My husband and I have planned a road trip this fall for our ten year anniversary. We will have 4 weeks, we leave the last week in September, returning October 23rd. We plan to travel from Detroit MI and hope to see the Badlands in SD, Yellowstone & Grand Teton, down through Utah to Bryce Canyon, a day in Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, through Arizona, New Mexico, up through Colorado and back home. We plan on camping and staying a few days here and there. I have tried to plan it so that the first two days out to SD are the most driving intensive and then we travel in shorter spurts from there. Question #1 is this too many places??? Question #2 What kind of weather should we be planning for, do we need chains and snow tires on our van????
Not too much
I've driven almost that far in a week....yeah, a blitz tour with limited time for stops...but your trip is very doable in 4 weeks.
Of course, even with 4 weeks you wont' be able to see everything in those areas but you should get a great taste of each state/park you visit.
If you haven't done it yet, use the roadtrip planning tools available on the internet (listed in the roadtrip planning section). These will help you plan your miles per day, etc.
You might check www.wunderground.com or another weather site for weather info. They have a place where you can look up historical data for a specific area. This should give you an idea of what kind of weather to expect.
I've only driven those areas during the June-Aug months so I don't know if you'll have a need for chains by then or not. Hopefully the historical weather data or someone else here can help you with that.
Enjoy! Sounds like a great time.
You've got a good chance of finding nice weather in most of the places you mentioned -- no guarantees, as snow can hit any of them anytime after September. The most likely place to encounter early snow along your route will be the Yellowstone area. Go prepared, but hope (even EXPECT) the best! Especially in southern Utah and northern Arizona, October is usually a beautiful time (sunny, but cool). Bob
You have plenty of time!
I would be more worried about the weather and getting to Yellowstone before some of the park roads & services are closed.
I would suggest when you leave the Grand Tetons you travel down to Moab, Utah and spend a couple of days in that area. Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse State Park. From Moab take Hwy 191 back up to I-70 then take Hwy 24 down to Capitol Reef National Park. They have one of the most beautiful campgrounds. From Captiol Reef take Scenic Hwy 12 down to Bryce. Bryce is at an elevation of 9,000 feet so camping at night is going to get cold in Oct. I also wouldn't skip Zion National Park. There are two great campgrounds and a lot of wonderful hiking in Zion. It's not that far out of your way. Take Hwy 9 in and out of Zion and then take Hwy 89 down to Page, AZ. Plan spending the night at Lake Powell. Upper Antelope Slots Canyon is a one hour tour that is really worth it. Also nearby is a Horseshoe Bend Hike.
You mentioned traveling thought Denver in October to get home. Please listen to the weather forcast. Colorado has been know to have heavy snow storms at this time of the year.