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  1. #1

    Default 10 day family trip from Denver

    Just starting to plan our August roadtrip and could definitely use some advice. Our family consists of two exhausted parents and 9 year old triplets (two sports obsessed boys and a girl who loves animals.) We spent 10 days driving around Arizona last summer and had a great time. This time we will start and end in Denver. We definitely want to see Durango, Old Faithful and Mount Rushmore. We aren't really into hiking or camping but a little horseback riding or a guided nature tour would be nice (the Pink Jeep tour in Sedona last summer was a huge hit with the kids!) We've never been to that part of the country so we would like to see a lot but not spend a majority of our time in the car. After spending the first week on the road it would be nice to go back to the Denver area to relax for the last few days in a nice resort type hotel. I would appreciate any advice on planning our route and finding places to stay and interesting things to do. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Something's Got to Give!

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    A circuit that includes each of your 'definitely wants' requires a minimum of 2000 miles of driving. If you tried to do this in your first week, you would be spending the majority of your time in the car. If it were me, I'd drop Durango. Not because it's not worth visiting or there isn't a lot to do in southwestern Colorado, but just because it's so far away from the other things you want to see on this trip. With that single change, you save 400 miles of driving. Besides your stated objectives, other places worth visiting on this loop would be Dinosaur National Monument, Grand Teton National Park, the Little Bighorn National Battlefield, Devils Tower National Monument,and Badlands National Park. You could then finish up with a stay at the Stanley Hotel (shades of The Shining!) at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default The wide wide west

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I hate to put a damper on your plans, but I think you are significantly underestimating the distance you want to cover on this trip. A loop from Denver to Durango to Yellowstone to Mount Rushmore and then back to Denver is 2100 miles long, including several significant stretches of mountainous non-interstate routes.

    You can cover this distance in 10 days, but it will involve some rather significant time on the road. What I don't think you will be able to do is cover this distance in a week, so you can spend your last few days in Denver. You certanly won't be able to do that without spending the vast majority of your time in a car. And it would leave almost no time for Horseback riding or other adventures to explore the great areas you'll be in.

    I think you might be best off focusing on one of two areas. You could spend your time exploring Yellowstone and the Black Hills, or you could focus on Colorado and perhaps some parts of Utah. Picking one or the other will give you much more time to enjoy the journey and relax, as opposed to trying to see everything in one trip.

  4. #4

    Default good point

    Thanks for the quick replies. I didn't realize that Durango would take us so far out of the way. I'd love to see it but it wouldn't be worth keeping the kids cooped up in the car for 400 extra miles. It sounds like concentrating on Yellowstone and Mt Rushmore for the first seven days and then spending the last three in Denver would make more sense. What are some things to do in the parks other than hiking? How long should we plan to spend at each park?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default To Do Lists

    Each of the links I provided to the national parks includes a page on Planning Your Visit to answer just those questions. This is far too personal a decision to be made by me. Sit down with your kids and the info provided by the NPS and see what you all want to do.


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