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  1. Default Best place to stop between Mesa Verde and Grand Canyon South Rim

    Hi all,

    Our family (2 adults and a 12-year-old boy) are planning our Southwest Summer Road Trip. I am wondering about a good place to stay between Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon. Here's our trip thus far:

    Arrive in Las Vegas and spend the night.
    Next morning drive to Hoover Dam and on to Zion National Park. (spend 2 days)
    Leave Zion in morning to go to Bryce (spend 1 day)
    Leave Bryce in morning, go to Escalante and then on to Capitol Reef (spend 1 day)
    Leave Capitol Reef around noon, stop at Goblin State Park and head to Moab.
    Spend 3 days in Moab to see Arches and Canyonlands.
    Leave Moab in morning and head to Mesa Verde. (spend 1 day)
    Leave Mesa Verde in morning, stop by 4 corners and then head toward Grand Canyon.

    I don't have any idea where to stay between Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon. I also don't know which places we should try to stop between the two locations. Any suggestions are welcome, especially on things that our son might think is fun. I feel like I might be missing something.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Few Things

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The entire drive from Mesa Verde to the Grand Canyon will be through the Navajo Nation. Tourist facilities will be few and far between. Your best bet from both a timing and availability standpoint is probably Kayenta at the junction of US-160 and US-163. However, note that lodging there will be more expensive than what you are finding elsewhere, and certain busy times during the summer tourist season are already booking up.

    The other thing I would note is your plan to visit Hoover Dam out of Las Vegas and then heading for Zion National Park. This entails a bit of unnecessary back-tracking as you will have to cross Hoover Dam anyway on your return from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas (admittedly and assumption on my part).

    And one last thing, be sure to sign your son up for the Junior Ranger Program at every national park and monument you visit. Not only will it educate him a bit about the park, but he will get some great free souvenirs. And if you plan on visiting four or more national parks, get the annual pass at the first park you visit. It's $80 but will get you free entrance into all parks for a year.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You may not have to spend a night between Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon - it's only about a 6 hour drive. 4 Corners can be seen adequately in 30 minutes. The only lodging between the 2 points are a couple expensive chain hotels in Kayenta, a couple places in Tuba City, and the Cameron Trading Post.

    If you do have 2 full days to make that trip, I'd recommend you spend some time in Monument Valley. There is limited lodging near there and in Mexican Hat.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Avoid disappointment.

    Two of the main attractions in Mesa Verda are the Cliff Palace and the Balcony House. Each is only accessible by a ranger led tour. These tours are very popular, and probably the main reason most folk visit this NP. They book up fast. Since you are planning for only one day, I suggest that you call a few days ahead and book your tickets. Be sure to leave some time between the two, to get from one to the other. It is a fairly large park.


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