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  1. Default Planning a trip to see US landmarks..summer 2011

    We are trying to plan a trip with our two kids (who will be 10 and 12 at the time of this trip). We will be flying in to somewhere from NJ and would like to see some sights like Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Mesa Verde National Park and the Grand Canyon. We have gotten lots of suggestions regarding other places (such as Carlsbad Caverns or Mount Rushmore.) We will take about 15 days for this trip. Any suggestions about where to start and what places to see in that time frame? Thanks for your feedback!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Lot's to choose from.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Wow, Carlsbad Caverns, that's a long way South of anything else suggested !

    Depending on what your finalised itinerary looks like, but as it is with Yellowstone and Grand canyon on the menu, Salt lake City would look to be a good starting finishing point with Denver being another option. From Denver such options as Rocky mountain NP, Arches, Grand canyon, Zion, Bryce canyon, the Tetons and Yellowstone, Mt Rushmore and Custer State park are just a few of the major highlights you could experience. It's probably a good time to study a map and look around the forums to find places of interest to you and start putting some dots on the map. As you build your trip and new questions arise, just ask. Of course you will have to pick and choose carefully with 15 day's available but boy ! What a choice !

    Enjoy the planning !

  3. Default

    The route my son and i took last summer was Denver thru Rocky Mountain National Park westbound spending the night in Winter Park on the other side of RMNP. It is a ski village with great room rates in the summer months ($75-2 double beds). From there a drive west on Interstate 70 for a 100 miles or so will take you thru the Eisenhower tunnel (nearly 2 miles long) and thru Glenn-wood Canyon. One of only a handful of Interstate sections that rival the most scenic byways in America. Head south on highway 550. The section that takes you from Ridgeway to Ouray to Durango is known as the Million Dollar Highway and is winding mountain road with no guardrails and 400-700 foot drop offs at times, less than a foot from the white line on the passengers side of the road. Probably my favorite stretch of road over 25 years of driving. Head west from Durango and visit Mesa Verda on your way to Four Corners. Take that picture of yourself standing in 4 states at once. Corney yes, but we all have done it. After Four Corners, 160 west to 89 north to Alt 89 will take you across Navajo bridge. Park and walk out on the pedestrian side, well worth it, great views of the river below. Turn left at Jacob Lake and visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Totally different than the South Rim. Cooler and greener with deer and buffalo in the field on the drive in. Plus ALOT less crowded and i never saw a tour bus. At the end of the road stop at the Canyon lodge and sit on the deck outside and take in the views of the canyon, although they aren't as awe inspiring as the South rim, still massive and beautiful and you wont have to spend 20 minutes to find a parking space and stand shoulder to shoulder to take in the view. I don't want to write too much(i can get carried away) so ill skip a lot of the details. After Grand Canyon, must see list include a drive thru Zion park,west to east, then on to Bryce Canyon. Capital Reef and Arches National Park would be nice to visit before heading north towards Jackson Hole and the Teton Mountains. Yellowstone is about an hour north. See Old Faithful and visit the gift shop. Yellowstone falls impressed me more than Niagara Falls. After the falls and headed for the east exit to the park, we saw several hundreds of buffalo one year and maybe 75 a few years later. Both trips were 3rd week of June but second trip was 10 to 15 degrees cooler! Spend a night in Cody, Wyoming and catch the nightly rodeo. The old west still lives on, Big Bear motel is within walking distance and has wooden bunkhouse type rooms with log chairs outside your door. Head east on Hwy 14 thru the Big Horn mountains and shoot over I-90 past Gillette to Hwy 16 which will take you thru Custer and make sure to see Mount Rushmore and drive the loop at Bad Lands National Park. After that its time to head south back toward Denver.

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