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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
    10,749

    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
    10,749

    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
    13,064

    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
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    Default

    You will need to break the journey to Yellowstone without a doubt. If you are renting the RV you will also have to take into consideration the pick up time and the time it takes to do the paperwork and show you the operations of it. The later you get on the road the less distance you can cover. Getting just north of Salt Lake City would be a good target if you do have to go through the motions of renting, unless you would have already picked it up or it is your own vehicle and then you could go a bit further with an early start. You also have the option of visiting Zion NP on the way up and make that your first overnight stop.

    How long have you got for this trip in total ?

  8. Default

    We're planning planning to arrive in Vegas on 7/18, pick-up the RV on 7/19 and we will have through 8/2 when we have to return the RV. The plan is to visit Yellowstone, Bryce/Zion, Grand Canyon North and South (if possible) The tentative schedule is:

    7/19 - pick-up the RV and begin trip, stop overnight
    7/20 - arrive at Yellowstone; 4 nights (at this time we are booked for Bay Bridge)
    7/24 - leave Yellowstone and head for Bryce/Zion - say overnight
    7/25 - arrive Bryce/Zion - could this all be coupled with Grand Canyon North? Still looking for a campground. Spend 3 nights in Bryce/Zion & Canyon North area if this is feasible
    7/29 - arrive Grand Canyon South, spend 3 nights
    8/1 - arrive back in Vegas/Return RV
    8/2 - possible down day before leaving Vegas
    8/3 - leave Vegas

    I am flexible.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    I would look for different campgrounds for Bryce/Zion/North Rim. They are just too far apart, and you'd end up spending a lot of hours in the RV backtracking between the parks and your site.

  10. Default

    Once again, thanks for the input. It is greatly appreciated.

    Does anyone have any recommendations on campground to look into for the Utah and Arizona parks? The RV will be 31ft. Someone suggested Ruby's for Bryce but I haven't checked it out yet.

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