On to Monument Valley

20 02 2018

Snowy Roads near Monticello, UT

After departing Moab in about 34 degree weather and bright sunny skies, we’re surprised by a brief snowstorm up around 7000’ at Monticello.  The roads actually become snow covered on our approach into Monticello, and we run through another snow squall a few miles south.  But, as soon as we decent out of elevations we’re once again on dry roads with sunny skies.  By the time we cross the San Juan River at Mexican Hat the temperature is up around 45 degrees.

This is our 3rd visit to Goulding’s RV Campground in Monument Valley – we where here both before and after our visit to the Grand Canyon last year in 2017.  We select site #34 which is perfectly level and long enough to not require unhitching.  While the park warns that their WiFi system may be slow, with very few other users (only about 5 rigs), the speeds seemed fine.  There are a couple dozen cable TV channels, but as usual, all in very cropped 4:3 ratio.  Our initial plan was to spend two night here in Monument Valley.  But, with temps around 20 degrees the first morning and forecast high of only around 40, we decide to pack up and head toward Flagstaff, AZ.  More from Arizona!

Goulding’s RV Campground, Monument Valley, UT Site#33

Goulding’s RV Campground, Monument Valley, UT Site #33


Antelope Valley RV – Delta, UT

31 08 2017

Antelope Valley RV park is just on the western edge of Delta, a small town in west/central Utah along highway 50.  The RV park has about 100 back-in spaces organized around an oval area.  The beautiful grassy area in the center is surrounded by tall shade trees.  There are also a few of these shade trees along the back of the park.  We’re parked in these rear sites, #22 & #23.  All sites provide water, electric and sewer.  The water taps are most inconveniently placed, with the knob and threaded attachment at nearly ground level.  In these locations they take lots of abuse with RVs rolling over them as well as dirt piling up around them.  Between our two sites, only one water tap is usable.

Even though this park is very close to highway 50, we didn’t have much traffic noise during our stay.  There is also a high speed rail line that runs through the corn field behind us.  The northbound trains whistle at in-town crossings, the southbound trains are relatively quiet once they get past the park.  The park’s WiFi does great, with streaming video possible.  And, there are somewhere around 80 OTA TV channels, with all of the majors coming from Salt Lake City.

For our Good Sam discount rate of $32.00, this small park is a good value for a night or two – we’d visit again.

Departing the Grand Canyon

4 06 2017

Goulding’s RV Park, Monument Valley, UT

Without a lot of campground options outside of the Grand Canyon, our first night on the way home will be back at Monument Valley, Goulding’s RV Park.  We’ve parked in site #34 for our quick overnight stay.  This is an end site, lots of room for the picnic table and fire pit.

From Monument Valley we headed directly north to Moab.  We’re going to check out Portal RV in Moab, with both short term rental sites and lots that can be purchased.  Located just north of town, the park is set back from highway 191 about a 1000 feet and still east of the river by about a mile.  The rental sites occupy the first 46 sites on the north side.  These sites are gravel and include a concrete pad and picnic table.  There are also grills on some of the sites, but no fire rings.  The 36 “resort” sites are  to the south with concrete parking areas and pads and extensive landscaping.  In the first row of 12 resort sites (#M13-M24), 5 or 6 of these owners have added 2 and 3 story homes next to their RV parking space.  These homes are quite impressive, but leave RV’s parked deep into a site with a 3 story adobe wall as their “view”.  These home sites obviously are not built for living in the RV – you live in the house and simply park the RV nearby.

With afternoon temperatures pushing into the 100’s, and no shade near our parking spots, we opt to check out the swimming pond.  Surrounded by big cottonwood trees all around, the water is a nice cool-down, but not quite as luxurious as the pool on the resort side. If you’re looking to be near the town of Moab, this is a nice park.  Otherwise, we’d opt for a space on Dead Horse Point or even at one of the parks further out of town.

From Moab we’re headed back to a favorite overnight stop, Rifle Gap State Park.  More from there…

Monument Valley, UT

29 05 2017

Goulding’s RV Park, Monument Valley, UT

After leaving Durango, we’re headed to Monument Valley, UT.  With a slight detour south, we’ve stopped at the Four Corners monument and driven in all four of the linked states, from Colorado to New Mexico, into Arizona and then back to the north into Utah.  Just a few miles from the state line is Monument Valley, and the Goulding’s complex including an RV park that will be our home for the next two nights.

Set in a narrow canyon of towering red stone cliffs, the campground offers full hookups including cable TV & WiFi, on nicely sized sites, most with a tree or two.  We’re in sites #31 and #32, two pull through sites closer to the east side of the campground.  Most of these sites have an eastern view, looking toward Monument Valley and offering afternoon shade. The main camper services building provides a laundromat, a small store, showers, bathrooms and an indoor pool.  With our Good Sam discount, rates were still in the pricey range at around $62.00 per night.

We’re traveling with good friends who just took delivery of a new Grand Design Reflection.  Arriving in the parking lot at Goulding’s, one of their curb side wheels is making a terrible grinding noise.  With no RV service shop within miles, they were very lucky to find one of the Goulding’s employees with knowledge of trailer wheels and axles – and the willingness to assist with the greasy job of removing the wheel and brake hub.  The front brake appears to have been dragging and is ground down to bare metal.  Thanks again to Quinton for his assistance in removing these brake parts to allow them to continue their trip.

On a quick side-trip, we’ve driven about 30 miles north to Goosenecks State Park to check out the views and the dry camping sites.  The river view is awesome – the 5 or 6 campsites are very basic, scattered across a gravel parking lot, each with a covered picnic table and a fire ring.

After two nights at Goulding’s we’ll head to the Grand Canyon – more from there…

Steinaker State Park, Utah

7 09 2016
Steinaker State Park, site #7

Steinaker State Park, site #7

After arriving in Vernal and checking out the two in-town RV Parks, we opted to continue another 10 miles north to Steinaker State Park.  With about 30 sites spread out among scrub oak and sage, across a hilltop and along the banks of Steinaker Reservoir, this is the ultimate for privacy and beautiful night skies.  We’re in full-hookup site #7, right at the crest of the hill with the reservoir to the South and beautiful rock formations of the Uinta Mountains to the North.  We ended up with 15 or so over the air TV channels, mostly rebroadcasts of Salt Lake City.  All of this for $28/night!  Unfortunately the cellular service isn’t as good, only weak signal on both Verizon and T-Mobile.  Needing to get some work done, instead of spending 2 nights here, we’ll continue eastward into Colorado.  Our plan is either Rifle Gap State Park or the KOA in Silt.  More from western Colorado…

Jordanelle State Park, Utah

5 09 2016
Jordanelle State Park, site #90

Jordanelle State Park, site #90

We’re parked at site #90 at Jordanelle State Park on the Jordanelle Reservoir about halfway between Park City and Hebor City, UT.  Arriving without a reservation, the front gate assigned us to site 90, a somewhat short back-in site on the Wasatch Loop, closest to the lake.  RV parking is available in about 100 sites at the Hailstone Campground, organized around 4 loops and one long row of pull-through sites.  A mix of back-in and pull-throughs with 86 sites of partial hookups (electric/water) and 14 sites with full hookups (electric/water/sewer).  There are also 40 small RV or tent dry sites at the McHenry Loop and 28 walk-in tent sites at Keetley Point.  Nearly all of these sites are reservable online.  At the Hailstone RV section, there are 3 toilet/shower buildings and one central camper services building that provides toilet, shower and laundry facilities.  There is also a dump station available.

In addition to water and electric, sites provide a picnic table, fire ring and BBQ pit on a large cement pad.  The loops are organized across a hillside, so nearly all sites have some type of views across the water.  Some favorites include #90, our site, which provides good lake views as well as good privacy from other nearby sites.  It has a good shade and a fairly flat tent pad.  Site #76 is a long lakeside pull-through site with some shade.  Site #53 – 44 are perched on the edge of the Lower Fisher loop providing great views, but not a lot of shade.  #34 is a very private back-in along the same loop, but without much of a view. Over the air TV was nearly non-existent here, but with blazingly fast T-Mobile service, we could stream nearly anything we wanted to watch.  This is a great Utah State Park and one we’d return to.

We’ll continue east along highway 40 tomorrow, with a planned stop somewhere around Vernal, UT.  More from there…

A Mundane Memorial Weekend

22 05 2015

As has become a tradition, we’re once again in Moab, UT for our “kickoff to summer” trip, this time over Memorial Day weekend.  This is our 4th trip to the Moab area:

  1. 2011, On to Moab, UT
  2. 2013, Devil’s Garden Campground, Arches National Park
  3. 2014, Dead Horse Point State Park

As in 2011, we’re once again parked at Horsethief Campground, a first-come, first-serve BLM area with 56 sites about 25 miles northwest of Moab.  This campground wasn’t our first choice – instead we were headed to Ken’s Lake, a smaller campground of 31 sites on a small lake 10 miles south of Moab.  But, even arriving early on Thursday we find all sites here full.  And even at Horsethief, there were only a handful of sites available – we were lucky to find two across from each other.

Possibly it’s the disappointment that we were unable to get into Ken’s Lake, or maybe it’s the cooler weather with highs in the low 70’s, or the nearly constant threat of thunderstorms – but in all this has been a boring stay in Utah.  We’re ready to find someplace new for early-season camping.