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  1. Default Denver>Mesa verde>Moab>Zion>Cali

    So me and my gf are taking a road trip and I've read a bunch of threads etc. Just trying to fine tune our plan. I'll be driving to Denver and meet my GF who is flying in, this gives us an extra week, since she only gets 2 weeks. She'll fly in at night and head right to hotel and we'll crash. We also are on a schedule so as much as we hate it will have to bypass some great stuff, but we'll have a jeep wrangler so the drive is half the trip, also a NPS Pass and plan on camping maybe half the time. this was originally a 'california vacation' but hard to drive past all that good stuff in Utah.

    So then..

    Day 1 Denver - from here we'd like to check out the Royal Gorge Bridge on the way to Mesa Verde. Not sure we'll fully make it but shooting for Durango or Cortez that night. I'm thinking stopping before the San Juans Skyway so we can drive it early in the Morning, good or bad idea?

    Day 2 Mesa Verde - I figure a few hours to get there, 4-5 for it then we head to Moab.

    Day 3 Moab I know 2 days is not enough but it's all we have so Delicate Arch.

    Day 4 Moab Island in the Sky

    Day 5 Drive through Four Corners/Monument Park towards Zion

    Day 6 Zion Narrows (probably camping between St George and Mesquite)

    Day 7 head to San Diego, maybe stay in Joshua Tree.

    Day 8 San Diego

    Day 9 originally i wanted to go to Yosemite but this is a bad time of year unfortunately. If we don't come up with anything we can just take the highway north and get to SF early.

    Day 10 FREE DAY

    Day 11 San Fran Just need to get here for a Hotel Res, can make it in afternoon if need be.

    Day 12+ This is a drive down the coast, and I have plenty of info on that so set.

    That's the outline. How reasonable does it seem? Days 9, 10 and 11 are buffer days so far, and time to get to SF but that can take a day, so we should have a day and a half to adjust if you think I'm too pressed. Like I said we have a jeep and will be enjoying the ride not trying to get anywhere to fast, but we usually will be moving in some form during the day. Nights will prefer to setup camp before dark but will be staying in hotels when we need.

    We have NPS pass and will be utilizing as much Free camping as possible too, but not going too deep.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think I would shuffle your trip a bit. I'd head to Moab first, and then head down to Durango, and onto 4 Corners/Monument Valley. Your current plan has you doing a lot of north/south zig-zagging, especially if you want to do Million Dollar highway (north of Durango) before Mesa Verde.

    You'd be skipping Royal Gorge, but that's no big loss in my book (one of the few places I'll actively point out that I'll never return).

    Otherwise, I think your trip looks reasonable. It's quick, but not horrible.

    Yosemite certainly could be worked into your trip. You didn't say when you are traveling, but since you'd be coming from San Diego there aren't any seasonal closures in your path. You could also drive up the coast, but be aware that CA-1 is closed near Big Sur because of a landslide, and won't be reopened for several weeks at the earliest.

    Do keep in mind that the NPS pass does not include camping fees, and while there are some free camping possibilities out there, "free" camping is usually a lot more complicated than just pulling up to a site and setting up camp.

  3. Default

    I appreciate your response.
    Yea that zig zagging is why i asked for help lol.
    On the map it didn't look much longer to head south from Denver to Canon City, then just take 50 all the way. Is this a bad idea? Kind of looked like the most fun drive. But all roads look fun in CO.

    The reason we're going this route is all the passes are closed, originally when i planned we were going to go across the North part of nevada and loop around but that's too much trouble with all the passes closed. This route we can still see the Waterfall with less hassle.

    I read the thread about the CA-1, very disappointing. Thanks for the heads up.

    I appreciate the heads up, but I did my research :) Bureau of land management often gives half price camping with a pass, even if they don't it's usually between $6-12. I called each of the district offices and was greeted with a very helpful person that gave me heads up on the good sites and how to find them. Such as in Moab the ones closer to town will fill faster. They have a nice map to print out and we'll stop at the stations along the way for detailed maps. it's first come first serve so works out better for us than having to make reservations. gives us a fighting chance :)

    This is only the first leg of the journey, I found a wealth of info for our 6 days down the coast, the trip home is boring, maybe some loose ends. 4 days to get from Socal to Denver.

    Thanks for the tips.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default 4 - 5 hrs in Mesa Verda??

    Quote Originally Posted by Roaming Buffalo View Post

    Day 2 Mesa Verde - I figure a few hours to get there, 4-5 for it then we head to Moab.

    Day 3 Moab I know 2 days is not enough but it's all we have so Delicate Arch.
    Agreed that two days is not enough around Moab. But if you think you can see anything of value, let alone get a real sense of the centuries of history in 4 - 5 hours in Mesa Verda, you are deluding yourself. If that is all the time you have to devote there, I suggest you skip it.

    A quick drive through that extensive park will reveal not much more than the surrounding country side, and probably leave you dissilusioned. You'll wonder why you bothered.

    Best to add that time to another park, and get real value of your time there.


  5. Default

    I appreciate your comment calling me delusional. Considering the time of year I'm going most of the Houses aren't open, In fact none of them might be according to the NPS site.

    Cliff Palace opens in mid April, this is our only chance and it's a chance.
    If it IS open according to the NPS site: Cliff Palace Mesa Verde’s Largest Cliff Dwelling
    This one-hour, ranger-guided tour ...

    Balcony House opens in late April
    Spruce Tree house Opens Early Nov
    Long House and Step House Memorial to Labor day

    So considering only 1 of the Houses will be open and it's a 1 hour tour, how is 4-5 hours not enough? This is 4-5 hours to be at the park, what am I missing? How is this "Delusional"?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default wrong word, big difference

    A quick drive through that extensive park will reveal not much more than the surrounding country side, and probably leave you dissilusioned. You'll wonder why you bothered.
    She said it would leave you dissilusioned, which is quite a long ways from calling you delusional.

    From the dictionary:
    dis·il·lu·sioned: Disappointed in someone or something that one discovers to be less good than one had believed.

    de·lu·sion: a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact

  7. Default

    OK I confused deluded, disillusioned with delusion. Thanks for skipping the point.

    Either way I don't understand how much time I should give since most everything is closed?

    I did research on the NPS website and the only house that will be open is a 1 hour Tour. I'm allowing about 8-10 to drive through and see the area. What am i missing?

    edit- btw I looked Delusion is the state of being deluded. So I have the correct wording. "you are deluding yourself" I really don't want to argue about grammar and things, but if you want to try correcting my English make sure I'm wrong.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    The biggest point that you are missing is that when you make sarcastic attacks against people who try to help you - especially someone who has such a tremendous history of going out of her way to help others like Lifey has - you're going to have a very hard time getting others to volunteer to provide you additional advice.

  9. Default

    Where did I attack anyone? I really don't understand your attitude.

    She said, 'you're deluding yourself'. Delusion is the state of being deluded

    I think you should reread the thread.

    Someone said i was deluding myself, and I asked why and presented facts supporting why I was thinking the way i was. I'm just asking you to explain why i should skip this place?

    This is a discussion board isn't it?
    Don't be so defensive. If you don't want to help fine but remember not everyone has english as a first language and a simple miss-communication shouldn't spiral a thread into uselessness.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    You did get one thing right, a miscommunication shouldn't cause a thread to spiral into uselessness.

    Saying you are fooling yourself is not the same as calling you a fool. I'm sorry you can't see the difference.
    Quote Originally Posted by Roaming Buffalo View Post
    I appreciate your comment calling me delusional.
    Unfortantely, the minute you "Thanked" Lifey for calling you delusional, which she did not do, you torpedoed your own thread. Since you clearly don't understand why that's a problem, don't have any intention of being more thankful to the people who are volunteering to help you, and since this thread is no longer is going anywhere useful, the thread is now closed.

    We wish you the best, but I think you'll have better luck finding help in your planning elsewhere.

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