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  1. Default Road Trip from Minnesota through Grand Circle region

    Hi all,

    My family and I are planning our summer road trip. We'll have 18 days in June and will be seeing Colorado, Utah and Arizona. Right now, we are planning the following:

    Day 1- Drive straight through to Colorado
    Day 2,3- Camp at Rocky Mountains NP
    Day 4,5- Camp at Arches NP
    Day 6- Camp at Monument Valley
    Day 7,8- Camp near Sedona, AZ
    Day 9,10- Lodge at Grand Canyon NP
    Day 11,12- Lodge at Mesa Verde NP
    Day 13,14,15- Hotel at Colorado Springs
    Day 16,17- head home more leisurely.

    I think the most driving we'll have on any day (other than coming and going home) is 6 hours. Does this sound reasonable for two 40-yr olds and an 8 year old boy?

    Next, our local Science Museum has an 'exchange' program, where if kids bring in natural treasures from their travels, they can trade them for stuff other kids have brought. Of course, we can't take stuff from National Parks, so we're a bit stuck. Anyone know where we could find some local nature stuff that he could bring back from this trip, or have ideas?

    Lastly, going from Monument Valley to Sedona, I'd like to swing out and catch Canyon de Chelly and Petrified Forest NP, but I don't know if that's too much driving to try and make in one day. Does anyone have experience with the roads through Navajo tribal lands? Are they maintained, or should I stick with US highways?

    Thanks for any information, and any suggestions for stuff I should do along the way!!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Looks like a good trip to me!

    Greetings and welcome to the RTA Forums!

    Since I'm don't know where home is, I can't comment on whether or not your 1-day there/2 days back is adequate or not.

    You have several stretches where you are driving about 400 miles (Rocky Mtn to Arches to Monument Valley). You'll probably find that these will take you closer to 7 hours to drive. But then you also have another day just for exploring, right? So this will work well...driving one ady and playing another I think it's a good balance. And you do have some shorter driving days (like 200 miles) so, again, good balance.

    I really can't see any mistakes in your plans. I think you've put together a good trip. Of course, there are so many other things to see in CO/UT/AZ that you're only brushing the surface. But there is no way you could fit it all in anyway. I think you're seeing some of the best of the best.

    As long as you are sensitive to your child's needs and stop when he gets really wiggly, you should be OK. Even if you have to stop at something as mundane as a city park with some playground equipment, that should be fine. Your son can run, play, and you can do it with him because you should get some exercise, too. It's better to stop more often, for short periods of time, to help him use up his excess energy than it is to make him sit for hours and be miserable. And then you'll be miserable, too.

    As far as I can see, the roads through the Navajo land you're traveling on are still state highways. The ones I've driven on in that area have always been nicely maintained and haven't presented any driving problems. If someone else is aware of something, I'm sure they'll chime in.

    Oh, you'll probably be going right past 4 Corners so you may want to stop there. It will probably thrill your son to put his 4 feet/hands in 4 states at the same time!

    There are several regular contributors who live in the SW and CO/UT areas that might have more specific input than I can offer you off-hand, but I think you've done a great job planning your trip.

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