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  1. Default Washington State to Kansas

    (A couple years ago my family moved from the East Coast to Washington State. Thanks to this forum, we were able to plan an excellent trip through the Black Hills, Yellowstone/Grand Tetons, and Glacier NP.)

    We're moving this summer from Washington State to central Kansas. We've already done the "northern route" (Montana and Wyoming), so I'm looking at going south through Utah and Colorado (82, 84, 15, 70). My kids are four and six. Time will be of the essence (looking to see the highlights, but not spend multiple days in any one location).

    We love mountains and hiking. We love anything kids enjoy (water parks and aquariums and children's museums).

    Any suggestions on must-see things to do or see?

  2. Default

    BTW -- I know it's out of the way, but I'd love to work the Grand Canyon into the trip too. I just don't know what there is on the North Rim.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Some options.

    Hello and welcome back to RTA !

    Time will be of the essence (looking to see the highlights, but not spend multiple days in any one location).
    It would help a lot if you were to elaborate a little on how much time you would like to spend on this trip. Heading down towards the Grand canyon North rim would add about 600 miles to your trip as opposed to heading to I70 via US6/89 and at least 2 days of driving with a quick 'peak'. As well as the North rim of the Grand canyon there would be the NP's of Zion and Bryce canyon, and possibly Capitol Reef if you had the time to take Utah scenic 12 through Escalante. To head down to the GC and enjoy these other natural wonders could easily take up a week of your time, but at least 3 days I would recommend and that's if doesn't leave you having to race by all the other natural wonders.

    If you went to GC or not your next 'major' attraction would be Arches and/or Canyonlands near Moab UT. After which there are the like of the Colorado National Monument, [near Fruita] the Hot pools at Glenwood Hot Springs and at Idaho Springs. Prior to Idaho Springs [and by-passing it altogether] you could take a trip through RMNP on the spectacular Trail Ridge Road via Grand Lake.

    BTW -- I know it's out of the way, but I'd love to work the Grand Canyon into the trip too. I just don't know what there is on the North Rim.
    It offers walks and magnificent views of this natural wonder without so many crowds.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 01-28-2012 at 10:54 AM. Reason: Typo.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Another thing that would help us to help you, is to know whether you're traveling with a U-Haul type truck or trailer?


  5. Default Thanks

    We'll be traveling in the family-wagen, probably loaded down with luggage (and maybe the dog, but not sure about that).

    Right now I don't know exactly how much time we'll have to make the trip. Devoting the week you say may be necessary to make the southern detour worthwhile might be too much, so we'll probably have to stick to the highlights that are close our planned route.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Not necessary.

    Just to be clear, I did not mean it necessary to spend a week around the GC and nearby Southern Utah parks, it was just an example of how you could easily do so. I would say that 3 days extra would be required though to cover the 600 extra miles and make it a worthwhile visit to the area.

    Again, just to be clear. You would need a minimum of a week for the whole trip if you were to visit the GC north rim [if that's what you are thinking I meant] and that would be 5 days of pure driving, so little time for any other major parks/attractions.

    If you are thinking of a week maximum for the whole trip, I would personally skip going so far south and head to Arches/Canyonlands NP and along I70. Without detours or major sight seeing you will need to dedicate about 3.5 days of driving between 'A' and 'B', presuming Fort Lewis WA to Salina KS.

  7. Default

    Here's my rough plan right now. I would love some feedback on what is/isn't worth it along the way, and if I'm missing anything big:

    Day 1: WA to Boise

    Day 2: Craters of the Moon, stay somewhere between there and SLC. (Does anyone know anything about Bruneau Dunes SP in UT?)

    Day 3: Get to SLC, enjoy the sites (what is there to see there, especially for little kids?)

    Day 4-5: SLC to Moab, UT -- see Arches and Canyonlands

    Day 6: To Glenwood Springs, CO (play at the springs pool????). Or I could head deeper into the mountains to get to a good hiking spot.

    Day 7: Drive scenic route to Pike's Peak/Colorado Springs, maybe doing a hike or two along the way. Mount Evans?

    Day 8: Pike's Peak in the morning, then head to Denver

    Day 9: What's there to see in Denver?? Then head to KS, arriving that night or spending the night en route if necessary

    I see I'm missing out on Rocky Mountain National Park. Should I reconsider? If I do, what should I leave out?

    Also, what are the Colorado Rockies like the first week in June? Is snow going to be an issue, especially for hiking? (Up here in WA, anything over about 4000 feet has a very short hiking season.)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default I'll post a roadtrip field report.

    Bruneau Dunes SP and Bruneau Canyon are actually in ID not UT, just south of Mountain Home. There is also Hell's Canyon, in north east OR, stradling the border of ID. Depending on when you are going in 'summer', stay tuned. I plan to check out both of them in about six or seven weeks. No, I don't know a great deal about them, but that is the adventure. See what there is, no knowing what a gem it could be. I am full of anticipation.

    On your way to Craters of the Moon, you might like to continue up 75 to 20 (instead of taking 93 direct). About half way between the junction with 93 and the intersection of 20 is the Shoshone Ice Caves. I have not been in the caves, but they do have large sculptures outside which the children would love. I think they can climb all over them. Can't remember exactly what all there was, but I do recall a huge green dinosaur. My grandchildren loved the pictures.

    If you have time, it is worth stopping at the Shoshone Falls, at Twin Falls. These falls, when in full flow rival Niagara. It is also where Evil Knevil failed to jump the Snake River Canyon.


  9. Default

    Lifemagician -- Thanks, yes -- in ID, not UT. I'm still an East Coaster and all these Western states confuse me. :)

    I just added Shoshone Falls to my Google Map and to my itinerary. We'll be going the first week of June. I've added the Ice Caves too since that sounds like something my kids would love -- they loved the lava tubes we toured last September in Oregon.

    I'll be awaiting the trip report on the Brune

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Lava

    If your children loved the lava tubes, you might like to show them the lava fields along 75... they come right up to the road. It is five years since I was there, and can't quite remember where along 75 they are. But I am sure you won't miss them. They are quite visible.


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