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  1. Default Salt Lake City to Santa Fe to Phoenix

    My wife and I are planning a trip of 17-18 days, starting in Salt Lake City and ending in Phoenix. On the way, we'd like to see the best scenery that Utah, New Mexico and Arizona has to offer. There are so many marvelous National Parks and monuments in these 3 states that we are not certain where to go and how long to stay in each. Also, we don't know the condition of the roads in and around the Parks and Indian Reservations.

    Could you help us with some suggestions of possible routes and times. We have a small car and would prefer to drive on good quality roads. Also, we would like to stay at nice hotels and find good quality restaurants along the way. Do you think Frommers or Trip Advisor can help us too?

    Thanks for any advice that your knowledgable members can offer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default So much to see !

    Hello and welcome to the R.T.A forums,

    You can't fail to see fantastic scenery in these States.
    The N.P.S website is a great place to start. You will also notice there is an annual pass available and it will save you money if you plan to visit 4 or more parks.

    The paved roads are all in good condition and shouldn't be a concern, however there are back roads that require SUV's but these carry a reccomendation and you are not likely to end up on one accidently.

    Utah offers such gems as Zion, Bryce canyon and scenic byway 12 through Escalante and Capitol reef and Arches N.P. to name a few. From here you could "step" into Colorado and the beauty of the Canyon of the Gunnison, a trip down the Million dollar highway to Mesa Verde and Four corners. Nearby in New Mexico is Taos Pueblo and Rio grande gorge, Santa fee and Albuquerque. The Petrified forest, Canyon de Chelley, Monument valley and that little ditch known as the Grand canyon are all worth visiting in Arizona along with Sedona/Red Rock to Phoenix.
    How long in each place you visit really depends on you. Do you want to get a good look at a few places or an overview of lots of different places?

    There are many other options but if you have a look to see what appeals to you and set out an outline plan I am sure we can help you to "fine tune" your trip.

  3. Default Thanks for your quick & helpful reply

    Many thanks for your helpful reply. I forgot to say that my name is Dave as well - could almost call myself Southwest Dave for this trip! Also, we're Aussies and will fly into SLC at the end of March, then self-drive to Sundance Resort for a conference (5 days) before heading south in th 1st week of April. We can arrive in Phoenix whenever we like, and will fly home from there or drive back to LA first.

    We'll have a look at the websites you mentioned, make a rough plan, and then get back to you. As I'm 62 years old (but not American so I miss out on the lifetime pass for the Parks), Jenny & I would prefer to spend a little longer at a few key places, but still see most of those that you mentioned - albeit briefly in some cases. Santa Fe is a must, as I have a friend there working at the Santa Fe Institute.

    Back to you soon,

    AussieDave & SpinningJenny

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by battendf View Post

    Also, we're Aussies.....
    As am I!

    Quote Originally Posted by battendf View Post
    As I'm 62 years old (but not American so I miss out on the lifetime pass for the Parks)....
    Check up to see if you can get the Senior's Pass. It is cheaper. Last year a NP ranger told me that I qualify for it, and sold me one. And yeah!! I fall into that age bracket as well.

    Lifey who gets value out of her NP pass

  5. Default Thanks Lifemagician!

    We wondered if it was worth a try for a Senior's Lifetime Pass. I guess it may depend on which Ranger you meet and what they think are the rules. Where did you get yours?
    Cheers,
    Aussie Dave

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by battendf View Post
    We wondered if it was worth a try for a Senior's Lifetime Pass. I guess it may depend on which Ranger you meet and what they think are the rules. Where did you get yours?
    Cheers,
    Aussie Dave
    Hi Dave, whereabouts in Oz?

    Last year I got the NP Pass at Mesa Verda. The lovely lady on duty that day told me to get a sernior's pass. She did not mention, and I do not know about the Senior's Lifetime Pass. While chatting with her, I mentioned, that I leave the country when less than half the year is up. She went on to point out that on the back it now has room for two signatures. So I passed it on to my son, who was planning a trip with his wife, to the Grand Canyon.

    Fantastic Value that Pass!

    Lifey who lands at LAX on 25th April 2009

  7. Default Aussie Dave from Melbourne

    We're Melburnians and suspect that you got the Seniors pass because you are a resident of the US - half Oz/half US each year. Am I right? We are not so will miss out I guess.
    Cheers,
    Aussie Dave

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Ay buddy, no way!!

    I am through and through Aussie.... nuttin' else.

    Just because my son chose to marry a yankee.... and my son-in-law was promoted to by the Mercedes Benz company, moving him to NJ.... none of that has rubbed off on me.

    Only means that all my hard earned savings go on trips to the US, to try and establish some sort of relationship with my grandchildren.

    I am often asked by those I meet, if I would not like to move there, and my reply is always the same.... "I still have a choice!"

    The best thing about travelling is knowing you have Melbourne to come home to.

    P.S. check your messages

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

    Default Annual pass

    Quote Originally Posted by battendf View Post
    We'll have a look at the websites you mentioned, make a rough plan, and then get back to you. As I'm 62 years old (but not American so I miss out on the lifetime pass for the Parks).

    Back to you soon,

    AussieDave & SpinningJenny
    Hi Dave and Jenny,

    Just to confirm I was referring to the Annual pass that allows you unlimited visits to any National Park or Fed Rec lands for one year. At $80 this normally starts to save you money on your fourth visit to any N.P.

    The senior pass, as you say, is designed for U.S.A citizens or permanent residents over 62 yrs old, but who knows you might get lucky. I had better mention though that almost every park we visited waved us through after seeing the display ticket they give you with an annual pass, but at one they were very thorough in looking at identification and that it was our pass and that it qualified us for entrance, so even if you managed to get a senior pass at one park I suspect it might not be valid at another if you come across someone who's thorough.

    Look forward to hearing back from you soon, Dave.

    Originally posted by Lifemagician She went on to point out that on the back it now has room for two signatures. So I passed it on to my son, who was planning a trip with his wife, to the Grand Canyon.
    Has he actually used it yet Lifey? I was curious as I doubt his much over 40, if at all, so he might have trouble getting in as a senior unless the Ranger is very short sighted, Lol !

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Hey Dave,

    That had completely slipped through the cracks. I did not even mention it, or give it a thought. Wonder how he did. He did use it, their trip was October 2007. I'm sure I would have heard if he had a problem.

    You are right... at the time he was 35 and his wife was 36... about half the required age.

    But come to think of it, I do not recall seeing anything on the card that specified it was Seniors... that is not to say it was not there... just that I did not notice, and probably did not even think to look.

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