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  1. Default 4 weeks in the Southwest

    Hi Folks,

    We’re getting closer to our trip into the States now and, thanks to some of the info I’ve found on here, we’re putting the main road trip part of it - in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas etc - together. I would appreciate it if anyone could take a quick look at our proposed itinerary and let me know what you think.

    We’ve done a fair bit of research on things to see, places to go etc already and I won’t mention them here as there’s so many of them – but if there are any places to see, things to do or different routes to take that you recommend it would be great to hear them.

    Day 1 – Moab to Torrey
    Day 2 – Torrey to Cedar City via HW 12
    Day 3 – Cedar City to Springdale
    Day 4 – Springdale to Las Vegas
    Day 5 and 6 in Vegas
    Day 7 – Las Vegas to Flagstaff
    Day 8 in Flagstaff and surrounding area
    Day 9 – Flagstaff to Tuscon
    Day 10 in Tucson and surrounding area
    Day 11 – Tucson to Bisbee
    Day 12 – Bisbee to El Paso
    Day 13 in El Paso and surrounding area
    Day 14 – El Paso to Terlingua
    Day 15 – Terlingua to Odessa
    Day 16 – Odessa to Lubbock
    Day 17 – Lubbock to Lincoln
    Day 18 – Lincoln to Santa Fe
    Day 19 – Santa Fe to Denver area
    Day 20 – Denver area to somewhere en-route to the Black Hills, SD
    Day 21 – to Rapid City
    Day 22 in Rapid City (for Deadwood, Mount Rushmore etc)
    Day 23, 24, 25 etc en-route to our flight home from Calgary, AB.

    I’ve researched driving distances and the last week or so is a lot of driving every day, so I’m thinking of getting to El Paso and forgetting about heading into West Texas and just working our way up north to Albuquerque, Santa Fe etc.

    Any advice much appreciated


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Good job on your planning!

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums.

    I'm glad our information has been helpful during your planning process.

    I basically agree with you. While Texas is interesting, it's really impossible to do it all and choices must always be made. If I were you, I'd skip Texas as well (except the El Paso part).

    I suggest you drive to Carlsbad, NM, via 180/62 and past the Guadalupe Mountains, and visit Carlsbad Caverns. Then head north to Roswell and play with the aliens for a couple hours. Then head west on 70/380 and visit Smokey the Bear's grave while going through Capitan and then head north on I-25 to see the Very Large Array (as seen in the movie Contact) near Soccoro, NM.

    Enjoy Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and then head north through Denver to Rocky Mountain NP. Then onto the Mt. Rushmore area (you might want at least one more day here as there is LOTS to see and do; don't miss Wall Drug in Wall for kitsch).

    Enjoy Devil's Tower and the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument on your way to Alberta.

    Skipping the other Texas stops might also give you time to visit Glacier NP in Montana.

  3. Default

    Judy - thanks for the tips, and I've decided Texas (apart from El Paso) will have to be saved for a time when we can do it justice.

    Does the rest of the trip seem ok to you - we've got three nights in Bluff before heading to Moab, where we're planning on staying a few nights too - that should leave plenty of time to visit Monument Valley, Four Corners, Canyonlands, Arches, Bryce and Zion national parks?

    Also, Flagstaff to Tucson - is the best way to do this to drive through Phoenix? I was hoping to give that a miss but alternative routes seem to increase the mileage a fair bit.

    Any hints or tips about what to see etc between and around Flagstaff and Tucson would be great too.

    Thanks for the info about New Mexico and up into South Dakota and Montana - I was worried that would be a few days of driving without stopping too often, so the tips are much appreciated.

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

    Default Bluff, south of Blanding?

    I don't see this as being a good base to explore Bryce and Zion. They're about 300 miles away. There are motels along 89 between Bryce and Zion that would make a better base to see both those parks from.

    I don't see Bluff on your original itinerary. So you've made some changes? Bluff should be fine for Monument Valley and 4 Corners.

    I think Moab would make a better base for visiting Canyonlands. It's a bit closer.

    This post by AZBuck, who lives near Phoenix, might have some tips on traveling through there. Read his post but also read down that discussion for other info that might be useful, particularly about Tombstone, etc.

  5. Default

    Apologies Judy, I only posted the part of our itinerary I wasn't too sure about - we're staying in Williams for the Grand Canyon for 2 nights then heading to Bluff for three nights before moving up to Moab.

    The plan is to use Bluff as a base for Monument Valley and the Four Corners, and Moab as a base for Canyonlands and Arches. I was planning on using Springdale and the drive from Torrey to Cedar City as bases for Zion and Bryce.

    Thanks for that link - really helpful.

  6. #6

    Default CO and NM loop...

    Here's a 10 minute video of some highlights from our CO and NM road trip last year. May give you some ideas.....

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-27-2008 at 10:25 AM. Reason: Preferred URL format herein

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default No apologies needed

    The Torrey-Cedar City route makes sense. If you can, you might want an extra night in Cedar City for more time in each of the Bryce and Zion NPs. Good job! Your trip plan look pretty good to me.

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