Intro and RV Parks near Zion/Bryce Canyon and Durango

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New member
Jul 1, 2005
Hi Y'all...
I am new (for the second time) to this board and am very happy to be here.  I was a member 5 - 7 years ago when I was still investigating/dreaming about the full time lifestyle. 

A bit about us -- my husband, Roger and I, have been part-timing for three years, after a little over two years of full-timing.  We loved full-timing and it fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine.  Well, no one I knew in Oakland, where I grew up, had anything like an RV, but we always camped and I always thought it would be very cool to have traveled across the west in a covered wagon.  As I got older, I realized a soft bed and a daily shower would be necessary -- and I "discovered" RV's.

Unending health problems for me forced us to stay in one place after 2 1/2 yrs on the road, so we ended up buying a house on Lake LBJ in the Texas Hill Country, near Marble Falls.  I had claimed Austin as home most of my adult life, so was familiar with the area.  While I surely miss some aspects of full-timing, Roger loves his garage and I love being on the lake, so this is working for us. I particularly like taking my jet ski out during the week when the lake is nearly empty.

We travel in a 34' Travel Supreme 5th wheel 4 - 6 months a year.  Only New England is left for us to explore for the first time, given today's diesel prices, it seems damn far from Central TX.  So one of our trips this year will be 6 weeks in southwestern Utah and Colorado.    I am looking at RV Parks close to Zion and not too far from [i]Bryce Canyon[/i], which means the Mt Carmel area. Zion Crest seems a  bit more expensive than we prefer, but Bauers Canyon Ranch looks interesting...anyone stayed there?  Also looking at Zion Riverside RV Park and Zion Mukuntuweep RV Park (a Passport America park, which is always enticing) in that area.  Where are we likely to spend more time -- Zion or Bryce.  Anything in the area we shouldn't miss?

What about Durango area -- any favorite RV parks there?  To jog memories, Alpine Rose, Lightner Creek, Cottonwood Camper and United Campground are listed.  We plan to take the Durango-Silverton railroad trip and do a fair amount of hiking, general exploring.  Anything we should not miss?  Any trails that you particularly liked?

We also will spend several days in the Taos/Santa Fe area.  Any favorite, not outrageously expensive parks there?  Many. many years ago I backpacked in the Santa Barbara mountains near that area, but it's been so long...

Well, thanks in advance for sharing your insights and experiences.  I look forward to learning and sharing from all of you.  We spent our first winter at Voyager in Tucson last year and can't wait to return.  Popsy (aka Bob) -- are you out there?  Say hi to Syd for us and tell her Roger is still struggling with kiln bubbles, but has done some serious research and learned a lot...we're getting there.  We'll write her soon. 

Thanks to Tom for help with registration.

Karen Welcome
Lake LBJ near Marble Falls

Ken & Sheila

Site Team
Mar 5, 2005
S Dakota

First for Durango, I would recommend Alpin Rose. We stayed there in August 03. We also looked at Lightner Creek and as I remember it was good, but further from town.

For Bryce and Zion I would recommend staying at each - not in between. For Bryce I would recommend Ruby's Inn (just outside the entrance to the park) or if you like, the campground in the park.

For Zion I would recommend going thru the park and staying on the west side (closer to the best parts of the park. The Park has two campgrounds on the west side - or we stayed at a campground just outside the entrance (in Sprigdale) on the Virgin  River. Just an OK campground except for the river! We camped with the nose of the MH right on the river (we were backwords in the site, but I was able to reach the power with an extra cord)  I believe there is a new campground a few miles further west on rt 9.

I would say that the road thru the park has one major decent with switchbacks. I only remember the cell phone ringing and telling my wife I could NOT talked to anyone on this part of the drive. It will also cost $10 (1999)  to go through th tunnel because they have to stop traffic coming the other way for large vehicle (only the center of the road is tall enough in the tunnel).

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