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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    steamboat springs, colorado
    Posts
    5

    Default national parks tour pt.1 - colorado, arizona and utah

    Ultimately my goal is to see every national park in the country. time and money prevent me from doing them all at once. Therefore i have broken it down into sections and this will be the first leg of the national parks tour.
    I have outlined two different traveling options, here they are:

    OPTION 1:
    day1-steamboat to denver for a rockies game
    day2-denver to great sand dunes np
    day3-sand dunes np
    day4-sand dunes
    day5-drive to mesa verde np
    day6-mesa verde
    day7-mesa verde
    day8-drive to paria canyon (page,az)
    day9-backpack paria canyon
    day10-backpack paria canyon
    day11-backpack paria canyon
    day12-drive to grand canyon
    day13-grand canyon
    day14-grand canyon
    day15-drive to zion np
    day 16-zion
    day 17-zion
    day 18-drive to bryce canyon np
    day 19-bryce canyon
    day 20-drive to capitol reef np
    day21-capitol reef
    day 22-capitol reef
    day23-drive to arches/canyonlands np
    day24-arches/canyonlands
    day25-arches/canyonlands
    day26-arches/canyonlands
    day27-drive to black canyon of the Gunnison np
    day28-black canyon
    day29-drive to steamboat

    OPTION 2:
    day1-steamboat to arches np
    day2-arches/canyonland
    day3-arches/canyonland
    day4-arches/canyonland
    day5-arches/canyonland
    day6-arches/canyonland
    day7-drive to capitol reef np
    day8-capitol reef
    day9-capitol reef
    day10-drive to bryce canyon np
    day11-bryce canyon
    day12-bryce canyon
    day13-drive to zion np
    day14-zion
    day15-zion
    day16-drive to grand canyon np
    day17-grand canyon
    day18-grand canyon
    day19-drive to mesa verde np
    day20-mesa verde
    day21-mesa verde
    day22-drive to sand dunes np
    day23-sand dunes
    day24-sand dunes
    day25-drive to black canyon of the gunnison np
    day26-black canyon
    day27-drive to steamboat

    so, thats what im thinking. there basically the same trips just different routes with no denver or paria canyon stops on option 2. I would enjoy any thoughts/suggestions that you may have. Thanks and safe travels!
    -Adam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    steamboat springs, colorado
    Posts
    5

    Default

    ps- this trip starts late april and ends right before memorial day weekend.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Heads or tails !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Either way, you have a nice trip set up there with plenty of quality time within the NP's.

    If I were to go with option 2, I would probably go from Mesa Verde to Black canyon to Great sand dunes. That way you could drive the 'San Juan Skyway' through Dolores past Telluride [great little mountain town] to Ridgway to Black canyon and then back down through the lovely mountain towns of Ouray and Silverton on the spectacular 'Million dollar Highway' section of the 'Skyway' to Durango.

    If you have any specific questions, fire away.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    steamboat springs, colorado
    Posts
    5

    Default

    you are reffering to hwy 550 right? If so, it is a beautiful drive as you said! What information can you give me on day hikes to waterfalls in or around some of the utah parks?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Yep.

    Highway 550 is the part of the 'Skyway' that includes whats known as the 'Million dollar highway' section. The other scenic section from Dolores to Telluride to Ridgway is on CO145/62.

    Check out the "Narrows" in Zion for an amazing adventure as you walk in the Virgin river through the slot canyons, Emerald Pools is a nice easy hike in Zion and a short walk will take you to 'Weeping rock'. A lot of the other parks you are visiting are pretty dry, but have many amazing hiking opportunities. You can find info on each and everyone using the NPS interactive map.

    This is a hike I have wanted to do along Utah scenic 12, between Bryce and Capitol Reef, but remains on my 'to do list'.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    steamboat springs, colorado
    Posts
    5

    Default wow

    the falls look amazing. and it looks like i can stop there when i leave capitol reef heading toward bryce via hwy 12. this seems it would be a nice day hike then camp at the campground.

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