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  1. Default Denver to LA - 2 weeks in August


    A few friends and I (all 30 y/o young professionals from Australia) are planning a 2 week American roadtrip in mid-2010.

    We thought we'd seek your wisdom, as this forum has already provided us with lots of great help with initial thinking, but we need a bit more expert insight. Plus, this thread might be helpful to others in the future.

    We'll be flying into LA from Australia on a weekend, and flying out 2 weeks later - and it looks like we'll be travelling in August (as this is the only time we can get away from work). Most likely, the first 2 weeks of August.

    I'm aware this is both summer (i.e. very hot in deserts), and holiday season (so busy in places), but unless there's an extremely strong reason for travelling in late Aug, or worst case, late July/early Sep, then it'll probably be that first fortnight.

    In short, while we could do a simple 2 week loop out of LA (we'll be travelling in a rental car), I'm wondering if we can do something more adventurous.

    So, it would be great if you could provide some feedback on the following - which is just a rough idea at this stage:

    Day 0 - Fly into LA, then catch a domestic flight to Denver, Colorado
    Day 1 - All day scenic driving from Denver to Grand Junction (via Rockies)
    Day 2 - Grand Junction to Monument Valley
    Day 3 - Monument Valley to Grand Canyon
    Day 4 - Grand Canyon to Las Vegas (via Zion)
    Day 5 - Day in Las Vegas
    Day 6 - Las Vegas to Bishop (via Death Valley)
    Day 7 - Bishop to Yosemite
    Day 8 - Yosemite
    Day 9 - Yosemite to Monterey
    Day 10 - 13 Carmel Valley, Ben Sur, Pacific Coast Highway back to LA

    I'm aware this is a lot of driving - especially at the start. So if there's a particular place we should add a day's rest (e.g. Zion) then let me know.

    Also, where the drives are about 4-5hrs per day up front, I imagine we'd either do these early in the day, or late in the day, depending of how much we need to see where we are, and where we're going.

    How does this all sound? Does it look like we're making any silly mistakes? Or could be doing things better?

    Thanks greatly in advance


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default From one Aussie to Another

    Your trip looks great to me, for the time you have and the distance you wish to cover, and the time of year. But be aware that you will not see much of any of the places you are visiting. Your day four, in particular, will not give you any time to explore the magnificence of Zion NP, unless, as I suspect, you are planning to visit the North Rim. For me, I'd far rather the North Rim, it is not as crowded as the South Rim, and every bit as spectacular. It also has lots of small hikes and the parking at the many view points is (from my experience) much easier. If you are planning to stay in any of the National Parks, you need to get to booking quick smart, as the places disappear within hours.

    What I suspect this trip is going to do for all of you, is whet your appetite to come back and take time to really explore all the new places you have seen.

    If you have a day to add anywhere, I would add it to Denver. Coming off a long haul flight, and driving the next day may not be such a bright idea. Just remember Peter Brock!

    Lifey in Melbourne

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A couple of thoughts.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I agree with Lifey, it's a great idea and will give you an overview of the area as long as you don't mind long days on the move. From the North rim on day 4 it would work but from the South rim would be too much to enjoy in my opinion

    As Lifey also pointed out, you are going to start out from Denver pretty tired but having said that the old adrenaline soon kicks in ! What I would suggest is day 1 take the short journey to Estes park on the edge of RMNP and if you feel up to it a stroll around the Bear lake area close by. From Estes park on Day 2 take the Trail ridge road to Grand lake [highest continuous paved road in the US] which is a spectacular drive. With an early start you could possibly get to Moab in Utah although it would be a long day.
    On day 3 you could head to MV but reach GC same day putting you back on track with your schedule or take a little time and explore Arches NP near Moab and adjust accordingly. I would recommend Arches NP as an option and stay in MV by taking a day from elsewhere, maybe the end of your trip ?

    These options would mean more than 4 or 5 hours driving in places but would give you a little more time to explore areas.

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