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Old 05-31-2018, 08:39 AM   #1
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Pennsylvania to Grand Canyon, Bryce, Moab, etc.

Looking for route information on a planned trip to GC, etc. 2002 Winnie , class C, 331c, with toad. Six to eight weeks. I drive 300 miles per day, try to schedule two or three nights a stop. Currently using AAA, KOA and Woodalls. Looking for best routes, stops
and roads to avoid!
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Old 05-31-2018, 09:43 AM   #2
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We live in Minnesoooota and have made the trip both east and west a few times. I80 is probably your best bet. You do need to go through the area south of Chicago, but that should be the worst. You could drop down to I70 and then angle north after Chicago, but that adds a lot of miles.

Otherwise the Toll Road to Chicago is OK, just not great. After Chicago Take I39 to I90 west. That will take you west of most of the dense traffic. It is a little out of the way, but the money you would have to pay in tolls will make up for the extra fuel.

I90 through the Dakotas is a pretty good highway although it can be along way between towns out there.

Places to stop and see, Chamberlin, SD. (Corn Palace), Wall, SD (Wall Drug) worth the stop! SD Bad Lands, Rapid City, SD, Black Hills and Mount Rushmore. and on to Yellowstone.

Nearby is Devil's Tower, Little Big Horn, ect.

Have fun.
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Old 05-31-2018, 09:55 AM   #3
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Well actually you said Grand Canyon and I saw Yellowstone. OK, done that too. In your case I would Get on I70 and take that to St. Louis. Then I44 to Oklahoma City. From there I40 will get you to the area west of Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon area.

Lots to see en route there as well. In the St Louis area stay in St. Charles the original state capitol and a very quaint old city. Oklahoma City had the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum which is really an art museum and really nice. In Amarillo, Tx. the Big Tex Steakhouse has their own camp ground and really good food. Then there is Albuquerque, NM. Nice city to visit. On the way west it The Crater. Seems a meteorite hit there. Interesting.

Lots more to see and do. Have fun.
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:55 AM   #4
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My only comment would be to look at Kanab, UT as a potential base-camp for Bryce, Zion, North Rim of GC. We did this last year and were able to stay at a small camp right in town and get to each of the parks in a cloverleaf type tour. I think the furthest was about 80 miles away.
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Old 05-31-2018, 11:20 AM   #5
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Thanks for your idea. Any chance you remember the name of th cg you stayed at? 6
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Old 05-31-2018, 11:26 AM   #6
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Route you suggested sounds good. We've I80 to I90 to I 35? Then back to I80 if memory recalls on our last trip to Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, Custer and Bad Lands. I was trying not to duplicate, but looks like that's the best route. Also, looking for routes and places to avoid!
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Old 05-31-2018, 01:07 PM   #7
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The I35 north to I80 adds miles. I39 to I90 is diagonal.
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:04 PM   #8
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Thanks for your idea. Any chance you remember the name of th cg you stayed at? 6

Kanab RV Corral. We liked that it was pretty close to the center of town. Kanab was where many of the old westerns were filmed.
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Old 06-01-2018, 05:50 PM   #9
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Pennsylvania is a pretty big state, where are you starting from?
If it is not out of your way, take I-81 to I-40 and then west to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon.


What time of the year are you going? Moab is pretty hot in the summer. Same with Zion.


If you were on a 3 week trip, then staying at Kanab and doing day trips works. With 6-8 weeks, spending 3-7 days in a campground inside the NP's gives a much, much better National Park experience than just a day trip. Even if you have to stay in an RV Park outside the park and drive in each day that is better than a one to two hour oneway drive to get to the park.
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Old 06-01-2018, 06:31 PM   #10
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We took a trip around the country last year and went to the GC via Albuquerque. I would avoid I-40 between Flagstaff and Williams. In some places the passing lane was the only one suitable to drive. It was the worst road we were on.

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Old 06-02-2018, 06:35 AM   #11
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We're starting from Northeast Pennsylvania, Lake Wallenpaupack to be more precise. We plan to start out the second week in August.
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:55 PM   #12
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Four Lane west

Being familiar with where you are starting your trip if you are looking for major 4 lanes, you can head up to Binghamton and take 86 across the southern tier all the way to 90, stopping off in the Finger Lakes to sample NYS Wines or go south on 380 and pick up 80. I did the New York route a couple of times starting in the Corning area and plan on heading that way in the middle of July. Safe travels
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:51 PM   #13
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north Rim

We visited the N. Rim last year with two of our grandchildren and stayed in Jacob Lake RV campground. Very nice and leaves a short run into the park. Went to a Page after that. We picked up the kids in Stillwater OK and ran across the north part of the state over to CLAYTON, NM and stayed at the state park there. Small but beautiful. Then on to Red River and Jacob Lake. Very nice trip, but no interstate for sure.
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:16 PM   #14
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It's a great trip. We did Route 66 and got off in Arizona since it was starting to get cold in November... and went south from there. We did the southern edge of the GC... camped at Williams and took the Wild West train up to the rim as a day trip.


This year coming home from Florida we got beat up on H81 with all the pot holes, broke the radio and CD player, struts on the car and am now trying to figure out an alternate route for the fall to get us back to Arizona


We have a 2005 Winne Itasca Sunrise 38J
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:08 AM   #15
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We're starting from Northeast Pennsylvania, Lake Wallenpaupack to be more precise. We plan to start out the second week in August.
If you have the option to arrive at GC just after Labor Day weekend, the crowds do lighten up a bit. Still lots and lots of people though. Even after Labor Day reservations this late in the year are hard to get in the campgrounds inside the parks.

Earlier I had suggested I-81 to I-40 to Flagstaff, however that is about 120 miles longer than I-80 to I-77 to I-70 to I-44 and then I-40. I don't know about the traffic in the large cities along the way though.
As far as places to stay, for RV Parks I use RV Park Reviews - Trusted Reviews of Campgrounds & RV Parks
to decide where to stay. For National Forests I use https://www.forestcamping.com/

For an itinerary, I would suggest driving directly to GC, only stopping to sleep along the way. There is a huge amount to see and do in the NP's you will be visiting that you can easily spend more than the 6-8 weeks just seeing the NP's.
I highly recommend staying in the CG's inside the NP's if you can get a reservation. It is a much better experience being inside the park than just taking day trips into the parks.

Itinerary and places to see: 3-4 days at the South Rim of GC, then 3-4 days at N Rim. If you can't get reservations at the N Rim CG then stay at Jacobs Lake NF CG a little N of the Rim. From the N Rim head over to Zion for several days and then Bryce. From Bryce take SR-12 to Capitol Reef NP for a few days. SR-12 is a beautiful drive, however it can be intimidating as there is a steep winding drop down to a river and a steep climb back up. Once you are out of that canyon you will be driving on a nice normal width 2 lane hwy, with steep dropoffs on both sides. Just take it slow on this section. You don't normally drive off the edge of a 2 lane road in flat country, so there is no reason why you will suddenly drive off the edge because you are in the mountains. It can be intimidating though. From Capitol Reef, I can't say enough about the fantastic sandstone scenery in the sections of Canyonlands NP and Arches NP around Moab. If you will stay in the BLM CG's or boondock around Moab it is even more fantastic with the wonderful views at daybreak and sunset.

Note, a lot of my recommendations are based on you being willing to dry camp instead of staying in RV Parks.
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Old 06-07-2018, 03:28 PM   #16
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We just got back from a trip to Moab, Monument Valley, and Lake Powell. You will enjoy that area if you keep a few things in mind. First, reservations need to be made well in advance for the good campgrounds anywhere near National Parks in the Southwest and West. This is especially true of the Moab area and Grand Canyon. Second, if you haven't already discovered it, RVParkReviews dot com is an excellent source for campground reviews. Third, try to avoid the period between memorial Day and Labor Day to preserve your sanity. It's hot and crowded.
Lastly, if staying in touch with your loved ones is important to you, both WiFi and cellular data coverage can be a challenge out west. We generally try to pick a park somewhere near a town in order to get cellular data even if the ratings are less than 5 stars. For example, there is an RV campground at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon that's great (if you can get in) but cellphone coverage is poor. The RV park in Tusayan is not as good but has great cellphone coverage.

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Old 06-25-2018, 07:50 AM   #17
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Update on Pennsylvania to GC Route information requests

I'd like to first thank everyone who replied to the original request for route information as taking all your advice has let me to travel from I84 to I81 to I80 west to Moab, UT.

I'm now looking for best routes from Moab to Bryce Canyon, Zion NP, then GC. As originally stated using 2002 Minnie 31C with Subaru Forester toad. We (DW) like using KOA's. Looking for easy travel route as we can use toad for sightseeing. Best Highways or routes ? Roads NOT to use ?

Your input is appreciated. Happy Traveling.
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:35 AM   #18
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I'd like to first thank everyone who replied to the original request for route information as taking all your advice has let me to travel from I84 to I81 to I80 west to Moab, UT.

I'm now looking for best routes from Moab to Bryce Canyon, Zion NP, then GC. As originally stated using 2002 Minnie 31C with Subaru Forester toad. We (DW) like using KOA's. Looking for easy travel route as we can use toad for sightseeing. Best Highways or routes ? Roads NOT to use ?
Your input is appreciated. Happy Traveling.
From Moab, back to I-70 W, to US 89 South. I-70 will put you right by Capital Reef NP and 89 will put you right by Bryce and Zion, you will be skirting the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument the whole way. Recommend you choose a campground off US 89, near the big parks and drive in with your toad. Zion is one busy place.
We stayed at a basic park in Fedonia, AZ for a week, (Wheel Inn, full hookups, drive through. Gravel parking lot, and hot. $125/week rate) Left the AC on and drove out to many locations from there, including the Grand Canyon, North Rim.
Great area.
There are other, nicer rv parks in the area, but we just find the basic necessities is all we want when we are out and away every day.
Great times and just unbelievable views. Each park/area has their own geology types and they are all different.

Hope you enjoy it.
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:45 AM   #19
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I'd like to first thank everyone who replied to the original request for route information as taking all your advice has let me to travel from I84 to I81 to I80 west to Moab, UT.

I'm now looking for best routes from Moab to Bryce Canyon, Zion NP, then GC. As originally stated using 2002 Minnie 31C with Subaru Forester toad. We (DW) like using KOA's. Looking for easy travel route as we can use toad for sightseeing. Best Highways or routes ? Roads NOT to use ?

Your input is appreciated. Happy Traveling.
The "best route" is very subjective.
The easiest route is from Moab go up to I-70 and then west to US-89 and down to Bryce.

From Bryce, the route you take depends on the total length of your rig, or if you will unhook the toad for the final 20-25 miles into Zion NP. Coming into Zion from the east on SR-9 you go through a tunnel and then down switchbacks into the main part of the canyon. The NP has a total length limit of 50' for this section. They have been know to measure. They also have a tunnel escort fee of around $15 for tall vehicles. The fee is good for round trip though the tunnel if you go back out this way. Details on the NP website. Or you can unhook the toad at the entrance station and drive two separate vehicles. If that doesn't work for you, you have two choices.

First, from Bryce, go back to US-89 and then north to SR-20 over to I-5 and then south to Zion. You probably don't want to take SR-14, which branches off of US-89 south of Bryce. It is very steep going up and down.

Second, is to take US-89 south to Kanab and then US-89A on to Fredonia. From Fredonia pick up SR-398 (changes to SR-59 in Utah) to Hurricane and Zion.

From Zion to GC: The North Rim is quieter and fewer people so it is well worth a 2-3 day stop. US-89A from Fredonia is a pretty good climb up to Jacobs Lake and then a level drive to the North Rim. From Jacobs Lake going east you have a pretty steep down to the bridge over the Colorado River. Nothing really bad. Just go slow and down shift to 3rd or 2nd gear and let the engine do most of the braking. If you don't want to go to the North Rim, take US-89 from Kanab to Page and then on to the South Rim.

Earlier I gave you the easy route from Moab to Bryce. If you have the time and wish a very scenic route, take US-191 south from Moab to Blanding and then SR-95 to Hanksville with a 1 or 2 night stop at Natural Bridge NP. From Hanksville take SR-24 to Capitol Reef for 2-3 nights. From there take SR-24 to Torry and then SR-12 south though Escalante and on to Bryce. SR-12 has a pretty steep climb and drop to Boulder. From there then you follow a good, normal width, 2 lane highway along a ridge line with wonderful scenic views. However there are steep drop offs on both sides of the this hwy for about 20 miles or so. Kind of intimidating for some folks. Just keep in mind that driving at 35-45mph, there is no reason to suddenly drive off the edge of the road. South of the ridge line you have a steep drop into a canyon and a steep climb back out. From Escalante on it is a pretty easy drive. This is a wonderfully scenic drive. All good 2 lane hwy. Lot of curves and 40-50mph driving.
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:50 AM   #20
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From Moab, back to I-70 W, to US 89 South. I-70 will put you right by Capital Reef NP and 89 will put you right by Bryce and Zion, you will be skirting the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument the whole way. Recommend you choose a campground off US 89, near the big parks and drive in with your toad. Zion is one busy place.
We stayed at a basic park in Fedonia, AZ for a week, (Wheel Inn, full hookups, drive through. Gravel parking lot, and hot. $125/week rate) Left the AC on and drove out to many locations from there, including the Grand Canyon, North Rim.
Great area.
There are other, nicer rv parks in the area, but we just find the basic necessities is all we want when we are out and away every day.
Great times and just unbelievable views. Each park/area has their own geology types and they are all different.

Hope you enjoy it.
Note, I-70 doesn't come close to Capitol Reef NP. You have to take SR-24 south from I-70 to Hanksville and then on to Capitol Reef. From Capitol Reef, you can take the SR-12 route I described above.
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