Low Tunnels, Lost Sheep and More National Parks

October 22-31, 2018 — The last week of October started out in Richfield, Utah where we spent an overnight at a Walmart enroute from the Moab area to a BLM site near Zion National Park in La Verkin, Utah. Rain that had been in the forecast pushing us out of the BLM site in Moab earlier than we cared to caught up with us on the way and we detoured to another Walmart in Cedar City, Utah.

Pulling into an unfamiliar BLM site in the rain and taking a chance of becoming stuck did not sound wise to us. The skies cleared and the sun came out the next day and off to La Verkin we went. The BLM site was passable but there were wet areas and deep ruts where others dug in with their rigs. 

All stays this last week of October were free ones with one night at a Walmart, one night at a Harvest Hosts site and eight nights at a BLM site in La Verkin, Utah near Zion National Park. 

Mile Driven - RV
Miles Driven - Car

Boondocking on BLM land in La Verkin, Utah near Zion National Park. Stellar views, perfect weather, excellent cell signal. Great site!

The days in southern Utah are comfortable but the nights have a slight chill. Perfect weather for an evening fire. We love our propane fire pit as it eliminates the worry of finding or purchasing wood, there’s no smoke blowing in your face and when you are done for the night just simply turn it off!

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Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah sits at over 10,000 feet in elevation. Due to the cold and snow at this high elevation, the visitor center closes for the season in early October and the road through the monument will be closing within the next few weeks. Until then, it is a beautiful place to take a drive, especially when the sun is shining and it’s warm out. 

Look at all the white stuff blanketing the canyons at Cedar Breaks National Monument. 

Nope, not Highway 89. This is Highway 143 which turns off of 89. There are restrictions for vehicle weight and length on this road as it traverses the Dixie National Forest prompting the warning signs. 

 Just look ahead and drive. Live Services for Your Drive Outsmart traffic jams with time-saving alternate routes or by avoiding them altogether. Then, with live information, spend less time circling the block to look for parking. For traffic alerts, relevant rerouting directions and up-to-date weather forecasts, download the Smartphone Link app, which connects your Garmin DriveSmart with your compatible smartphone. As you near your destination, take the stress out of parking by viewing pricing and availability trends for on-street public parking.

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Someone please let Little Bo Peep know that we found her sheep along Highway 143 in the Dixie National Forest in Utah. 

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. 35,835 acres of wow. Bring a jacket when visiting in October as the park sits at 8-9,000 feet of elevation and it gets chilly. 

Natural Bridge at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. The park is more known for hoodoo rock formations but does have arches as well including this 85 foot one. What an incredible example of nature’s landscape. 

Paria View scenic point overlooking a canyon full of hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. We could have pulled up a chair and stared at this scene for hours. 

Designed with patented Spring-Action Rocking Technology, the GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker camp chair delivers a smooth rocking action on any surface in the outdoors. Featuring padded arm rests, built-in beverage holder, and a convenient carry handle, folding a camp chair open and closed has never been easier or safer with GCI Outdoor’s patented Eazy-fold Technology. The Freestyle Rocker is constructed of lightweight and sturdy powder-coated steel, supports up to 250 pounds, and has a limited lifetime warranty.

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View of hoodoos from the Bryce Point Overlook in Bryce Canyon National Park. 

Red sky at night, RVers delight. Parked on BLM land in La Verkin, Utah near Zion National Park. Life is good. 

Pipe Spring National Monument near Fredonia, Arizona. The area has a natural spring that made it possible for plants, animals, and people to live in the dry desert region. It was home to Puebloans and Kaibab Paiute Indians for many years. In 1872 a protective fort was constructed by the Mormons that served as a refuge for polygamist wives and children during the 1880s and 1890s. 

The water you see on the right side of the covered wagon is from the natural spring that is still active today. At one time the spring produced water at a rate of up to 55 gallons per minute. 

4.5 million people a year visit Zion National Park and it’s no wonder when you see the magnificence of the natural beauty of the canyons, river, vegetation, etc. 

Mother Nature outdid herself at Zion National Park!

View of Weeping Rock from the back side at the end of the trail. 

The shuttles in Zion National Park help immensely with traffic congestion.. We found them to be efficient with minimal wait times. 

A bridge over the Virgin River on the Lower Emerald Pools trail at Zion National Park. 

A thunderstorm in July 2018 caused damage to multiple areas in Zion National Park including this rockslide at the end of Lower Emerald Pools trail that closed access to Upper Emerald Pools. 

According to the ranger at the Zion National Park Visitor Center, this helicopter was doing “maneuvers” on the Angels Landing Trail causing it to be closed. We later learned that said “maneuvers” were actually the emptying of the port-a-potties on the trail. 

Several trails at Zion National Park offer chains to grasp onto while hiking. Scary!

View from the Lower Emerald Pools trail in Zion National Park. The mile long trail took us forever to hike as we kept stopping every few feet to take in the stunning beauty of the landscape. 

Harvest Hosts is a network of wineries, farms and attractions that invite self-contained RVers to visit and stay overnight. Since starting our journey we have enjoyed the hospitality of many of these locations.  Receive a 10% discount by using Off Our Rocker RV as a referral and we also are rewarded as an affiliate.

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The Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. The tunnel is 1.1 miles long and was completed in 1930. The tunnel is rerouted to one-way traffic to allow vehicles over 11’4″ to pass through. The vehicles are required to obtain a $15 permit and may have to wait in line for awhile to go through. We did not take our RV through the tunnel but at 11’3″ we might have dodged the fee but not sure how comfortable we would have been driving close to the edge with two-way traffic. 

View coming out of the tunnel in Zion National Park. 

Another great week is in the books. Our time in Utah has been nothing short of stellar. The sights and landscapes are incredible. Even though we spent 5+ weeks in the state and saw so much we realize that we just hit the highlights and there is much more out there to see and experience. I’m sure we will be back soon! 

With November comes the continuing threat of winter meaning we must keep going south to capture the 70 degree weather. Follow along next time as we enter the state of Nevada. See you then!

Thank you for hanging out at Off Our Rocker RV.

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6 thoughts on “Low Tunnels, Lost Sheep and More National Parks”

  1. I love the review on Utah. I’ve been to several places you visited. I had to laugh at your mileage for the month. You drove both vehicles in October about the same as Barry drove the entire 2017 year which was 660 miles. Have a great drive in November.

    1. Glad you like our weekly review. Time for you guys to plan a trip out west to see the sights. It’s a beautiful place! I bet you drove a lot more miles than Barry’s 660!

  2. Great Pics you guys. Can’t wait to see these wonders live and in person. In the meantime, we will keep living vicariously through you for now. Keep up the super posts.

    1. You will love visiting Utah. We only hit the highlights and need to come back for a more in-depth look at the state. Have you set a time-line for your departure yet?

      1. Nope, still a ways off from retirement. Just figuring the rig now. Like the Vegas but DW is thinking maybe a bit bigger for more storage. Purging all that house stuff is a painful process. I guess we’ Be followers for a while. Not something we do well😉

        1. We found that the more we purged from the house the happier we were. All that unnecessary stuff was just causing us stress. We came close to buying a larger RV but are very happy we trusted our instincts and went with the Vegas. With a few modifications the storage space is plenty sufficient to meet our needs. Keep thinking and touring RVs and you will find the right fit for you and the Mrs.

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