Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-19-2015, 12:50 PM   #1
Site Team
 
macmcintire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 1,471
Three Day Two Night Southern Utah Loop Excursion

Had a hectic week so I decided to get away for a couple of days to re-energize my soul. A great camping trip in the Sportsmobile always does that for me. I've always wanted to take the Cottonwood Canyon Scenic Byway in Southern Utah so I headed that way. Drove first through Zion National Park.







The 1 1/2 mile tunnel in Zion. I was the only vehicle in the tunnel so I got to stop and take a few pictures.


One of three windows inside the tunnel


Another short tunnel






Then I drove through Kanab to Cottonwood Canyon Road. When I got there the road was closed due to recent flash floods in the area. So I decided to go down another dirt road to camp near The Wave, but I couldn't get cell service (even with my extender) to inform my wife that I was not going to be on the isolated road I told her I was going to be on. By this time it was getting dark so I took the Old Paria Road and camped near the former movie set site. The movie set was burned by vandals several years ago, so there is nothing to see there but a sign explaining what used to be there. Of course, it was pitch black out with no moon, so I couldn't see much until morning except beautiful stars, the Milky Way, and plenty of shooting stars. Since I was in such as isolated area it was totally silent and peaceful. Just what I needed.



Beautiful morning.


The drive out along Old Paria Road




In the morning I drove back toward Kanab and turned on Johnson Canyon Road to head toward Kodachrome Basin Stake Park. This drive takes you through Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Everything in this area is gorgeous. Lots of dirt roads to explore. Along the way I saw 19 wild turkeys in a field and two white unicorns in another field. I also saw the remnants of an old ghost town that was not listed on my map and had no signs indicating what town is used to be. (Since posting this I have learned that this was not a ghost town at all. It is the movie set from the old Gunsmoke television series).







After about twenty miles I turned Northeast on Deer Springs Ranch Road. This is a very beautiful drive . . . as was every road I traveled in Southern Utah. Along this road you can see Bryce Canyon National Park in the distance.





At one point along the way the road narrows as it goes over Bull Valley Gorge. This is a dropoff of about 300 feet on each side of the road. The pictures don't do it justice. It was straight down on both sides.







More story and pictures to follow.
__________________

__________________
Mac McIntire
2002 Ford E250, 5.4L V8, RB-50 (AdVANture)
4x2, Action Van Ultimate Suspension System, 4 1/2" lift
Dana Spicer Gear, ARB Full Air Locking Differential
285/70R17 Big Foot A/T tires
Aluminess Bumpers F/R, Bushwhacker fender flares
Smittybilt XRC 12 Winch
2014 Chaser Adventure Off-Road Trailer
macmcintire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015, 12:57 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
SixCardCharlie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: California
Posts: 195
Re: Three Day Two Night Southern Utah Loop Excursion

Awesome photos!
That trailer you have looks sweet.
__________________

__________________
2004 6.0 PSD
SixCardCharlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015, 01:27 PM   #3
Site Team
 
macmcintire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 1,471
Re: Three Day Two Night Southern Utah Loop Excursion

When I came to the end of Deer Springs Ranch Road I headed toward Grosvenor Arch. This was well worth the drive on a very nice dirt road, except for a few washed out areas. This arch is at the top of the Cottonwood Canyon Road Scenic Backway that I originally had planned to take. The road was closed beyond the Grosvenor Arch because of the recent flashfloods.







The drive to the arch.




Getting the van and trailer pretty dirty on this trip.


To get to the Grosvenor Arch from the north you pass Kodachrome Basin State Park. So I swung through there to see the sites.



I know what you are thinking. No obscene comments please








From Kodachrome it is just a short hop to Bryce Canyon National Park. I decided to camp there even though it was still early in the day. Good thing because it started raining as soon as I got into my campsite and continued for several hours. Which gave me time to read for a while before it cleared up and allowed me to take in the beautiful scenery before dinner.



Natural Bridge. Elevation 8627






Black Birch Canyon










My camp spot. When my wife saw this picture she said "Why did you take the trailer since you only put out one chair." The answer: I wanted to see how it worked on the rough dirt roads and . . . I wanted to look cool.


More to come.
__________________
Mac McIntire
2002 Ford E250, 5.4L V8, RB-50 (AdVANture)
4x2, Action Van Ultimate Suspension System, 4 1/2" lift
Dana Spicer Gear, ARB Full Air Locking Differential
285/70R17 Big Foot A/T tires
Aluminess Bumpers F/R, Bushwhacker fender flares
Smittybilt XRC 12 Winch
2014 Chaser Adventure Off-Road Trailer
macmcintire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015, 02:04 PM   #4
Site Team
 
macmcintire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 1,471
Re: Three Day Two Night Southern Utah Loop Excursion

Heading West out of Bryce Canyon National Park you drive through Red Canyon on Highway 12. This is a gorgeous place to mountain bike, hike, and camp.

Two tunnels through the red rock.










Turned up Highway 14 over Duck Creek. The fall colors were brilliant in the rain and scattered sunshine.









Lava flow among the trees




Turned up the road to go to Cedar Breaks National Monument. It was raining and I was up in the clouds, so I couldn't see much.









Visitors Center closed for the winter.


Since it was still early in the day I decided to take the back roads back to Vegas. I had breakfast in Cedar City and then went to see Iron Mountain Stake Park. Not much to see here except the remains of the charcoal kiln and the foundation of the foundry.




Near Enterprise, Utah I came across this obscure monument called the Jefferson Hunt Memorial. I looked Jefferson Hunt up on the Internet. It is a very interesting story. He is tied to the Death Valley 49ers who burned their wagons at Burnt Wagons in Death Valley.




On this drive I also passed the Mountain Meadows Massacre site. Another interesting and tragic historical incident to look up on the Internet.


Finally, I passed through Gunlock State Park on the way back to Nevada. Obvious signs of the long drought.




To sum up, my three day two night loop through Southern Utah took me to:

Two National Parks: Zion NP and Bryce NP

Two National Monuments: Grand Staircase Escalate NM and Cedar Breaks NM

Three State Parks: Kodachrome Basin SP, Iron Mountain SP, and Gunlock SP

Several Scenic Byways, many arches, and several historical monuments. Not bad for a short break from work.
__________________
Mac McIntire
2002 Ford E250, 5.4L V8, RB-50 (AdVANture)
4x2, Action Van Ultimate Suspension System, 4 1/2" lift
Dana Spicer Gear, ARB Full Air Locking Differential
285/70R17 Big Foot A/T tires
Aluminess Bumpers F/R, Bushwhacker fender flares
Smittybilt XRC 12 Winch
2014 Chaser Adventure Off-Road Trailer
macmcintire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015, 10:28 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Christopher Thwaites's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Santa Rosa CA
Posts: 600
Re: Three Day Two Night Southern Utah Loop Excursion

Hi Mac. It's been a few years since we first met. Toroweep. Big rock. Smashed bumper. Your van and accessories have improved dramatically! Great pictures of spectacular scenery. Thanks.
Chris and Ruth
__________________
Chris/Ruth
2016 MBZ Sprinter 144" 4wd.
DIY interior in progress
07 BMW 525xi wagon
Christopher Thwaites is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015, 11:28 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Viva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 874
Re: Three Day Two Night Southern Utah Loop Excursion

Wonderful trip report - what a great getaway. And the trailer does look cool!

I've spent a bit of time in a couple of those places - just enough so that some of the photos look familiar, but then there was also so much I have not seen - and it makes me want to go see more! I'm curious: I know it's maybe slightly subjective, but how much of the route you did would you say could be done in a regular 2WD van without a lift -- given careful/slow driving when necessary and good conditions?

Perfect for this time of year (although maybe Bryce would be a bit nippy).

Thanks for such a great report with so many photos
Viva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2015, 04:08 AM   #7
Site Team
 
macmcintire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 1,471
Re: Three Day Two Night Southern Utah Loop Excursion

Hi Ruth and Chris: I have fond memories of our Toroweap trip. That was a great trip I hope to do again soon.

Viva: The entire trip could be done with a car. There were a few places in the dirt road that had been washed out in recent floods, but cars were making it through it okay. What I saw of Cottonwood Canyon looked pretty sandy in some areas, but I think cars would be okay there too in dry weather. The only difference my SMB made was that I could drive a lot faster on the dirt roads than the cars because of my suspension. Or maybe I just drive faster because I'm Type A and can't stand to go slow. I have found, however, that driving faster smooths out the washboard bumps in the road.
__________________
Mac McIntire
2002 Ford E250, 5.4L V8, RB-50 (AdVANture)
4x2, Action Van Ultimate Suspension System, 4 1/2" lift
Dana Spicer Gear, ARB Full Air Locking Differential
285/70R17 Big Foot A/T tires
Aluminess Bumpers F/R, Bushwhacker fender flares
Smittybilt XRC 12 Winch
2014 Chaser Adventure Off-Road Trailer
macmcintire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2015, 06:34 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
shenrie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: boise idaho
Posts: 1,723
Garage
Re: Three Day Two Night Southern Utah Loop Excursion

wonderful pix and thanks for sharing! that place looks amazing from every angle. i really need to get there and see if for myself....
__________________
"understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of your car, oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of your car, horsepower is how hard your car hits the wall, and torque is how far your car moves the wall."
shenrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2015, 08:04 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
86Scotty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 6,524
Re: Three Day Two Night Southern Utah Loop Excursion

Great pics Mac! Thanks for sharing.

So how did the trailer work out? Did you know it was back there? Did it keep you from anywhere?

I wish i could go see the Aspens in the Fall. I've only ever been able to do that once and it's possibly my favorite thing out there. We have beautiful trees and Falls in the east but no Aspens.

__________________
98 Silver E350 V10 home build
Rusty the Rusty 95 SMB (sold)
Tryptovan the blue CCV van (sold)
Vans flip flops
86Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2015, 09:50 AM   #10
Site Team
 
macmcintire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 1,471
Re: Three Day Two Night Southern Utah Loop Excursion

The trailer works great. It is no problem to pull. And it tracks and articulates very well over the washed out dirt roads. I was able to go almost anywhere with it. The only concern was wondering whether I would be able to find a place to turn around. I avoided some narrow side roads that I normally would have explored because I didn't know if it came to a dead end with no room to turn around.
__________________

__________________
Mac McIntire
2002 Ford E250, 5.4L V8, RB-50 (AdVANture)
4x2, Action Van Ultimate Suspension System, 4 1/2" lift
Dana Spicer Gear, ARB Full Air Locking Differential
285/70R17 Big Foot A/T tires
Aluminess Bumpers F/R, Bushwhacker fender flares
Smittybilt XRC 12 Winch
2014 Chaser Adventure Off-Road Trailer
macmcintire is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.