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  1. Default National Park Road trip advice: Salt Lake City or Las Vegas staring point

    We are a Scottish/Irish couple on an extensive USA road trip. Just about to leave Denver and want advice on the best place to start a national park tour. We have a parks pass, aiming to hire and RV and want to know if its best to start from Salt Lake City or Las Vegas. Any advice appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    12,011

    Default More details please

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums.

    Perhaps you could tell us a bit more about your plans, the amount of time you have available and whether you plan to do a round trip or a one way ? (The cost of a one way RV rental can be significantly more than a round trip)

    Are you flying out of Denver or driving ? Denver would be a really good option to start a NP's tour from, with many great places in Denver and Southern Utah to explore as well as the Grand canyon. Heading towards the west coast you have great parks of Death valley Sequoia and probably my favourite, Yosemite. You could head north to Yellowstone, Glacier NP and much more so we would need to know more to be able to offer more specific advice. You can search the forums for more ideas, in the Roadtrip field reports forum you will see some of our RV trip reports with links to others we have done in the west.

    If starting in Denver is not an option then Las Vegas would put you nearer to the Utah, Arizona and Californian NP's and SLC closer to Yellowstone and Glacier.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,285

    Default The Mighty Five (Plus)

    If either Salt Lake City or Las Vegas is your starting point, then the five major National Parks in southern Utah would be a great starting point. Known as the 'Mighty Five'. they are:
    Arches
    Canyonlands
    Capitol Reef
    Bryce Canyon
    Zion

    Two other parks in this general area can be added as part of a loop that returns you to Salt Lake City or (slightly less conveniently) Las Vegas:
    Dinosaur
    Grand Canyon
    Note that there are two access points to the Grand Canyon: the North Rim and the South Rim. The North Rim can be reached using AZ-67 from Jacob Lake AZ but that's a simple in-and-out road with access to a single point on the canyon so there is far less traffic there. The South Rim is followed for quite some distance by AZ-64 and has multiple view points, but because it is more easily accessible and connects to highways at both ends sees many more tourists.

    Additionally, if you wanted still more and have decided to include Dinosaur and Capitol Reef, you could connect those two with a slight detour east into Colorado and visit;
    Black Canyon of the Gunnison
    Mesa Verde

    And then, as Dave noted, if you want to go even farther afield, many more options open to you, so please let us know as your plans develop if we can be of any further assistance.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
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    Default Grand canyon North rim ?

    As with all travel plans, check the status of each place before heading out. The North rim services and road into the park is not scheduled to open until June 2nd this year due to heavy snowfall. If Yosemite is in your plans then you will need to check routes and park status. Again, due to high volume of snow the Tioga pass will not open until late this year, possibly mid June the earliest and even into July. The park is also at risk of closing for periods due to risk of flooding from the snowmelt.

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