Denver to San Fran
My husband and I are planning a roadtrip from Denver to San Francisco (one way). We have about 2 weeks to do it in... any suggestions on a route? We would love to see Yellowstone and Mt Rushmore and possibly the Grand Canyon (although that is in the complete opposite direction). Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Do it all.
With two weeks, you can do it all, plus a bit more besides. It's a lot of driving, and my recommendation would be to choose a more compact area to explore more comprehensively, but what you suggest can be done in the time you have (the driving time is about 40 hours), if you are determined.
First, go to the Black Hills and see that area. Continue on to Yellowstone, and then visit Grand Teton if you wish. South down through Utah to Zion and Bryce National Parks (and others in that area if you choose).
Then on to Grand Canyon. While others may suggest the North Rim is more spectacular, I respectfully disagree (Bob, feel free to cheerfully rebutt!). North Rim IS spectacular, but in my opinion not any more so than the South Rim, and I would even argue the South Rim's vistas are wider, more open and therefore more spectacular.
The real difference in my mind is that North Rim is more remote, less visited (although in summer it will seem as crowded as the South Rim village). There are fewer services, and it has a more rustic feel than the South Rim. North Rim is about 1,000 feet higher in elevation than South Rim, so it tends to be cooler.
I like them both ("like" is definitely an understatement), but if you can only do one, I recommend the South Rim as I believe the additional resources there allow for a richer experience. You'll probably LEARN more about the Canyon at the South Rim. That said, visit both if you can. Keep in mind though, the distance between the two is almost a full day's drive (so don't think for a minute you can do them both in one sightseeing day)!
From Grand Canyon, you can work your way to San Francisco, taking in any number of attractions and sights in between. If you'll run some of these place names and attractions in the search function on this forum, you'll get lots more information in the results. In particular, run "Utah" or "SR12" and you'll find lots of suggestions for southern Utah parks. It's one of the most beautiful places in the world! IMO.
You might also choose to see Yosemite along the way to San Francisco. There's a lot to choose from, and you could never get close to seeing all of it in a lifetime, much less on one trip. Bob
Denver to San Francisco
When reaching the Black Hills of South Dakota, a must is Bear Country jus outside Rapid City. Do not miss it.
To see the south rim of the Grand Canyon, come in from Hy 89 by Cameron. This will give you a full view of half the canyon. There is all kinds of lodging at the middle. To see more, you will have to ride a bus as no cars are allowed to the west.
Leave south to Williams, then at Seligman, swing through the town, then back to the freeway.You will see what Route 66 was all about.
Come at the Black Hills from the south and get to Hwy 16A, repeat 16A. This will give you a photo of Mt. Rushmore framed thru a rock tunnel.
Very Cool Tip
That is a very cool tip. Thanks for sharing it!
Stop at Cameron Indian Trading Post, and get a Navaho Taco, or a half of one. One covers a whole plate. Really nice restaurant, and Trading Post.