Looking for ideas for winter camping trip UT -> AZ, CA? NV -> UT - Page 2 - Escape Trailer Owners Community
Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Camping | Places, Gear and Planning > Trips and Travel Planning
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-28-2023, 05:43 PM   #21
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Trailer: 2021 Escape E5.0; 2021 F150 PowerBoost
Posts: 1,192
Quote:
Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post
I would be very careful in selecting a Chisos Basin site. Use Google satellite images if you can, plus campsite review sites to get a good feel for each site size and configuration.

For example, you mentioned 17. I don't know what the Recreation.gov website says about 17 but I recall that the parking spot is very short. There is split parking for this site and you can park your tow vehicle on the other side of the road, near site 18.

Again, from my memory, site 18 has a substantial parking area and would fit your TA5.0.

But it has been 3 years since I was at CB - might be returning in Spring 2024 - but I don't remember the specifics of each site anymore. Other folks on this Forum may have more useful information. You might consider starting a topic about campsites at Chisos Basin.

The RV vs Trailer size is meant to differentiate between one piece units and towed units. It sounds like they think - for example - that a bumper pulled E21 can fit in the space when disconnected from the tow. There is informal parking for tow vehicles in the near-by amphitheater parking lot (ask the host).

Since you mentioned starting your search in early July then I assume you plan on camping in December. In that case, you might consider camping at Rio Grande Village campground (not the Rio Grande Village RV Park - private). RGV CG with its 100 sites is much bigger, flatter, and a good place for a first time visit, no worries about size and access. Then, while at the Park you can take a day to explore the other campgrounds and make some notes for your next visit. Also, check out some of the primitive, back road camping sites (also reservation only). Surprising enough - a few of them are actually suitable for trailers. Isolation at those back country drive up sites is intense - dark and silent. You will be the only humans for miles after dark.
Hi Alan,

Thank you so so much your your detailed advice and insights. We are indeed planning to visit in December. We might split our time between the two campsites to see different sections of the park. Although driving is fine - our preference is to maximizing our hiking time and I thought Chisos basin might be the better hiking area.

I will try to research the back country sites. Adventurous as we are in our hiking, we normally prefer to be on the campgrounds. So, if we get good campsite, we'd prefer that.

Once again, many many thanks for your fantastic advice. It has been instrumental is altering our planned course to CA towards Big Bend.
kavm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2023, 05:59 PM   #22
Senior Member
 
brroberts's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Overbrook, Kansas
Trailer: 2021 E19 (Padawan)
Posts: 1,951
The national park campgrounds in Big Bend donít have hookups, so those backcountry trailer sites are fun. My favorite short hikes in order are:
Lost Mine, Upper Burro Mesa Pour Off, (by far my favorites) Window, and if not too crowded, the South Rim. Burro is the only non Chisos trail on that list.

Grapevine Hills is a nice easy hike, and close to Chisos just off the Grapevine road is one of those huge backcountry campsites GH1 thatís still close to pavement. KBar 2 is another fairly close to Panther Junction.
__________________
Randy & Barb
1998 C 2500 (Cruncher) and 2021 Ranger (Yoda)
brroberts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2023, 06:44 PM   #23
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Trailer: 2021 Escape E5.0; 2021 F150 PowerBoost
Posts: 1,192
Quote:
Originally Posted by brroberts View Post
The national park campgrounds in Big Bend donít have hookups, so those backcountry trailer sites are fun. My favorite short hikes in order are:
Lost Mine, Upper Burro Mesa Pour Off, (by far my favorites) Window, and if not too crowded, the South Rim. Burro is the only non Chisos trail on that list.

Grapevine Hills is a nice easy hike, and close to Chisos just off the Grapevine road is one of those huge backcountry campsites GH1 thatís still close to pavement. KBar 2 is another fairly close to Panther Junction.
Thank you so much! I will look for GH1 and KBar 2 backcountry sites. And, all those hikes are going into my Big Bend list that's growing quite fast

A question on camping: We are generally fine without hookups. With solar panels, lithium batteries and quiet inverter generator that is part of our hybrid truck and modest use, the electricity is not a problem. Sooner or later, one does, however, needs to empty the tanks and fill up water. What do people do in that regard. Are there locations with dump station and water?
kavm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2023, 07:49 PM   #24
Senior Member
 
brroberts's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Overbrook, Kansas
Trailer: 2021 E19 (Padawan)
Posts: 1,951
Two things:

1. Rio Grand and Chisos Basin have dump stations. Cottonwood does not. We spit are time between campgrounds and backcountry.
2. These same two campgrounds allow generators during certain hours. Cottonwood and the backcountry do not allow generators, and this includes vehicle based charging. There is typically plenty of sun for solar panels.

A week is pretty jammed for Big Bend depending on what you want to do. Two weeks is not too much time.
__________________
Randy & Barb
1998 C 2500 (Cruncher) and 2021 Ranger (Yoda)
brroberts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2023, 08:49 PM   #25
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Colorado, Colorado
Trailer: Owner of a 17A since April 2019
Posts: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kavm View Post
Thank you! Will do. If you have any campsite recommendations, I'd definitely appreciate it. I always enter our camper length on recreation.gov when making the reservations. I do find it confusing that the RV vs trailer lengths are often different. For instance, the site 52 accommodates 24 ft RV but only an 18 ft trailer. So far, I have shortlisted (sharing in case it is of use to someone in the future):
7, 6, 26, 17, 15 (look good),
18, 45, 25, 13
---
Might work: 52, 44, 30, 58, 16, 9, 5, 4, 3, 2

I tried just now but the reservation window seems to open 6 months in advance. So, I have a reminder set for July 1st to try first thing in the morning.
If you are OK with dry camping, be sure to look at the Big Bend camping information for their "dispersed" camping spots. My wife and I did a trip this past February in which we could not get a Chisos reservation, so we opted for a dispersed camping reservation and had a great trip out there.
endorice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2023, 11:26 PM   #26
Senior Member
 
alanmalk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Arvada, Colorado
Trailer: 2015 E'21 - 'Velocity'. Tow: Toyota Tacoma V6, 4X4, manual.
Posts: 1,692
Quote:
Originally Posted by kavm View Post
Thank you so much! I will look for GH1 and KBar 2 backcountry sites. And, all those hikes are going into my Big Bend list that's growing quite fast

A question on camping: We are generally fine without hookups. With solar panels, lithium batteries and quiet inverter generator that is part of our hybrid truck and modest use, the electricity is not a problem. Sooner or later, one does, however, needs to empty the tanks and fill up water. What do people do in that regard. Are there locations with dump station and water?
Since I don't have much time tonight - just a quick word about water.

The water at RGV CG is almost undrinkable. Use only for washing if you can. It is also hard on the water heater anode - ask me how I know.

On the other hand, the water in the Chisos Basin area - including the campground - all comes from Oak Springs and is quite good. Fill your tanks and portable bottles and use this water for drinking.

Water at Panther Junction is (was??) not great. They were considering moving the intake a few miles - don't know if that happened.

Water at Cottonwood CG is (was??) from a Reverse Osmosis machine - good, but only in very small quantities and subject to mechanical breakdowns at times. Again, get what you need from Chisos Basin and bring it to you where ever you camp.
alanmalk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2023, 08:19 AM   #27
Senior Member
 
brroberts's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Overbrook, Kansas
Trailer: 2021 E19 (Padawan)
Posts: 1,951
Donít know if things changed, but our stay in February didnít find the water at RG bad.
__________________
Randy & Barb
1998 C 2500 (Cruncher) and 2021 Ranger (Yoda)
brroberts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2023, 03:52 PM   #28
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Trailer: 2011 Casita SD 17 Sold July 2016: 2015 Escape 21 Aug 2016
Posts: 101
Second the Big Bend Suggestion

It is remote and beautiful; well worth the driving time if it fits with your schedule. We spent five days there in early February 2017 and could easily have spent twice as long without running out of things to do. The weather was great, with nights in the 40s and daytime temps in the mid-70s.

You shouldn't need to stay in Chisos Basin due to hot weather concerns during the period you are planning this trip, though it may be more convenient to attractive hiking trails. Rio Grande Village is much more spacious. I would also point out that a relatively large portion of its campsites are designated as a no-generators zone, generally the north and east sections of the campground. Some of those sites are more oriented to tents or very small trailers so look closely at pics and dimensions if you want to stay in that area.

I know you have emphasized hiking over driving, but we particularly enjoyed the Old Ore Road, 26 miles of high-clearance two-track road that took us about 3 hours.

If you go to southern Arizona before heading to Big Bend, you might look into a stop at Chiricahua National Monument on the way from there to Big Bend. I haven't been, but others on the forum have. Sounds delightful; it's on my list.

Hope you have a great trip whichever destination(s) you choose,

Paul
a602pmcc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2023, 05:35 PM   #29
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Trailer: 2021 Escape E5.0; 2021 F150 PowerBoost
Posts: 1,192
Quote:
Originally Posted by brroberts View Post
Two things:

1. Rio Grand and Chisos Basin have dump stations. Cottonwood does not. We spit are time between campgrounds and backcountry.
2. These same two campgrounds allow generators during certain hours. Cottonwood and the backcountry do not allow generators, and this includes vehicle based charging. There is typically plenty of sun for solar panels.

A week is pretty jammed for Big Bend depending on what you want to do. Two weeks is not too much time.
Thank you so much! This helps a lot!

We probably don't have more than a week - as we are still quite tied to our professional commitments and can likely not take more than 2.5-3 weeks for the entire trip. But, based upon the recommendations and enthusiasm for this park, we will try to maximize our time there.

Many thanks!
kavm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2023, 05:40 PM   #30
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Trailer: 2021 Escape E5.0; 2021 F150 PowerBoost
Posts: 1,192
Quote:
Originally Posted by endorice View Post
If you are OK with dry camping, be sure to look at the Big Bend camping information for their "dispersed" camping spots. My wife and I did a trip this past February in which we could not get a Chisos reservation, so we opted for a dispersed camping reservation and had a great trip out there.
We are - and I will look at the sites that were mentioned above. If I had a good site at the campground, I'd likely prefer that as we are more the campground type (even without hookups, etc.).

We have open to but hesitant about boondocking. So, it'd not be a bad idea to cross that hurdle - but we have shied away from it so far (in our short (non-tent) camping life. I'll know our options in early July.

Thank you so much for your advice and experience!
kavm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2023, 05:44 PM   #31
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Trailer: 2021 Escape E5.0; 2021 F150 PowerBoost
Posts: 1,192
Quote:
Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post
Since I don't have much time tonight - just a quick word about water.

The water at RGV CG is almost undrinkable. Use only for washing if you can. It is also hard on the water heater anode - ask me how I know.

On the other hand, the water in the Chisos Basin area - including the campground - all comes from Oak Springs and is quite good. Fill your tanks and portable bottles and use this water for drinking.

Water at Panther Junction is (was??) not great. They were considering moving the intake a few miles - don't know if that happened.

Water at Cottonwood CG is (was??) from a Reverse Osmosis machine - good, but only in very small quantities and subject to mechanical breakdowns at times. Again, get what you need from Chisos Basin and bring it to you where ever you camp.
Thanks a lot, Alan! We have been using store-bought water for culinary purposes in our camping. At the same time, sometime one does use the camper water. So, we will definitely make use of your advice!

Many thanks!
kavm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2023, 05:51 PM   #32
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Trailer: 2021 Escape E5.0; 2021 F150 PowerBoost
Posts: 1,192
Quote:
Originally Posted by a602pmcc View Post
It is remote and beautiful; well worth the driving time if it fits with your schedule. We spent five days there in early February 2017 and could easily have spent twice as long without running out of things to do. The weather was great, with nights in the 40s and daytime temps in the mid-70s.

You shouldn't need to stay in Chisos Basin due to hot weather concerns during the period you are planning this trip, though it may be more convenient to attractive hiking trails. Rio Grande Village is much more spacious. I would also point out that a relatively large portion of its campsites are designated as a no-generators zone, generally the north and east sections of the campground. Some of those sites are more oriented to tents or very small trailers so look closely at pics and dimensions if you want to stay in that area.

I know you have emphasized hiking over driving, but we particularly enjoyed the Old Ore Road, 26 miles of high-clearance two-track road that took us about 3 hours.

If you go to southern Arizona before heading to Big Bend, you might look into a stop at Chiricahua National Monument on the way from there to Big Bend. I haven't been, but others on the forum have. Sounds delightful; it's on my list.

Hope you have a great trip whichever destination(s) you choose,

Paul
Thanks a ton! It's amazing that I started the thread not expecting to go to Big Bend - and now it has become the prime destination for our trip! Your enthusiastic endorsement cements that choice! We will definitely go there and spend as much meaningful time as we can in this trip.

Thanks for sharing the campground feedback too! From the description and the pics, our preference is still for Chisos basin but having a very good alternative de-stresses the reservation process. And, that's very helpful as it is always somewhat difficult.

Thanks for recommending Chiricahua National Monument! I wasn't aware of it and am going to start researching it. We will definitely try to visit.

Many thanks!
kavm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2023, 05:55 PM   #33
Senior Member
 
brroberts's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Overbrook, Kansas
Trailer: 2021 E19 (Padawan)
Posts: 1,951
Chiricahua is very nice, but only has a few sites that fit a trailer well.
__________________
Randy & Barb
1998 C 2500 (Cruncher) and 2021 Ranger (Yoda)
brroberts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2023, 07:17 PM   #34
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Trailer: 2021 Escape E5.0; 2021 F150 PowerBoost
Posts: 1,192
Quote:
Originally Posted by brroberts View Post
Chiricahua is very nice, but only has a few sites that fit a trailer well.
If you remember the site numbers, please share. I presume you are referring to Bonita Canyon campground...
kavm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2023, 10:27 PM   #35
Senior Member
 
brroberts's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Overbrook, Kansas
Trailer: 2021 E19 (Padawan)
Posts: 1,951
I think Perry has the numbers down pretty well somewhere on the forum. If I remember, 11 was one of them.
__________________
Randy & Barb
1998 C 2500 (Cruncher) and 2021 Ranger (Yoda)
brroberts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2023, 11:28 AM   #36
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Trailer: 2021 Escape E5.0; 2021 F150 PowerBoost
Posts: 1,192
Quote:
Originally Posted by brroberts View Post
I think Perry has the numbers down pretty well somewhere on the forum. If I remember, 11 was one of them.
Thank you so much! I will search the forum and will directly reach out to Perry if I do not find it here.
kavm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2023, 02:01 PM   #37
Senior Member
 
Vermilye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Oswego, New York
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21C, 2018 Ford F150
Posts: 5,369
Another Tucson favorite of mine is the Desert Museum which is only a couple of miles from the Gilbert Ray campground. Most of the exhibits are outdoors on trails through the museum, including a daily raptor exhibit where the birds will fly free over your heads.

Some photos from one of my visits to the museum.
__________________
Jon Vermilye My Travel Blog
Travel and Photo Web Page ... My Collection of RV Blogs 2018 F150 3.5EB, 2017 21
Vermilye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2023, 02:10 PM   #38
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Trailer: 2021 Escape E5.0; 2021 F150 PowerBoost
Posts: 1,192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
Another Tucson favorite of mine is the Desert Museum which is only a couple of miles from the Gilbert Ray campground. Most of the exhibits are outdoors on trails through the museum, including a daily raptor exhibit where the birds will fly free over your heads.

Some photos from one of my visits to the museum.
Thank you! I have added it to the growing list of Tucson places to see. We are growing in our interest in birds in general and raptors in particular. So, it goes right to the top!
kavm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2023, 11:00 AM   #39
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Mesquite, Nevada
Trailer: 2022 Keystone Cougar 29RLKWE & RAM 2500
Posts: 158
I like Benson, AZ. Close to Tuscon but not big city. Went to Titian Missile Museum as was recommended, and Bisbee (Queen Copper Mine Tour), and Tombstone, and Kartchner Caverns (in Benson). There are 2 movie sets nearby, however they were closed when we were in Benson. We stayed in the Butterfield RV Resort & Observatory. Great park, and star watching from observatory was great. Only downside was the trains running all night long. I got earplugs. If I went to Benson again, I'd stay at the Cochise Terrace RV Resort.
dlakeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2023, 01:05 PM   #40
Senior Member
 
h2owmn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Placerville, California
Trailer: 2018 Escape 17A double dinette
Posts: 1,520
Second the Desert Museum. Don't miss it.
__________________
--Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced older woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force. --Dorothy Sayers
h2owmn 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




» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2023 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.