Thursday, February 27, 2014

Upcoming Outdoor 2014 Trip (Grand Canyon - South Rim - Mather Campground)

Grand Canyon - Smokey Sunrise - Visiting South Rim during forest fire on North Rim



 Trip Planner 2014

Nights of June 16,17,18,18, 2014 Trip Dates are locked in - make your reservations!

While Yosemite was our first choice we were unable to secure reservations.  We have locked in on Mather Campground at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon NP.  We are car/RV/tent camping at Mather Campground within the park.  We will use that campground as a base camp to do day trips.  Spend about 4 to 5 days in the park hiking, doing photography, and seeing points of interest during the dayDutch Oven cook, and sit around the campfire during the evening.  Currently we have people booked at sites 206, 208, and 207.

This is very informal and you are welcome to venture out on your own once at our destination, or organize hikes or events and volunteer as a leader on any of those.  If your idea of fun is sitting around camp all day there is definitely ample time for that too!  Mather Campground has no RV hookups but there are showers, laundry, and a small general store across the street from the entrance.  The last time I was there they had Cell and WiFi connectivity in the area of the store.  A great place to grab a cup of coffee and check your email...if that is a requirement. 

Follow some of they links to activities on previous trips.
Havasu Falls Backpacking 2012 - Grand Canyon area, Arizona
Yellowstone and Red Rocks - A brief look at several favorite spots in Western USA
Yellowstone Buffalo 2013 - A powerful itch!
Yellowstone's Roosevelt's Cowboy Cookout - Head 'em up - Move 'em Out!
Yellowstone's Thermal Pools 2013
Yellowstone NP Early visitors where treated as Mad as in Crazy
Yellowstone "Old Faithful" 2013

To date we have 6 definite committing to the trip, and  3 sites reserved.  Get on our exclusive mailing list for future updates, upcoming itinerary, and input into our activities.  We need someone to investigate and schedule activities similar to the Cowboy Cookout we attended at Yellowstone NP>

It is up to each individual to secure their own reservations for camp sites/lodging, transportation, RV/Camping gear.  As with previous trips we will caravan one group from Las Vegas, Nevada.  You are welcome to join that group.  Or meet up with the group along the way or at the campground.

We collect no money and are not responsible in anyway for your personal safety, arrangements, lodging, gear, food, or transportation. 

We screen the best we can and limit who is considered.  We also limit the size of our group.  We are looking for those that enjoy photography and Dutch Oven & BBQ cooking.  We especially need someone half way decent with playing a guitar around the campfire.  Also those into Teardrop Trailer Camping, Scamp Trailer Camping, and Small Trailer Camping.  Heavy drinking, any type of drug use, and loud types, are not tolerated on this trip.  You must agree to leave the group at any time if asked to do so, even if that occurs during the trip. 

We are gathering a group of people, friends, and family for the trip.  You must be drug free, and a light, to non drinker to be selected to travel with us.  Please do not ask to join if you are not.  Anyone securing a seat to travel with us in our personal vehicle must further be a non smoker.  At this point those seats are all spoken for.  

Reserve America (National Parks Campsite Reservations 
Mather Campground Map 
Grand Canyon NP Maps
Grand Canyon Things to Do

A follow-up article will be posted in the TOPONAUTIC blog with our story and photography from the trip.

Please email info to

Trip organizer Contacts are Rick Beach
                                          Dustin Beach



  1. Sounds like a GREAT Adventure! Looking forward to this. Have enjoyed many prior Adventures with several participants. Anytime is fine. Will bring my Scamp Travel Trailer.

  2. This would be a great trip. Have never seen Yosemite before. Are you considering the July timeframe again for this trip? Maybe the Sider's can come too. Keep us updated on further plans.

  3. Siders' are intrigued if arrangements can be made around other committments which are not set in stone yet either. I contacted Craig and Jen (son & wife= C/J) to see if they were interested and could help out with maps, photos. They are also intriqued. Jen has set up a Pinterest Board that I can on which I can post at: Rick and Brian, Are you guys on Pinterest. I know Bill and Ali do. Yosemite's web page on camping is not very hopeful on getting reservations inside the park. You may read it at Jen has asked her CA friends about the best time to visit Yosemite, etc. I'll send what she has received in separate comments. C/J live east of San Francisco and naturally would come into Yosemite on the opposite side. Apparently the time of year would determine the best entrance as well. We would naturally go in with C/J.

  4. From Cynthia to Jen:
    May/June is the best time to go because that is when the falls are fullest. I think if they went to get reservations right now they would find them full. They could probably get a site for one night and move to another site the 2nd night. Yosemite is my favorite place ever!

  5. more advice

    Hi, Jenny:

    I would suggest going in early June: (1) Kids haven’t gotten out of school yet so the crowds are smaller. (2) The waterfalls are spectacular because of the rains & melting snow. By late summer, they’re much smaller. Try googling for private campgrounds near Yosemite. The last time we were there, we weren’t able to get reservations inside the park so we had to camp at a private campground about 45 minutes outside the park. But afterwards, we decided it was worth it to see those waterfalls!


  6. Hi Jenny,

    I agree with Cindy, though if they don't mind cold mornings and evenings they could even go a little earlier, say mid-May, before Memorial Day weekend. It is beautiful there then, and there might even be some snow (if we ever get any) around. Speaking of that, since it's such a dry winter so far, that might mean waterfalls will dry up sooner...I also recommend even a small motel outside the park. Lots cheaper and pretty close to gates. Definitely check into National Park passes for seniors (if that applies) as well, which could either make entry discounted or free.

    Good luck,

  7. Keep the advice coming. Great info. We already looked at May. All reservations but 2 for the whole NP area are taken. Those 2 sites that are still open are about as far away from us as can be. Never realized it is so tough getting a reservation. We are looking at mid June right now since the reservations for that time frame have not opened up yet.

  8. From: Jennifer Siders
    6:02 PM (13 hours ago)
    A mom from science class said they always just call last minute to see if there are any cancelations to snag a camp spot - not very helpful for a big group. This woman below also sounds more like winging it and doing more 'off the beaten track' then what your group wants to do.
    We stopped at Kings Canyon when we moved here - it was beautiful but the switchback road up the mountain was scary enough in a car, I can't imagine with an rv.


    Hi Jenny. We too avoided Yosemite for years, but in recent years have discovered how best to enjoy it. It's pretty obvious stuff: Go before school lets out or after it is back in session in the fall. The more off season you are, the better. If the weather is less than perfect, less people will be there. We usually use the more remote, higher elevation campgrounds, fewer folks up there. There are fewer folks away from the valley, amenities and visitors center. The campgrounds with fewer amenities (like flush toilets and showers) and with no RVs/ smaller RV spots are less in demand. If you go up say on a Tuesday or Wednesday, you can often find a place at the first-come, first-served campgrounds. Try to avoid arriving Thursday through Sunday, I'd say. In the past, we have stayed at campgrounds outside the park if they were full when we got there, and then went in the next morning and snagged a spot. Also, you are allowed to pull over and camp in some locations outside the park, you can get info about locations online and also inside the park where they will also issue you the required camp-fire permit. This year is a great time to go if you don't want to drive in harsh conditions. Be aware however that some roads and campsites are closed for the winter up there, always check first even if we have not had much snow.

    Don't forget about Kings Canyon/Sequoia! Just as spectacular and almost deserted compared to Yosemite!

    Happy Camping,

  9. Dates are good for me, Rick. I would really like to see the area. I'll keep checking back here for updates.

  10. Unable to obtain Yosemite reservations. Have diverted to Mather Campground at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Campsite reservations are being made around the site #206 area. Reserve soon. There are still open sites available.

  11. I looked back at my records and we were both surprised to find that we hadn't been to the South Rim since June, 2006, when we began our RV adventure. The highlight of that trip was our helicopter tour of the canyon which still ranks right up there as one of our top experiences.
    Grand Canyon Bus Tour from Las Vegas


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