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Grand Canyon in Late March-April


watson8841

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First post but hanging around for a while...I ran a search but didn't find exactly what i was looking for. DW and I are planning a 3 week trip from Mobile, AL to take in the Grand Canyon and surrounding parks (as time permits). Thought of Carlsbad Caverns as we pass thru, then maybe Brice, Zion, possibly Arches.

 

Any help in the best places to stay with 40 ft Diesel would be appreciated! Planning 3-4 days out and 3-4 back so that leaves about 2 weeks to play!

 

Without a doubt, my favorite forum!!!

 

Dan & Terry

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At the Grand Canyon there are several parks in Williams AZ about 30 miles west of Flagstaff. If you stay right in town at the Grand Canyon Railway park you can walk on to the train that takes a one day trip to the canyon. At that time of year it may be your best bet. As a word of caution in late March early April you can catch quite a bit of snow. The roads will be open but sloppy and it will be very cold.

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I'd recommend April rather than March. Also, I don't know if you're still working or not, but if you can work in more time for these awesome parks it would be great. You're driving a long way for just two weeks of play.

 

Carlsbad is nice. It's a national park for a reason. :) We've always rented a 'wand' and as you're walking in front of special formations, it will talk to you like your own private tour. We've stayed at Brantley Lake State Park with our 40' motorhome.

 

Kartchner Caverns state park is indeed a beauty. It's completely different from Carlsbad as it is still a living cave with formations still forming. The lighting is gorgeous and the tour great. (We gave them.) Take the Rotunda Throne Room tour as a first-timer. The state park is a very nice campground. The Escapees Saguaro RV park in also nearby in Benson. If you can swing more play days, first-timers can stay for $50/week full hookups, plus electric. The sites are large. The park is well landscaped and the people are friendly. Always something going on in the clubhouse. You could easily tour Tombsone and Bisbee from there. If you're a birder, Sierra Vista has some great canyons with neat birds. Ramsey Canyon sometimes has tours.

 

Each national park has a great web site with things to do, camping information, road information. Check them out before going.

 

Grand Canyon - South Rim - definitely stay in Trailer Village which is in the park itself and walkable to the Rim. Your 40' will fit. Full hookups. Williams is 50 miles away and you won't want to drive it multiple days.

 

Zion - if you disconnect your towed and drive separately, you'll fit through the tunnel. Google 'Zion Tunnel' for pertinent information on driving it. If you're not used to mountain driving I'll warn you that there's a very steep switchback downhill after going through the tunnels. It's very doable with RVs and many drive it. If you didn't want to drive it, an easier way is to take 89 out of Flagstaff, AZ to Page ( fairly level) or pick up 89A before Page (a steep uphill but again, doable). Whichever you choose head to Fredonia, AZ. Then pick up Hwy 389 west which becomes 59 in Utah at Colorado City. Then take Hwy 9 east toward Zion. It's a very nice drive. Springdale has a couple RV parks and it's at the gate of Zion. The free shuttle makes stops in this small town to take you into the park. Watchman campground in the park itself has some large sites..electric with a dump station and water fill. That's where we stay.

 

To again avoid the tunnels when you're ready to leave head west again on Hwy 9 to I-15 north and pick up Hwy 20 east at Circleville, UT which will take you to Hwy 89 and south to Panguitch, UT. Don't take Hwy 14 from I-15. You won't like it - steep.

 

89 comes into Hwy 12 east to Bryce. If you want full hookups, Ruby's RV at the park entrance is your best bet. Again, the free shuttle stops there or you can drive your own vehicle in Bryce.

 

To get to Moab, UT and Arches NP, take Hwy 12 east to Torrey . - (another steep hill in one spot before Torrey but again, very doable). Hwy 12 is an absolutely beautiful drive. It ends at Hwy 24 and Capitol Reef Nat'l Park is here. Stay in Torrey. Then head east on 24 which will take you to I-70 east to Moab. There are many RV parks in Moab.

 

These are all great hiking parks if you're able so bring your shoes. Arches has a great hike, Fiery Furnace. It's ranger-led and you need reservations, preferably before you get there. It's very popular. It's a real fun hike.

 

Check the dates for the Moab Jeep Safari which is held in March or April. If you'll be there at that time, definitely make advance reservations for the RV park.

 

Near Moab is Canyonlands Nat'l Park so drive out there - not too far. Also, renting a Jeep or taking a Jeep tour would be great. The trails are fantastic!

 

Have a great trip. They are all favorite places of ours and we've been to all of them often.

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Ditto on what 2gypsies just wrote.

 

Especially make every effort to stay at Trailer Village at Grand Canyon. If you are going to go through the effort to go to the Grand Canyon you really want to be along the rim in the late afternoon/morning and/or sunrise/sunset. You won't do that staying at Williams.

 

If Trailer Village is full when you check online, check back every chance you get with the hopes of getting a spot right after a cancellation.

 

Also if you plan on seeing Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce and the Canyonlands in 2 weeks you need to drive directly to the Grand Canyon (or Canyonlands, depending on where you start). Any time you spend along the way, no matter how spectacular they are, will impact your ability to see all there is to see at the National Parks.

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Howdy,

 

+1 for Trailer Village and Kartchner Caverns; we've been to both (and stayed at the latter's campground) and were very pleased. Can't help you with the Utah destinations as we haven't been there (yet).

 

IMHO you should reserve at least a full week, preferably 10 days or more, to visit the Grand Canyon (South Rim, we've never been to its North counterpart). Trailer Village is very well located for that, and there's great infrastructure (shuttle buses and bike trails specially, alas bring your bikes, the place is almost made to be explored on a bike). We've been there in early 2015 for just 5 days but could easily have stayed 10 or more, the place is just incredible.

 

Re: Kartchner Caverns, we were there in 2012 and spent a morning doing the Big Room cave tour (you will need to reserve it, we did reserve the Big Room, and tried to do the Rotunda/Throne Room but it was full so we spent the afternoon exploring Tombstone). We overnighted in KC's campground then did the big around-the-park hike the next morning. IMHO well worth it all, but nothing to justify more than a 2-day stay.

 

 

Have a great trip, and don't forget to post your pics somewhere! :-)

 

Cheers,

--

Vall.

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I'd recommend April rather than March.

This is sound advice, and May would be even better.

 

Average Temperatures at the South Rim

~ ~ ~ ~ JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

High(F) 41 45 51 60 70 81 84 82 76 65 52 43

Low(F) 18 21 25 32 39 47 54 53 47 36 27 20

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May temps look good for the Grand Canyon but other parks on the agenda would be hot, except for Bryce. May in Moab can be unbearable after 9am.

 

Kartchner isn't a national park because it's state-financed. The story behind the discovery is very fascinating. It was kept a secret by the discovers and even a couple years from their families so no one could damage it until the state could take it over. Google it. :)

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Don't be scared off from going to the Grand Canyon in March because of the broad swipe of a temperature number of "the average high of 51* and average low of 25*".

 

If somehow every day in March was sunny with a high of 51 and a low of 25, that would be fantastic weather. A sunny day with light wind and a afternoon high of 51 is very comfortable in the high dry country. Cool, but really very, very nice. A low of 25 is chilly and if your RV is equipped to handle below freezing weather for several hours a low of 25 is actually comfortable.

 

If you want some accurate information, to make a decision about visiting the Grand Canyon in March, look at the detailed info for the month of March for 2016, 2015, & 2014 I have given below. You can go back more years, or look at other months with just a click of your mouse.

 

As the data below shows, in March you have the risk of low temps in the teens or in the case of early March 2015 three degrees on one morning. On the other hand you can have stretches of highs in the upper 50's to the mid 60's. Note that most days are sunny with just a few days of cloudy weather.

 

What is the weather going to be for the days you will be there. Who knows. You take what mother nature gives you.

 

 

My advice is, if your schedule only allows you to go in March, to just go with the plan that the weather will be nice, as it is more than it isn't.

 

When you get to the warm low lands of either I-40 east of Flagstaff, or Phoenix area, look at the upcoming weather for the next 2-3 days. On the day you arrive at Flagstaff, look at the weather again. If nasty weather is coming, bypass Grand Canyon and go up to Lake Powell for a night and then on to Zion. You will be disappointed, but weather sometimes doesn't cooperate with our plans.

 

If, when you are in the lowlands the weather is really nasty, stay put until it blows over. Then move on with your plans.

 

Anyways, here are the links to the weather I mentioned above:

 

March 2016

 

March 2015

 

March 2014

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First post but hanging around for a while...I ran a search but didn't find exactly what i was looking for. DW and I are planning a 3 week trip from Mobile, AL to take in the Grand Canyon and surrounding parks (as time permits). Thought of Carlsbad Caverns as we pass thru, then maybe Brice, Zion, possibly Arches.

 

Any help in the best places to stay with 40 ft Diesel would be appreciated! Planning 3-4 days out and 3-4 back so that leaves about 2 weeks to play!

 

Without a doubt, my favorite forum!!!

 

Dan & Terry

Grand Canyon, places to stay has been well covered.

 

Arches NP: I was going to say make reservations for the CG inside the park. However it looks like no reservations because of road construction in 2017. Look here for more info. Even if you can't get reservations, stay in the park is your best option at Arches. It is a 30-40 minute drive from the entrance to most of the arches and the trails at the arches. There are 5-8 of the campsites which are large enough for a 40 footer. March/April is a busy time at arches and the Canyonlands in general. If you can't get in the park there are lots of RV Parks in Moab and BLM CG's in the Canyonlands area. Use www.rvparkreviews.com for info on RV Parks. The BLM operates 400 campsites in 26 campgrounds in the Moab area. Dry camping only. For info go here.

 

Zion NP: Stay in the Watchman CG inside the park. There are electric hookups available in Watchman. Make reservations as soon as you can. Info here.

 

Bryce NP: Again stay inside the park. However there is a private CG right outside the entrance (within 5 miles anyways). As with Grand Canyon, the weather can be great, cool crisp clear mornings and pleasant afternoons in the upper 50's low 60's. OR there could be snow and cold. April 2016 weather history.

 

The drive from Bryce to Moab, following SR-12 to Torrey, SR-24 to Hanksville, SR-95 to Blanding, and US-191 to Moab is an extremely beautiful drive. I would suggest a 3 night, 4 day drive if you take this route with boondocking along the way. Get the Days End listing if you want to boondock. The listing is a nominal fee of $15 for a download subscription.

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