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  1. Default Britts on the wrong side of the road (denver to san fran)

    My new wife and I Are flying over to usa from uk next weds. First going to minnesota to visit family. Then flying into Denver and driving from there to san fran.

    We would like to get as much site seeing in as possible. We have set a rough plan of denver to moab ut in one day with a hike up to hanging lake off i70 near glenwood springs. Then to moab ut taking a detour via a couple ghost towns one called Dewey.

    After a whole day exploring around moab we were thinking head down to arizona to visit grand canyon and depending on time the meteor crater / volcano nearby. Staying in cameron.

    From there a day driving to get to an over night stop near Rachel NV (wife is called Rachel so would be rude not to). Then heading to lake tahoe to visit family.

    Finishing with a couple days in San francisco then flying home.

    We land in denver on 11th and plan spending two days there, a whole day in moab to explore the parks. Day in tahoe and at least a day in San francisco. Flying home on 21st.

    Do you have any reccomendations for places to go see do along that route and any advice? We have rented an automatic. It'll be my first time driving in the usa.

    Wife doesn't drive sadly. Do you think it'll be too much to do in short space of time? I think I planned it as longest days are 5-6hrs driving not taking into account stops etc.

    Hints tips anything appreciated. Motel advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default No problem!

    Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Don't worry about driving on the other side. By the time you get to Glenwood Springs, it will be second nature. Fortunately most of the roads/routes you will be travelling will be divided roads, so no temptation to move to the other side. Times to watch are when you are tired and early in the morning/late at night, when there is very little traffic around. Those are times when you won't want be in the car anyway.

    While in MN pick up some good maps for your trip. If you are a member of AA take your membership with you, it will give you access to tourism information and maps from AAA. There are quite a few offices of AAA in the twin cities.

    From Denver I recommend that you head east on I-70 and take the detour over Loveland Pass ( great views and a lovely place to go for a walk. The rest of I-70 through CO and eastern UT is one of the most scenic interstates you can travel, with many wayside stops to take in the views. Your maps will show you what other attractions there are along the way. If you have so far laid out your trip on electronic mapping be aware that there time lines are pure fantasy. Assume you will cover (with essential stops) around 50 - 55 miles per hour + sightseeing time.

    Take scenic UT 128 into Moab, another road you will not want to hurry. Wonderful scenery as you drive along the Colorado River. Near Moab you have both Arches and Canyonsands NPs. Entering the GC from Cameron takes you along Desert View Drive the same way the river enters the canyon. Make a point of stopping at all the viewpoints. If you can manage it, a sunset or sunrise over the canyon is a memorable experience.

    When you get them, take a little time to study the maps and see just how much there is to see in this general area. Choosing a few to stop at along your way.

    Happy Travels.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    From Denver I recommend that you head east on I-70 and take the detour over Loveland Pass
    That would be west on I-70, and Loveland Pass is US-6.

    The only lodgings in Rachel are in double wide trailers with shared bathrooms. The next closest lodging is in Caliente, Las Vegas, or Tonopah.

  4. Default

    What would be the best shop to look for maps in?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default All confused!!

    Left - right...... east - west...... I'm all confused now. High time I hit the road again.

    If you cannot get to AAA, stop at any book store or big box store or service station and pick up a rand McNally Road Atlas. As well as being great with all its information, you can make it into a trip souvenir by highlighting all the roads and routes on which you travel. Great to look back on later.

    I now have seven, from my seven trips. Get a new atlas every trip.

    Lifey

  6. Default

    Awesome cheers :-)
    Randy mcnally atlas joins a&w rootbeer on the priority list of purchases now.

  7. Default

    Just seen the large scale map on amazon uk. May go for that as our eye sight is both a bit rubbish. Especially when following it on the road.

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

    Default

    Driving is pretty easy and relaxing in the US once you hit the open road, far more so than here in the over congested UK. I would consider spending a night in Estes park and visiting Rocky mountain NP on the way to Moab rather than 2 days in Denver, but that's just personal choice. I would not recommend you stay in Rachel, very baron and it's a long way to Tonopah from Cameron, more like 9-10 hours driving. If you are planning on only 1 night you will barely have time to see the canyon after a day exploring Moab and having a long journey the following day. I would consider going from Cameron to Springdale UT [a wonderful town offering an opportunity to drive through Zion NP] and then Tonopah and Lake Tahoe. Remember that the distances and parks are huge and while wanting to spend a couple of days in Denver and SF and visit family, you are really going to have to have days of more than 5-6 hours on the road, but it can still be fun.

  9. Default

    Thanks for your reply, I'm thinking I may just skip GC and I don't think other half is too fussed about going to Rachel. Once I get my map we can discuss further but moab to spring dale is the way forward if we can get into the park. Difficult to see routes on Google maps.

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

    Default

    That's probably what I would do given the circumstance and you could stop around Bryce canyon if you have the time. From Moab you could take UT24 [Just off I70] through Capital Reef and UT scenic 12 to Bryce canyon and then to Springdale and Zion, an amazing drive through 3 great parks, but plan on 2 overnight stops to see them all. If you visit Arches and Canyonlands near Moab then you may as well buy the National parks annual pass for $80 to get entrance to all.

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