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  1. Default Denver - LA - a Finn needs help :)

    Hey guys!

    Iīm a 22 year old girl from Finland, and I have always dreamed of visiting USA.
    Well, seems like the dream of an American road trip is finally coming true. This is the road trip plan that me and my family have come up with. Please comment and share your thoughts and opinions.. if we are missing something important, if we are choosing a bad route.. Iīd appreciate any help we can get. If you have any great motel tips, please let me know!

    This is a summer 2009 trip which we will do in June.

    We will begin our trip in Denver, Colorado. Instead of taking the Interstate 70 we are choosing the smaller road through places like Jefferson, Fairplay.. we will probably spend the night on a motel we found in Poncha Springs (pictures looks great on internet). Then we continue all the way through Gunnison and Montrose to the town of Telluride which is very interesting for us since people we know emigrated there.

    After Telluride we take the San Juan Skyway through Ouray, Silverton and Durango. Then we head west (Hwy 160) towards Utah and Monument Valley, passing through Cortez. After Monument Valley we head southwest to Tuba City. After the town of Cameron we turn to west once again and head for the East Rim of the Grand Canyon NP.

    [Between Telluride and Grand Canyon I have no idea when or where we should spend the night!]

    After Grand Canyon we hit the Route 66 and we are also thinking about taking the original mother road through Peach Springs, AZ. Then we head back to the Interstate and drive all the way up to Vegas where we spend one night. I NEED MOTEL TIPS HERE! Thereīs simply too many motels to choose between in Vegas. I need a budget one but it should be clean and nice and a pool wouldnīt be too bad.

    We end our trip in Los Angeles and we spend the following two weeks in CA.

    For this Denver - LA trip we have 7 days! Is this doable?

    Iīd appreciate any help we can get!
    Thanks!

    // T

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    3,318

    Default Good job on planning!

    I think you've created a nice trip. Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums!

    We will begin our trip in Denver, Colorado. Instead of taking the Interstate 70 we are choosing the smaller road through places like Jefferson, Fairplay.. we will probably spend the night on a motel we found in Poncha Springs (pictures looks great on internet). Then we continue all the way through Gunnison and Montrose to the town of Telluride which is very interesting for us since people we know emigrated there.
    This looks like a good route. Where in Poncha Springs are you staying? It's possible someone here might be familiar with it and be able to give you some feedback on your choice.

    When 285 veers directly south (by Buena Vista, CO), you might head north for about 35 miles to Leadville, CO. This is one of my favorite towns. It was a real boomtown at one point and they have restored many of the buildings. The buildings are far grander than you would expect way up in the mountains. It has the distinction of being the highest incorporated town (highest elevation, that is) in the US. It's really worth visiting if you find that you're making good time to get to Poncha Springs.

    It's only about 200 miles from Denver to Poncha Springs so, depending on what time you get out of Denver, it's a relatively short drive of about 4 hours or so, not counting stops to explore.

    If you do get to Leadville, eat at Quincy's. It's one of my favorites.

    After Telluride we take the San Juan Skyway through Ouray, Silverton and Durango. Then we head west (Hwy 160) towards Utah and Monument Valley, passing through Cortez. After Monument Valley we head southwest to Tuba City. After the town of Cameron we turn to west once again and head for the East Rim of the Grand Canyon NP.

    [Between Telluride and Grand Canyon I have no idea when or where we should spend the night!]
    Beautiful drive. In-between Durango and Cortez, you might want to stop at Mesa Verde NP and see the ancient cliff dwellings. Amazing place.

    You might consider stopping for the night in Cortez. Although I'm not sure if this will be too early in the day to stop for the night. You might want to drive onto Mexican Hat. If you don't stop at Mesa Verde, you could probably get to Kayenta or Tuba City before you need to stop for the night. Hmmmm....total miles isn't the issue. We're only talking 440 miles from Telluride to Grand Canyon, the issue is the stops you might make that makes this hard to figure out. What all are you planning on doing? How early do you think you'll hit the road and how long into the evening are you willing to travel?

    After Grand Canyon we hit the Route 66 and we are also thinking about taking the original mother road through Peach Springs, AZ. Then we head back to the Interstate and drive all the way up to Vegas where we spend one night. I NEED MOTEL TIPS HERE! Thereīs simply too many motels to choose between in Vegas. I need a budget one but it should be clean and nice and a pool wouldnīt be too bad.
    Good choices here, too. This will be a nice drive. Where are you staying after Grand Canyon? I would suggest Williams, AZ.

    I think any of the major casino/hotels you pick have something fun and quirky to offer. I don't think you can make a really bad choice here. I love the Luxor. The sideways elevators and odd-shaped rooms are just really cool. I have friends who keep returning to Paris because they just love the elegance of it. Other friends are nuts of New York, New York and the MGM-Grand gets high marks, too.

    What price range do you need to stay at? That might help us figure out the best choice in your price range.

    Anyway, the trip is very doable in the time you have to do it. And I think you've planned a great trip for yourselves. Good job.

    We end our trip in Los Angeles and we spend the following two weeks in CA.
    Do you need any help planning this part of your trip?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    9,358

    Default Tervetuloa!

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The roads you are going to be starting your trip on are absolutely gorgeous, but are less travelled (That's a good thing!) two lane roads. In particular, US-50 from Poncha Springs to Montrose through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is stunning. The San Juan Skyway is also known as the Million Dollar Highway, another great choice! Be sure to stop in at the Telluride Historical Museum to get some background on you compatriots.

    On your way across southern Colorado make time for Mesa Verde National Park. In Monument Valley I recommend that you hire a native guide who can show you some seldom seen parts of the area and give you the local lore. If you time this right (sundown) then Kayenta Arizona has a few lodging options. In Cameron, visit the old Hubbell Trading Post, even if only to use it as a museum on your way into the Grand Canyon. Trying to get from Kayenta through the Grand Canyon and following some of old Route 66 will make for a very long day. I think you'd be better served to pull up for the night somewhere between Williams and Kingman.

    In general motels in America are nearly everywhere and reservations are not always needed. The exceptions will be in sparsely inhabited regions like around Monument Valley, or near major attractions on summer weekends. Otherwise, you can be a little flexible in your plans. Seven days is plenty of time to get from Denver to Los Angeles. Just keep an eye on the calendar and remember it is a pretty full day's drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. Hope those suggestions help in your planning.

    AZBuck

  4. Default Reply to Judy

    Where in Poncha Springs are you staying?
    Re: We are considering the Poncha Lodge http://www.ponchalodge.com/
    Looks nice & the rates are good, too.




    You might consider stopping for the night in Cortez. Although I'm not sure if this will be too early in the day to stop for the night.

    Re: No, I think Cortez will be OK since we really want to enjoy the Skyway and stop for a while in Silverton.

    You might want to drive onto Mexican Hat. If you don't stop at Mesa Verde, you could probably get to Kayenta or Tuba City before you need to stop for the night. Hmmmm....total miles isn't the issue. We're only talking 440 miles from Telluride to Grand Canyon, the issue is the stops you might make that makes this hard to figure out. What all are you planning on doing? How early do you think you'll hit the road and how long into the evening are you willing to travel?

    Re: Well for us the road is the destination really, so we donīt want to rush it. We really want to enjoy the beauty of Monument Valley and of course the sunset would be the best part, but I think we need to reach Grand Canyon, or at least Tuba City before dark. We donīt really want to travel after dark, so I think 7 p.m. is the latest we are willing to travel.


    Good choices here, too. This will be a nice drive. Where are you staying after Grand Canyon? I would suggest Williams, AZ.

    Re: We are spending the night in the Grand Canyon NP, and then we drive to Vegas the next day, no overnight stays here.

    What price range do you need to stay at? (Vegas) That might help us figure out the best choice in your price range.

    Re: 100 $ for 2 ppl is the maximum!


    Quote:
    We end our trip in Los Angeles and we spend the following two weeks in CA.

    Do you need any help planning this part of your trip?

    Re: Not at the moment, it is easier since Mom & Dad have been there before and know all the good stuff!
    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    Re: Well for us the road is the destination really, so we donīt want to rush it. We really want to enjoy the beauty of Monument Valley and of course the sunset would be the best part, but I think we need to reach Grand Canyon, or at least Tuba City before dark. We donīt really want to travel after dark, so I think 7 p.m. is the latest we are willing to travel.
    depending on how far you get you could lodge here. it's pretty much on the doorstep of the desert view drive to the grand canyon and the food and shop are great. sorry i can't vouch for accomodations as we were in an r.v.

    have a great trip!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    3,318

    Default Yes, the road should be the destination!

    Quote Originally Posted by ellinorah View Post
    Where in Poncha Springs are you staying?
    Re: We are considering the Poncha Lodge http://www.ponchalodge.com/
    Looks nice & the rates are good, too.
    It looks nice. Hopefully someone will pop in with experience there. I usually find the reviews at TripAdvisor interesting to read. If that lodge has been reviewed there, it will at least give you some idea of what to expect.



    You might consider stopping for the night in Cortez. Although I'm not sure if this will be too early in the day to stop for the night.

    Re: No, I think Cortez will be OK since we really want to enjoy the Skyway and stop for a while in Silverton.
    Cortez will probably work fine then.

    You might want to drive onto Mexican Hat. If you don't stop at Mesa Verde, you could probably get to Kayenta or Tuba City before you need to stop for the night. Hmmmm....total miles isn't the issue. We're only talking 440 miles from Telluride to Grand Canyon, the issue is the stops you might make that makes this hard to figure out. What all are you planning on doing? How early do you think you'll hit the road and how long into the evening are you willing to travel?

    Re: Well for us the road is the destination really, so we donīt want to rush it. We really want to enjoy the beauty of Monument Valley and of course the sunset would be the best part, but I think we need to reach Grand Canyon, or at least Tuba City before dark. We donīt really want to travel after dark, so I think 7 p.m. is the latest we are willing to travel.
    I wouldn't go all the way to the Grand Canyon because the route along there is filled with fantastic viewpoints of the Grand Canyon. Why backtrack the next day? I think gommy's recommendation might work out great for you. I can't vouch for the accomodations but the location is good. Go to bed early and get up before dawn so you can drive to the Grand Canyon to see sunrise. You'll need about 40 minutes to get from Cameron to Desert View Lookout Point, the first one you'll come to on the eastern edge of the park.


    What price range do you need to stay at? (Vegas) That might help us figure out the best choice in your price range.

    Re: 100 $ for 2 ppl is the maximum!
    Well, you can't do better than visiting Living Las Vegas to find out about what there is to see and do there. You can follow various links there to find out about hotel prices. At one of the links there, I found a room at the Golden Nugget (4-star rating; 5 stars is the highest) for $75 a night. This was for a room in mid-June 08. It's hard to know how prices might change in 2009. But I think you'll find plenty of worthy choices when it comes time to book this trip.

    Well, hope this helps. Keep planning and asking questions and we'll help you as much as we can.

  7. Default

    Hey everybody!

    Me and my family are going to USA next summer.
    I need some advice about safe staying and getting around in these cities/areas:

    What areas should you as a tourist avoid in
    1. Denver, CO
    2. Las Vegas
    3. San Diego
    4. Los Angeles
    5. San Fransisco

    I also need some tips on good, safe motels & budget lodging in San Fransisco.. we donīt want to end up surrounded by crack, gangsters & hookers.

    Los Angeles is also a bit tricky. We want to see the major attractions, such as Universal, Disneyland, Beverly Hills a.s.o. Whatīs the smartest choice for us when it comes to motels? Iīve heard that the UCLA area (Westwood?) is a good choice, is this true?

    Iīm an Oscar freak...
    We are visiting L.A. during our 2009 summer roatrip...

    Are you allowed to take pictures during the Kodak Theatre tour?
    Can you hold a statuette or do you simply get to watch them through glass?

    Thanks in advance.

    C from Finland
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 08-01-2008 at 07:02 AM. Reason: Merged Posts/Threads - Please keep all questions about one trip within the same thread.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Supply and Demand

    There are an awful lot of motels around Disneyland in Anaheim that are geared towards families on a budget. With travel in the States down this summer, I would suspect that you could get a good deal on one of those. Same in San Francisco, I'd start by looking near the Six Flags Discovery or Great America amusement parks. As for the Kodak Theatre if you follow the link to policies, you'll see that cameras are prohibited on the tour.

    AZBuck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Instincts.

    Hi there.

    I think that with any place you visit home or away you have a natural gift to keep you away from any "dubious areas" so by following your gut feeling you should have nothing to worry about.

    I also need some tips on good, safe motels & budget lodging in San Fransisco.. we donīt want to end up surrounded by crack, gangsters & hookers.
    There was a lot of good deals available on many motels along Lombard street when we visited. Its quite a busy road but we had no problems with noise and it's not to far from the Trams to the city centre [although we were able to walk in] and Pier '39.
    We stayed here which was pretty basic but had good size rooms and was clean and tidy and we managed to get a good deal.

  10. Default

    Hello, we are a family of six persons, we are doing a three week road trip in America in June.. we need some help with some practical things....I have many questions, please help me with some of them :)

    We are going to Vegas on a Saturday night in June ī09 ...
    Is it difficult to find hotel rooms then since itīs Summer or is it ok to book one day in advance? Weīll probably stay at the Luxor.

    1. Is 60-70 dollars considered a cheap price for a standard motel room?
    2. How many days in advance do you need to book your motel rooms?
    3. For instance : We will be staying in St Barbara the second Saturday in June, when should we book this?
    4. How do you usually book rooms in America? By phone?
    5. Do you pay in advance?
    6. When can you use your Visa Electron? In stores? Hotels? Amusement parks?
    7. What neighborhoods/parts of L.A. should we avoid?
    8. What neighborhoods/parts of San Fransisco should we avoid?
    9. What neighborhoods/parts of Las Vegas should we avoid?
    10. Are there lots of public rest rooms in America and whatīs the system with these?
    11. If you pay for a motel room in advance, is it possible to get your money back if thereīs a sudden change of plans? There might be during road trips...
    12. Any tips on Disneyland? Are the FastPasses a good alternative or are they expensive?
    13. Is it easy to find ATMīs?
    14. What does "continental breakfast" mean in America?
    15. What does "complimentary breakfast" mean?
    16. Are there lots of snakes/scorpions in the desert?



    Think theseīll do for now.. I might be back later... :)


    E from Finland
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 02-11-2009 at 01:21 PM. Reason: Merged Posts/Threads Again - Please Stop Creating New Threads About this Trip

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