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  1. Default AZ to Glacier National Park, MT

    We are planning to drive from AZ to Glacier National Park and would like suggestions on "must sees" and "don't bothers", in Utah, Idaho and Montana. We are willing to wander off the direct route, have been to Grand Teton and Yellowstone. We have 15 and 11 year old boys, and we love to explore. Thanks for all suggestions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default And Back

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I did a similar trip a few years ago: Tucson to Yellowstone and back, But that was very much an indulgence of my geologic predilections. Just warning you of the types of sites I tend to recommend. I'm going to assume Phoenix as your starting point, and I'm going to assume that you have at least 9 days, and I'm going to assume that you'd like to take different routes up and back. The 'eastern' leg, described north bound, would have you driving north to Flagstaff and then up US-89/US-160/US-163 through Monument Valley and then north on US-191 to Arches National Park and beyond to Dinosaur National Monument. Continue north on US-191, but a bit before the Wyoming border take UT-44 northwest to Manila, UT and WY-530 north to Green River, WY. Those two roads will take you up the west side of the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. From there, keep headed north on US-191/US-189/US-26 to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone. Finally, follow US-89/US-287/US-89 and use Going to the Sun Road to cross Glacier.

    Now, can you do as well on the other 'western' route? Head west on US-2 into northern Idaho, and then follow a series of scenic byways south: the Lake Coeur d’Alene, the White Pine, the Elk River, the Northwest Passage, and the Payette River. These will bring you to southwestern Idaho and the hidden treasure of the trip: Bruneau Canyon. (Watch for the "Objects falling from Airplanes" warning signs as you drive the dirt road through the Air Force bombing range into this location. All perfectly safe!) While in the area make a stop at Bruneau Dunes as well. Then it's east along the Snake River Valley along the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway and south on I-84 to the Great Salt Lake and then I-15 south to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks before hitting Las Vegas before your final run for home.

    Got room for one more?


  3. Default

    AZBuck, thanks so much for that route! Wow, you have some great ideas that hadn't even occured to me. I am going to start "checking out" the route and all of those sights, they all sound great. Thanks again.

  4. Default PHX to Sioux Falls, SD to Glacier Nat'l Pk to PHX, what should we see?


    We're planning a roadtrip, two adults, an 11 yr. old and 15 yr. old. We will probably travel from Phoenix to Sioux Falls, SD then to the Black Hills (Rapid City) then to Glacier National Park and back to Phoenix. Does anybody have any good sightseeing between Phx and Sioux Falls and Rapid City to Glacier in Montana? I'm sure there are places to see that we don't have a clue about, would love your input. Thank you...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Sfsd?

    Nothing against Sioux Falls (I lived there for 5+ years) but is there any specific reason you are going that far East? Including the Black Hills and Mt Rushmore are very common things when looking at a big roadtrip to either Glacier or Yellowstone, but Sioux Falls is another 400 miles east, basically adding at least 2 more days of driving to your trip.

  6. Default

    We've decided to go to Sioux Falls before Glacier because we have relatives there and they are strongly encouraging us to make a visit. We obviously want to show the kids the Black Hills so we figure combining S.F., Black Hills and Glacier, in the longrun, is less driving than two separate trips from Phx.

    We've been to Yellowstone and Grand Teton (and love it there), so we're wondering what there may be to see again between Phx and S.F. and the Black Hills and Glacier. What about Rocky Mountain National Park?

    Thanks again!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Other Possibilities

    RMNP is great and your boys will love the elk and other wild life. Other worthwhile locations along the way that you should have a look at include Taos, and specifically a tour of Taos Pueblo, the Garden of the Gods and the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, sites on the Oregon Trail, and the Little Bighorn Battlefield in addition to the sites I talked about earlier.


  8. Default My suggestions

    Have you thought about stopping at Pike's Peak just west of Colorado Springs. You can drive to the top or take the cog railroad. Dress in layers because at the bottom it's in the 70's and at the top it low 40's and extreme winds. I recommend the railway just because you get to see all the flora, fauna, little critters and you don't have to worry about driving off the cliffs! Also, drive the Garden of the Gods scenic loop, we saw big-horn sheep here and that made our trip. If gambling is something that interests you, head way up into the elevations to Cripple Creek. Also, Royal Gorge is a nice stop. Kids will love riding a small tram to the bottom at the edge of the AR river. You'll see rafters and tubers navigating the river from the overlook.

    I would defintely stop in Estes Park and do the RMNP scenic loop (Trail Ridge Road). I guarantee you have never done anything like it, but if heights are a problem, then skip it because I swear I thought I was going to meet God that day (no guardrails)! We did see lots of elk and you can walk in the snow in the middle of July. I think kids will love it. It's cold up there so take jackets. Spend the night in Estes Park is touristy but quaint and right on a rock-lined river that flows continuously. It is a really pretty little town with neat restaurants and interesting and unique shops. The kids will love it.

    Don't know your route but SD suggestions are Corn Palace in Mitchell, Badlands National Park outside Walls, Wall Drug, Deadwood. Even though it sounds a little cheeky, Bear Country, USA was a great stop for us. Much more than just bears. Mt. Rushmore of course and the Crazy Horse Memorial, which is under a state of continuous construction.

  9. Default Thanks AZBuck & MemphisDeb

    Thank you very much, great suggestions, a couple I've heard of and have thought about in the past and a couple I haven't heard of. I really appreciate the ideas and suggestions as to jackets, etc.

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