Best Trip West of Denver 8 Days
We are two midwest high school buddies from 30 years ago who haven't seen much of the West. We have dreamed about this for a long time. We want to take an 8 day road trip someplace west of Denver.
What routes and destinations do you suggest for a great road trip experience?
There's NO bad road trip!
The problem is going to be choosing what to leave out. You could go almost anywhere west of Denver and find a great experience. Wyoming, Montana, Pacific Northwest, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah -- even California. I almost left off Nevada -- also spectacular.
Here's one option designed for 8 days (plus a few hours):
Day 1: Denver to Chama, NM. Ride the steam train excursion there on Day 2. (Stay two nights). Next stop Durango, and Mesa Verde National Park (day 3). Spend an afternoon there. Then on to Monument Valley. Spend an afternoon there on day 4, then drive on to Marble Canyon for the night on the way to Grand Canyon, North Rim. Spend the next morning and early afternoon exploring the North Rim (Day 5), then go on to Zion National Park for the night. Next morning, see Zion, then drive on to Bryce Canyon, then through Grand Staircase/Escalante and Capitol Reef National Park. Day 7, after an overnight at Torrey or Hanksville, go on to Moab and two national parks nearby for the remainder of the day, and part of the next (Day 8), leaving for Denver by 3pm. Day 9 would see you back in Denver at about 10:30 am.
Another option on the same basic route would be to leave something else off, and spend that time seeing Canyon de Chelly in Arizona. I hate to leave it off any list of the "musts."
road trip through the west 21 days
I'm an Italian guy and I'd like to spend my next summer vacation in the west of the US on a 21-days road trip with my girlfriend, starting from Phoenix (she is from there) and then driving through Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and back to Arizona.
thanks for any suggestions.
2 words, and and a whole freaking route!
NATIONAL PARKS- Get a Gold Pass at the first one you visit, or online at www.nps.gov. Here is an idea for a route to all the places you'll want to visit!
From PHOENIX ARIZONA
North on I 17 to AZ 74, East on AZ 74 (Carefree Highway) to US 60. North on US 60 to Wickenburg, and then North on US 93 (Joshua Tree Forest Parkway) to AZ 89. North on AZ 89 to Yarnell (option, you can travel south on a road to the Stanton Ghost Town, or travel the following route). Yarnell North on AZ 89 thru Prescott, Clarkdale, Jerome, Cottonwood, Sedona and the Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff (you will have to briefly rejoin I 17 north). From Flagstaff, take US 180 north to Valle, where it will merge with AZ 64 to the Grand Canyon south rim.
After a visit to Grand Canyon Village, head south on AZ 64/US 180 to Valle, and south on AZ 64 to Williams. Then, head west on I 40 to exit 139. This is to Historic Route 66! Take Route 66 west thru Seligman, Peach Springs, Truxton, Valentine, Hackberry, Kingman, McConnico, and Oatman to Golden Shores and I 40 again. From here you can take I 40 east to US 95 In California. Take US 95 North to Las Vegas, and spend some time there. From Vegas, you can take I 15 north thru Mesquite, NV and Littlefield, AZ up to St. George, Utah. You can then take UT 9 East to Zion National Park. After a stay there, you can then go East on UT 9 to US 89. North on US 89 to UT 12 and Bryce Canyon National Park.
After a visit there, you can return to US 89 and head north to where it junctions with I 70. Head east on I 70 to Colorado. At Grand Jct., you can head South(may be a East-west route, so then this would be east) on US 50 to Montrose, CO, then east to Curecanti Nat'l Recreation Area. OR continue south on US 550 to the San Juan Skyway! This road has been designated as an All-American Road, and for good reason! The San Juan Skyway includes US 550, US 160, CO 145, CO 60, creating a huge circle between Ridgway, CO and Durango, CO. (for a map of this and all other All-American Roadways, visit www.byways.org and order a map, its free). After finishing the loop and returning to Ridgway, you can go north on US 550 and THEN hit the Curecanti Nat'l Recreation Area. Then continue east on US 550 to Pueblo, CO. From there, you can take I 25 south to Santa Fe, Albequerque, to Las Cruces, NM. Then take I 10 east through Tucson (you can detoure south to Bisbee, AZ, or Tombstone, Az on AZ 80), and back up to Phoenix. This makes quite a loop!
Hope you like it, its a freebie. Just tell me how the drive is, I may want to depart from my place in Phoenix and do this my self!
Have a good time!