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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,676

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    St Louis to Hays, KS (no e in Hays) is easily done. You'll need some cash for the brief section of turnpike on the eastern side of Kansas...I think it was around $3 this past summer. Hays has a lot of hotels in every budget. The last time we stayed in Hays, it was at Choice's Sleep Inn. This past summer we enjoyed a delicious breakfast (but not socially distant) at Pheasant Run. It's been around for years.

    I'm voting with Mark over the beauty of I-70. It's definitely our favorite way of traveling between our current home in San Diego County, and our daughter's place in mid-Missouri. If the weather will permit you to travel through Colorado and Utah on I-70, it's worth it!

    As far as the Utah parks are concerned -- they're not called "the Mighty Five" for no reason! From Moab you could easily get to Arches and the northern end of Canyonlands NP. Capitol Reef is along UT-24. Zion and Bryce are in the other end of the state. Are you planning to stop at the Grand Canyon's South Rim on the way back, since it's only an hour from I-40? (The North Rim is usually closed by this time of year anyway, but had its troubles this past summer due to aging facilities, construction, and COVID-19.)

    This year, you might want to take the precautions of bringing your own masks, hand sanitizer, and either wear gloves while fueling up or use hand sanitizer right afterward.


    Donna

  2. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    St Louis to Hays, KS (no e in Hays) is easily done. You'll need some cash for the brief section of turnpike on the eastern side of Kansas...I think it was around $3 this past summer. Hays has a lot of hotels in every budget. The last time we stayed in Hays, it was at Choice's Sleep Inn. This past summer we enjoyed a delicious breakfast (but not socially distant) at Pheasant Run. It's been around for years.

    I'm voting with Mark over the beauty of I-70. It's definitely our favorite way of traveling between our current home in San Diego County, and our daughter's place in mid-Missouri. If the weather will permit you to travel through Colorado and Utah on I-70, it's worth it!

    As far as the Utah parks are concerned -- they're not called "the Mighty Five" for no reason! From Moab you could easily get to Arches and the northern end of Canyonlands NP. Capitol Reef is along UT-24. Zion and Bryce are in the other end of the state. Are you planning to stop at the Grand Canyon's South Rim on the way back, since it's only an hour from I-40? (The North Rim is usually closed by this time of year anyway, but had its troubles this past summer due to aging facilities, construction, and COVID-19.)

    This year, you might want to take the precautions of bringing your own masks, hand sanitizer, and either wear gloves while fueling up or use hand sanitizer right afterward.


    Donna
    Thank you so much. I have travelled on I-70 thru Denver. Last time, about 7 months ago, lots of traffic, road closures and such at parts but still very beautiful. Some have suggested an alternate way from Colorado Springs to Grand Junction, Co. I hear of Monarch Pass and other sites on that route. Since I have time (it is a longer drive by an hour), going off the less trafficked path appeals to me.

    After that, I will try and hit the parks in Utah. I have been to the Grand Canyon before but might do it again..
    .

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,113

    Default

    If you decide to see the Utah parks, get off I-70 at Exit 214 in Utah and take UT-128 to Moab. See Arches and Canyonlands, then take US-191 back to I-70. Take that to Exit 149, take UT-24 to Hanksville and on to Capitol Reef. Then take UT-12 to Bryce Canyon, this is one of the most scenic roads anywhere. Then you can take US-89 to UT-9 and in to Zion through the tunnel. From there you can get to SF by taking I-15 through Las Vegas to Barstow, CA-58 to Bakersfield, then CA-99 to CA-46 to I-5. There are a few ways to get into SF depending on where in the area you are going.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,114

    Default ...and Now for Something Completely Different

    If you plan to spend significant time in southern Utah seeing a bit of the Mighty Five, you can also visit the Grand Canyon and get quite a different feel for it than the usual visitor. That's because the usual visitor goes to the South Rim which is more easily accessible from a major Interstate, has a drive that follows the rim for a significant distance, and has more services. All good reasons, but also a good reason to visit the North Rim which is not as accessible, has only a single road in/out, and has fewer services. All that simply means that the North Rim sees far fewer visitors and is a much quieter, more natural, and more serene place to enjoy the Canyon. I would not write off a visit to the North Rim just because you've 'done' the South Rim.

    AZBuck

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,676

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    From the website of the North Rim (dated as of today, 11/7):


    North Rim Services Update:

    The North Rim is open for dawn-to-dusk day use through Nov. 30, 2020 - or earlier - if closed by snow.

    North Rim Visitor Center - Closed for the Season.

    North Rim Campground - Closed for the Season.

    Grand Canyon Lodge - Closed for the Season

    During the month of November, the North Rim General Store will be open Wednesday - Sunday between 9 am and 5 pm. Items sold will include general merchandise and coffee. The remaining inventory of groceries and alcohol will be available while supplies remain. No new grocery/alcohol orders will be placed.

    The General Store will remain open through November 30th, or until the park otherwise closes due to snow.

    Fuel is available 24/7 with a credit card at the North Rim Gas Station.
    So it really depends on when this trip will take place.



    Donna

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    If you plan to spend significant time in southern Utah seeing a bit of the Mighty Five, you can also visit the Grand Canyon and get quite a different feel for it than the usual visitor. That's because the usual visitor goes to the South Rim which is more easily accessible from a major Interstate, has a drive that follows the rim for a significant distance, and has more services. All good reasons, but also a good reason to visit the North Rim which is not as accessible, has only a single road in/out, and has fewer services. All that simply means that the North Rim sees far fewer visitors and is a much quieter, more natural, and more serene place to enjoy the Canyon. I would not write off a visit to the North Rim just because you've 'done' the South Rim.

    AZBuck
    But is November not to freezing cold out there? Is there lodging there?

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeeBabar View Post
    But is November not to freezing cold out there? Is there lodging there?
    Thanks to all of you. At first, after many years, I just wanted to do a significant drive. I first thought of just going south to Natchez, changed my mind cause I wanted Mountain scenery, thought I would head to San Francisco. Then, thought of places I have not seen much of, so detours thru US 50, the national parks in Utah are now for sure. After that, I might start heading home thru a southern route or, if I have stamina left, go on to California.

    I am more alone now, older, going alone, so don’t quite know how I handle it. I have a good car, my music, my masks...

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,113

    Default

    The closest open lodging to the north rim is the lodge in Jacob Lake. Otherwise, look at Kanab or Page. It can get cold everywhere you are going this time of year.

    If you are visiting the 5 Utah parks, there's lodging in Moab, Green River, Torrey, Tropic, Panguitch, and Springdale. Springdale is very expensive, you can find reasonably priced hotels in Cedar City or St. George.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,676

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    I'd even check the Grand Canyon North Rim website in the early part of next week. A significant storm is moving in that could possibly close the North Rim for the season. Hate to see somebody book in at Jacob Lake only to find that the road down to the Canyon is closed.

    Moab...if you're a John Wayne fan, you might want to stay where he did when he was filming in the Moab area, at the Apache Motel. We stayed there, albeit a number of years ago (8? 9?) It was an unassuming place, quite reasonable to the budget, and the reviews still are pretty decent. My only complaint about it was light -- parking lot meant you backed out right into the street. However, it's located on a back street that's not busy at all.

    Cedar City....stayed there twice, once just about 3 months ago. Both times we bunked into Choice's Comfort Inn. Great place, not ritzy, indoor pool and hot tub (and it was open this summer!). Honestly, though, St George would be closer to Zion than Cedar City. Bryce Canyon City has Best Western Ruby's Inn, another good place.

    Donna

  10. Default

    As I am getting ready to leave, the weather looks good and here are questions to resolve.

    First leg,, from St. Louis to Hayes, KS, about 500 miles the first day.

    Second leg, Hayes, KS to Limon, CO, take US 50 to Colorado Springs, about 320 miles. Suggestions on where to stay, a sight or two to see there. Might stay 2 nights. Might not.

    Third Leg, Colorado Springs to Poncho Springs to Grand Junction. Expect this to be very scenic. Distance is 305 miles. Any suggestions?

    4th leg, Grand Junction to Moab, UT, about 113 miles. Now, could I just see sights (no hik8ng plans) in the rest of day, should I spend 2 nights in Moab or by Arches Natl Park?

    I have planned thus far. Yet to plan the rest.

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