Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. Default August 2014 trip starting San Francisco...

    Hi Guys

    I was helped out a few years ago using the forum and couldn't have had such a fantastic trip without all the help looking through the forum and my questions being answered. Drove around Arizona, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon and all the places in between

    I was hoping for a little guidance/help/advice... please 😊

    I only have a rough idea at the moment, I was just planning the cities to travel to so that I could book flights as soon as I could but would like to know if anyone has any guidance if my 'rough' itinerary is viable, we were planning on a 2 week trip from London

    Fly to San Francisco - stay for a couple of nights
    Hire a car and drive to Yosemite National Park, stay for 2-3 nights (wanting to make the most of this visit and so could stay longer)

    Now the bit I'm not sure how to plan, we quite fancy going to Colorado to stay on a working ranch for 3 nights toward the end of the 2 weeks, then fly/drive back to San Francisco or LA to get back to London (I suppose we could fly back to London from a lot of airports but need to keep the costs reasonable)

    Also the bit in between, is quite flexible, but thought maybe Salt Lake City, or anywhere interesting, don't mind adding a flight if it makes life easier...

    Any guidance on this would be greatly appreciated

    Many thanks in advance

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

    Default Time.

    Hello and welcome back to RTA !

    With just 2 weeks and 5 or 6 days spent in SF and Yosemite and then 3 or 4 days at a ranch in Colorado you really don't have a lot of time left to play with. Of course the cost is going to be an issue but you could look at a one way car rental to Denver and flying home from there which would save driving or flying back to SF. Internal flights are an option but personally I dread the thought of spending precious time in the States sat in an airport when there is so much to see and do. It will also depend on how much the ranch stay in Colorado for this trip means to you, or could it wait for the 'next time'. From San Fran you have other options you could choose from with Yosemite and make a nice loop trip. The Pacific coast Highway through Monterey and around Big Sur to Cambria, Sequoia and Kings Canyon NP, Death Valley, Lake Tahoe are all options. North of SF are Napa Valley, Point Reyes, Redwoods NP, Muir woods and lots more.

    If you went into Colorado you have more of southern Utah's NP's like Capitol Reef, Arches and Canyonlands and in Colorado Mesa Verde, Black canyon and Rocky mountain NP among many other scenic wonders, but time is an issue here.

  3. Default

    Thanks for your advice Dave :)

    I thought it may be a squeeze to get so much in. After having another look, I think maybe we may go to Colorado, as we really fancy the ranch stay - may regret being in the saddle for so many hours a day, but I'm sure it will be fun.

    If we do that, it looks like there is plenty to do in that area, I hadn't really looked at the map, just bypassed the area to fly to Colorado. We like to canoe at home, so might be worth seeing if we can hire one and paddle a river along our travels too... new plans to be made I think and soon

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

    Default No shortage of options.

    There is plenty to do in Colorado and neighbouring Four corner states, if you flew into Denver you could create a great loop trip with a couple of weeks to spare. You might find a few ideas from the things we got up to on our Denver to Four Corners loop here. There are places you could go canoeing or rafting from, such as the Arkansas Headwaters Rec area near Salida CO.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Just a few of the attractions in Colorado

    If Colorado is your choice, you won't go wrong. Neither will you need to go far. Like Utah, it has many natural attractions in a relatively small area. There is so much to see and explore in CO, you could spend a month there, and not see it all. Every route you take is a scenic route, and worth driving for the views and the scenery alone. There are the NPs such as Rocky Mountains NP with its Trail Ridge Road (check its status for an out of season blizzard) and Loveland Pass on the way from Denver. There is Mesa Verda NP with its ranger led tours through the main attractions. Booking here is recommended if you are pushed for time. That park has so much history in it, it really deserves more than a day. Nearby are the Silverton Durango Railway and the Pagosa Hot Springs. Then there are numerous State Parks as well, and mountain passes, such as Wolf Creek Pass on 160. There are also the out of the way gems, such as the Flat Tops Trail. Even the interstate in western CO is an attraction in itself, through Vail and Glenwood Canyon with its cantilevered roadway and ending with the Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction.

    For a change of scenery it is nice to check out the wide open spaces of the plains east of Denver. Heading south you have The Garden of the Gods, Canon City with the Royal Gorge Railway and Bridge and the much under rated Sand Dunes NP. You could also 'climb' the Stations of the Cross in San Luis.

    If you would like to spend more time exploring and less time behind the wheel, CO has everything packed in close together.... and your ranch stay to end the trip.


  6. Default

    After an unexpected halt on my planning of our trip... I have now started planning again

    We have now decided not to visit San Francisco on this trip and just go to Colorado for the 2 weeks, our ranch stay has fallen through, so are not tied to where we are at the end of the trip. We will be travelling 16-30th August

    Colorado, just seems to be jam packed with lots of things to see and do, it's quite overwhelming on what to fit in in the 2 weeks we are there. I have looked at many of the places suggested and I do hope to fit them all in...
    Royal Gorge Bridge - is it worth taking a train ride around the area? Or is walking/driving around a better option?
    Rocky Mountain NP - where would be a good place to stay in the area? Would we need a couple of nights?
    Mesa Verde NP
    Sand Dunes NP looks like really good fun, think we might give the sledging down the sand dunes a try
    We hope to pass by a couple of hot springs too, not sure which ones are the best yet...
    I am going to try and get tickets for John Legend at Red Rocks
    I see that in some NP's there are places to stay in ready put-up tents, that is a definite, if I can get booked up that is...
    A bit of rafting on the rivers, to be decided
    I think that a good balance of walking and activities and driving scenic routes is key

    Denver itself seems to offer so much in August with the Colorado Fair and Rodeo being there then. Is it best to stay in Denver or closely and drive in? As I'm not sure what it is like for hotels and car parking?
    Thinking of catching a baseball game in Denver, is it best to book tickets in advance or buy them on the day?

    More planning and map reading required on my behalf, but wanted to gather as much info as possible in order to plan a route...

    Getting quite excited now :)
    Thanks again

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Check these out.

    Royal Gorge Bridge is interesting. Many think it is too much of a tourist trap. However, there were wild fires in the area last year, and I don't know to what extend the area was affected. I know it was.

    The train is a whole different matter. If you are into tourist trains this one is great. It travels slowly down the gorge which the bridge spans. At one point you can see the bridge 1000 ft above the river. At the narrowest point the train hangs above the river. It is a two hour ride to cover the 12 miles and back again. Lunch is an option.

    I have never found parking in Denver particularly difficult. Much like any city, but not like Chicago or New York. One place you might look at checking out is the REI store in Downtown. They have parking. It is in a converted train or tram depot (from memory). Even if you do not intend buying something, it is worth walking through, see its history, the murals, the fireplace, and linger a while.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Estes park and the Trail ridge road.

    Estes park is a nice gateway town into RMNP to explore the Bear Lake area and then if you are headed west you can [weather permitting] drive the Trail Ridge road across RMNP to Grand Lake/Granby. The drive is spectacular with lots of viewpoints and it is also the highest continuous paved road in the USA. Along I70 is Loveland pass, Colorado National Monument and much more. You could still venture into Utah and visit Arches and Canyonlands NP's and then head south to Mesa Verde and back towards Denver via US50 which would take you up the 'Million dollar highway' [US550] through Durango, Silverton [another great train ride] and Ouray. Along US50 are Black canyon, Currecanti Rec area and Monarch pass. Plenty of other options as some are shown in the Denver loop thread I linked to earlier.

  9. Default

    Thanks Lifey and Southwest Dave. I will definitely be looking into including a lot of those places into our itinerary, some of them I didn't even know about.

    Lifey, I'm not particularly in to tourist trains, but didn't know, if it was a good experience wouldn't want to miss it :)

    We have already visited Arches and Canyonlands on a previous trip, they were truly magnificent.

    Can anyone recommend a Rodeo? I have seen that the there is the Colorado State Fair & Rodeo on at the end of August, has anyone been? Worth a visit??

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Royal Gorge Train

    Tracy, if you do decide to do the Royal Gorge Train, when the train gets into the gorge, find your way to the open car. Here you can get much better photos, but everyone else will be there as well. At one point, and only for a minute, are you able to photograph the front of the train with the bridge above.... just like on the brochure. That is assuming you are on the back open car. When I went there was one at each end of the train.


Similar Threads

  1. Roadtrip August/September 2014 South and North West
    By Pier75 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 08-11-2014, 01:39 AM
  2. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-01-2013, 11:33 AM
  3. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 03-10-2013, 11:09 PM
  4. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-14-2010, 12:30 PM
  5. HELP!!! August 2008 Road Trip: Miami - San Francisco
    By Will78 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-21-2008, 12:33 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name