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  1. Default Denver to Phoenix with kids in 6 days

    We are planning a driving trip from Denver to Phoenix and will have 6 days to travel and spend the night along the way. Our boys (ages 10 + 13) are not huge hikers and sort of do the "National Lampoon Vacations' head nod" at beautiful scenery (how long do we have to look at this mountain, awww please don't make us hike . . ?), but we are dying to travel that part of the country. We are hoping to mix it up between activity + scenery + active things for us all to enjoy. I can't decide whether to take the longer route through larger towns/cities, such as Santa Fe, or to head through Utah. Anyone with good experience recommend us a driving route that will keep us on our toes? Thanks for the insight!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    First, is this a one-way trip? Or 6 days for the round trip?

    There isn't a huge mileage difference between going through Santa Fe or heading into Utah, but the scenery certainly would be different. I've not driven into New Mexico from Colorado, but I do distinctly remember coming out of Colorado into Utah and the incredible scenery along the Interstate.

    Since hiking is out, and scenery is not of primary concern, what kinds of activities did you have in mind?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,325

    Default Don't Overlook

    The National Parks have a wonderful program that far too few take advantage of, but which would be right up your boys' alley, the Junior Ranger Program. These are a set of park specific, and age appropriate, activities for your guys to complete while at the parks. When they turn in their completed work at the end of their visit, they get sworn in as Junior Rangers, some documentation, and (typically) a very neat park badge. At the very lest, it should get them to see beyond the mere scenic aspect of the park.

    AZBuck

  4. Default Clarification

    Thanks for the replies. . . we are headed 1-way to Phoenix from Denver. We actually live in the deep south and are headed to visit friends in Denver, weekend in Keystone with them, and then headed out on our own to fly out of Phoenix home a week later. The park ranger program sounds very cool -- will have to look into that. Any places you can recommend that I make hotel/nightly reservations in stops along the way? It'll be 6 nights for us, and we'd like to spend at least one night (possibly two) in Phoenix, so really 4-5 stops along the way. Thanks for any advice!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,697

    Default A couple of favourites.

    Rocky Mountain NP is quite spectacular, perhaps you could visit as part of your time in Keystone with friends ?

    There are quite a few combinations of routes and attractions that you could consider. I personally would highly recommend heading into Utah and down through Arizona. Much will also count on how long you might want to stay in each place you visit.

    From Keystone you could head towards Leadville, an historic town which happens to be the highest incorporated town in the US. Then you could continue along US50 over the continental divide at Monarch Pass, through Currecanti Recreation area and vist Black canyon of the Gunnison.

    From Montrose you could head south down US550, the wonderful 'Million Dollar Highway' through the mountain towns of Ouray and Silverton to Durango. Here you could take the spectacular train ride on the Durango/Silverton line. Then onto Mesa Verde NP, Four Corners, Monument valley and the South rim of the Grand canyon before heading to Phoenix, possibly via Sedona and Oak Creek.

    Alternatively, from Montrose you could head towards Grand junction [or skip Leadville and US50 altogether and head direct to Grand Junction via 170] where nearby is Colorado NM. On into Utah and you have the town of Moab, home to Arches and Canyonlands NP's and then down through Monument valley to the Grand canyon.

    These are just a couple of options/Combo's among many, so I would recommend you open a good map up, do a little more research around the forums and when you have a couple of dots on the map, we can help to join them up and recommend where you might be best stopping overnight.

  6. #6

    Default

    I did my 6 days trip from Phoenix to RMNP (Rockey Mountain National Park) in November.
    We took Phoenix-Albaquarqe-colorado springs-denver-Boulder-Rocky Mountain National Park for inbound. If you never been to this side, than Phoenix to Albaquarqe is typical route from navaho nation view, i did not find that route too exciting. From Albaquarqee to Denver, i kept on driving and reached RMNP 1:00 in morning (after leaving Phx at 9:00).

    We stayed there 3~4 days and took I-70 on the way back, from RMNP, we did not take DENVER but drove in to the middle os Rocky to reach I70 and it was awesome trip. I-70 is a fantastic route of its own where we experienced all season in one day. 1st it was SNOW, than rain and than sunny and also the glen canyon and other UTAH places. You can stay in Moab also and cover all the canyons in couple of days.Another night stay could be in FLAGSTAFF and in SEDONA.
    I would recommend coming towards I-70 one side and going back via South colorado-Durango-Euray-Denver .Staying in Durango/Silverton will also be a good idea on the way back.
    Rgds
    Astraclub
    Enjoy the trip

  7. Default

    Follow your maps and ask the stager, best wishes!!!!

  8. Default

    Okay, we've decided on Keystone straight to Moab. I am thinking two nights there, since we will arrive in Moab at night, can have a full day to explore Arches and Canyonlands. . . does that sound right? We would stay there that second night and then get up to drive the next day. Is that enough there (one full day to explore)?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,697

    Default Time

    Yep that sounds fine ! Having said that, you could spend a week around the Moab area and not have 'enough' time there. [Time issues are common place, and something most of us have to work around what we have available] I presume you are planning on leaving Keystone after lunch as you are planning on arriving at night, or perhaps you have other activities in mind. If not you could include a drive to Grandview point in Canyonlands same day and use most of the following day in Arches NP.

    On route to Moab you can get off I70 to US6/UT128 that takes you on a scenic drive through Castle Valley, with hardly any time penalty.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by allibweil View Post
    Okay, we've decided on Keystone straight to Moab. I am thinking two nights there, since we will arrive in Moab at night, can have a full day to explore Arches and Canyonlands. . . does that sound right? We would stay there that second night and then get up to drive the next day. Is that enough there (one full day to explore)?

    I think thats sufficient on what to look in 1 day. you will enjoy there in 1 day and take early morning from there to carry on as you planned.

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