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Old 05-08-2014, 01:20 PM   #29
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Has anyone ever traveled to one of the National Parks and were unable to find a place to camp because you didn't make reservations?

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Old 05-08-2014, 02:33 PM   #30
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We have a 40' motorhome. We have been in many national parks without reservations. In fact, some campgrounds within the parks don't even accept reservations such as Yellowstone and Grand Teton. We do, however, get to those campgrounds early morning when folks are leaving and we typically avoid July and August. We also don't require hookups. If you're flexible, it can be done. We really dislike being on a rigid schedule.
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Old 05-09-2014, 10:12 AM   #31
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I am thinking of changing plans and doing the out west trip to mid-September-October - early November. After reading comments about the heat and crowds during the summer this may be our best option. We will do the East Coast trip, still some heat and crowds, but not Desert heat.

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Old 05-09-2014, 11:01 AM   #32
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So when would I need to be concerned about snow and ice in the western states?

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Old 05-09-2014, 11:13 AM   #33
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We are planning a trip much like yours. We are having problems with reservation/openings in campgrounds (Trailers Village at the Grand Canyon is already full until August).
Just saying!
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Old 05-09-2014, 12:00 PM   #34
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We are planning a trip much like yours. We are having problems with reservation/openings in campgrounds (Trailers Village at the Grand Canyon is already full until August).
Just saying!

That's weird I call them yesterday and they said that they were still taking reservations for June. But, anyway that's why we are changing our trip to mid-September. Just wondering when I need to be concerned about snow or ice for Yellowstone and Grand Canyon area.
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:48 PM   #35
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I would head to Yellowstone first. Usually crummy weather begins the 3rd week of Sept or toward the end and also the campgrounds begin closing, except for Mammoth which is open year-round. Sept. is a lovely time to be there.

Grand Canyon - I think you'd be safe through October and perhaps even later.

However, we all know how weather changes. Good luck!
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:26 AM   #36
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I would head to Yellowstone first. Usually crummy weather begins the 3rd week of Sept or toward the end and also the campgrounds begin closing, except for Mammoth which is open year-round. Sept. is a lovely time to be there.

Grand Canyon - I think you'd be safe through October and perhaps even later.

However, we all know how weather changes. Good luck!
We have reservations for Watchman campground in Zion October 20 through 24. Are we in trouble with the weather? We wanted to go earlier in October but could not get in until October 20.

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Old 06-08-2014, 12:43 PM   #37
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Snow (4 letter word)

Re your question about snow and ice, it depends on the year (who knows) and most importantly the elevation. If you're not in a hurry, it might not matter. The Rockies get snow as early as Sept. and I have driven through a snowstorm on June 6 in the ID-MT border area. Take your time and plan for the worst while hoping for the best. Bob T
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:31 PM   #38
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I really think you'll find good weather for Zion on Oct. 20. Have fun.
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Old 06-08-2014, 04:22 PM   #39
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We spent the last week in September/ 1st week October in Yellowstone year before last.
It does get below zero at night but warms during the day. That year the closing day for the internal campgrounds was 3rd October . Also last day for some of the visitor centres due to staffing levels I would think.
Having said that we had the best time. No traffic to speak of etc.
Asking about snow - apparently that can happen any time of year in Yellowstone so I wouldn't let that interfere with your plans.
We are booked to be in the grand Tetons and then yellowstone again this September. Leaving last week in sept heading for a couple of days in Yosemite before heading back to Australia.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:10 PM   #40
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We spent the last week in September/ 1st week October in Yellowstone year before last.
It does get below zero at night but warms during the day. That year the closing day for the internal campgrounds was 3rd October . Also last day for some of the visitor centres due to staffing levels I would think.
Having said that we had the best time. No traffic to speak of etc.
Asking about snow - apparently that can happen any time of year in Yellowstone so I wouldn't let that interfere with your plans.
We are booked to be in the grand Tetons and then yellowstone again this September. Leaving last week in sept heading for a couple of days in Yosemite before heading back to Australia.


I don't know exactly when I will be there, do I need to make reservations if I am going to come to Yellowstone in late September?

Thanks this will be our first time,

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Old 06-08-2014, 08:15 PM   #41
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Hi Tom
We have a 45ft Motor home so can't stay inside the park.
We would love to.
We stay at West Yellowstone and Colter RV park in the Tetons
If you check the NP site you should be able to see what is available.
I would ring NParks and get their advice.
We have only booked these two campgrounds for our whole trip because it is so late in the season.
This time we are leaving from Los Angeles.
I would add Bryce Canyon to your itinerary and do the horse ride into the canyon.
I would also plan a day at Jackson Hole where you can take the tram ride to the top for spectacular view.
In August the gondola runs to mid station for afternoon drinks and nibbles but not in Sept I believe.
If you enter the Tetons via the East Entrance the town of Cody has Buffalo Bill Museum.
If you are into guns I think they could start a large war with the assortment there.
Back to Yellowstone, Fishing Bridge is the most talked about NP campground but there are many others. I would think that no reservation would be necessary BUT ring and ask about occupancy levels - Also length dependent.
The North West corner of Yellowstone is where all the thermal activity is but the animals are spread throughout the park.
The biggest advantage of going in September will be the lack if traffic.
We drove 1000 miles in 1 week. I'm positive you couldn't do that June thru August.
Once you've done Yellowstone you may be tempted next time to do the South Dakota parks and Glacier.
As Australians we love your parks.
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:35 PM   #42
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Thanks , that's the plan, avoid the crowds and hot summer temps when we get to Arizona. I hope to visit your home country someday, I have friends there.

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