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Old 08-13-2019, 10:38 PM   #1
OffroadHamster
 
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Default Grand Canyon Suggestions!

At the end of September first week of October we are going to Grand Canyon. I havent booked any campsites, as is my usual M.O. but I also havent found the time to do any research and my work went sideways last week.

We are leaving from Orange County, CA, camping on the way to, in and around Grand Canyon for a week, and then heading up into Colorado and ultimately spending a week in Breckenridge.

Soliciting ANY and ALL suggestions of great places, off the beaten path adventure, suggested roads / campgrounds / camp sites/ attractions along the way.

I am open to staying a night or two in heavily trafficked areas to hit some of the major attractions for my Kids to experience (Hoover Dam?)

Please share, if your in-route Ill buy you a drink for your efforts, if your not, you are welcome in my driveway and to share a beer if you are in Orange County (dont know why you'd visit, but hey, we have....errr...Disneyland??"

THANKS
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Grand Canyon Suggestions!

If you can target your dates, making reservations is certainly recommended, especially for the South Rim.

We managed to get into the North Rim campground without reservations by getting into the (small) line about half an hour before the reservation desk opened ... what few spots had opened up (by no-shows, mainly) were quickly snapped up. (this was May 26/27, 2018). We had stayed at the South Rim a few years before on May 13/14 also without reservations. We just squeaked in.
On that trip we were NOT able to squeeze in to the North Rim campground on May 15th, so we had to exit the park.
(it's a 5 hour drive between the Rims).

--dick
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Grand Canyon Suggestions!

The south rim is kind of a zoo most of the time, the north rim is more laid back. If you only chose one, I'd say the north rim is a better bet. Since Dick above has been to both, maybe he'll chime in.

Since you (Hamster) mentioned out-of-the-way, I might put in a plug for Toroweap, which is a very remote area of the Grand Canyon, down something like 50 miles of rough dirt road, including a short stretch of deep sand. There is primitive camping, but they do have an outhouse.

Torroweap is a much narrower area of the canyon. This pic shows the camping area. That's my Jeep on the far left. The rest of the vehicles were in my group, we pretty much had the place to ourselves.




If you go through Page, AZ, then you probably should hit up Horseshoe Bend.


Rent a speedboat and explore Lake Powell for a day.




If you can handle 15 miles or so of deep sand and want to try something completely off the wall, then hit up White Pocket. No permit needed (yet).




You mentioned the Hoover Dam which might not be compatible with going through Page, in which case you're looking at the southern Utah parks like Bryce and Zion, always busy places. But lots more obscure places too like Goblin Valley, Staircase of the Escalante, Capital Reef.

Actually there's a really good park in Nevada before you get to Utah, Valley of Fire.

Also, if you like old junk, Nelson Nevada is a great diversion and not far from Vegas and the Hoover Dam.







Those are just a few places that come to mind. If you tell me more of your interests, I can help refine the list or suggest alternative places as well.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Grand Canyon Suggestions!

I was at the North Rim in mid Oct in 2016, there was fresh snow driving in.... although the North Rim was closed for the season they still had a Ranger at the campground booth collecting campsite fees and the campground was full... I was lucky and got a site from people that were leaving early...
I was also at the South Rim in mid Nov and it's ALWAYS packed... after the North Rim lack of campsites I made reservations for the South Rim 2 weeks ahead of time and there were few sites available. For peace of mind I'd make reservations as far ahead as I could.. you can read reviews for campsites on Trip Advisor too which is nice, that way you can pick a nice site if it's available when you make reservations....
Zion is every bit as crowded as the GC.... Capitol Reef is freaking AWESOME !! No reservations there, 1st come, 1st served.... Highway 12 in Ut should be a Ntl Park in itself !!
I'll be in this area again in mid Oct, now that I've explored a bit I'm going to really check out a few places but in my Sprinter this time !!!
The Ferry across Lake Powell is pretty cool, a fairly less travelled route....
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: Grand Canyon Suggestions!

If you go to the south rim and want a day hike, use South Kaibab trail rather than Bright Angel. It’s on a ridge line with great 360* views, BA is predominantly in a canyon. Bring lots of water, even in October, as there are no rest stations. We’ve backpacked to the river twice and overnighted at Phantom Ranch and found “Hikernut’s Grand Canyon Companion” to a great resource. If you have bikes, there are great bike paths thru Ponderosa forest on the South Rim. On the north rim, North Kaibab is also in a canyon with limited views.

I don’t normally welcome Californians to Colorado, I know it’s a stereotype but generally accurate. Breck is an overrun tourist trap. Buena Vista is very nice, near the Collegiates, although high mountain passes may be closed. Princeton Hot Springs is fun, Arkansas river is good fly fishing. Lake City, Pagosa Springs are great options
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: Grand Canyon Suggestions!

This is our trip that included the South Rim: http://www.seymourstainedglass.com/t...0/sw-2010.html
(we get there about 40% down that page ... but the page also include Moab and Goblin Park.)



This is our trip that included the North Rim: http://www.seymourstainedglass.com/t...-18-part1.html
(North Rim part starts about 80% down the long page ...)



You didn't mention the age of your kids ... i must admit that i'd probably choose the South Rim as an introduction to the place. It has the more "classic" views ... (and crowds) ... it really depends upon what kind of experience you're trying for, and how rushed you'll be.

The North Rim is higher than the south, so it looks more impressive from the south as a high background, instead of the north's view of the lower South.

--dick
p.s. both of my travelog pages include Bryce.
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Grand Canyon Suggestions!

Gorgeous country and if you want to stretch the legs a bit there are several hot springs near Hoover Dam as well as Tecopa. Mt Charleston, Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire are also nearby. Can also check local Meetup groups along the way for additional offerings.
Enjoy the road trip and looking forward to having my 04' ready and rolling someday hopefully soon!
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Old 08-15-2019, 06:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Grand Canyon Suggestions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OffroadHamster View Post
...

Soliciting ANY and ALL suggestions of great places, off the beaten path adventure, suggested roads / campgrounds / camp sites/ attractions along the way.

...

THANKS
I may be repeating some stuff already mentioned here. Our Out West trip was October 2017.

Much of the beauty of the trip was just traveling from place to place. Be ready to stop here and there.

Valley of Fire NV. Not off the beaten path, but worth visiting. Serene and beautiful. Don't miss the petroglyphs. I found many more than the highlighted ones by looking up on other rock walls.

Heading to Colorado? If via Utah, Zion and Bryce Canyons are possible. Zion was a zoo people/vehicle wise, but it may have been the day of the week... W/E. For us Bryce was easier to enjoy.

Drive Rt. 12 The Hogback. It is a spectacular drive. UT 24 continues NE up to I70/Grand Junction CO. UT 24 has some great scenery too. It takes you through some Zion-like bottom canyon roads with beautiful views.

I guess that I'm repeating myself now though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
"Go West Old Man"

Took the 2006 2500 HC out west. Pueblo CO (South Park City, Garden of the Gods), Golden CO (quick stop Lindenengineering), Grand Junction CO (Monument Valley). Scenic Route 24 and 12 south to Bryce Canyon UT. (My wife wasn't thrilled with the Rt 12 Hogback section.) Zion Canyon UT to Valley of Fire NV. Death Valley. Las Vegas NV, Hoover Dam. Historic Route 66. Sedona and Jerome AZ. Grand Canyon AZ. Mesa Verde CO, then headed home.

Approx. 6,720 miles in 24 days. Odometer is now 161,481. We had one vehicle system failure. The right side low beam headlamp burned out. Replaced with on board spare. Engine oil level was about 1/4" down when we left. Now still well above the add mark.

Whether you make it a longer or shorter trip, any one of those areas is worth taking the time to visit. Our trip was too short in some ways, but for me there's only so many rocks that can be enjoyed. I did learn that the drives from one area to another are a big part of the adventure. It amazed me how much the scenery could change over a very short distance.

I plan to add some additional posts with some details of our route.

vic
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
Heading a bit south in Colorado?

We stayed at a KOA in Pueblo and did some day trips.

Worth seeing.

S. Park City Museum Fairplay, Colorado
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=60041

Garden of the Gods
https://gardenofgods.com/

And if heading that direction (Bryce, Zion), include Highway 12 in Utah. The Hogback. We took Utah 24 down from I70 to Torrey Highway 12. Utah 24 was a beautiful drive too.

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...075#post682075

vic
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post

With our trip out west I learned to always stay above 1/2 tank. Always get fuel when you can to save worry. It is amazing how scarce towns can become in some of the areas.

I recall one sign that indicated "No services next 80 miles." What it should have said was "No Nothin' for the next 80 miles." We didn't even see any agriculture related buildings that were near the highway.

We did Utah 12 heading south in our Sprinter van. That put my wife out on the outside of the road. She was often looking out over nothing. I've told friends that while up on the Hogback most times I slowed down for her (sometimes triggered by her vocalizations), but there were lots times when I slowed down for me.

Route 12 was a spectacular and memorable drive even before and after the Hogback area.

vic

Added:
ROB SIMS

Attachment 99993

Attachment 99994

3 MOUNTAIN ROADS THAT SCARED THE SNOT OUT OF ME
https://wheretherobertmeetstheroad.c...not-out-of-me/

vic
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: Grand Canyon Suggestions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hosh View Post
If you go to the south rim and want a day hike, use South Kaibab trail rather than Bright Angel. It’s on a ridge line with great 360* views, BA is predominantly in a canyon. Bring lots of water, even in October, as there are no rest stations. We’ve backpacked to the river twice and overnighted at Phantom Ranch and found “Hikernut’s Grand Canyon Companion” to a great resource. If you have bikes, there are great bike paths thru Ponderosa forest on the South Rim. On the north rim, North Kaibab is also in a canyon with limited views.

I don’t normally welcome Californians to Colorado, I know it’s a stereotype but generally accurate. Breck is an overrun tourist trap. Buena Vista is very nice, near the Collegiates, although high mountain passes may be closed. Princeton Hot Springs is fun, Arkansas river is good fly fishing. Lake City, Pagosa Springs are great options
We have family in Breck (well Silverthorne, I say breck because everyone knows it) and are out there once a year to visit at least.

We will probably come in through Crested Butte and over Kebler if its still open and camp up there.

Thanks everyone for the fantastic pointers and advice!!

We have done Bryce and Zion in the past two years and will probably not spend the time, but Valley of Fire is on my itinerary now. My kids are 2 and 4, so limited hiking with them. I can usually get my wife to let me escape for a half day in which time I can cover roughly 10 strenuous miles (i'm an avid backpacker and if I dont have 25lbs on my back I can move) so I appreciate the hiking recommendations.

Last edited by OffroadHamster; 08-16-2019 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: Grand Canyon Suggestions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by VanGoSki View Post
The south rim is kind of a zoo most of the time, the north rim is more laid back. If you only chose one, I'd say the north rim is a better bet. Since Dick above has been to both, maybe he'll chime in.

Since you (Hamster) mentioned out-of-the-way, I might put in a plug for Toroweap, which is a very remote area of the Grand Canyon, down something like 50 miles of rough dirt road, including a short stretch of deep sand. There is primitive camping, but they do have an outhouse.

Torroweap is a much narrower area of the canyon. This pic shows the camping area. That's my Jeep on the far left. The rest of the vehicles were in my group, we pretty much had the place to ourselves.
Thats a long stretch of off road, maybe as much as 4 hours - Would you peg it as Van accessible? Ive got sand ladders, some recovery gear (no winch), 33" AT's, a full size spare, compressor and jacking equipment.

Id hate to get stuck in such a remote area if its outside of the capability of a 4x4 sprinter.

And WOW - those photos. What are you shooting with?
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