Terrain in UTAH

Old Apr 1st, 2017, 09:56 AM
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Terrain in UTAH

I'm traveling by RV for the first time to the 5 Utah national parks and I'm concerned about how much is going to be traveling up and down the mountains. It's impossible to tell on the maps how steep the roads are between when traveling through Utah. Anyone got advice?
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 10:03 AM
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>>I'm traveling by RV for the first time to the 5 Utah national parks
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 10:51 AM
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If you are going to southern Utah, then there are lots of steep, curvy roads and depending on how big your RV is you might have to take it very easy on the gas to drive safely.

The east entrance to Zion has a tunnel and every now and then they stop traffic so that RVs can drive through the middle since the edges are to low for many. The RVs wait for the time they can go and the people in regular cars wait for the RVs to get through and then there is 2 way traffic in the tunnel.
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 11:06 AM
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If this is a rental RV and you have young children with you it is unsafe/illegal to use car seats or booster seats.
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 12:12 PM
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I live in Utah and visit our parks frequently so I don't pay much attention to actual altitude since I live at high altitude anyway.

I would suggest you go on the nps.gov web site and look up the elevations for all the parks. That should give you some ideas.

We have lots of mountains and visiting all the parks means you will be going up and down the Colorado plateau. Lots of elevation changes.

Zion is the lowest elevation. Climbing up east on Hwy 9 towards Bryce, you will gain significant elevation. You will gain more elevation going up to Bryce from the Sevier River valley. Traveling between Bryce and Capitol Reef, on scenic Hwy 12, you will go up and over Boulder Mountain to about 11,000 ft. No real elevation changes between Capitol Reef and Moab. There is another big elevation gain going up to the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands (appropriately named). A little elevation gain from the entrance of Arches up to the end of the road at the Devil's Garden hiking area where Landscape Arch is.

Elevation shouldn't affect your driving unless you have engine problems with your RV. If you are inexperienced driving an RV or have a fear of heights, then you will have to judge your comfort level.

To me, it's all very pleasurable driving.
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 01:15 PM
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If you want to plot elevation change on maps, try using a bike route mapping website like ridewithgps or mapmyride.

Except for the final approach into Zion from the East (as described above), the terrain you'll be driving is basically flat.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 08:23 AM
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Thanks for all the great info. It's my personal RV and I've been living in Florida so flat as a pancake. I've driven to Las Vegas, so I've done some mountain driving. I did find a terrain app called "Mountain Directory" it's for Trucks and RV's. It has a lot of info on the various roads, it tells you the % of the grades and how many miles each one is. So onward and upward.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 09:15 AM
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Having RV'd quite a bit, even in Nova Scotia. I can only think of two places of concern in Utah.
As mention above, west to east through the Zion tunnel. However, thousands of RVs have done this. When you arrive at the gate, ask about guide service. This web site has all data:
> Have your vehicle measured at the entrance station when you arrive at the park. Any vehicle that is 7 feet 10 inches (2.4 meters) in width and/or 11 feet 4 inches (3.4 meters) in height or larger is required to have a tunnel permit. <

The other is highway 14 from Cedar City to highway 89. About 1/2 the distance, there is a short (2 miles?) steep area. No crises but need power if going west to east and brakes from east to west With gas engine shift down and use engine braking. If diesel, a exhaust/engine brake is helpful.

Boulder mountain is a 11,400 feet, but a very mild elevation change. Not a problem.

One other is North Rim Grand canyon road from Kanab to Lees Ferry. It is moderately steep, but really not a problem. Far less that highway 14.

I've driven extensively in Florida. Your 'love-bugs' are more dangerous than any road in Utah (except Elephant Hill in Needle Park)

Have you tried Google Maps?

Dat's all folks

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