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  1. #1

    Default Colorado/Utah/Arizona/New Mexico/Texas.

    Hi, after some great advice on the New England trip this year, I am no planning our next road trip for September /October 2020. I have the start of an itinerary and would welcome advice on scenic routes to take and any advice re realistic timescales.

    Day 1 Arrive Denver International Airport And drive to Boulder CO. (50 miles)

    Day 2 From Boulder Drive peak to peak highway to Estes park and drive trail ridge way. (80 miles)

    Day 3 RMNP

    Day 4 leave Estes park and drive to Glenwood springs (take I70 the most scenic highway ) 200 miles.

    Stop at buffalo bills museum and grave.

    Day 5 Glenwood springs

    Day 6 Glenwood to Grand junction (colorado national monument) (80 miles) and onto Moab (130 miles) (Grand junction to Moab get off the i70 and then take highway 6 and then the very scenic 128 FILL UP GAS BEFORE YOU LEAVE GRAND JUNCTION

    MOAB 2 national parks (ARCHES and Canyonlands)

    Day 7 MOAB

    Day 8 From Moab take 191 south through Blanding and onto bluff (100 miles) stay in bluff ?? Take side visit from bluff to four corners monument by taking 162 then 160. (50 miles)

    Day 9 from bluff take 163 through the iconic monument valley over the border from Utah to Arizona. (Kayenta) stay around monument valley.

    Day 10 build in a day for flexibility.

    Day 11 From kayenta take 160 and the az98 to Page ( antelope canyon, horseshoe bend 100 miles.

    Day 12 Page.

    Day 13 Page to Grand Canyon south rim take 89 then 64.stay at el Tovar (165 miles)

    Day 14 Grand Canyon

    Day 15 drive Grand Canyon to flagstaff or Sedona? (100 miles) Consider 180 ?? Also consider 89 (stop at painted desert and sunset crater volcano) visit Jerome.

    Day 16 Sedona

    Day 17 Sedona to Tucson (consider a day of driving to take the scenic way and avoid Phoenix by going through tonto forest take 260 to payson then 188 towards globe an then pick up 77 all the way to Tucson) (275-375 miles) visits saqiaro park for cacti when in Tucson.

    Day 18 tucson

    Day 19 tucson

    Day 20 Tucson to El Paso take the 80 to tombstone (western Movie stuff) 100 miles and then onto Bisbee 25 miles. Stay around Bisbee.

    Day 21 leave Bisbee and then carry on 80 to pick up i10 to El Paso Texas 250 miles

    (I10 is supposed to be very boring from Tucson towards Santa Fe and also onto Texas)

    Day 22 day for flexibility

    Day 23 drive El Paso to Santa Fe. (Take S.R. 28 and then 185 to hatch (chilli capital of the world) then pick up 187 taking you through old towns like Derry and arrey until you pick up i25 around the town truth and consequences at belen take the NM314 (350 miles)

    Day 24 Santa Fe.

    Day 25 Santa Fe to Texas (possible stop Lubbock buddy holly (300 miles)

    Day 26 Lubbock to San Antonio (the Alamo) riverwalk (400 miles)

    Day 27 San Antonio

    Day 28 San Antonio

    Day 29 San Antonio to Dallas (stop at Austin) 275 miles

    Day 30 build day in for flexibility

    Day 31 State fair

    Day 32 Dallas to florida.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,284

    Default

    Day 32 is not really something you want to do. The mileage to Pensacola, about the closest location in FL from Dallas, is almost 700 miles. That would be a big NO, in my book. Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa or Miami would be even worse. Plan on TWO days, wherever you are going in FL.

    FWIW, my husband and I went from Decatur TX (NW of Dallas/FW) to Orlando in two very long days...both around 600 miles a day. You also have to consider that there's an hour of time lost since you're going east.


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,796

    Default

    Instead of driving Trail Ridge Road and returning to Estes Park, I'd look at staying on Trail Ridge and exiting the park to the west. You can use US-40 over Berthoud Pass to get to I-70. Then you can take US-6 over Loveland Pass instead of using the tunnel on I-70.

    Rather than go through Bluff twice, take US-491 from Monticello through Cortez to 4 Corners, then go to Bluff and through Monument Valley. If you have time, you can see the Canyons of the Ancients and/or Mesa Verde. There is lodging in Monticello and Cortez, I don't think there is any in Bluff. You can take a Jeep tour of Monument Valley, that's a lot better than taking your own vehicle on the dirt road. If you do drive yourself on the dirt road, you probably will be violating your rental agreement.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    348

    Default

    September is a fantastic time of year to visit RMNP. However short snowstorms can close Trail Ridge Road over the top for a day or two until they close it for the season in late Oct. Have a Plan B.

  5. #5

    Default

    Sorry Donna, I was t clear enough, we would fly from Dallas to florida for some r&r and beach time on siesta key after a busy road trip.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,284

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    OK, that makes more sense then.

    Monticello has a lovely, budget-friendly motel called Inn at the Canyons. It has an indoor pool. The room we had was spacious, with both a fridge and a microwave, and the breakfast was decent. Moab has a bunch more choices, though. Monticello also has a few good restaurants. We enjoyed two of them, one for dinner and one for brunch. We went across the street from the Inn to Doug's Steakhouse and BBQ. It was a bar atmosphere but the food was good and the service was excellent! The morning we left, we decided to have a late breakfast and enjoyed a place called R & F, just up from the Maverik (fuel) station. Both were family-owned places.


    Donna

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,796

    Default

    There is lodging in Monticello and Cortez, I don't think there is any in Bluff.
    I was mistaken, there is limited lodging in Bluff.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,413

    Default A few thoughts.

    I would agree with glc with regards to Trail ridge road. If it's open drive it on route to Glenwood Springs rather than double back. That would give you some time to explore the east side of RMNP around the Bear Lake area (lovely scenery and nice walks) before staying in Estes park for the night.

    From Glenwood springs to Grand junction you can take another scenic detour and cross the Continental divide over Loveland Pass.

    You may have already considered this, but in case not. From Moab you could head to Bryce canyon NP via UT24 and scenic 12 which is a fantastic drive which also takes you through Capital Reef NP. You would then head to Page and detour to Monument valley on route to the south rim, perhaps stopping overnight at the Cameron Trading post.

    Between Tombstone and El Paso you could visit Chiricahua NM and/or Fort Bowie with your 'Flexi' day.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    216

    Default Moab thought.

    With the time you have in Moab, you could possibly have a look at Dead Horse Point state park. Not far from Canyonlands. A couple of lookouts in there are well worth seeing.

    Keith

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,284

    Default

    To add to KeithG's post....the turn-off to Dead Horse Point State Park is just before the entrance point to Canyonlands' Islands in the Sky area, so it's not much out of the way. The part of Canyonlands that is harder to reach is the Needles District. It isn't as heavily visited for that reason.


    Donna

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