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  1. Default vegas to vegas - 10 days

    i am planning a july road trip, beginning and ending in Vegas. I am thinking of starting at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and proceeding to Bryce Canyon, then Mesa Verde in Colorado. I would also like to see Monument Valley, and, if possible, get down to White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.

    Is this possible? Any ideas or alternative suggestions?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default 200 Miles a Day

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Sure you can do this, it's 'only' 2000 miles in 10 days. Now clearly you'll have to drive more than that some days but less on others, but it's within the realm of possibility and there's lots to see and do on the loop including, Zion National Park, the Grand Staircase-Escalante, the North Rim, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, Santa Fe, Petroglyph National Monument, the Salinas Pueblo Missions, White Sands, Tombstone, Kartchner Caverns, Saguaro National Park, the Sonora Desert Museum and Hoover Dam. While you probably can't do all of that, each of those sites is pretty much right on your way and you get to pick the ones you want.


  3. Default thanks AZ

    AZ - thanks for the input. I'd like to refine my inquiry a bit:

    I want to make the best use of these ten days - and don't want to rush. I definitely want to drive through Monument Valley and Bryce Canyon and have friends I would like to see in Albequerque, before hitting White Sands and Carlsbad. Durango looks really cool to me (especially that train) but I could pass on it if it would be too rushed. Also, I wouldn't mind taking in some water sports at Lake Powell.

    My idea at the moment is to drive from Vegas to the North Rim; Monument Valley up into Bryce Canyon; a day at Lake Powell... and then I don't know... is there time for Durango? Or should I head down to Albequerque? Also, I intend to rent a 4wd, so I could handle some unpaved roads.

    Any ideas, esp specific favorite roads, would be much appreciated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Choices Must Be Made

    As I cautioned in my last response, you could do the trip you had described, but it would be full and you couldn't hit all the places I had suggested along the way. You've now added more places and upped the miles you would need to drive by 20%. If you really don't want to rush, and want to spend more than a few hours with your friends in Albuquerque, you will have to start leaving off some of the places you've listed. Personally, I would see Zion rather than Bryce Canyon, and see it before the North Rim. I would also wait until after you're through in Albuquerque before deciding what to do on the southern return portion of your trip. You can save considerable time by dropping Carlsbad and White Sands, and returning to Las Vegas via I-40, seeing instead: Petrified Forest National Park, Meteor Crater and a number of other sites near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

    Oh - there is absolutely no need to waste money and gas on a 4WD vehicle. The only 'roads' I have ever seen, paved or otherwise, that a normal sedan could not handle were on serious geological field trips to places far more remote than anything you have in mind. Besides, if you read the fine print of your rental contract, I can just about guarantee that it will prohibit use of the vehicle off of paved highways, no matter how big and mean it is or how many drive wheels it has.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-30-2008 at 07:14 PM. Reason: Added opinion on 4WD

  5. #5


    I definetly agree that a 4wd is not needed for all the places you mention. i've drive on some of bad roads in that area and they can be done with a car, not that i'm recomending that.

    It will be hard not to rush with all the places you want to see. I've done a few road trips just in utah and arizona and not seen all the good places. Zion is defiently worth a day at least and it is close to Bryce which is also great. i think the biggest descion is how much time in new mexico since that takes you far away from vegas. white sands is great and also about 5 hours south of Alb. Carlsbad is a another few hours away and taking you away from vegas. after doing carlsbad you would have a very long day or , more likely, two day drive back to vegas.

    some other ideas would be to see chaco canyon which can be done as a day trip from Alb. and also mesa verde, duragno. it might be easier to fly into Alb or phoenix or flagstaff. Vegas is west of all your destintions so it is way off to one side of all the places you want to go. flagstaff is close to the GC and utah.

    A good road near Monument Valley is through the Valley of the Gods And here is another field report from the area written & photographed by RTA's Gerald Thurman.

    The terrain is simalar to Monument Valley but you can go at your own pace and it has it's own cool bueaty. i drove it in a rental PT cruiser even though it is a mediocre dirt road. the web site i gave the link from has a ton of great info and pix about the southwest. i have used it often.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-02-2008 at 01:10 PM. Reason: fixed the link and added one more

  6. #6
    Traveldude Guest


    I think greg in ak is right new mexico may be a bit much to do. New Mexico is so big and so many things to due you should consider it to be a seperate roadtrip to itself. With that said the rest of your trip would be really comfortable and relaxing. You could go from Vegas to Zion, Bryce, Monument Valley, 4 corners, Duango, and come back through Arizona hitting the south rim on your way back to Vegas. If you really want New Mexico in this you could go from Durango to Santa Fe to Albuquerque then Arizona. White sands and Carlsbad may be to far to add to your schedule.

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