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  1. Default Denver 2 Week Solo Loop - Camping/Hiking/Introspection

    After putting it off for several weeks, I finally bought my plane tickets & reserved a rental car last night! I'm starting med school this fall (career change), and decided to plan a solo road trip adventure to explore the rockies. Looking for feedback on my route/itinerary. I don't mind driving at all (used to 6-hour rides several times a year to my hometown) but want to make sure I have enough time to have at least one enjoyable hike/attraction at each location.

    Open to suggestions for great scenic routes in-between destinations, or even different loops altogether. RMNP, Yellowstone, & Tetons are non-negotiables, though, as is starting & ending in Denver. I'm considering dropping the UT destinations altogether, but I really want to visit Arches...

    10-Jul Fly into Denver, hotel
    11-Jul Drive to Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP, (via top of the rockies byway & aspen - 7h), camp
    12-Jul Black Canyon in AM, then drive to Arches NP (4h), camp
    13-Jul Arches, camp
    14-Jul Canyonlands in AM, drive to Salt Lake City (5h), hotel
    15-Jul Drive to Grand Teton NP (6h), camp
    16-Jul Grand Teton NP, camp
    17-Jul Yellowstone, camp
    18-Jul Yellowstone, camp
    19-Jul Drive to Casper, WY (via Beartooth Highway & Cody) (7h+), camp
    20-Jul Drive to Cheyenne (3h) for Frontier Days, hotel
    21-Jul Cheyenne Frontier Days, hotel
    22-Jul Drive to Rocky Mtn NP (3h), camp
    23-Jul Rocky Mtn NP, camp
    24-Jul RMNP in morning, drive to Denver (2h), return rental car & stay in hotel
    25-Jul Fly home

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

    Default Nice !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Congratulations, that looks like a wonderful trip and personally I think the Utah destinations will be well worth it, although I would be tempted to miss SLC and go to Jackson via Flaming Gorge Res. through Rock Springs. I think you may also want more time to travel the Beartooth Highway and to visit Cody than you will get if you're trying to make it to Casper and set up camp. I would consider stopping in Cody and then stop in either Casper or Cheyenne. Another alternative would be to come down through Rawlins to Granby and cross RMNP on the Trail Ridge road between Grand lake and Estes Park, you will want to drive this road while in the park anyway, it's spectacular !

    If you are going to visit all the parks mentioned it will work out cheaper to purchase the NP annual pass for $80 then it will be to pay individual fees for each. The campgrounds can and often do, get booked up in advance so I would consider seing if there are any available sites asap, if you are set on your itinerary. There are first come first served campgrounds but they can also book out in the morning.

  3. #3


    I don't have any advice being a novice myself but just wanted to say thanks for sharing. I am planning a trip in July to most of the same sites as you are. It's nice to see someone elses itinerary.

    Have a great trip!

  4. Default

    A few tips/thoughts:

    If you're going to the Black Canyon, think about taking in the Grand Mesa, or at the least, the "Monument" (Colorado National), on your way to Arches from Black Canyon. Or, time permitting, drop down to Ouray from Black Canyon.

    Another thought would be to give Cheyenne a miss, and drop down behind the Laramies from Casper on Wyo 220 and 789/Colorado 13 to Craig and across the Rockies on 40, and head into RMNP the back way. You'll do a short stretch along I-80, but there's decent lodging available in Craig.

    Of course, this suggestion is probably rooted in my "Been to Cheyenne, wasn't impressed" prejudice. I have a growing preference for the Western Slope as well. Cheyenne to Loveland is all built up.

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