We'll be travelling from Spokane to Albuquerque the first week of June. We live near Spokane, have friends in ABQ and our final destination is Tampa (2 month relocation for work, taking the family since it is over the summer, we're originally from Tampa).
Last year we went to Yellowstone in August and loved it and would like to spend a couple days camping there/sightseeing as the beginning of our road trip. It is about 10 hrs from Spokane, so not someplace we can go often. It'll be nice to go in early June versus mid-August for our last trip.
But after that ... I have no idea. There is soooo much in Utah/NM/CO to choose from and the area is soooo big that what looks to be a small detour turns out to be 200 miles!
We think we want to do the Grand Canyon...north rim, south rim, west?? No idea. But really just want to see some spectacular country where we can get out of the car - gentle hikes (I'm overweight, and we have a 4 year old) preferably with variety. I like the idea of choosing maybe two or three places and really taking the time to take those places in as oppose to trying to see everything tour bus style.
I'm looking for suggestions:
We have kids - 4,9 & 12. Places that are kid friendly and have opportunities to play/run/museums/educational/adventure (4 year old keeps us from some of that though). We're on a budget and are more willing to spend money on activities than accommodation/food.
Any famous artists, leaders, or scientists inspired by or from this part of the country? Historical places? One of us is a teacher and loves the opportunity to make anything (and everything) educational, especially STEM.
Every night will be tent camping. Ideas for camping spots inside the parks (or even along the routes) would be great.
Time is not too much of a factor - as long as we can make the entire trip from Spokane to Tampa in 10-12 days (a week plus two weekends). The goal is to spend most of that time in the southwest exploring. This will probably be the only time we see the southwest/UT/AZ area of the county.
Our vehicle - minvan with 170k miles. Okay in the mountains - but would prefer not to push my luck with a lot of steep mountain driving.
Only one driver - I am usually done after 8 hours, but have done 12 max in one day with the 3 kids. They are pretty good little road-trippers.