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  1. Default Planning National Parks Trip West - Summer 2014

    Hi, I am planning an RV trip to several National Parks out West this summer and am planning to start with Yellowstone National Park. I will be renting the RV out of Las Vegas and traveling to Yellowstone, then to Bryce/Zion and then to Grand Canyon. We plan to stay at Yellowstone for 4 nights. We will be traveling in a FS31ft Class C RV. I was wondering if anyone could suggest some campgrounds to consider staying at during the trip? We would like to stay in campgrounds that offer some amount of a wilderness feeling with hookups if possible and I would like to be in the parks if possible or close by. Initially, some of the campgrounds I've looked at look more like parking lots and I would like to stay away from those types if possible.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,698

    Default NPS website.

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    The first place I would look is at the National parks website and check for availability, although it's possibly too late already. Yellowstone is a huge place and if possible you might be better off trying to book 2 nights at either end of the park to cut down on the miles spent going back and forth. The closest campground to Bryce with hook ups is 'Ruby's Inn' campground and if you can get a site use the Watchman campground for Zion NP. The campgrounds suitable for RV's are all going to be busy in the NP's in the summer, but they are all in nice surroundings and will save you a lot of hassle and miles travelling in and out of them each day.

    So go to nps.gov as mentioned and search for sites, as they are in high demand with limited sites available you may have no luck. Remember you have to have an available site that will take your size of RV. If not, I would then get to work finding nearby sites as a matter of urgency. Just enter the NP name and RV camping into your search engine and check your options.

  3. Default

    Thanks Dave!

    Any thoughts on Bridge Bay Campground or a preference outside the park? Looks like there are some dates available the week of 7/20 which is the week I'm targeting to be at Yellowstone.

    Thanks,
    Michael

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,698

    Default Can't beat being there imo.

    I haven't stayed at Bridge Bay, but if it looks acceptable to you I would get it nailed down asap. You will be able to find sites outside of the park, perhaps around West Yellowstone or Moran among others, but my personal opinion is you can't beat actually being there. As mentioned earlier, the park is huge and the going is slow and driving in and out each day is something I try to avoid with any of the parks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,995

    Default

    I would stay at Bridge Bay over staying outside of Yellowstone, however, Bridge Bay would be among the bottom of my list for preferred campgrounds within the park. A pretty large section of of Bridge Bay is a grassy field, so not quite a parking lot, but not a lot of privacy or wilderness feel either.

    I believe Fishing Bridge RV Park is the only place to camp with hookups within Yellowstone.

    I think Canyon and Madison are two better options among the campgrounds that take reservations based on what you are looking for. If they don't have openings right now, keep checking back, as there are frequent cancellations, and what's listed as full today could have openings tomorrow.

  6. Default

    Thanks Michael!

    Does anyone have any thoughts on traveling from Las Vegas to Yellowstone on the first leg of the trip? Do you recommend stopping over for a night before entering the park? If so any thoughts on where?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,923

    Default Lots of ways to skin a cat.

    Even if you can pick up earlier, I would not be stopping in Phoenix to get supplies. Heading for Hoover Dam, you would no doubt be heading out on 93. Why not stop in Suprise, or even better, Wickenburg. If you plan to head to Page, there is also a variety of places well out of the Phoenix metropolis, along that route.

    If you do pick up earlier, and head straight for the Dam, you could even pick up supplies in Boulder or Henderson, after visiting Hoover Dam. All these places have shopping well into late evening. If you're worried about lunch on that first day, why not pick up somethings before picking up the RV.

    Lifey

  8. Default

    Thanks for the advice. I was considering worst case scenario but you're correct. I will be in Phoenix Thursday night so I will arrange to do the pick-up as early as possible. And thanks for the advice on the supplies. I'm at a loss for how best to approach it right now. We'll need food/beverages and some camp related items. Thinking Supermarker and/or Walmart type location. Does anyone have thought on the camp related items. Are there stores the rent camp packages for RV renters such as camp chairs, lanterns, etc...?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,220

    Default

    Buying basic equipment like that from Walmart shouldn't be expensive, just donate it to a charitable resale store when you are done with it. You could of course check with the RV rental company to see what they might offer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,698

    Default Bedding and kitchen kits.

    The RV companies often rent extra items but can be expensive when compared to buying. We have only ever rented the kitchen and bedding kits when booking for ease and convenience and other than carrying a torch with us, we have not bothered with anything else. The RV usually has an external light and most sites have a picnic table and bench set to sit at. Buying a couple of chairs is certainly an option, but really isn't a necessity or urgent. You will find a general store/supermarket in most towns and if you had to grab a few things from a fuel station to keep you going it wouldn't be the end of the world. Don't forget your firewood and firelighters which is also available at most stores and fuel stations.

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