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  1. Default Denver to Los Angeles June 2015

    Hi
    My family have a short (ish) break to the US this summer. We have two weeks and ideally would like to drive an RV from Denver to LA. We would like to do the road trip in the first week and spend the second week in LA. I know this isn't a great deal of time, however I would really welcome some advice.
    We would like to take in some of Route 66 plus the Grand Canyon, is the US 285 and US 160 via Durango on to Flagstaff a good route for a larger RV?
    Does anyone have a better route, maybe more scenic and around the 1100 miles mark?
    Would welcome any comments regarding good RV parks and schedule ideas.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Plenty of options.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The route numbers you have given would be fine in an RV, however I would recommend you take US50 to US550 AKA The 'Million dollar Highway' which is very scenic. If you then head for US163 from 160 you will go through Monument Valley. You do have numerous other choices depending on what you wish to see. Rocky mountain NP and I70 into Utah and Arches and Canyonlands NP's is very scenic also. From there you could continue through Utah on UT24 and scenic byway 12 through Capitol Reef to Bryce canyon. You would then have the option of visiting the North rim of the GC or heading through Page to the South rim. Personally I would opt for a couple more days on the road and a little less in LA but that's for you to decide

    The one thing to consider is that you will probably pay a hefty surcharge on your rental for dropping off in a different location. It would worth considering starting and finishing in LA and doing a loop trip to the Grand canyon, Vegas, Yosemite NP and down the scenic coast highway back to LA. You have many options so the best thing to do is research and when you have more dots on the map we can help fill in the blanks and fine tune your trip. One other thing to conside ris that an RV is not usually the budget friendly choice compared to a car and motels by the time you add the extra costs, but it's a great Lifestyle choice if it's your 'thing'.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the warm welcome.
    We have already booked our tickets to Denver and from LA, the reason being I lived in Boulder for six months as a kid and LA as an adult. I would like the family to see both plus the wonderful scenary in between. I suppose we are a little inflexible due to this.
    It all looks great at first glance, very useful local knowledge.
    I will do more research and no doubt be asking more questions. A bit of background on RV parks would also be useful if anyone has any.
    Thanks again for taking the time.
    I'll be in touch!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    A bit of background on RV parks would also be useful if anyone has any.
    Anything in particular you would like to know ? There are no shortages of campgrounds, from State parks to National parks to private campgrounds and the chains like KOA, which I personally steer clear of. If you plan to stay in the National parks [recommended] like at Grand canyon, then you need to book well in advance to secure a site. RV sites are limited in number in the parks and in high demand. Once you have decided which route you are taking I might be able to recommend some from personal experience.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default More to Consider

    The routes that you and Donna have proposed would all work. (Un)Forutunately, perhaps the biggest benefit/drawback of RoadTripping is the shear number of options that are available to you. This is just such a case where there are many options, all good, for you to choose from ad only you can decide which is best for you. I'd like to just offer one more for your consideration and that is to head directly west from Denver on I-70 right through the heart of the Rocky Mountains and over the San Rafael Swell. Take the UT-128 cut-off down to Arches National Park and then continue down US-191 to Monticello UT. From there take US-491 into Colorado and Mesa Verde National Park just east of Cortez. Pick up US-160/CO-41/UT-162 west to US-163 south and Monument Valley then continue on to the Grand Canyon. The longest remaining, and perhaps most evocative, section of the old Route 66 road bed is between Seligman and Kingman Arizona where it wanders off north of I-40 through Peach Springs.

    The other big option in front of you is your choice of vehicle. As Donna points out, an RV is not a way to save money. Such a vehicle will cost you way more in additional rental fees, extra gas, and camping/hook-up fees than it will ever save you in motel costs. But even the additional cost is not the biggest problem with such a vehicle on a trip such as yours. The biggest problem is what to do with it in Los Angeles. L.A. is not a city where public transportation is an attractive option and neither is trying to navigate a huge RV onto, off, and down the freeways. Trying to drive it on the surface streets would be even more difficult and parking would simply be a nightmare. Even if you do ultimately decide that you want to spend the extra money on the RV for the run from Denver to L.A., you would still probably want to dump it as soon as you get there and get something far more nimble.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 12-01-2014 at 09:28 AM.

  6. Default

    Thanks for your contribution, so many options!
    I do like the idea of Mesa Verde, I remember visiting as a kid. Route 66 and the Grand Canyon is a must. I worry slightly about The Million Dollar Highway as my wife suffers from vertigo and it may be a step too far for us RV novices especially with quite a large vehicle. I would welcome an opinion on this.
    With this in mind I suppose we are looking for the most scenic and safest route with some great stop off points over five nights. Not too much to ask!!
    With regards to LA we have a drop off point for the RV and a car to collect on arrival so we should be fine getting around. But thanks for the thought.
    We are getting excited and gaining a greater understanding due to your input.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Better forget it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dolder52 View Post
    ... The Million Dollar Highway as my wife suffers from vertigo and it may be a step too far for us RV novices especially with quite a large vehicle. I would welcome an opinion on this.
    The Million Dollar Highway is no place for anyone with vertigo..... nor for many who do not suffer from vertigo. It is a place for those who like heights and views it affords, and those who are expert at judging the size of their vehicle.

    Colorado is full of scenic routes, it is hard to pick one over another, Do you actually have good paper maps, such as are produced by AAA (free to members), Rand McNally or even the one produced by the State of Colorado. All these maps have the scenic routes marked as such. From I-70 to Durango a combination of 24 / 285 and 160 would give you a great run. But you choose your own, with the help of a good map.

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    In that case I would probably opt for taking I70 into Utah and visit Arches and Canyonlands NP's as I mentioned earlier, but then head through Monument valley towards the Grand canyon south rim. You could break the journey to LA with a visit to Joshua Tree NP. Whichever way you go you are going to enjoy the scenery.

    On US160 from 285 and before arriving in Pagosa Springs you will encounter Wolf Creek Pass which is steep and twisty and considered 'challenging' although I haven't driven it myself you might want to check it out before deciding on that route.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Wolf Creek Pass

    The one thing which affects people with vertigo on the Million Dollar Highway is the steep drop off at the edge of the road.... not necessarily it's altitude nor the twisty roads. Wolf Creek Pass is a lovely drive which rises to a height of over ten thousand feet at the continental divide. It is not particularly twisty, neither does it have the steep drop offs at the edge of the road. There is a nice place to park just east of the tunnel, and west of there. you'll find a small store just off the highway to the south.... seemingly in the middle of nowhere.

    A friend of mine regularly drove an eighteen wheeler, on 160 across CO for a change from I-70.

    Enjoy

    Lifey

  10. Default

    After some consideration our first draft looks like this.
    70 West, 191, 491, 163- 160, 89, 40, R66 - Kingman, 40 -LA.
    This looks like we will take in mostly everything we would like to see without throwing up any surprises along the way.
    Again, I would value any comment you may have, also the best places to stay along the way too please.
    Thanks so far for all help and comment.

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