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  1. #1

    Default Galveston TX - Grand Canyon National Park AZ Roadtrip

    Hi everyone -
    Me and my partner are planning to go to Grand Canyon and Zion national park via road from Galveston, TX. We will like to camp on our way to GC in state or national parks or any park/river that is safe and scenic. As of now the plan is to travel from Dec 24 - Jan 2. We want to reach Galveston back by Jan 1 or 2nd since my partner has to fly back to east coast. Depending upon the suggestions we may take additional days off.

    This is our tentative plan:

    Day 1 Galveston - Carlsbad National park - 10h12m camp somewhere near Carlsbad NP ? suggestions are welcome.
    Day 2 Drive to Lincoln National forest - 2h 42 min and camp there
    Day 3 Camp at Metor Crater - 7h30min (441 miles) or Go to Petrified National forest 6h44min (372 miles) and camp overnight
    Day 4 Go to GC - 1 h 51 min (112 miles) from Metor Crater Petrified forest - GC us 2h50m(177 miles)
    Day 6 drive to zion national park - 2h 3m (98 miles)
    Day 7 drive to Sun rise lake 6h40m (400 miles)

    Although I have listed the places I will like to visit it looks like a bit much. The whole idea of road tripping is to camp and enjoy the scenic places along the way. I am not sure how these places will be during December, will it be too cold to camp? Will it be snowing? Any suggested camp grounds in my areas of interest or any other? Please suggest.
    If any of you know a good route to take to avoid the rough winter I will appreciate it, since we will be driving a Toyota Corolla for the trip we want to make sure we don't come across passes and are trapped.
    Any other suggestions on places to visit are also welcome.
    Last edited by Shilpa Krishnan; 05-18-2015 at 11:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I will start with the reminder that online mapping programs travel time estimates just don't reflect the real world, so the estimates you are using are going to be significantly low. For the most part, that's not a problem, but your first day, it is. You're looking at a 700 mile drive from Galveston to Carlsbad. That's going to take you about 13 hours, not 10. That's quite a bit more than we recommend for a single day on the road, especially if you're hoping to camp. Throw in that you're talking about a trip in December, where you've only got about 10 hours of daylight to work with, and that's a pretty big problem.

    Too cold to camp depends upon your gear, and your tolerances. What we can say is that you need to be ready for temperatures to be below freezing pretty much every night. The places you're looking at visiting range in elevation from around 3,000 feet (around Carlsbad) to more than 7,000 feet at the Grand Canyon. Snow is a distinct possibility at many of the places you're visiting. There's no place that you shouldn't be able to drive in a Corolla, but it's a winter trip, and you need to be ready for winter conditions.

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