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  1. Default Looking for October end trip ideas

    We are couple in 30's from LA. I want to plan a 5 day trip in last week of October on our anniversary, but not able to decide, which place. We are mostly interested in scenic/natural beauty but not much into hiking or skiing. I have already been to Grand Canyon, Sedona, Antelope, Page (but not Wave), Vegas, Zion, Bryce, Arches, Moab, Monument Valley, Petrified Forest (just mentioning, so that I should not repeat them). Not willing to go towards Texas, as I will be shifting them in year end, so I can visit all nearby (or far) places around Texas. Visting Yellowstone and Wyoming in August. I have not been to Denver side, Alaska may be too cold in October end I believe (Its most famous Denali will be closed by then) ? Pictures look good for Banff and Jasper but I am not sure, if Banff/Jasper worth in end of October (I believe fall colours will be gone by that time and not enough snow to make it beautiful. Any thoughts on this ?
    I am reading about Tennessee/Smokey Mountains/Skyline drive also, but I need suggestions from, who been to these places. I know fall colours will be awsome, but if it is only this, I can see it in High Sierra too (more close to LA). Please correct me, if I am not thinking correctly.
    Yes, I will be flying to ??? and then will rent out car to go on a loop.
    May be travellers who visited multiples places, can suggest me differt ideas and I can start working on them, from there.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Two more great National Parks.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    You certainly have seen more of the country than many people, and it is obvious you like and appreciate the National Parks. You do not mention Death Valley in your list. October would be a good time to visit, as it is not quite as hot as it is in the height of summer. There are lots of places where you can go for short hikes. Check out Scotty's Castle, Stovepipe Wells, Artist's Palette, Badwater Basin (the lowest point in North America) Zabrinsky Point and much more. If you have the opportunity to stay the night there is the opportunity to check out the night sky. Stars like you have never seen before.

    I note that Yosemite is also not on your list. Perhaps an omission, as with your interest I find it hard to believe you have not been there. It would be a great place to visit in October. If you are lucky, and Tioga Pass has not yet closed, you could drive over the pass from one park to the other.


  3. Default

    Oh. Sorry for not adding it. I have visited Death valley as well, along with Vegas, Yosemite, Tioga Pass, Mammoth lakes, Sequoia, San Diego, Anza Borrego, Phoenix, Globe. Sorry for not mentioning in my initial post.

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

    Default Colorado.

    October can see a variety of weather in and around the Rockies and what you will get is totally unpredictable, but a trip to Colorado at this time of year can be rewarding. Rocky mountain NP, Glenwood Springs, Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, Cave of the Winds are just a few possibilities out of Denver. At the end of October you would have to accept the fact that you run a risk of seeing ice and snow so it depends on if you want to deal with it. Out of the great places you have already been, I wouldn't discount any of them for a return visit, I'm sure you will find plenty of new beauty spots on a return visit and with only 5 days for an anniversary trip you might enjoy a more relaxed pace to take a more in depth view and relax.

  5. Default

    Dave, is there any comparison between Denver/Colorado area and Banff/Jasper ? I am not sure, if you visited Banff.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I've done both. Both are worthy of your time, IMHO! I've actually done both TWICE -- Banff/Jasper and RMNP as a teenager, and then again as an adult (where I appreciated them more).

    Denali will pretty well be shut down by then. Only flying tours will be available ... if that!

    How about up into Northern California and Oregon?


  7. Default

    Donna, I will search about Oregon about best scneic places. What do you recommend ?
    Apart from it, have been reading so many good reviews about Banff/Jasper about its scenic beauty. I am really leaning towards it now. Not for October, but I will try to see airfares for July month.

  8. #8


    If you are driving, the Oregon coast is beautiful. It's been many years since I drove it so things might have changed. I have also enjoyed my trips to the Bend OR area. Portland is one of the few cities I enjoy.
    If you are headed to Denver and want to drive into the mountains you are fairly certain to run into some snow in late Oct. You might consider going south on 285 to Salida, then west on 50 to Montrose south on 550 to Ouray. The first time I saw Ouray I drove another 25 miles turned around and went back just so I could wake up there the next morning. Stay at the Box Canyon Lodge and enjoy the natural hot springs tubs. On to Durango then back east on 160 to Pagosa Springs where you'll find my favorite hot springs (other than the ones deep in the back country of Yellowstone). Up over Wolf Creek Pass and down to the Valley of the Fourteens. North on 285 back to Salida and then 50 east to Cannon City, Pueblo and back to Denver. National Parks that you could visit on this trip could include, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes, a couple of Wildlife refuges.
    Late Oct is a great time of year to visit the Mid South. Ozarks and should be in full color and the temps are still comfortable. I haven't travel much in this area yet but it is pretty in a less spectacular way. But hey I just enjoy road trips and find almost all landscapes interestin.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Like two peas in a pod.

    Yes, Lake Louis, Banff and Jasper as well as the Icefields Parkway are spectacular, but so is Colorado. I would not put one over the other, I think they are both worth a long visit. I too have been to both multiple times, and still find more and more things I am yet to experience.

    Besides, I'd imagine you will be familiar with the saying.... See your own country first. :-)


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