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  1. Default Denver to Grand Canyon

    Hi, my first post here. I am planning a trip from Winnipeg in Canada to LA in August. Im going to be driving through Denver and then hoping to take some detours through Utah and see some national parks along the way, also saving some time. So my question is if I take the 191 and then the 160 will this save me time? rather than going the freeway? Also, are these roads sealed the whole way? I read somewhere that some of these roads are not. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    The fastest way from Denver to the Grand Canyon (south rim) is in fact via 191 and 160. These are fully paved, not just sealed, well maintained major US highways with a 65 mph speed limit most of the way. Some sections have a 3rd lane for passing, and I think there may even be some full 4 lane sections. We have very few numbered highways anywhere that are not paved. However, if you want to see some national parks, I'd do something different if you have the time. How many days can you allow between Denver and the Grand Canyon? If you just drive it via fastest route, it's a 1.5 day drive, just under 700 miles. Do you have to actually go into Denver? Which way will you be coming in - from I-25 or I-76?

    If you could post your itinerary for the whole trip, it would help us a lot in giving you proper advice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    Yes, time is everything. You are not going to be able to detour, see National parks and save time doing so, plus there are many other attractions and scenic drives to consider, so how much time have you available from Denver to Grand canyon ?

  4. Default

    Hi, thanks for the reply's! so my plan is to be driving from Winnipeg to LA over about 11 or 12 days, hopefully 12. I dont mind driving long days and getting through some longer days in order to be able to spend some time seeing some things Im interested in. So my rough plan was to get from Winnipeg to Denver as fast as possible, hopefully over 2 days but I think that may be pushing it. That would leave me 8-10 days depending on my situation to get from denver to LA. I only have a few destinations I need to go to, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Death Valley and Sequoia National forest.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    Getting from Winnipeg to Denver in 2 days is possible. Do you actually need to go to Denver or is it just a get to quickly point ? If you want to see National parks then you could by pass Denver and head towards Estes Park and Rocky mountain NP. From there you have lots of options. You could drive the famous Trail Ridge road [weather permitting] through the park and exit from Grand lake and doen to I70 where you could detour onto US6 and over the Continental divide at Loveland pass. I would then look at Southern Utah and NP's of Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce canyon and Zion NP. You could head through Page to the south rim or visit the North rim of the Grand canyon before Zion. On to Vegas, across Death valley and then I would head for Tioga Pass [CA120] into Yosemite NP and exit from the south to Sequoia NP, although you could see the giant trees in Yosemite's Mariposa Grove and cut across to the coast and down to LA. The best thing you can do is open a good map of the area and see what else grabs your attention, as I said, there are many more options.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jalfrezy View Post
    Sequoia National forest.
    Just to point out, There is the Sequoia National Park and the Sequoia National Forest, but they are not the same thing. The Sequoia National Park contains the oldest/largest Giant Sequoia trees, like the famous General Sherman.

    The Sequoia National Forest is the large section of land, covering nearly all of the Western Slope of the Sierras from the National Park south down to near Bakersfield. There are still some groves of Giant Sequoias within the Forest (which are technically, part of the Giant Sequoia National Monument - just to make it more confusing!)

    Here's some government speak about the difference between them.

  7. Default

    Thanks Dave for all the info, I will defiantly be taking some of those routes you mentioned, thanks to micheal for clearing that up for me. My plans have changed a little. I'll be driving from the south and coming into or around Denver, this way I will have more time. One question I have though, I have never been to America before and I'm hoping to be camping along the way, do you know how easy it would be to just stop along the way and find campsites? I realise that in August there will be more campers out there and I have seen some references online about campsites filling up early from people booking. I'm just trying to figure out if this will be an option for me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Public Lands Campsites.

    Quote Originally Posted by jalfrezy View Post
    ... I'm hoping to be camping along the way, do you know how easy it would be to just stop along the way and find campsites? I realise that in August there will be more campers out there and I have seen some references online about campsites filling up early from people booking. I'm just trying to figure out if this will be an option for me.
    One way I find campsites when on the road is to access the local BLM office, Forestry Service office, State Park Rangers or as a last resort, Visitor Centre. My question always is, "What is around here in the way of camping - starting with BLM land, State Parks, State Forests or as a last resort.... commercial."

    Thus making it clear I was not looking for a KOA or similar. Going this way I have never got to a campground which was full. The public lands camping areas rarely fill, except for those near major attractions such as the popular national parks.

    Lifey

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    access the local BLM office
    So you visit the actual offices or their website?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Face to face seems to get me better information.

    Very little of that information seems to be on the internet. I find out if there is an office in town... not all places have all of these offices, but it appears that every town has at least one of them. You may need to go to the visitor centre to find out where.

    When you are at one of these offices, ask for the location of the next one along your route.

    Sometimes I have been given great information by speaking to a middle age long time resident (ask them first). They tend to know. They may be working in the supermarket filling the shelves or on the customer service counter..

    Another great resource is law enforcement. If you happen to run into an officer at a truck stop or at a fuel pump, go up and ask. Ask if there is a BLM, State Park or Forest office in town. If not, ask if he/she knows where there is a safe legal place to camp. I always make it clear that a commercial establishment is my 'last resort' choice... not only because of cost, but because of the lack of natural environment.

    So my question is if I take the 191 ...
    You might like to check out this thread, when I drove all of US191.

    Lifey

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