RVing from NC to Grand Canyon
Does anyone have any sugguestions on RVing form NC to the Grand Canyon. We plan on going in the summer months. I'm new at RVing so I don't have alot of info. What about campsites and things to see along the way?
Thanks for any info you may have.
How much time do you have for the trip?
Family with kids or ...?
Oh where to start?!! Many many things to see along the way. Depends how "direct" you want the route to Grand Canyon to be. My tendency would be to wander off to all sorts of places along the way.
Suggestion - if going to 2 or 3 national parks or more - buy a National Park Pass. You can get it at the gate of the first national park you come to, or you can order it ahead of time. Expires after one year.
The national parks have great campgrounds. If in summer months, tourism is high. Reserve in advance. If the campsite is "first come first serve", be sure to drive to the spot EARLY a.m. & "stake your claim". Then go enjoy the park the rest of the day, resting assured you have a spot to come back to that night.
The website to find all the national parks (& their campgrounds) along your route & info about each is: www.nps.gov/parks.html
The website to find all the national scenic byways is: www.byways.org
Here are some route suggestions to start you looking at an atlas:
I-40 thru Nashville, Memphis,
Little Rock Arkansas (Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site),
HOT SPRINGS Arkansas (Hot Springs National Park),
OKLAHOMA CITY (National Memorial),
Albuquerque NM into Arizona,
PETRIFIED FOREST National Park and PAINTED DESERT
OPTION to go south to US-89 Alt & #179 & loop back to Flagstaff on #17
- Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, Red Rock area
- Montezuma Castle national monument
or OPTION from Flagstaff - go straight to GRAND CANYON VILLAGE #180 / #64
OR from Flagstaff -
#89 N to SUNSET CRATER national monument,
then WUPATKI national monument
#64 west into Grand Canyon National Park. (stay a night at this east end)
Drive #64 rim drive to Grand Canyon Village (stay at the village). Take shuttle for west rim drive. Walk the rim trail a bit.
After Grand Canyon ---
to PAGE Arizona (Lake Powell area) -- take a float trip on Colorado River!
#98 to #160 to Kayenta to #163 to MONUMENT VALLEY
(you'll be passing the "FOUR CORNERS" on #160 where CO, UT, AZ, NM meet)
to MESA VERDE National Park, CO
to DURANGO, CO
OPTION - drive Durango to OURAY on #550 (if you're good at driving the RV on mountainous roads -- not bad though!)
then stay in Ouray - great town! Take an amazing all day JEEP TOUR from Ouray.
www.soajeep.com -- "black bear/imogene pass" !!!
Leaving Ouray, go up to #50 east to BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON national park.
Then you can continue over to I-25 to Denver, & I-70
Various historical places such as Abilene KS, historic wagon ruts still visible in some areas & trail markers,
ST. LOUIS Missouri - GATEWAY ARCH
I-64 to Louisville KY
OPTION - jog down I-65 to MAMMOTH CAVE national park
& continue homeward bound from there.
Now, if you decide NOT to go to OURAY, read here:
from Durango keep going east on #160 to #150 N to
GREAT SAND DUNES national park.
then work your way back down to I-40 Albuquerque & home
OR over to I-25 & up to I-70 & home
OR over to I-25 & all the way down to I-10 for a different route home! Continue I-10 down to San Antonio & east, or go from I-10 to I-20 to Fort Worth/Dallas & home.
Lots of amazing stuff to see those ways as well. If interested in that route, I could go on & on...
*** & a complete other just as spectacular option is to get straight to Grand Canyon by your most direct interstate,
but then do a LOOP around that area going to Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, & the southern Utah national parks: ZION, BRYCE CANYON, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, ARCHES, Moab, etc!!!
Whew! Way too much information!
Utahtea is a good resource
Utahtea is the alias used by one of our most prolific posters about traveling the west in a RV. I would suggest that you use the grey search button at the top of this page and search by author = Utahtea and subject = RV and select all thread topics -- there is a wealth of info in her posts.
Mark, thanks for the great intro!
First I would suggest getting two books. Trailer Life Campgrounds, RV Parks and Services Directory. This is a great source for finding campgrounds.
The second book is called "The Next Exit". This book is great if you are doing a lot of traveling on the interstates. It list what is at each exit. Gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, campgrounds (but not specific info like first book), rest stops, etc.
What size and kind of RV do you have? Motorhome, trailer, 5th wheel? How long do you have for this trip? What kind of campgrounds do you want? Do you want full hook ups or can you dry camp.
Syv has given you a lot of other great locations to visit. Once you decide where you want to go, I can help with the campgrounds in the parks.
As Syv mentioned, you will need reservations at the Grand Canyon. There are two campgrounds inside the park. Mather has, tables, fire pit, rest rooms, pay showers & laundry nearby. The setting is wooded, the sites are close together and there are no hookups. The other campground is the Trailer Village. They have full hook ups, not as wooded and the sites are VERY close together.
At both campgrounds you can leave your RV and pick up the free park shuttle system to get to many of the South Rim scenic overlooks.