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  1. Default Denver - Grand Canyon - Las Vegas in November

    I am new to the site and i've already learned a great deal of information about roadtrip. My girlfriend and i are planning to fly from Boston to Denver on November 10, we then plan to drive to Grand Canyon south rim (since north rim will be closed) and will ultimately end up in Las Vegas. We plan to stay in LAS for 5 days before flying back to Boston on 11/24. We just don't know which are the best routes for November driving conditons and hopefully visit some of the "can't miss" parks along the way. I've gathered a list of all the parks in Denver and Utah, i understand they are all over the map. Please help!!!

    Million dollar highway
    Colorado Springs
    Bryce Canyon
    Mesa Verde
    Great Sand Dunes Natl. Park
    Monument Valley
    Desert View
    Four Corners

    Thank you very much for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America forum!

    It is too difficult to predict the weather, especially this far in advance. With 8 days available to you to see the places you want, I would suggest at this point narrowing down the list to the places you are most interested in, and focusing on a route for those. That way, should the weather turn sour, you can more easily develop an alternate route plan.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Unpredictable at best.

    Hello and welcome.

    As Tim says, the weather is unpredictable and you would need to prepare for delays or even taking a different option. On the high ground in places such as Bryce the temps will almost certainly be below freezing at times and ice is likely as well as the possibilities of snow.

    As it's a one way trip to Vegas and the time you have with the possibility of disruption I would cut out Moab and consider visiting Zion from Vegas, weather and time permitting.

    It would then look something like this Denver> Colorado springs> Pueblo I-25 then route 50 to Montrose [ Black canyon of the gunnison] South on the 550 to Durango and then 160 to Mesa verde> Four corners> and M/V. Head north on the 191 and 163 to Mexican hat and through M/V this way for the famous view in most pics. After you connect back up with the 160 head south on the 89 to Cameron [cool trading place with shops restaurant and lodging] and soon after there is the east entrance to Grand canyon along Desert view drive, the 64. Expect the risk of snow flurries, ice and possible delays. Leave by the South entrance for Williams and the I40 and 93 to Vegas.
    I think that should keep you busy but you can still always do an overnighter in Zion and Bryce from Vegas.

  4. Default

    Thank you Dave and Tim for your advices. I've been revising our plan using your suggestion, My gf really want to go to Moab, so i added that to the trip. This is what we have for now and because the weather will be unpredictable this far in advance, we can always change plan on the fly and skip some of the parks. I do have 2 more questions.

    1. should i pre-book all the hotels or it's better just drive and check-in at any motel/hotel along the way? will the rate be that much of a difference?

    2. Did i stay too long in any of the places that i shouldn't have?

    3. Do i need to stay longer at some of the park?

    11/10 arrive in Denver and pick-up rental car
    11/10 drive 1 hour to colorado springs and check-in hotel and stay for the night.
    11/11 check-out in the morning and drive to great sand dunes and stay for the night.
    11/11 check-in hotel at great sand dune for the night
    11/12 check-out in the morning.
    11/12 drive 4 hours to montrose
    11/12 check-in at montrose and stay for the night
    11/13 check-out at montrose in the morning.
    11/13 drive 3 hours to Moab.
    11/13 check-in hotel at Moab and stay for 2 nights.
    11/15 check-out from hotel in the morning.
    11/15 start driving at 8am for 3 hours from Moab to Mesa Verde, stay for couple of hours.
    11/15 drive to four corners
    11/15 start to drive from four corners at 5pm for 2 hours to Mexican Hat or 2 1/2 hours to Monument Valley.
    11/15 check-in hotel at Mexican Hat or Monument Valley at night.
    11/16 check-out hotel in the morning,
    11/16 starting driving anytime during the day for 2 hours to Cameron.
    11/16 check-in hotel at Cameron.
    11/17 check-out hotel at Cameron.
    11/17 start driving to Grand Canyon for 2 hours.
    11/17 check-in hotel at Grand Canyon.
    11/19 check-out hotel at Grand Canyon in the morning.
    11/19 drive 5 hours to Las Vegas.
    11/19 check-in hotel at Las Vegas.
    11/23 check-out hotel and fly back to Boston.

    P.S. We will do a 1 day return trip to Zion on 11/20.

    Again, Thank you so much for your expert advices, wouldn't know what to do without your guys.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Hi again,
    Your itinerary basically looks O.K. but it looks like your driving times are straight off a mapping program which are a bit optimistic. Your travel days are fine though, just expect the journeys to take a bit longer than anticipated.
    There should be no need to book in advance if you wish to remain flexible, but it may be worth checking some accommodations around your overnight areas before leaving and take contact numbers of those that appeal to you.
    You will probably want longer at all the places you visit, as we all do but time is the factor. If I could find an extra night somewhere I would use it in Zion and return the following day to Vegas, it's an amazing park with lots to see. The nearby town of Springdale has lodgings and some great little shops and restaurants.
    Here's a link to the cameron trading post I mentioned previously.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Add 50% -- for real-life travel

    Echoing what Southwest Dave mentioned above, those driving times are 110% unrealistic. But if you take those times and add 40% to 50% additional time -- you should be pretty close to real life. I love the notion that you could drive from the airport to anywhere in Colorado Springs in a hour! It's about 90 miles and unless you are immune to traffic and speeding laws, it will take you about two hours to cover that distance.

    Likewise, Moab to Mesa Verde in three hours... could be done -- but unless you are part of a race team -- it seems very unrealistic -- that is gorgeous country -- slow down, enjoy the views.

    Grand Canyon Village to Las Vegas in five hours??? I would love to see that accomplished -- Actually once the new bypass bridge is complete at Hoover Dam, (4+ years) I bet you could achieve that! But for now, you need to figure at least six hours and probably closer to 6.5.

    I think your trip is doable -- but you need to add in at least 2-3 more travel hours each day to make this work at all.


  7. Default Thank you so much for your help.

    Thank you Dave and Mark for pointing out the real-life driving time issue, this will be my first roadtrip and first time traveling on the west coast. when i start planning this trip, i had no clue of where all the parks and attractions are located. I took Dave's suggestions and built a google travel map so i can see where all the parks are located on the map. The drive-time from my itinerary are from google map, i will definitely add at least 50% drive time to the whole itinerary. I am going to revise the plan again, but before i do that, i would like to say Thank you to Tim, Dave, and Mark for taking their time to read through my whole Itinerary and provide such valuable advices and suggestions.

    Dave, Thanks for advice about hotels, and i am so glad that you suggest stopping at Cameron. I'll definitely try to stay 1 night at Zion.

    Mark, Thank you very much for providing the real-life drive time for some of the destinations.

    Much appreciated.

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