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  1. Default Road trip from Denver to Las Vegas in march

    Hello! First of all, thanks to anyone who can provide us some help.

    My boyfriend and I (both from Spain) are going to do a road trip for our honeymoon from Denver to Las Vegas in March. And even if I have read a lot of the forums, I still don't know where to stop, because I guess weather could be a problem in march.

    We arrive to Denver airport a Sunday, and we have 7 days until we arrive in Las Vegas, the next Sunday.

    Could you give us some tips about best places to stop?

    We would like to visit some national parks, but we don’t know if some of them could get dangerous because of the snow or if the roads could be closed…

    Thanks a lot for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default first steps

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Probably the best tip I could give you about the "best places to stop" is that there is no generic list of best places. It's all going to depend upon you and your interests. Now, with a focus on Nature and National Parks, it is understandable that the options can seem a bit overwhelming, because there are a ton of them between Denver and Las Vegas.

    Just a short list of your options include Rocky Mountain, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Mesa Verde, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, Zion, and of course, the Grand Canyon. Those are just some of the National Parks, and doesn't even include some of other interesting places like Pikes Peak or Monument Valley, which aren't in the National Park system.

    It is true some of these parks will have limited access during March. Rocky Mountain National Park will have some road closures and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is still closed for the winter in March, for example. There is no place in the National Parks system that will be dangerous - unless you ignore rules and safety warnings. The National Parks service website and the website for each park will give you detailed information about what restrictions you could see in the spring - look for the "Operating Hours and Season" section of each park's site.

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    Yes, as you have said we are feeling a little overwhelmed with all these great options, so thanks a lot for helping us!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    eastern North Carolina


    Oooh....what great fun! I would definitely be mindful of the weather. As far as driving goes, though, I think you should be fine. We traveled from Denver to Utah to Vegas in February 2014. It was snowing, but I was impressed by how clear they kept the roads.

  5. #5


    We went from Denver to Vegas in May, but still had to deal with snow going over the Rocky Mountains immediately after leaving Denver. We were ok, but they have warning signs on the I-70 about whether chains are needed or not. If the chains light is flashing, you won't be able to drive the rental car through it, but I would think that's probably very rare.

    On the I-70 take the detour over Loveland Pass - great mountain views. When we were there, we had snowboarders asking us for a ride back up the mountain!

    You should probably stay in Moab, UT (it's a pretty cool town with nice restaurants, bars and art galleries) for one or two nights. Getting into town, take UT-128, which is a nice drive that follows the Colorado River. Near Moab you have Arches NP (fantastic) and Dead Horse Point SP (beautiful - go at sunset time, if you can). There is also Canyonlands NP, but we didn't go, since we only had one night in Moab.

    After that, I would head towards Monument Valley and then Page, AZ. You could detour to Natural Bridges, Moki Dugway and Goosenecks SP on the way. In Page itself, you have Antelope Canyon (need to book a tour and bring a tripod for good photography) and Horseshoe Bend (again, a truly stunning place - I went there at sunrise).

    Then you have the Grand Canyon NP (South Rim). Try to stay for a sunset, if you can. You can stay within the NP itself (expensive and need to book ASAP), or Tusayan (pricey), or Williams (cheap) for the night.

    If you're planning to stay at any of the NPs, or The View at Monument Valley, you will need to pre-book. Around these parts, all accommodation is quite pricey (even in the nearby towns), but March might be a bit cheaper than the peak periods.

    Please check all the places and roads mentioned here on a papermap or atlas. It's useful for planning and you WILL need it while you're out there - the GPS around these parts is not enough for good and safe navigation, especially if you get off the main highways.

    Another way to go after Moab would be the Bryce/Zion way, but I haven't been there, so can't personally recommend.

    These parts have stunning scenery and exciting roads to drive wherever you go, so you're in for a great trip!

    (BTW, in Vegas, if you don't already have bookings, my favourite hotel the Venetian. Huge rooms and beautiful surroundings. Also, if after your 7 days travelling you still have more time in Las Vegas, I would look into a day or overnight trip to Death Valley NP - it's probably the most beautiful and dramatic place I have ever seen and the night sky is something to behold.)



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If the chains light is flashing, you won't be able to drive the rental car through it
    I believe that only applies to commercial vehicles (trucks, buses, etc.). However, if the conditions are that bad I think I'd wait it out.

  7. #7


    OLASHY: please don't worry too much about any of this bad weather talk - in earlier post or this one to come. If you do encounter any bad weather, just wait it out and you'll soon be fine, they keep the roads clear most of the time in the US.

    GLC: sorry I assumed those chain lights were for everyone. And this drive happened on the morning after a 6inch+ snowfall overnight, and the snow, fog and wind still swirling around when we set off for the mountains. We also received warnings about driving across the mountains the night before from three (3!) different local people. The gist of it was: 'don't travel tomorrow, if you can possibly avoid it', and 'people die up on those mountains, boys'... (We stocked up on water and dried/cured meats, just in case..)

    But as it turned out, this day was one of the greatest Road Trip days I've ever encountered, going through all that snow and all the way to the desert of Utah in one day!

    P.s. You should invest in one of those small and cheap 'dashboard cams' for your trip. The driving videos you'll capture will be amazing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    eastern North Carolina


    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    I believe that only applies to commercial vehicles (trucks, buses, etc.). However, if the conditions are that bad I think I'd wait it out.
    That's what I thought, too.

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    Thanks lmking1224 for sharing your experience

  10. Default

    Thanks a lot Subman for all the information, now we are trying to decide what places visit, we have 5 nights between Denver and Las Vegas, and there are too many tempting options with that many National Parks and cities, and 5 days is just not enough.
    One more question, are winter weels good enough instead of chains? Where we live it doesn't usually snow and we are not used.
    The dashboard cam is def. going to the must have list!

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