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Old 02-04-2014, 11:03 AM   #1
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Touring Southern Utah National Parks

We're planning to leave the Phoenix area on March 31st, heading north to the St. George or Cedar City, Utah area for a few days and then over to Moab, Utah for a few days. We're driving a 37' DP pulling a Toad. I would appreciate any and all comments on roads to take and roads to avoid while traveling through the area. I plan on driving I-70 with the DP. Also if you have favorite campgrounds or Resorts that you'd like to suggest, that would be welcomed as well.
Don Lehr (Michguy)
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Old 02-04-2014, 01:38 PM   #2
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From Bryce Canyon to Moab, try Utah Highway 12. Wonderful! Stop by at Capitol Reef National Park on the way.

FWIW - some have said Highway 12 might be scary. Those giant Prevost Tour busses don't think so! Neither do many RV's - big, little, tall, short - a great route!

It would be a shame to miss it. One of the best.
Warren and Debbie, Deep in The Heart of Texas
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:37 PM   #3
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Stay in Cedar City KOA or other and drive your toad. The highway straight east out of Cedar City (Hwy 14) is real tight - I would not take my 38' that way. Check on Zion road you need to have an escort to get thru that tunnel and they only do that at certain times of the day. Some good campgrounds near Bryce Canyon and a great place to see. Highway 89 is good road for the rv and gets you up to 70. Highway 12 is fantastic but not a particularly good RV road for a 38' so we drove the toad. Best be secure in your driving habits before taking it since it has both sharp curve and steep grades. Yes the big buses take the highway but then they are professional drivers that have done it before. Fuel up Before you leave town - not much in-between.
Ed and Barb Burgess
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:01 PM   #4
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Be prepared for snow in the Bryce area. The elevation there is 7500 feet (the park is 8 - 9000 feet) and the campground in the park doesn't open until 15 April, however Ruby's Inn has a nice campground just outside the park. Highway 12 is one of the top 10 scenic drives in the US, so don't miss it. I would drive the toad to Zion and not use the Tunnel with your RV, but DON'T MISS ZION! Good RV access in the Zion park campground for your rig, or just outside the park. If you are an animal lover, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (one of the largest in the country) is just on the other of Zion, north of Kanab. I would stay in St George and just drive to the park, but I live here! The best way to get to Highway 12 and Bryce is to go north on I15 to exit 95 and take Highway 20 to Highway 89, then on to Bryce. That is the most RV friendly way, but still a steep climb. There are many good campgrounds in Moab, and a good one north of town (Archview), but it might be close on some of their spring opening dates.
This is beautiful country, and you will only get a sample of it on this trip. Please come back and do the Grand Circle tour, which includes Monument Valley and the North Rim. As you can see, I'm biased -- as I said, we live here!
Kirk and Michele -- Southwest Utah
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:00 PM   #5
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Another vote for picking your routes sensibly as the last several posts have stated. Just because tour buses can use a road doesn't mean you will want to with your RV. One additional route not mentioned so far is UT20 which is a great way to get from I-15 5o US89. Yes, it does get up to ~8,000 ft, but so you can't avoid that around there.

One possible "central" location for staying that hasn't been mentioned is Panguitch UT. It is ~30 minutes from Bryce Canyon, ~ 1 hr from Zion and we even day-tripped from there to Capitol Reef. It's also only ~30 minutes from Cedar Breaks National Monument. There are several RV parks in Panguitch that we found acceptable.
Joel (AKA docj)--
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:36 AM   #6
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Here's my suggestions. US 89 to Page, AZ; side trip to Antelope Canyon (5 miles east of Page; US 89/Utah 9 to Zion NP (try to get a site in Watchman CG); you don't need an escort thru the tunnel they just shut it down for one-way high clearance traffic), you will have to drive the toad seperately; back to Bryce NP and then on Utah 12 toward Boulder (great hike @Calf Creek Rec. area to Lower Calf Creek Falls); spend some time at Capital Reef with your toad; then on to Moab.
Good roads with some climbs, Cedar Breaks will still be closed in early April.

This is a very scenic part of the U.S.

We have traveled Utah 12 and the Zion tunnel with a 38' diesel MH with no problems.

Nexus Ghost
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:39 PM   #7
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I agree with richf ...

I would add the horseshoe bend of the Colorado River as a do not miss ... just south of Page ... you have to walk about 1/2 mile ... but the view is spectacular
2012 Buick Enclave
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:57 PM   #8
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We took the same trip our 2nd time out in our new rig. It's a great trip. Here is what we would do, when we do it again and we will:

1. Zion national Park, we stayed at Zion River Resort. Nice park. We'd go thru the tunnel this time to get to Bryce, not sure about that in winter weather though....
2. Bryce Canyon, we stayed at Ruby's Inn. We wouldn't do that again, we would try another park. Probably Bryce Canyon Pines.
3. Stay in Torrey for Capitol Reef. We would not take the 12 in the coach, we would take the 89 to the 62 to the 24. The drive thru escalate was great in the toad. There are great back roads in Capitol Reef also.
4. Moab for Arches and Canyonlands 24 to 50 to the 191. We stayed at the Portal and will stay there again. Very nice on the owners side. Lots of off road opportunities here in Moab and there are some nice sunset cruises in down the Colorado river, not to be missed.
5. We missed monument valley. we would make a point to get there this time.
6. From there, we recommend you take a quick detour east to Mesa Verde National Park, near Cortez, CO. if you can. It is fascinating.
7. Then back to the Grand Canyon. We like trailer village. It's kinda worn and not really well maintained, but the location in the middle of everything can't be beat!

It's a lot. Enjoy your trip, it's a fabulous part of the country
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