RV trip Vegas to Jackson, WY

Old Jan 30th, 2014, 06:53 AM
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RV trip Vegas to Jackson, WY

Hi there,

We will be making an RV road trip through southern Utah this summer. On Day 1 we would be leaving early morning from Vegas, on Day 9 we intend to arrive in Jackson Hole in the evening to start the last couple of days of our trip in Yellowstone/GTNP (RV will be dropped in Salt Lake City on Day 14). We are still struggling to find the most optimal route between Vegas and Jackson. Would like to get some feedback on what we currently have in mind:

Day 1 : Vegas --> Grand Canyon (South Rim)
Day 2 : Grand Canyon + afternoon drive to Monument Valley
Day 3 : Visit Monument Valley + noon drive to Page
Day 4: stay in Page/Lake Powell (visit the Antelope Canyon)
Day 5: morning drive to Zion
Day 6: late afternoon drive to Bryce
Day 7: stay in Bryce
Day 8: drive to Torrey along Byway 12
Day 9: do the long drive from Torrey to Jackson

Does this sound feasible? Would there be benefit in driving already a couple of hours north from Torrey on Day 8, to limit the distance on Day 9? Any good suggestions on RV places to stay between Torrey and Jackson?
Any other suggestions are more than welcome.

Many thanks,
Steven from Belgium
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Old Jan 30th, 2014, 08:25 AM
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Skip Torrey. There is a good campground at the entrance to Goblin Valley State Park. There is also a not so good but convenient campground in the town of Green River (right next to the river).
It will still be a very long drive from Green River through SLC to get to Jackson.
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Old Jan 30th, 2014, 12:08 PM
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We've had two different motor homes over the last 20 years so I do have experience with RV's and also the areas you are visiting.

Day 1 : Vegas --> Grand Canyon (South Rim) 356 miles approx 5 1/2 hours driving time. This doesn't take into consideration gas stops, food stops, entering the park (which there can be long lines to enter) and finding parking if you aren't camped at the Grand Canyon. It's going to be a long day.

Day 2 : Grand Canyon + afternoon drive to Monument Valley 180 miles approx 3 hours driving. There are many great scenic pull outs as you exit the Grand Canyon so you should have time to do them if you can find parking with the RV.

Day 3 : Visit Monument Valley + noon drive to Page. 125 miles approx 2 hour drive. You will have time to see Monument Valley in the morning but you will have to do a tour because you are not going to want to drive the RV down the parks dirt roads. You will see that it's not meant for RV's when you see that first drop off!

Day 4: stay in Page/Lake Powell (visit the Antelope Canyon) Antelope Canyon will take 1 1/2 to 2 hours tops. Since you have such little time for this trip, I would suggest moving on and not spending two nights in Page if Antelope Canyon is the only reason to stop. If you want to do a boat tour on Lake Powell to Rainbow Bridge National Monument or do the 1/2 day float trip on the Colorado River, then I would spend two nights.

Day 5: morning drive to Zion 116 miles approx 2 hours driving time if take Hwy 9 and go though the Mt. Carmel/Zion Tunnel on Hwy 9. You will have to pay the $15.00 escort fee for the RV. There could be a slight delay going though the tunnel. You will be able to drive though Zion on Hwy 9 but to see the Zion Canyon you will have to ride the free shuttle buses. Round trip without getting off the shuttle buses is 90 minutes. You will want to spend time getting off and seeing the sites. You probably won't have much time to do many of the hikes.

Day 6: late afternoon drive to Bryce 86 miles though the Zion Tunnel again. You're $15 fee was for two escorts so you won't have to pay again. You should have time for a hike or two in the morning before heading to Bryce.

Day 7: stay in Bryce - This will give you plenty of time to see Bryce

Day 8: drive to Torrey along Byway 12 80 miles and time will vary depending on how many stops you make. Capitol Reef National Park is just 11 miles east of Torrey and worth the time.

Day 9: do the long drive from Torrey to Jackson 460 miles via the quickest route. That is ONE long day of driving in an RV. You aren't going to be on the Interstate Highways very long so the roads are going to be much slower going. You're looking at over 7 hours of just driving. You will need to get a very early start.

Tom Fuller suggested Goblin Valley State Park which is 70 miles and over an hour of driving time out of your way. It has a very small campground and if it's filled up, you don't have many other options unless you make it all the way to Green River which is even more out of your way. With your tight schedule, I'd skip Goblin Valley this time.

Are you camping in the National Parks? If so, have you made reservations? You will need them if you are staying in the parks. I don't have any suggestions for campgrounds between Torrey and Jackson, WY but if you need suggestions other than the National Park campgrounds for the rest of your trip, I should be able to help with that.

Don't forget to buy the National Park Pass for $80 when you reach your first national park. It will save you a lot of money for all the parks you will be going to. It won't work in Monument Valley or Antelope Canyon because they are on Indian Reservations.

Utahtea
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Old Jan 30th, 2014, 03:31 PM
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Your trying to do way to much. You need to cut about half of it out or add in another 5 ot 6 days.

Torrey-campground in Capitol Reef is probably the prettiest campground in UT-Beautiful.

DO NOT MISS Goblin Valley. You can reserve the campsite in advance. Pretty sure they have showers with hot water there too. As UtahTea suggests, book your campground reservations ASAP.
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 02:57 AM
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Thank you so much for the feedback and suggestion. This is really helpful.
Looks like we are only facing two long drives (to Grand Canyon and to Jackson). All the rest is within 2-3 hours driving/day. That should be do-able. Forgot to mention that we rented the smallest motorhome (Cruise America C19). Hopefully that will be a bit easier to cover longer distances with.

utahtea, I see your point on not spending too long in Page. If it was up to my wife and myself we would plan as you advised. However, we will be traveling with our 6-year old and to avoid she would get tired of canyons and hikes, we thought it'd be wise to built in a day in Page for swimming, boat trip, playing.

We do plan on booking our campsites in advance. Maybe only for the last day we may leave this open and decide to already head off north from Torrey, to limit the driving time the next day when we would drive to Jackson. What are our chances on finding availability on some of the campground along the I-15 (Fillmore, Nephi, Provo) if we would just show up, let's say around 8-9pm?

One last question though maybe in the wrong forum: entering Yellowstone from Jackson (Day 10, visiting GTNP en route), we will have 3 days for Yellowstone with in the afternoon of Day 13 already driving part of the distance back to Salt Lake City. Any suggestions on how to spend our time in Yellowstone optimally?

Thanks again
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 03:06 AM
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Spend most of one day around Old Faithful Geyser area
Be Sure and see Old Faithful Inn too
I would drive a bit north of that area and see the paint pots and 2 or 3 of the pools.
My favorite geysers are Castle and Riverside.

See Canyon area-Upper and Lower Falls

See Lamar and Hayden Valleys for Wildlife

Your 6 year old would enjoy Dragon's Cauldron
Its a thermal feature that makes strange sounds.


Since you mentioned a kid, I can tell you Goblin Valley would likely be their favorite place on the entire trip.
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