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  1. Default LA to Denver by kiwi family

    Hi all, we are a family of 4 / parents plus 19 year old & 12 year old girls very excited to be planning a trip round July to visit family in Denver. Thought we would drive from LA to Denver and while I have read some of the forum ideas there was one I can't find again about a route south of Denver that was worth doing.
    We would also love any info about hiring a campervan or RV ? Any tips about the best/most reasonable place to hire it from? It may work out to be too expensive as a one way hire and we will need to revert to a car. I guess it is easy to find camp grounds etc.
    Thanks heaps, love this website and all its help for us. Lynn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default No end of choices.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    You are right, that a one way trip, may turn out to be a bit expensive. That's the nature of one way fares. How long do you have for this trip, and will you be driving back as well. You could take one route east and another west. Especially in CO, there are so many scenic routes. Going south from Denver you could take I-25 to Colorado Springs, the Royal Gorge in Canon City and visit the Sand Dunes NP. Further along there is St Luis, with the life size sculptures of the Stations of the Cross, going up the hill. Your trip could further take you through Santa Fe, Albuquerque, with all the NPs and attractions along that route.

    If you have not already done so, get a wall sized map of the US (or get your family to send good maps of all the relevant States). Use the Map link on the green bar above together with maps to get a good overview of just how many attractions there are along the way.

    Of course, you might like to choose to take an alternative route through CO. There is no end of choices.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Basic Choice(s)

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There are two good routes from Los Angeles to Denver. Both will take you by some of the iconic scenery of the American Southwest. Both cover about 1100 miles. And both will take a little over two days for the driving portion (assuming you go by RV) of your adventure. You will, of course, see different sights depending on which way you go, so let's have a look at them. If you take the 'northern' route, you'd head up I-15 to Las Vegas and then on into southwestern Utah. UT-9 would then take you to Zion National Park and across to US-89 north. That would set you up for a side trip via UT-12 to Bryce Canyon National Park. Next, I-70 would take you east past Arches National Park, Colorado National Monument, and over the Rockies into Denver. The 'southern' route would have you leave I-15 on I-40 east to Williams AZ where AZ-64 would take you up through Grand Canyon National Park. On exiting to the east you'd use US-89 up to US-160 through the Navajo Nation with a possible side trip to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. US-160 would also take you to Mesa Verde National Park. Taking US-550 (the Million Dollar Highway) north from Durango to Montrose would set you up for a run on US-50 through Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, finishing up on US-285 into Denver.

    No matter how you cut it, taking an RV is going to be considerably more expensive than simply renting a car and staying in motels. A couple of national RV rental agencies that might have vehicles that you could pick up in L.A. and drop off in Denver are Cruise America and Camping World (also known as RV Rentals).


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Booking in National parks essential.

    The RV can be a great 'Lifestyle' choice if it's your 'thing', as it is ours, but it's never going to be the cheaper option by the time you add campground fees, mileage charges, high fuel consumption and all the little extras like bedroom and kitchen kits.

    I guess it is easy to find camp grounds etc
    There are plenty of campgrounds around, but if you plan to visit National parks and want to stay in them [recommended with RV] then you would need to book sites asap after the booking window opens.

    So how long have you available actually on the road trip part of your trip ?

  5. Default

    Thank you all for the great advice, it has helped me heaps. We have some dates now so looking at spending 7 days traveling LAX to DEN. Have looked at the RV websites you recommended AZBuck and Camping World looks good, as you all say pricey so we will need to check the budget but this is our once in a lifetime trip so need to weigh up fun times in a vehicle we have never experienced before vs cramped car and hotels, they truly only do 6-8 miles to the gallon? I will look at the National Parks websites once we know which way we are going, at the moment we are fighting between Las vegas and the Grand Canyon. Can you stay in the National Parks in motels or cabins? Thanks again for all of your help.

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

    Default Answers.

    Have looked at the RV websites you recommended AZBuck and Camping World looks good
    As mentioned previously, make sure you consider all costs before committing. Also [if you haven't already] go direct to the Cruise America website and click on the 'Hot deals' link to see what offers they may have.

    only do 6-8 miles to the gallon?
    Splitting hairs maybe, but you should get 9-10mpg from a 27-29ft class 'C'.

    at the moment we are fighting between Las vegas and the Grand Canyon
    It's possible to do both quite easily, depending on what else you wish to fit in.

    Can you stay in the National Parks in motels or cabins?
    Most NP's have lodgings [some including cabins] but you do pay a premium and it would still be advisable to book in advance. On the other side of the coin, the NP campgrounds are much cheaper than the private campground surrounding the parks, which is worth considering when looking at your budget as a whole.

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