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rickeieio

Hitting Utah National Parks

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We're about to blast off for a tour of southern Utah with it's national parks, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  I know I can't go cruising through the parks with the rig, but I'm just wondering it there are any state routes to be avoided?  We plan to stay a few days near Moab, then move to Kanab, and then perhaps Jacob Lake, with the possibility of slipping in to a site for workcampers.

Most of our exploring will be by motorcycle, with the smart as a backup.

Then we're of to the National HDT rally......

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We are in contact with friends who are working at the Jacob Lake visitors' center.  They're keeping us updated.  We don't intend to camp at the north rim, but may at Jacobs Lake.  Plenty of room, w/o hookups.

My question is concerning the roads.  I'm guessing any state route would be fine for our rigs, but if some are not, I'd rather find out before heading down one.

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  With our travels through that area over the years the North Rim is at the bottom of the list to visit. Really not much to see as it is more commercialized.

 

 Now I did need to go see it again about three years ago after the tourists were gone. Drove in with the truck and Rv. Drove straight to the end of the road.  Since I cannot turn 90 degrees it was a tight turn in that area.

 

 The only thing that I did notice was Buffalo droppings on the road. Yes there are free roaming buffaloes there. I think they may even hunt them on a small scale.

 

  Lots of other things to see and do. Bbbbbbut I think your time is short for see it all. Last spring we drove through Moab as it was in the direction where we were headed.

 

 Chains maybe needed.

 

   Safe Travels,.   Vern

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We don't intend to take the rig anywhere near the north rim.  That's what motorcycles are for.  Weather should be fine, avg. late Sept. highs are about 70, lows about 45.  I know, weather doesn't always follow the rules, but we have the smart as backup.

I've never seen Grand Canyon, though Susan has.  It's on my bucket list.  Plus, it's sorta on the way to the rally, only being 1000 miles out of the way.

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There is a reasonably priced basic campground in Cameron on 89 with pull through sites. I used it as a base to put the two wheeler on the ground and rideabout the south rim area. Its in the Navajo Nation. Some of the hotel staff live in mobiles behind the rv park and wave howdy. 89 quiets down at night. 

North side there is a boondocking area about 20 mi south of Price I cannot remember the name of...sumpin overlook...

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5 hours ago, Wrknrvr said:

  With our travels through that area over the years the North Rim is at the bottom of the list to visit. Really not much to see as it is more commercialized.

 Chains maybe needed.

 

Chains won't be needed this time of year.

North Rim is definitely not more commercialized than the South Rim.  You may be mixing up the two.  North Rim is very quiet. We love it!!

North Rim services end around mid-October but the park is still open for viewing until the road closes for snow.... Nov/Dec.

I can't think of any highways your big rig can't go in that area except Hwy 9 west into Zion through the tunnels.

Have a fun trip!

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As mentioned UT-261 (the Moki Dugway) may be one you may want to avoid. UT-14 between I-15 and US-89 might be another. As mentioned you will likely not be able to transit UT-9 through Zion National Park. If you have the time you might want to explore the UT-12 Scenic Byway and its many side attractions on the motorcycles or in the Smart.

If you do not have one, I suggest you get a copy of the Mountain Directory. It gives very detailed descriptions and recommends roads to avoid in big rigs.

You also may want to consider additional stops than just Kanab and Moab. There are so many great places to see in Utah in addition to the 5 National Parks you will not be able to see then all.

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If you like animals of all kinds Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (a no-kill facility) gives a fantastic tour. I believe you can also look at a few areas on your own.  The drive back there on your motorcycle is gorgeous.  Another side trip is Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. You won't believe the color of the sand.  Pipe Springs Nat'l Monument is near Kanab and do Lee's Ferry on the Colorado River with your cycle.

Moki Dugway is a steep gravel road so you'd probably not even want to take the cycle on it.

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We've done 14, from Cedar City to 89. We traveled it in late October, leaving Cedar City in rain, and hitting snow 1/2 way to the summit. There are signs saying "No Tractor-Trailers", but I don't remember if they were on the edge of town, or farther up the road. Overall, it's a decent road, with 2 or 3 tight corners. Drive aware, watch your speed, and watch your mirrors. We never crossed the centre line, except one corner that had snow built up on the shoulder, and it was more prudent to use the clear road.

Edit to add: I just drove the road, using Google Maps. The signs are a couple miles out of town, past the sign advising of 8% grades ahead. The wording on the signs is actually "Not Recommended for Semi Trucks", so it's up to you. I do remember using stage 2 and 3 in 8th gear going down after the summit.

Edited by Darryl&Rita

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Fortunately, I built an extra week into our time line so we can explore.  We may need to set up camp near Blanding for a couple days in addition to Moab and Kanab.

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 Devils Canyon campground is near Montecello Utah. I think it is a national forest campground. Look it up on the web.

 It is a gravel road headed west of the main highway. Plenty of room to drive and not far of the main road. The campground is paved and has maybe 6 site I could fit in at 73'. Open and closes according to weather. Good local place to use as a base.

 

 Well someone ordered snow for us next Saturday. So I need to get stuff done to leave.

 

   Safe Travels,.   Vern

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1 hour ago, trailertraveler said:

It is a National Forest Campground. Here is a link. Like many of the Forest Service campgrounds in Utah, it closes. Looks like it may close Sept. 30.

The link says "reservations until Sept 30".  For a lot of forest service campgrounds that only means first come, first serve after that date.  Call to make sure.

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We rolled into Monticello, UT a couple days ago,  It seems this is a very busy time of year in these parts.  There were no spaces left in any rv park near Moab, so ,we kept moving south. Not what I wanted to do, but when you don't make reservations, it may be inconvenient.

Anyway, the weather and people here are great.  As we all know, the locals make the best tour guides.  We took a back road to the Needles area of Canyonlands NP yesterday and boy was it fun.Today we take the bikes back up to Moab and visit the upper portion of Canyonlands.  Yee Haw.

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Hay Rickooo 

Might try Pahria River Ranch.

A bit horsey but cheep, plenty of room, has water & elec. 

Sorta outback between Knaba & Big Water but that's what the scooters are for right?

About $16 for dry camp and $32 for elec and water.

If you get really crazy try the horse trail rides but remember it's a long way to the ground from the saddle on a horse than a scooter.... be aware of horse exhaust it can occure at anytime.

Cheers,

Dolly and crew

 

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On 9/22/2019 at 11:41 AM, 2gypsies said:

The link says "reservations until Sept 30".  For a lot of forest service campgrounds that only means first come, first serve after that date.  Call to make sure.

Yes and the other link which is to the Forest Campgrounds site states:
 

Quote

 

Seasonal Comment

Open April 3 through September 30.

 

Which is why I said  "may close". Things have changed with many Forest Service campgrounds.  In recent years, we have encountered a number of Forest Service campgrounds that use to remain open after hosts left or until the roads were impassable that now close on  a specific date. Always best to call the Forest of local Ranger District and get the current information.

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On 9/22/2019 at 11:41 AM, 2gypsies said:

The link says "reservations until Sept 30".  For a lot of forest service campgrounds that only means first come, first serve after that date.  Call to make sure.

... that's why I suggested to call first as some national forest campgrounds are different.  Here is one we've used to give you an example of differences:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/generalinfo/sanjuan/recreation/camping-cabins/generalinfo/?groupid=51744&recid=43054

 

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Thanks for all the suggestions. We're not looking to dry camp for any more than an overnight, and no more than two nights without sewer.  And we plan on being near Kanab for about a week.  Call us wimps.  Dirt/gravel roads are okay with the truck/camper, but not the bikes.  We sold the dirt bikes and now just have machines that are quite happy on pavement.

D.T., first off, where ya been?  Or Bend?  I don't mind being around horses, but am not a cowboy, and have a hard time finding horses big, and dumb enough to let me aboard.   I've looked into the businesses that do horse rides into the national parks, and the one thing they all have in common is a 220# weight limit.  I passed that when I quit wrestling junior year. DW wants no part of getting on something that may decide to eject her.

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Hay Rickarooo,

Better answer to where we've been might be .....where ain't we been....

So far our record "official" Horse camp slot was listed at 20 feet MAXX......the ranger shook his head and ask when the heavy-lift-chopper was due to extract the rig.......shucks all it took was three unhitches and snaking backwards for a half mile around hairpins......

Grumps used to say ......."shucks backing up is easy, just put the truck in reverse, wiggle the steering wheel, roll up and light a smoke and peek in the mirrors once in a while......it's just like driving.....only in reverse....."

Anyway since May Dollymomma and horse has been to about 27 horse camps in three states and (un)$table-boy (me) has forked a few tons of Horse-exhaust and couple thousands of water ...... Far less Hassel than those skooter-jocks with hellhats and tight cowhide pants skidding down the blacktop......no horse geeks just plod down the trail until they ride into the hornets like Dollymomma did THREE times in less than a hour last Friday....GPS recorded Dolly-painthorse went from 2.72 mph to 17.62 mph in four feet.....bet your Volvo can't get up and go like that......and that's with all four hoofs off the ground....

Just a couple geezers too lazy to go golfing.....

Becareful Rickrooo.....skooters saddles are way up in the air......long way to fall....

Got to go now......got to throw some fresh hay out and fork some used hay in the bin up the hill about a 1/4 mile away....

Drive on....... just another hay-day....

Edited by Dollytrolley

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On 9/22/2019 at 6:22 AM, rickeieio said:

Fortunately, I built an extra week into our time line so we can explore.  We may need to set up camp near Blanding for a couple days in addition to Moab and Kanab.

There's a pretty basic RV park in Blanding that I've stayed at before.  Makes for an easy drive to Natural Bridges.  With the bikes, you probably wouldn't want to drive down it, but look up the Moki Dugway and drive to the edge of the cliff on your way to/from NB.

On 9/28/2019 at 8:27 AM, rickeieio said:

We rolled into Monticello, UT a couple days ago,  It seems this is a very busy time of year in these parts.  There were no spaces left in any rv park near Moab, so ,we kept moving south. Not what I wanted to do, but when you don't make reservations, it may be inconvenient.

Anyway, the weather and people here are great.  As we all know, the locals make the best tour guides.  We took a back road to the Needles area of Canyonlands NP yesterday and boy was it fun.Today we take the bikes back up to Moab and visit the upper portion of Canyonlands.  Yee Haw.

The first time I visited Canyonlands was right after a night at Natural Bridges in a tent--the park ranger made known that he was the only guy on national park land with a radar gun within 200 miles, and that as long as we didn't cause any harm, he had no intention of using it.  Might have made a few driving legs a little more fun...

If you end up further west, especially if you want to save some miles between US 89 and Bryce Canyon, take a drive in the car along Cottonwood Canyon Rd and Kodachrome Rd, which ends up in Cannonville, UT.  It's unpaved, but well graded, and takes you right past Grosvenor Arch and a few other neat out-of-the-way sights.

Very few of the roads should cause any trouble--but DO NOT attempt Cottonwood Canyon Road in the rain.  The mud/ash quickly turns your sneakers into platform shoes, and the Smart doesn't have nearly enough power to get through it.

 

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Oh my.  It appears my extra week has disappeared, between unexpected excursions and laundry/grocery shopping. 

While in Monticello, we took a day and did Montezuma Creek Canyon.  A descendant of one of the Dalton Gang runs a ranch down there, and many of his cousins have businesses in and around Monticello.  There are several man made caves in the canyon, used as hay barns, equipment sheds, and houses.  A few are really cool.

We spent another day driving the car to Natural Bridges Nat. Monument, Moki Dugway, Goosenecks State park, and Valley of the Gods.  The car got dirty.......

Now we're in Kanab.  Did Zion yesterday, and today rode from Kanab to Panguitch, then over 143 to Cedar Breaks, down 148 to 14 and back to 89, south to Kanab.  It was 50* and windy at Cedar Breaks, and we have on every piece of clothing we had on board the bikes.  an hour later we were back down to 6500' elevation and took off a bunch of layers.  Tomorrow is laundry and visiting with a friend who works at Jacob Lake.  Sunday we'll do what ever Susan wants, as it's her 65th birthday.  Dang, we're getting old......

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Laundry? You know you can turn them drawers around to gain an extra couple days, don't ya? There's riding to do! While in the Kanab area, check out the hot springs. Good for old(er) bones.

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