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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    West of Sydney Australia

    Default Boulder from San Fran or LA

    Dear Roadtrippers,

    Am planning to drive to Naropa for a conference in August and am seeking advice regarding whether starting from San Fran or LA is better for sightseeing opportunities and road ambience. Also wondering what the weather will be like and if snow will be a consideration. Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Fairly Clear Choice

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Los Angeles would get my recommendation on a couple of counts. It's about 250 miles closer to Boulder than San Francisco, and the drive is a fair bit more interesting, including that it takes you through Las Vegas, by several of the best of our national parks including Zion, Bryce Canyon and Arches, and over the San Rafael Swell and through the Rockies. And although I'm sure that there is at least one recorded instance of it snowing in the Colorado Rockies in August, I would not worry about it at all.


  3. Default

    I live in Boulder and have lived in San Fran and LA both. i've made both trips literally dozens of times, since I was 12. (I'm not 50, so that's a lot of trips.) North you can make it so you see some phenomenal sights without going too far out of your way. Tetons and sections of Wyoming are beautiful. The Painted desert is underrated. It's gorgeous. Dinosaur National Monument is also one of the most underrated sights in Colorado. the plus of this is, there are never too many people there.

    If you go south, you'll also have some cool sights, as the fellow who posted before me mentioned. I hate Las Vegas, so that's not a plus for me. You can go way south, or only partially south. The most direct route from LA includes Zion and such. But even the most direct route from SF include Moab and Arches, and WOW that's amazing land! It's 200 miles less if you drive from LA. But if you're already in SF, it's not worth it to drive down to LA first, unless you've never driven the coast before.

    That's my two cents worth. Bottom line--you'll have a great time at Naropa, esp if you're studying any kind of movement therapy. When you get to Boulder, take advantage of the many hikes right in town: Sanitas, Chautauqua, the Mesa Trail, etc. Hike to Royal Arch! And for restaurants, if you are veggie, try LEAF. But all places in Boulder have great veggie selections. If you like ceviche, try Aji. Fish, go to Jax. For the best cup of Buddhist jo this side of Asia, check out Trident. And while you're at it, look into the Kyudo school. The sensei of the school makes (or used to make) bows for the emperor of Japan. A tremendous opportunity if you're into this sort of thing. BUT, as a Naropan, you probably know all this already. Have a great time and welcome to beautiful Colorado.

    If you drive south in AUGUST, you will REGRET the HEAT. I would go north to be honest. Either that, or take that desert by nightfall and drive till morn!
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-10-2008 at 08:23 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    West of Sydney Australia

    Default thanks and an important question about time

    Thanks so much for your welcome and rich advice.

    I have driven San Fran to LA before stopping at Elysium and gazing at the giant kelp from a hot pool :)

    Howi, I wonder why you mention movement therapy - it has been a dream of mine for over 20 years to study movement therapy at Naropa. Now I am going for the Hakomi conference. This incorporates some authentic movement and body centred work.

    Thanks for your detailed info and recommendations.

    What is 'ceviche' and 'jo' ?? As a yet-to-be Naropan, I know nothing...

    I hear your vote for the North route clearly.

    A further 2 questions I have are:

    1) how long should I plan to take to do this drive?
    2) what weather to expect in August ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default I'm howling at Howl

    Howl said "I'm not 50...." Ya know, after my birthday this year, I'm NOT 50 either. Living in the land of denial, ya know. Was that a Freudian slip? LOL And your description of Boulder makes me wish I hadn't skipped visiting there when I've been through Colorado. A good excuse to go back!

    Janet, If you start out in San Francisco, it's about 1300 miles. Three days would be a good pace. Of course, if you want to linger along the way and explore a bit, you should add another day, or more depending on your time, budget and interests.

    If you start in LA, it's about 1000 miles. Two days. Again, more days allows more time to explore.

    Both routes take you through some amazing places and take you near some amazing national parks and other sites worth seeing. Personally, if you have A/C, I don't see why you should avoid the southern route from LA. It may not be as hot on the northern route as some places on the southern one will be, but it will still be hot in August no matter which route you choose.

    I think which route you choose should be determined by two main criteria: time and sights to see along the drive. Do you need the quickest route (from LA) or have time for that extra 300 miles (from SF)? Two days minimum vs. three days minimum? I suggest getting a good map of the area and tracing the routes to see what is along each and which offers more sights you'd love to see. Or try an online mapping site like Google maps or Mapquest.

    Howl knows the roads better than I do so his suggestions are worthy of consideration. However, I lean toward the southern route. A drive along the northern edge of the Mojave, a swing through Vegas which, even if you're not into the bright lights and gambling, is worth seeing at least once in your life, and then a stop at the Valley of Fire, Zion NP, a possible detour to the fantastic and other-worldly Bryce NP all lend the southern route some real clout, imho.

    Snow will not be an issue in August any place along either route. Unless we have some real freaky weather, that is.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    West of Sydney Australia

    Default 7 days abundance

    thanks so much for the extra rounding out details and recommendations. Its firming up to be the southern route, and then I will continue up north to SF. We have a full week just to get to the coast, so it sounds like we will have abundant time to linger at the amazing inland sites on the way.

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