First time posting but I've been reading through various threads. I've found some trips that are taking a similar route and have gotten some ideas.
I'm planning a September road trip from Austin, Texas to the Grand Canyon and other National Parks around. I would appreciate any advice. I'm still in the gooey planning stage.
We tend to not want to drive more than 8 hours accept for at the beginning or end of a trip. 10 hours is doable but hopefully that is for only one day or so. I made the mistake of planning back to back long days on our drive to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons one year and I'll not make that mistake again.
Here is the tentative plan:
Day 1 Austin, Tx to Carlsbad, NM (Hotel stay)
Day 2 Carlsbad Caverns in the morning
Drive to Albuquerque late afternoon/evening (Hotel stay)
Day 3 Albuquerque to Flagstaff (Hotel Stay)
Lowell Observatory late afternoon/evening ?
Day 4 Grand Canyon (camping) Hiking ourselves stupid
Day 5 Grand Canyon (camping)
Day 6 Grand Canyon (camping)
Day 7 Drive to Zion NP (camping) More hiking
Day 8 Zion NP (camping)
Day 9 Drive to Bryce Canyon (camping) You got it, more hiking
Day 10 Drive to Capitol Reef NP (camping) Ditto on the hiking
Day 11 Drive to Arches NP (camping) Guess what we are doing - yep, more hiking!
Day 12 Drive to Durango (Hotel) - Visit Mesa Verde
Day 13 Durango area (Hotel) Train ride
Day 15 Drive to Lubbock (Hotel)
Day 16 Drive home
We're more used to staying in one place for multiple days on our camping/hiking trips before moving to the next site. But there are so many parks I want to hit on this trip that this one is looking like more pack up, move, re-pitch the campsite than we have done in the past. We'll be hauling around our telescope with us for the evenings if we are just too wiped to do our planned hiking on any day.
If anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.