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Old 04-22-2015, 05:24 PM   #1
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Southwest camping in September

We are currently planning a month or so motorhome trip from our home in Michigan to many of the great National Parks in the southwest portion of the country. Our plans include the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, and many of the N.P.s in Utah. We will leave in mid-September and return sometime in mid to late October. We Have never traveled that far west and really don't know what to expect as far as crowds during that time of year. We don't want to have a strict schedule so my real question is will we likely need reservations for camping during this time of year? Also, any advice for areas or sites that we shouldn't miss would be appreciated. Thanks for any responses!!
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Old 04-23-2015, 04:54 PM   #2
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HOT HOT HOT down there at that time.. be prepared for that?
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Old 04-23-2015, 05:08 PM   #3
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Death Valley? Avg temp - Sep=107, Oct=93 ~ you'll melt and WON'T enjoy the sights. Best time to visit is early spring to enjoy the wild flowers! The snowbirds go north in summer and south in winter for a reason! That said, school is in session in most places - so visit Tahoe, Yosemite, California beaches ...
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Old 04-23-2015, 05:17 PM   #4
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Unhappy melting termperatures

hmmmm, so you are telling me I likely won't need RV reservations in Death Valley in September.... I guess I was not even thinking about it being that hot in September and October so maybe we will re-think that portion of the trip. But how about the other areas in the southwest... will I be in trouble if I don't have advance reservations at campgrounds in September and October?
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Old 04-23-2015, 05:28 PM   #5
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Start now, weekends will be hardest to book. Along with all the other reservation sites you may visit, check-out ReserveAmerica; they extend the calendar of sites on a monthly basis. Good luck and have fun, so many great places to visit.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:54 AM   #6
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You shouldn't have any problems with crowds that time of year and the weather should be good (for the most part). However, I would make reservations cuz you don't want to get to a National Park and be turned away after driving that distance. My advice is, don't miss anything in Utah and Grand Canyon. You could spend all your time there and not have enough time...It's all good!
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Old 04-24-2015, 10:03 AM   #7
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IN Northern AZ we always made FLAGSTAFF our home base an drove to see all the local AZ sites from there. So many places to see and not enough time to do it in...
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Old 04-24-2015, 11:57 AM   #8
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We always stay at Fool Hollow State Park in Show Low, AZ. Best state park ever stayed in and good fishing too. Super beautiful White Mountains with an abundance of tall Ponderosa pines. Hard to get a good site unless you are 6+ months out. Got one last Sept for a May 15th excursion.
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Old 04-24-2015, 12:27 PM   #9
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Colorado and Utah should be wonderful that time of year, and campgrounds should not be an issue. You can expect some snow in October at the higher altitudes but should not be an issue. Don't forget Mesa Verde also, in S Colorado. Bryce is spectacular anytime of year as is Canyon Reef. Moab will be warm but not extremely hot. Enjoy your trip !
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Old 04-24-2015, 04:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyBraddy View Post
IN Northern AZ we always made FLAGSTAFF our home base an drove to see all the local AZ sites from there. So many places to see and not enough time to do it in...
If you are looking for a wonderful place in the Flagstaff area, and you can stand a few days dry camping, try Bonito Campground at Sunset Crater. It's comfortable, interesting (there are still ranger programs there on the weekends, or were last year, anyhow), there's walking trails and driving tours, and you're quite close to Flag and to the Grand Canyon.
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:41 AM   #11
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Thanks for the suggestions

Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond. I am really torn because I typically make reservations as we travel, but this will be our first big trip since we both retired and we have the luxury of time. In addition, it is our first trip to this part of the country and I just do not have a sense yet of how long we will need at each area so I would really prefer to not have a rigid time schedule that we have to adhere to. I am not even really sure how many days we will need to get out there. I am thinking I will do a couple LONG days of driving as we leave Michigan, and then slow down and take our time once we get out to the southwest. Maybe we will just plan on making reservations a few days out at a time while we are traveling. Lots to think about I guess.
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:49 AM   #12
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We too are pondering a similar trip, perhaps just a couple of weeks later. This would push us toward the 3rd week in October to return to Minnesota from Utah. Any cautions as to routes to avoid due to potential bad weather? Mostly thinking about higher mountain passes that have a potential for snow. After all, here in the lowlands we still talk about the big blizzard that dumped on us years ago on Halloween! Would have to assume some areas of Colorado, etc. that might be something to think about.
Any advice?
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:18 AM   #13
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I've wanted to revisit that area and now this thread gave me itchy feet. Told DW the TT's headed south in September.

She said, "ok, I'm flying back for Christmas.".

All the rest is just wandering with no hint of a schedule.
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Old 04-25-2015, 11:00 AM   #14
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And in preparation ... read the Tony Hillerman series of books, it'll make you want to visit all the sites referenced in his books.
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