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  1. Default Chicago to Irvine, CA - with focus from Denver to Las Vegas

    Hi

    I am actually planning my move (combined with a road trip) from Chicago to Irvine, CA.

    Plan is: drive pretty straigt to Denver, then visit Rocky Mountain NP

    And after this, I need some ideas.
    I like nature, am open to a night or 2 of camping
    And want to fill 3 days with ideas from Rocky Mountain to Las Vegas (Wednesday is Rocky Mountain, and I want to be latest in Las Vegas)

    Thank you!!!
    Dominik

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,598

    Default When is this trip?

    Quote Originally Posted by DominikinUS View Post
    Plan is: drive pretty straigt to Denver, then visit Rocky Mountain NP
    Welcome to the Trip Planning Forums. The first thing you might want to know is that you can't visit the Rocky Mountain NP without a reservation. Here is some information about that.

    When your trip? There are some really cool places to camp -- but it is hot and smoky in the Western states right now.

    A day from the RMNP is Grand Junction and there are some really interesting places to explore in the Colorado National Monument.

    I really like Coral Pink Sand Dunes and Snow Canyon in Utah.

    Mark

  3. Default

    Thank you!
    Yes, I got my reservation for RMNP for August 25th (and will try to get a better time on August 24th at 5pm local time...)

    my plan was:
    26th: Arches NP
    27th: Bryce Canyon NP with camping there
    28th: Zion NP
    then maybe already 29th in Vegas

    But I am open for good ideas (and hope for good ideas) as I know I won't be too crazy about Vegas....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,143

    Default Don't Overlook the Obvious

    In Colorado, just southeast of Grand Junction, there's the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Then between Grand Junction and Las Vegas, you're going to be driving within very easy side-trip distances of several of Utah's "Mighty 5" National Parks including Arches. Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon and Zion.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,143

    Default Besides the Strip

    Just because you happen to be in Vegas, there's no need to stay in Vegas. Just outside town are a few scenic natural sites, even if they aren't national parks, such as Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area., Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area, Lake Mead (what's left of it), and Valley of Fire State Park.

    AZbuck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,708

    Default How much time ?

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    Plan is: drive pretty straigt to Denver, then visit Rocky Mountain NP
    Chicago to Denver is a 1000 miles and will require an overnight stop. Unless you need to go to Denver you should consider staying closer to RMNP, Estes park for example.

    my plan was:
    26th: Arches NP
    27th: Bryce Canyon NP with camping there
    28th: Zion NP
    then maybe already 29th in Vegas
    When you take into consideration travel time you haven't got a lot of time to visit the parks, but it is a spectacular drive, especially UT24/scenic12 through Capitol reef to Bryce.

    So how much time do you have available in total from Chicago to Irvine? You have 4 solid days of driving before you even think about visiting parks etc

  7. Default

    @AZBuck: thank you, good ideas! I need to look it up

    and about the ideas next to Vegas: I have been to Valley of Fire, Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon (not to Death Valley - October 2015 was some flooding just the day we wanted to go...), and me and my friend want to spend some time in Vegas at the pool after all this nature for sure

    @Southwest Dave: yes, I plan to drive in 2 days to Denver, pick my friend up at the airport and stay most likely in Estes Park to start in the morning to RMNP

    after RMNP I have 4 full days to arrive in Vegas - and 12 hours straigt driving time, thus I think it should be fine about the driving time. I just don't want to miss some parks which are worht to visit :)
    But as I will live in Irvine, I also don't have to do everything now :)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,708

    Default

    The other thing you didn't mention is if you will be driving any sort of moving vehicle - self-move truck (U-Haul, etc), pulling a U-haul type trailer, or towing another vehicle.

    These things can affect your ability to get around and to be able to do any sightseeing in the process of your move. They are cumbersome, and they also slow you down a bit. We just moved halfway across country (from CA to MO), with one vehicle towing another while a 2nd vehicle caravanned.

    The good thing to know - once you are in Irvine, you are within a 7 hour drive from Zion, about 8-1/2 hours to Bryce. Denver is another story - that is a 2-day drive. So if you don't get to see something on this moving trip, you are a long weekend away from some of the most gorgeous sites in Utah, and Las Vegas is one of the most popular weekend getaways for Southern Californians. (That said: watch out for traffic!)


    Donna

  9. Default

    oh I am driving my car - Ford Mustang, maybe filled up with stuff, but not too crazy :)
    I sent alreay lot of stuff to Irvine with a UBox - it was much cheaper than renting a truck!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,708

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DominikinUS View Post
    oh I am driving my car - Ford Mustang, maybe filled up with stuff, but not too crazy :)
    I sent alreay lot of stuff to Irvine with a UBox - it was much cheaper than renting a truck!
    Frankly, I'm surprised. We'd been told that renting a truck to LEAVE California was twice the price of renting one to GO TO California. Some friends of ours found themselves going to Yuma, renting a truck, returning to San Diego, filling the truck, and making a beeline for their new property outside of California. Even the extra $ for mileage and another day of travel was cheaper out of Yuma than paying out of San Diego.


    Donna

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