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  1. Default road trip from arizona to denver with kids

    I am planning on visiting the flagstaff/grand canyon area in 2 weeks, and have to get back to denver to fly out 6 days later. what is the best way to take for the best experience, up through utah and over to denver, or cutting through new mexico and up through colo? i will be traveling single with 2 kids (10 and 12) and am leaning towards new mexico, native american country partially because i want to take them white water rafting on the way back up through colorado..(arkansas river seems closer that way) is this ample time and what are the best things to see? i don't want a whole lot of hours in the car because my kids fight.. also what is the best part of the grand canyon to see?

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

    Default Decisions, decisions !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    There is no one "best route" around here and you can't really go wrong in this neck of the woods, but you will need to do a little research and see what appeals to you the most. The same goes for GC, the South rim has more facilities,easier to get around and more viewpoints but the North rim is a quieter experience with less visitors and offers different views from a higher elevation.
    Is your 6 days from when you leave the GC, or including any time there ? Some splendid parks are within reach, depending on what your route choice. For a more Northern route Zion, Bryce canyon, Capitol reef and Arches NP are all possibility's, and Moab I believe is set up for bike hire and rafting. You could take a more central route through Monument valley, Mesa Verde, where either Arches or Black canyon of the Gunnison would be options or a Southern route along I-40 through Petrified forest, Acomba Pueblo [sky city] Albu, Santa Fe and Taos [pueblo], Great sand dunes NP and the Royal gorge near Canon City are all possibility's. Of course, these are just a few suggestions and can vary accordingly so do a little research and have a look around the forums and when you have more questions just ask.
    Personally I would opt for one of the first 2 options through Moab, but that's me !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,066

    Default not a single best

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    As you may frequently see as you browse around this forum, there is no single best when it comes a roadtrip or a route. The best route that takes you to the places you want to go or see.

    In this case, no matter which way you go, you're looking at roughly the same distance and 6 days is lots of time to make this trip, so there isn't a big difference in the amount of time in the car you are talking about.

    Then it just comes down to what do you want to do. If you've found things in New Mexico you want to do, that's a perfectly good option. There are also lots of great things in Utah or Colorado that you could do.

  4. #4

    Default The memories

    I used to drive from Denver to Flagstaff back to Denver at least 3 times a year. The main route I would take was through Albuquerque, since I had family there. During the summer months I would take I-70, make my way to Moab, and through the Navajo Rez. It was a nice drive, although it did get kind of HOT once I past Grand Junction. My favorite route was to go through the 4 corners, Mesa Verde & Durango. I only did that a couple of times since it required more stops to take in all the great scenery. For me anyway.

  5. #5

    Default One more thing

    If you have time, I would recommend making a trip to Sedona. If you haven't been there. That's one of my favorite places in AZ if not the world. I have yet to travel the world though. Its not far from Flagstaff. Makes a great day trip.

  6. Default road trip kids flagstaff denver

    could someone please help me with the best route for taking my kids on a roadtrip form flagstaff/grand canyon to denver? we have 6 days, and I want to travel new mexico east up through to denver, but would going straight up through utah afford us more to look at? And which way has more stops to break up the trip? also, which rim of the grand canyon is better? we'll be traveling from las vegas and may visit the hoover dam...
    please help! we're leaving in less than two weeks and i am also wanting to stay at campgrounds for more of an adventure, to meet people, and to save money, but we need to reserve for cabins.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 06-05-2009 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Creating New Threads and "Bumping" is rude behavior. Please Stop if you would like to continue posting

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    3,318

    Default You've gotten some good advice already

    Hopefully I can give you some more.

    Quote Originally Posted by shanti09 View Post
    could someone please help me with the best route for taking my kids on a roadtrip form flagstaff/grand canyon to denver? we have 6 days, and I want to travel new mexico east up through to denver, but would going straight up through utah afford us more to look at?
    New Mexico is lovely. If you had more time, I'd suggest you try to get to some of it but, with the time you have, I think you should do the parks in Utah. The sights there are more unique and thrilling, imho. There is a reason Utah, and the amazing parks there, are some of the most visited in the entire country.


    And which way has more stops to break up the trip?
    Both areas have plenty of places to stop and explore. This is a very picturesque part of the country. Which is best really depends on what you want to see the most. That's not a question we can answer for you.

    also, which rim of the grand canyon is better?
    They're both great in different ways. The South Rim is the one you usually see in pictures. It's at a lower elevation and feels closer to the canyon. It's also the most visited side so the crowds are bigger. But, then again, there are also more viewpoints and things to see in addition to the canyon like the Watchtower, Tusayen Ruins, exhibits, visitor center, etc. The North Rim is less crowded with more woods at the edge of the canyon. The views are still beautiful but there are less viewpoints that are easy to get to unless you are all willing to do a bit of hiking. But the trees, bushes and other plant-life give the canyon a more unique look.

    Depending on the route you choose, you can actually visit both rims.

    we'll be traveling from las vegas and may visit the hoover dam...
    please help!
    That's a good route to start out toward the Grand Canyon's South Rim.

    we're leaving in less than two weeks and i am also wanting to stay at campgrounds for more of an adventure, to meet people, and to save money, but we need to reserve for cabins.
    If you want to stay in the national parks, particularly the more popular ones like Grand Canyon, it might already be too late so you'll need to decide fast.

    BTW, the best way to keep kids from fighting is to keep the trip interesting for them. They are old enough to take part in the planning. Go over maps with them and let them pick out things that interest them between Las Vegas and Denver. If they are good at web-surfing, let them poke around for information on places. Good places for this are the national park website and the various state tourism sites (use search term: "name-of-state tourism" to find them.

    Of course, spending time out of the car exploring and playing so excess energy gets used up is also a good way to keep them happy and less likely to fight.

    And use this as a time to start teaching them some much-needed skills. They can share navigator and "tour guide" duties, for example. If they learn to read maps a bit before you go, they can practice on the road. Also, they can keep the brochures/guidebooks, etc. organized, even taking turns reading interesting information out of them for places you're going to be seeing. Things like that. Of course they won't want to do this for hours on end but they should learn something while having fun at the same time.

    I'm a bit confused on how much time you have for the trip to Denver. How many of the six days are you using for Las Vegas? Or are all six days from when you leave Vegas? I'd rather wait to give you specific recommendations after we know for sure how much time we're dealing with.

  8. Default my roadtrip

    Dear Judy
    Thank you so much for taking your time to get me more informed. (especially the suggestions about the kids...my daughter was reading it with me, and she said 'wow, that sounds like a good idea') In answer to your question, we will have already been to Vegas by the time we make it to the Grand Canyon. Our plan is, starting off in San Diego for Vegas, then on to the Grand Canyon. I will be with a friend until then, at which point we part ways and I head on towards Denver. We plan on being at the Grand Canyon on Tues and I have to be back in Denver to catch a first morning flight the following Mon... So I have between then to see as much as there is to see (within reason) on my way back towards Denver. Any suggestions for Vegas? I haven't checked into campgrounds there, but I'm thinking a motel might be more suitable because of the heat.
    If I do choose to go through Utah, will I be able to see some authentic Native American areas (maybe reservations) with my kids? I do know about 4 corners, but that is a little off the beaten path, right? Also any campgrounds you can recommend that have cabins?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    South of England.
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    Default Family choices !

    There is no other such "iconic" Tribal park as Monument valley where you can drive or take a tour around the park road. From here you could continue to Mesa Verde in the Four corners region and then to Moab and Arches NP. From here you could get on I-70 and for a change to Red rock you could head into the Alpine scenery of the Colorado Rocky's taking the Trial ridge road through Grand lake to Estes park and through Boulder to Denver. I would say for the first part of the trip decide which do you prefer, the two MV's [Monument v and Mesa V] or Utah and the parks of Zion and Bryce canyon. I would "google" them for images before you decide !

    It will be fun sitting down with the kids and letting them help decide !

    [I am not sure if Vegas is geared up for tent camping but once again "google" is your friend ;-)

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