Wednesday, May 9, 2012

BOONDOCKING IN ZION

BOONDOCKING / DRY CAMPING



Our friend Sue ( http://rvsueandcrew.com/ )  is a boondocker.  That is she doesn't have to plug into power because she carries her power with her! She has a very large solar panel attached to her Cargo type van that supplies all the power she needs to run her TV, her computer, her lights and some to spare. This means Sue doesn't have a need for campgrounds. She camps on BLM land, or Forest Service land for free! She can camp on any one space for up to 14 days, then it's time to move on.

Sue is coming here to visit. Yesterday was our day off. We are trying to find suitable land for Sue to camp on here in Zion Canyon. Since this is gonna be hard work, we decided to go to our favorite town, Springdale UT (10 miles east of here) and have a late lunch!
Springdale is the home of Zion National Park! What a beautiful town! To your right is Wildcat Willie's! Our favorite place for yummy food! One of our favorites is the buffalo meatloaf! Yummy!
Everywhere you look in Springdale, you see amazing mountains!

The town is beautiful beyond words.  OK, enough scenery... on to the food!

Stuffed baked potatoes with a yummy chipotle sauce!

My new favorite, prickley pear margarita made with real cactus juice and mmm mmm good!
Lots of local beers made around here too.... this is Chuck's quest... to flavor test all the local beers to find his favorite! So far, Cutthroat Beer is his favorite!
The buffalo wings at Wildcat Willie's are to die for! We are so addicted that we ate more than 1/2 before I remembered to take a picture!

If you look closely, you can see Chuck and I reflected in the window!


FINDING SUE A PLACE TO CAMP




We had heard there was some good camping areas on the road to Grafton! We turned at Rockville and headed towards Grafton. (Grafton area is where much of the movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" was shot! Remember the bicycle riding scene??? Shot in front of the old school house/ church in Grafton! The road to Grafton is beautiful!
 Scenery peeking through the bluffs and buttes....

Here, we took a left turn off the Grafton road as we saw some possible off road camping sites!


Then we see this sign! 1/2 mile on either side of the road usually means a steep drop off! In AZ they want you close to the road, right?  We found several campsites that folks had used just off the road that would be perfect!


 Good roads and beautiful scenery so far. so we kept going hunting for that perfect spot for Sue! But the paved road left and the rough dirt roads began....


But the scenery continued as awesome!



We found several campsites up ahead, and after using 4WD and one steep climb up a sorta rocky road, and seeing another steep road ahead, I decided we were gonna turn around! The road wasn't real bad, just more than I was in the mood for!
So we decided to head on to Grafton.  There was a sign almost immediately that said no camping beyond here....  Sorry Sue, but the road is beautiful and worth the drive!
We had to laugh at this sign. There was a small community down the hill, so I am sure they had their share of dust from folks heading to Grafton!

The road dead ends at Grafton... it is such a visual journey that we highly recommend you take it.  I will show more about Grafton in my next post, but this post is to show off the scenery in the area and find RVSue a campground!
We got back up to the highway (Highway 9) in Rockville and turned left.

THE ALMOST PERFECT SPOT!

 The reason I say "almost perfect", if you see behind the tent you will see a tour bus and behind the tour bus, another car. That is highway 9! But BUT BUT BUT SUE!!!! THIS IS THE BEST WE COULD FIND!


Nice dirt roads with several good camp sites. There were 3 occupied tent sites when we were here.

 The best campsite was up under that tree, but a tenter already claimed it!
There was even a hiking trail out of this camp area..
this area is known as Coalpits Wash!

 Another good campsite!

And another possibility....

AND NO RUTTED ROADS THERE! Several of the roads where we went looking for campsites were almost impassible without a high clearance 4WD vehicle! Coalpits road might have been near the highway, but most of the camp areas were a bit away from it and the road in and out was easy access.

Ok Sue, and everybody else interested.... here you see some choice as to where you can camp for free near Zion! Most are not easy to get to but the rides to find them are amazing journeys into beautiful wild country! And there is always Wildcat Willies at the end of the day! :-)

Hope you enjoyed the roadtrip with us! Happy Trails from the MotherShip and her crew... Chuck, Geri and the hound herd Scotty, DoogieBowser and Radar!

17 comments:

  1. What a beautiful area your in. Good tour and blog Thanks

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  2. How about the road up to Kolob Reservoir? I was up there a couple of times, but not looking for boondock spots, so don't recall if there were any.

    Have you tried the Spotted Dog Cafe in Springdale? :)

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    1. We are headed up there next week... but we hear there are signs all over the place that camping is not allowed! We will find out for sure. Haven't been to the Spotted Dog Cafe yet.... can't seem to wean ourselves from the chicken wings at Wildcat Willie's! We will try it, I promise!

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    2. I've never tried it, but I like the name. :)

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  3. I LOVE this post! What a great idea. Write about finding a boondocking campsite for ME! You really know how to make me feel special. Now I have a really good idea what the area looks like. Beautiful.

    The areas where the tenters were camped may be off-limits for rvers. I'm sure I'll find a good spot to settle. You've made it so much easier for me and other people wanting to boondock in that area.

    Thank you, Chuch and Geri! You're the best! And the photos are absolutely tantalizing . . . Sue

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    1. We have seen several smaller trailers and RV's camped there also! Just the day we stopped, only a few tenters were there!

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  4. Such a beautiful place. ..

    Janice
    ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing.blogspot.com

    P.S. You can widen the width of your blog to make your pics fit. . .I was having the same problem. . .it was easy to do on the settings/layout page. ..good luck!

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  5. Great tips for camping near Zion. Just can't hardly beat the scenery.

    I got hooked on prickly pear margaritas a couple years ago here at the canyon.

    Next time in Springfield try the Bumbleberry Pie.

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    1. I did try the bumbleberry pie and it was YUMMY! Prickley Pear margaritas are just too darned good!

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  6. Thanks for the beautiful road trip, scenery, and photos, though I don't think we'll be trying any of the boondocking sites! We plan to be in St. George the 1st of October and will definitely be visiting Zion.

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    1. We should still be here Oct 1st! Maybe we can get together!

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  7. Beautiful pictures. We will have to visit. I am getting hungry looking at the food. Yum.

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    1. We are headed to Wildcat Willie's again! YUMMY!

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  8. Bill and Ann, Please come visit us here! We would love to see you again!

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  9. Thank you very much. Was searching for potential boondocking sites near Zion and stumbled upon this post. Hope to be sleeping at Coalpits Wash before the day is over.

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