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TT Length Resrictions

NAtional Park Length Restrictions?

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That may be true for some parks, but not all. It depends on what the roads are like and what the campsites are like. Some older parks can't handle anything longer in the campground. Some parks have some natural features that limit vehicle size. Call some that you would be interested in and ask.

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Our 40' motorhome plus car easily fit in many national parks..... Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Crater Lake, Bryce, Zion, Death Valley, Big Bend, Rocky Mountain, Sleeping Bear Dunes Nat'l Lakeshore, Grand Canyon, Badlands, Black Canyon, Guadalupe, etc.  

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! 

There is no truth at all to what you heard about 26' travel trailers in national parks. I have never seen any limit on RV lengths for entry into national parks although I do remember one road into a campground at Rocky Mountain park that did have a length limit because it was so crooked.

Come back and ask questions or join conversations often as we are here to help. 

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Welcome to the Escapees Forum!!

As has been stated there is no set length limit for trailers in National Parks that I am aware of. Some campgrounds like Lewis Lake and Tower Falls in Yellowstone have total vehicle length restrictions. Natural Bridges National Monument requires trailers to be left at the Visitor Center Parking lot. The Mount Carmel Tunnel on the East side of Zion National Park has a total length and height limit which limits entry to the park from the East. The Going to the Sun Highway in Glacier National Park has length, height and width restrictions. I would think there may be others so check the individual park's websites "Plan your Visit" section.

Again, Welcome to the Escapees Forum!!

Edited by trailertraveler

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5 hours ago, trailertraveler said:

Welcome to the Escapees Forum!!

As has been stated there is no set length limit for trailers in National Parks that I am aware of. Some campgrounds like Lewis Lake and Tower Falls in Yellowstone have total vehicle length restrictions. Natural Bridges National Monument requires trailers to be left at the Visitor Center Parking lot. The Mount Carmel Tunnel on the East side of Zion National Park has a total length and height limit which limits entry to the park from the East. The Going to the Sun Highway in Glacier National Park has length, height and width restrictions. I would think there may be others so check the individual park's websites "Plan your Visit" section.

Again, Welcome to the Escapees Forum!!

OP:   ... No, you won't fit in every campground in the national parks but a big rig can fit in many of them.  In Yellowstone we fit in Madison, Mammoth and Bridge Bay.

Natural Bridge Nat'l Monument has a campground for up to 26' and no other campground so, no, a big rig wouldn't be able to go there but there are lovely public campgrounds nearby to stay and drive the vehicle into the park for hiking, etc.

We disconnected the car from the motorhome and drove the Zion tunnel separately... no issue.  Otherwise there's the west side entry to use.  Inside Zion we stayed at Watchman campground.

For Glacier's highway basically only van-size RVs are allowed - a limit of 21'.  That doesn't mean you can't drive it in a car or truck which is preferred, anyway.  That doesn't mean Glacier is off-limits entirely.  We stayed at Apgar campground in Glacier with our 40' motorhome and for siteseeing took the car.

Each national park has a fantastic web site giving all the information you'd need to know including campgrounds, roads, special alerts and things to do.  It's best to check them out before going to one so there are no surprises.

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Also, check the weather at sites. We were surprised how much snow there was in June in the mountains.

Linda

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Just keep in mind that many campgrounds in the national parks are old, often built back in the 1950's or so. And RVs were not as big in those days. So you will be blocked from many campgrounds or at least from many sites in those CG. North Pines CG in Yosemite is an example of a cg having few sites for big campers.

Chiricahua NM is an example of a park which only allows campers shorter than 26 ft IIRC. Even the National Forest cg around that park has limits around 25 ft.

Most of the time you can find either NF or BLM spots around the outside of parks, especially major parks. We boondocked in a cg 15 minutes from the Yellowstone gate this summer for example. Any sized unit could fit in there.

Edited by agesilaus

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My motorhome is 32' long and I have never found a national park I could not fit in.

I don't know where that myth got started, but in 8 years, I have not experienced it.  There is a campground in Grand Canyon with a limit of under 30', but you just stay in the other campground that has full hookups for RVs,  No limit there at all.

If you want to check it out, go on recreation.gov and check out a few campgrounds.

Edited by Solo18

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Just how many NP have you camped at. We've been to scores of them and yes some of them would not allow your 32 ft camper in their campground. The big parks have multiple cg but smaller parks may only have one. Look at Chiricahua for example:

Quote

Camping Regulations

To enhance your enjoyment and assist in protecting Chiricahua National Monument, please read and comply with all campground regulations (pdf):

  • Maximum RV/motorhome or trailer length is 29 feet, actual measurements.

 

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5 hours ago, Solo18 said:

I don't know where that myth got started, but in 8 years, I have not experienced it. 

While it isn't a common problem, there are many places where there are length limits for various reasons in federal parks and I can think of a few. One place the myth got started might be Cochise Stronghold Campground, and here is a quote from their website.

Quote
Restrictions: No hook-ups. Trailers limited to 16 feet. Limit 2 vehicles and 10 persons per site. 14 day stay limit.

It may also have started from people who have visited Rocky Mountain National park, as this is from their website.

Quote

Do you have limits on RV or trailer length?
Yes.
Aspenglen: 30 feet
Glacier Basin: 35 feet
Longs Peak: Tents only
Moraine Park: 40 feet
Timber Creek: 30 feet

From Yellowstone National Park, some campgrounds also have limits . 

Quote

30' (9.1 m) or less / Loop has hairpin curve

 

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Had to smile - I think the longest pull through sites I have ever seen were at Schoodic Woods in Acadia National Park - probably 300 feet long.

So, as always, the answer is "it depends."

If you plan on visiting every National Park you are going to find some with tight length restrictions. 

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On 8/16/2020 at 7:39 PM, TT Length Resrictions said:

As a newbie, I have heard that national parks will not let travel trailers enter that are over 26 feet in overall length.  Is this true?

Only a month late . . .

No, it's not true. In the approximately 1,700 State Parks and 1,500 Federal Parks about 50% of the sites can handle a 40-foot RV.

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3 hours ago, GR "Scott" Cundiff said:

"it depends.

good answer.  I volunteered at a state park that had 355 sites.  Lots of sites for long ones. Lots of site for short ones. Most times no problem. Really busy holiday or weekend and a long one may be out of luck at least for a day or two.

I think I have seen at least one or two that had weight limits.  I am pretty sure Saguaro SKP Co-op has a weight limit.

As I recall Big Bend NP has a length limit on ONE of its campgrounds.  I could look it up but I think I will let someone else get the joy of discovering that fact or fake information.

Edited by bigjim

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Most NP have upgraded and can now accommodate big rigs. Some, however, were unable to do so due to the roads going into and out of the campground being narrow or having tight turns and trees preventing a big rig from making it to a campsite. 

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Really? Just curious the only upgraded NP cg that I am aware of is Fishing Bridge in YNP. And they worked on that one twice closing for a year each time, tho maybe the first time was a strike by the vendor. So what others have been upgraded? Nothing that I'm aware of in Yosemite Valley, the only cg that takes a few longer campers is North Pines last I heard. Touloumne Meadows would be a prime candidate for upgrading

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3 hours ago, Twotoes said:

Most NP have upgraded and can now accommodate big rigs.

The national parks are in a serious budget crunch and while some have been upgraded, far more need it than have gotten improved. Part of the problem is also that there is an environmentalist movement to get campgrounds out of the major parks. Between the two, the park service is caught in a major bind. Most of the parks do have at least some sites big enough for any RV, but often that number is limited. In really popular parks like Yellowstone the site availability is very limited due to high demand at peak seasons in spite of their 12 campgrounds with 2000+ sites.  The park is falling behind on all sorts of maintenance due to short staffs and too little money. Most national parks have that problem to varying degrees. We have probably only begun to see the problems in our parks and current budgets demands do not bode well for the future. 

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We have had this conversation before. First mismanagement of the money they do have, and it is billions of dollars, certainly is a very big issue. Secondly they need to stop buying new property and prioritize the maintenance and improvement of the many properties they already possess. All this waste of money occurs above the local park level. But at least one issue does not, any ranger who gets a leo certification automatically gets a pay raise and promotion. That needs to be stopped and limited to at actual number of leo rangers that are actually needed.

The people who are paying for these parks, the American Public, needs should be first priority. The stupidity of requiring four or five reviews to run a water pipe under a road needs to be stopped, period. They are over regulated and have forgotten what their prime mission is.

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57 minutes ago, agesilaus said:

Secondly they need to stop buying new property and prioritize the maintenance and improvement of the many properties they already possess. All this waste of money occurs above the local park level.

And as has been pointed out before, the NPS does not ever buy new property, Congress does. And as one who has volunteered in several of the national parks, I will once again assure you that there is very little wasted money in the national parks. How about you documenting some of this waste that you know about? Is it like the money that they spend buying land? 

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I too have volunteered in many National Parks over the last few years. One that comes in mind is Cape Hatteras National Seashore, part of the NPS system. All of their campgrounds have been improved, longer sites to accommodate big rigs, electric hook ups added etc.

As far as waste of money, just prior to Oct 1st, the start of the next fiscal year, all funds remaining must be spent or the budget for next year will be decreased. This led to the purchase of items not needed like, shovels, rakes, post hole diggers etc even tho there were several already at hand. They have a spend it or loose it mentality. 

As far as water lines going under the road, my brother used to work for the water department in a National Park in Calif. Anything the did had to be approved by and inspected by the Calif authorities, the Federal authorities, the EPA, the nearby local county and sometimes city authorities. So much regulation it took forever to get anything done  

 

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On 9/5/2020 at 3:39 PM, agesilaus said:

We have had this conversation before. First mismanagement of the money they do have, and it is billions of dollars, certainly is a very big issue. Secondly they need to stop buying new property and prioritize the maintenance and improvement of the many properties they already possess. All this waste of money occurs above the local park level. But at least one issue does not, any ranger who gets a leo certification automatically gets a pay raise and promotion. That needs to be stopped and limited to at actual number of leo rangers that are actually needed.

The people who are paying for these parks, the American Public, needs should be first priority. The stupidity of requiring four or five reviews to run a water pipe under a road needs to be stopped, period. They are over regulated and have forgotten what their prime mission is.

We have had this conversation before. First mismanagement of the money they do have, and it is billions of dollars, certainly is a very big issue.

I worked for NPS, BLM and USFS.  Mismanagement of the money is really a minor issue, particularly for BLM and FS.  The NPS has a LOT MORE money, but even they do not waste taxpayers dollars on a massive scale.

Secondly they need to stop buying new property and prioritize the maintenance and improvement of the many properties they already possess.

They are not making NEW land.  One of the most successful Regional Parks districts in the nation for a long, long time had a policy of buying land (50%) of their taxpayer dollars.  The other 50% went to managing existing parks.  That policy paid HUGE dividends to the taxpayers as the population in the San Francisco Bay Area exploded.  They had already purchased the future park land. 

But you have a valid point, Congress needs to prioritize the maintenance of existing facilities.

But at least one issue does not, any ranger who gets a leo certification automatically gets a pay raise and promotion. That needs to be stopped and limited to at actual number of leo rangers that are actually needed.

I remember those days when the Forest Service and BLM had NO law enforcement officers.  Working on the Clearwater National Forest on the timber crew during the summer of 1972...somebody stole our 10 day supply of frozen meats.  We turned it over to the FBI in Spokane!!!  As a tax payer, do you want the FBI handling law enforcement on Federal lands or a Forest Service or BLM LEO??

Law enforcement pay scales are set by Congress.  I would have a discussion with your elected Representatives.

However, as a retired BLM, NPS, and USFS employee can I ask the American people to bring back the American public that used the Federal public lands in the early 1970's ?  That would be really helpful. 

Forest Service and BLM LEO's are dying at a pretty high rate due to the isolated nature of the law enforcement duties.  We really do need a better class of visitors to our public lands.

The people who are paying for these parks, the American Public, needs should be first priority. The stupidity of requiring four or five reviews to run a water pipe under a road needs to be stopped, period. They are over regulated and have forgotten what their prime mission is.

On this we agree, however, YOU elected the Congressional representatives that wrote the laws and appointed the Federal Judges that ruled on court decisions that resulted in Federal agency "stupidity".  

I had enough and retired 30 days after I was eligible due to nonsense like this.   Oh yeah,  I had to wait 30 days after becoming eligible since I thought I had a serious medical issue.  Didn't make a difference to me or my wife, but my college bound daughter it would have made a huge difference if a died as a Federal retiree rather than a employee.

Otherwise, I would not have waited an extra 30 days.

Don't get my wrong...I had the perfect job, but dealing with Federal Judges, elected officials, the "new" American public made my retirement decision really easy.

There are thousands of frustrated Federal employees that are counting days.....you can help them by electing some "smart" politicians.  Doesn't matter their political leanings.....just make sure they have some common sense. 

A quality severely lacking in public life these days.

 

Edited by Vladimir

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On 9/6/2020 at 9:42 AM, Twotoes said:

As far as water lines going under the road, my brother used to work for the water department in a National Park in Calif. Anything the did had to be approved by and inspected by the Calif authorities, the Federal authorities, the EPA, the nearby local county and sometimes city authorities. So much regulation it took forever to get anything done  

 

Don't forget archeology.  We volunteered in a park and we suggested they put a sign up... don't even recall the reason.  The ranger smiled and said "let me tell you how much time it would take to install a sign".  They would have brought in the archeology dept and done a dig to make sure there were no artifacts buried below.

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