Aussies Touring in December...help needed!!

Discussion in 'Destinations' started by rodg100, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. rodg100

    rodg100 New Member

    Hi all,
    We are a family of 4 (2 kids,boys aged 15 & 17) hiring a 32' RV from Las Vegas on the 22 December and travelling to Denver for December 30 arrival.
    We would like to see some of the Grand Canyon and from there we thought it would be nice to visit the Aircraft graveyards in Arizona, however, we feel it might be too far to drive to Denver via Phoenix/Tucson and also a little mundane?? Would it be a more interesting trip going North or could this be dangerous at this time of the year (snow)? Is there much to see going South?
    Apart from a map we don't know what is best. Could you please help us with some advice?

    Thank You

    Rod & Katrina
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
     
  2. marlies

    marlies New Member

    RE: Aussies Touring in December...help needed!!

    Hi Rod and Katrina,

    We just came back from the US. We (family of 5, with 3 boys 15,17,19 from the Netherlands)travelled in an RV for 4 weeks. We went from Las Vegas southeast as far as Roswell and back to Los Angeles. If I were you I would not go all the way to Phoenix if you only have 1 week.
    I would go from Vegas to the Grand Canyon, then Flagstaff (visit Sedona and Slide rock state park), then go to Albuquerque (visit Pefrified Forest on the way, climb El Moro National Monument, and visit Acomo Pueblo) Visit Santa Fe and then head north to Denver (visit garden of the gods)
    We visited an airplane graveyard near Tuscon. Interesting but not spectacular.
    Or go northeast from the Grand Canyon and visit Monument Valley and a selection of the follwing:Canyon de Chelly, Mesa Verde (boys liked that) Arches NP and Black Canyon of the Gunnison.And then go to Denver.
    I do not know anything about the weather conditions. For the past 9 summers we have been travelling in an RV through the US, starting from different cities.
    Good luck,

    Marlies Vanterve
     
  3. rodg100

    rodg100 New Member

    Re: Aussies Touring in December...help needed!!

    Thank you Marlies, we also think that travelling via phoenix might be too much of a stretch. Our main concern in winter is that of the road conditions and snow. Our RV will be winterised (no water) so we would like to stay in nice (hot water) RV parks along the way. Are there a lot of choices in RV parks and/or do you have to book in advance?
    Also, where is the best location to view the Grand Canyon? Also do you know of any hot springs along the way?

    Thanks alot

    Rod & Katrina :)
     
  4. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Aussies Touring in December...help needed!!

    There is a nice RV park (Canyon Gateway), just off I40 about 35 miles west of Flagstaff. They are affiliated with Marvelous Marv's Grand Canyon tour. Marv has been doing this for many years and takes you to all the best places, avoids the croweds, answers your questions, and there is a significant discount for booking the tour through the park. The RV park belongs to Passport America, so you can stay there for 1/2 price if you are a member of P.A.

    However, Northern Arizona will be very cold, with a high probability of snow at that time of year. So is the Central Colorado area (around Denver). Mountains and cold/snowy/icy conditions and RVs just don't mix well. And perhaps Marv takes the winters off.

    The airplane graveyards in Tucson are not available to tourists, the best you can hope for is probably to walk along the fence. There is the Pima Air Museum which can be interesing and you can get right up to the planes they have there. There is also the Missle Silo Museum which may be of interest. I don't know if they have any airplane graveyards in Phoenix, and that is only a savings of a few hours each way anyways. However, the weather will probably be fairly nice.

    Las Vegas to Denver directly is about 1020 miles (I40 & I25), and as many as 4 days of driving (due to the weather), which does not leave you much time to spend at any one location. Including Tucson would be 1406 miles, and at least 5 days of driving. Phoenix instead of Tucson would be 1307 miles, still at least 5 days driving.
     
  5. rodg100

    rodg100 New Member

    Re: Aussies Touring in December...help needed!!

    This is great information for us..Thanks...We will cancel the idea of going to Tucson/Phoenix as it just seems too far and I would want to wander amongst the aircraft...so...A more direct route to Denver it will be. I have heard about Marvelous Marvs GC tour and will find out if this is available to us at this time of the year.
    Will it be too dangerous to drive between Las Vegas and Denver in an RV or would you recomend a 4x4 SUV and stop at motels??? We would be dissapointed by not doing the RV thing, however we are concerned by how cold it may be???

    Rod & Katrina
     
  6. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Aussies Touring in December...help needed!!

    There is a 'direct' route between the 2, which is several hundred miles shorter, but I suspect it would be very exciting in an RV that time of year. Back roads, mountains and 2 line highway, I suspect. A SUV, with 4 wheel drive and chains might be your best bet here. Also, I have no idea if RV parks are reasonably available or open along it. Of course, there is no guarantee that motels are available along it, but the odds are better.

    The route I mentioned, going down to I40, then over to I25 and then north on that would be fairly RV friendly (interstate most of the way, except between Las Vegas and I40. My major concern would be snow and ice on the roads (hopefully minor on the interstates), and the plumbing freezing overnight (or possibly even during the day).
     
  7. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    RE: Aussies Touring in December...help needed!!

    I lived my first 35 years in the Rocky Mountains of Utah and if you are not well versed in driving in snow and ice you definately don't want to learn while driving an RV.

    I would suggest going with the SUV and take chains. The route Hertig suggested is the best in the winter and should have plenty of open motels along the way. However, even the I-25 route goes through the mountains of New Mexico and Colorado. The mountains in the western U.S. are not the best place to be in a nasty blizzard so be careful and watch the weather reports. The Interstates are plowed during and after a snow storm, but can be slick in spots

    If you really want to do it in an RV, you should check out the RV Parks in the Trailer Life Campground Directive. It provides a list of RV Parks on the intended route and also lists the the opening and closing dates of the RV Parks. If it doesn't list a date it means they are open all year. You might want to call ahead and confirm that they will be open and plan your itinerary around the open RV Parks. Good luck.
     
  8. rodg100

    rodg100 New Member

    Re: Aussies Touring in December...help needed!!

    Thanks for the great info. I think we will now do the SUV option. We were really concerned about freezing in the RV during the night !! A warm hotel near the hot springs sounds much better. :laugh: Are we going to have any trouble finding 4star (or at least clean & tidy) accomodation along the way during Xmas & New Year?
    Rod & Katrina :)
     
  9. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    RE: Aussies Touring in December...help needed!!

    Hotels at Christmas and New Years will be a hit and miss affair. If you are at a Resort or Ski Area you may find accommodations slim or next to none. Especially near Ski Areas in Colorado and New Mexico. If you know where you will be at a given time, you probably ought to make reservations just to be safe.
     
  10. rodg100

    rodg100 New Member

    Re: Aussies Touring in December...help needed!!

    Thanks again..we have already booked accommodation in Vail for New Years week and we have now decided to hire a 4x4 suv this time and return again later in summer to do the RV trip.
    Is there any major 'Must See' locations on our route from Las Vegas to Denver that we should take the time to visit? I would hate to have travelled all that distance having missed something spectacular.

    Rod & Katrina
     
  11. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    RE: Aussies Touring in December...help needed!!

    Yes, if you have time after you leave Vail. Take I-70 Southwest to US 191, turn South and go to Moab, UT. Canyonlands and Arches Nat'l Parks are located there. A must see. After you leave Moab stay south on US 191 to US 160 and head West through Monument Valley. US 160 will take you to US 89, head South on US 89 back to I-40 at Flagstaff, AZ. Spectacular RED ROCK scenery.

    As long as you have a SUV you could get to Vail and on to Denver by reversing the directions when you get Flagstaff, AZ. Actually US 89 North out of Flagstaff, AZ goes right past the turn off to the Grand Canyon. Just a differnt way to get to Denver. The only real bad weather you would run into is from Vail to Denver on I-70. But, then if you go to Denver via I-25 you will have to take I-70 Southwest out of Denver to get to Vail. Same high mountain pass (Loveland Pass 11,000/12,000 foot elevation) to go over either way. :eek:
     
  12. marlies

    marlies New Member

    Re: Aussies Touring in December...help needed!!

    Hello Rod and Katrina,

    There are probably a lot of hot springs in the area. We visited one in Beatty just north of Las Vegas. It was great and very special.
    You can go in and ask for the key of one of the 3 little houses that are built over a spring. You lock the door and you have your own private spring (big enough to swim around in with the whole family )
    The springs are situated in an RV park on the main road north of town. The RV park was called 'hot springs'. Not a very exiting RV park though, but the hot springs were great.

    Marlies Vanterve
     

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