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RE: Utah?Next trip plan good distraction! Ideas needed :)

Hidden Canyon is a good less popular hike that gives you a taste of exposure without the insane riskes of Angles Landing with a mob going up.This is a good choice for a hike with fewer people. Go in the a.m. so you'll be in the shade of the canyon. Once you get to the sign that says end of the trail, keep going. Your boys will love the route finding and scrambling as there isn't a specific trail. You may have to backtrack a few hundred yards at times to find another route when you realize you can't keep going. Once past the trail end sign, the canyon is quite a bit narrower so not so much sun. Stays quite a bit cooler than down in the canyon. The hike up Zion Narrows is also a good place to spend a hot day. You'll be wading in the river so quite cool. Plus the canyon is narrow with little sun. Make sure you have some good shoes for wading/walking in the river. Do check on the weather to make sure there's no rain up river as the water can rise quite quickly in the narrow canyon. If you can get a spot, the campgrounds at Zion are great as you can walk to the river from your campsite. The Virgin "River" at this point is somewhat of a misnomer, as except for spring runoff, it's more like a stream. The kids build little dams to funnel the water around while adults set up their lawnchairs in or near the creek to soak their feet and cool of in the shade of the overhanging cottonwood trees.
4runnerguy 04/09/20 07:13pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Utah?Next trip plan good distraction! Ideas needed :)

You'll have to keep track of the situation in Moab. Right now, all CG's are closed, including private, BLM, and National Parks. No boondocking allowed anywhere. The message is they don't want outsiders there as their medical facilities are pretty limited compared to how many people visit there. Current order expires April 15th but I'd expect an extension. Keep track of the current situation here: Discover Moab. Hard to know what things will be like come this summer. We still have reservations for the WA and OR area, but it's sure an unknown situation this far out. If you get to go, check out this post on everything Moab: A Primer on Moab
4runnerguy 04/07/20 04:28pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Cruel Summer

Our summer plans are still on. Of course we are at the whims of closures of federal CGs. But if they cancel our reservations instead of us doing it, we won't pay a cancellation fee and will get a full refund. In the past, that has included the reservation fee plus the per night fee. If we are able to go, the biggest change will be that we won't visit restaurants, brewpubs and such in towns along the way. I hate not being able to do that and help with their recovery but I don't want to risk our health, especially a thousand miles from home. For us, the closure of all the CG's around Moab, even boondocking locations, has been a big miss, as it's only a three hour drive and our easy getaway location. :( Around here, they have or are considering even closing trailhead parking as they are getting overrun because people who aren't working have lots of time on their hands. If that continues, we just may have to throw our backpacks on and hike up the hill from our backyard and into the NF that way! They used to say 60 is the new 40, which is why we still mountain bike and I even picked up snowboarding a few years ago. Now, 60 is the new elderly! Who knew? ;)
4runnerguy 04/06/20 09:58am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: The sound of wings -- no longer just for us boondockers

The reporter said that several people had told him that they are hearing the sounds of birds' wings for the first time in their lives.A couple of months ago my neighbor was commenting on how he could now hear the birds chirping again. Of course for him, it was because he'd just gotten hearing aids for the first time! ;)
4runnerguy 04/03/20 03:31pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Insanity in the grocery stores...

I've been contemplating the empty store shelves and some of the comments here jive with what I've concluded. Indeed some of the shopping may be for overstocking peoples cabinets, but another factor is the closure of restaurants. Think of it this way. Even if you used to eat dinner out only once a week, if you're eating all your meals at home that means you need 15% more food from the grocery store every week. There are also a lot of people who grab lunch from a drive thru or a food truck. Suddenly they are making five more lunches every week. These additional meals mean a surge in grocery shopping and the stores will take time to catch up. Agreed there was a lot of toilet paper hoarding initally, but the same thing applies. People used to spend 8 hours a day at work and the kids were at school eight hours a day, using someone elses supply of TP. Everyone's at home now, so plan on 50% increase in TP need at every house in the country.
4runnerguy 03/21/20 01:59pm Around the Campfire
RE: Moab UT Closed

An article in the Aspen newspaper this morning noted that federal facilities are not subject to closure orders from state or local governments. As of this morning, BLM campsites had not closed. Of course that can change at any time. At Arches, those in the campground are being allowed to complete their current reservation period but no new campers are allowed in the CG. Canyonlands is in San Juan County and thus outside of the jurisdiction of the Southeast Utah Health Department. Both parks have closed their visitors centers. We went out for groceries today here in Glenwood Springs (have to restock on fresh foods every once in a while). Saw several groups of teens hanging out together in different places. Seems like there is more possiblity of transmission betweeen people in those groups vs. people camping in their RV's. Just sayin'.
4runnerguy 03/18/20 11:41am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Favorite campground on the Gunnison River

The section of road/river between Sapinero and Gunnison isn't particularly scenic. I guess what I should say is there are few trees in this area. When we need a night or two along US 50 between Gunnison and Montrose we stay at the Cimarron CG. It's a NPS CG between the road to South Rim of Black Canyon and Sapinero. Flush toilets and a dump station. Some of the sites have some pretty good sized cottonwood trees for shade. I might suggest heading north of Gunnison to Almont and take the road up to Taylor Park Reservoir. A number of NFS CG's along this road, some with reservable sites. Also Lake View CG above Taylor Park. From there you can drive to Tincup which still has a lot of houses standing, many are now summer cabins. Drive up to and past Crested Butte to Gothic for some of the most outstanding fields of wildflowers in Colorado. There are ghost towns and mining ruins throughout this area. From this area, you can now drive over Cottonwood Pass which drops you right into Buena Vista. Plan an extra day or two in Silverton and rent a jeep. There are so many ruins in this area that you simply can't reach with your rig. Red Mountain, Engineer Pass, Cinnamon Pass, Yankee Boy Basin Road above Ouray. You can spend quite a bit of time exploring some amazing places in the Silverton/Ouray area. Most ghost towns to explore in this area than in the Salida/Buena Vista area. I'm not sure you'll want to venture over Independence Pass on CO 82 with your rig. There are places on the west side where the road is very narrow. There are places where the road is around 12'-13' wide. I've met dually's up there and someone has to back up to find a place to pass. Make sure you continue on the old railroad grade up past St. Elmo to Hancock. If you're feeling up to it, there's a trail to the collapsed east portal of the Alpine Tunnel. Well worth the hike. Better ghost town hunting north in the valley around Leadville.
4runnerguy 03/10/20 10:23pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Utah route from Torrey to Bryce Canyon ?

Stay on UT 12 the whole way. Scenic but there is one pretty good downgrade a few miles past Boulder. An easier (and quicker) but less scenic route is UT 24 west to UT 62 to UT 22 continuing on John's Valley Road (UT 22 ends a couple of miles south of Antimony). Much of the John's Valley road, while paved, is somewhat narrow. But you'll meet little traffic. We always use UT 12 when we are in this area.
4runnerguy 03/09/20 05:35pm Roads and Routes
RE: Sedona to Moab and all points in between

4runners Guide to Moab!. Hope this was what you were after. Best of Luck, Interesting! Did you have your 4runner ran the Moab off-road trail? Planning to do that and I heard there are different classes for non-modified 4runner like mine.I assume this question is directed to me since I wrote the Moab posting in Busskipers link. In my old '96 4runner I had the factory locking differential and factory large tire upgrade. The only nonstock upgrades were the supercharger and headers. In this rig I could do things like Elephant Hill (a 4 rating) but wouldn't want to do much above that. For what the ratings mean, check out Trail Ratings. For an idea of what you might encounter driving on any specific trail, check out Trail List. By clicking on a given trail, you'll go to a page with a description and pictures showing some of what you'll encounter. That being said, once we went to the 2006 4Runner, I had to give up on any trail rated a 4. Simply not enough clearance without upgrading suspension and tire size. Besides, we've decided we really like to mountain bike these places rather than drive them anymore. Do make sure you have reservations for camping during Jeep Safari Week and plan for big crowds everywhere you go, whether it's to the grocery store, restaurants or the gas station.
4runnerguy 03/01/20 09:06am Roads and Routes
RE: Glacier National Park Info

Many of the CG's within the park are first come, first served. Many Glacier on the east side is a beautiful CG that does take reservations. Currently they have about 1/2 of the sites reservable but by sometime in March the other 1/2 will also be come available. This is a very popular CG that books immediately when the booking window opens. One useful took that is usually available on the NPS website is the Campground Status page. But it has only worked very intermittently for me in the last couple of days. If you can get it to load, you can see when the campgrounds filled on a daily basis going back several years. Hopefully they will get it back on line as it is a very useful asset to plan when you need to arrive at a given campground. And as mentioned above, you'll have to drive on US 2 around the south end of the park to get from one side to the other a one cannot tow over Logan Pass. St. Mary's on the east side goes to first come first served in Mid August, so that might coincide with when you'll be there. Rising Sun is another option on the east side Logan Pass road. Apgar on the west is a big CG with good proximity to the Visitors Center where you can catch the shuttle bus. It is worth staying on both sides of the park as they are quite different. West side (the wetter side) has more forests further up the mountain while the east side is more rugged. If you are going during the summer months, yes it will be busy. Not Yellowstone busy, but there is far less parking so one has to plan accordingly. If you are hikers, use of the shuttle system will get you to most of the trailheads. Using the shuttle one can plan loop hikes. But popular routes can mean quite a queue when you get to the bus stop at the end of your hike. We had to wait 45 minutes when we took the Highline Trail down to the Loop bus stop. As noted, if you want to park at Logan Pass, plan to get there at 7:00 a.m.
4runnerguy 02/27/20 09:48am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Grand Lake, CO from the west

so Yes Ken Knows Colorado well!As a Colorado native I was hauled to the mountains from a very young age. Once I got my own drivers license, the money I earned went into two things: music albums and gasoline to head to the hills. Been doing it ever since, first in standard automobiles and eventually 4x4 pickups (and of course 4Runners!). Moving to the west slope over a dozen years ago allowed us to explore even more obscure places in the Colorado mountains.
4runnerguy 02/26/20 09:29am Roads and Routes
RE: Grand Lake, CO from the west

Black Canyon to Grand Lake: The route with the easiest grades would be US 50 east to Grand Junction, then catch I-70 and head east to CO 131 at Walcott. North on CO 131 to just over the Colorado River at State Bridge and then head east on the Trough Road (CR 1) which parallels the Colorado River for part of its length. The Trough Road is a well maintained graded road that they put magchloride on to keep it smooth and the dust down. This joins CO 9 just south of Kremmling. From there it's east on US 40 etc. If it's dry weather, the Trough Road is the route we (and other locals) take to Grand Lake from Glenwood Springs. If it's rainy, magchloride makes the road kind of slippery so we head north to Toponas and take CO 134 east over Gore Pass to US 40, then take a right to Granby, etc. Gore Pass is just over 9500' so a pretty easy pass. For a little more scenic variation on this route, take CO 92 out of Delta to CO 133 and over McClure Pass and on through Carbondale. Then north on CO 82 to Glenwood Springs, I-70, etc. The drive along the Crystal River is one of the most amazingly scenic routes in this state esp. up by Marble and Redstone. Leaving Grand Lake: I think the hardest thing about going over Trail Ridge Road is dealing with all the traffic. Lots of people sightseeing = slow going. Heading south over Berthoud Pass means heading into Denver from Empire on a very busy stretch of I-70. Not a difficult drive but for the traffic. CO 14 over Cameron Pass and down the Poudre is indeed scenic but can also be quite busy esp. on weekends. If you don't mind the extra time, the route up CO 125/127 to WY 230 is an excellent option.
4runnerguy 02/24/20 10:26pm Roads and Routes
RE: Quiet boondocking Moab + South Grand Canyon late march

As Busskipper said, check out the thread on Moab here. About 2/3rds of the way down the first page is a segment on boondocking locations. Besides the Jeep Safari in April, be aware that many of the school districts in CO and UT have the fourth week of March off for spring break (March 21-29). By that point many families are burned out on winter so they head to Moab at that time. The boondocking on Willow Springs road can get so crowded it looks like a city out there. :( We usually stay in BLM CG's simply because there are specific campsites so others can't set themselves up right next to you. Does require arriving pretty early (before 10 a.m.) in the day and not on a Friday or Saturday.
4runnerguy 02/22/20 10:01pm Roads and Routes
RE: I-70 Colorado in April

The closer to the end of April you get, the less chance that snow will be an issue. Can it happen, sure, but we've had to use 4x4 to get out of a campsite with 6"+ of snow on July 4th up on the Flat Tops, so no month is totally without risk. Yes there are alternatives. Just because we get a dump here in CO doesn't mean that I-80 through Wyoming won't be good. Just depends on the storm track. Fifty miles north or south can mean the difference between 8" and a dusting. Been happening a lot this winter.
4runnerguy 02/01/20 09:21pm Roads and Routes
RE: State Bridge, CO to Kremmling

For almost all of its length, the Trough Road is a graded gravel that they put mag chloide on to keep it somewhat smooth. We pulled over that road a couple of years ago while it was raining. The mag chloride got all over the truck and trailer so we pulled into a car wash in Kremmling and washed everything off real well. In dry weather, it's not a tough road at all and almost as smooth as some of the paved highways I've been on.
4runnerguy 01/26/20 12:48pm Roads and Routes
RE: Substancial deposit required

We stay in NP's NF's, and a few SP's. They all require payment in full and will refund if you cancel (with a fee, usually around $8). So for our trip next summer, I've basically already paid for all our camping (except for those outside the six month window). So my bill for the camping will come soon and the bill for all the other expenses (gas, food, etc) will come in July, August, etc. Kind of spreads the pain out a little.
4runnerguy 01/16/20 05:22pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Northern Utah and Idaho in 2020

Getting pretty late to book in Yellowstone Park itself. You might be able to cobble together camping in several different campgrounds by moving every couple of days. First come first served CG's in the park are tough to get into and it often means waiting at the CG entrance by 7:00 in the morning. There are private CG's in West Yellowstone and also a few NFS CG's north of West Yellowstone. The downside of those places is the line at the west entrance to get into the park every morning. Wherever you decide for Yellowstone, I'd get reservations NOW (today!!!). For Glacier, we stayed at Apgar on the west side a couple of years ago and didn't have a problem getting a spot. With the time you have alloted for this trip, I'd also try to stay on the east side as well as the two sides are different. You can check for resevations at Many Glacier but you have to get them at 8:00 a.m. MST six months out. So if you can get a spot tomorrow it will be for July 17th. I didn't have luck with the push the enter button lottery last time I tried. Resevations are also available at St. Mary at the east entrance main road. Many Glacier and Two Medicine both sit on lakes at the end of glacially carved canyons and have amazing settings. Lines for the First Come First Served can start before 7:00 a.m. for busy times in the summer. THe NPS has a really handy webpage that shows the fill times for the CG's in the park. You can look at any specific date for a given year or get the average fill time for the last five years. CG fill time info Click on the individual CG then on the month you want to look at. BTW you can't tow across Logan Pass so you'll have to take US 2 around the south end of the park. Plan a day to move.
4runnerguy 01/16/20 05:18pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Ouray, CO- Ouray RV Park and Ouray KOA-Recommendations

As far as timing on when passes open, check out Bushducks. They have info people have posted as to the status of a lot of the trails here in CO. You can also research prior years by clicking on the appropriate link. Lots of good info can be gleaned here.
4runnerguy 12/14/19 11:02pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Yellowstone 2020

In late May you probably won't face the huge crowds one sees later in the summer. But you may find your explorations somewhat limited because of lingering snow. My mother worked at Old Faithful for more than a decade and I remember pictures she had taken in mid-May and they had dug through the six feet of snow to get to the front doors of the store. Not like that every year, but snow will undoubtably still be around. Parking near Old Faithful won't be a problem with your rig as there's a huge parking lot there. There are big rig places to park in Mammoth and you can hike from there. Same with Canyon although not at Inspiration Point. I remember there being RV/bus parking at Artist Point on the south rim of the canyon. You'll be challenged when it somes to some of the other geyser basins. Parking near the Grand Prismatic Spring is particularly difficult, even in a car, as there simply aren't enough spots. I don't know if you have or use them, but bikes are an amazing way to get around and avoid some of the parking crowds. When we were there in mid-July parking at places like the Lower Geyser Basin was backed up a long ways. We simply drove a mile or so up the road, found a paved pull-off, got on our bikes and rode back to the parking lot. (Traffic is pretty slow so really not very threatening) Locked our bikes, hiked the trails, and got back to our bikes. We saw cars still waiting to park that were in line when we got there. Bikes are also really handy around Old Faithful. One can ride along the old road from Old Faithful out to Morning Glory Pool. We would check on the predicted eruption schedule in the Visitors Center, then ride out the road, park and lock, then hike to the geyser. Had several people offer to rent our bikes when they saw how much walking we saved. One more thing: if at all possible try to get that 18 year old to go along. As you know Yellowstone is one of the marvels of the world. She won't be disappointed (although I can't promise how the drive out and back might be! ;) )
4runnerguy 12/02/19 09:16pm Roads and Routes
RE: Road Trip! BC to California

OP wants to do a MH trip. We should answer his question.Then maybe we should suggest someplace closer for spring break. The OP may not have truly considered the distance/time constraints and the nightmare of driving an RV in Los Angeles. My answers to these kinds of questions always skew toward making sure the children have fun. Parents can sometimes lose sight of that in their desire to use their RV's. I don't think I've ever met a kid that would give up a day at the beach, a day at the zoo, a day at SeaWorld and maybe another day at Disneyland :D for four 8 to 10 to 12 hour days of sitting in an RV going down the highway. :(
4runnerguy 11/19/19 10:50am Roads and Routes
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