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  1. Default September trip from Maryland to Utah

    The main purpose is to go out west to visit some national parks along with other nice scenery. I want to visit some great star viewing places as well; I am looking at stopping at a dark sky park. My rough plan is to travel west on I-70 and then back east on I-40 taking whatever detours catch my eye.

    Any ideas or suggestions would be great!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default More stars than you'd imagine.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by mbartooabud View Post
    I want to visit some great star viewing places as well;
    You could not do better than Death Valley for stargazing.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    How long did you have for this round trip? Bear in mind that you are looking at about 10 days in just travel time (no sightseeing).

    If you are going back on I-40, near Flagstaff is the Lowell Observatory. There are a few other places along I-40 that would be good for star-gazing, but that's one of the more famous ones where you can actually visit an observatory.


  4. Default

    Thank you Lifemagician but I don't think I'll be making it out that far on this trip.

    DonnaR57 my initial thought was about 2 weeks. I was thinking of getting to about Colorado in about 3-4 days, spending 6-7 in the Colorado, Utah, Arizona area, and then 3-4 days to return. Is that to naive of me? And thank you for the Lowell Ovservatory suggestion, I will look into it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default It's doable.

    Three and a half to 4 days to Denver and the same back from Albu area is certainly doable, but not with many stops or detours other than rest breaks etc.

    With a week in the area the time will soon dissapear, especially with the likes of Rocky mountain NP, Colorado National monument, Arches and Canyonlands, Mesa Verde, Monument valley, the Grand canyon, Petrified forest etc to choose from, but you will certainly get a nice overview of the area. As wonderful as Capitol Reef, Bryce canyon and Zion are, it would be too rushed to try and include them with the time you have. Of course you can also include some interesting overnight stops on the way out and back, the likes of St Louis one way and maybe Memphis the other. To spend a little time at these would mean at least 4 days each way. Overall it's going to be a lot of driving but if your OK with that, a fun trip. If you could find another 3 to 4 days it would be a whole lot better imo.

  6. Default

    Thanks for your input Dave. I hadn't planned on stopping really on the way but I'm also not opposed to it if something looks interesting to me.

    I may be able to add some extra time on but am unsure at this point. I have been to the Grand Canyon before so I'm not planning on going there but if my route takes me by it I will obviously stop. I have also been to Zion so I don't mind cutting that out too.

    Any opinion/ experience with staying at hostels? I have read a little about them and they seem interesting to check out for a few nights instead of a motel.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Like everything, they vary widely.

    Hostels were my favourite stays before I got my van. But like everything there are hostels and then there are HOSTELS. For the most comprehensive listing of hostels worldwide, check out this site.

    When reading reviews, be careful to note the date. New ownership can mean a completely different atmosphere. My last experience was about 18 months ago at AAE 11th Ave in Denver. I'd give that a 2.5/3.0. It was clean and had fridge, microwave, etc, but no actual kitchen. Nor did it have a real 'hostel' atmosphere. I've always preferred dormitories, but most hostels have private rooms as well.

    You'll find today that hostel guests range from 18 to well and truly into the senior citizens.


  8. Default

    Thank you for that resource. What did you think of Denver? I have read quite a bit of negative things about the city.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    I used it purely for a night's stay. Did not see much of the city at all. I rarely do.


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