Monday, September 9, 2013

On To Mt Carmel Junction

We continue with our tour to places that you have never heard of. This stop is our location from which to explore a few places you have heard of – Zion NP, Bryce Canyon NP, and the north rim of Grand Canyon NP (and a few other lesser known ones as well).  There really isn’t a town of Mt Carmel Junction it is just an area south of another unincorporated area, Mt Carmel.  We are literally at the junction of Highway 89 and Highway 9.  The latter goes west into Zion NP.  There isn’t a whole lot here – a couple motels, a couple gas stations and our campground.

2013-09-06_17-42-24_930Our small 12-site campground is owned and operated by the Best Western East Zion Thunderbird Lodge.  We found this place through our favorite campground locating tool –  So what amenities did we get here?  We got a 50 amp full-hookup site.  The park said most of their sites were 30 amp but when we got here they had a 50 amp available and we grabbed it – at no additional cost.  The reviews said the small park could be quite dusty but it seems to us they must have recently laid down a nice layer of rocks and it is not dirty nor dusty at all.  The reviews also said we would not be able to get a satellite signal because of the line of trees behind us, but Gary tweaked us forward in our spot and you can see it the picture the dish is up and it is pulling in signal just fine.


2013-09-06_17-41-16_19And being owned by the Best Western we are allowed to use their swimming pool and hot tub, at no extra charge.  And the Lodge also has a nine-hole executive-length golf course and for who knows exactly why, campground guests who stay for a week for more are allowed to play without paying greens fees, just a small cart fee. 

2013-09-06_16-26-46_695And there is a restaurant at the Lodge that advertises its HO-MADE Pies.  .

We had been reading that we would pay more for campgrounds this year as we would be in highly traveled, major attraction areas.  On the whole, we have done pretty well in trying to hold down campground costs.  We have had many a night in the low $20s, but then did have to bite the bullet in Jackson.Wyoming and pay $60 a night.  So how did we do here in Mt Carmel, an area of national parks, staying at a Best Western Lodge, with full 50 amp hookups, pool and hot tub, golf course with no greens fees.  How does $16 a night sound.


  1. Sounds like a great find - isn't the internet great for that. We're east of you in Moab.

  2. That's sound like a GREAT rate for a CG near the national parks and so many other beautiful attractions. We'll have to add this one to our list. Thanks.

  3. Just read your last couple of posts and I have to ask: Did you drive on Highway 12 in your motor home or your tow car? And if you drove the motor home, how was it? Jim says it would be no problem; I'd be worrying about meeting meeting another big rig along the way.

    1. We did not take our motor home on 12. All the driving we did on 12 was in our car. The pavement is excellent and the lanes are good sized. We saw many an RV driving it. We would never take a road like it it an RV. First, we both have problems with sheer drop offs. There is one "neck" on the part where we drove in the car where it was narrow lanes with drops straight down on both sides. There are serious grades as you can see by the picture of the warning sign. The 14% is very short but there are some long stretches with 6-8% continuous (7% is about the max we are comfortable with). Our motor home currently seems to be heating up just a bit too quickly on long grades (we need to have it checked) which is another reason we would not have gone that way. It has to be a bit tough on most any rig. But again, many RVs were doing it -- motor homes, fifth wheels, travel trailers, and truck campers. It is a beautiful scenic road not to be missed. And if you have plenty of power and braking and heights are not a problem for you, then go for it. For us to avoid it in the motor home, we took 24 east from Torrey to 62 south and west to 89 south.

    2. Thanks for your thoughts on that. We drove it in an SUV some years back and the drop offs made me briefly shut my eyes several times. Fortunately for us and others on the road, Jim (not me) was driving. But it sure is beautiful.