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  1. #1

    Default Road Trip From Denver, CO to Los Angles, CA. Advise and Recommendation needed!

    Hello everyone, my name Leon and i am from Denver, Colorado. My sister who is living in LA, CA has a graduation party this end of July so i plan to drive from Denver to LA to attend her party and by the way make a summer vacation. This is the first time i am going on a long road trip so i don't have any experienced. So i need like some advise and recommendation that need for the trip.

    I will tell a little bit about my plan so that you guys can advise me. I have a quite old car, a 98 Toyota Celica with approximately 150k mileage. The car, well at least i think it is in a good shape. I've already done a tune up and inspection for the car so i think it can make it to LA without any significant problem. I plan to start on Monday, July 25. There are places that i would want to visit like the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Hoover Dam. I want to ask if you guys have any advise about preparation and the route to take and anythings interesting on the way there. And how much may i spend for the trip along with the fuel and lodging. I may take a week of travel because i have to be there on July 31, it is the day my sister's graduation ceremony. Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default So many options.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Nobody knows your car as well as you do and if it past it's 'health check' and is generally reliable you should have nothing to worry about. If you haven't already got some roadside assistance with the likes of AAA, it's worth considering for peace of mind.

    Now the trip to LA, Wow, what a drive and so many options ! I would search the forums and you can visit the Map centre etc to get an idea on routes and attractions along the way and once you have a couple of dots on the map we can help join them up. To Moab [Arches and Canyonlands NP's] and down through Monument valley to the South rim of the Grand canyon would be popular, perhaps taking a detour to the Colorado NM near Fruita and taking the back road to Moab through Castle valley. You could head for the quieter North rim of the Grand canyon where nearby you will find the likes of Bryce canyon and Zion NP and then hook up with I15 to Vegas. On the way you could come of I70 to Hanksville and Torrey and drive Utah scenic 12 to Bryce. Another option would be to head for US50 over Monarch pass and through Curecanti rec area to Black canyon. You could then take the scenic 'Million dollar highway' [US550] south through Ouray and Silverton to Durango and then Mesa Verde NP. From there head through Four corners to Monument valley and the South rim. The Mojave NP, Death valley and Joshua tree are all things you could consider between Vegas/GC and LA. Of course there are still many more options, so get the map out and see what works for you and then we can help fill in the blanks.

  3. #3


    Hello and thanks for your reply, i am very happy to join the forum. This is the first time i am going out of Denver for a road trip. There are many places that i never visited before so this might be a chance to go out and explore our country. I will have many road trip in the future to the east and north of US but now let's stick to the plan from Denver to LA :)). On the way from Denver to LA, i only know 3 places, those are Grand Canyon in AZ, Las Vegas in NV, Hoover Dam also in NV. Those 3 places are my must-see on the trip. Also i can only spend about 1500$ for the trip. Cause my main purpose is to going to attend my sister's graduation ceremony. So i can't going too far away from the main road to LA. And i have to get to LA before July 30. That's what i planed to. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Designing a route

    Quote Originally Posted by Leon Hart View Post
    ... Also i can only spend about 1500$ for the trip. Cause my main purpose is to going to attend my sister's graduation ceremony. So i can't going too far away from the main road to LA. And i have to get to LA before July 30. That's what i planed to. Thanks.
    There are two ways to design a route. One is to lay down the route and look for the attractions along that route. The other is to look for attractions you wish to see, and lay out your route accordingly.

    You already know where you want to go, Denver, GC, LV, Hoover Dam and LA. Stick to that route. The RTA mapping centre will help you find attractions along your route. Pick only those which are within the distance you wish to deviate, and no others.

    And take a different route back.

    The greatest discovery you will make is just how much there is to see. It will be the magnet which pulls you back to this corner of the world, again and again.


  5. #5


    Hi, i think i'll stick to the plan. BTW the Map Centre was so cool. I have some place to visit other than the main one. One thing i want to ask you guys is how to prepare for the trip. This is the first time i went out alone and i don't know if it will be an easy trip. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Preparing for a trip - this is what we do.

    We start making a list of things we want to be sure to pack. Otherwise, the first days of our trip may be spent spending money on things we already own but have forgotten at home. Once the list is made, and we have packed, we double and triple check it to make sure everything is actually packed! We have been known to make piles in the living room.

    Also, one should not ignore ones' residence. Make sure that it is secure for your absence. Stop mail, newspapers, get someone to check the residence periodically (specify how often) for doorhangers-freebie newspapers etc that may show that you are not home if they hang around. If you have a pet, make sure that you have arranged for its care or for a kennel. (Around here, one has to make reservations for that, particularly in the summer months!)

    Don't forget to pack the maps and any other literature you have collected!

    Right now it is mid-June. Arrange to have a quick check-up of your car within the week before you leave: hoses, belts, tires, brakes, fluids, battery, etc. It will give you peace of mind. If you can swing it and don't already have it, AAA or similar "emergency road service" plan is really another great peace-of-mind (not to mention all the good tour books, maps, and other info that AAA will give you as part of the membership, if you just ask).


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    If you enjoyed the map center, then I'd encourage you also check out RTA's Planning section. That is filled with all sorts of articles about getting ready to hit the road, including this basic overview of planning for a trip.

  8. #8


    Thanks everyone for helping me. I am gonna take the trip about late of July. One thing i want to ask you guys is the Hostel, i read the article about it on the website. I want to ask if there are any of this in the Grand Canyon? I would spend a day there to watch the sunrise and sunset. Thanks

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Flagstaff

    The closest hostels to the Grand Canyon are in Flagstaff. There are two, both owned and run by the same people.

    But it does cut out watching a sunrise.

    Back in 2004 I stayed in a hostel in Kanab, and watched the sunrise by getting up early, and making it to the North Rim before dawn. In 2007 I visited the North Rim from Page and stayed to watch the sunset (at full moon), and drove back to Page.


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