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  1. #1

    Default August trip to Denver

    Hi,

    With my girlfriend, we're landing on 8/3/2009 at Denver International Airport.
    We'll rent a car in the airport and then ...17 days of road trip across Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Arizona...
    We'll sleep most of the time in campgrounds.

    Could you give us good advices about this trip? What we must do, places we must see...

    Anyway, we'd like to see Monument Valley, Arches and Yellowstone.

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

    Default So many options !

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

    Could you give us good advices about this trip? What we must do, places we must see...
    We can certainly offer you some options and help with your route but it is for you to decide what you must do.

    It is an amazing area with wonderful and diverse scenery. There are so many options that you will have to pick and choose things that appeal to you. The National parks website and searching the forums are great places to start. Get a good map to hand and start plotting a route that will take you too the places that appeal and we can help you piece your trip together.

    17 days is enough time to cover the ground and create a nice loop but you will soon add miles by trying to visit those "in between places" [and there is a lot of them] so something will have to give or else you will end up with nothing but driving through these spectacular places.

    Some highlights that you haven't mentioned would include, Rocky Np, Black canyon of the Gunnison and Million dollar highway to Durango, Mesa Verde, Canyon De Chelley, Grand canyon, Zion NP, Bryce canyon and Grand Tetons to name a few.

    You could be better off by concentrating your trip to a smaller area such as Colorado, Utah, Northern Arizona and Wyoming and experience it in greater detail.

  3. #3

    Default which loop

    Actually we already studied a map, websites et guides with all the greats sites to go to.
    What do you think of this big loop : denver, santa fe, chelly, monument valley, durango, arches, SLC, teton and yellowstone, custer and rushmore, denver. (I do not mention all the "in between places" :) ).

    If you had to miss one of these places, which one would you chose?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Moveable Feast

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    That's quite an ambitious plan. You have a good solid five days of just driving to connect all the dots and then about a dozen dots. So most days will consist of driving a few hours to a location, enjoying that location with as much time as you have available, and then driving to a campsite and getting set up for the night. I think it can all work as long as you realize that there will be no 'down' days, and aren't counting on too many (or any, for that matter) "in between places". Rather than planning on leaving anything out, I think that I'd do the loop clockwise and be prepared to head straight home from Yellowstone if I were running out of time. You could make that in one fairly hard day of driving and the Black Hills of South Dakota might work better as a separate trip from Denver when you could devote more time to the many attractions inn that area.

    AZBuck

  5. #5

    Default Here's a plan

    Thank you for your quick answers!! We were thinking about the idea to go back to Denver in one day after Yellowstone if we ran out of time ou if we were too tired.
    Here's how we imagine our trip today:
    8/3 : from DIA to a motel in Colorado Spring.
    8/4 : garden of the gods, cripple creek (mine), victor, royal gorge and Sand Dunes.
    8/5 : Scenic byways to Taos Pueblo then Santa fé. Camping along the Rio Grande (if you know a good one...).
    8/6 : Santa fé, los alamos, byways and Albuquerque for the night.
    8/7 : Road to Cottonwood Campgroup in Chinle (Canyon de Chelly) the morning, then we'll discover the canyon (by car and/or with a hike).
    8/8 : Big day with monument valley, valley of the gods, gooseneck, then camping in Mesa Verde.
    8/9 : Mesa verde, durango, silverton, ouray and Black Canyon.
    8/10 : Road to Moab (I92, Grand Junction, I128). To find a campground. Arches at twilight.
    8/11 : Canyonland (we stay at Moab)
    8/12 : Down day in and aroud Moab.
    8/13 : Early in the morning, road to SLC, via the Bingham open sky mine south of SLC. Visit of downtown. Motel.
    8/14 : SLC, Golden spike, Grand Teton.
    8/15 : To be very early in yellowstone for a first come first serve camping, then visit.
    8/16 : Yellowstone.
    8/17 : Road to , devils tower, rapid city.
    8/18 : Badland, rushmore, custer
    8/19 : Big day to scottsbluff, then rocky mountains, mount evans.
    8/20 : Golden and Denver.

    OR
    8/14 : SLC
    8/15 : Golden spike, Grand Teton.
    8/16 : To be very early in yellowstone for a first come first serve camping, then visit.
    8/17 : Yellowstone.
    8/18 : Big Day to Rocky mountain with Bighorn via I14A then Highway.
    8/19 : Rocky, Evans, Golden, Denver.
    8/20 : Denver, Airport at 5 pm.

  6. #6

    Default Idea?

    What do you of this trip?

    Besides, do you know any beautiful byways we could see during this trip?
    I heard about taos - santa fé et santa fe - albuquerque, the I14A in Wyoming, across Custer...
    Have you ever drive the road between Vicor and Royal Gorge? and between Chinle and Shiprock?

    Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Going to be busy.

    As Buck mentioned it is ambitous and it will keep you on the go and I wouldn't expect to see everything you mentioned along the way but at least they are there as options and you can play with your time as such and pick and choose along the way.

    Trying to see Garden of the Gods, Cripple creek, Royal gorge and the Great sand dunes NP in a day, and another example is trying to visit Monument V, Valley of the Gods, Goosenecks, Mesa Verde, Durango, Silverton and Black canyon in 2 days is all going to be rushed and actually not possible if you want to spend a bit of time exploring them.

    You will have no problem with scenic drives, your route will be full of them.

    As you are visiting so many parks you can save money by purchasing an annual pass for $80 from the first one you visit, which is roughly the cost of visiting 4 parks, so after that you are ahead in the money stakes. This does not include camping but the NP'S are great for camping in but you would need to book in advance for the time of year you are travelling.

  8. #8

    Default modifications

    Thanks to your advices and comments, we have thought about our summer trip and decided it would be better not going in South Dakota in order to spend a little bit more time in some beautiful places like Moab or Yellowstone.

    8/3 : from DIA to a motel in Colorado Spring.
    8/4 : garden of the gods, cripple creek (mine), victor, royal gorge. Camping in San Isabel Forest.
    8/5 : Sand Dunes, Scenic byways to Taos Pueblo and Bandelier.
    8/6 : Santa fé, los alamos, byways and Albuquerque for the night.
    8/7 : Road to Canyon of Chelly early in the morning via Window rock, then night near Kayenta.
    8/8 : monument valley, valley of the gods, gooseneck, then camping in Mesa Verde.
    8/9 : Mesa verde, durango, silverton, ouray and Black Canyon.
    8/10 : Road to Moab (I92, Grand Junction, I128). Camping along the Colorado. Arches at twilight.
    8/11 : Canyonland (we stay at Moab)
    8/12 : Down day in and aroud Moab.
    8/13 : Early in the morning, road to SLC, via the Bingham open sky mine south of SLC. Visit of downtown. Motel.
    8/14 : SLC, Outlet in Park city, downtown.
    8/15 : Golden spike, Grand Teton.
    8/16 : yellowstone for a first come first serve camping, then visit.
    8/17 : Yellowstone.
    8/18 : Yellowstone, then red lodge, Bighorn, H14.
    8/19 : Road to Cheyenne, Rocky Mountain and Mount evans.
    8/20 : Golden and Denver, airport at 5pm

  9. #9

    Default Denver loop 17 days

    We're planning a road trip from denver this summer in august. We re 25 and 23 and we like camping. We want to do a lot of great places with big days and down days.
    Could you give me your feeling about the following trip :


    8/3 : from the ariport to a motel in Colorado Spring.

    8/4 : garden of the gods, Pike's Peak (weather permitting), victor, Phantom Canyon Road. Mayme we can see the Royal Gorge Bridge somewhere without paying the fee? (25$ per person is too expensive), road to Sand Dunes. We'll sleep in the SD camping ou before.

    8/5 : A walk in the Sand Dunes, then Bachelor loop near South Fork, road to Gunisson (we'll see only the overlook), and we stop the night in Ouray.

    8/6 : Silverton and the mine, durango, Mesa Verde.

    8/7 : Canyon of Chelly early in the morning via Shiprock and Tsaile, overlook only (we made choices...), then Monument Valley. Can we find a campside in mid august there when arriving afternoon or late afternoon?

    8/8 : monument valley, valley of the gods, gooseneck, south part of Canyonland and camping.

    8/9 : Moab, Northern part of Canyonland and Arches.

    8/10 : Road to Salt Lake City. We'll sleep in a motel there. Scenic 128, maybe Capitol reef overlook.

    8/11 : SLC downtown, and Motel's pool!

    8/12 : Down, outlet center in park city.

    8/13 : Bonneville Salt Flats (final day of competition), then Shoeshone and Crater of the Moon or Rapid City (what do you think of Crater of the Moon?).

    8/14 : Early in the morning, road to Grand Teton to find a campground, then visit, walk...
    8/15 : Yellowstone.

    8/16 : yellowstone.

    8/17 : Red lodge, big horn canyon, scenic I14A, Devil's tower, deadwood.(big day)

    8/18 : Custer, Rushmore, road to scottsbluff, Cheyenne.

    8/19 : Rocky Mountain, Golden, Denver.

    8/20 : Denver et airport
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 06-06-2009 at 02:23 AM. Reason: Please keep all questions about this trip in one thread

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

    Default Busy, busy !

    Hi welcome back,

    I see you have "tweeked" your trip a bit, but much of the advice remains the same, I think you will have to pick and choose on the road as to where you go during the day as you just can't cover the miles and see so many parks on certain days of your trip.
    After an International flight and with your body clocks out of whack, you will be tired and just getting through customs and picking up your rental will take time and then you have to get out of Denver to Colorado springs. That's pushing it a bit [and would consider an airport Hotel in Denver for the night] but the following day you are trying to cover a lot of attractions with quite a bit of driving. I would say no chance if you actually want to go up to the top of Pikes Peak. If you did want to, I think you would be better off staying near Canon city, where incidentally there is a campground with views of the Royal Gorge [although I am not sure how good those views are] and then stop near Black canyon [Gunnison] perhaps in the Currecanti State park after visiting the Sand Dunes. From there to Mesa Verde will get you back on track time wise, but it is still going to be rushed. You will then have to pick and choose depending on how you feel between there and Moab and I would consider leaving Canyon De Chelley detour [as wonderful as it is] and having one less day in SLC to ease the burden a little. As Buck said previously, if you are getting behind you could always head back to Denver from Yellowstone, which in all honesty I think would be the best bet.

    This is a fantastic area and you are going to have a wonderful time, but take it at a pace that you will enjoy it and remember those places you do see. We have all been in the same situation but sometimes "less is more".

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