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  1. #1
    briancmurphy Guest

    Default Rocky Mountain NP to Grand Canyon

    Hi,

    Am travelling from Ireland to do a roaptrip covering Colorado, Arizona, California over 3.5 weeks. Have the Arizona-California leg planned but am looking to see if anyone has advise on part of roadtrip which i want to start in Rocky Mountain NP (Estes Park) and end in Grand Canyon -

    Hoping to cover this part of trip in 7 days and take in the scenic routes along the way. If anyone has any advice on good route to take and any good places to overnight (interested in accomodation that is more log cabin then busy motel !!- sorted already for accomodation in Rocky Mtn NP)

    Any suggestions would be appreciated

    Brian

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,359

    Default Nothing but...

    You really can't find a non-scenic road along this route, so really - go where you will. As a suggestion to get you started (and with 7 days you can do almost anything you want) let's try this:

    First - an aside. As someone who lives in the southwestern US and depends on the Colorado River for water, it was sobering to stop in the western part of Rocky Mountain National Park and hike to the upper reaches of this 'river' where one could literally (and without too much effort) jump across it. Even without this psychological connection, it's one of the nicer, and more level, hikes in the park.

    Leave RMNP to the southwest on US-34 and then continue on US-40 east (I know it's counter-intuitive, you'll actually be going south), and a short stint on I-70 west. I'd also suggest taking the US-6 loop through Loveland Pass rather than staying on I-70 through the Eisenhower Tunnel. Breckenridge is worth a short detour south on CO-9, then return to I-70 and head west to either CO-91 or US-24 into Leadville. From there, continue south on US-24 and then take US-50 west through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River. Next, take US-550 south into Durango where you'll pick up US-160 into Arizona and the Grand Canyon area. Be sure to spend some time at Mesa Verde National Park between Durango and Cortez.

    This would make a very scenic backbone route between RMNP and Arizona, but again, with 7 days you'll have lots of time to wander around. As to lodging, there are tons of log cabin type houses through this area, but most rent by the week rather than the day, but still you might contact some of the owners and see what's available. Try some of the rent-by-owner web sites like vrbo and vacationrentals, and also look into Bed and Breakfast type establishments to see what's out there.

    AZBuck

  3. Default Cabins

    One place you can get a cabin is at Cimarron on US50, just east of Black Canyon NP. There's a commerical campground on the south side of the highway -- it's a beautiful setting and the proprietor is a friendly guy who will give you lots of suggestions for seeing the beautiful country around that area. He has cabins available at pretty good rates -- seems to me I paid about $50 for one there last summer. Bob

  4. #4
    briancmurphy Guest

    Default Rocky Mtn NP to G. Canyon

    Guys many tx for taking time to reply....Someone mentioned to me "million dollar highway" was a route worth taking....Living 3500 miles east of Colorado, im not sure where this is and if this is on the route between Rocky Mtn & Grand Canyon !!

    cheers

    Brian

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,359

    Default Million Dollar Highway

    It's the section of US-550 that I included in my suggested route.

    AZBuck

  6. #6
    briancmurphy Guest

    Default Glenwood Springs or Leadville

    Most of trip planned thanks to suggested routes provided...Trip thru the rockies with overnights at the following lovations..

    Rocky Mtn NP (2 nites)
    Glenwood Springs(Hot springs Hotel) / Leadville (Delaware Hotel) ??? (1 Nite) Ouray (1 Nite)
    Durango / Mesa Verde NP (2 Nites)

    Just wondering if anyone has visited both Glenwood & Leadville and which they would recommend...If i go to leadville then the route to Ouray seems obvious,thru Gunnison and Montrose and on to Ouray...If i decide to overnight in Glenwood springs is it worth backtracking to Leadville and following same route as above, or are there other shorter and equally scenic routes - Via Aspen or more direct route via Grand Jctn


    Many Thanks
    Brian

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Million Dollar Highway

    Quote Originally Posted by briancmurphy
    Guys many tx for taking time to reply....Someone mentioned to me "million dollar highway" was a route worth taking....
    Here is a story we wrote about our last trip on the Million Dollar Highway.

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by briancmurphy
    Just wondering if anyone has visited both Glenwood & Leadville and which they would recommend.
    Brian, if I had to choose between the two, I'd definitely spend time in Leadville. Fantastic old Victorian homes, wonderfully preserved downtown architecture, lots of interesting tourist attractions about Leadville's history, an interesting walking tour of downtown, and more await you in this town. Leadville also is the record holder for the incorporated town at the highest elevation. The backbone of the Rockies can be seen to the west of town. And there are numerous hiking, river, and other outdoor activities to do in this area. Check out the amazing Quincy's Restaurant for dinner!

    Glenwood Springs has a few cool things to do and see (Doc Holliday's grave, a great outdoor hot spring) but the town itself, while in a beautiful setting, is just Anytown USA....for the most part anyway. If there were no cars or powerlines in Leadville, you would think you went back 100 years in time.

  9. #9
    briancmurphy Guest

    Default Decision Made

    Tx Judy - Leadville it is !

    Brian

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Walking and Driving Tours

    Quote Originally Posted by briancmurphy
    Leadville it is !
    When in Leadville, be sure to take the walking tour along Main Street and the Heritage Driving tour through the mining district. The steamtrain is also very cool -- 11 miles along the Arkansas River up to Fremont Pass. The hatchery just outside of Leadville produces more than 1/2 million trout each year -- The approach to Leadville is rather awesome, most of the byway is over 9,000 feet. I think my favorite approach is from Copper Mountain (SR-91) over Fremont Pass and the Continental Divide at 11,318 feet.

    Have fun.

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