RVING THROUGH THE GRAND CIRCLE
The Grand Circle has to be one of the most epic road trips in America, and it’s even more enjoyable when done in an RV! Located in the Southwestern United States and encompassing portions of five states, The Grand Circle road trip features diverse scenery across five states and America’s largest concentration of national parks. One of my personal favorite portions of the drive is along Highway 12, the All-American Road. The views of the orange hoodoos (tall thin spires of rock protruding from the bottom of the basin), red canyons, green forests, mountains and many of the state and national parks within Utah – but that’s just a small part of the adventure!
I was in my Thor Vegas motorhome, towing my Mini Cooper Countryman when I took this trip, so it is suitable for most RV sizes. I had not seen landscapes like this growing up on the east coast, so I was blown away by this trip. I hope you enjoy it as well.
- 942 Miles; 20 Stops
- 3-4 states depending on where you start (NV, AZ, UT, CO)
- 9-10 National Park areas
- 5 State Parks
Sites in Arizona
- Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim
- Glen Canyon National Recreational Area – Lake Powell (AZ/UT border)
- Monument Valley (AZ/UT border)
Sites in Utah
- Zion National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Capitol Reef National Park
- Arches National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
- Cedar Breaks National Monument
Sites in Colorado
- Mesa Verde National Park
If you want to leave the RV and explore with your toad vehicle, you can see many places within a radius of these two cities.
- Moab, UT
- Kanab, UT
Sample Two-Week Itinerary
If flying in and renting an RV consider these airports to start your trip
- Las Vegas
- Salt Lake City
The following itinerary assumes a start from Las Vegas
- Drive to Grand Canyon North Rim (only open from May 15th to October 15th) View some of my recommended camping options
Day 2 & 3
- Drive to Page, AZ Glen Canyon Dam, then to Lake Powell’s camp at Wawheap Marina & RV
- Walk or drive down to the Rainbow Room and sit by the pool with cocktails for sunset views of Lake Powell, also nice for dinner!
- Keep cool with a boat tourof Lake Powell and Glen Canyon (optional, add additional time) or an Antelope Canyons slot tour (optional, add additional time)
- I highly recommend the hike down to Horseshoe Bend!
- Drive to Monument Valley – can camp right there or drive on to Goosenecks State Parkand stay the night right on the rim!
- Mesa Verde National Park, CO (some Grand Circle itineraries add Mesa Verde – some omit this stop, your preference) camping options
Day 6 – 8
- Drive to Moab – Below are a few of my recommended stops and things to do
- Dead Horse Point State Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Arches National Park
- Delicate Arch Hike
- La Sal Mountain Loop Drive
- Hot Air Balloon ride with views of Arches and Canyonlands. This is a great way to see a different perspective of these parks and one of my favorites!
- Drive to and camp at Goblin Valley State Park
- Drive to Capitol Reef National Park visitor center then do the scenic loop
- On the drive, make sure you stop at Kiva Coffee House off Highway 12. This place is super cute and offers great views of Grand Staircase Escalante while you sip on an espresso. They also have food, a little jewelry counter perfect for picking out souvenirs, and they allow overnight stops.
- If you prefer to drive straight through – I recommended setting up camp at Kodachrome State Park
Day 11 & 12
- Drive to and camp at Bryce Canyon https://www.nps.gov/brca/index.htm
Ruby’s Inn Campground or in the park
- Scenic Loop Drive with 9 points of interest
Day 13 & 14
- Drive to Zion National Park,optional stop at Cedar Breaks National Monument, camp at Zion River Resort
- Ride the shuttle to see areas of the park that are inaccessible by automobiles
- If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the Angels Landing Hike
- If you make it into St George, River Rock Roasters is a great place for coffee/lunch and with an amazing view of the Virgin River!
- Optional – add in a stop and stay at Sand Hollow State Park
- Return to Vegas and remember all the fun you had!
Extra Stops If You Have The Time
The national parks you’ll see in my trip itinerary below are stunners, but these state parks are also worth checking out if you have extra time. This entire area is just so rich in beauty!
- Horseshoe Bend, Page, AZ
- Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
- Goosenecks State Park after Monument Valley
- Dead Horse Point State Park on the way to Canyonlands, Moab, UT
- La Sal Mountain Loop drive in Moab
- Goblin Valley State Park after Moab
- Kodachrome State Park before Bryce
- Sand Hollow State Park, Hurricane, UT
Make today “someday” and take this trip of a lifetime!
Let me know in the comments if any of you have taken this trip or have additional itinerary suggestions.
See more great Destination Inspiration from my fellow Go RVing bloggers here.