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Old 05-06-2005, 11:18 AM   #15
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:56 PM   #16
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Cruzer, Sean, Bob and Kathleen, Jim, ect.,

We are going that way from Fresno on the Memorial weekend. Plan to be in Zion on or after Monday. Then take our time to Estes Park Co. We need to be there by June 5th.

Tell me more about the road, and camping spots. Anything you ((Cruzer), by the way nice coach) can fit into we will also. We won't be pulling a toad, still haven't worked that through, Scion Xb or Jeep, so we won't be making side trips until we meet our daughter in RMNP.

We are also thinking of stopping in Moab, our daughter says it is really nice. There is a campground that I found on the internet once that rated very well, fairly new, now I can't find it.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-11-2005, 06:20 AM   #17
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Tom and Patty,

We haven't stayed at any of the campgrounds along that route so we'll defer to others to help you out in that area. We've traveled it numerous times though so are familiar with other aspects of it.

We will be staying at Zion Canyon Campground in Springdale. The shuttle service stops near there so not having a toad won't hurt you any. Leaving there, we will head towards Estes Park eventually, also. Taking your time is good because there is lots to see in both Utah and Colorado. I hope you have a digital camera, otherwise bring lots of film. Leaving Zion, you'll have to pass through the Mount Carmel Tunnel at the edge of the park. The park service will charge you a couple of bucks and then close off traffic at both ends so you can go through. You'll then drive down the middle of both lanes because the tunnel roof is rounded and you'd scrape at the corners if you stayed in your lane. Actually, this is good because you can go slow with no traffic pressuring you from behind. You'll have a great view looking out the 3 side portals that look into the valley as you pass by slowly.

Once you pass though the tunnel you'll see Checkerboard Mesa dead ahead, and on your right as you turn past it. You'll continue on to Mt Carmel Junction and then head north through some beautiful ranch valleys for 21 miles until you turn right on US-12 to head east again. Soon after you'll pass through Red Canyon. There's a forest service office there with lots of parking area so you can get out and take more photos and get literature, ask questions, etc. After that you'll get to the road south to Bryce Canyon.We plan on staying at the campground at Ruby's Inn, which is right outside the park. You can fit in there with your coach and get full hookups. As far as seeing the park, it's going to be tough without a toad. Parking area is limited but Ruby's may have tours available.

Leaving Bryce Canyon you will encounter the most spectacular scenery changes that you'll ever see. From Zion to Moab is a virtual smorgasboard of scenery as you climb Utah's Grand Staircase. In Zion, you are down inside a canyon, looking up at dark cliffs that top out at 7,000' above sea level. At Bryce you are on top at 8,000' looking down into an arena of colorful fairy tale castle towers, sculpted by wind erosion. Leaving Bryce you'll go through some desolate areas of desert, pass some "oasis" type areas alongside the Escalante River, and begin a descent along a ridge surrounded by some real no man's land. Then, on the climb out, you'll go through Aspen forests, see mountain wildflowers, and the scenery changes dramatically. Oh yeah, be sure to pay attention when the sign says "Stock on Road" because there are a few sections of open range and cattle don't look good plastered on the front of your nice Alpine.

Once you get past the Devil's Backbone, between Escalante and Boulder, you'll head through some nice scenery around Torrey and then you'll go through Capital Reef Nat'l Park. If you have no toad you can't make too many of the side trips but there are enough pull-off areas you can get a feel for that park. Once you leave Capital Reef you'll get to Hanksville. Now you have a couple of options. The really good scenery is over so you just need to get to your next location. If you just want to get to Moab, head north and come into Moab via US-191. If you want to pick up Mesa Verde, at Cortez, CO you'd head south and pick that area up for a few days before going to Moab.

either way, at Moab there is lots to see but it all requires a toad. Fortunately Moab is the Jeeping capital of the world so you can rent SUVs or Jeeps all over the place or you can take tours, go rafting on the Colorado, etc. There's LOTS to do in Moab. We'll be staying at Portal RV Park, which is probably the one you had heard about previously.

Leaving Moab, you need to take what the locals call the River road, which is hwy 128 north towards the Cisco ghost town. You see some spectacular views along here with the red rock scenery framing the snow covered La Sal mountains and the Colorado River at your feet. Eventually you'll hook up with I-70 at exit # 212. The roads don't look good on the map but don't worry, all of the routes in this post are easily handled by your coach.

Leaving Moab, I'd stop at Glenwood Springs, CO. We're staying at Rock Gardens Campground, which is now under new ownership and called Glenwood Canyon Resort or something like that. It's a very scenic area as the Colorado River runs through a tight (but beautiful) canyon. The campground is right on the river and they offer tours, rafting, etc.

Leaving to continue east you'll pass through some scenic areas of I-70 as you pass the ski areas of Vail, etc. There's some nice rest areas near Eagle, Parachute, and Edwards that are interesting "stretch" stops. There'll be a long uphill grade just before the Eisenhower Tunnel and then we take hwy 72 north, which you pick up just east of Idaho Springs. That's the scenic way into Estes Park. You pass through little towns like Nederlands and do some nice scenic climbs but it's worth it. The other option is to go the long way around through Denver and then Loveland to enter Estes Park but I wouldn't go that way, personally. We plan on staying at Elk Meadow RV Park while there. It's right on the edge of the park and you'll probably see elk in the campground while you're there.

Anyway, this is a modified version of our upcoming trip. We're actually doing some things in reverse order and also throwing in Leadville and Ouray, as well as Kanab, UT and the north rim of the Grand Canyon, etc. But, I hope this info helps you out.

I gotta shut up now, this is turning into a huge post.

But you did ask.
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Old 05-11-2005, 06:22 AM   #18
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By the way. I would SERIOUSLY think about slapping the Jeep on the back of the coach before you go. That would really open up some nice opportunities for you on this trip.
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Old 05-11-2005, 11:17 AM   #19
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Cruzer,

Wow you have almost our whole itinerary. We have reservations at Elk Meadow for June 5 thru the 10th. We thought we would just stop when we felt like it on our way out to Estes. It will be our first trip that we will be able to drive only 200 miles or not at all if we feel like it .

Thank you for all the help, we greatly appreciate it. As far as the toad, well it will give us reason to go back again. What I need to do is pull my Classic Goldwing! We have ridden our share of dirt roads, but I will admit sand is a challenge.

Thank you again, we appreciate the help.
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Old 05-12-2005, 06:22 PM   #20
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Tom and Patty,
If you are so lucky as to bring your jeep, you might want to spend a little time on some of Utah's unknown roads. South of Torrey, on Utah 12, there are some great NSF campgrounds that you can get a MH into without any problem (check out our favorite, Singletree, on Reserve America) The Burr trail will give you a great appreciation of the struggles made by the early pioneers in trying to get beef fattened up and off to slaughter. One of the best kept secrets is KodahChrome Basin State Park, you will not believe this place. You are in the desert, then take a turn, go through a narrow opening (yes, it is wide enough for anything legal on the highway) and BANG you are in a true oasis.
We hope you enjoy traveling our Great State!
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Old 06-13-2005, 09:00 PM   #21
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Ok, we are back from US 12 and in one piece. We don't think it was nearly as bad as some of the posts lead us to believe. The exhaust brake worked overtime but we rarely touched the brakes. Patty set up our video camera on a tripod and filmed the interesting parts of 12. It is fun to watch in fast forward. The trip through Utah was great. One day we covered 100 miles in 6.5 hours, of course we had lots of stops. Hogsback was the most interesting part of the trip. Not much shoulder past the white line, but a lot of sky ! We really liked the way the road was cut in all the rock, I think that portion of the road was just south of Boulder.

Cruzer if you are still staying at Gleenwood Canyon, now called Rock Garden, make sure they give you a spot you can back into. Ours was very tight. Hyw 128 out of Moab was an excellent call, thanks.

Elk Meadows was nice, our daughter and "son" were right next door in a cabin. We stayed in space B25, it was at the top of the RV park and had an excellent 360 degree view.

Bob and Kathleen, Kodachrome was great! we got lots of pic with changing light.

We stayed at North Campground in Bryce Canyon N.P. space 34. 10 bucks and a great spot.

We topped out at the highest point om our trip around 11K plus a bit. I sure do like the turbo charger. It seemed we had the same power as at lower altitudes, but I'm sure we lost some at that elevation. Trip was 2550 miles and we averaged 42 mph and 8.6 mpg.

Thank you everyone for the help
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Old 06-13-2005, 09:10 PM   #22
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Cruzer, I just read your May 11 post (don't know how I missed it before) and noticed that you may be visiting Ouray. I was wondering what time period you are going to be in the area. Our plans call for us to be there Aug 11-15th and Aug 24th thru Sept 8th.

Also, at which campground are you planning to stay? We have been going to Ouray for years and usually stay at the KOA half way between Ouray and Ridgway.
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