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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Kalgoorlie Western Australia
    Posts
    16

    Default Aussie needing help planing road trip - Please

    Hello Everyone,
    My name is Shell, just joined your forum.
    My Husband Dave and I are planning a road trip but as we have never been to America Before it is not easy. We arrive in early May and have the first 2 weeks Pre-Booked: Los Angeles, Universal Studio, San Diego Zoo, Anaheim Disney, and a one way coach trip to Vegas for 4 days. Then we pick up a hire car and head towards Denver to visit our Aussie friends for 2 weeks after that it is all up to us. What we are hoping for from this forum is suggestions on what to do and see on the way to Denver as well as things to see and do afterwards - we are open to all suggestions at this point :)
    Thanking you in advance,

    Shell

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default So many options !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Well finding RTA is a very good start ! You have so many options available to you, I know it can be overwhelming, but at this early stage in your planning it is difficult to make meaningful suggestions. I would start by searching the forums and checking out the Roadtrip planning pages and Map Centre in the tool bars above.

    I am unsure whether you have 2 weeks to get to Denver or if you are staying in Denver for 2 weeks, or a combination of both. How long have you actually got from departing Vegas to arriving in Denver ?

    Just a few of the possibilities 'in between' would include the Grand canyon, Monument valley, Zion NP, Bryce canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Colorado National Monument, Black Canyon, Rocky mountain NP, plus some great driving roads like Utah scenic 12 and the 'Million dollar Highway' in through the mountain towns of Silverton and Ouray in Colorado.

    Now you won't get to see it all, but it should give you a 'heads up' to help with your research. From Denver, again the possibilities are endless and not knowing an end point makes meaningful suggestions impossible to list, especially as we don't know how long "after that" actually is.

    You have enough options in the Southwest to create a loop and head back to Vegas or LA without going over the same ground twice, or you could continue on your way to New York, or anywhere else for that matter.

    Look around and get a few more dots on the map, fill us in with info such as timing for your road trip and we can help fill in the blanks.

    Enjoy the planning !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Kalgoorlie Western Australia
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for the quick reply.
    Yes I did leave a few things out sorry.
    We have 8 to 10 days to get to Denver from Vegas, we are spending 2 weeks there with friends. then we have about 7 weeks to tour, then back to Denver for a week to say goodbye to our friends before flying home to Oz.

    Shell

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

    Default Wow !

    Eight to Ten days will give you a nice amount of time to explore this wonderful area between the 2 City's and visit some of those spots mentioned above. With 7 weeks after Denver you have have access to just about anywhere in the US and even parts of Canada if you so wished. Of course you won't be able to see everything, [that would take another Lifetime] but you can achieve your 'main goals' and quite a bit more ! [I'm not jealous ! Lol]

    As I mentioned, look around a bit, break open the map and find some of those 'goals' that appeal to you. The beauty of creating your own road trip is the freedom to make it your own, once you have got that far we can help fill in the blanks and 'fine tune'. The planning for me, is a fun part of the trip as a whole, so enjoy !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Enough time to see most of the National Parks

    Quote Originally Posted by Shell View Post
    Then we have about 7 weeks to tour, then back to Denver for a week to say goodbye to our friends before flying home to Oz.
    Wow!! with that amount of time, you should have enough time to check out all the main National Parks in the West. Make sure you put purchasing the National Parks Pass on your shopping list. It will save you a heap of money.

    I would look at Rocky Mountain NP, Sand Dunes NP, Yellowstone NP, Death Valley NP, and Yosemite NP, Zion NP, Bryce NP, for starters. Most of those deserve two or more days. There are many more less well-known parks worth checking out as well.

    As Dave said, on the way to Denver there is the Grand Canyon - I far prefer the North Rim, less crowded and just as specatular, Monument Valley and in south west CO, Mesa Verda NP.

    With your time frame, and 14 months to plan, you are bound to have a trip you will never forget. Might even run into you somewhere along the way.

    Lifey in Melbourne

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Kalgoorlie Western Australia
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Hi Lifey in Melbourne,
    Not 14 Months - 2 Months we leave this year! I only just found this forum by accident or I would have posted earlier.

    Shell
    Last edited by Shell; 03-03-2011 at 04:15 AM. Reason: More Info

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Oooops!!

    No idea where I got that from. Oh yeah! you will be busy. Happy planning, you have come to the very best place. (And you've got the dollar in your favour. LOL)

    Guess I was thinking about my trip in 14 months time. But then, I ain't doin' planning.... it will be my fifth trip, and I will just head for the horizon, and see what's there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Kalgoorlie Western Australia
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Hi All,
    I have been on the Trip Planner and this is what it come up with as a route from Las Vegas to Denver:

    Vegas, Henderson,Sunrise Manor, Mesquite, St George Cedar City, Beaver, Salina, Green River, Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, then continue on route 70 through to Denver.
    These are the Attractions it lists on the way - within 50 Miles:

    RoadTrip Attractions
    1 Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas
    2 Arches National Park
    3 Sunrise Point Visitor Center, Bryce Canyon National Park
    4 Island in the Sky Visitor Center, Canyonlands National Park
    5 Visitor Center, Capitol Reef National Park
    6 Rocky Mountain National Park
    7 Zion National Park
    8 Cedar Breaks National Monument
    9 Colorado National Monument
    10 Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument
    11 Pipe Spring National Monument
    12 Valley of Fire State Park
    13 Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest
    14 Pa'rus Trail, Zion National Park
    15 City of Leadville
    16 Edwin Carter Museum
    17 Glenwood Hot Springs
    18 Grand View Point Overlook
    19 Castle Valley
    20 Loveland Pass
    21 Twin Lakes
    22 Mesa Arch, Canyonlands NP
    23 Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge Viewing Visitor Center
    24 Buck Canyon Overlook, Canyonlands
    25 Town of Springdale
    26 Apache Motel
    27 Courthouse Towers
    28 'Hole N' the Rock'
    29 Forest Canyon Overlook
    30 Bear Lake trailhead
    31 Delicate Arch viewpoint
    32 Mount Evans Scenic Byway
    33 Buffalo Bill's Gravesite - Lookout Mountain
    34 Old Bryce Town, Ruby's Inn
    35 Town of Grand lake
    36 Echo Lake Park
    37 Majestic View Lodge

    My questions are:
    Is this a good route?
    How Hilly is it? - Mountains?
    Which are the best attracions from this list.

    We have 8 - 10 days to get there. We are going to the west rim of Canyon and flying over Canyon while in Vegas.

    Thankyou,
    Shell

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

    Default What route ? Lol !

    Hi Shell.

    You have quite the list there ! You shouldn't have any problems with roads, yes they will be "hilly" and twisty in places but they are all paved and easily passable in a 'normal' car. The best attractions are the one's that appeal to you the most and then you can build a route around them, as I don't actually see a route yet, just a list ! Lol.

    OK, to get this bit started. Las Vegas > Zion >Red canyon > Bryce canyon > Capitol Reef > Moab [Arches and Canyonlands] >Grand junction [via Castle valley and Colorado NM] > Glenwood Springs > Carbondale/Aspen/Twin lakes to Leadville > Loveland pass/Grand Lake/ Trail ridge Road to RMNP [Forest canyon/ Bear lake] to Estes park > Denver.

    I would spend a couple of nights at Zion, 1 in Bryce, 2 In Moab, 1 in Glenwood springs, 1 in Leadville, and 2 in Rocky mountain NP. That is one example that hits quite a few of the spots on your list, there are many more options so keep looking and create your own route and then we can help fine tune.

    Just so you know, the West rim of the Grand canyon is not part of the National park system and you won't see those world famous views you see through photography from that spot which is located on Indian lands. It is home to 'Skywalk' which is pretty expensive by comparison and you are not allowed camera's onto the Skywalk.

    The other thing I would consider is where are you going after Denver. I personally would be looking to Yellowstone/Glacier NP and possibly into Washington, Oregon and Northern California to San Fran and across to Yosemite. If this is something that appeals, you could then hook up with the route above in Zion back to Denver. If you were to do that then I would take a more Southern route from Vegas to the South rim of the Grand canyon, Monument valley, Four corners, Mesa Verde, and the 'Million dollar highway' [US550] from Durango through the mountain towns of Silverton and Ouray to Montrose, spectacular !! From Montrose head East on US50 via Black canyon and Currecanti Nat Rec area and over Monarch pass. Head towards Pikes peak and Colorado Springs [Cave of the Winds and Garden of the Gods] and North to Denver.

    Only you can decide on all these options, we are just here to help put your dream trip together.

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