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  1. Default North Western Summer Road

    Hi everyone...I'm new here and I'm really hoping that you guys can help me out. I live on Long Island and originally I wanted to do a cross country road trip with the family (wife and kids aged 12 and 16) After doing research it seems that to do the trip right I would need like 5 weeks which we don't have. (My wife and I are both teachers so we have the summers off there is just too much going on to be away for over a month). Since the furthest west we have been is Colorado, I thought it would be fun to start around that area, maybe Utah and make our way to LA and then fly home from there. I asked everyone one thing that they would want to see and this is what they told me:
    -Float in Great Salt Lake
    -Visit the 4 Corners Monument
    -See the Grand Canyon
    We would have about 2 weeks.
    Any hep you could give me would be GREATLY appreciated. We were planning on going in July so there is tons of time left to plan. Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,559

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    I would start planning a "loop" trip, starting and ending in the same city, somewhere around what you want to see. Airfares and car rental would be significantly cheaper that way. Check DEN, SLC, LAS, PHX, and LAX. You may have time to see Yosemite so SFO would be in the mix. If you could add a week or two you could really see a lot of things, possibly Yellowstone.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,595

    Default Been There

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    With your time constraints and wanting to visit the inter-mountain Southwest, I'd say a fly-drive with a loop RoadTrip structure is clearly your best bet. Among the major advantages of a loop trip is that you can fly into any airport that's near any portion of the loop and use that as your start/end point. Just pick the airport with the best connections or round trip fare. A few of the possibilities include Denver, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. The other major advantage is that you don't have a one-way drop off fee on the rental car; it's just a 'local' rental. You should also check out possibilities for renting from an off-airport location. This can often save you much more than the cost of the cab fare to that location, and usually you'll be able to return the car to the airport for no additional charge.

    As for what to see and do, I've done a couple of trips through that area with my own grandsons. While they were a bit younger at the time than your children, they are the same age now and are clamoring for a return. You can read abut those two trips HERE and HERE, as well as a trip my wife and I took without the kids to southwestern Utah. That should give you a good, but certainly not exhaustive, set of ideas of what's available.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,095

    Default A few ideas of many.

    I would agree that a loop trip would work best for you and wouldn't add to many miles when you consider the amount of zig-zagging you may do on a one way trip. If the places already mentioned are a 'must see' then either Denver, SLC or Vegas would be good to fly into. So one such loop starting in Denver would look something like this; Denver>Rocky mountain NP>Dinosaur NM>SLC>Bryce canyon NP>Zion NP>Grand canyon (North or south rim)>Monument valley>Four corners. From Four corners it would be a flip of the coin for me whether to head up to Moab for Arches and Canyonlands NP's and I-70 (Colorado National monument, Glenwood Springs, Independence pass etc), or head to Mesa Verde NP, Durango (check out the Silverton to Durango railway) and up the Million dollar highway through Silverton and Ouray to Montrose and take US50 to Black canyon of the Gunnison, through Currecanti Nat Rec area and over Monarch pass to Salida and back to Denver via Colorado Springs. (Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, Cave of the winds etc.

    These are just a few ideas to help you make it your own trip so once you have looked at a decent map, gone through Buck's links above and got some basics worked out, let us know and we can help you to 'Fine tune' your trip.

  5. Default

    Thank you so much everyone!! These are all great ideas. I think that this trip will be a great way to see part of the country that we haven't seen as well as testing out the waters for a longer road trip one day. This kind of trip is sometyhing I have always wanted to do before any of my kids leave for college...time is ticking :-)

  6. Default

    Some great ideas....my family has been to Colorado Springs...one of our favorite trips ever.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you!

    - - - Updated - - -

  7. Default

    Plan your vacation around this!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EwZQQ52fOOs

    The Narrows Walk in Zion National Park. After a mile walk down a paved walkway, the path ends at the Virgin River. You step in and hike up the canyon as sheer 2000 foot walls tower above you. Take an hour or a day. It is surreal. It will likely be the highlight of your vacation.

    Heed the warnings about flash floods and water levels.

    Sorry but no video can do justice to what you'll see.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by travelingman View Post
    Plan your vacation around this!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EwZQQ52fOOs

    The Narrows Walk in Zion National Park. After a mile walk down a paved walkway, the path ends at the Virgin River. You step in and hike up the canyon as sheer 2000 foot walls tower above you. Take an hour or a day. It is surreal. It will likely be the highlight of your vacation.

    Heed the warnings about flash floods and water levels.

    Sorry but no video can do justice to what you'll see.
    That looks awesome...Thanks!

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