Ted and Cheryl White have been to Utah three times! They fell in love with truck campers while visiting Zion National Park and continue to go back for more red rock adventures. Before visiting Utah, Ted had a vision of it being a rather flat and barren place. Now, he says, that it is without question one of the most beautiful places in the United States.
Zion and Canyonlands
Interestingly, it was at Zion National Park that we got our first good look at a truck camper thanks to a couple from British Columbia who let us see theirs.
We were amazed by Utah and that set us on a path that would, six years later, put us in a truck camper. We had been tent camping all of our lives until we started waffling between a Class A, Class B, Class C, tow behinds, and even pop-ups starting around 1997. We kept coming back to truck campers.
In 2003, we bought a 1992 Lance 900. It was a good starter camper. We learned a lot from it. Shortly after we bought out Lance, we traveled to Canyonlands National Park in the Lance and hiked through the Needles District. Now we have a 2003 F350 Dually diesel and a 2005 Arctic Fox 1150. On Friday, October 5th, 2007 we left our home in Brookfield, New Hampshire and started traveling west.
One rule that Cheryl and I have is that we never drive for more than two hours at a shot. We still drive twelve to fourteen hours a day, we just take a lot of breaks. Doing this, we have found that we are able to drive longer and it prevents fatigue. We left New Hampshire Friday afternoon and were west of Denver by Sunday night.
Bryce Canyon National Park
We stayed on I-70 until we got to Route 24 where we went through Capitol Reef National Monument into Bryce Canyon National Park. The first day we were there, we took an eight to nine mile hike on the Queen’s Garden and Peek-A-Boo trails. The last part of that hike was rough with the switchbacks and the quick increase in elevation.
Later that day, our children and grandchildren showed up from Idaho and New Hampshire. That night we stayed at the Sunset campground. The campground has no hook-ups and is a no generator area. We were fine because we have a solar panel, LED lights, and are fairly conservative with our use of power. We like to be free of hook-ups when we travel.
The next day, we drove all the way south in the park to Bryce Point. That’s where the marker is in the picture above. By the campground the views are nice, but down at Bryce Point they are so expansive. You can see all the way to Capitol Reef from there.
On the third or fourth day, we took the grandchildren on part of the Queen’s Garden trail. They were three and five years old and liked it a lot.
Every night we’d have a campfire and cooked most of our meals outside. The limited room doesn’t bother us because we spend most of our time outdoors. That makes a truck camper different from a Class A. When you’re living outdoors, a truck camper is just as big as a Class A.
We like to fully experience a park, which you can’t do in a day or so. Ideally we would stay a week. There are about twenty hikes at Bryce Canyon. In six days, we only scratched the surface of the hikes.
Capitol Reef National Monument
We left Bryce Canyon and drove on Route 12 to Escalante National Monument. It was the 14th of October and it was snowing as we drove over the mountain pass.
We stayed in Capitol Reef one night. During our time at the park, we went to the Ancient Mormon orchard and picked apples. The campground itself is right inside the orchard. It was huge and, being October, there were lots of apples. We also walked up to the visitor’s center, which was probably a mile from the campground. While at the park, we also hiked the Grand Wash Trail and saw petroglyphs. Then, we left Capitol Reef and drove to Arches National Park.
Arches National Park