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Author Topic: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone  (Read 4051 times)

Countrygal2203

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Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« on: December 22, 2015, 08:59:37 AM »
Hi everyone!  We are planning on going to Yellowstone mid April until mid May and would appreciate any suggested routes, destinations and campgrounds accessible for 40-footers with full hookups, although sewerage sites are not mandatory but preferred.  I was told a while back that reservations are best at some campgrounds in yellowstone because of our size, but don't remember where.  Can anyone recommend where to go and what to see, please?  My husband is not able to hike, so sightseeing by car is it.  TIA for any guidance you can give! 

Lynne
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Sun2Retire

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2015, 09:11:04 AM »
We're going to Yellowstone in early July. Based on recommendations and reviews we're staying at Grizzly RV Park in West Yellowstone just outside the park. I've found the people very nice to deal with so far.
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Gizmo

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2015, 09:27:32 AM »
Keep in mind April May is going to be cold in Yellowstone, which if you do not mind the cold is a good thing because there will be less crowds.  We were there in June and stayed in Fishing Bridge which was a good spot, pleasant, had full hook-ups and more centrally located, so getting to many of the sites required less driving.  We looked at Grizzley RV Park, and while it gets good reviews it requires a lot of driving to get to many of the sites, particularly any on the east side of Yellowstone.  Yellowstone is a huge park so keep that in mind.  I forget what the size limit is at Fishing Bridge but i seem to recall seeing rigs close to 40' in the campground.  If you do run into a size issue, then Grizzley RV Park would be your best choice.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2015, 10:13:38 AM »
I suggest spending a few nights at Grand Tetons National Park located right next door to Yellowstone. It is close but a totally different park. I actually prefer the Tetons to Yellowstone due to lack of crowds and more wildlife. And in my humble it is more beautiful. There is the Jackson Lake Village RV park but you better get your reservations in soon. Both the Tetons and Yellowstone fill up quickly and as someone mentioned it is cold there at that time of year.
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MN Blue Skies

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2015, 12:36:19 PM »
Seiler, it looks like Grand Tetons National Park has several campgrounds.  It sounds like you  are recommending Jackson Lake Village RV park?  Tentatively we plan to stay somewhere near the Grand Tetons National Park on May 22 and May 23.  (Right  after the May 15-May 22 RV rally at Yellowstone.)
« Last Edit: December 22, 2015, 12:38:10 PM by MN Blue Skies »
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Gizmo

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2015, 01:08:40 PM »
I suggest spending a few nights at Grand Tetons National Park located right next door to Yellowstone. It is close but a totally different park. I actually prefer the Tetons to Yellowstone due to lack of crowds and more wildlife. And in my humble it is more beautiful. There is the Jackson Lake Village RV park but you better get your reservations in soon. Both the Tetons and Yellowstone fill up quickly and as someone mentioned it is cold there at that time of year.

I agree.  We were there in June along with our visit to Yellowstone and both of us like it better as well.  We stayed at two campgrounds in GTNP, Gros Ventre for a more rugged camping experience and at Colter Bay.  Both were wonderful in their own right and both will definitely accommodate a 40' rig as the OP has.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2015, 02:45:58 PM »
Seiler, it looks like Grand Tetons National Park has several campgrounds.  It sounds like you  are recommending Jackson Lake Village RV park?  Tentatively we plan to stay somewhere near the Grand Tetons National Park on May 22 and May 23.  (Right  after the May 15-May 22 RV rally at Yellowstone.)
Actually it is called Colter Bay RV Park, my mistake. They specifically stated "accessible for 40-footers with full hookups" and that leaves them only one choice in the Tetons. Personally I prefer Colter Bay Campground since it is only $12.50 per night with Golden Access pass. The RV park is $57 per night with the Access Pass but it has hookups and the campground doesn't have hook ups. But it has a dump station.

I have reservations for a motel near Yellowstone from May 23 through the 27th and then at the Tetons I have a cabin reserved from May 27th to the 31st.

When you go to the Tetons at sunset plan on being at the Oxbow Bend turnout. It is the best spot in the country to view wildlife. Turns into a zoo without bars every night.
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MN Blue Skies

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2015, 03:57:24 PM »
Seiler, so why don't you make reservations for YPN earlier and attend the rally at YPN May 15 -22?
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SeilerBird

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2015, 04:04:34 PM »
Seiler, so why don't you make reservations for YPN earlier and attend the rally at YPN May 15 -22?
The way my vacation works out I have to be in the Grand Canyon from the 8th to the 13th and then I going to visit my family after that. The earliest I can get to Yellowstone is the 23rd. And I can't go to Grand Teton until the 27th because the cabins aren't open until then. It was a tough vacation to schedule because I had a lot to get in and a lot of places to go with time restrictions on most of them.
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UTTransplant

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2015, 04:45:19 PM »
In mid-May there isn't a lot open in Grand Teton or Yellowstone. We always stay at Gros Ventre park outside Jackson, but it is no-hookups. Lots of big sites though. In Yellowstone your choices are limited. Fishing Bridge may be open then, and it is the only spot you'll fit in the park. I would recommend Grizzly RV park in West Yellowstone. Be prepared for cold weather and possibly snow. The advantage of that time of year is fewer people and lots of baby animals, but your Louisiana bones may get chilly unless prepared for it. The worst thing is that the big passes won't be open yet - the Beartooth Highway is one of the top scenic areas in the US.

Have you thought about delaying your trip a bit? Arriving in Yellowstone just before or just after Memorial Day gives you more options and warmer weather.
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Countrygal2203

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2015, 11:13:05 AM »
Thanks, everyone!  After reading your suggestions, we decided to postpone the yellowstone trip until early summer, 2017. I have to be home for the two granddaughters dancing review on May 21st and then leaving for the family cabin vacation in the Smokies on June 8th. With these date constraints and reading about the crowds in July, we probably couldn't get reservations this late anyway, so we'll just wait.  I just retired the end of March and did 3-1/2 weeks in the Smokies (my happy place) this October and am anxious for another extended camping trip!  I may have to look into maybe the Natchez Trace for the spring now - it should be pretty with blooming azaleas and wisteria then.  I'll make reservations in April for Yellowstone, May/June, 2017.  I appreciate all the advice! 

Lynne
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SeilerBird

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2015, 11:50:10 AM »
Thanks, everyone!  After reading your suggestions, we decided to postpone the yellowstone trip until early summer, 2017. I have to be home for the two granddaughters dancing review on May 21st and then leaving for the family cabin vacation in the Smokies on June 8th. With these date constraints and reading about the crowds in July, we probably couldn't get reservations this late anyway, so we'll just wait.  I just retired the end of March and did 3-1/2 weeks in the Smokies (my happy place) this October and am anxious for another extended camping trip!  I may have to look into maybe the Natchez Trace for the spring now - it should be pretty with blooming azaleas and wisteria then.  I'll make reservations in April for Yellowstone, May/June, 2017.  I appreciate all the advice! 

Lynne
Why not go to the Grand Canyon instead? It is closer and you will have no problem getting a site at Camper Village in Tusayan which is right next to a shuttle stop that will take you into the park. Very little chance of snow or cold weather at the end of May. The Grand Canyon is one of the seven wonders of the world. :D
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Countrygal2203

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2015, 01:10:03 PM »
SeilerBird, that's a GREAT idea!!!  It didn't even cross my mind that it would be further south, therefore warmer for April/May!!!  Thank you soooo much for suggesting that, especially since my husband has never been there!  We really would like to take advantage of the low fuel prices, too - just hope they stay low for another four months.  LOL!  So Camper Village is a good campground with full hookups and can accommodate our length?  I'm going to start mapping out the trip out west right now!!!  YEA!!!

Thanks again,
Lynne
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SeilerBird

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2015, 01:25:32 PM »
So Camper Village is a good campground with full hookups and can accommodate our length?  I'm going to start mapping out the trip out west right now!!!  YEA!!!
Yes, yes and yes. That is why I suggested it. I have stayed there many times and I used to work at the Grand Canyon photographing the California Condors. You actually don't even need a toad since the shuttle at the south rim will take you every where you want to go at the south rim. The shuttle stops right in front of the RV park.

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The vast majority of these shots were taken in May since that is the best month of the year to see Condors.
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Countrygal2203

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2015, 01:43:39 PM »
Ewwww, condors look like buzzards!  Not very pretty, are they?
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SeilerBird

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2015, 02:07:41 PM »
Ewwww, condors look like buzzards!  Not very pretty, are they?
Well they are buzzards but I think they are beautiful. There are very few birds that look as beautiful when flying. But that's ok, they probably think we are ugly 8)
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kdbgoat

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2015, 02:56:22 PM »
They probably think we're ugly.
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Countrygal2203

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2015, 08:05:50 PM »
Yes, they probably do!  LOL!
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SeilerBird

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2015, 08:11:10 PM »
"deisel pusher"

Actually it is a diesel pusher.
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Moonstruck

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2015, 07:43:32 AM »
I was in YNP and GTNP in May a few years back.  Due to snow there were several roads closed including the South Entrance to YNP.  It would probably be a good precaution to check on road closures early in the season.
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WILDEBILL308

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2015, 01:30:53 PM »
Hear is the contact info for Trailer Village RV Park in  Grand Canyon National Park, Coconino County, Arizona.
100, Market Plaza Rd, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023
visitgrandcanyon.com ,(928) 638-1006
We had elk wandering through the campgrounds.
I would make reservations early.
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Countrygal2203

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2015, 07:19:55 AM »
OMGoodness, SeilerBird!  Thanks so much for being my 'spellchecker' and catching deisel instead of diesel!  How embarrassing - it is now corrected!  LOL!

Wildebill308, I got a spot and booked at Travel Village for two weeks, April 28 - May 12.  I haven't had time to plan our itinerary with Christmas, but will work on it this week and then finalize our exact days there. 

Thanks. Moonstruck - will do!
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SeilerBird

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2015, 07:47:13 AM »
Lynne - There are a whole lot of great things to do at the Grand Canyon. One of my all time favorites is a smooth water raft trip from Page Ut. They pick you up at the south rim and drive you to Page in a van, then you float for 15 miles on the Colorado and they they take you back to the south rim. All day adventure that is amazing.

http://grandcanyon.com/tours/east-tours/colorado-river-discovery-rafting/
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SeilerBird

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2015, 08:08:21 AM »
Speaking of great things to do at the Grand Canyon, here is a list I made a few years ago:

1 - Hike down the Bright Angel Trail. About two hundred yards from the trail head is a 10 foot man made tunnel. Pass though the tunnel and look up on the left and you will find 1000 year old Native American Pictographs. This is a very good area to spot Big Horn Sheep.

2 - Head out to the East Rim and visit the Desert Watchtower. Incredible structure designed by Mary Colter. Amazing views of the canyon and the Colorado River.

3 - Sunset at Hopi Point. Sunsets don't get any better. Be sure to look to the east right before the sunsets. The canyon walls will be glowing in the most psychedelic colors imaginable.

4 - Steak dinner at Yippe-Yi-Yo Steakhouse in Tusayan. Best steakhouse in the country.

5 - Walk the rim trail. It is 12 miles long and there are a dozen shuttle stops on the trail so you can get on and get off anyplace and make the hike as long or as short as you wish. My favorite part of the trail is from Pipe Creek Vista (take the Green Shuttle to get there) and then hike back to Mather Point, about two miles.

6 - Visit Hopi House. Another Mary Jane Coulter building. It is a gift shop now and it has amazing Native American stuff for sale there.

7 - Ride the Red Route Shuttle out to Hermit's Rest in the daytime and get out on every stop and spend 15 minutes at each stop. At the Abyss you will get a better view than at the Skywalk, and it is free.

8 - Hike a few hundred yards down the South Kaibab Trail. Totally different than the BAT. BAT is in a canyon and SKT is on a fin. If you can go .9th of a mile to Ohh Ahh point it will be obvious why it is called Ohh Ahh Point.

9 - Watch the Imax movie in Tusayan. Most viewed Imax of all time. Check out the boats that are replicas of the ones John Powell used in 1869. It will give you a whole new appreciation for his feats.

10 - Take in the Condor talk at 3:30 at Lookout Studio. That is the best time and the best place in the entire world to view California Condors. Only 400 left in the world.

11 - Junior Ranger Program. The program is available to kids of any age, even if you are in your 70s. It is a great way to get kids interested in ecology, conservation, nature and wildlife at an early age.

12 - Take a mule ride. For about 120 years mules have a perfect safety record hauling passengers in and out of the canyon. There used to be only two trips available, the day trip to Plateau Point and the overnighter to Phantom Ranch at the bottom. Last year they reduced the number of trips into the canyon and introduced a new trip to The Abyss for lunch. The trip does not go down into the canyon but The Abyss is one of the most spectacular views from the rim. Teddy Roosevelt took the mule ride while he was President.

13 - Take a helicopter ride. There are a few different companies offering flights over the canyon. They cost about $125 and it will be a flight you will never forget.

14 - Check out the Elk. Most every sunrise and sunset you can find a few Elk mowing the lawn surrounding the El Tovar Hotel. These are very tame and very easy to approach and photograph.

15 - Check out the Grand Canyon Cemetery. Located right next to the Shrine of Ages, it is filled with historic characters from Grand Canyon's amazing past including Ralph Cameron, Captain John Hance and Elsworth and Emery Kolb. Great place for a picnic. Seriously, they have picnic tables there.

16 - Speaking of Kolb, if you get the chance take the Kolb Studio Tour. They don't offer it on a regular basis, so you will have to inquire at the Visitors Center or Kolb Studio to see if a tour is scheduled while you are there. The Kolb's built the studio themselves and when the Park Service took it over in the 70s the Park Service was shocked that it never fell into the canyon. It was not exactly built to code.

17 - Take the Fossil Walk. Every morning at 9:00 in back of the Bright Angel Lodge a ranger leads a tour of the fossil beds located about 1/4 mile west on the rim. No, these are not T-Rex footprints, but it is an awesome collection. Zillions of Stromatolites, Trilobites, and Crinoids. And the Park Service has sacrificed this bed to allow anyone to wander around and get up close and personal with the fossils. No ropes you have to stay behind.

18 - Every evening at either 7:30 or 8:00 depending on the time of year there is either one or two evening programs presented by a Ranger.

19 - Ride the Grand Canyon Railroad. The problem is that the train leaves from Williams in the morning and returns there in the evening, so if you are already at the Grand Canyon it is not very convenient to ride. But if you are cruising down I-40 and decide you want to make a quick day trip to the canyon it is an excellent way to go.

20 - Visit the Verkamps Museum and the Fred Harvey Museum. Both are free and full of Grand Canyon history.

21 - Visit the Books and More Bookstore. While you are there pick up a copy of Over the Edge, Death in the Grand Canyon, the best seller at the canyon. It will make you feel good to know there are so many people in the world that was so much dumber than you are.

22 - If you are at the canyon in September or October then visit Yaki Point and watch the raptor census being taking by HawkWatch International. Yaki Point sticks way out into the canyon and it is the point most hawks will cross the canyon. The Hawk Watchers will be glad to explain every detail about what they are doing. This is not for the faint at heart. The spot they watch is on the edge with a very steep drop off.

23 - If you are at the canyon during the dark of the moon in June then head on out to Yavapai Point for some great sky watching. The Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association takes over the Yavapai Point parking lot and sets up about 60 telescopes that you can look through for free. There is a slide slow at sunset and then the telescopes are available all night long. The scopes range from binoculars built into a chair to telescopes the size of your refridgerator.

24 - Learn about Grand Canyon geology at the geology walk held every day at Yavapai Point by a Ranger.

25 - Visit the art show at Kolb Studio. 

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Countrygal2203

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2015, 08:54:57 AM »
Wow, Tom, that river rafting ride looks amazing and I WILL be doing it, although I'm not sure if my husband can.  He has a spinal disease which causes him moderate pain doing some things, like hiking and sitting for long periods of time, but he doesn't stop me from doing what I want to do.  That's one reason why we got the motorhome, because he's more comfortable driving it than pulling a 5th wheel with a truck.  Do you think we can just stay camping at Travers Village and just do day trips around the different park entrances in the suv?  I'm thinking of going to Carlsbad Caverns, the petrified forest and painted dessert on the way to the GC.  I remember going to those places when I was little and liking them.  Gotta sit still for a while and research all this!  Can't wait - I love loooong trips and can now finally do them!  I don't know how I had time to work before and am lovin' retirement!!! 

BTW, do you really have three mountain lions???
Leon & Lynne Chaplain
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SeilerBird

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2015, 09:21:07 AM »
Wow, Tom, that river rafting ride looks amazing and I WILL be doing it, although I'm not sure if my husband can.  He has a spinal disease which causes him moderate pain doing some things, like hiking and sitting for long periods of time, but he doesn't stop me from doing what I want to do.
I think he could handle the raft trip. You don't sit in the boat for more than an hour and they stop to get out and look at Indian pictographs.
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That's one reason why we got the motorhome, because he's more comfortable driving it than pulling a 5th wheel with a truck.  Do you think we can just stay camping at Travers Village and just do day trips around the different park entrances in the suv?  I'm thinking of going to Carlsbad Caverns, the petrified forest and painted dessert on the way to the GC.

No. Carlsbad Caverns is 700 miles away. You should stop there on the way to or from the Canyon. Petrified Forest and the painted desert are one and the same. It used to be called the painted desert but then it was made into the Petrified Forest National Park so that is why you were confused. It is 200 miles from the canyon so I would plan on stopping there on your way in or out. Both places can be seen fairly well in a one day stop.
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BTW, do you really have three mountain lions???
Yes I do. That would be Tarzan at the top, Cleopatra in the middle and Jane on the bottom. (Tarzan and Jane, get it?) They have stunted growth so they only turned out the size of normal house cats. ;D
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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WILDEBILL308

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2015, 02:49:43 PM »
One other fun thing is to set on the porch at El Tovar Hotel in the big rockers and watch the tourist with a cold drink in your hand and a nice breeze cooling you off. They had Indian dancers performing in front of the hotel to. The main dining room isn't bad either.
I did the train back before I had a RV. Great fun we had the optional guided tour of the south rim.
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

Countrygal2203

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Re: Planning a spring trip from Louisiana to Yellowstone
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2015, 05:24:25 PM »
Thanks Bill, we'll have to do that!
Leon & Lynne Chaplain
With Mojo, our bad 20# "miniature" dachshund  - LOL!
2005 40' Winnebago Journey diesel pusher
2008 Saturn Vue toad

 

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