7 day road trip (round) -- suggestions needed
I am planning to hit the road for a week. I intend to start from Phoenix, AZ and want to visit a few neighbouring states -- UT, CO, KS, and a may be couple more.
I plan to go alone, and am interested in the great outdoors , small towns that dot the country side and scenic drives.
I have shortlisted a few sites in AZ (Lake Powell, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley) and would like any suggestions on drives and places of interest around AZ.
These are spectacular.
Southern Utah: SR261, from Mexican Hat to jct of SR95.
SR24 and SR12, from Hanksville to Panguitch, then SR143 and SR14 to Cedar City. I have also driven the entire southern section of US191 in south Utah and it's gorgeous (Bluff to Crescent Jct).
Arizona: SR66 from Seligman to Kingman; US191 Clifton to Utah; SR82 from jct SR90 to Nogales; SR264 from Window Rock to Tuba City; and ANY of the north-south routes from Phoenix to I-40.
Colorado: SR149 from near Gunnison to South Fork and Pagos Springs; US550 from Montrose to Durango; SR62/145 from Ridgeway to Cortez.
How's that for a start?
UT and CO ... any suggestions ?
thanks Bob !! that definitely helps...
I have a few more places on my mind. Zion Natl park, Mexican Hat, Goblin state park, Telluride. Need to string all these into a good path, to optimize the drive.
I am looking for places and things to do that are not found in the travelogues (hate it when a place is commercialized..). Any suggestions will be welcome.
I am starting this Sunday, and will be logging on to this site multiple times to check for updates.
Your trip plan!
Here's at least one possibility for your road-trip. You'll need to be flexible -- it IS winter in the high country -- but there are enough major roads to get you around any closures, I think, and the weather is excellennt right at the moment!
Route is approximately 2300 miles and can be driven in less than 5 days not including your stops (about 47 hours driving time). I figured driving speeds as 75 mph on interstates, 53 mph on two-lanes. Your time will be slower on many of these roads as they are mountain roads.
Phoenix to Magdalena NM on SR87, SR260, and US60, OR US60 entirely. If you haven't seen much of the west before, I'd recommend US60. In New Mexico, stop and visit the Very Large Array radio-telescope site between Datil and Magdalena.
Keep on US60 to I-25 at Socorro, then north on I-25 through Albuquerque to US285 north at Santa Fe. Spend some time exploring around Espanola, and Taos. This is beautiful, old southwest Native American country with Spanish influence. It's still winter there -- but the major roads will be open if there've been no recent storms.
Continue north on US84 to Pagosa Springs, CO, then west on US160 to Durango, and north on US550 toward Telluride. SR8 runs from US550 to Telluride area, but I do not know if it is open. You may have to roam around a bit to find your way to town! From Telluride, work your way over to Lake City -- then north toward Gunnison. You may have to detour north on the main roads to accomplish this, but Black Canyon of the Gunnison is worth a look if you can get there.
Take US50 to I-70 at Grand Junction, then west on I-70 to the Green River area. Goblin Valley is near there somewhere -- I couldn't find it with my software, but the Park address is Green River so it's there -- since you mentioned it, I assume you know where it is! East of Green River, take SR24 south to Hanksville, then west to near Torrey where you'll take SR12 south to Escalante and on to Bryce Canyon Natl Park. Continue on SR12 to US89 south, to SR9 into Zion National Park.
From Zion, go back to US89 and take that to Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam. At Wahweap Marina, you can take a cruise to Rainbow Bridge (half or full day) -- it's worth the ticket. From Page, take SR98 to US160, then north on US163 from Kayenta to Gouldings Trading Post and Monument Valley. Continue on US163 to Mexican Hat (as you go north through town, on the right is a restaurant -- great food (I had breakfast there last summer).
North out of Kayenta on US163, take a detour up SR261 to SR95. SR261 becomes a dirt road for a few miles, but it runs right up the face of a cliff and is one of the most exciting drives I've ever done! Take SR95 east to its junction with US191, and that south to Chinle. Try to work in a tour of Canyon de Chelly (half or full day) -- you can arrange for one at Thunderbird Lodge -- ask for George to be your tour guide -- unfortunately I cannot remember his last name right at the moment, but he is great and is descended from folks who actually live in the canyon itself. He is an artist with a knife when it comes to watermelons, also.
From Chinle, go back up US191 to US160, follow that west all the way to US89, then south to SR64 at Cameron, SR64 to Grand Canyon Village. Stop at EVERY viewpoint, or you're not a REAL tourist. Really, it's a different view at each one. Try to plan your visit in early morning or late afternoon hours for the best colors and contrasts -- and morning is best in my opinion. Probably between 6:00 am and 8:00 am would be perfect.
From GCNP, take SR64 south to US180 at Valle (great air museum there includes a Lockheed Constellation transport on which General Douglas McArthur flew to Guam so President Harry Truman could fire him! Not to be missed, if you like history or aircraft. US180 takes you back to Flagstaff and then home to Phoenix on I-17. An alternate from Valle is to continue south on SR64 to Williams, then take I-40 west to Ash Fork, and SR89 south to Prescott. From Prescott, SR69 to I-17 at Cordes Junction, and home on I-17 from there. This is a shorter route, but it takes a bit longer. If you've driven I-17 before, I suggest this one as it is also very beautiful.
When you get home, be sure to post again and tell us how much fun you had -- even if you take a different route. There are no bad ones in the west! Bob
Forget Lake Powell. There is not enough water in it to take a bath.
Be sure to check out Sedona and the red rocks that surround the area. It's very beautiful and extremely scenic. There are areas that you can hike around, shops w/in the city, and places to camp.
Colorado is spectacular
Be sure to include Telluride Co in your itenerary-it's spectacular. The San Juan Scenic HIghway is a must. Skip Durango and Gunnison.
Million Dollar Highway
Actually, I like Durango and Gunnison. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is very cool and Durango is in a very pretty valley. The views from the Million Dollar highway have to be seen in person. For more photos and information about the Million Dollar Highway scenic drive <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/places/million.htm">click here<a/> and for information about Durango -- <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/places/durango.htm">click here</a>. Plus views of the National Park near Gunnison look at <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/places/gunnison.htm">this</a>.
Go the Great Sand Dunes national park in CO, its awesome!
The Lake Powell area would be beautiful without water, but there was plenty last summer.