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Old 02-14-2015, 10:22 AM   #1
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The Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel (and general Grand Canyon, Zion, etc info)

We are in the planning stage of a major trip out west this June. Reading on the Zion webpage, it talks about the The Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel and about having to get a permit to go through. Looks pretty painless, but wondering if anyone here has made that trip? Like I said, still in the planning stage but so far Grand Canyon, Zion, Canyonland, Bryce, Petrified Forest, Arches, Mesa Verde, and anything else along the way are on the agenda. Total distance traveled should be over 5000 when all is said and done.
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Old 02-14-2015, 11:25 AM   #2
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We went through the tunnel, but not with the trailer. We stayed at Cedar City KOA, one of the nicest campgrounds we have ever been at.

When you are in that neck of the woods, don't miss Antelope Canyon at Page, AZ. This is one of those "bucket list" items. Absolutely stunning! See my pictures in the photos section on this site and you can see some of our pictures from our trip last fall in that area.
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:19 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tip, Loneoak. Wow. Nice photos. Antelope Canyon looks a lot like Zion from what I remember of our last visit some 40 years ago. We will be passing right by Page on our way from Grand Canyon to Zion. Do you recall if there is parking for trailers? We have so much packed into our trip now I don't think we could visit there from either GC or Zion. Looks like it is worth a stop though.
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:37 PM   #4
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If you go to the lower canyon, where we went, the parking lot is quite large so I think there is enough room. You could also contact them and ask them.

Antelope Canyon is underground, Zion is big hills all around you. I think they are very different. To access the canyon you climb down steps to go inside and follow a path through it. They will not let you in if it is raining as water flows through there then and it can get dangerous.
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:07 PM   #5
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We avoided the need to pull the RV thru the tunnel by staying at one of the RV parks along US89 between Orderville and Glendale, Utah. From there we took ez day trips to Zion and Bryce Canyon plus 1/2 day trips to other places like Cedar Breaks and Brian Head.
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Old 02-14-2015, 09:16 PM   #6
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We avoided the need to pull the RV thru the tunnel by staying at one of the RV parks along US89 between Orderville and Glendale, Utah. From there we took ez day trips to Zion and Bryce Canyon plus 1/2 day trips to other places like Cedar Breaks and Brian Head.
You know, that isn't a bad idea. I found a Good Sam campground in Orderville, UT with mostly good reviews. Small sites, "rustic", but full hook-ups and most folks that reviewed it said they would stay there again. Pretty close to Zion and closer to Bryce than if we were camping in Zion. I might decide to do that.
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Old 02-15-2015, 08:31 AM   #7
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You know, that isn't a bad idea. I found a Good Sam campground in Orderville, UT with mostly good reviews. Small sites, "rustic", but full hook-ups and most folks that reviewed it said they would stay there again. Pretty close to Zion and closer to Bryce than if we were camping in Zion. I might decide to do that.
It worked for us. We were able to get an early start each day going to Zion and Bryce and beat the tour buses and foreign visitors in their Class C rentals. Also the tunnel road can have a lot of congestion at certain times of the day with RVs and buses going thru the tunnel.
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Old 02-15-2015, 09:36 AM   #8
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It worked for us. We were able to get an early start each day going to Zion and Bryce and beat the tour buses and foreign visitors in their Class C rentals. Also the tunnel road can have a lot of congestion at certain times of the day with RVs and buses going thru the tunnel.
We took our trip to the south-west in September-October and we couldn't believe the crowds! Foreign visitors in Class C rentals were everywhere, as were tour buses. Another thing that surprised us was the number of RVers who travel with dogs - it turned out to be most of them!

It's a beautiful part of the country, and we would definitely go there again some time.
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Old 02-16-2015, 11:16 AM   #9
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Don,

Been a while, but when I was a teenager my folks did same thing. Stayed at campground about halfway between Bryce and Zion. Made for a real nice visit to both (and you won't have to tug trailer to either place).

I am pretty sure this is the place, though it was a KOA then:

www.brycezioncampground.com
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Old 02-16-2015, 01:53 PM   #10
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Thanks for the link Eddy. This is one of two camping areas near Glendale, the other being Bauer's Canyon Ranch RV Park (right in the heart of Glendale). It is a bit smaller than the other, but is closer to Zion. Both have mixed reviews from folks that have stayed there, but most were positive for the most part. No frills, just places to operated from while visiting all the attractions. I haven't made up my mind yet. I do know that the NPS campground called Watchman is booked solid for our planned visit. There is a private park very close to that, but that would again entail navigating through the tunnel and all that entails.
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:03 PM   #11
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Did the tunnel/permit thing 5-6 years ago. No big deal. There are signs at the approaches which give you details as to how it works. Went through with our rig and friends with theirs with very limited delay. Seems like the permit was for "X" number of days so you could go both ways if desired. Can't remember the cost, however. CRS syndrome strikes again!
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:27 PM   #12
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give yourself lots of time in this area, lots to see.
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:05 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the great info, it sounds like this area of the country is something that definitely has to be on my "to do" list. I'll be following this post and making notes, thanks everyone for all the wonderful insights you've given.

Travel well, travel safe,
Jim
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:52 PM   #14
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I'm looking at my Good Sam map for our trip and it's warning me that the tunnel between Bryce and Zion is 11' 4". Is this incorrect? Because I believe my TT is 11'6", I'm obviously going to check this soon. If it is too low how out of the way do you have to go to drive between the 2?
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:28 PM   #15
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Try the Street View in Google Maps or Google Earth. If they've driven it, you should be able to see the height sign before the tunnel.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:52 PM   #16
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I believe this is the tunnel you're concerned about. Signs say 13-1 in center and 11-4 on the sidewall height.

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Old 05-20-2015, 06:17 AM   #17
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That's too low for my camper.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:54 AM   #18
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Have done this tunnel both ways with my Sunset Trail. What they do is stop vehicular traffic both ways at periodic intervals and the Park Service leads a caravan of RVs through the tunnel one way at the center, the highest point. You should have no worries.
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Old 05-21-2015, 12:56 PM   #19
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It has the same shape as my TT.
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Old 07-26-2015, 10:56 PM   #20
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They would not allow me to go through the tunnel. My truck and trailer are too long. And to be honest I would not have wanted to do all those switch backs. My truck and trailer are 58 ft long and the max is 50 ft.
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