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  1. Default July/August Roadtrip to CO and UT

    Hello!

    I have just discovered this website and would love a little help from fellow travelers for a road trip I'm planning with my boyfriend. We definitely want to see the sights in Colorado and Utah and have figured out most of the sights we'd like to visit there. However, I'm from northern Virginia and the states passing through to our desired destinations don't look thrilling.

    What states would be best to pass through and what sights would you all suggest seeing along the way?
    We're both really interested in hiking -- maybe not too difficult as it will be the dead of summer by that time. I think we're more interested in outdoorsy activities, but welcome other ideas as well.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,970

    Default Follow the Rivers?

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The sights in Colorado and Utah are largely mountains and desert rock formations, so one way to look at the drive out (and/or back) is to make it as different as possible while still being scenic, historic and interesting. One way to do that would be to follow the bottomlands and water, in other words rivers. As it happens, if you look at the Potomac, Ohio, Missouri and Platte Rivers, they'll lead you fairly directly to the central Rockies of Colorado to start the 'other' portion of your RoadTrip.

    Another option might be to make a giant, shallow 'U' type of route that would initially follow the Appalachians southwest through VA, then turn westward through Tennessee and the Ozarks leaving you just a day's drive on the Prairie but now in Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle where the cultural difference would serve as the 'scenery'.

    There's plenty to do along either of those routes, and on the more direct I-70 route as well for that matter. So think about those possibilities and decide on your route[s] of choice and we'll be glad to go into a bit more detail. For planning purposes, you can make the drive to central Colorado in as little as three days if you don't make any significant stops along the way, or 4-5 days by either of the other two routes depending on how much and what you want to stop and experience.

    AZBuck

  3. #3

    Default

    I live in Maryland and have made this trip, or something similar, several times since 2015. I am rather done with the I-70 stretch between St. Louis and Denver in large part due to the heavy level of truck traffic. You will be going two ways so your basic alternatives are I-81 to I-40 and I-70 to I-80, as significant conveyors to your destination region, or I-70 to St. Louis and then branching south.

    The southern St. Louis route takes me to St. Louis, then SW along I-44 to Springfield, MO and then on to Joplin and then linking up with US 400 to La Junta, CO (somewhere along the line US 400 ends and US 50 begins).

    The alternative southern route is I-81 south to I-40. The Oklahoma and Texas panhandle are the least scenic part of the drive. There are some hybrids of the above such as visiting Mammoth Cave in KY, which will open up more scenic travel opportunities on U.S.-numbered highways.

    One significant question is, "How much time do you have and to what extent have you nailed down details of the CO/UT segment of your trip?" Are you camping, driving an RV or hoteling?

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