Saturday, September 22, 2012

Canyonlands RV Park

We spent a week at Canyonlands Campground in Moab. It's certainly not the best RV park we've stayed in, but it is one of the most interesting.

First, the good points. The park has all the amenities, such as full hookups, cable TV, and WiFi. The cable included about 60 stations, with local news coming from Salt Lake City. Although we did not swim, the park does have a heated swimming pool, and other residents used it constantly.

Pool is located right next to the highway, but the scenery is impressive.

There is a laundry and two different sets of restrooms/showers. There are facilities for tent campers, and cabins are also available. There are lots of trees in the park, so it is nice and shady.

Interior road. Notice all the trees, but also notice how vehicles are parked because of the tight spaces.
There is a Texaco station next door with the usual convenience store items, including limited RV supplies.

Because of its location, it is fairly easy to walk to restaurants and other shops. A City Market - a branch of Kroger's -- is located only about 2 blocks from the park, so grocery shopping is convenient. There is a McDonald's and a Burger King located just across the street. There are probably at least half a dozen other good eateries within 2 or 3 blocks.

Even though the park is located on US 191, there is little highway noise. Sure, we heard a loud motorcycle or truck as well as other traffic, but it is really far enough away that it is not a problem, and our site was near the front of the park. The park actually backs up to the local high school football field. Each morning at precisely 7:00 AM, we were awakened by the marching band as it rehearsed for the upcoming weekly football game. Of course, this would only be a problem during football season. 

Now, the negative points. The camp sites are the smallest we've ever seen. Everyone with a trailer or motorhome experienced problems fitting their RV and vehicle in the camp site.

Sites are small. We had to wedge our truck in behind the trailer. Donna couldn't even get in the truck until I pulled away.
Interior roads are gravel. Although it wasn't bad, there was some dust caused by traffic. The park is so busy that there is almost constant traffic, especially near the front.

The entrance is difficult to find and also difficult to navigate. There is limited space to pull off while checking in at the office, and vehicle backups at the office were common.

Entrance is on busy US 191 next to a Texaco station.

Entrance is very narrow, especially for bigger rigs

Restrooms and showers are heavily used because of all the tenters and others who use the facilities. The park attracts a large number of outdoor enthusiasts who tent, and they really use the facilities. The laundry facilities were so heavily used that we opted to take our laundry to a local laundromat.

Although WiFi was readily available, there were a few times when we lost connectivity or it was slow. For the most part, though, it operated just fine.

The park is actually a microcosm of Moab and the area. Within the park, we witnessed a great variety of travelers. Probably close to half were in rental class C motorhomes, and most of these were foreign visitors. Younger people tended to be in tents, and a good number were renting the cabins that are available in the park.

At least half of the travelers had bicycles. Some used these only to go shopping in town, but many would take off on their bikes early in the morning for a day of riding the trails.

There was a large collection of off-road vehicle rigs in the park. These would also take off in the morning for a day of riding the dirt roads in the canyons and along the ridges. They would return dusty at the end of each day.

Although we saw many Asians in the national parks we visited, we saw very, very few in the RV park. My guess is that most of the Asians are with tour groups and stay in local hotels.

The owner stopped by one evening to visit with us while we were sitting outside watching the daily parade of humanity in and out of the park. He told us that they close the park for 4 months each year -- November, December, January, and February -- because of cold weather. Guess we made it just in time. He also said that the foreign visitors outnumber the domestic travelers during the summer months.

The main reason we selected this park was to be within walking distance of restaurants and other shopping. However, because of the steep prices, we avoided eating out while in Moab. So, in retrospect, were we to stop in Moab again, we would probably look at some of the other local RV parks. All of them have lower rates, so we could save a bit there.

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