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  1. Default Suggestions needed for a 2 week trip mid-November

    I would be very grateful for any suggestions about the best place for a 2 week road trip mid-November, anywhere in the USA. We're coming from England, and don't know the States well enough to make a decision. At the moment we're considering Santa Fe, Taos and up to Monument Valley (would Bryce Canyon be too far?) but are worried that it might be too cold. I'm not worried about it being cold at night, but don't want to drive for days in grey weather.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default impossibilities

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'm sorry to tell you that you really are asking us two questions that are really impossible to answer.

    First the US is simply too massive in size to tell you where you should go - its really no different than asking what you should go see in all of Europe. For this to really be your trip that you will get the most out of, you need to do some research and learn more about the US and what things you might like. That means looking at a good map and reading as much as you can - be it one of the thousands of guidebooks or websites and forums like this one.

    Once you know what you like, then we can help you put things together, and the ideas you've come up with could be fine - but we don't know what you are looking for or have enough direction to tell you much more.

    The other thing we can't tell you is what the weather might be in the middle of November. You can certainly find trends in terms of climate, but the reality is there's no way of knowing what areas might be "too grey" until there are exact weather forecasts which aren't reliable until just a couple days out. The areas you've listed, for example could see picture perfect conditions in mid-november, and they could also see a snow storm.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default It's All Good

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    To be perfectly honest, I'd be very hard pressed to one section of America over another. Would you recommend Wales over the Lake District? The Cotswolds over the Scottish Highlands? Cambridge over Oxford? I will say that two weeks will allow you to see a relatively modest area in some depth and come away with an understanding of and appreciation for at least one patch of the New World. I will say that the specific area you mention, from Santa Fe to Bryce Canyon, is a bit to large to try to do justice to in just two weeks. But if you narrow your scope just a little, say just to the Four Corners area, you can have a great time. such a trip might include the Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelley, Petrified Forest, Mesa Verde, and Monument Valley, as well as lesser known sights such as Walnut Canyon, Meteor Crater, Wupatki and Navajo National Monuments, Sunset Crater Volcano and a host of others. It will certainly be getting cold at higher elevations in November, and snow is a possibility, but this area is generally high desert and most days will be clear and sunny. So get out a map and start doing a little poking around on the web for the places I've mentioned. If such a trip appeals to you we can offer further assistance.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default One in a million [ of possibilities]

    I agree with what has already been said, but being from the UK myself, I find the area you mentioned to be full of true wonders, offering places that we don't see the like of on this 'side of the pond'. A lot will depend on the pace that you like to travel at, as to what you can or cannot visit, but I don't see a reason that you couldn't visit an area that includes Bryce and Santa Fe if you don't mind keeping on the go. Las Vegas would most likely be the place that you would get the best deal on international flights to fly into in that particular area, so if for instance Vegas was a start point and Santa Fe was a turn around point, you could create a loop that would cover around 1800 miles, or 150 miles a day, while allowing a couple of day's in Vegas. North from Vegas would take you Zion and Bryce canyon where you could continue through Escalante to Torrey, Hanksville and down to Monument valley. Continuing East on US 64 through Farmington heading towards Santa Fe, you could continue to Taos Pueblo over the Rio Grande bridge. From Santa Fe head for Albuquerque and I40 towards the Grand canyon [Petrified forest/ Canyon De Chelley detours plus other's mentioned ?] and back to Vegas over the Hoover dam.

    As the other's have said, do a little research and we can then help to fill in the blanks.

  5. Default

    Thank-you all so much for your responses. I shall try to be more exact....

    We will effectively be starting the trip from Seattle. which we will be leaving on the 7th November. We will be flying back to the UK from either Fort Lauderdale or New York on 19th November. I was planning an itenerary that started at Monument Valley, then down the I59 to Chinle, where we would stay and visit Chelley Canyon. Them I191, 264 to Gallup. We would then go via 40 to Grants, or somewhere nearby, where we could visit Acoma Puebla. Then through Albuquerque and north on the 14 to Santa Fe, where I would like to spend some time.Then north to Taos.

    We don't want to travel everyday, is this a reasonable itinerary, especially as we will effectively only have from 8th-18th, 10 days?

    Secondly, which would be the best airport to fly into for the start of the journey. I can see that Las Vegas is a possibility, but is there anywhere nearer. At the end of the journey, would we be better-off flying out from Albuquerque i.e go Santa Fe, Taos, then back via the 64 to Brazos, then south on the 84, then the 96 to Cuba and the 550 to Albuquerque, or keeping going from Taos and flying out from Denver?

    Thank-you again for your help, and I look forward to hearing your advice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Answers Can Only Be as Good as the Questions

    Unfortunately, we can only answer the questions asked, so since you didn't describe what your trip was really going to be like, the answers ended up being essentially useless. You are looking at a minimum of about 7 days to make the drive to Fort Lauderdale. If you add a detours to come down through Bryce, Monument Valley, Santa Fe and Taos, you'll need 8½ days just for the driving portion of your trip. You might get by with a half day less if you depart from New York rather than Fort Lauderdale. So, no, if you only have 10 days for the entire RoadTrip portion of your holiday, this is simply not going to work.

    I'm not sure where you are getting your directions from. There is no I-59 between Monument Valley and Chinle, the route in question is US-191. Also note that there are three distinct categories of roads in the US: Interstates which are all motorway quality, designated with the prefix "I-" and a number, and are depicted on maps with a red and blue shield symbol; US routes which are continuous across state lines, are usually roughly equivalent of 'A' roads in the UK, are designated with the prefix "US-" and a number, and are depicted on maps with a black and white shield symbol; and state routes which a more local roads, roughly the equivalent of 'B' routes, are designated with the prefix "XX-" (where "XX" is the two letter state abbreviation) and a number, and are depicted on maps with a circular or oval symbol.

    Quite frankly, it is difficult, for me at least, to understand what it is you are trying to do. You say that your trip will be from Seattle to Fort Lauderdale, or maybe New York, but then ask about flying in to Las Vegas, or maybe somewhere else, and then flying out of Albuquerque, or maybe Denver, or maybe somewhere else entirely. I simply have no idea what the broad scope of your plans is.

    AZBuck

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

    Default Starting over.

    OK, so you are flying from Seattle into AZ, embarking on a 10 day road trip before flying out from somewhere[ ?] to New York /Fort L before returning home.

    If that is correct, you will need 2 internal flights, which I presume will be cheaper from major airports. [not sure though] You would have to do your home work to decide upon which airports to use based on your final itinerary, for instance Phoenix could save you miles if you wasn't going to visit Bryce but instead went to the Grand canyon, Vegas would be less miles if you visited both.

    It is possible to visit both Bryce and Grand canyon and hit the spots you mention below and to fly out from Denver to NY/FL. As a rough guide, from Vegas it would be equivalent to driving around 6/7 hours a day for 5 day's, making the driving day's very relaxed and allowing time for plenty of short stops. This would not be tedious driving, the roads in general are open and very scenic and the scenery will keep you amazed. You will then have 5 full day's in which to divide your time between those places you want to visit in more depth. From Taos to Denver [perhaps Colorado Springs is a possibility?] you could visit the Great sand dunes NP, the Royal Gorge bridge [Canon City], and/or Garden of the Gods at Manitou Springs as a few possibilities.

  8. Default Which car should we hire

    We shall be driving from Salt Lake City between 7th November and 17th November. Or route will be:
    The interstate to Richfield
    Route 24 to Hanksville
    Route 24, 95 and the 261 to Gouldings Lodge at Monument Valley,
    Route 59 to Chinle
    Route 191 and the insterstate to Albquerque, Santa Fe, then back to Alburquerque
    Would it be advisable to hire a compact car for this, or do I need a 4 Wheel drive?

    Thanks in advance, Sue
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 10-27-2010 at 04:18 AM. Reason: Merged - Please do not create multiple threads about the same trip

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    4 wheel drive is rarely a good value when it comes to a rental car.

    There are no roads you'll be on that require 4 wheel drive in good conditions (and if they did require 4 wheel drive, you'd be violating the terms of your rental agreement, regardless of the type of vehicle you get).

    The one area where 4wd can be an advantage is if you see poor weather, however, even there, if you don't have experience driving in those conditions the advantage is limited and most of the time you're better off waiting for conditions to improve rather than counting on 4wd to get you through it.

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

    Default The Moki.

    If there has been some poor weather it will be wise to check the condition of the Moki dugway before heading South on UT216. The Moki Dugway is a section of road that is a series of sharp switchbacks down a steep gravel road that drops around 1100 ft in less than three miles, the rest of UT-261 is paved, except for the Dugway. Under normal conditions it is OK, but can become "interesting" i.e washboarded/rutted after storms etc.

    The view from the top.



    and on the way down.





    If conditions are poor you can continue on 95 to 191 and go around, if you take Moki you could take a short detour to Gooseneck State park for the river view..

    Goosenecks.



    As Michael has said, if the conditions were such, that a 4x4 should be needed, you would be better off going the long way, or in the event of a storm bad enough to warrant a 4x4, you sould just wait it out.

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