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  1. Default Austin-Texas to Grand Canyon & back- 7 nights-renting RV first time!

    Hi! My husband, 15 year old son, myself + maybe son's friend have the current idea but are OPEN to help!
    We waited too long to find a spot during probably the busiest week of travel.
    We are going week before 4th of July. We lucked out and did get 2 nights at north rim- but now our itinerary has to be based around that..
    we really need to try to do it in 7nights
    this is our current thought
    day 1 -drive from ATX to Albuquerque by car, sleep
    day 2-get rv drive to Petrified Forest- hoping place to stay with RV near by?
    day 3-drive to north rim- this is a way longer drive than I would prefer- but hopefully longest of trip?
    arrive at North rim
    day 4 North rim
    day 5 wake up north rim drive to Bryce (is this worth it as it seems alot of time out and back with the route we probably need)
    sleep somewhere near there with rv?
    day 6 drive to MESA VERDE? --this may be too far??and sleep with rv
    day 7 drive to Albuquerque turn in rv- sleep in hotel
    wake up drive to ATX
    We are open to ANY ideas or edits...but cannot change the North Rim part at this point
    We love to hike, I absolutely love water and water falls and would really like to do a day rafting somewhere in there
    was trying to figure out how to see Havasu Falls- but hard to research
    Husband really wants to see Mesa Verde
    prefer to walk/bike or take SHORT shuttles to places- don't want to ride a train in from Williams
    We could even leave Texas a different route, pick up RV somewhere else or earlier
    p.s. should we bring our dogs? (7 pound and 25 pounder)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Zion ?

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    With the time you have I don't think Havasu Falls are an option and you won't get near to them in an RV, very time consuming and difficult place to get to. With Albu being almost 700 miles from Austin they are going to be very long and tiring days on the road and a little further than we would recommend. Would flying into Vegas be an option ? You could then pick up an RV and head towards the North rim, via Zion NP perhaps. In fact I would visit Zion NP with your current plan rather than Bryce canyon. Bryce is wonderful, but the kids might enjoy Zion more and it would save you around 70 miles of driving. You will have to pay to take the RV through the Mt Carmel tunnel though and it will cause a slight delay but it's quite an adventure in itself !

    You would have to check animal restrictions in parks etc but personally I would kennel them. I don't think they would be too happy spending 12 or 13 hours in a car at the beginning and end of your trip, which would inevitably take even longer with the dogs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A little tweaking.

    As mentioned, Zion is probably a better choice than Bryce. You should be able to enjoy a couple of the lovely walks. If you cannot get a place in the park, there are lots of RV parks outside the park, Springdale being the closest. Inside the park, the shuttle gets you around.

    Mesa Verda is some 330 miles from Zion (further via Las Vegas). It is also a park you really need a whole day and two nights. It is large, and the main features of the park are seen on ranger guided tours, which need to be booked ahead of time. Those tours really help one to understand the history of the park and the peoples who lived there. You may not have enough time to do that park justice.

    What perhaps I would do is go to the North Rim via Monument Valley (even if you do not take the tour through the park) you get a wonderful feel of it on US160/191/163. You could even make a stopover at four corners on the way. Then the North Rim (since those dates are set in concrete), Zion and head back to I-40 via Hoover Dam. Then stop at Petrified Forest on your way back to Albuquerque.

    On the other hand, if flying into Vegas is an option, as mentioned above, that would be a good idea.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I have to add to some of the points that have already been made.

    Austin to Albuquerque in a day is really not a good idea. Not only is that a 700 mile drive, a large portion of it is on 2 lane roads. 14-15 hours for that drive is very likely, and that's an exhausting way to start a trip, and frankly, a pretty dangerous way to try to finish it.

    You also seem to be quite confused about the geography around the Grand Canyon. You say you are planning to stay at the North Rim, but then you are talking about places like Havasu Falls and the train from Williams. Havasu Falls is on the south side of the Canyon, and is on Tribal Lands away from the National Park. It's about an 8 hour drive from the North Rim (and that's before the hike/helicopter down to the falls). Even William and the Train are about 5 hours of driving from the North Rim. The South Rim has a shuttle service to take you to the various viewpoints, but the North Rim does not.

    I would agree, this doesn't seem like a trip for the dogs. National Parks have very strict rules about where pets can be, and generally they are not allowed on any of the hiking trails, or really anywhere beyond campgrounds and public parking areas.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Albuquerque, New Mexico


    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave
    With Albuquerque being almost 700 miles from Austin they are going to be very long and tiring days on the road and a little further than we would recommend. Would flying into Vegas be an option ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician
    On the other hand, if flying into Vegas is an option, as mentioned above, that would be a good idea.
    I’m thinking the same thing. Flying into Las Vegas, NV would be much better than the long drive from Austin to Albuquerque.

  6. Default

    Bryce is a lot of fun if you hike down one side and come up another. If you simply drive through stopping at the lookouts, you might be disappointed at how little time such a superficial visit takes. I find it beautiful but especially love hiking down.

    Watch the weather and flash flood alerts. If safe, do the Zion Narrows Walk! You actually walk IN THE RIVER within towering canyon walls for a couple hours or days. It will likely be the highlight of your trip, weather permitting.

    Don't give up on reservations. People cancel them for many reasons. If there is a place you really want to camp, keep checking several times per day and if something opens up be sure to take it immediately! Be aware that a lot of RV sites have a maximum length limit, often 32 feet or less.

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