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  1. Default 1st trip ever, Socal to Denver 7-10 days round trip

    Hello everyone,
    From what I can tell this is a pretty common trip, that being said I am in an information overload type of setting. The rudimentary plan is to have 4-5 people in a sedan, possibly have a tent in the trunk for reserve/sleep in the car and have a fun filled week or so in the month of September. Thinking about have the pace as slow needed, do not mind winding country roads, and would love to do hikes/backpacking that is ok for a bunch of novice but enthusiastic outdoor surburbanites. So it seems like national parks are in good order. We also love love love food, so out there culinary expeditions or glutton delights are highly welcomed. We have never tried to plan anything of this nature and are keen to hear any suggestions. The only thing that is limiting us is time, money, our starting location of Irvine, California our turn around point in Colorado, and stopping in Vegas at least once during the trip. Hoping to take different routes there and back.

    I apologize for the vagueness of this, but we are really spit balling and grasping at straws; from what I can really tell a minimum rudimentary plan would be Irvine-Vegas-Utah/Zion-Boulder-Denver-Grand Canyon-Irvine and anything of interest in between that fits our constraints of having no plans on where to stay and being able to be back in Irvine within 10 days

    *Oh and I don't know if this is relevant information or not but we are all in our early 20's so theres that too.

    Thank you everyone for your time!

    Bryan ^_^

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

    Default Sleeping ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The first thing that puzzles me is how you plan to get 5 people and all their luggage and camping equipment into a Sedan? You also mention the tent as a 'reserve' for sleep and the car for sleeping in ? One or two people are not going to get a good nights rest in a sedan never mind more, you really do need the right equipment so that all five of you get a good nights rest or things could get tense real quick.

    There are plenty of great spots along the route, others that spring to mind are Bryce canyon and Capitol Reef that would include a drive along Utah scenic 12. Arches and Canyonlands near Moab, the Colorado NM just off I70 and another worthwhile detour that doesn't take a lot of time away, is a detour over the continental divide at Loveland Pass. Take US6 just past Dillon. Then of course there is Rocky mountain NP. On the way back you could take US285 to US50 and head west over Monarch Pass, through Currecanti Nat rec area to Black canyon. Then take the spectacular 'Million dollar Highway' through Ouray and Silverton to Durango. [US550] You would then pass Mesa Verde NP on route to the South rim of the Grand canyon, but not before taking a detour onto 163 through Monument valley. You will have to pick and choose and if you can manage 10 days, use everyone of them.

  3. Default

    The plan for sleeping is to do motels. The tent thing is if we have the extra space. For all these stops are there bookings and admission prices that I should be aware of?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Admittance and booking.

    If you will be visiting four or more National Parks it may well be worth your while to get an America the Beautiful Annual Parks Pass - $80. This will admit all the occupants of the car. It is admittance only, and does not include any other activity you may want to undertake. State Parks have their own charges, but these are not really major.

    As for bookings, when is this trip to take place? Around NPs it is often wise, though not essential, to book. At holiday times or times of special events it is always wise to book. So it is going to depend greatly on where you will be going, and when you will be there.


  5. Default

    Thanks for all the advice so far! This forum is great.
    As for the proposed dates, its looking to be around September 8th and should be a week to 10 days. Start date is somewhat flexible.

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

    Default More for less.

    September is a great time to travel with [hopefully] fair weather and without the summer crowds. A lot will depend on if you want some quality time in a few places or a quick visit to many. If you have no particular reason for going all the way to Denver you could have a great time exploring the parks of southern Utah and then from Moab head south on 191 to Blanding UT95/261 down to Mexican Hat and through Monument valley to GC. This would also take you close to Natural Bridges and Gooseneck State park while driving down the rather cool 'Moki Dugway'. Cutting the loop shorter will allow you to see more from out of the car and spend less time in it admiring the views through the windshield.

  7. Default

    While it is true that we have no particular reason to go to Denver, it is one of the main reasons this spur of the moment idea took shape. That moki dugway looks super cool! Safe to do in a camry or an accord? I almost forgot, what about muesuems?

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


    You will be fine with Moki Dugway in either vehicle although I believe the road gets a little washed out if there are heavy rains. Nothing wrong with going to Denver if that's what yer wanna do ! Sorry, museums aren't really my thing.

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