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  1. Default SW loop next spring

    We are planning a major road trip next late April/early May. Flying to Las Vegas from the UK, then drive to:
    Grand Canyon
    Canyon de Chelly National Park (and Hopi reservation)
    Mesa Verde National Park (or my brother says go to the Navajo reservation near there instead)
    Durango
    Ouray for the hot springs
    Grand Canyon of the Gunnerson
    Georgetown
    Denver (to see niece and family) 2 or 3 nights
    back to Las Vegas for 2 nights

    Would love advice on this, including how long it's likely to take and how feasible it is. I've promised my wife a helicopter view of the Grand Canyon, and want a jeep tour or two on a reservation and maybe Mesa Verde.
    It looks like given I want 2 nights in Las Vegas and my Denver stop, we probably only have about 10 days for the actual road trip.
    Thanks
    Doug

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Suggestions to work from.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You could possibly drive the route in 3/3.5 full days so you certainly have time for your stops, but won't be able to stay in any one place too long.

    The Grand canyon airport in Tusayan do flights over the Grand canyon to the North rim and is a fantastic experience. We used Papillon Helicopters and took the 50 min flight, unforgettable !

    Among all the jeep tours one of the most popular and famous would be in Monument valley and although not on your 'to do' list could be easily incorporated. Canyon De Chelley would also be a great place to take a jeep tour.

    Day 1 and 2 could be spent around the Grand canyon, with perhaps night 2 in Monument valley/Canyon De Chelley and end Day 3 near Mesa Verde NP. Day 4 could be spent visiting the park and moving on, perhaps Ouray for the night [depending on if you wanted to take the Durango/Silverton steam train ride or not]. Day 5 [or 6] From Ouray you could visit Black canyon and Currecanti recreation area and over Monarch pass on US 50 and stop on route to Georgetown, perhaps a small diversion to Historic Leadville for the night, the highest incorporated town in the US. Day 6 [or7] head to Georgetown and possibly finish your day in Denver. After your stay you could spend day 8 [?] of the road trip driving along the scenic I 70 to Moab and visit Arches NP. Take the scenic 128 through Castle valley to Moab. Day 9 you could continue along I70 and take US89/UT9 through Zion NP and stop in Springdale the night before finishing your journey back to Vegas.
    You could opt for one overnight stop between Denver and Vegas and slow your pace elsewhere.

    These suggestions are just a basis on which you can use to make it your own trip so carry on researching your options and if you have further questions just ask.

  3. Default 2 days Ouray to Colorado Springs early May 2012

    Hi,
    We're setting aside two days to get from Ouray to Colorado/Manitou Springs (where we'll spend 2 nights, giving a full day at least for Pike's Peak, GoG).
    Any suggestions? Where to overnight? We're active senior citizens but white water rafting is probably more than we want to do. :-)

    Doug

    Moderator Note: Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 05-09-2011 at 03:37 AM. Reason: Merged Threads

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Is Georgetown no longer in the picture? If not, I'd probably spend the first day exploring the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and spend the night in Montrose or Gunnison (I personally would prefer Gunnison). To get to COS, you can either take US-50 to CO-115 or US-50 to US-285 to US-24.

  5. Default

    After Colorado Springs we spend a day with my niece and her family in Denver, and will do Georgetown then.
    Anything you'd suggest for the 2nd day? Telluride?
    Doug

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
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    Default

    Telluride on day 2 would have you further away than you were when you started out for Colorado Springs. US 50 past Black canyon, through Currecanti recreation area and over Monarch pass is a lovely drive. At Poncha Springs you could head towards Buena Vista or continue on US 50 towards Canon City and the Royal Gorge bridge and from Penrose up past Fort Carson. If you didn't mind adding some miles you could go down to Great sand dunes NP but you certainly have enough to keep you occupied for a couple of days.

  7. Default

    Great, that's enough to be getting on with, I've got a long time to plan it! Was thinking of staying at Waunita Springs ranch which does B&B at that time of year, just for a change from hotels and hogans.
    Doug

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default

    Was thinking of staying at Waunita Springs ranch which does B&B at that time of year, just for a change from hotels and hogans.
    Good location to split the journey and have time at Black canyon and Currecanti, looks pretty cool too !

  9. Default

    I'm finding I need to be careful about time zones and roads in Arizona and Utah. We are going to be staying in Chinle one night and in the morning we are booking a tour with Adam Teller of Antelope Tours. That evening though we need to be at the View Hotel Monument Valley, Utah. As Arizona doesn't have daylight savings time we lose an hour when we get to Utah (I'll ignore Navajo time right now). Looking at my TomTom, the fastest route is 1 hour 40 minutes but that uses unpaved roads, avoiding them is 2 1/2 hours.
    Are either of these times realistic?
    What are the unpaved roads like? I'll be in a rental medium 4x4. That route is 59 (14 miles on 59 which I presume is the unpaved road) to 160 (44 miles on 160) to 163.
    The paved route uses US 191 to get to 160.
    Thanks
    Doug

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default

    The route you describe above on Indian route 59 looks to be paved the whole way from Chinle when on 191 to Monument valley on 163. Perhaps there is a very small section at the start or finish of your journey that is gravel. I would allow close to 2.5 hours for the journey when taking that route anyway, and only about 15 min longer staying on 191 to 160.

    You should know that any 'Off road' excursions will be in most cases in breach of your rental contract agreement and any break downs/recovery or damage caused would be your responsibility.

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