Grand Canyon Suggestions!


New member
I SOOO regret doing Hwy 12 in a day..... I'll be there again in mid Oct and plan to spend 4-5 days exploring it


Erratic Member
My general path...I think....
At the scale, it's a little hard to tell ... but ...
I think the dot just barely below your "23 hours" marker is the town of Panguitch
A bit south of that is where Utah 12 heads east from US 89.

If you drive about 3 miles east along Utah 12, you'll find Red Canyon National Forest, with a pretty good forest service campground more or less "across the street" from the visitor center. (they may even have powered sites ... i forget... they do have showers and flush toilets) Very handy when Bryce is full (as it always is). Also much lower altitude (in case you get headaches).

There are easy trails behind the visitor center for clamboring around among the "red rocks" seen in the background of that photo.

The "drive through rock arch" that's a semi-signature of Bryce Canyon is less than 2 miles east of the campground on Utah 12. (repairs were completed 2 days later)

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Im just going to print this whole thread out before I leave. And grab some more detailed paper maps...I hate navigating on a screen....must be the backpacker in me.


Well-known member
De Lorme makes some superb map books. Hi res, huge scale. About $25 per state, if I recall correctly.

Also, I see that you're going through Moab. Lucky you. If you can spare about three hours, Dead Horse Point State Park, NW of Moab will knock yer sox off. Here it is. As good as the Grand Canyon, IMHO.

Jon at Dead Horse Pano-1.jpg

Several good campgrounds in the Canyonlands NP and Dead Horse Point SP area.

Arches NP is superb, too, but you'd have to get in line at dawn. Very popular in summer. Amazing campground there. A wonderland for kids.
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Erratic Member
We also prefer/use the DeLorme Gazetteer series of maps. (red covers)
We've also started bringing along the Benchmark at times, but in most cases it's the DeLorme we rely on.


They can be found in hunting/fishing stores, some WalMarts, bookstores, department stores.
(and Amazon, and the companies' sites themselves)

Updates roughly every 5 years.

p.s. typical difference: the Benchmark will have "selected" campgrounds, the DeLorme tends to have them all .. but the Benchmark might have a non-descript dot on the side of a road which is a boat-launch or other pull-out that might serve for dry camping.
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Weve done arches and were fortunate enough to hit it on a day where the weather was 36 degrees and spitting rain. It chased most of the crowds off and the wet rocks made for some absolutely spectacular sights.

Cold, wet and happy!! Such good memories!!! Going through these makes me so itchy to get on the road!!!!

One of my favorite photos of my daughter, it totally captures her

Hiking in Bryce

And the chaos of 4 people in a 19 foot van..I love it so much...the van is the best thing I have ever done...the best thing ive ever spent WAY too much money on.

One of the best things about the van is the community...both on here and on the road....were always running into sprinter people and sharing insights, stories and sometimes drinks. Amazing times!!

Thanks again for all the insights!!!!!!!
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Well, thanks to everyone for the suggestions. Burr Trail was awesome, as was the rest of Capitol Reef. We hit Canyonlands NP while we were out there, some great camping off HWY 12, checked out the disappointing Petrified Forest State Park in UT, caught days of wind in Grand Canyon, took an AMAZING side trip and camped at Alstrom Point above Lake Powell in Glenn Canyon, NAILED the colors at Owl Creek Pass in CO, and caught up with friends and family near Breckenridge CO.

Since you all helped steer I thought I would share some photos.

Some highlights

Life is hard on the road, good coffee helps


New member
Just got back from a 2 week trip that started in Death Valley, wound through Prescott and Sedona, then to the Grand Canyon. Finally, we headed up to Utah and spent time on Highway 12. I grew up in Utah, spent lots of time in Moab and St George, even remember working construction on one of the scenic overlooks at Bryce Canyon. Our time on Highway 12 was magical. It was one of the most beautiful areas we've visited.

Thanks to everyone on this forum for the UNBELIEVABLE suggestions! It truly made our trip something amazing. And we finished up by eating at Hells' Backbone Grill. Damn fine pork chop... and the black pepper biscuits alone are worth the drive! Special thanks to glasseye - your pics and trip reviews were spot on. I've been looking at your pics all morning. Takes me right back to all those spots! And also makes me want to go back to Burr trail and drive all the way into Capitol Reef!

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