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  1. #1

    Default 2 weeks from Houston

    Hey all,

    I am planning to go on a road trip with a friend for 15 days at the end of August, leaving from Houston and back. We mainly want to see the outdoors, and have a list of afew things we want to see, including:
    - Grand Canyon
    - Bryce
    - Zion
    - Lake Powell
    - Monument Valley
    - Colorado: Pikes Peak, great sand dunes

    The big issue here is that there's too many things to see in so little time, and starting from Houston means driving 2 days to get to the grand canyon and another 2 days from Colorado back to Houston.

    We're also planning to camp whenever we can, but I've read that camp grounds fill up quickly during the summer months.

    Any suggestion or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    -Melina

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Going/Coming/Being There

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forums!

    In total, you're looking at something like 3,500 miles for your trip. That's seven days on the road and seven days to be out of the car seeing things. If you insist on treating the roughly two days there and back as 'lost' time, then I think you're cheating yourself out of some of your own time. Look for a few smaller or less well known places to stop and enjoy on each of those long legs, maybe even taking a bit longer but enjoying the drive more. Actually, the hard choice on your trip is to whether or not to include Monument Valley. That's the location that is going to add a lot of miles to your journey. If instead, you were to go directly from the Grand Canyon to Zion through the Grand Staircase-Escalante, then continue north from Bryce and take I-70 through eastern Utah to Arches National Park and then on to Denver, I think you'll be making much better use of your time.

    AZBuck

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks AZBuck!
    I had a look on googlemaps and it looks like Monument Valley only adds a 5-hour drive. Isn't it worth the detour?

    I'm not sure how much time I should plan on spending at each of the locations, it would be nice to have some time to go hiking or just relax.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    If you have the 5 hours, yes, it's worth it.

    Don't believe Google drive times though. Computers don't have to stop for anything.

  5. #5

    Default

    I think I'll keep Monument Valley on our list then :)

    I created this itinerary on googlemaps. Does anyone know if there's a shorter route between Bryce and lake Powell?

    From Houston to the Grand Canyon, is it more interesting to go through Phoenix or Albuquerque? It looks like both itineraries are the same distance.

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Nope - 89 from Bryce to Lake Powell is the shortest route using paved roads.

    Being that you are returning home via Amarillo, I'd probably take the southern route to get there. This will also let you go through Sedona.

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

    Default NPS pass.

    You do have the option of visiting MV after GC and take the 160/98 to Page. You could then visit Zion, Bryce and continue on scenic 12 through Escalante to Torrey where you would head East on 24 with the chance to add another park to your list which is Capitol reef, and continue to I-70 and towards Moab and Arches NP. It would also save you a few miles on your trip. You can use the NPS find a park map to get all the info you want on each park as well as camping info/availability. When you have decided which parks and how many you are visiting compare the individual entrance fee cost to the $80 annual pass to all parks that is available, it will probably save you money.

  8. #8

    Default

    It actually looks like that would add a couple hours (mileage is just about the same), but adding Capitol Reef is a good idea, so I'll definitely consider this. Thanks for the input!

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

    Default Scenic byway 12.

    As a suggestion it was about taking the opportunity to see both MV and drive scenic byway 12, regarded by some as one of the most spectacular drives in America. I don't think the time will be much of a problem with your itinerary. But at least it's something else for you to consider.

    Enjoy the planning.

  10. #10

    Default

    Thanks!
    My 2 weeks just became 3 weeks. I have the best boss ever :D
    That's going to make things a lot easier, so MV, byway 12 and Capitol Reef are all on the list now.

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