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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Koudekerk aan den Rijn, Netherlands
    Posts
    2

    Default Need some advice on our trip from Denver to San Diego

    Hi there, we are planning our 3rd trip to the states in 2 years. This time we'd like to do a trip from Denver to San Diego. The plane is already booked, as well as the last stays in Las Vegas and San Diego.
    We'd like to travel with a tent and visit the national parks below. Do you have any recommendation on the schedule, and also have some recommendation on the campgrounds? This is our first trip camping, so I hope this is going to be fun :-)

    Code:
    10-jun-11	Denver
    11-jun-11	Denver -> Estes NP
    12-jun-11	Estes NP
    13-jun-11	Estes NP -> Hill City
    14-jun-11	Hill City
    15-jun-11	Hill City -> Sheridan
    16-jun-11	Sheridan -> Cody
    17-jun-11	Cody -> Yellowstone NP
    18-jun-11	Yellowstone NP
    19-jun-11	Yellowstone NP
    20-jun-11	Yellowstone NP
    21-jun-11	Yellowstone NP -> Salt Lake City
    22-jun-11	salt lake city 
    23-jun-11	salt lake city -> Moab
    24-jun-11	Moab
    25-jun-11	Moab -> Zion
    26-jun-11	Zion
    27-jun-11	Zion -> Bryce Canyon
    28-jun-11	Bryce Canyon -> Grand Canyon
    29-jun-11	Grand Canyon
    30-jun-11	Grand Canyon -> Hoover Dam -> Las Vegas
    1-jul-11	Las Vegas
    2-jul-11	Las Vegas
    3-jul-11	Las Vegas -> San Diego
    4-jul-11	San Diego
    5-jul-11	San Diego
    6-jul-11	San Diego
    7-jul-11	San Diego
    8-jul-11	Amsterdam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default It's Getting Late

    Welkom! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your schedule is just fine if that's what works for you. A few days at several of America's great national parks, and taking a relaxed pace in driving between them, is a great way to experience this slice of western America. Camping is also a relatively cost effective way to travel as well as a superb way to experience the wide open country that you'll be traveling through. A few words on camping, though. If you plan to camp in the national parks themselves, and don't yet have reservations, it might already be too late. You should, if you want to be assured of an in-park campsite, get in touch with Recreation.gov which handles all reservations, including those for the many national forests which surround the major national parks. Your other option is to find nearby state parks and contact those states directly through their state park websites.

    One other thing to keep in mind is that with the cost of 'extra' baggage on airlines these days, it might just be cheaper to buy used or light duty equipment here and donate it to charity at the end of your journey rather than pay to ship your own heavy(?) equipment twice across the Atlantic.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default

    You could save a few miles of travel by going to Bryce from Moab and then to Zion. By doing so it would be worth taking UT24 through Hanksville passing Capitol Reef to Torrey and onto the very scenic UT12 through Escalante.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I concur with SW Dave - what you can do is go from Bryce to Panguitch, then take UT-143 to Cedar Breaks, UT-148 to UT-14 to Cedar City, then I-15 to Zion - you would go right past the Kolob Canyons section of Zion this way for a quick look before you take UT-17 and UT-9 through Springdale into the park. To get to the GC from Zion, exit through the tunnel on UT-9 to US-89 to Cameron, then in the east entrance on AZ-64.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Koudekerk aan den Rijn, Netherlands
    Posts
    2

    Default

    thanks for all your feedback! Really helpful. I've changed the part from Moab -> Bryce -> Zion. Do you have recommendations for nice campgrounds? For Yellowstone I'd like to stay at Norris Campground, but its first come, first serve. How is that going? Do I make a good chance if I come around 9 o clock ?

    Regarding the camping stuff, we'd like to buy everything in the states. Is there a store to recommend near Denver? Can someone recommend me things which I should look at?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jvdp View Post
    Is there a store to recommend near Denver? Can someone recommend me things which I should look at?
    There is a variety of camping equipment stores in Denver. What I would suggest is that you not make a final decision on what to get, and where untill you are actually there. In the current economic climate, you may well find that there will be specials available.

    As to what you need. What do you normally take? It really is no different than what you would use in Europe.

    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    For a 1 month trip, I don't think it would be worth investing in top quality equipment such as you would find at specialty stores such as REI, Cabela's, or Bass Pro. You can get serviceable equipment at discount stores such as Walmart. They carry both name brands (Coleman) and private label (Ozark Trail).

    Do I make a good chance if I come around 9 o clock ?
    AM or PM? I'd think 9 AM would give you a good chance, but 9 PM? Not a chance unless the weather is bad.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jvdp View Post
    Do you have recommendations for nice campgrounds? For Yellowstone I'd like to stay at Norris Campground, but its first come, first serve. How is that going? Do I make a good chance if I come around 9 o clock
    Bryce Camping:

    North Campground is first come, first serve and is in a forested setting. I just noticed there is going be some sites closed because of construction so it might make it a little harder to get a site. You need to be there early in the day to get a site at Bryce in the summer. If you have your dates then I'd suggest making reservations at near by Sunset Campground which is also a forested area. Nothing worse than having to travel around finding campsites at the last minute. If you don't mind private campgrounds there is one just outside the park at Ruby's Inn and Campground. There are showers near both campgrounds in Bryce Canyon

    Zion Camping:

    South campground is first come first serve and if you are coming from Bryce you should be able to get there early enough in the day to get a site. Watchman campground which is just across the river does take reservations. One nice thing about reservations is you don't have to rush and miss out on stopping to see the sites along the way. Watchman campground has electrical hook ups and RV's can't use generators but they can at South Campground. There are no showers in Zion park, but there is a private campground just outside the park that you can pay just to take showers. There is swimming allowed in the Virgin River and both campgrounds have access to the river.

    Moab Camping:

    If you want to camp in Arches at Devils Garden Campground then you either have to be there first thing in the morning or make reservations. It's a very small campground and scoring a site there is nearly impossible without reservations. There are a lot of nice BLM campgrounds along the Colorado River on both Hwy 128 and Hwy 279. There are several private campgrounds in Moab. The Willows Campground in Canyonlands only has 12 sites and you need to be there very early in the day to get a site....ugh...and the BUGS! Public Campgrounds There are no showers unless you go to a private campground. Please don't go swimming in the Colorado River, there are very bad undercurrents. The locals know better than to swim in the river so only the tourist drown. Summer is hot in this area and most of the campgrounds don't have a lot of shade.

    Grand Canyon South Rim: I've never camped at Desert View which is a first come, first serve campground. I would image you need to be there early for a campsite. I'd recommend Mather Campground because it's at Grand Canyon Village, it's in a nice forested area and within walking distance of both the free shuttles and the rim. You will need to make reservations at Mather in the summer. There are showers/laundry at the entrance to the Mather campground.

    Las Vegas in July is going to be VERY HOT! You might want to grab a room somewhere. I notice you will be in Las Vegas and San Diego over July 4th holiday weekend, which is our Independence Day and a VERY busy holiday weekend. I'd make some kind of reservations for July 1 - 4th!!!!!

    Utahtea

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