On our way to Oregon from Alabama, we pushed ourselves to drive WAAAAY more than normal so we could spend two weeks in Utah. So was the extra hours of ‘seat time’ worth it? Absolutely! This was our first journey into Utah and with only two weeks we were only able to experience only a small portion of this unbelievably beautiful state.
We hiked at several National Parks (Utah has 5 stunners), a state park, and some BLM land before we ended in Salt Lake for a dose of city walking. Most of the time we never have a ‘set’ plan of where we will go and how long we will stay because we like want to have the flexibility of changing due to weather or if we really like/dislike an area. This means we seldom make reservations or even know where we will camp. So far our lack of planning hasn’t been an issue because we’ve been traveling ‘off season’ and we can go just about anywhere and our rig fits almost anywhere. Since our time in Utah was overlapping with school spring breaks, we had to change up our plans several times –ie looking for out of the way camping options, skipping Zion National Park, etc.
We did get to Four Corners National Monument, Bryce Canyon, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Arches National Park, and Capitol Reef National Parks. We stayed on the edge of Canyonlands but due to LOW fuel did not dare to venture even 10 extra miles (see tip below)
Here are some tips if you are planning to visit southern Utah state and national parks.
–visit during the off season if possible after school spring break but before schools are out
–if you want to stay IN the national parks or state parks campground, it is best to make a reservation
–If you don’t need a full service campground, get a map showing BLM and state lands which are plenty in this area
–if you like to hike, doing some research on Backpacker.com, Trails.com, or the national parks website. There are so many trails to choose in each park and some require getting dropped off at the trailhead since the parking is limited
–we stayed downtown Salt Lake City at a very expensive KOA to have easy access to downtown but you can stay in Provo, Ogden, or outskirts of SLC and take the train into town
–if you go to Capitol Reef (one of our favorites) go in the fall to pick apples, cherries, and apricots near the Fruita campground. Don’t miss getting a homemade pie at the small bakery next to the campground
–most of these national parks encompass LARGE areas and require many miles of driving in remote locations to access and then once in the park, you drive many more miles. Lesson learned is to fill up when you are near a town that has gas/diesel. Especially diesel since many small towns do not have a station that has it.
We are now in Oregon and have been working HARD for the past three week to get the campground up and running with help from the Wades who are here with us this summer. It has been a combination of brain work and physical work so overall we’ve enjoyed it. The owners are so great – allowing us freedom to set up systems and operations to make it better. We’ll be here until late September, so if you are in Southern Oregon come see us at Junipers Reservoir RV Resort.