Red Cliffs National Conservation Area!

Thursday, October 5 (continued)

“Leeds.  Oh, shoot.  I think that was our exit.”

The crew and I cruise south on Interstate 15 on our way to a new camp.   At the next exit we roll down the ramp.  This puts us on the highway that goes to Hurricane, Utah.  I don’t want to go to Hurricane.

I look for a place to turn around.  

Before I find one, I spot a sign “Quail Creek State Park.”

Hmm . . . Might as well take a look. 

As you can see from the next photo, the name “Quail Creek” is misleading.  The state park sits along the shore of a lake.

I drive into a parking area near the boat ramp, beach, and entrance to the campground.

A sign says “Campground Full.”

NOTE:  Contrary to what my previous post would lead one to believe, we didn’t make an early start this morning.  Our departure from Minersville Lake was late because I wanted to complete and publish a blog post first.   I also stopped in Salina to buy a rotisserie chicken.

I park the Perfect Tow Vehicle and Best Little Trailer next to a picnic table in the shade.

“C’mon, guys.  I need some lunch.”  

I get out the rotisserie chicken. The crew and I enjoy a quick picnic.  Quick because I’m concerned about securing a campsite at Red Cliffs due to it being a small campground that’s convenient to the populations at St. George and Washington, as well as to the hordes visiting Zion National Park.

My Utah Benchmark atlas shows how I can correct my exit error.

“If we continue on this same road past the lake, it goes to Harrison and to the other side of the interstate and eventually to Red Cliffs..  I remember reading about tunnels to get there.”

Oh dear . . . Here it is one o’clock already.

“We’d better get a move on.”

Sure enough, soon we are going  through the tunnels (height limit 14 ft.) and reach the entrance.

And soon it’s apparent this is an uncommonly lovely setting for a campground!

I stop to read the board at the fee station.  

Camping is $15 regular which means it’s $7.50 for those of us with a senior discount pass. There are water spigots, toilet houses, and trash bins.

After passing a few campsites we cross a small bridge and continue through the campground.

Seven out of the eleven choices are occupied.

One is too short and sloped for the BLT.  Another is too sunny with its shade structure too far from where one parks one’s rig.  The third choice is too close to a neighbor.  The fourth site is laid out well and has charm.  Unfortunately it is terribly sloped also.

I like the site in the next photo (taken a day later).  It’s occupied this morning.

Having made one tour through the campground, I drive through a second time.

Decision time!

While walking to check one of the campsites a couple towing a pop-up camper call me over to their driver’s side window.

We discuss the choices. Fortunately they don’t want the site I want and I don’t want the site they want.  (They choose the “short and sloped” site.)

I choose the fourth, described above.

In order to level the BLT I put a block of wood and the cone under the jack and then crank the jack up as high as it will go.  I don’t like a set-up like this, but it’s necessary to obtain level on this slope.

Immediately I put out the awning because the afternoon has become hot.

Our view from our “outdoor room” and the shade shelter is very nice.  The next photo was taken later during the glow of the sunset hour.  It looks like “there’s gold in them thar hills!”

Remember those two green Crenshaw melons?  The ones I bought on our way out of Green River?

They’re long gone.

While we camped at Maple Grove, they turned yellow-ripe and I ate them up.  Luscious!

I did have the foresight this morning to buy a watermelon in Salina.

Heh-heh.  Come to mama.

This melon is from California, not Green River, Utah.  I wrap up half of the watermelon and pop it into the fridge.

I take the other half and a fork over to my lounger.

This is a nice site.  I like this.  Mmm . . . good watermelon.

 “Yes, you can have some.”

I hand a watermelon chunk to Reggie and one to Roger.

The crew wouldn’t know what it is like to watch me eat without getting some, too!



In the next post:  The boys hike Red Cliffs!

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53 Responses to Red Cliffs National Conservation Area!

  1. I want to be first …… just once!! 🙂

  2. Kathy N in MI says:

    Just happened to open my mail and saw the notice. Lovely pictures (again)

  3. Yes, not I have to go back and study all of the colorful photos and information in depth!

    That little robot ‘person’ refused me about 8 times before letting me post again! But it’s worth it not to get spammed! Now, I’m going to try and see if it will accept my math again! LOL

    • The photos are beautiful, and the colors set my heart to the “Yearn” position! I’m getting ready to run away from home again, and hoping to meet up with some fellow travelers in Quartzsite along the way if everything works out.

      Your scenery is spectacular and it’s going to be below freezing in my corner of Texas tonight, .. minus that pretty view, too! Have fun, Sue & Crew!!

  4. Millie says:

    Congratulations Becky!! You did it!!

  5. Virginia620 AL says:


  6. Like the views from your site. Hope your stay was a good one. Looking forward to seeing the hiking photos.

  7. David Ainley says:

    Nice pics

  8. Archae says:

    Great photos, as always!!! They really inspire me to try taking pictures too. Tried to take a picture of a jackrabbit. His ears were so long, and they stood up straight, and I don’t see many jackrabbits, mostly just cottontails. At any rate, the pic showed the rabbit but he blended into the background so well, he was difficult to find. Oh well, I’ll just continue to enjoy yours. : ) Thanks for sharing them.

  9. Barbara(Nashville) says:

    The drive to this camp is as beautiful as the camp itself. I love the sunset photo “gold in them thar hills” It does just glisten like gold. I guess taking the next exit wasn’t too bad after all. I got confused with the site. Did you get the one you wanted or not?
    Have a great evening.

  10. Renee from Idaho says:

    Top ten again! Woo hoo!

  11. Joe Bruner says:

    Looks like you escaped the real cold weather and landed in a “golden spot”. Enjoy!

  12. Sharon in MO says:

    What a beautiful area to camp! Hoping to see you get a better site tomorrow.

  13. rvsueandcrew says:

    From a few of the comments so far I get the impression the post is unclear about what site we took.

    I described four vacant campsites. We ended up in the fourth choice.

    “The fourth site is laid out well and has charm. Unfortunately it is terribly sloped also.”

    By using a block of wood and a cone and jacking the tongue of the BLT as far up as it will go, I was able to level the BLT on that sloped site.

    I posted a photo of a campsite that was vacated the next day simply to show a campsite. We did not move into that site.

    Sorry for the confusion!

  14. Deena in Phoenix says:

    Good evening Sue, lovely pictures…what are Reggie and Roger looking at the in the last photo.

    Take Care

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good evening, Deena,

      I don’t think they’re looking at anything in particular…. looking at the scenery, I guess. They acted awestruck. Me, too! 🙂

  15. ValGal (westernWA) says:

    I love red rock country. It’s so scenic and looks so stunning in angled light. Your pics are awesome.

    I’m sure Reg and Roger were happy you acquired the rotisserie chicken. 🙂

    Hope you are doing well and enjoying yourself.

  16. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue!

    I loved the camp blast from the past on the last post! I bet you about drowned yourself with delight in the unlimited hot shower! 🙂

    This camp offers a gorgeous light show on the red rocks. I spotted some of the white, morning glory-like flowers…very soft and pretty against the rougher sagebrush, grasses, and red rocks. 🙂

    Sending you, Reggie, and Roger love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! Now I want some watermelon…again!! 🙂 N’nite!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      I think that plant is the Sacred Datura, also known as Belladonna or Jimson Weed. It’s one of the nightshade — poisonous.

      Hugs to you and Gracie pup!

  17. Jo in OR says:

    Gorgeous red rock pictures. The luscious red watermelon looks juicy and succulent. My little Dolly pup loves melon morsels. Our two grandkids are spending the night so they could meet Dolly we’ve had a blast. We are enjoying sunny, in the 70’s, weather so perfect. Doesn’t feel like Oregon…in a good way.
    Far cry from last years dreary wet October. Thank you Jesus!

  18. Teri Live Oak Fl says:

    Beautiful place you have found. I’m glad you tell us the roads you use, I like to follow along even if you miss your exit.

  19. Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

    Back in red rock country! I love the walls of red, especially if there are petroglyphs around!
    I just answered the question about my knee replacement on the previous post! I will do it again so the person who asked will be sure to read it!
    I did have both knees replaced, but not at the same time. My surgeon didn’t want to do it because at this time I hadn’t met Chuck yet and I was living alone. (Seems strange writing this because Chuck has become so much a part of me! 💜) So he insisted on doing them a month apart. The first week was rough and awkward but I did the physical therapy and I was ready and healed enough to do the second knee!

    • JazzLover says:

      Thanks Geri, I did see your previous post. It sounds like you could maneuver around alright after just 1 month recovery. Did you have any type of a support system from friends, visiting nurses, etc, and about what age were you for the 1st op, if you don’t mind me asking. If so I understand. Thanks you for posting this info again.

  20. Beverly says:

    Beautiful camping spot.

  21. Pauline from Mississippi says:

    Another great campsite. You sure do “live” in some beautiful places. I love the pictures, of course.
    Always enjoy reading about you, the crew and your travels.
    Love and Hugs

  22. Dawn says:

    Wow! What a gorgeous spot! Love that red! Have fun, looking forward to exploring around there with you.

  23. Kathy Nagy says:

    The best line…..”Heh-heh. Come to mama.” I just laughed when I read that!

  24. Dawn in NC says:

    I my gosh Sue! The campground ⛺️ looks spectacular! I LOVE the photo “there’s gold in them there hills”. Although not the most optimal site, I am glad you found one you can make do with. After escaping the snow and cold, I cannot believe you have to face the heat again! 😸 It’s finally cooling down in NC. Highs are the low seventies or in the sixties. It’s good to be able to turn off my a/c. I got my flu shot this week. I am excited to mark that off my list! Can’t wait to read about your hike.

  25. weather says:

    Gee, I understand why you said that is an uncommonly lovely setting for a campground, wow, it really is! Perhaps some sites aren’t level because in order to clear and flatten the ground too much of what makes it lovely (natural mounds, slopes, plants, rocks, etc.) would have been destroyed. That’s a good reminder of why you carry blocks of wood and boards with you. I love the views from your campsite, with and without the gold before sunset, just beautiful, with a wonderful blend of rugged and delicate…Thanks, Sue, for sharing another great discovery and post.

    • weather says:

      Yikes, I looked at the widget and noticed the forecast low for tonight is 18 degrees in Saint George, Utah. I’m glad you and the crew aren’t currently there. Wishing you a good day spent enjoying where you are at the moment 🙂

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I saw that, too! The sudden drop in overnight lows was why I didn’t stay one day longer at Salina to have the heater installed, which seems to be a contradiction in thinking… Ha!

        Thank you for the good-day wish. I want the same for you, weather. We’re very comfortable here, sleeping with the windows open until early morning, enjoying warm breezes and plenty of sunshine every day. 80s during the day, overnight low in the high 50s…

  26. Rover Ronda (WA) says:

    We love Red Cliffs! We’ve camped there a couple times. I think we camped in the site you’re pictured in back when we were tent camping. There’s a great tent site hidden from the road and other sites back in the tall bushes. The slope was no problem for us then of course. I’m sure you and the crew had a great time hiking there. Looking forward to seeing your hikes.

  27. Sarvi in OR (but currently in MI) says:

    How lucky are you that you get to experience all this amazingness!

    I was born and raised in MI, and I’m constantly asked by people in MI whether I’m ever going to move back. I couldn’t imagine moving away from the west coast/western half of the country. I’ve been in MI for the past 4 weeks now and I miss the mountains and the easiness of the West. It’s a different world out there.

  28. Jenny Johnson says:

    That is a very nice photo of the boys and the Red Rocks–You find the neatest camps!! I enjoy reading about your travels

  29. Ramona says:

    Sue, another great post! I have been tooling about in a van (I’m a traveling RN, hopefully retiring in the next 5 years) and the only thing really holding me back from a travel trailer is the whole towing and backing thing. I have no experience at all, although my vehicle does have a tow package. My question is this: did you have any experience towing before you launched into the travel trailer life? If not, what was the learning curve like? I’m currently in the PNW and the roads here make me cringe just with the van (which is new to me-never drove such a large vehicle), so the thought of towing really gives me pause. I’ve had a few impatient locals stuck behind me as I inch along (although I do pull over as soon as I can to let them pass). Do you have any advice or words of wisdom?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Ramona,

      To answer your questions… My only towing experience was a boat trailer. I only had the opportunity to back it up once because my husband suffered from the common male disorder of “Here, Let me do that.” 🙂

      My learning curve for backing up was easy. However, since reading comments on this blog over the years, I realize that it’s difficult for some people, maybe due to a dyslexic type challenge when using the side mirrors. I don’t know.

      Hold the steering wheel at the bottom, look in the side mirror, turn the wheel in the direction you want the trailer to go. If you make a mistake, go forward and try again. There are no penalties for number of tries! 🙂

      I refuse to use any “crutches” like a tennis ball on a stick or backup camera or anything. Also, after help with my first back-in (for which I was grateful), I do not let other people “help.” It’s better to be independent in order to become and to remain confident.

      My concerns about towing a travel trailer soon fell away. Towing the BLT isn’t much different than driving the PTV without it. Just don’t make sharp turns like at a gas station island where you might drag your TT against those posts. Hitching and unhitching isn’t as big a deal as people make it out to be. Go slow, have patience.

      As for the “impatient locals.” Sorry to be blunt but Screw Them. That’s my attitude when driving. I pull over when safe but I NEVER let tailgaters or other types of fools to influence my own driving speed.

      Having a vehicle you can separate from your home is essential for full-timing (my opinion).

      You’ll do great, Ramona! Anyone who can learn to be an RN can learn anything!

      • Ramona says:

        Thanks for your encouragement! And thanks to other responders as well. Pretty sure a TT is in my future but I will wait until I sell my house in Florida. It seems they are making so many advances in RV living in the past couple of years, especially in the area of solar energy and decreasing costs. Looking forward to seeing what the future brings.

    • I was always scared of towing also, and couldn’t back up a trailer to save my life! I now haul around a 33 foot travel trailer hooked to a 22 foot truck… crazy! Once you get the hang of it, it’s really not difficult. As Sue said, don’t take sharp turns!

      As far as impatient locals, I also agree with what Sue said, HOWEVER, if you are in Oregon, you are required to pull over if you are a slow vehicle, to allow those behind you to pass. It is law, although it seems many people don’t do it.

    • Terry says:

      Thank you Ramona for asking Sue those questions and thank you Sue for your responses. I just bought a commercial cargo van last week. I’ve had the same concerns but have picked up info here and there from various bloggers and utube. I’m 66 and hope to get on the road within the next year. Meantime I camped in the van with my puppies Beau and Tibbs this past weekend. It was cold outside (Illinois) but we were toasty inside with a small ceramic heater and electric blanket. Wishing you the best. Terry

  30. Diann in MT says:

    Great information, Sue! You are a wealth of information. A couple of years ago, you offered the same instructions on backing up. I copied your advice and keep it in the truck. I am guilty of “He can do it” attitude, but there may come a day when I need to grab the “Sue instructions” and do it on my own.
    Good luck to Ramona. You have the perfect occupation for driving around and picking up work as you need it. What a great set up!

  31. ReneeG from Idaho says:

    Excellent advice Sue and one that my husband and I both use. I tow our 35′ fifth wheel off and on and back it, but not as much as my husband. When I’m driving, he tells me to not let anyone rush me, let them pass, take my time, etc. His secret for backing, again, take your time, back slowly, pull forward, back again, pull forward again, and you’ll be fine.

  32. Jean in Southaven says:

    Good morning Sue and pups. I enjoyed this post. It is beautiful there. The colors really pop in these photos. I saw where you identified the flower in one of the pictures. It sure is pretty, too bad it is poisoness. Do the boys pay any attention to it? I just placed two order thru Amazon from your site. One for the complete set of Harry Potter moves and one a glider rocker with ottoman. I have an Autistic granddaughter who is twelve. I bought her the rocker for her Christmas. She has already worn one of these rockers out. So time to replace. Hope you have a great day. Thank you for sharing the pictures and your day. I always enjoy your posts.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Jean,

      That plant was right next to our outdoor room. Reg and Rog paid it no attention other than chasing lizards around it. Rog does walk up to plants and start eating them… I think maybe that’s because of his survivalist history? Anyway… I try to stop him. He hasn’t bit into anything poisonous so I’m hoping he has an instinct about that because I can’t watch him every second.

      Thank you for the orders, Jean! I see the Harry Potter books. The rocker will probably show up later. If one items appears, the rest follow. Thoughtful of you to provide your granddaughter with a rocker. Those gliders are very soothing.

  33. Nivrapa in AZ says:

    Golly, Sue, this is really a neat area and I’m so glad you took us to it.

    I follow your travels on my Benchmarks and for a short time I think I was lost. I was confused by the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve and the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area and the state lands of Snow Canyon. I had to confer with my friend Google to figure out where the heck you were and sort out all the public lands in that area. Well, I’m not lost any more. At least I was lost in the right direction.

    That whole area north of St. George is rated very highly in scenic beauty and outdoor activities–many being for families. I remember being to Snow Canyon but I really had no idea what is beyond the state park or outside of Zion NP. Me thinks I’ve been missing out on some good stuff. I really need to do some exploring of some of the lesser known attractions next time I’m in that area. There seems to be some good hiking with great rewards. Did you explore any of the back roads looking for boondocks while you were at Red Cliff? Being a frugal traveler, I need to locate some boondocks to use while I do some roamin’ around the canyons, cliffs, and rocks. I downloaded a map of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve and there looks to be some possibilities. I’ll see if Google Earth can be more exact about such camps.

    Having great fun with my maps (again) but not getting a darn thing done around the house (again). It’s all your fault, Sue! But I suppose you’ve been charged with greater crimes so don’t take this one seriously. Travel on!—Audrey

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Audrey,

      I’ll skip over my rap sheet and answer your question. 🙂 No, I didn’t look for boondocks. I had done some of that when we camped at Baker Reservoir and drove in the area of Gunlock State Park. Generally I don’t look for boondocks near popular areas. If I remember correctly I heard there is camping on a road going south out of St. George…Looking at my map, Mt. Trumbull Road?

      For Snow Canyon, Baker Reservoir Campground is inexpensive and convenient.

      Yes, confusing….Desert Reserve on maps and National Conservation Area on signs…

  34. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    You’re getting closer! Love the red rocks!
    Always wanted to visit St George….one day!
    Stay warm cuddled up with the crew!
    Have a great night!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Cinandjules,

      I hope Lady Luck was with you in Vegas! You have a great night, too.

      • Cinandjules 🌵 says:

        We go to have fun. Mandalay Bay is the first hotel you was a bit ominous. So many lives affected.

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