Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19
  1. Default Denver - San Francisco, late September

    Hi everybody!

    This is my first message on this forum: i discovered it some days ago, it's really nice and full of helpful tips... so let's start with the questions!

    Start: Denver, Sep. 15th, h. 22.00
    End: San Francisco, Oct. 3rd, h. 20.00
    Me and wife only.

    I'd like to drive through I-70, then I-15 to Las Vegas, then San Francisco.
    The main goal of the trip is to visit some National Parks along the road, a brief stop in Las Vegas, some of the West Coast below San Francisco (Monterey etc.), Yosemite and, of course, San Francisco (a couple of days).

    I believe i have fairly enough time to visit all of the targets above: am i right?

    Considering that i'm travelling through the Rockies in mid September, is there any risk regarding snow or bad weather? Should i consider snow chains or a particular kind of vehicle?
    I'm about to rent a Dodge Caliber: do you think it's a good choice for that kind of trip? I found it at www.autoeurope.it, the price seems to be really good to me (650$ ca.).

    That's all... for now :)
    Thank you!

    Mic

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Great area for parks!

    Hello and welcome to R.T.A

    Well theres certainly no shortage of national parks to visit in this area, some of the finest scenery there is to offer are in these parts and you have a few options. After leaving the Rockies one of those would be to leave the 70 just after Green river on the 24 to Hanksville.[Perhaps a stop at Moab and Arches n.p. just before]. This would lead you onto scenic 12 and through parks such as Capitol reef, Bryce canyon and onto the 89 that will take you towards the Grand canyon and the option of a short detour to Zion N.P. You could then continue to Vegas from the 40 and over the Hoover dam.

    I think you have enough time to get a good overview of the places you are visiting and doubt you will see any weather that would disrupt your trip.

    I can't help with the car or whether it's good value or not but somebody will probably be along soon, just make sure you google for any special offers and check out the one way fees added on in almost all cases.

    If you need any more info regarding your trip don't hesitate to ask.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 08-25-2008 at 02:18 AM. Reason: typo

  3. Default

    Thank you Dave!

    Regarding the weather, i'm just a little bit concerned about the Rockies mountain passes (snow in september? can't find any info on the web!).

    Anyway, the tour you outlined is really nice.
    And of course i have a questione about it :)
    I was thinking about where and how to stay overnight, what's the best choice?
    - staying in the same place for 2-3 nights, driving a little more to reach the parks (i.e. a hotel in Hanksville or similar places);
    - changing hotel every night and getting as close as possible to the parks.

    I read somewhere that hotels in the parks area are far more expensive than outside, is it true?

    I'll keep on searching for info... thanks again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Predictably unpredictable

    Hi again.

    Regarding the weather, I'm just a little bit concerned about the Rockies mountain passes (snow in September? can't find any info on the web!).
    I guess there is no definitive answer regarding the weather as it's unpredictable at best. Denver and the Rockies is to be our starting point for our next trip and generally I think you will be o.k in Sept, but with a possibility of snow on the high ground[ they say you get an occasional flurry in June] but with local info and ranger stations at hand I can't see it being a big problem. Here's some info on the park that I have come across; here and here.

    I was thinking about where and how to stay overnight, what's the best choice?
    - staying in the same place for 2-3 nights, driving a little more to reach the parks (i.e. a hotel in Hanksville or similar places);
    - changing hotel every night and getting as close as possible to the parks.
    There isn't a right or wrong answer for this, just a choice. Personally I like to spend a night or 2 in a certain spot and then continue on as opposed to returning to the same place each night for a few nights. On a one way heading east to west for instance, a short trip north or south and returning to 'base' is O.K to me, but once heading West then it's time to move on, I don't like doubling back, lol! Once you find places of interest to you and start breaking your trip down we will be able to help with placing overnight stops if needed.

    I read somewhere that hotels in the parks area are far more expensive than outside, is it true?
    In most cases like for like accomodation will be dearer in the parks, although there are plenty just outside normally. Here is the N.P.S site that is easy to navigate around and give you an idea of accommodations. They do offer cabins in some that may work out good value compared to hotels.
    If you are visiting a number of parks then you can save money buying the annual pass which allows you to enter all for a fee of $80 [last time i looked anyway].
    This can be bought on line [U.S. citizen] or from the entrance of the first park you visit.

    I'll keep on searching for info... thanks again!
    No problem, when you need more info just give us all a shout!
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 08-26-2008 at 07:53 AM. Reason: typo

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    No problem, when you need more info just give us all a shout!
    And here i am! :)

    I'm leaving within a few days... and the trip plan is stil heavily "Work in progress". But at least i have a rough schedule, including some of your advices. Can you please check it out?


    sep.17: Rocky Mountain NP on the Trail Ridge Road (34), then onto the 40 via Berthoud Pass, then back onto the I-70 to Silverthorne - 318 km (i'm a little bit worried about Berthoud Pass, snow or bad weather would force me to go back following the same road and wasting a lot of time)

    sep.18: I-70 to Colorado National Monument (Grand Junction), then to Green River - 440 km

    sep.19: morning: 191 + 313 to Canyonlands National Park (Island in the sky), then in the afternoon Arches National Park. Hotel in Blanding or Monticello (191)

    sep.20: 191 + 163 to Monument Valley. Hotel in Blanding or Monticello (191)

    sep.21: from Blanding via 95 (Trail of the Ancients), a short visit to Natural Bridges Nat. Monument, then Glen Canyon (crossing only), then Hanksville 202 km, then onto 24, quick stop at Capitol Reef (60 km), then to Torrey (or Boulder/Escalante (120 km))

    sep.22: 12 + 63 to Bryce Canyon, 125 km, hotel in Panguitch (?), 40 km

    sep.23: Zion (via 89 + 9 or via 89+20+15?)

    sep.24: Grand Canyon (south rim via 89 + 64 with glen canyon dam and horseshoe bend, or north rim via 89+67 ?), then 180 + 40 (overnight somewhere :) )

    sep.25: 40 to Las Vegas + hoover dam

    sep.26: Death Valley (WIP)

    sep.27: Sequoia and Kings Canyon (WIP)

    sep.28: Yosemite National Park (WIP)

    sep.29: Yosemite National Park (WIP)

    sep.30: San Francisco (WIP)

    oct.1: Monterey (WIP)

    oct.2: San Francisco (WIP)

    oct.3: San Francisco + flight back to Italy :(


    Ok, i know... it's a mess. I'm afraid i've got too much on my plate: if so, please let me know!
    Thanks again to all of you guys, the "roadtrip" site and forum are awesome.

    Mic

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    Hi Mic22,
    Sometimes the old adage "Less is more" springs to mind, and to be honest you have routed well but it looks a bit busy for your time available. If you have taken travel times from a mapping system then you can add anything from 20- 50% longer on some of the journeys for actual time. You are passing through some great natural wonders without really having time to stop and see it, soak it it all in and personally I think you will be better off making some sacrifices. Of course it would have to be your choice but maybe stopping at Moab for Arches and skipping the Blanding/ M/V part would help, or continuing through M/V and leaving Bryce and Zion out are 2 thoughts.
    The 23rd, 24th and 25th for an example are very rushed, not in driving time but in actually enjoying what you have in front of you. It is only a short drive from Bryce to Zion but it will leave you with only an afternoon to look around this great place before heading off the next morning, where you are going to drive through one of the natural wonders of the world with no time to enjoy it. I would also add that between Death valley to Yosemite, you will be able to visit the Giants forest with the Sequoias but I doubt you will be able to visit Kings canyon in that period of time.

    Basically i would try and have a couple of nights in the occasional place such as Zion and Grand canyon as you have with Yosemite
    I hope that helps a little :-)

  7. #7

    Default

    I just drove parts of this route myself recently and I can tell you that Zion --> South Rim is a good 6 hours drive with stops. If the weather is poor I can imagine it being longer. I'd find some way to give yourself a full day's sightseeing of the canyon.

    Also IMO I'd hit Monterey first, then San Fran. By the end of your journey I'm sure you'll want to shave off as many miles as you can. :)

  8. #8

    Default

    [QUOTE=Mic22;66624]And here i am! :


    sep.17: Rocky Mountain NP on the Trail Ridge Road (34), then onto the 40 via Berthoud Pass, then back onto the I-70 to Silverthorne - 318 km (i'm a little bit worried about Berthoud Pass, snow or bad weather would force me to go back following the same road and wasting a lot of time)

    sep.18: I-70 to Colorado National Monument (Grand Junction), then to Green River - 440 km

    sep.19: morning: 191 + 313 to Canyonlands National Park (Island in the sky), then in the afternoon Arches National Park. Hotel in Blanding or Monticello (191)



    Hello mic,

    Just a few additional thoughts to unclutter, or to clutter, your mind:

    Having traversed the Continental Divide on Trail Ridge Road, I find it curious you'd then want to go back over it on US 40 via the Berthoud Pass. Then again, some are "peak baggers", while others are "pass baggers" and some are "tunnel baggers", as your proposed route takes you through the Eisenhower Tunnel. Anyway, if Silverthorne is your destination, I'd just go west on US 40 from Granby to Kremmling, thence down CO 9 to Silverthorne. You thereby avoid picking up the elevation two more times (once at the pass, and again at the tunnel), and the drive to Kremmling is nice, as is the drive from Kremmling to Silverthorne. Overall, it's much quicker to Silverthorne via that route, too, as the roads are in the valleys.

    If you pick up some time, I'd go on past Silverthorne and stop overnight at the Glenwood Hot Springs Hotel. The hotel is nice, the hot springs very soothing, and there are abundant restaurants and bars within walking distance over the footbridge which carries you over the Colorado River and I-70.

    I'd be tempted to overnight in Moab rather than Monticello or Blanding. Moab has lots of good restaurants and once had two good brewpubs. Monticello and Blanding are nice little towns, but pretty far out the food chain.

    Have a great time here in the States!

    Foy

  9. Default Sacrifices...

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Hi Mic22,
    Sometimes the old adage "Less is more" springs to mind, and to be honest you have routed well but it looks a bit busy for your time available.
    I was just afraid of that: and since 3 of you told me the same thing more or less, i actually believe i have to cut something out of my schedule... but it's such a difficult choice!

    I'm pretty sure i don't want to miss some of the "must see" locations. You know... when you go back home and your friends and families ask you "have you seen the Grand Canyon, or the Monument Valley?"... you just can't say "no", or they'll look at you as you were an alien :)

    So, here's a list of what i could "sacrifice":

    - Rocky Mountain NP and Trail Ridge Road: is it worth a day, compared to Zion or Bryce? I could skip it and drive from Denver to Grand Junction and Colorado Nat. Monument with some stops along the road, sparing (is it the right word?) one day; 420 km and a nice drive through the mountains...

    Quote Originally Posted by Foy View Post
    Having traversed the Continental Divide on Trail Ridge Road, I find it curious you'd then want to go back over it on US 40 via the Berthoud Pass. Then again, some are "peak baggers", while others are "pass baggers" and some are "tunnel baggers", as your proposed route takes you through the Eisenhower Tunnel. Anyway, if Silverthorne is your destination, I'd just go west on US 40 from Granby to Kremmling, thence down CO 9 to Silverthorne. You thereby avoid picking up the elevation two more times (once at the pass, and again at the tunnel), and the drive to Kremmling is nice, as is the drive from Kremmling to Silverthorne. Overall, it's much quicker to Silverthorne via that route, too, as the roads are in the valleys.

    If you pick up some time, I'd go on past Silverthorne and stop overnight at the Glenwood Hot Springs Hotel. The hotel is nice, the hot springs very soothing, and there are abundant restaurants and bars within walking distance over the footbridge which carries you over the Colorado River and I-70.
    Foy, if i don't have to skip that part, i'll take your advice into account... it's a great idea ;)

    - Arches or Canyonlands: can i skip one or both, without remorse? I could drive from Green River to Arches or Canyonlands, visit just one of them, and then proceed to Blanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Foy View Post
    I'd be tempted to overnight in Moab rather than Monticello or Blanding. Moab has lots of good restaurants and once had two good brewpubs. Monticello and Blanding are nice little towns, but pretty far out the food chain.
    Foy
    Foy, i was thinking about Monticello or Blanding because of their proximity to Monument Valley, and because hotels in Moab seem to be a little more expensive compared to the ones in Blanding or Monticello. Is this right?
    Food is not a problem... (anyway... what time do the restaurants and pubs close?).

    - Bryce and Zion: many people told me to visit both of them...

    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Jeff View Post
    I just drove parts of this route myself recently and I can tell you that Zion --> South Rim is a good 6 hours drive with stops. If the weather is poor I can imagine it being longer. I'd find some way to give yourself a full day's sightseeing of the canyon.
    Thanks, Jeff, i got it ;)

    - Grand Canyon: should i allow 2 full days to enjoy it? Where can i stay overnight near the Canyon (outside the Park)? North or south Rim?

    - Death Valley: is it really worth it? As an alternative, going out of Grand Canyon i could overnight near Vegas, spend the next day in the city (shopping... i still have a wife with me :) ), and try to get as near as possible to Sequoia.

    - San Francisco, Yosemite and Monterey
    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Jeff View Post
    Also IMO I'd hit Monterey first, then San Fran. By the end of your journey I'm sure you'll want to shave off as many miles as you can. :)
    That's right! So, i was thinking of Sequoia - Monterey - San Francisco (i have a friend in Fremont) Yosemite (2 days) - Back to San Francisco. Do you think it's good?


    Ok, i tried to gather all of your advices up, although i recognize i wasn't really clear at all... I'll try to make an updated schedule...

    Dave, Jeff, Foy... thank you again!
    See ya soon ;)

  10. #10

    Default Apples vs oranges

    mic-

    Being a person who prefers alpine scenery to canyon scenery (but not by much) I would prefer the Trail Ridge Rd drive and eliminate Colorado NM if I had to. The scenery in Canyonlands, Arches, Bryce, and Zion are more akin to the Colorado NM and the Trail Ridge Rd drive in Rocky Mtn NP is the only alpine terrain you contemplate touring closely.

    Have a great time!

    Foy

Similar Threads

  1. Denver to eventually San Francisco - two weeks?
    By xd-data-ii in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-20-2008, 10:45 AM
  2. RV Denver to San Francisco, 2 weeks late April
    By NiceBacon in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 01-12-2008, 01:05 PM
  3. Late December Road Trip - Denver to San Francisco
    By Fishwood in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-24-2007, 03:24 PM
  4. Glacier/Canadian Rockies Question...
    By toddnick in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 10-30-2007, 08:34 PM
  5. A Winter Road (Snow) Trip - San Francisco to Denver Jan 20
    By onecheekywombat in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-30-2006, 08:03 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES