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  1. Default Minneapolis to Tucson AZ & Grand Jct CO

    Hi and thanks for the great forum.

    We are looking for advice, recommendations and tips.

    We are planning a 14 day trip mid June and plan on getting to Tucson and Grand Jct. CO to visit family for at least a couple nights in each location. Initial thought is to head south on I35 to Oklahoma and partially follow Route 66 to Flagstaff then head south down to Tucson. (with overnight stops of course) Return would be North to GJT and the either Pikes Peak area or Estes Park before heading back to MN though Nebraska etc. This may be an aggressive schedule but that is understood. Want experience Santa Fe area, great scenery, parks, lakes, trails, mountains, historical etc.

    To add some interest we are bringing our two very active mid-sized dogs and have already scoped out pet friendly lodging options. The big question related to the dogs is what activities are possible as the National Parks and Colorado State Parks are less than pet friendly.

    Thanks for any feedback.

    Jeff in Minnesota

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would like to suggest an alternate route between I-40 and Phoenix that is not only very scenic, but will save about 30 minutes!

    Get off I-40 in Holbrook (the Motel 6 is very clean and rates are very low if you need to stop for the night - one pet per room is their standard policy) and head south out of town on AZ-77. Turn right on AZ-377 and take that to AZ-260. Turn right and take that into Payson. Turn left on AZ-87 and take that to Phoenix. It intersects the 202 Freeway just north of Mesa.

    If you like good steak, the Big Texan in Amarillo is a must-stop.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Make It All New Road

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Driving all the way to Flagstaff before heading south to Tucson would mean that you'd have to retrace your route on the way back to Grand Junction and would have to drive through Phoenix twice. While the shortest route would be to leave I-40 at Santa Rosa NM and take US-54/US-70 to Las Cruces and then I-10 to Tucson, I'd suggest that you instead continue west on I-40 for just a bit and take the short side trip north on US-285 to Santa Fe for a visit and then take I-25 down through Albuquerque to Las Cruces.

    When you do head north to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon, be sure to get off I-19 north of Phoenix and visit Sedona and take the drive up Oak Creek Canyon on AZ-89 to Flag. I would also definitely opt for Rocky Mountain National Park over Pikes Peak with a route through Monument Valley, then up US-191 to Arches National Park before taking I-70 across the Rockies in Colorado. If you've stopped at the Grand Canyon, try to take the short hike on the west side or RMNP to the headwaters of the Colorado River where you can hop over the river that carved the Canyon. Finally as you head through western Nebraska along the Platte River, take some time to visit some of the historic landmarks associated with the Oregon Trail such as Chimney Rock and Scotts Bluff


  4. Default Mpls to Tucson etc.

    Thanks for the recommendations.

    Would like to hear some thoughts on the dog activities in the Estes Park area vs. Pikes Peak. Have a good sense of things near Santa Fe and no concerns about the Tucson and Grand Jct. stops. Another thought was doggy day care if we really wanted to get out on trails in the Ntl. and CO State parks.

  5. Default updated itinerary-thoughts?

    I think we have the itinerary. Trying to see a lot I know and weighing staying in Estes Park for two days and miss Colorado Springs Pikes, Royal etc. Same for the Santa Fe section-avoid White Sands for additonal time in SF? Family in Grand Junction and Tucson so those are a must.

    Any comments or suggestions, alternatives or advice will be appreciated!


    6/9: Minneapolis to Omaha via I35/I80
    6/10: Omaha to Estes Park via I80/I25 & US 34
    6/11: Estes park to Colorado Springs
    Drive through RMNP and then south on Peak to Peak etc.
    Visit Garden of the Gods
    6/12: Colorado Springs to Grand Junction via US 50
    Drive Pikes Peak & Royal Gorge
    6/13: In Grand Junction
    6/14: Grand Junction to Cortez/Durango via US 191/491
    Drive Arches & Mesa Verde NP
    6/15: Cortez to Sedona via Gallup NM I40 (Route 66) & 89A/117
    Drive Red Rock SP
    6/16: Sedona to Tucson via I17
    Drive Sliding Rock SP
    6/17: In Tucson
    6/18: Tucson to Santa Fe via I10 & US 70
    Possible White Sands
    6/19: In Santa Fe
    Drive Georgia O’Keefe Scenic Rte.
    6/20: Santa Fe to Oklahoma City via I40
    6/21: Oklahoma City to Minneapolis via I35 & I70
    Possible drive straight through

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would try to go farther the first day. MSP to Omaha is only 375 miles, but Omaha to Estes Park is 560 miles. I would try to make it to Grand Island or Kearney.

    If you go through Gallup, you will miss Monument Valley. I would not miss that. Take 491 to 160, go through 4 Corners, then 191 north to 163. Take that through Mexican Hat and Monument Valley, get back on 160 at Kayenta, and take that to 89 to Flagstaff.

    Tucson to Santa Fe is a long day, it's over 500 miles. You may not have time to do White Sands.

    OKC to MSP is 800 miles. Not doable in a day.

    I have a suggestion to take care of the crunch at the end. Spend the night past OKC so you will have 2 very long days instead of 1 long day and 1 impossible day. Try for Wichita.

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