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  1. #1

    Default Denver to Phoenix Mid May

    My wife and I are flying into Denver in Mid May and out from Phoenix 2 weeks later. Having a look at the various threads there is obviously way too much for us to see in a fortnight. We are regular road trippers in the USA and not afraid of the mileage although we would rather spend 3 or 4 nights in one place and work out from there before moving on to the next "base" - rather than be in a different place every night.!! Has anyone any tips on a good route to take in Mt Rushmore, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon and Lake Powell? We have been to the Grand Canyon so its not on our list this time! Great site by the way - I've found out more in the last 1/2 hour than I have in a day of Googling!!
    Last edited by enandkay; 01-18-2009 at 12:59 PM. Reason: Clarity

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Places to Alight

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your proposed style of setting up a different base camp every few days should work out very well over the area and time that you're trying to cover. I'd suggest the following. Make a first stop near Denver to get over your jet lag and get used to driving on the 'wrong' side of the road. Boulder is a medium sized college town with a great downtown and pedestrian mall and nearby Rocky Mountain National Park that would make a great place to spend your first 2-3 days and get your road legs under you. Rapid City would then be a comfortable single day's drive and would put you in position to see Mt. Rushmore, Wind and Jewel Caves, the Badlands, Deadwood and Devils Tower. Then a fairly hard day's drive (about 650 miles, so maybe with a short stop somewhere on the way) would put you in the Vernal UT area with access to Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Dinosaur National Monument, Ouray National Wildlife Refuge, although Salt Lake City might prove a bit to far to reach from a base in Vernal. Your next base should probably be in the Cedar City UT area allowing access to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks and the relatively new Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Monument Valley is another place you should probably think about as it is a bit out of the way of getting from southwestern Utah to Phoenix. Instead consider Flagstaff or Sedona as your final central location which would let you visit Red Rock country, Oak Creek Canyon, Walnut Canyon and Tuzigoot National Monuments, and the old west towns of Prescott and Jerome. And we're glad we could be of help.


  3. #3


    Thanks for the info - there are places you've mentioned we wouldn't have thought of but are obviously worth a look. Time to get the map out again!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    The Netherlands


    Is a visit to the Black Hills (Mnt Rushmore) set in stone? It's to the north and not on your way to Phx. Plus, to explore the area you'll need at least 2 full day but you also can spend much longer For Rocky Mountains NP, keep in mind Trail Ridge Road probably still will be close in may. You easily could fill 2 weeks with: Denver-Grand Junction (Colorado NM)-Moab (Canyonlands Island in the Sky, Dead Horse Point and esp. Arches NP)-Torrey (Goblin Valley, Little White Horse canyon on your way) Capitol Reef to Bryce Canyon NP-Zion NP-Page (Antelope Canyon Horseshoebend, Glen Canyon Dam, Lake Powell)-Monument Valley-Flagstaff (Wupatki NM, Sunset Crater Volcano NM, Walnut Canyon NM on your way)-Sedona-Phoenix.
    Have you consider to depart Las Vegas instead Phoenix?

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

    Default Springdale.

    Wow, great trip and so many options !

    You have quite a bit to think about with some great suggestions above but I thought I would mention the lovely little town of Springdale right on the doorstep of Zion N.P. and would make a good base for Zion and Bryce. Although you could spend a night or 2 here and stay at "Ruby's Inn" at the entrance to Bryce.

    Let us know as your plan takes shape and we can help you "fine tune" it so that you can get the most from your time.

  6. #6


    Thanks for the above. Mt Rushmore isn't a must and we do have to leave from Phoenix unfortunately. We'll bury our heads in the guide books over the next few days and work out a rough route.

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