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Grand Circle camping trip; camping gear; itinerary

Bangor, Maine
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Grand Circle camping trip; camping gear; itinerary

Our family (2 adults, 2 teens) is planning a 2-3 week camping trip next summer (July). The idea is to camp a few nights and stay in a hotel a few nights.

How can we fly into Las Vegas or ABQ and either rent camping equipment or ship ours there? We live in Maine.

In addition, we would like to see a variety of things, not just Red Rocks. So the idea is Santa Fe, Mesa Verde, Arches, Bryce, Zion, North Rim Grand Canyon, Page/ Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley - flying in and out of ABQ. I know that is ambitious, but I don't know what to give up.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: Grand Circle camping trip; camping gear; itinerary

OhioHick on the Utah forum has done several articles on the Grand Circle. Most of us on the road trip forum have done all or most of the area.

Here is a link to one of his articles-


We spent two weeks a couple of years ago and did Arches, MV, 4 corners, Mesa Verde, Durango, San Juan Skyway, Albuquerque and Santa Fe. We flew into Denver and out of ABQ but did not camp.

Good luck!!

PS. Southwest airlines has a great free bag policy so you could possibly put some of your camping stuff in your baggage. Also we have found that UPS does a good job of shipping things to hotels. My niece had camping supplies shipped to their hotel in Idaho Falls one year for their trip to Yellowstone.

We had previously done the Grand Canyon, southern Utah along with Yellowstone and the Tetons.

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2. Re: Grand Circle camping trip; camping gear; itinerary

Laura, welcome to TA and the road trips forum!

If you're flying in and out of the same airport, you could rent equipment from an outdoor store, such as REI:


Perhaps they'll also allow you to return equipment to a different store if using different airports.

If you want to ship your equipment for pick-up, likely UPS, Fed-Ex, etc. would hold your gear for pick-up.

Check out the sticky threads at the top of the Utah destination forum for the Grand Circle and Utah trip reports.

Note also the trip report collection.


Read relevant threads in this forum for many months. Check out relevant trip reports in the sticky thread at the top of the forum. Use the search engine at the top of this forum, or the Utah or AZ forums, to search for, e.g., "camping Utah."

Post a tentative itinerary here and perhaps on the Utah forum as well.

Good planning!

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3. Re: Grand Circle camping trip; camping gear; itinerary

UPS and Fed Ex have large distribution centers in most communities where they hold packages for pick-up. I also think this is cheaper than having packages delivered.

Washington State
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4. Re: Grand Circle camping trip; camping gear; itinerary

We flew into Las Vegas with 6 large bags (3 people) full of all our camping gear. (Love Southwest Airlines!) You can fly with a backpacker stove like this one:


or one of these: outdoorgearsteals.com/wp-content/uploads/201…

Then purchase the necessary fuel at REI. Or you can rent or buy a bigger stove after you arrive.

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5. Re: Grand Circle camping trip; camping gear; itinerary

If you buy equipment through Wal-Mart online, they will ship it free of charge to a designated store for pick up.

Tacoma, Washington
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6. Re: Grand Circle camping trip; camping gear; itinerary

In all honesty you dont need to rent camping equipment. you can go an buy it at a store and the sleeping bags. Camping equipment can be reused.

Over 3 weeks...using ABQ is fine.

day 1 fly into ABQ

day 2 drive I-40 and see Acoma Pueblo, El Maipais NM and stay in Gallup

day 3 see Petrified Forest NP and then drive to South Rim, sunset at south rim

day 4 south rim...evening drive to Page

day 5 Page

day 6-7 Zion

day 8 bryce

day 9 drive UT 12 to Torrey and explore capitol reef NP

day 10 to Moab

day 11-12 Moab

day 13 Moab...night in Monticello or Blanding.

day 14 Monument valley..night Cortez

day 15 Mesa Verde ..night Cortez

day 16 Mesa Verde AM, PM drive to santa Fe

day 17-19 Santa Fe/Bandaleir NM/Taos

day 20 ABQ

day 21 fly home

If you have done south rim before and wasnt planning on it this time then do Petified Forest-Canyon de chelly-monument valley-Page-North Rim-zion then later its Moab for most of the day then in evening drive to Cortez.

Marcellus, New York
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7. Re: Grand Circle camping trip; camping gear; itinerary

First, there are a couple places to consider visiting that I would highly recommend - Capitol Reef NP and Goblin Valley SP.

Second, shipping camping gear for four will be expensive, speaking from recent personal experience. For tents, camping pads, sleeping bags, cooking gear (stove, pot, pan, etc), and various other necessities and insurance, you are looking at hundreds to ship round-trip. Just pack as much as you can into suitcases and buy or rent the remainder.

I've got a great car-camping packing list going - once we're off the road I'll try to type it up and post it. It'll be a few weeks though...

Uden, The...
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8. Re: Grand Circle camping trip; camping gear; itinerary

Never drive in the dark on those deserted roads with wildlife on the road. In Dan P's route make sure you'll camp inside Mesa verde NP at 8000' instead staying in Cortez and close to Mesa Verde is Durangon where you can ride Durango-Silverton RR (takes all day)

Salt Lake City or Phoenix are other places to fly into.

9. Re: Grand Circle camping trip; camping gear; itinerary

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Henderson, Nevada
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10. Re: Grand Circle camping trip; camping gear; itinerary

The area is camping friendly... Not too hot, not too cold,

Maybe bring expensive stuff like sleeping bags but buy a cheap tent there.... Coolers are cheap... As others have noted Southwest is very liberal with their baggage allowances... Two bags per person... With 4 of you that could be 4 bags or bins of equipment beyond a bag each... some could be footlocker type bins.

One thing, July can bring the monsoon rains (mostly afternoon thunder showers) so a awning is a good idea for your table... I have spent more than one evening under an awning by the fire with rain falling... its really special, particularly the smell sage wet sage brush.