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  1. Default Denver - LV Road Trip via Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, Zion, Page and Grand Canyon

    Hey there!

    I'm currently planning a road trip from Denver to Las Vegas for August this year. After searching the internet (and especially this great site) I've came up with a plan that I like a lot. I would like to ask the experts here for feedback, but also post it to inspire other people looking for something similar. So here goes:

    Day 1: Travel from Denver to Moab
    Day 2: Visit Arches NP
    Day 3: Visit Canyonlands NP
    Day 4: Travel from Moab to Bryce via Capitol Reef NP
    Day 5: Visit Bryce Canyon NP
    Day 6: Travel from Bryce to Springdale via Dixie National Forest and maybe stop at the NW part of Zion
    Day 7 and 8: Visit Zion NP
    Day 9: Travel from Springdale to Page, maybe visit the North side of the Grand Canyon?
    Day 10: Enjoy Lake Powell and the Antelope Slot Canyon
    Day 11: Travel to Williams via the Grand Canyon area
    Day 12: Revisit Grand Canyon
    Day 13: Travel to Las Vegas

    The biggest let down for me is missing Monument Valley, but I find it difficult to get there without 5+ hours of driving. As far as I know, there are no hotels in the area and I'm the only driver, so I'm considering to leave it. I would appreciate any tips/suggestions from anyone with travel experience in this region. I'm also curious to know what hiking trails are the most enjoyable to do in the parks I'm planning to visit, any suggestions? What are the not-to-miss spots to see?

    Thanks so much!!

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

    Default MV and RMNP.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You have a wonderful and well planned trip to look forward too !

    To include Monument valley your best bet would be to head there from Page and then end your day at the Cameron Trading post which has interesting stores, dining and lodging. Next day it would be just a short drive to the east kiosk which is the east entrance to Desertview drive and it's many viewpoints. The actual drive would only be 40 mins longer than going to Williams for the night and then heading back on yourselves and you could possiblty visit some of Desertview drive viewpoints and grab a sunset before heading back to Cameron.
    The Watchtower, Navaho and Lipan point would be about an hour and a halfs drive from Cameron and back again. Next day you could visit more sites and then stop in Tusayan or Williams after a full day at the canyon and still have time to revisit before Vegas.

    You should purchase a National parks annual pass at the first park you visit. This will cost $80 and will be cheaper than individual fees. The parks get busy during the summer months and even if you don't want to stay in parl lodgings it would be advisable to book lodgings nearby. The main 'miss' would be Rocky mountain NP and a drive across the Trail Ridge road but you have a nice balance to your trip. I would be tempted to stop on route to Moab and visit RMNP, and probably the best way to do that would be to drive from Bryce to Springdale in the afternoon of day 5, that would actually become day 6 with a visit to RMNP. [If you know what I mean] lol

    That of course is for you to decide, but great job with the planning !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    There is an issue you need to be aware of - US-89 is closed between the US-89A junction south of Page to Page due to a major road collapse, and probably won't be open yet in August. You have 2 reasonable choices - at Kanab, take US-89A to the North Rim, then to US-89 south of Page and head for Cameron and the South Rim - or stay on US-89 to Page, then take AZ-98 to US-160 to Monument Valley. Doing both the North Rim and Page won't really be feasible.

    There are hotels in the MV area - there's the View and a couple hotels in Kayenta.

  4. Default

    Southwest Dave,
    Thanks for your great advice! I was not aware of the Cameron Trading Post, this will indeed make it possible to include Monument Valley in the trip. We will definitely take your advice. The NP annual pass is a great shout as well. I forgot to mention we will stay with friends in Denver a few days before the trip, so the Rocky Mountains are covered as well.

    Thanks you so much for this mentioning this issue! We will go directly to Page and then to Monument Valley/Cameron Trading Post. Unfortunately the View is already booked at the date we arrive, and in Kayenta only expensive rooms were vacant.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Detour suggestions.

    I forgot to mention we will stay with friends in Denver a few days before the trip, so the Rocky Mountains are covered as well.
    That's good to know !

    Another couple of thoughts. On route to Moab you could detour off of I70 and cross the continental divide over Loveland Pass on US6 to Dillon Res. [Almost 12000ft pass with great views] As you head on towards Moab take US6 to CO 128 for a scenic drive through Castle valley rather than going all the way to 191.

    On the way to Vegas you could also detour onto a section of original route 66 through Seligman, a route 66 town with quirkey diners and memorabilia stores.

  6. Default

    Great tips! How's the road in these areas, will it take a lot of additional driving time? According to google maps it should be OK, but since I'm the only driver I want te be cautious not to get over excited.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The roads are all good, but mountain roads do tend to be hilly and winding. Loveland Pass won't add much time at all, depending on traffic both on it and through the tunnels on I-70. UT-128 doesn't add any time because you are cutting across a corner and the miles are considerably less. 66 from Seligman to Kingman adds about an hour.

    I'd book at Cameron, if it's full there are a couple hotels in Tuba City.

  8. Default

    That sounds good!

    Route 66 from Seligman shouldn't be a problem either since the drive from Williams to Las Vegas is not that long compared to Denver-Moab.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Williams to LV via 66 is about 5 hours not including stops.

  10. Default

    Route 128 into Moab??? Yes Yes Yes!!!!!! This is such a beautiful route and is a destination in itself. It starts out as boring desert, but wait until you enter the canyon!!! It is Incredible.

    Also, when visiting Zion, be sure to do the "Narrows Walk" up the Virgin River. Bring sturdy shoes for walking IN the river, or you can rent some in town. This walk becomes a lifelong memory to cherish ... It is that great!

    Warning! You should not attempt the Narrows during high water or when storms are forecast (especially distant ones up river)! People have died in flash floods here. The sheer canyon walls tower hundreds of feet overhead and there is nowhere to run.
    Last edited by travelingman; 03-10-2013 at 09:56 AM. Reason: Add info

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