
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From Hanceville, AL this is what I came up with but your driving miles might be different - I figured 400 miles/day on the interstates.

3-1/2 days to Monument Valley via I-40
1/2 day to Grand Canyon
1 day to Bryce
1 day to Moab
3-1/2 days home via I-70

This is 9-1/2 days or for easier numbers - 9 days.

You have 14 days for the trip so that leaves you 5 full days of stays.
Certainly not ideal and it will only give you a glimpse of the parks but you could do 1 day each at Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Bryce and 2 days at Moab (Arches) before your return home.

Home in Alabama via SR157 to 72 west to Memphis to I-40 to Gallup, New Mexico.
SR264 to Ganado, NM; North on 191 and West on 160 at Mexican Water, AZ to Kayenta, AZ and North on 163 to Monument Valley. Stay at Gouldings RV. Reservations recommended because there's nothing close. This is 1580 miles or 3-1/2 days

Monument Valley, AZ - 160 west to Tuba City and AZ Hwy 89. South a short distance on 89 to 64 east which will take you into the park. Trailer Village RV in the park is the place to stay. Reservations needed. 155 miles

Grand Canyon east on 64 to Hwy 89. North on 89 thru Page, AZ to Kanab, Utah.
Stay north on 89 to Hwy 12. East on 12 to Bryce. Ruby's is the best place. It's a large park so you may not need reservations. 280 miles

Bryce on Hwy 12 and West to 89. North to I-70 and south on 191 into Moab. There are many RV parks in Moab. 270 miles

OR.... a very scenic way to Moab but slower: Hwy 12 east to Torrey (Capitol Reef Nat'l Park) and north on 24 to I-70 then east to 191 and Moab. 260 miles

Moab: I-70 east thru St. Louis to I-64 to Mt. Vernon, IL to I-57 south to I-24 SE to Nashville to I-65 south to home. 1665 miles
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
From Hanceville, AL this is what I came up with but your driving miles might be different - I figured 400 miles/day on the interstates.

3-1/2 days to Monument Valley via I-40
1/2 day to Grand Canyon
1 day to Bryce
1 day to Moab
3-1/2 days home via I-70

This is 9-1/2 days or for easier numbers - 9 days.

You have 14 days for the trip so that leaves you 5 full days of stays.
Certainly not ideal and it will only give you a glimpse of the parks but you could do 1 day each at Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Bryce and 2 days at Moab (Arches) before your return home.

Home in Alabama via SR157 to 72 west to Memphis to I-40 to Gallup, New Mexico.
SR264 to Ganado, NM; North on 191 and West on 160 at Mexican Water, AZ to Kayenta, AZ and North on 163 to Monument Valley. Stay at Gouldings RV. Reservations recommended because there's nothing close. This is 1580 miles or 3-1/2 days

Monument Valley, AZ - 160 west to Tuba City and AZ Hwy 89. South a short distance on 89 to 64 east which will take you into the park. Trailer Village RV in the park is the place to stay. Reservations needed. 155 miles

Grand Canyon east on 64 to Hwy 89. North on 89 thru Page, AZ to Kanab, Utah.
Stay north on 89 to Hwy 12. East on 12 to Bryce. Ruby's is the best place. It's a large park so you may not need reservations. 280 miles

Bryce on Hwy 12 and West to 89. North to I-70 and south on 191 into Moab. There are many RV parks in Moab. 270 miles

OR.... a very scenic way to Moab but slower: Hwy 12 east to Torrey (Capitol Reef Nat'l Park) and north on 24 to I-70 then east to 191 and Moab. 260 miles

Moab: I-70 east thru St. Louis to I-64 to Mt. Vernon, IL to I-57 south to I-24 SE to Nashville to I-65 south to home. 1665 miles

Thanks for the reply it's very helpful. I usually put in 500-550 miles a day if weather is good. I could probably extend to 2.5 weeks.
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:37 AM   #6
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twogypsies

Remind me when I decide to come west again to contact you. Great plan for the OP. Thanks for your efforts!
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:56 AM   #7
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Thanks this is great info. Where should I start? Grand canyon? Moab? Monument valley?
Also how long should I stay at each location to be able to see plenty?
Grand Canyon?
Bryce?
Arches,moab,canyonland?
Zion?
I can extend my 2 week plan if needed.
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Old 04-21-2016, 08:44 AM   #8
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Ok I made reservations as follows. What does everyone think?

Monument valley. sept.16-18 at Gouldings campground
Arches,Moab,Canyonlands. sept.18-22 at Portal campground
Capitol reef. sept.22-24 Thousand lakes Campground
Bryce. sept.24-26 Rubys campground
Zion. sept.26-29 Zion river resort
Grand Canyon. sept.29-oct.3 Trailer village campground
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Old 04-21-2016, 09:25 AM   #9
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Ok I made reservations as follows. What does everyone think?

Monument valley. sept.16-18 at Gouldings campground
Arches,Moab,Canyonlands. sept.18-22 at Portal campground
Capitol reef. sept.22-24 Thousand lakes Campground
Bryce. sept.24-26 Rubys campground
Zion. sept.26-29 Zion river resort
Grand Canyon. sept.29-oct.3 Trailer village campground

My thoughts are that you are only giving yourself one full day in a location - not enough time to enjoy your vacation! We are doing most of those parks this summer, but a week in each.
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:19 AM   #10
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I'm not retired so I'm on a time restraint. I guess I could skip a park or two. What should I do to maximize my vacation?
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:56 AM   #11
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I'm not retired so I'm on a time restraint. I guess I could skip a park or two. What should I do to maximize my vacation?

This is starting Monday on PBS - might give you ideas. Click image for larger version

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Old 04-21-2016, 11:12 AM   #12
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I think your revised plan is great. I don't see where you're giving only one day to each place. .. seems like more to me, if I'm reading correctly. If you wanted to add more days somewhere else, I'd take off time at Monument Valley. You can easily take a tour or drive your Jeep in a half-day, spend the night and take off. We drove ourselves on every trip with our Jeep. It's only a 20-mile or so drive and not at all difficult - just ruts and potholes. There's not a lot more around the area since you'll be seeing the big parks.


I hope you're able to do some Jeeping in Moab. It's fantastic. Also, in Arches is an excellent ranger-led hike but you need reservations and it's very popular so if you're a hiker make them beforehand. It's called the 'Fiery Furnace'.

You just work with the time you have. We've taken many 2-week trips to the West with the kids before retirement. It'll give you a 'Taste of the West' and you'll surely be back for more. Have a great trip!
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:43 AM   #13
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I think your revised plan is great. I don't see where you're giving only one day to each place. .. seems like more to me, if I'm reading correctly. If you wanted to add more days somewhere else, I'd take off time at Monument Valley. You can easily take a tour or drive your Jeep in a half-day, spend the night and take off. We drove ourselves on every trip with our Jeep. It's only a 20-mile or so drive and not at all difficult - just ruts and potholes. There's not a lot more around the area since you'll be seeing the big parks.


I hope you're able to do some Jeeping in Moab. It's fantastic. Also, in Arches is an excellent ranger-led hike but you need reservations and it's very popular so if you're a hiker make them beforehand. It's called the 'Fiery Furnace'.

You just work with the time you have. We've taken many 2-week trips to the West with the kids before retirement. It'll give you a 'Taste of the West' and you'll surely be back for more. Have a great trip!
Thanks this is very helpful. I like jeeping so that's why im staying in moab longer than other parks. I'm also staying a day longer in zion cause we want to hike the narrows and some other trails there.
The reason for staying in monument a day is its our first stop and not sure when we will arrive so I wanted a full day there.
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Old 04-21-2016, 02:23 PM   #14
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We did Zion, North Rim, Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands in September last year. You're going to have a great time. Expect it to be warm to hot at Zion and Moab, much cooler at Bryce and North Rim. Take the shuttle in Zion, but plan on driving the rest. Expect all of them to be busy, except the North Rim. Hiking staffs, good hiking shoes and hydration packs are requirements if you plan on hiking.

I highly recommend Utah 12 to get between Moab and Bryce. It is a beautiful drive but very windy and a mountain to go over, so watch the weather.
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