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  1. #1

    Default The Western Loop

    Hello Y'all!

    We plan on doing a circular road trip in the west of US in Summer-09. So far we have blueprinted some itinenaries and listed some places we'd like to see. However, we would like to welcome all you experienced road trippers to throw in ideas, comments and "must-see spots" that are relatively close to our route. Furthermore, we would appreciate it if you have some suggestions for possible alternative routes.

    At the moment our journey will start from San Francisco. From SF, we'll head east and visit the Yosemite National Park. After that we make our way to Colorado by taking roads "6" and "50" (via Tonopah (NV), Ely (NV), Delta (UT), and Salina(UT)). From there we plan on taking an interstate 70 that will ultimately take us to Denver. After spending a couple of days in Denver we have planned on taking the road 285 south - that would lead us to Santa Fe, NM. On our way we hope to catch better views than by taking the Interstate 25 south.

    From Santa Fe we'll make our way to Las Vegas on interstate 40 - on our way we plan on stopping in Albuquerque (NM), Flagstaff (AZ) and Grand Canyon (AZ). After becoming millionaires in Vegas (Yeah right! ;) ) we continue our trip towards the west coast and LA. We do not have that much ambitions about the LA - One whole day might do the trick for us. At this point, we just want to get a short glimpse of Hollywood and Beverly hills. What we want is to continue up north and check out the coastal line by taking the reputable coastal highway. On the coastal area we make our way back to SF to complete "our full loop".

    We are renting a car from SF and by making a loop-shaped trip we will avoid paying any transfer fees or such. The trip will take place in July and we have about 24 days for the long drive. On our way we would like to discover some beautiful scenery, couple of well-known cities as well as some "typical, smaller-sized towns".

    Please - Feel free to comment and suggest - your views and info is well appreciated! :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Odds and Ends of Comments

    Just a few comments & suggestions: Take a look at the possibility of continuing on US-50 through Colorado. This would take you through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. This would also let you drive the stretch of US-285 from Salida, CO to Denver. You could then use I-25 down to Colorado Springs (Garden of the Gods) before cutting over to US-285 by way of US-50 (Caņon City and Royal Gorge). Then between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, take a look at the Turquoise Trail as another alternative to I-25. In Albuquerque take the time to see Petroglyph National Monument. Here are some smaller, but beautiful, venues in the Grand Canyon area that you may want to check out.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Looks fun

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you are looking at a pretty good trip. As you make your way across Nevada and Utah, you'll have lots of opportunities to stop at National Parks (Great Basin, Capital Reef, Arches, Rocky Mountain just to name a few), so hopefully you can detour to at least a couple of them. I'd also be looking at buying the National Parks Pass, which cost $80, but would pay for itself after the 3rd or 4th park.

    Working south from Denver, I like your idea to go away from I-25, which is a decent road, but if you've got the time, working your way through the mountains sound like a great idea. There are a number of things worth checking out in the Colorado Spring area, and then Great Sand Dunes NP and Taos, NM would both be near your route to Santa Fe.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Good trip plan!

    And, with 24 days, you can really afford the time to veer off and take in most, if not all, of the recommendations you've gotten so far. Here's another one:

    When you leave Albuquerue, you might want to consider another route. Go NW on 559 to Durango (wonderful mountain town) and then east on 160. Stop at Mesa Verde NM to see the cliff dwellings of the ancient Anasazi (quite incredible). At Cortez, continue on 160 to Four Corners...put a foot/hand in four states at the same time...then continue through Kayenta and Tuba City, through Cameron, and then east on 64 into the Grand Canyon area. The scenery through here is amazing.

    Or you could take I-40 west to Gallup, enjoy the Route 66 kitsch there (don't forget to visit the El Rancho Hotel's lobby!) and then head west on 264, then north on 191 to Canyon de Chelly and then take your choice of several roads to head over to the Grand Canyon. I've never been to Canyon de Chelly myself but many folks who frequent these forums rave about it.

  5. Default Any ideas?

    I'm planning a trip from SF, CA to Santa Barbara, CA then heading to Niland, CA. After Niland, CA I'll be heading to Vegas and then to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. After the Grand Canyon I'll be heading to Sedona, AZ. I thought about going from Sedona, AZ to New Mexico, then to Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon and back to SF, CA. Is New Mexico worth seeing or should I just go from Sedona, AZ to Colorado? What is Durango, CO like? I'm not sure how much time I'm planning on spending in each state, it depends if there's an area worth staying in. I'm not interested in the super-touristy areas and would love some great scenery and maybe a cute town with some shopping so I can get some authentic souvenirs but no major cities. I'd appreciate any advice on places to visit! Thanks!

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