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Author Topic: Moab, UT -- Considering for spring break  (Read 4207 times)
Brian Diehl
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« on: February 20, 2009, 06:53:20 PM »

I'm considering heading out to Moab, UT to check out the National Parks during my kids spring break.  I've looked and the National Parks campgrounds do have room, but may not have any upon my arrival.  I'm wondering if any of you know of any good boondocking places I could stay for a week with the bus?  I'm kind of just looking for a place to park away from the beaten track (and people) and use as my home base to explore from.  Any ideas?
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2009, 07:28:51 PM »

I know a lot of that land out there is forest service land (pretty much everywhere the four-wheelers ride) I think it is all open to dispersed camping. You might want to give Sean a shout as he seems to have done a lot of bussing out that way.
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2009, 07:42:35 PM »

Brain,

Utahclaimjumper may know some places, that's in his neck of Utah but if you pass through Salt Lake and have a moment I'd love to meet and chat.

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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2009, 07:53:23 PM »

Brian, there is plenty of dry camping off hiway 191 south and north and also on hiway 313.If they haven't stopped it parking was allowed in the overflow lots for the parks.We never have trouble finding a place to dry camp in Moab
« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 06:39:29 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2009, 08:23:11 PM »

If you would rather not dry camp, a very nice stop would be at Gouldings at Monument valley, you could drive thru the valley up to Moab then on to Arches national park and still not be too far from base camp.
Look up Gouldings (with an S) .com for info, very well managed by the Navajo nation,... hook-ups if you wish, dry camping if you wish, Major supermarket, large fuel station, very nice restaurant, museum, gift shops, motel, all in one place and resonable prices to boot.  State Hwy. 191 is a two lane good condition asphalt with good shoulders and many stoping places along the way, many "spur of the moment choices".>>>Dan
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2009, 05:39:44 AM »

Brian, Isn't Utah under 20 feet of snow? Or is your kids spring break late? I figure you are going back to your roots or your buses roots. Taking your bus out to show it where its engine came from? Have a safe trip.  Tom Y
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2009, 08:22:25 AM »

Brian, Isn't Utah under 20 feet of snow?

Not Moab.  That's in the southern part of the state, lower altitude.  They get snow, but it doesn't last too long.  Most of the year, it looks like where Wile E. Coyote is chasing the Roadrunner.
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Brian Diehl
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2009, 08:53:45 AM »

Hey Tom,  I've heard that part of Utah gets pretty nice during the day during early April.  I'm hoping that to hold true this year.  The national park reservation system says the campgrounds are usually full on the weekends starting in late March.

UtahclaimJumper, thanks the non-dry camping idea.  I know we will choose the boondocking route ourselves as we prefer to get "away" as much as we can while on vacation.

luvrbus, thanks for the feedback on hwy 191.  I was hoping what you stated would be the case.  I'm looking forward to some nice sunrises and sunsets over the desert and across the rockies off to the east.  :-)

I'll ping Sean as well and see if he has any thoughts.  I searched his blog, but didn't find anything where he had posted about the area.

Paladin, I don't think we will go all the way up to Salt Lake City.  It would be kind of out of our way.  However, you never know! 

Thanks for the ideas guys!
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skipn
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2009, 09:26:42 AM »

Brian,

    So how far south are you headed before turning west?

 Skip
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Brian Diehl
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2009, 02:44:56 PM »

Hi Skip,

We'll head down to Des Moines, IA and then head west on I-80.  Then we'll head down to Denver and go up and over the mountains into UT.

Why, you going to be down in the area at all?

-Brian
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skipn
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2009, 02:47:27 PM »

 
 No Sad

 Just hoping for a good travel report on what's along the way so I can
 mark off places to see.

  Sounds like a fun time

 Skip
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2009, 03:38:19 PM »

Hwy 128 between I 70 and 191. Follows the Colorado river. Outstanding views of the biggest red rock walls you have ever seen. Several campgrounds and some free stuff between. Just a few miles from Moab. Also near the intersection of 128 and 191 there are several rv parks. I once tried to fill my water after boondocking and they would'nt allow it. Prolly the same for dumping. Just stay one nite and enjoy the internet and related services. I think there is a place on the south side of Moab that you can dump and fill, but the name escapes me.

Don & Sheila
« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 03:41:57 PM by skihor » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2009, 06:32:38 PM »

Brian - there are primitive campsites on the rim at Canyon Lands NP just North of Moab at the end of 313 - HTH
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2009, 09:00:02 PM »

Brian I have a brother that lives outside of Moab. I can give him a call and see if you can park in his yard. What days are you going to be out this way? thanks Kent
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2009, 12:13:09 AM »

Brian, Have a fun and safe trip! Sounds interesting, I visited St. George once and found it beautiful. I know it's no where near where you are going but great country none the less.

If you ever make it back to Texas, you know where to find us!

~Paul~
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2009, 11:52:25 AM »

We'll head down to Des Moines, IA and then head west on I-80.  Then we'll head down to Denver and go up and over the mountains into UT.

West from Denver on I-70?  With a COACH?  I wouldn't do that, unless you have at least 400HP to the flywheel, Jake brake and turbocharger, and then only between mid-May and mid-September.

I-70 west from Denver has numerous miles-long pulls up to 8%, topping with Vail Pass -- the highest Interstate pass in the country, at over 11,000 feet.  If there is any snow within 2000 miles, that's the place you'll find it, and it gets closed frequently by chain-reaction accidents, usually with dozens of vehicles wrapped up in them.  Unless you particularly want to see Denver, you're a lot better off staying on I-80 to Salt Lake City, then south on I-15 to US 6, US 6 to I-70, then to Moab from there.  If you DO want to see Denver and Moab, you still probably would be happier going around, except in summertime.

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Brian Diehl
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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2009, 03:15:11 PM »

Hey BG6.  Thanks for the concern.  Check out my profile and navigate to my website.  You'll see why I am prepared to run that route.  I've been there and done that.  If the weather goes "south" I'll simply pull over and enjoy the weather from the comfort of my wonderfully equiped coach.  When it all blows over I'll then head back out all relaxed and ready for the next part of the journey.
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« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2009, 04:12:21 PM »

West from Denver on I-70?  With a COACH?  I wouldn't do that, unless you have at least 400HP to the flywheel, Jake brake and turbocharger, and then only between mid-May and mid-September.


To each his own, I guess -- we consider I-70 to be the "easy" backup route, in case we want to avoid Monarch Pass on US-50.  Along the 70 corridor, we tend to stay off the Interstate and follow US-6 or US-40 instead anyway.  And that's with a 39', 48,000lb coach.  I would have no worries about doing I-70 in any vehicle, although I would make plenty of stops to cool the brakes if I did not have the retarder.

I-70 has granny lanes on the long upgrades, and, even with an underpowered coach, you'll likely still be passing some of the trucks.  Just watch your temperature like a hawk.

FWIW.

-Sean
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« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2009, 05:06:27 PM »

I appreciate all the concern about the long up grades.  However, the ISM I have in the coach does not have an over heating issue.  I'll be able to run the hills without any heating issues.  In fact, this time of the year I have more issues with it running too cold.  Usually, the heat I pull out of the coolant to heat the interior of the bus is more than is produced by the engine.  Today during my test drive it was only 10 degrees here and the engine would not run any hotter than 150.  I've been able to run as hard as I want up the long grades in WY along US HWY 16 out of Buffalo without any over heating issues during the summer.  Sure, the engine oil gets hot, about 200 - 220, but nothing to be concerned about. 

On the down grades I just run it on the jake brakes with the engine wound up.  I run in a gear where I don't have to use the brakes.  So, the brakes are always cold and ready for a hard stop.  This takes the worry out of the hill.

Sean, I'm interested in any more scenic routes.  I'll look at your recommendations and see where they would take us.

BTW, I have a 31,000 lb coach with a 400 hp engine.  I have plenty of performance with this combination.
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« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2009, 05:24:52 PM »

Looked at a map of Colorado
      US 50:  I don't want to go all the way down to Pueblo since I'm coming from Minneapolis
      US 40:  Goes too far north for where I want to go in UT
      US 6:  I could run that, but it appears it mostly piggy backs on I-70

Nice ideas though.  I'll remember them for in the summer when planning out my summer vacation route.
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« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2009, 05:32:35 PM »

Brian, If you need a place to stage to wait for weather to clear I live 35 miles north of Denver 3 miles from interstate 25. You are welcome to stay here I have full hook ups and a beautiful view of the mountains. Even if you just want to stop and talk buses for a while that would be fine I only know Eagle but am trying to learn other bus languages. You will do just fine in the mountains on I 70 and also see a lot of pretty sites.

Enjoy Colorado on your way through Wayne 303-591-0372
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« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2009, 06:49:54 PM »

Kent,
If we head out there we would be there from roughly Sunday, the 5th to Saturday morning, the 11th.

Wayne,
Thanks for the offer!  We will keep it in mind as our plans firm up more.
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« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2009, 09:50:08 PM »

Another little side trip you might look into is running the "haz Mat" route around Eisenhower tunnel. I believe the route number is US-6. It is kind of a nice trip up into the mountains and around several ski resorts...you might even see some "slat-rats"  Grin. Now here is your warning..I only take the truck up there when I am hauling haz mat or I am light. It is twisty road and has several good pulls on it. That said I love the views!
Pay attention as you are going west thru the tunnel...as you come out of the tunnel there are sometimes several big horn sheep grazing off to the right...I dang near wreck the truck eveytime I see them.
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« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2009, 05:13:02 AM »

Hey Brian,

Good news on the front suspension rebuild my firend!!! Yeehaw.   Hey Wayne invited you over to his place on your way and I just want to say Lea and I would drive a day out of our way to see him and his bride again. Not only is he a swell guy but his shop and Eagles are second to none. You being the do it yourselfer that I know you are and a technically driven person, you would just love spending time with Wayne. Bring some shop rags to wipe up the drool when you see his S60/eaton combo or the suspension on his late model conversion he is in the process of building.
The S60 has like 12 miles on it.
Either way have fun and give the wife and kids a hug for Lea, Grace, Sam and I.

We sure are glad you guys live so close.
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« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2009, 06:02:29 AM »

Brian, I am sure you have your fuel stops planned but don't overlook Cheyenne Wyoming. There are 2 or 3 truck stops on 80 before Cheyenne and a Flying J and a Loves south of town on 25. The fuel is always cheaper than in Colorado Fill up before you enter.

Hi Rick glad to see you made it through the winter.

Have a safe trip Wayne
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« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2009, 06:54:20 PM »

I just came back from Salt Lake area skiing. I hate I 80 so came back on I 70 to Denver. Since Arches is so close to the Interstate I had to get a few pics. Anyway as far as camping goes... Along hwy 128 from Moab to I 70 there isn't any more "free" camping. There is 4 or 5 primitive campgrounds, (no hookups), within 9 miles of hwy 191 @ Moab. There is one more between Mile markers 23/24. There must have been some fire or something in the campgrounds as they are missing most plant life. Not much, if any, shade in any of them. The rates were $8 a nite which is good. All are on the river and very little access to the water. That's ok though since the water is really cold, even in the summer, and very muddy with a fast current. The views are out of this world with sheer red walls rising up from the water.  If you're going to try camping up the river, park @ the intersection of 191/128 then take the toad "scouting" If no toad be sure where you're going before you pull in. They seem to be more for "car camping" than large coaches.

Don & Sheila
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Brian Diehl
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« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2009, 07:02:00 PM »

Don, Thanks for the information.  I would like to try and find a spot up HWY 191 a few miles from Moab.  I was thinkinig of checking out Willow Spring Trail on the East side of 191.  In the google maps satelite imagery there appears to be a handful of places to park. 

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=onion+creek+rd,+moab,+ut&sll=38.573304,-109.550852&sspn=0.040463,0.076904&g=moab,+ut&ie=UTF8&ll=38.697133,-109.688144&spn=0.021001,0.05918&t=h&z=15&iwloc=addr
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« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2009, 09:45:36 PM »

... Along hwy 128 from Moab to I 70 there isn't any more "free" camping. ...


I suspect there is still plenty of free camping along this route (as I had previously suggested to you, Brian, in a private email).  Note, however, that you'll almost never see these spots from the road.  (I also suspect that, in the past, people have gotten away with camping closer to the road, within sight, prompting Don's comment above.)

Note that BLM "dispersed camping" rules require (and have always required) you to be at least 1/4 mile from the nearest paved road. In most places, that puts you out of sight of the paved road due to terrain or vegetation.  Many people have taken liberty with this requirement, and I confess to having done so myself on occasion.  For example, if you take a dirt side road that goes off at, say, a 45-degree angle, if you only look at the odometer to measure the quarter mile, you will actually still be about a fifth of a mile from the paved road (specifically, from a point on the paved road another quarter mile from where you turned).  You need to be 1/4 mile from any pavement, as the crow flies.

I see nothing on the BLM site for that region to suggest that dispersed camping has been restricted, as long as you are actually on BLM land and follow the rules, which I summarized in this post:
http://ourodyssey.blogspot.com/2008/05/dispersed-camping-on-public-lands.html

(Note also, in that list, that dispersed camping right on the river, in places where the river runs through BLM land, is prohibited.  You need to be at least 100' from any water source, and the Colorado is no exception.  Here again, I suspect that people had been getting away with riverfront camping, and that may no longer be the case, with good reason.)

The good news is that, due to closure last October of all areas other than  "designated roads" to motor vehicles in the BLM Moab district, you can now download detailed maps of these travel routes from the BLM site, here:
http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/moab/recreation/motorized_routes/travel_management.html

These maps provide enough detail to determine where the unpaved roads are and whether any given spot is within BLM jurisdiction, a very handy resource.

FWIW.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
« Last Edit: March 03, 2009, 10:27:25 PM by Sean » Logged

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« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2009, 10:25:34 PM »

... There must have been some fire or something in the campgrounds as they are missing most plant life. Not much, if any, shade in any of them. ...


Don,

The vegetation is systematically being removed because they were invasive species, and the BLM wants to eliminate them in favor of native species.  The latest weapon in the fight has been the introduction of the tamarisk leaf beetle to wipe out the remainder of the highly invasive tamarisk.  Details here:
http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/moab/fire/colorado_river___a.html

-Sean
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« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2009, 05:44:28 AM »

I love just being out and alone. Bring your atv's and explore! If you don't have them hiking is really nice too. Sounds like you have one great vacation planned. Enjoy!

God bless,

John
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« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2009, 07:24:01 AM »

... Bring your atv's and explore! ...


Just don't take them off the road... all motorized cross country travel is now prohibited in most of BLMs holdings in Utah.

-Sean
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« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2009, 09:31:24 AM »

Awwww bummer.... Sad Sad Sad

God bless,

John
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« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2009, 12:04:26 PM »

I don't think you should be able to leave the refrigerator of Minnesota if the rest of us have to stay home Angry Angry
Just kidding... You better take some pics of the your girls exploring the beauty of Utah...

I just got the week of the 23rd through the 29th off so we are gonna roll somewhere. Ooops I need to get the bus put back together before then now don't I???
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« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2009, 04:48:48 PM »

Yeah, how's the rebuild going?  Did your bushings come in yet?  Were you able to get the blower housing back together?
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« Reply #34 on: March 04, 2009, 05:03:07 PM »


The good news is that, due to closure last October of all areas other than  "designated roads" to motor vehicles in the BLM Moab district, you can now download detailed maps of these travel routes from the BLM site, here:
http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/moab/recreation/motorized_routes/travel_management.html



I finally got a chance to look at the link you provided Sean.  Those are awesome maps.  Between those and the Gazeteer I am set!  I went ahead and downloaded the entire map set to the computer.  Thanks again!
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