Driving from Denver to San Francisco
I come from Taiwan and I'm staying at Denver for 1 year. My wife and kids came to Denver for summer vacation. I'm planning a road trip by car at the end of this August to send them back to San Francisco for airflight back to Taiwan. Travel time is pretty flexible. Could anyone give me some good suggestions about this trip?
The best of the west
With about two weeks, you could start with the Rockies -- take them through Leadville to Lake City and Pagosa Springs (high Rocky Mountain scenery), then over Wolf Creek Pass to Durango. Spend a day in Durango and ride the narrow-gauge steam train to Silverton (choose the motor coach for the return to Durango, the ride back on the train is too long for kids). Have dinner and see the show at the Bar D Wranglers. Next morning, head west toward Mesa Verde National Park, then into Utah through Monument Valley, Mexican Hat and northwest to Hanksville. See Capital Reef National Park, then the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument on your way to Bryce Canyon National Park. From there, west to Cedar City, then Zion Canyon, before heading to the Grand Canyon National Park. On the way to California, stop by Las Vegas (and see lights and the fountains at the Bellagio!). Go northwest on US95 and across Death Valley, to Lone Pine, then north on US395 to Lee Vining, and across Tioga Pass to Yosemite National Park. From there, it's a short trip to San Francisco. Plan on at least a day at each of the parks and this works out to around two weeks plus a day or two.