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  1. Default Louisville To Bryce and Back in 17 Days

    Just looking for some critiques, and any ideas or recommendations.

    My girlfriend and I are taking this roadtrip the two weeks leading up to Memorial Day. We plan to do moderate hiking at most of the places we visit and a lot of car camping to keep the costs down. I'd love to drive Monument valley but dont see it possible in this trip. And yes we are prepared for the cold mountain nights!! :)

    Itinerary:
    #1 Louisville to almost Salina KS w/ stop at St louis arch
    #2-3 Salina to Colorado Springs. Pikes peak, garden of gods, etc, chill day
    #4 Co springs to Great Sand dunes, spend day at dunes
    #5 Sand dunes to Durango
    #6 Durango, Mesa Verde stuff, to Arches
    #7 Arches hiking to short drive over to Dead horse point st park
    #8 Moab half day river raft down Colorado River
    #9 to Bryce Canyon
    #10 Hiking in Bryce
    #11 to North Rim Grand Canyon, short hike, camp (yes the road will have just opened)
    #12 to sunest crater, sedona
    #13 half day sedona, to meteor crater, petrified forest
    #14 to Santa Fe and spend day
    #15 make a push to Oklahoma City
    #16 to Hot springs and get a spa treatment for our aching backs
    #17 Back to KY
    Last edited by Loui1; 05-09-2006 at 08:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Get the "full treatment"!

    Quote Originally Posted by Loui1
    Just looking for some critiques, and any ideas or recommendations.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! It is a thoughtful itinerary, but I think you are cramming more activity in most of the days than there are daylight hours. I like the 16th day the best -- be sure to make enough time to get "the treatment" from the professional bathers at the NPS location. Trust me, it is unlike anything you might have imagined...

    I am not sure how you will have sufficient time to do "moderate hiking" and car-camping and still see all of these places, but I have been wrong before on this count. Look at Packman's recent post about his trip and hikes!

    Mark

  3. Default Louisville To Bryce and Back in 17 Days

    Thank you for your reply. Yes I know its pretty packed tight :)

    What average speed should I use when calculating travel times through the mountains on Federal highways, but non-Interstate routes,? I used 50mph with Microsoft Streets & Trips.

    The only places we'll go hiking are where its listed in the itinerary. And at most they'll be 3-4 hour hikes. I guess it can be considered less than moderate hiking.

    Any recommendations as to what to leave out and where to spend more time? Like spend more than a half day at Mesa Verde? Skip the Dunes? We plan to blow through petrified forest, meteor crater, sunset crater.

    I'm thinking a possibility is to leave out Bryce and the Grand Canyon for a future trip to Vegas if we really get behind schedule.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default I like it!

    I really like your trip outline. Its right along the same lines of most trips I take. Lots of driving, not staying in one place too long, but seeing most of the places I want to see in an area. I also like that you are keeping things flexable and you're willing to make changes if you get behind your original plan. Like I said, this is the kind of trip I usually do, but I'll also be the first to say, there is something nice about having a day or two where you stay in the same place - and don't have to tear down your campsite and re-pack the car.

    BTW, what kind of car are you using for this trip? If you've got 4WD, make sure you take the sand road back alongside the dunes at Sand Dunes NP.

    50 mph might be a tad optimistic on the mountain roads, but I imagine it should be close enough to give you a good ballpark estimate.

    Good Luck and Have Fun!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Less is nearly always more

    Quote Originally Posted by Loui1
    I'm thinking a possibility is to leave out Bryce and the Grand Canyon for a future trip to Vegas if we really get behind schedule.
    Like Michael mentioned, the luxury of being able to spend a couple of days in any one of those places is pretty grand. If you leave Bryce and the Grand to another trip, you will still have more than enough cool places to explore.

    The 50 average speed is reasonable. What we use as the tried-and-true estimates is 57 mph in the west and 53 mpg in the eastern sections of the USA. For dirt/gravel roads, you should figure 25-30 mph as an average speed (I usually drive ~40 on roads that some folks poke along at 15-20 -- but I have thousands of hours of off-highway travel and have only broken a few trucks along the way...) Critical importance - air down your tires on any off-highway travel -- different road -- but the concept is the same (read the first paragraph on this page).

    Mark

  6. Default Louisville To Bryce and Back in 17 Days

    57mph, that's good info. I have streets and trips stopping 30min every 2.5 hours automatically so it should be a good estimate.

    The only way I can go offroading is if I find a place that rents dune buggies. :) We're taking a Honda Civic, BTW which does awesome in the mountains (have the sport version).

    Thank you for the tips. I just found the "search" function and there is definitely a wealth of info to go through!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Search: What a concept!

    Quote Originally Posted by Loui1
    I just found the "search" function and there is definitely a wealth of info to go through!
    Yep, even those of us who work on this Forum daily sometimes forget just how much data and ideas are contained herein.

    Mark

  8. Default Trip Done!

    Well, made the trip! Upon more thought, we cut out Bryce and saved it for a future flight to Vegas and surrounding area. The time saved not going to Bryce was spent in Sedona and we were glad we did this. Theres so much to do in Sedona. One note, the average speed of 57mph way underestimated travel times...mainly due to my travel software adding on fuel and lunch stops automatically.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Glad you had a great trip!

    Please consider coming back and doing a trip report. We love details. And the details you share can help future travelers planning their roadtrips.

    As for driving times, I often make a trip quicker than the 57mph estimate. However, if I bank on getting there faster, I'm often disappointed and then stress and strain to keep up with travel expectations sets in. To be honest, here's what I usually do...I figure time-frames for where I want to get each day based on the 57mph. Then I have a list of miles between the various major places I plan on driving through with the estimated travel times from one spot to the next. If I'm making good time, great. I know that I have extra time to stop and explore, meander, etc. I would rather over-estimate travel time and be pleasantly surprised then to under-estimate and be under the gun to reach a destination. Hope that makes sense.

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