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  1. Default A week-long American Southwest road trip

    So the plan is to fly into Vegas early on Sat, May 26 and rent a car. Then...

    Hoover Dam
    Valley of Fire State Park
    Four Corners
    Monument Valley
    Grand Canyon
    Meteor Crater

    Then back to Vegas and a flight out...

    Doing this solo! Intend to stay in hotels rather than camp.

    Any tips, ideas, thoughts? Is this itinerary too big or too small for 1 week? Anyone doing something similar at that time?

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

    Default Doable.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your trip plans are doable as long as you don't mind keeping on the move. Everything seems to be listed in order other than Hoover Dam. That is in the opposite direction of Zion and should be put at the end of your list as you will drive right by on the way back to Vegas from the Grand canyon. Between Zion and Arches you could visit Bryce canyon and travel along Utah scenic 12 to Torrey and then past Capitol Reef to Arches via Hanksville. I would actually recommend Bryce canyon over Four Corners if push came to shove.

    If you wanted a little more time to enjoy the parks you could do Zion and Bryce and then down through Page [Antelope canyon] to Monument Valley and cut out Arches and Four Corners. Both would be great options !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome aboard RTA!

    If this is for this year (and it appears to be), you may want to get hotel reservations if you intend to stay inside any of the national parks you mentioned..especially Zion and the Grand Canyon. Since you are flying in on Memorial Day weekend, some may already be fully booked and you'll have to stay outside the parks.


  4. Default

    Hey thank you guys for your comments. I really appreciate them. I don't mind staying outside of the national parks or in towns near them; in my other trips, and I travel very frequently, I've used hotwire on the road to get my reservations. I'm hoping to do the same this time.

    I don't mind keeping on the move; it is not uncommon for me to be on the move for eight hours or so during the day.

    As far as the Hoover dam being in the opposite direction, it appears to be very close to Las Vegas and i am thinking a little detour should not make much difference?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Put simply, Hoover Dam would be a silly detour at the start of the trip.

    Its "only" 45 minutes to an hour or so away from Vegas, so its not the distance that's the big deal.

    Its that you're going out of your way to see it at the start of your trip, when the logical route back from the Grand Canyon, at the end of your trip, will take you directly past it (in fact, up until a year ago, you would have driven right over the top of it!).

    If you really insist on going to the dam first, then do your trip counter-clockwise and head from the dam to Meteor Crater/Grand Canyon, and finish with Valley of Fire.

  6. Default

    OK, point well taken. I re-routed the trip. Hoover dam is now at the end, and Bryce Canyon is included. Thank you very much.

    Actually it's here.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    May I suggest some rerouting?

    Go to Monument Valley before 4 Corners. Take 191 south out of Moab to 163, and take that through Mexican Hat. You are missing the "Forrest Gump" view the way you are going. Continue to Kayenta, then take 160 to 4 Corners and then take 491 to I-40. After Meteor Crater, take 89 north out of Flagstaff to 64 into the Grand Canyon through the east entrance. Leave via the south entrance to Williams, then I-40 to Seligman. Take old 66 from there to Kingman.

  8. Default

    Thank you! will make changes:)

    UPDATE: This looks great!!! Any last tweaks? Is Canyon De Chelly worth visiting? Any tips on how much time is needed at the landmarks? Thank you so much!!
    Last edited by DocMoney; 05-17-2012 at 07:32 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default What I would do.

    Canyon De Chelly is worth visiting but I think you are trying to cram alittle too much into a week long trip. It's doable but the places you are visiting take time, even just to get an overview of them. You could easily spend a couple of days at each of Zion, Arches and the GC and still only scratch the surface !

    I would actually recommend scratching the lower section of your trip and Meteor Crater altogether and from Moab go to Cortez to Four Corners and then 160/191/163 for the 'Forest Gump' view. That would knock off about 4 hours driving. I think that could be well spent in the NP's and if you felt you were 'missing out' somehow you could take the drive down to Grandview point in Canyonlands which in my opinion would be far more rewarding.

    With a visit to Valley of Fire you will need to spend night one in Zion [or Springdale]. You could explore in the morning a little and head to Bryce and take in the viewpoints and stop the night in that area. Day 3 you could take scenic 12 and take a quick stop at Capital Reef before continuing to Arches. Day 4 you could explore Arches [Canyonlands ?] and head to Cortez for the night. Day 5 from Cortez you then head to Four Corners and Monument Valley and perhaps stop the night at Cameron Trading Post. Mesa Verde NP is close to Cortez, but I think time would be against you. There is a cool 'Biker' type bar in Cortez that serves [served] great food when we were there and had a good atmosphere, called 'Blondies'. Day 6 spend at the GC, witness a sunset and stay in Tusayan or Williams. Then back to Vegas via Seligman on route 66 and Hoover Dam.

    It's your trip and you must decide, but I honestly think you will regret trying to fit too much and not have time to smell the roses.

  10. Default

    Thank you for your comments! Luckily, I've been to Mesa Verde so no need to visit that...

    Is this what you are suggesting, SW Dave? I can skip the meteor crater is that makes the whole trip a bit slower paced and less hectic. After all, I can always return to see what I missed.

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