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Experience Sought - Utah Mighty 5 & Grand Canyon - In November


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Planning a trip that is Westbound following route 66 in October.

By November we would peel north from Santa Fe, up to Southern Colorado, then across to the Mighty 5 in Utah and Grand Canyon.
(See proposed route below.)

 

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Our current timing has us in the Colorado/Utah & GC the first 10 days of November.
I'm starting to experince campgrounds 'winding down' by Mid Oct. *(no water, no electric).  Some are just closed.

Are the first 2 weeks of November too late in the year "weather wise" to hit those Natl Parks?  
My main concern isn't as much the cold....but I don't want to be towing in snowy conditions in the mountains.

Our backup plan would be to stay on the old 66 route through to Flagstaff, pop up to the GC then back down into Palm Springs area all before Nov 1.
 

Advice/Thoughts?


Craig - Hull 505

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I've been down around there a few times at around that time. I think Zion and Arches and Canyonlands and the GC will be fine. It's *possible* that you'll see snow going over the flanks of Boulder Mountain between Capitol Reef NP and the Boulder/Escalante area, but odds are you'll be fine there. Same deal up around Bryce. If that is what the forecast claims to be in store once you get there, you could scoot around a more southern route from the Moab area toward Zion and then GC, going via Tuba City/Page/etc. There are a decent amount of boondocking options along with some established campgrounds along that route if you decide it would be more prudent than your Plan A, but Plan A will likely go at least based on my two fall trips.

 

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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What little snow I saw around then was up along the highest roads, was brief, and was inconsequential, fwiw.

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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We were just in Zion in January.  Some snow, but roads were clear.  A couple of spots in the park were closed due to snow.  Weather was high 20s at night and high 40s to mid 50s during the day.  No crowds.  We did the other four parks during Sept/Oct.  Weather was good.  My son lives in Durango and I can tell you they’ve had a lot of snow to date.  The roads stay pretty clear, though.  Mike

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Craig,  Looking at your route, I'm envious as a trip to Southern Utah/Grand Canyon is on our list!  I noticed that you are going through Durango.   I don't know if you've been through SW Colorado before but the San Juan Mountains just North of Durango are one of the most spectacular senic areas I've ever been.  If you haven't been, you might want to consider camping near Durango.  Then leave your Ollie and drive just your truck up the "Million Dollar Highway" to Silverton, over Red Mountain Pass and down to Ouray for a day trip. Scenery from this highway is outstanding and you can experience the historic gold and silver mining history.  If you have time and are really up for adventure, consider driving your 4x4 truck most of the way toward Yankee Boy Basin just SW of Ouray.  The road is good gravel for the first half and then becomes more and more difficult/rough but the Alpine scenery just gets better and better as you go.

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2020 Elite II #627, 2021 Silverado 1500 3.0L Duramax, Colorado

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@Galway Girl,  forgot that your trip is in November when I wrote the info above - sorry.  That makes weather a factor I didn't mention of course.  The Million Dollar Highway does close in periods of snow but if the weather is good and the road is open, it's worth the time

2020 Elite II #627, 2021 Silverado 1500 3.0L Duramax, Colorado

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I've been doing some advance planning for a 2023 trip to this area.  One resource I have found very helpful is Sean and Kristy's youtube channel "The Long Long Honeymoon".  I would search on that and the names of some of the NP's you plan to hit.  Not sure they will have winter specific tips but they do pack in a lot of good info.  And you get to see some of the campsites you may be planning on staying at. 

Good Luck,

Scotty

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Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


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  • 2 months later...

Wolf Creek Pass, in southern Colorado (your Alamosa to Durango leg), is one of the snowiest passes in Colorado. I'm not saying it's a no-go...I am saying watch the weather.

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John and Jodi

San Antonio, TX

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