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  1. #1

    Default Late September Colorado/Arches Trip

    I'm looking into doing a trip starting and ending in Denver in late September, early October. I'd love to hear about any not-to-miss spots along my route as well as advice about the weather and driving conditions. I'm a complete chicken when it comes to driving in the snow. So, is early October too late for me to visit Colorado?

    Here's a rough plan:
    Denver-Great Sand Dunes-Black Canyon of the Gunnison-Mesa Verde via Durango-Hovenweep-Canyonlands-Arches-Rocky Mountain National Park-Denver

    Or, I could go in the opposite direction first. What do you think? I just thought I'd save the biggest WOW (Arches and Rocky Mts.) for the end. I plan to spend 10-14 days for this trip. Last year I saw a lot of the highlights of S. Utah and N. Arizona (Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly), but I missed Arches! So this new trip is planned around that.

    Any tips on nearby places to see are appreciated! I'd also like advice about the places I've listed - are they worth the trip? What should I see there?

    As well, will I run into snow on my trip in late Sept. - early Oct.? How much? Thanks!

  2. Default Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The last accurate weather forecast was when God told Noah there was 100% chance of rain... :)

    I would state emphatically that the places you've listed are "worth seeing."

    Autumn is usually a great time for roadtripping -- however, there is ALWAYS the possibility of Colorado snow even that early in the season. In September and early October, my guess is the odds are in your favor, but snow is not unusual, either. You probably have the greatest chance for road closures in the highest areas of Rocky Mountain NP, but this is a guess on my part.

    Read this article just in case!

    If time permits, also see Valley of the Gods (SW of Blanding) and Goblin Valley SP (North of Hanksville off SR24). Also, Goosenecks State Park near Mexican Hat, and Natural Bridges State Park west of Blanding. Headed back toward Rocky Mountain NP, stop and test the waters at the hot springs at Glenwood, and the mead at the brewery just east of Grand Junction! Bob

  3. Default

    I thought the saying was, "You make plans and God laughs!"

    The Colorado Blizzard of 1997 took place at the end of October in the Denver area. I would think that early October would be pretty safe, but you just can't guarentee the weather. I think I'd be incline to do the Rocky Moutains first, then swing down and do southern Colorado as planned and save Arches for last before returning to Denver.

    Hovenweep is worth the effort!


  4. #4

    Default Thanks!

    Thanks for your suggestions! I think I'm willing to brave it, but will put Rocky Mountain first to be a little bit safer. I am wondering if Black Canyon of the Gunnison is worth the trip. I could just cut straight across from Great Sand Dunes to Mesa Verde... Is there much to see at Gunnison? Hiking?

  5. Default

    Black Canyon of the Gunnison is nice for an hour or two, but the big reason I would go ahead and drive to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is so you can drive Hwy 550 between Ouray and Durango. This is known as the Million Dollar Highway and is well worth the drive.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-19-2005 at 06:20 PM. Reason: Add URL

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